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* Posts by Brenda McViking

110 posts • joined 28 May 2012

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Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich

Brenda McViking

Re: @localzuk

It was an US design back in the 50s for the first generation, but they have since been upgraded several times over, without any help or know-how from the US.

Unless you're arguing the same analogy that all motorcars are heavily supported with US know how from the model T as well, in which case, fair enough, but it's not really all that relevant in the capabilities of today's world.

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Brenda McViking

Re: @Don Jefe

Funny,

I'll just tell the 8,000 enginers in the UK at Rolls-Royce that they don't manufacture anything complex, let alone half the engines for the worlds widebody jetliner fleet shall I, or the thousands employed at Bombardier, manufacturing rail stock, or how about Coventry, where Jaguar Land Rover are recruiting THOUSANDS of new engineers to assist with their R&D and manufacturing plants (seen any Range Rover Evokes around the states recently? Indian Owned but British Made in Liverpool). Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce - British made. JCB industrial and construction equipment - you may have heard of them. Head up to Scotland and you'll find all manner of marine, oil and gas activity - none of which is known for requiring simple manufacturing.

F1 technology and motorsport- an awful lot manufactured in UK, gearboxes, energy recovery systems, engine development, brakes - Prodrive (UK R&D and Manufacturing) quite literally were the only name in the world rally championship a few years back, supplying technology for virtually all the teams. BAe Systems you've mentioned - in decline at the moment due to the global defence cuts, but defence is a fringe case because as you've mentioned, sovereignty comes into it - so anything made for a country will have it's IP and final construction completed there. Which is why we don't buy US military hardware, just as you don't buy UK (except where we share risk - F35 is a classic example - US do not have the capability for STOVL variant, UK does, designed using UK IP, manufactured in US)

Manufacturing simple things with skinny margins in the UK? not a chance, not at any scale anyway - there is no way you can compete with Asia. We make highly complex equipment that they cannot, due to a lack of adequately qualified personnel and established R&D resources, infrastructure and protection which the east cannot offer (except maybe Sinagpore or South Korea). That does mean that the blue-collar manufacturing on production lines that people "fondly" remember back in the 60s and 70s has largely disappeared, as minimum wages here mean automation/offshoring is cheaper. But to say we don't manufacture anything complex is simply wrong. If anything, it's the only thing we still do. ARM electronics, Imagination technologies - plenty of the IP in your smartphone belongs to British companies, despite what Apple would like you to believe.

I think I've made my point that Britain does do complex manufacturing, and lots of it. I should know as I work in it.

Getting back to topic: putting a manufacturing centre in London, where space is at a significant premium and commands extorsionate rents, is not an idea anyone would seriously entertain. If you have lots of people making lots of money in high rise offices (banksters, insurers, financial services etc) then locating in London makes sense. If you have need of low density (by which I mean warehouses, factories with a few stories) manufacturing needs, you'd be bankrupt within a year if you put it in London. Just like putting an automotive factory in downtown Manhattan - it's a stupid idea.

So there was no way it was ever going to win the top tech city award - it's too expensive to manufacture anything there.

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Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers

Brenda McViking

Re: "turned down Levison's appeal against the contempt charge"

So let me get this straight. He was asked to provide the keys so that the g-men could snoop on the data they were "entitled to" and refused. They take a court order out to force him to, and he stands fast for 2 days before relenting and challenging the legality of the request, in the meanwhile axing the service - and that is contemptuous because he should have taken them to court the first time they asked?

What planet does this judge live on?

If a copper came around my house and asked for my keys "because terrorism", I'll tell him to leave and slam the door in his face, not take him to court for asking. If he then persists, bringing back a court order, then that is the appropriate time to take it to court, surely. That is surely how escalation works.

Otherwise you'll be in contempt next time you don't take a policeman to court should they pull you over for speeding when you weren't (faulty speed gun, for instance). Rather than fighting it once you have the ticket, like any sane, normal member of society would.

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Brenda McViking

Re: Containment Solution?

Just sink it. Radioactivity from fuel rods isn't dangerous to humans when it's below 3m of water (which is why we have spent fuel ponds at most reactor sites where the spent fuel cools off.)

Yeah, greenpeace will be shouting "won't somebody think of the fish" but compared to an atmospheric release, it's a no brainer.

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Borked Bitcoin bunker MtGox in administration: Lawyer seizes control

Brenda McViking

Re: Mighty quiet ....

By its definitition, Bitcoin is not FIAT. It doesn't derive its value from any government or legislation, and relies instead on its scarcity (due to it theoretically being finite) to attain value.

Of course, once trust in a currency is gone, it becomes worthless anyway - MtGox is certainly the most trust-damaging event to date, but bitcoins are still trading.

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Amazon wires up email-to-Kindle to its gigantic online hard drive

Brenda McViking

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/949/

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Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast

Brenda McViking

Re: 500mA power draw

I don't know - you try holding a 64MB MicroSD card that has just completed a few 10GB file transfers at 50MB/s - it actually gets very hot - too hot to apply any kind of pressure to with your fingers, anyway.

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Did you know Twitter has a 'consumer product division'? Ex-Google Maps boss now runs it

Brenda McViking

That's interesting

I assume "product" in this case is the adjective referring to the consumer.

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Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: Just for this...

Two. Hundred. Thousand. Pounds.

£200,000.

For this?

WITH TAXPAYERS MONEY?!

My head just exploded.

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Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

Brenda McViking

Re: Economic WIN

Come off it. Futures markets exist because they take the gambling out of the equation for the consumer/provider, and give it to those who deal in and have experience in that area (the bankster).

It's primary advantage is that it allows a certain amount of certainty about the future, which very quickly diminishes risk for those all those involved, from investors, suppliers, consumers, and the entire chain in between them all - as described by posters above.

Cloud computing, aside from being ill-defined (but can probably be offered as CPU cycles, or storage), is no different. If trading it offers no advantage to building it yourself, as you suppose, then the market will dry up, and all the speculators will be left high and dry. Hell, Amazon AWS pretty much does all this already - you can buy cloud at spot prices or at pre-determined prices in the future, and they, together with their customers, are doing well.

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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Brenda McViking

Re: What everyone needs is a £280 Nexus 5

And why is a shedload of megapixels a requirement for a phone camera? My old Sony DSLR has 10MP, and due to the physical size of the sensor and the quality of the glass in front of it, It'll still take a far better photo than the 41MP Nokia, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

I have an S4, with a 13MP camera. It still takes shite photos. My Nokia N95 with a 5MP camera had a much better lens and took much better pictures. I miss that phone...

Buying a phone camera based on megapixels is a game only the uninformed play (and don't salesmen know it!) - there are far far far more important things to consider, and anything above 5MP is only really useful if you happen to be printing images the size of motorway advertising billboards, head over to photography forums and they'll tell you all about it.

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Brenda McViking

Re: Does ANYBODY still believe this tripe?

A program I've heard of that overcomes the copying issue is teracopy www.codesector.com/teracopy

Of course this falls into the "microsoft messed it up and there is no way in hell that in a sane world this program should *need* to exist." But hey. It solves the problem because microsoft won't, so I'm leaving the link here in case anyone has need of it.

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Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

Re: Wrist, meet slap

Well you know what they say about security agencies: the only time you're sure they're exploiting something is when they official deny it.

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Brenda McViking
Joke

Well at least I won't have to change my reg password - as it doesnt even bother with https to protect the login >_<

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Brenda McViking

Re: 85000 XP!

Yet I hear the "tax simplification" team for 2013 was made up of just 6 HMRC employees.

No wonder the countries finances are in such a state.

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Brenda McViking

Re: Sounds a lot like those...no, not really

Did you know THERE'S A MUTE BUTTON on the self service machines.

Check it out next time - before you hit start, at the bottom of your self service machine, there is a speaker icon. HIT IT, and IT SHUTS UP!

(except you then have the problem of when there is an unexpected item in the bagging area and the machine isn't shouting about it - confuses the hell out of the supervisors.)

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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Brenda McViking

Re: @ Stuart Longland (was: What legit email admin ...)

I use one too jake. (a billion dollar advertising agency account that is)

For general spam. Internet shopping and facebook and linkedin notifications - in fact, as the vast majority of the email I recieve is neither confidential, particularly personal or even indeed useful, I'm quite happy for the likes of google/microsoft/yahoo to host it for me. It's not like they charge me, and they can sell it all to advertisers all they want - with adblock plus, i'll simply not see all the targeted ads that desperate agencies have paid for to put in front of me.

As for running my own email server, I don't. Just like I don't have a washing machine repair workshop in my garage despite owning a washing machine, or an vetinary operating table despite owning a cat. Both of those would be pragmatic, but unfortunately I have to work for a living, and as such don't have all the free time necessary to purchase, install, operate and maintain these "nice to haves." YMMV.

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Brenda McViking
Angel

Re: Coffee cup holder, someone's got to mention the coffee cup holder! www = internet

Text Message from the Mother:

"Darling, can you stop changing the internet every other day"

[reply]

"What do you mean?"

[mum]

"the google, you keep changing the google on my computer. I like yesterdays one better. Just keep it as that"

[reply]

"No mum, I don't change the google logo, google changes that."

[mum]

"You don't run the google?"

[reply]

"No, if I did I wouldn't be driving a fiesta"

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Universal Music mulls 'all you can eat' buffet of song downloads

Brenda McViking
Go

Eh?

Downloading is quite superior to streaming, not to mention more efficient as you only do it once, rather than every single time you want to listen to it - music streaming is a huge waste of bandwidth, if you think about it, as people usually listen to the same song more than once. not so with video.

It sounds like UMG have finally come to the conclusion that actually, people want copies of music and are will get them cheap (or free if anything remotely restrictive gets in their way), then they might as well be the supplier, and make a bit of money out of it. Sure, there are some people who will probably try and pay once and download the whole back-catalogue. Maybe there will be "fair-use" provisions to "unlimited" or maybe it really will be unlimited - after all, it's trivial to download the entire back catalogue anyway through less, erm, legal means. However - this time they're paid, so regardless, they win over having it all pirated.

But a supplier that has good quality copies is worth a premium, and to be honest I'd consider it for $20/month - and pay for more than one month too, as whilst I might download everything good I know of in the first month, after that it becomes much more of a "try something new" experience, and if that works, then they'll keep getting my subscription. everyone wins. It's high time the music industry worked with it's consumers, rather than against them - good music will provide other revenue streams in time, but the old way of charging £3+ for an intangible digital bitstream lasting 2.5 minues when your CD is £2 (and requires the full supply chain and distribution infrastructure) is a business model that is well and truly dead. Flogging that dead horse has got them nowhere for 15 years, maybe they're realising that actually, there are other ways to make money than by ripping your customers off.

Good luck to them. They still might need to halve that subscription - they're so late to the party that they've got to complete with the likes of netflix now, but this is the first step in the right direction that I've seen the industry take, for which I applaud them. (never thought I'd see the day...)

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20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Brenda McViking

Re: Very sad indeed...

I too am very unsure of those statistics, but in an effort to remedy the situation, I've found some HSE stats on their website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/r2p2.pdf

For the entire UK population:

Annual risk of death due to road accident: 1 in 16,800 in the UK in 1999

Annualised risk of death due to aircraft accident per passenger journey 1 in 142,000,000 (1991-2000)

So even if you take this to the ridiculous extreme of flying twice a day, every single day of the year, your chances of being an aircraft accident fatality are 1 in 195,000, or, to put it another way, you're still over 11 times more likely to die on your way to the airport.

Not that statistics are any comfort to the families of the souls onboard MH-370 - our thoughts are with them at this terrible time.

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What do you mean there are no Surface Pros? HAND 'EM OVER, yell Microsoft resellers

Brenda McViking
FAIL

Re: Microsoft misread the market

The original RT was a joke that only the retired Windows ME development team found funny. However, everyone I've spoken to about the Pro would have them, if only they didn't cost as much as a second hand car.

For microsoft to misread the market would have required them to actually look at their market, which they don't, because they already "know" what the market wants better than the market does. Hence their booming success, Windows 8 on every desktop, and the baying hordes outside redmond calling for Ballmer's return... Oh wait

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Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

Brenda McViking
Holmes

The incident in question

http://avherald.com/h?article=46b376ea/0000&opt=0

The ATSB also had the following to say to passengers in this very same report:"Turbulence is a weather phenomenon responsible for the abrupt sideways and vertical jolts that passengers often experience during flights, and is the leading cause of in-flight injuries to passengers and cabin crew."

I feel SO much more knowledgable now.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Brenda McViking

Re: They almost laughed him out of the boardroom...

Well, at least in the Marine industry, the EU is heavily funding research into ways of emitting less CO2 (regardless of your beliefs as to whether that's a good thing), and one of the ideas seriously being considered is the use of sails - the downside is that they're efficient at 12kts, not the 18kts cargo carriers current go. But, there is a glut of cargo carriers, and you can get the same throughput with more ships on the ocean going slower. It of course means that you'll be waiting for your big-TV shipment from Hong Kong for around 33% longer, but presumably if you're shipping by sea rather than air, it's because you want it cheap and are willing to sacrifice time for that.

So a slow (it's still ~4+ times quicker than shipping by sea), heavy lifter market may work - it has drawbacks- indeed the weather restrictions for a dirigible presumably are more strict than a helicopter, but just because it's slow doesn't mean it could be useful. I can think of lots of companies who wouldn't mind the capability to lift 50 tonnes out on short notice - oil companies spring to mind. Whether they'd let 50 tonnes of swinging cargo next to an offshore rig is questionable, but in terms of getting say, heavy machinery from a manufacturer in Germany to a site in Africa somewhere in a reasonable time frame for less money than hiring a C-17 Globemaster- I can see that there might be a market for that.

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Boeing going ... GONE: Black phone will SELF-DESTRUCT in 30 secs

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

Re: Borrowed technology from the Dreamliner batteries??

No indeed, in fact my Samsung iPhone* can have its battery replaced in under 10 seconds by popping off the back.

* according to the ruling of Judge Koh. USA supreme authoritaaaah!

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

Brenda McViking

Re: Oh fsck. Not Lewis Page again.

You'll note he also made the same problem with the density of lead. so whilst he was wearing his 1000x binoculars, his comparison was valid. The volume of 270,000 tonnes of lead (via wolfram alpha) comes with the helpful volume comparison of 1/8th of a hindenburg airship or 1/44th of an empire state building. The same applied to 1.2m tonnes of carbon-graphite (which I've assumed to be similar density to ash) is 3 hindenburgs, or 1/2 an empire state building.

Was it a howler, really? yes, he was out by 3 orders of magnitude, on a subject which very few people can actually visualise. What does the UK national debt (~£1.3tr) look like in terms of volume of pound coins? how about £50 notes? is it the size of a warehouse? canary wharf? or of heathrow?

Coal stations burn a lot of coal. We definitely dig square kilometers of the stuff out the ground every year. The point still stands, that the entirety of all man made nuclear waste to date is pathetically small compared to a single years worth of ash from 1 single coal station. Fair play on you for calling the units, but at least from my point of view, it doesn't invalidate their argument as they applied the same error to both sides.

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NHS England tells MPs: 'The state isn't doing dastardly things with GP medical records'

Brenda McViking

Re: What do you want from the NHS

I don't think many people will have a problem with medical data being used for life-saving medical research. What I have a major problem is the selling of this data to the private sector for commercial gain. Those two areas have been lumped together for care.data, which is why it's a farce to begin with.

Secondly, the rhetoric coming from those in charge of the project just shows they haven't a clue - this project, in order to work, needs complete transparency, and for the rules on how data is used to be clear. On the first point, they've already bungled, by refusing to explain decisions that led medical data be sold to insurance companies due to companies "re-branding" (whether that particualr act is actually damaging to peoples interests is debateable, but the refusal to explain IS definitely damaging) and on the second, nothing exists.

And it's going to be implemented by ATOS. Now I know that you're going to have to use a big provider for this, but jeez, anyone but ATOS...

You seem to misunderstand what Care.data is about. It's not about sharing your medical records inside the NHS, it's about sharing medical records with 3rd parties outside the NHS. Your data is already available to the professionals within the healthcare service. Staying opted-in will not change the fact that you're asked to repeat your medical history every time you see a doctor or healthcare professional.

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SMELT YOU LATER: Apple announces conflict-free status

Brenda McViking

This is all well and good

But if Dodd/Frank is already law, then surely this (vastly more sensible option) doesn't fulfil the necessary requirements for it? Surely the bureaucrats haven't shuffled enough papers, and NGOs haven't leeched enough blood?

I'd like to think the EU might have a modicum of sense when it comes to this, but then I remember that EU bureaucracy makes American bureaucracy look positively amateur.

This is now a political issue, which, like all political issues, requires nonsensical actions coupled with taxpayer signed blank cheques to "solve". Do we really think that this sensible approach has any hope at succeeding?

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FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

Brenda McViking

Irrational? not really

A laser deliberately targeted at an aircraft cockpit is most definitely a hazard and it does blind you temporarily (or for longer, depending on the power output and distance).

Your arguments about laser shows are mostly irrelevant, I too have seen the HK one and the Singapore one, they are scheduled, limited with short exposure to the sky, and it's obvious to any pilot flying in the area that it's happening. It's not the same as having a pointer targeted at you for a sustained amount of time by any stretch of the imagination.

A pilot has absolutely no way of knowing the strength of the beam, it may be a fairly harmless 1mW one which will dazzle you for a couple of seconds, or it might be a class IV blu-ray cut from a player and modified for sustained use (freely available on ebay) which will burn your retinas and do irreversible damage. The range on even the smallest of pointers can be several miles, and it does spread out light a torch, so it is perfectly possible to illuminate the entire cockpit from a mile away. Cockpits don't have curtains or blinds - you can't prevent the light entering, and it is very distracting usually at the point where you require most concentration - i.e. low level take off or landing, where the very last thing you need is a distraction that you can't mentally block.

If you want an example you might relate to, imagine you're on a dark A road at night, approaching an unlit roundabout or intersection at 50mph, when all of a sudden you are lit up by something akin to football stadium lights directly in your path, or hit by the full beams of some other motorist who keeps them on you for more than 10 seconds. That is the kind of distraction and danger that it presents, only in the plane situation you can't slam on the brakes. If you're telling me that is only a nuisance when you're piloting 300 people, and not endangerment, then I'm going to strongly disagree.

People really don't understand just how dangerous it is, and their huge availibility leads to a blasé attitude to laser use - if it were down to me I'd have them as restricted as say, lab chemicals.

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CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

Brenda McViking
Stop

Re: utter crap

Oh do shut up AC.

In my local town centre, parking charges have doubled every 2 years since they introduced them. In addition, all (charged) parking is capped at 2 hours, which when you have a 2 mile long central high street, means that you cannot ever do all those chores in one go. The post office is at one end, and the pharmacy is at the other, which might not be a problem had the coffee shop not been right in the middle of the two, and you all know we're caffeine addicts here.

Shop owners are livid at the council, because people can't leisurely shop, as they're always having to go back to their cars. I don't particularly see why I should have to race around on my weekends due to greedy councils wanting to tax the motorist some more on addition to the VAT they pay on the car, vehicle excise duty, fuel duty, VAT on fuel duty, with parking charges, which in themselves include VAT!!?! At what point does it end?

And yes, we have plenty of boarded up shops in our high street, directly due the greed of the council in business rates and parking restrictions. In addition, once they became responsible for parking (i.e. once the meters were installed) there was a 1400% increase in traffic wardens. If it really wasn't due to the money, why would they be so keen to invest so much in that particular area at the same time they're being asked to cut all public services? It's not about bad parking, it's about ripping us off.

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Brenda McViking
FAIL

Looking at the BPT Board members...

It would seem that none of the trustees have any engineering or computer experience between them, save one woman who did "computer programming" for a couple of years before climbing the corporate ladder, and a telecoms exec. That said, there are Lawyers, Civil Servants, Historians and investment bankers aplenty.

No wonder Collosus, Tunny or any of the exhibits that made Bletchley park what it was have no support - it's too busy being run by executives who have no appreciation for what happened there from the technical and mathematical point of view. A woefully unqualified Board to run Bletchley, if you ask me, even if they can run large organisations.

And yeah, the Gullivers Kingdom guy is still on the board too - tells you all you need to know.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Brenda McViking

Re: An amazing experience will be lost

Agreed. I first visited Bletchley whilst I was still of school age, and the experiences with the volunteers there were one of the key reasons I went on to study, graduate, and become employed in electronics engineering. The machines to a schoolboy were just machines - but the volunteers made them come alive, and showed the extent of the genius of the people that created them.

The Lottery funding was badly needed to restore the buildings and exhibits, but they count for precisely nothing when you remove the people who know about them. I'm 25, we're suffering a monumental shortage of engineers, and yet the BPT seem to be doing their hardest to remove the one single most effective tool in their arsenal to inspire the young people to learn about what happened here, and realise that there is still so much to do in this amazing field of science and engineering. I'll give them a clue - it isn't the tangible assets.

I'm extremely dissapointed in what I have read and seen here, doubly so by the apparent flippancy of the BPT responses, both official and leaked. Sacking one of those people who gave ME so much, who inspired ME, and who is partly directly responsible for my current career in an area which helps keeps UK PLC afloat (as opposed to say, errr, banking or sueing people), for something as pathetic as "not following the tour to the letter" is nothing short of disgusting.

A national treasure is under threat, once again, for seemingly petty and childish reasons. I will be voicing my displeasure to the Heritage Lottery Funding, and if anyone has details of the Bletchley Park Trustees, I'd like to understand exactly what they think they're doing, because their responses thus far, in my opinion, have been entirely inadequate.

5
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Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

Re: Tl;dr

Nah - it's obviously just GCHQ redirecting all British traffic through NSA servers making it look like we're all American so that they can spy on us.

I mean - we're looking up things about computers and security on the internet - we MUST be a threat.

1
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Foot-loving cat burglar nicks THREE THOUSAND individual socks

Brenda McViking

Right - I think you need a lesson in cat psychology, as it's obvious the local cats absolutely can't get enough of you.

Rule 1: You can't train cats, cats train you. You cannot contain them, you cannot control their behaviour, and you have no influence over what they do. They are categorically the polar opposite of dogs. Your neighbours cat controls him, not the other way around. He can no more take responsibility of it than you can take responsibility of what the NSA looks at on your computer.

Drive is gravel - well that's your second problem, cats are trained to do their business in kitty litter. Replace with lawn or tarmac.

Car has soft top - oh yeah, cats are going to love clawing at them. Remedy is either to get a hard top (which I can't imagine you'd seriously entertain) or get something better than a fabric car roof for them to sharpen their claws on - scratching posts around your driveway, for instance.

As for presents of mice and birds on your doorstep- well, that's just them saying "you're a really crap hunter, but I like your house and the awesome themepark outside it (your drive and car) so I don't want you to starve" (If you haven't noticed, cats are incredibily condescending and dismissive of your pathetic existance and actions.)

You clearly don't like them, and they can tell, the smug little blighters, and they'll hang around just to annoy you - this is classic cat behaviour - ignore you if you pay them attention, and crave your attention if you show signs of not wanting anything to do with them. You firmly fall in the latter camp, and hence you'll be getting loads of attention.

The easiest, and cheapest way of getting rid of your cat problem, would be to get yourself your own cat to guard your territory for you and chase the others off. Might have to be one of those hairless ones if allergies are your thing.

0
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How much should an ethical phone cost? An extra penny? Or $4bn

Brenda McViking

Re: Missing the point.

He doesn't say that this won't prevent rape/death/murder/beatings - what he is doing is calling on this organisation, who got their sums catastrophically wrong by several orders of magnitude, to explain themselves for making such a monumentally stupid decision which appears to have been based on ignorance.

This happens too often - emotive subjects are used by people to rip us off, strip us of our freedoms, and generally act in ways that DO NOT get their actual agendas acted up on (which might well be of good intention) Porn, surveillance, paedophiles, child-abuse - need I go on?

It ISN'T acceptable - problems such as this need to be solved in efficient manners, not stupid, unworkable, time-wasting pseudo-activities where the KPI is pissing money away. If someone told me I could end the suffering of a human being for £1000, I'd do it. If he came back a year later and said it'll actually cost £1,000,000 and take 120 years - then what is the point? I can't afford it and the person I was going to save will be long dead. Worse, in this situation, they have other industries already using the £1000 model, and have still chosen the £1,000,000 and 120 year option just because we said we'd do it and then they moved the goalposts.

This isn't about "spending a small amount of money to solve a well intentioned problem so we should do it regardless," it's about solving the problem properly, in the most effiicent and quick time possible. The old adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is one which should act as a warning from history in this regard, because often acting in a wasteful, unstructured manner is often worse than inaction.

That said - I agree that in this case, inaction is unnacceptable, but when the answer is actually so simple, and the problems are just politically difficult in nature, then I categorically disagree with putting all efforts into the politically correct solution of unnecessary bureaucracy proposed - because it's madness, and worse for ALL involved. Even IF it works, it's still a Pyrrhic victory.

3
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Sony PS4 SHATTERS UK console sales SPEED RECORD

Brenda McViking

Re: These figures are fairly irrelevant

Yeah - hit the nail on the head, though having been around town on Sunday in Birmingham, there were still consoles to be had if you didn't mind paying inflated prices for them - cheapest deals I saw were circa £550 for the console (either one) and a game (and a few extras like films I didn't want/need).

Both companies know how this game plays out - you just have to have sufficient demand that you sell out and stay sold out throughout the Christmas season (while the launch games are few and far between - dealing with headlines about people agonising over when they're going to get your products drives sales far more than loads of frustrated gamers with consoles who have completed both launch games within a week.)

It also hides glaring manufacturing faults long enough that they can be fixed for future batches, while the number of affected customers remain those who were your most loyal followers anyway. Keep the demand sky-high and release just enough supply to prevent a backlash, whilst constantly running campaigns telling everyone how high demand is.

The engineers have had their fun now - time to hand over to the dark arts of sales and psychology

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MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

Brenda McViking

Re: Lies, damn lies, and....

Starbucks also operates hundreds of franchise stores in the UK which are like any other small business and pay all local associated business taxes on their profits. Just because "Starbucks" the holding company uses tax efficiency to not pay tax in the UK (usually by means which the government INCENTIVISED - creating local businesses for one) does not mean that the exchequer doesn't take a healthy percentage of your £3 latte. They pay tax. Department B of Subsiduary C of Holding-company A might not (though it might be their UK head office), but that doesn't mean that the entire company isn't paying their lawful dues, does it?

I too am young though, perhaps you could educate me?

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Brenda McViking

Panorama...

The only thing the panorama broadcast showed me is how seemingly workshy and ignorant young BBC reporters actually are. Zero hour contracts? they're great - I've been on them. It means you get to choose your work-life balance - and provided there is work available (which there inevitably is) then you can put in extra hours and earn extra cash. When you want to go on holiday, you don't have to turn up at work, because you aren't contractually obliged to. You behave like a full time employee, you'll keep your job. And if there isn't work, you go and find somewhere else to work - who the hell owes you a living, anyway?

As for the whole "picker" role - yeah, that's what these warehouse distributors have to do to get their stuff out on time. You're walking 11 miles a day - so what? so does everyone who stands up for a living. They buy comfortable shoes and don't spend so much money on unused gym membership. Treated like a machine? yeah, course you are, just like everything else on a production line, distribution network, whatever. You do your time, then you hang up your apron and leave your problems at work. It's mindless, but it pays the bills. Get over it. I worked in a supermarket - it's no different, except I had to get cold every 5 minutes in the walk-in freezers to get stock to fufil demand.

And as for tax, rather than MPs whine about how immoral it is, why don't they change the law - surely that's WHAT THEY DO, isn't it? Personally I'm of the opinion that corporation taxes are rather silly, and amount to double taxation. What money they make is either passed to consumers, who pay VAT, their employees, who pay income tax, or their shareholders, who pay income tax on dividends and capital gains tax on share price increases. It's a business - there is no further place for it to go, and as all routes are taxed, why do we need to tax their profits too? Maybe I'm missing something here, but even if a company just hoardes cash in an offshore subsiduary, it's not doing anything good there and sooner or later it'll become part of the tax-a-go-round again anyway as shareholders demand it to be used to gain them further value.

Globalisation is here to stay. The sooner our government accept this the better. As a result, my shopping will be done almost exclusively at amazon and other online stores this Christmas, and if that pisses off some MPs, all the better.

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GCHQ was called in to crack password in Watkins child abuse case

Brenda McViking

Re: Why are the names of the two female accomplices being kept secret?

Because once they were known it would provide an easy link to the young victims, who are entitled to lifelong anonymity under UK law.

0
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What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

Brenda McViking

Re: Expectations

What is a realistic expectation then? I'm two years out of university, with an electronic engineering degree and I worked alongside many a computer scientist who put in as many hours as I did over the 4 years I was at university. I demanded (and got) £28k starting - is that ridiculous in your view? I suspect it might be. 2 years in and I'm comfortably in the £30-40k bracket. Is that ridiculous? over-inflated? unrealistic? I had a few months work experience and a 2:1 at a Russell group uni, but it's not really groundbreaking stuff. I'm not in oil, financial services or banking, just a run-of-the-mill corporation at the junior level.

Have you thought about considering them but offering a salary more in line with your expectations? You might be surprised that they'd likely settle for £10k less than they're asking. I appreciate CV filtering often involves chucking everything that is remotely aside from the narrow parameters you've set (split the pile, chuck the left one away - you wouldn't want to employ anyone who is unlucky, would you), but in my experience, our expected salaries on a CV were just the ones we'd seen from the 20 or so companies at the uni careers fairs, who are usually at the upper-end of the multinational corporations with large, well funded graduate schemes - after all, you'r not going to lower your potential earnings by putting down an artificially low expectation, are you? Equally, having no experience in the world of work, you don't have a yardstick to draw on to test whether what you read on WhatSortOfSalaryShouldIGet.com is remotely plausible.

Personally I think the whole reason so many people are underpaid in this industry is because we keep our salaries so private - the most common salary quoted to me during my job search was "competitive" which is a meaningless phrase which allows HR to get away with quoting you an offer 40% below that which they're willing to pay and you'll probably just accept it because the only yardstick you have at the end of uni is the daily mail unemployment figure.

If you want to be well paid, then start shouting your earnings from the rafters like those in finance do - they're doing it as much to tell if they're being ripped off as they are to boast. Directors publish their salaries in the annual reports. Why is there such a stigma over how much society values your time when you're a professional, other than the fact that it keeps people timid?

To get back to topic - the other reason people don't employ computer scientists is because they think it sounds like a pseudo-science, like environmental science, or social science, or watersports science. A couple of those are respectable disciplines, and a couple are a bit of a joke. But if you ask 100 people if any of them are proper academic subjects, 90 of them will tell you they're not.

There was also a glut of people studying around the dotcom boom and bust, meaning that you don't have a chronic shortage of qualified people at the moment, unlike most STEM disciplines.

2
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Kerching! Nominet preps for cash AVALANCHE from shorter UK domain names

Brenda McViking

Greater choice?

It's yet another url addition which no one (except nominet who will make money out of the fiasco) cares about.

What problem does it solve? none, yet it's introduction allows for a whole raft of hell to break loose as everybody gets confused over who should be .org, .co.uk and .uk

I'm kind of amazed that no one had the foresight to stop all of this, when the previous system wasn't broken. Nominet must be laughing all the way to the bank!

9
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iPad Air not very hot: Apple fanbois SHUN London fondleslab launch

Brenda McViking

Re: A bit harsh

Go on then, downvoters, prove me, and my electronics degree modules in computer architecture wrong. Last time I checked this was a tech site.

Why does 64 bit mean faster? It doesn't. It allows you to address more memory (last time I checked no tablets had 4GB RAM.) And unless you're doing CFD, CAD, HPC-grade analyses like weather prediction, stress analysis, or things like desktop-level gaming then you're not going to see the benefits in terms of the added double-precision calculation capacity that 64 bit offers over 32 bit.

http://techland.time.com/2013/09/13/why-in-the-world-would-you-need-a-64-bit-smartphone/

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/166244-iphone-5s-the-64-bit-a7-chip-is-marketing-fluff-and-wont-improve-performance

Yes yes, those articles quoted are about the 5S. The A7 chip in that is the same architecture as the iPad Air.

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Brenda McViking

Re: A bit harsh

Repeat after me: "64-bit architectures have NOTHING to do with speed"

If anything, they're slower than their 32-bit counterparts, due to having to process more bits for a given calculation. Unless you're doing lots of double-precision floating point analyses, their use is somewhat limited in a tablet.

29
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Apple: SCREW YOU, BRITS ... no unlocked iPhones for you

Brenda McViking

As if I needed yet another reason...

... for why I don't buy apple.

What astonishes me is that fanbois still put up with this behaviour. They let apple drag them around on a leash like this and still sing their praises?!

It's this aspect of draconian control that apple place on their products which is the real reason for why I hold the company and their users in such contempt. It's laughable, especially when some of my "iPhone till I die" friends have bought something other than an apple phone and they exclaim "Wait, you can do that?!" for things as simple as bluetoothing a photo or music track.

I can only conclude that people like to be controlled.

8
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FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

Brenda McViking

Re: For everyone saying 'good'..

I use my phone as a satnav, and so do thousands of other motorists - afterall, with a 5" screen they're pretty much indistinguishable from a tom-tom unless you're in the actual car, and there isn't anything (apart from good old fashioned common sense) stopping me from streaming Tom and Jerry videos from youtube. Police have never commented on it, and I know no-one who has been told off for using the satnav capability of their smartphone.

As for wearing google glasses when they're switched off - that's kind of the point. They're glasses - handsfree, instantly available and you don't have to fish them out of your pocket when you want to use them - these would be the reasons I would buy one. Having to take them off and put them in a case every time I wasn't using them would be really annoying, whereas augmented reality at the tap of a button/voice command would be exactly as I would expect to use them - and I wouldn't want the HUD on all the time, just like I don't want my phone screen on all the time.

As with most things - used sensibly, there is no threat - It might be a bit cliche, but fighter pilots use HUDs to allow them to process the information they need far quicker than the disruptive procedure weekend pilots have to do of checking outside, looking at an instrument, checking outside, looking at another instrument, checking outside. Yes, they're highly trained, but technology can be used to enhance rather than distract human concentration and mental processing. A knee-jerk ban isn't really doing anyone any favours.

Bottom line: the attitude of society towards these new devices is one of inherent suspicion and immediate jumping to conclusions, rather than reasoned, logical debate and actually thinking through the topic. Entirely predictable human response, but not necessarily right. Do I think they're dangerous? No. Do I think society is ready to accept them yet? No.

3
1

HP fires sue-ray at makers of Blu-Ray

Brenda McViking

Drives down in price? Blu Ray drives were around in 2006 let's not forget, yet still, the cheapest OEM version online for a BDRW is around £45. 7 years of manufacture - they should be approaching the cost of the old DVDRW drives (~£15-£20) you'd have thought - yes they have an additional laser and have to pay a few pence to Sony to licence patents, but this still screams of price fixing. HP have had enough, and they're one of the few goliaths in the industry that can actually force the point.

Trouble is, we've seen this before - by the time anything meaningful happens the technology is completely and utterly obselete. If they're suing about blu-rays now, then I reckon the courts will slap a fine on them in, hmmm, around 2020. It's like CRT price fixing all over again.

6
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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Brenda McViking

Re: Why have PCs failed to have useful hardware improvements over the past 3 years?

I'll tell you what I think happened - consoles.

The biggest driver for PC development prior to Xbox 360 and PS3 was gaming, faster drives, higher performance graphics cards, faster RAM, more memory. Then, after PCs had caught up and surpassed the consoles, no one cared any more, because EA and Ubisoft had bought everyone, and believed that PC piracy would destroy gaming, so didn't bother developing for PC any more. Made commercial sense for them, and they've been successful, so fair play.

However, as a result, the market for PC gaming came to a grinding halt, and with it, so did development. Now everyone just wants free throwaway gaming apps where they can buy smurfberries, and they're happy - the drive for better machines dwindled, and what is most appaling, is that the PS4 and XBone have barely raised the bar by an inch, and will probably be the last of the old-style gaming consoles.

It's a pity, because whilst gaming is seen by some as a frivolity, the arms race it spawned in the silicon development stakes has benefitted us immensely - for HPC, parallelisation, simulations, speed - everything. These advances haven't gone, but they're slowing (though in their place mobile computing is driving down power consumption and increasing performance, but it will be a while before it gets to where the mighty desktop once roamed.) Desktops are part of the old "multiple consumers, limited markets" world. Mobile is part of the new "limited consumers, multiple markets" world. The King is dead. Long live the King.

1
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Investor lobs sueball at BlackBerry, says it 'misled' shareholders

Brenda McViking

Sue them

They may be shareholders but having been in a position of a shareholder where the board lied to you, it's not so much about recovering the money you lost as attempting to send a message that if you lie about your company to those people who own it, then you'll pay the consequences as damn well you should.

Risk is part and parcel of company ownership, and you accept that as a shareholder, but in order to manage that risk and your exposure, the shareholders elect the board to inform them of the companies doings. When they lie, they should be strung up for it - as they are guilty of negligence, and it pretty much amounts to saying "everything is fine, keep paying me." Considering just how much these board members are paid to do their job, which is to act in the interests of shareholders, not against them, when they don't do it then they should be expected to be defending themselves in court with pretty hefty sanctions being applied if they lose.

So no, it's not about reviving the companies fortunes, it's about removing freeloading parasites who will say anything to keep being paid for another month even though they know that the company is finished. (PS, I'm not a BB shareholder so I don't really care in this instance, but just giving you my views of why somebody might take this sort of action|)

8
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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Brenda McViking

Re: Automated till hell ...

Did you know THERE IS A MUTE BUTTON for the checkouts. Just before you hit the start button, look at the bottom centre of the screen. HIT THE VOLUME ICON and it SHUTS IT UP!

It doesn't prevent the rest of the pain of using it, but you don't have to hear it moan at you EVER AGAIN.

Consider yourselves educated. You're welcome.

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