* Posts by Brenda McViking

184 posts • joined 28 May 2012

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Sony's 4King with us now: Xperia Z5 mobe has UltraHD screen, cam

Brenda McViking

Clove have them listed at £629 inc VAT last I checked.

However, I won't be buying one, because no removable battery = no sale.

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

Brenda McViking

Re: close, so close...

Okay, I'll clarify my statement - airlines ban the USE of battery chargers onboard aircraft (at least for the last 8 airlines I've flown with). I accept you can take them with you in the cabin, but seeing as you cannot use it until you're out, it's dead weight = massively inferior to a pre-charged removable battery, particularly when your phone is your In Flight Entertainment.

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Brenda McViking

close, so close...

But it is not there, and I'm not jumping up and down.

Swift, finally a removable battery. Screen resolution is just about acceptable (would prefer 1080p but the 720p @ 294ppi is probably okay) ....BUT uSD slot maxes out at 32GB (which means I have to buy more to replace the 64GB ones I have). and the crux of the matter is that it's not an upgrade from, my current, 2.5 year old Galaxy S4. Very reasonable price and a good phone, but I if I'm buying a new phone, it needs to be better than the one I have. The swift isn't.

The Storm fixes all the above and would be a perfect sale for me (even has GLONASS, nice) but is completely and utterly useless due to it's non removable battery, unless they do some magic and can get 3 solid days of moderate use out of a single charge. In fact even that is not enough as it still becomes landfill after 2 years. No removable battery = no sale. Hell, I'd pay double for this if it had a removable battery with no qualms.

But let me spell it out because absolutely no manufacturer right now is listening: NO REMOVABLE BATTERY = NO SALE. Just because apple do it doesn't make it acceptable in the civilised world. The charging packs are not good enough. they're clunky, airlines ban them, and they don't solve the utterly preventable problem of landfilling a perfectly good piece of hardware just because the glued in lithium in it wore out as expected after 2 years.

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Skills crisis? Not for long: More and more UK kids gain STEM quals

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

Good.

I'm a STEM ambassador and have been for several years so it's good to see the initiative actually starting to bear fruit - and what better way than to get those involved in the hard-end of STEM to inspire kids and get time off work to attend schools.

It's actually quite fun to explain a jet engine to kids and for them to actually get it. Or see their faces when they realise females can be engineers too, not just the guys.

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Apple's chip'n'firmware security demands behind HomeKit delays

Brenda McViking

They're being sensible insofar as they realise that security will come back to bite them if they don't do something, and that currently, the lack of IoT security is a disaster waiting to happen.

But being apple, what they do is lock-in, walled garden, proprietary protocols, extorsion of suppliers, give the middle finger to developing open standards, and try and put it all through their oh-so-infallible cloud that-isn't.

It really probably will kickstart IoT, because I'm just thinking who the hell would be moronic enough to buy this stuff? Which ties in exactly to the obligatory xkcd.

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UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom

Brenda McViking
Thumb Down

As a 20 something

I can confirm that the BBC means nothing to me and I consider their tax to be excessive.

Netflix and amazon offer far better catalogues at a fraction of the price. No one listens to radio once you have a bluetooth system in your car, the BBC website turns more like the daily wail every day, and as for news, well I get mine from Al-Jazeera these days, aside from complaining about Tory cuts, the BBC doesn't have any news to report.

If I want to crash in front of the box, I'll watch some netflix originals. The BBC did well with iplayer, but they seriously need to keep upping the stakes if they want to command a premium for it, like providing full access to the archives and getting some new dramas out. At the moment it feels like they've sat on their laurels for 7 years since iPlayer first became a force to be reckoned with. I know people like the ad-free nature of their channels, I appreciate that but to be honest, I don't see why I should subsidise it when 97% of the media I watch hasn't come from the licence fee - the licence is outdated, harkening back to a time where the BBC was 2 of the 4 channels available.

Maybe if they stopped paying Capita so much to fill up the (taxpayer funded) courts with all these so-called criminal licence fee evaders, they might actually be able to afford to make something that people want to watch.

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UK.gov spaffed billions into IT projects at 'high risk of failure' last year

Brenda McViking

Unbelievable.... oh wait, no it isn't.

£2.5bn this year is £35.70 for every man, woman and child on this island, assuming we're at 70m people now. That's like the gov buying me 10 beers with my own money, putting them on a tray and then proceeding to trip over at the bar and throw them all down my front.

Nice one, gov. In fact, I feel about as pissed off at this as I would in this exact analagous situation.

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Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

Brenda McViking

Re: [redacted] Amazon

That's a rubbish analogy and you know it, but I'll run with it:

If I pay for an all-you-can-eat buffet, and the food quality on offer is based on what the buffet buys from the suppliers, and the suppliers get paid by the food actually eaten rather than wasted, then it'd be the best buffet in the world, and I would go there often. Suppliers making the best bread would have it bought, those baking loaves which are over-salted and burnt to a cinder are very quickly not going to be part of that market anymore.

I see nothing wrong with this.

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Brenda McViking

Re: [redacted] Amazon

And yet....

Why not? As a consumer, pay for what I use is the best option in my opinion. As a consumer, it probably doesn't affect me price wise - I'm likely to be paying the monthly subscription, but if authors have real page turners then I'd welcome them being compensated over and above those books which turn out to be rather dull. It's no different from websites and bloggers, they get paid by page views - turn out shoddy content and people don't come back. Keep it high quality and they do. Yes, you get the buzzfeed clickbait as a side effect, but people soon cotton on.

Who is to say you wouldn't get more from "pay per page," anyway? I'm going to assume they're not going to a model by which you'd only get your £22 worth of royalties if every single person who did read your book went through the whole lot, no, i'd expect that you'd get more if you kept the readers attention. Amazon has always had a disruptive business model to benefit the consumer, usually by kicking distributors with lazy and outdated business models. Introducing pay per page is a good way of keeping their library quality high, particularly with the amazon unlimited business model of subscription access to a library. I assume netflix pay per second for digital media, I don't see why books should be different going forward. Micropayments in all forms are how the media industry as a whole are actually making money in the 21st century - it's the only business model that has worked.

You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, we're told. It begs the question - why should authors continue to be paid by the cover alone?

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Brenda McViking

Re: 4,192 KWh

well batteries are coming close to 100% efficient (we'll call it 99% for the sake of argument) in terms of losses for charging and discharging, so really it is a very low amount. You lose more in the power electronics (inverter/rectifier etc) connecting it to whatever it's connected to (grid/solar panel) which are around 97% efficient.

Couple the cooling to a heat pump, which transfers 4 units of heat for every 1 of electricity (i.e. sometimes marketed at 400% efficient, but doesn't break the laws of physics as you're transferring heat energy from one place to another) and you actually have a very small power demand to keep the thing cool. maybe 4% of peak charge/discharge capacity, which might be a few kW, so we're talking about the same energy (10W heatpump for 40W heat removal) to light an energy saving lightbulb to remove said heat per 1kW power input/output.

And you'd accept a lot more than that anyway, as proper heat management prolongs the life of lithium chemistry batteries. The reason your phone battery lasts 3 years is because it follows you around through the heat and cold. Keep it in a temperature controlled room and you'd get 10 years out of it.

So in short, the extra heat generated by a battery charging a discharging, even and big one, is probably about as significant as the heat you get from a desktop PC.

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Major London rail station reveals system passwords during TV documentary

Brenda McViking

PICNIC was the other variant I saw the techs use: Problem in Chair; Not In Computer

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Brenda McViking
Joke

Meanwhile, behind the scenes

Reg_hack@elreg.co.uk to TFL_bigwig@tfl.com: Hey, you broadcast your passwords to all and sundrie last night, were you aware?

TFL-bigwig: autoresponse: I have very important champagne breakfast meetings with suppliers and lobbyists until 10am, I'll read my emails then

TFL_bigwig to TFL_minions: some hackers at the registrar know our passwords. please change them and write them down for the nightshift.

TFL_minions: we don't have those fancy printers to make those password labels anymore due to budget cuts, what should we do?

TFL_bigwig: I don't know, just cross out the "1" at the end. Just sort it and stop coming to me with problems. I want solutions!

TFL_minions: we've changed the password from "Password1" to "Password," please distribute to those who need it

TFL_bigwig to TFL_all_employees: the new password is "Password"

TFL_bigwig to TFL_renumeration: I've hit my data security target 3 months early, make sure my bonus reflects my outstanding performance. P.S. You're all invited for celebratory champagne at spearmint rhinos later this evening.

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Brenda McViking
Boffin

Re: I hate pylons

To bury a 400kV line, you're talking 20x the cost of the overhead equivalent, and excavating a trench the size of a motorway (30m) to carry the necessary cables. They also last half the time of overhead lines, so you'll have to put up with them being replaced, and if you do get an issue with them it'll take weeks rather than hours to restore power to your home.

Whilst thousands of people die each year because they thought it too expensive to switch the heating on, you're adovcating that we increase bills further? Or are you willing to individually pay to upgrade the 7200km of overhead lines we have here in the UK at an indicative price of £1,000,000 per kilometre? Or to put it another way, if you'd prefer to split 7.2bn between the entire UK population, it's an amount equivalent to a 25% increase in your council tax. Rather a lot for a vanity project, no?

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Brenda McViking

Re: Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

Is it quicker? yes. My uSD cards tend to be USB3.0 compliant with a sustained 35MB/s write. So when I'm loading up films then it takes 2 minutes with the sd card out than using the cable attached to phone (uses usb2.0) which takes around 12 minutes.

And you don't have to use the god-awful sumsung kies, or the clunky windows explorer interface which seems to be a hangover from windows mobile 4.0 asking me if I want to "convert" video files to remain compatible.

Don't get me wrong - there is a time when I'll admit that uSD cards are dead, but until we have 4G-esque wireless transfer speeds from device to device without any limits which are compatible with all my devices (cameras, gopro, laptop, tablet) then you can take them from my cold dead hands.

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Brenda McViking
Thumb Down

Very poor show

I predict a flop.

I absolutely must be the target market for this phone, a 20-something having too much disposable income to spend on flagship gadgets but using the functionality within them to the maximum possible extent (i.e. apple doesn't cut the mustard as it too seems to want to favour form over function)

And then Samsung go and tell me that a 4 hour charge in 10 minutes is supposed to replace the current way of doing it - flip off the cover and get 24 hours of charge in 20 seconds.

And now I have to mess around with the cloud to get some films to watch on my flight, when I'm leaving my computer and wifi internet connection in 5 minutes. before it was a simple slot out uSD, load a film from the hard drive onto it and slot it back in.

When I complained about the lack of a high quality back cover on the S4 and the S5, I most certainly didn't expect Samsung to cripple the next phone by implementing it, but, in a move that makes them as moronic as Apple, they seem to have done just that.

You've just gained a sale Samsung - I'm buying another battery for the S4 when you could have got me to shell out for an S6 if you didn't mess it up so badly.

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Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: Question for you, Tim...

Well, you would pick an occupation that has over 450 applicants for every place for that anecdote, wouldn't you.

No offense, but he simply wasn't in the top 1% on the joystick. His inability to lie about liking cricket had nothing to do with it.

If it was a corporate sales manager he was going for, with the same result on the other hand, that is a point well made.

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Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

Brenda McViking

The issue I have with it is NOT that the proposed legislation has some sensible rules, but that it proscribes them to limit what can be done with drones to what has presently been thought of (that drones are just an extension of RC vehicles), which is not the point of legislation, but sadly what always seems to happen. Legislation stating: Drones must be visable to aircraft is fine. Legislation stating: drones must carry a 1W red tungsten filament bulb flashing at 1/10s intervals every 5s proscribes a particular way of doing things which doesn't allow future innovation allowing say, the LED to be used in drone lighting.

This type of legislation is exactly why you cannot use a segway in the UK. It's a powered vehicle, which doesn't fit any use-case the lawmakers foresaw, but is illegal to use on UK pavements as it is a powered vehicle, and you cannot use it on the road because it cannot be taxed or insured to legal requirements.

Drones, and the direction in which they may head, will be heavily restricted by this legislation of one drone, one human operator, rather than "drones must be adequately monitored and the operator is responsible and criminally liable for the avoidance of other flying and static objects."

For instance, drone swarms, which may well be extremely useful in say, search and rescue for disaster zones, avalanches etc, are now effectively banned. You can't possibly have a swarm of human operators each controlling the kill switch for each swarm drone individually maintaining visual line of sight and not operating during night hours, per the legislated requirements. Thus a potentially useful area of drone research is now shut, as legislation determines that it will never be allowed to work because that legislation is far too prescriptive. You will not now be able to investigate airbourne drone swarms for R&D purposes, full stop, as you'd never be able to meet the legislative requirements.

This is what I have a problem with - I'd say the one licenced human operator within line of sight of one drone is perfectly sensible for current technologies - but NOT written that way in legislation. Legislation should get the intent of the society it represents across, and require certain measures to prove something is safe, but not state how that should happen. An extremely poor show by the FAA, in an industry that generally understands root-cause well and is less prone to knee-jerk banning of things just because they make headlines.

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Brenda McViking

Yeah, let's legislate against making any sort of progress in this field. Make it impossible to do any research on the subject and smash the looms because some faceless bureaucrat thinks it's scary that humans might not be involved.

This is exactly what type of legislation is completely damaging and counterproductive - a zero-tolerance appraoch to progress.

Yes, legislate that you need an appropriate licence to prevent morons buying a $500 drone from wallmart and crashing into planes at the local airfield, yes, legislate that these things need to be of sufficient quality and yes, legislate that you get jailtime for flying them into powerlines, schools and football stadiums. But just ban them? What the hell is the point in that?

Let me make it clear - with this legislation, cargo drones cannot possibly turn up to be treated properly by the law, because they're already banned.

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'LOOK into my EYES: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... SO worried'

Brenda McViking

Re: «Skipping over P[age]'s waffley advertorial propaganda "[analysis]"

You could argue that football commentators argue over similar things. I like the fact that Mssr Page does it from the football's point of view for a change, unlike the rest of the hysterical media.

obligatory xkcd

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Mobile broadband giants blow $45bn on Uncle Sam's finest air

Brenda McViking
Alert

Yeah, good luck America. Our overinflated phone contracts have only just about come to an end thanks our governments hugely overpriced 3G auction on this side of the pond (years and years ago). As a result we're a good 5 years behind the times getting LTE, and UK.Gov had the audacity to complain they didn't get the payday they wanted for the 4G spectrum auction.

Enjoy your consumer price increases to pay for all of that thin air those telcos just bought for you!

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Why Microsoft's 3D HoloLens goggles aren't for Google Glassholes

Brenda McViking

Re: Hololens hype

Because we're designed to work in 3D, not 2D. A laptop screen is a pathetic way of transferring information in a human-brain friendly format. Sure, it works, but it isn't actually an efficient way of doing it. Otherwise why do we have mutliple screens, tabbed browsing, Alt-Tab? because we're constrained to only having one window of information available to us instantly in 2D space. Put that in 3D, together with a way of navigating around it, and you're looking at a more intuitive way of information transfer which works better with humans.

I don't expect the majority of people over the age of 30 to properly comprehend why 3D offers such a huge scope for improvement, but I can clearly see how this *could* change things in the future. And indeed, as Star trek and other films dating from the 60s paved the way for technology such as automatic doors, so too films and games of the 21st centure will open up our general receptiveness to 3D working environments. Watch Iron man, or Avatar for a simple glimpse of potential use-cases. Crysis. Assassins Creed, Halo - all have toyed with the idea of "holography" orders of magnitude more advanced than star wars did.

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Brenda McViking

Re: CA and pilot infalibility

That's like a cyclist being well within his rights being in a cycle lane next to an articulated lorry distribution centre and a motorway. He does have every right to be there, but if he isn't paying attention he'll end up right, but dead.

I'd also expect the council to review the cycle lane after a reported near-miss, and if it's deemed to be dangerous, remove it, even if it messes up the plans of all the cyclists who use the area. no different with Class E airspace. I'd opine in this case that there are a lot more jetliners around, in a lot more of a hurry than there were when that airspace was first designated Class E - so reviews by the aviation associations following air-proximity reports are entirely correct.

Aviation is safe because these rules exist and are strictly enforced, and every time an accident or near-miss happens it is reported and the root cause investigated, which often leads to it's removal from the equation. Drones in controlled airspace are an accident waiting to happen, and aviation is one of the few industries where it doesn't have to bring down a plane before something is done to prevent it.

If that means lending more weight than is usual in other areas of society to a captain's report, as a professional charged with the care of his passengers, then so be it. It has my full support.

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Brenda McViking

Re: colour me cynical - lead in petrol

Personally, when analysing increases in risk in chaotic systems (like the human body or any biological process) I find that visualising the stats is far better than reading headlines.

After all, we all know that a 14% increase in a very small percentage is still a very small percentage. Viewing an image like this helps immensely in whether or not I need to care enough to do anything about it. (Yeah, it's on smoking rather than food, but you get the point.)

In the case of food, the answer to "so should I actually care?" is almost always "no."

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PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Brenda McViking

Re: Fixed battery!

Yep.

Yet another utter deal breaker this year with no removable battery and lack of uSD slot- would have had one otherwise. Their loss.

Also, I do mean removable, not just replacable with enough intent. I frequently switch my battery once it's out of charge and I'm not returning to a plug socket for 20 more hours, which happens a lot travelling on business.

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'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!

Brenda McViking
Go

Re: How to set the tax?

"But how do you account for things like smelting..."

By taxing carbon.

It's a catch all. Smelting, power production, red diesel - all subject to the carbon tax, paid for, in the end, by consumers. If the consumer buys products which emit a lot of carbon during production, then they pay all that carbon tax.

Thus if something can be created without emitting carbon (smelted, power, red diesel), it won't have any carbon tax priced into it, and will be cheaper, and drive the carbon intensive product out the market - an inherent feedback mechanism of a carbon tax

Not that it is simple - the government can still very much mess it up by trying to tax it in the wrong place, or double tax it, or create carbon tax havens, or using flawed assumptions or loopholes in the calculation of the tax, but ultimately, the fundamental process of taxing carbon will work..

I need to stop reading Worstall, I have far too much confirmation bias...

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Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run

Brenda McViking

Re: Unideal

errrr... supercaps ARE capable of delivering HUGE currents actually. You're thinking of conventional capacitors. A bank of 6 maxwell supercaps (58F, 16V) can have 170A drawn from it at max load, which is pretty darn big. It won't provide it for long, but this type of application is exactly what they're good at.

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Brenda McViking
Alien

It's blatantly Putin

...trying to pull a fast one on LOHAN.

He's trying to cheat by putting a playmonaut into orbit using a big rocket rather than a baloon.

Splitter.

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Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: arggg

Yep, Messenger remains very much deliberately uninstalled on my phone, although facebork is installed by default (one of my few gripes with android is that you can't nuke preinstalled bloatware without rooting.) Firstly, I don't see why I need a pointless 25MB app to not speak to anyone, secondly, it sucks the battery like a fruitbat in a del monte factory.

If I ever want to use chat i do it on the browser.

I do especially like the fact that the higher the companies market cap, the lower the quality of the app they provide. It makes me realise that all big companies are all as "agile*" as your average supertanker, not just the one I work for.

* Agile is our favourite word this year. It replaced "synergy" which replaced "touching base"

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Brenda McViking

Re: Not all councils are hopeless

Our council on the other hand is worse than useless.

Our high street has had a shop boarded up about once a month, been happening since 2008, and a good 20% of units now are derelict. Hell, some of them we're built in 2005 and still haven't been moved into.

I blame the local business rates - a taxi driver "in the know" told me his mate was looking at £26,000 a year in biz rates for a shoebox of a corner shop, the rent was a paltry £20,000 a year by comparison. (I dunno - is this normal? seems insane to me)

Parking is atrocious - you can't find anything within 10 mintues walking distance that has a limit of more than 2 hours, and the council increased the number of wardens 1400% when fines started going to it, rather than central government.

And it's the same as any other town - mobile phone shops, banks, and womens clothing retailers. And somehow it manages to support about 20 charity shops - probably filled with the posessions of those shopkeepers driven out of business by the council and the general savvy of the public knowing they can get superior products, knowledge, service and prices on the internet.

So yeah, anything that re-invigorates the place, or at least stops it looking so shabby and run down would get my vote. I'm also in the market for my first house, so an increase in supply would be welcome (I'll probably just wait until interest rates rise half a percent and the reposessions start rolling in)

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Amazon hiring drone flight ops engineer in Cambridge, UK

Brenda McViking
Go

Equally they might just work very well. There are going to be teething problems, there are going to be pitfalls and traps along the way, but if anyone could make this work, it's amazon.

Fundamentally, lugging around 2.7 tonnes of van and employing a person to deliver a package is highly inefficient, even if it is the best way of doing things in the current part of the 21st Century. A drone may well be better at this, but there is a good 5-10 years worth of legwork that needs to be done prior to this becoming reality. This job description reads like a proof of concept trial for an R&D specialist, and works with this timeline.

Go right ahead amazon, let's see where this leads.

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Brenda McViking

Re: How Google Fights Piracy

So I get he's saying follow the money, that google plays a part in providing revenue to those who are making copyright infringment possible. That I don't have a problem with.

What I have a problem with is how Google is expected to determine what is and isn't piracy, and to be judge, jury and executioner at the will of $plantiff who feels hard-done by. I fail to see how this is Google's problem. If a plantiff, in this case a songwriter, finds their copyrighted work on a website, then they need to go through the legal process to get it removed from that website, just like any other member of society with a gripe against someone else abusing their property. If that is too difficult, ineffective or inefficient, that is too bad - this is the real world. Time to lobby for better laws, but moaning that google is stealing all their cash - no, get lost. It's nothing to do with them.

Google provides a search function, and acts as a middleman for advertisements. Nowhere in those descriptions do I see "law enforcement" coming under their remit. Nor should it.

Music is a bloody difficult product to sell, like many intangibles. It's extremely easy to copy, whilst being difficult to contain and package in such a way that you can monitise it, and this has been the case LONG before the internet, even if the internet has made these flaws an order of magnitude easier to exploit.

As such - if you want to be in the business selling music, good luck to you. But don't expect the law or society to bend over backwards to accomodate you just because you sell something that is easily stolen and very hard to protect. Those are your problems. Don't like it? Get out of the industry. The arts have never provided a certain, solid, reliable income stream, and if the internet made the risk:reward ratio more unnatractive, then investors in that art, whoever they may be, must pay the consequences.

Plenty of artists have found ways of adding value that mean they get paid without relying on people paying an arbitary sum for a string of bits. Does it mean fewer people will be able to make music? probably. Society has already made up it's mind that it doesn't value music as much as it did - time to face that tune for what it fundamentally means for the industry. This may be harsh, but that's the real world. No one owes Taylor Swift a living but Taylor Swift. If 500,000 plays on Spotify only makes as much money as selling a T-shirt, then you're probably better off selling more T-shirts.

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If only 0.006% care about BLOOD-SOAKED METAL ... why are we spending all this cash?

Brenda McViking

Re: Would you care enough to pay more for ...

Workfare was designed to give people work experience so they can come off the dole (or whatever politically correct name it has now) where they're in the situation that they have been out of work for a long period of time.

If you refuse to work when you can work and are offered with work, then I completely agree that your benefits should be stopped. Taxpayers do not owe you a living - a lifeline to help you back on your feet, yes, but not a life where you don't have to work.

He wants his benefits, and he wants to turn down community provided work which allows him to keep it. He is being paid, therefore it isn't slave labour. The fact that the company he'd otherwise be working for isn't paying him is neither here nor there - just semantics. I've been on the dole, I've seen the lengths at which people go to remain workshy, and heard all the sob stories and excuses, which are all too easy to get away with. I know, i've been there, done that, discovered there was more to life and got on with it. The DWP don't need to be nice to the unemployed, they need to get them back into employment. If that hurts people's feelings, tough; it's not the Department of Wishfulness and Pampering.

This is part of the government acting to ensure that you don't get it both ways at the taxpayers expense, which, as a taxpayer, has my full support. It sure as hell isn't slavery when you're paid, never mind whether it's dressed up as a carrot or a stick.

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REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff

Brenda McViking
Flame

Personally, the last iPieceofshit I had was back in 2008, an iPod touch.

Which, following an almighty apple (praise be upon them) update, bricked itself.

So I went to an apple store, thinking "oh, well they've got good customer service, they ought to be able to fix it."

No. They couldn't. Reason? not that the update was faulty - (it was, it was pulled 24 hours later) - but that there was a slight dent in the case which didn't meet apple "spec" for a dent, and hence everything that happened to the device was my fault. Even when it was caused by a clearly faulty firmware update. (i dented it accidentally about 6 months previous, and it hadn't skipped a beat since. Completely unrelated.)

Now I wasn't rude to the staff, having worked in retail myself, I know full well it's the quickest way to ensure that the service you recieve is laden with spite, but they were very rude to me, telling me apple updates were most deifinitely infallible and it was my own stupid fault I'd dented and broken my iPod which was now effectively a £200 brick. That apple were great and no one else was having this problem (again - there was uproar over the proceeding 24 hours at apple incompetance) So iLeft. and Apple have never recieved a penny from me since.

Thankfully, some nice hackers had written up a guide to unbricking online, which worked 15 minutes after I got home. Should have just done that in the first place.

But Apple can go sodomise themselves forever. And I will sneer at people who buy their products stating "good customer service" and "just works" because I have experienced neither. If that gets fanbois wetting themselves because of my blasphemous utterances up then so be it, indicate your allegiance by using that downvote button down there.

5
0

Trickle-down economics WORKS: SpaceShipTwo is a PRIME EXAMPLE

Brenda McViking

Re: Trickle where?

Even if they're acquiring illiquid assets - they're not doing it all on their tod, are they? Financiers, Estate agents, accountants, lawyers, all funding their own ostentacious lifestyles buying cars, food, triple-mark-up coffee and iPads, then making and maintaining them are the factory workers, the cleaners, the mechanics, the electricians and carpenters, the call-centre staff, and then, at the very very bottom, is the sysadmin who designed the entire infrastructure they all use. In his basement. and he's looking at the one plug socket which will bring the whole sorry state of affairs down.

With a cattle prod in hand.

KZZZRT!

0
0

Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: Nice catch 22

Pah - maybe she should submit a takedown request of the real "Optical express" alleging copyright infringement.

Then I could get the popcorn out.

1
0

Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to REAL photography?

Brenda McViking

Re: Good points mixed with some arrogance, IMHO

I use a humble, bottom of the range 7 yr old APS-C Sony with a raft of 2nd hand 80s A mount Minolta lenses, I have contmplated upgrading as I think it might benefit my photography, but honestly - I can't see myself getting more pleasure out of it - and it is one hell of an investment to change to FF now.

I like to capture fast aircraft, ballroom dancers, steam engines and, above all, human emotion.

The latter is all about response. Everything is secondary to speed, everything. The prep is having the right lens on with the right settings, but other than that, my tactic is 600 photos an hour, with the expectation that 2-5 will be outstanding. The rest - well, who cares? it's digital. i.e. not hard to delete 99.9% of them. Film would never have suited my style - I'm not so bothered by photography that I am prepared to be patient, but thanks to terabytes of test footage, I have a pretty good idea now of what works where.

0
0

Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth

Brenda McViking

Re: Shame it's Ardbeg

Some of you might find the Scottish Whisky Flavour Map of interest.

Personally, I really like Ardbeg, but it's not something I'd necessarily reccommend to someone if they've never tried a proper single malt before - Glenmorangie would be my choice for the beginner just starting out.

1
0

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Brenda McViking

I'll go over the basics of any phone costing over £500 upfront, as even Samsung keep missing the mark.

Things which MUST be included or they're not even considered:

Full HD screen, with MHL OR a micro HDMI slot.

A microSD card slot. 128GB support absolute minimum.

A removable battery. 2000mAh minimum. Actually, 2500mAh as it's 2014. (~10Wh in lithium)

NFC, Bluetooth,IR,2x cameras, 1 with full HD recording, a 3.5mm socket, LED for torch use, a light level sensor that works, wifi + tethering, and GPS.

Things they should have:

waterproofing, dedicated camera button, thin case options, quality finish, Qi wireless charging built in, stereo speakers, xenon flash, pay-by-bonk

Is it really so difficult?

4
4

Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Brenda McViking

Re: A heap of cr@p

Agreed.

The only thing worse than picking one of these Peugeots up at the corporate-hire-car-operator-du-jour is a Kia Carens. Give me a Hyundai over these any day. Or a Citroen DS5 - they're not that bad.

The new 308 (and the old - this goes for the 508 and 5008 too) has absolutely no feel in any of the controls. Steering - might be connected to the wheels, but I can't tell. I don't know whether a curved slip road requires 5 degrees or almost full lock - and neither does the car from the feel of it.

Brakes, might be connected to the wheels somehow - I honestly can't tell. I press it and something happens, but it doesn't seem to respond to how hard I push it or how quickly. Now Ford are guilty of the so-called "digital" braking system - i.e. "1" or "0" but this is too far the other way.

The accelerator just is a squishy mess - It doesn't give any feedback, just makes more noise as you press into the sponge of a pedal - doesn't appear to actually control acceleration.

But by far the most hideous aspect of these latest Peugeots are the automatic gearboxes - they have all the finesse of a learner driver with 45 minutes worth of experience, over-rev, jerky, or take 18 seconds to change - it seems to pick one of these options at random every time it wants to change gear. They also seem to have programmed gear changes to happen at bang on 30 or 40 mph. Which means it can never. make. up. its. mind.

It is the most disconnected driving experience I have ever had, and I've driven several american cars which had an entire design team focussed on being as mushy as possible. This was worse. I think it is best described as driving a bus with the handling characteristics of a bouncy castle.

I also had a HUD in the last one i was given, which was interesting for the first 5 minutes. I then realised that I still had to take my eyes off the road to read it - so it was no different to any other dashboard display.

This car is perfect for those who cannot be bothered with any intellectual effort whilst driving; for the person who when asked what car they drive replies "a red one," and expects a nod of recognition for that as a legitimate answer.

Plenty of them around though - I'm sure it will sell well.

2
1

Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012

Brenda McViking

Income is one side of the coin - Doing this would effectively destroy an awful lot of companies with low margins. If I get income from selling a chair, i have to buy the wood and the electricity for the lathe. If you tax the chair on sale (as in me, the manufacturer, not the customer who will pay VAT on top), without allowing me to offset the sale price against the wood and the electricity, then this all falls down.

Here's a radical solution - don't tax profits. Don't offer subsidies for losses either.

Why do profits need to be taxed? You pay workers, who pay tax

You provide customers with goods, who pay tax

You provide shareholders with income or assets, who pay tax.

Why should any more tax be paid on top of other taxes? you've already covered all of the money exit routes - it's not like a company is going to buy itself a fancy house and a yacht for itself - and even if it does, the housebuilders and yacht builders will be paying tax via one of the 3 methods above. I mean the only thing that "profit tax" allows the exchequer to get their hands on is a pile of cash hoarded by a company. And why would a company hoard cash when inflation means it's losing money? which shareholders are going to stand for it? It's all utterly pointless.

I mean, have I missed something? surely corporation tax is double taxation, plain and simple. I fundamentally disagree with double taxation, though I'm prepared to listen to how I've misunderstood the situation...

4
0

Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Brenda McViking

I too am a 'would be customer' who is completely put off by the lack of an uSD slot. the OTG option is a clunky workaround at best, and in reality, completely unworkable for me - I'd either forget the cable, or not have it on me when I was given 3 hours notice to get to the airport.

Same argument for lack of swappable battery for the '6, though with a 15min boost charge, I might be able to make it work.

Actually no, on second thoughts, the amount of times having a fully charged spare that can be changed in 30s has saved my bacon is too many to count. Typically when I've landed somewhere that nobody speaks English and google maps is the only thing that can get me to my destination with no hassle.

So no deal. Which is a pity because I've always wanted a Nexus and its lack of bloatware.

Samsung Note 4 it is.

0
0

The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event

Brenda McViking
Coat

Apple Q&A

Q: Why is the Apple still reporting record profits?

A: Because iPad users are just as oblivious to the looming recession as they are to the people around them!

Q: What do you call a bent iPhone 6 plus?

A: A dead wringer.

Q: What is written on Steve Jobs tombstone?

A: iCame, iSaw, iConquered, iLeft, iCameBack, iThinkDifferent, iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iCloud, iRIP

Q: How can you tell which one of your friends has the new iPad?

A: Don't worry, they'll let you know.

Q: Why did Steve Jobs live his last moments in regret?

A: They say your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. Unfortunately for Steve Jobs, his iPad didn't have a Flash player installed!

Q: How many Apple iPad early adopters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: 3001. 1 to do the work and 3000 to go online and bitch about the lack of obscure features!

Q: What do the latest iPad applications do?

A: Whiten teeth and perform lasik eye surgery!

Q: According to Apple what is the leading cause of iPads overheating?

A: Downloading images of Katy Perry!

Q: What do you call a Scottish iPad?

A: An AyePad.

6
1

Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

Brenda McViking

Re: "Advanced training"

You jolly well can teach someone to multitask - it involves making neural connections to the point that things are done automatically without requiring a slow cognitive decision. E.G. manipulating the clutch whilst negotiating a busy hill junction with traffic lights. You get someone who has never driven a car before and they physically will be unable to manage it, because they haven't learnt how to multitask.

Same with aircraft. Flying a circuit (takeoff, go around the airfield once and land) - requires an intensive amount of multitasking. You have to be aware of your own aircraft, it's speeds, setup, altitude, engine setting and position in 3 dimensions, whilst negotiating with air traffic control via a radio and being aware of everything other aircraft in the pattern with you. Some of which will be going a lot faster (or slower) than you. If you haven't been taught how to multitask, you cannot do this properly, which is why you have to be trained to be a pilot.

This is why we have licences for these things - it certifies that you have the appropriate neural connections to be able to multitask properly.

5
0

Forget bonking, have ONE OFF THE WRIST with Barclaycard's bPay

Brenda McViking

Re: I would prefer this

But why not a smartphone?

I see this opinion a lot on here, but don't fully understand why - I'm genuinely interested. If you told me that I could ditch the wallet/purse entirely, and just needed to carry a smartphone, I'd be fine with that. I don't get why in 2014 I still need to carry around keys, metal coins, a wallet full of plastic loyalty cards and the odd paper note when the technology exists to just put it into my communication device, which I alreay take everywhere, and then control it via an app.

Is it the fact that mobiles run out of battery?

Is it the fact that it's an internet enabled device and entrusting bank details to it is asking for trouble?

Do you think it makes it more of a target than it already is to an opportunistic thief?

1
0

Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed

Brenda McViking

RE:Loot system

They have fixed it, yes - to the point where only you can pick up your weapon drops. However, it's completely random as to who drops what - certainly not a case of kill a boss to get a good piece of kit - "stuff" is just as likely to be dropped by a tiny minion which you can accidently kill with an unaimed spray of bullets, rather than a Tank which will take 600 seconds of sustained machine gun fire from 3 players to down.

I must admit I was hoping for more of a Skyrim length main quest as opposed to an average shooter like, say, Far Cry, Halo, Half Life, but it's a fair story, if a little short.

I've not played Player versus Player yet - certainly it was a lot less fun in the Beta than it is in Titanfall, but the game is good fun if you have 2 other friends to play it with, in the "single-ish" player mode.

Overall, I'd give it 7/10, so far. There is a lot more they can (and hopefully will) do with it to bump it up to 8. (and to give you an idea of my ratings, I'd give Skyrim 8/10,. HL2 ep2 9/10, Max Payne 3 4/10, Halo 7/10)

0
0

BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

Brenda McViking

Re: Not bad value really

Sorry Lionel, it's you who are wrong.

If you watch ANY television programmes as they're being broadcast even without an aerial, if you don't pay the BBC telly tax, you're breaking the law.

That includes internet streaming, sky programmes via satellite dish, periscope into the neighbours living room - any equipment which can recieve a broadcast (an aerial is just one type of such equipment, your dish is another), and it doesn't have to be a BBC broadcast either - which is why it is so ridiculous.

Personally, if you watch sky through a dish, I'd buy a TV licence if you don't want a fine. And next time, don't pander to their inane requests - there is only one reason for them, and that is to use against you in court - they serve no other purpose whatsoever.

2
0

Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Brenda McViking

Re: Some valid points ...

Because if you reuse a slightly stronger password than remembering 18 simpler ones, your overall security is often still better. And be honest - what is easier? Everything needs a login nowadays. If recall is more than 1 second for the user then you're wasting more time and raising their stress level unnecessarily.

This is actually one of the few research papers that "get it" - realising that whilst the theory of entropy theoretically makes security stronger, adding in the meatbag actually MASSIVELY reduces entropy. If you're demanding a 6 character password with 4 types of characters, the entropy is orders of magnitude lower than a 6 character lowercase password, but the majority of people do not know that.

That and security is often completely unnecessary - who needs a password taking 550 years to bruteforce protecting the corporate "how to sit at your desk without becoming a paraplegic" Health and Safety intranet portal? even nuclear launch codes only really need a few months of brute force protection. (and indeed, 0000 0000 was the launch code for some types of nuclear weapons during the cold war. For 20 years. Why? because psychology trumps security where humans are involved.)

10
1

Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Brenda McViking

Re: "Copyright infringement is theft, pure and simple"

"Auto theft" as you describe it doesn't exist in the UK for the exact reason that it doesn't fit the definition of theft. In the UK legal system, you HAVE to know and understand definitions correctly, in advance. This is why we get so brassed off with Americans using our language improperly - because it breaks the meaning of what is being said and leads to stuff like this.

In the UK, if you "steal" a car, it is not theft. It is the criminal offence of "Taking without consent" or "Twocking" in the British Bobbys' common vernacular.

2
1

Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Brenda McViking

Re: I have to wonder...

Your top of the range phones are actually very good at recording these things, in Full HD. In fact with their noise cancelling microphones they can actually pick up the sound very well too - and this wasn't the case 5 years ago.

Not that I agree with their use for such things. In fact the best gig I recently went to had a band that said "right. Everyone, record our next song. it's the one we're best known for, we'll be doing it again at the end, but after we've let you get it out of your system - put your phones/tablets/cameras and screens away and enjoy the gig. Anyone recording afterwards has my permission to get their head kicked in by fellow fans annoyed by your screen. There will be a professional recording on the website tomorrow that you can download free of charge, no catch, no restrictions, which will be much better quality than you guys can capture. Here we go"

Surprisingly, it had the desired effect, and we all agreed afterwards it was a very good way of doing it.

6
0

New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Brenda McViking

Mail order deliverers?

Since when do they ever ring the fracking doorbell?

They tiptoe up to the door, tap it with their finger twice, wait 5 seconds and then launch your new monitor over the fence and leave a "sorry you weren't in" note.

12
0

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