853 posts • joined 25 Jun 2007
Re: Faraday cage
Wrote :- "The meter's been [under the stairs] for decades and the house designed around that and I'll be damned to have something hanging off an exterior wall and blocking my side-alley."
They will see about that. The gas and elecricity companies have been exerting pressure for outside meters for some time, and it looks like all new build is that way. But I somehow managed to get a new gas supply with the meter inside the house, and when a reader first came he was astonished that I had been able to do that these days.
Radio reception will be the perfect excuse for them to move all meters outside - ironic as the need for meter reading should decrease.
@psychonaut - Re: fucking fucking retards
Wrote "IT WONT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO PEOPLES ENERGY CONSUMPTION!"
Surely, what better way to spend the day could there than sitting watching a smart electricity meter ?
@Ledswinger - Re: Soon you will be able @James Micallef
Wrote : - "Manual meter reading costs are about five quid per meter per year"
I have been up to two-and-a-half years (in Bristol) without seeing a meter reader, going on self-reading and estimates.
Probably just as well - some meter readers are useless. When I first moved to the Bristol house, they got the all-important changeover reading wrong by about 1000 units. Funny thing was the company never admitted they were wrong and never sent a second reader to check. They just accepted my own reading and sent a corrected bill "in the interest of customer relations" or some such BS.
When I subsequently moved to where I am now they never even took a changeover reading - just asked me for one over the phone! So I don't know where that £5 goes.
Wrote : - "There are some other modest savings over the £5 on manual meter reading, such as not having errors arising from estimated bills"
A big expense for these companies is the time spent investigation over disputed bills, including estimated ones. But do you seriously believe that will stop with smart metering? I predict that the disputes will increase.
@Gerry3 - Re: The Regulators Are All Useless !
Wrote "allow country codes (e.g. India) to be blocked"
"allow country codes (India by default)) to be blocked"
There, fixed it for you.
Re: A .realty terrible waste of money
"I got an email this week offering our company the prime opportunity to register yet another version of our addresses. In this case it was .xyz"
Same here. Seems like the whole thing is for the registrars to sell you more domain names because you "need" to defend your name.
Seems to me that the whole TLD thing is redundant. What follows the dot was already devalued before this new round of nonsense even began. Except possibly .ac and .gov it has long been meaningless and now even less by another order of magnitude.
Wrote : "does anyone remember the days when using a mobile phone in public was an embarrassing thing to do? times change"
So being on your mobile all through a date is OK nowadays?
"no woman in her right mind would let a Glasshole anywhere near her data centre"
Now I've heard it called everything.
@Trigonoceps occipitalis - Re: Dot Goole
" [no] appreciable difference to the majority of Internet users. They'll just stuff the search term into Google
Agreed, that is what I do. The very fact that organisations will buy up their own domain name under all possible TLD's (maybe ibm.dot-vip, ibm.london, ibm.pet, ibm.rocking-horse-shit etc) shows that these extensions have no meaning already. Jeez, I own a ".me.uk" website and I don't have a clue what the ".me" stands for and I don't care either.
The only significant thing, possibly, is a national name in the TLD. If I am looking for a plumber I won't want one with a TLD of .nz because they would probably charge an extremely high call-out fee.
Gates on the Cover?
I have a problem with that. Gates did not actually innovate customer extortion, just took it to a new level.
@Terry6 - Re: Special
Wrote:- "[the manager] headed up the team that briefed the system designers and tried the system out, but had never approached any ordinary users
and:- Trying to show [the manager] how it should have been set up to work. So that she could then go back to the developers to get it sorted out"
We had a similar thing. Our manager and IT dept gave a spec for a paper-flow system to a contractor without consulting us users. We were strictly forbidden to say anything more than "Good morning" to the contractor who was working on our site for two months, and returning afterwards to the contractor to address the glaring shortcomings or even to debug was totally out of the question.
The reason given by management is that every time one of us were to open our mouths about how it should be done, the contractor would have added another £n000 to the bill as a "varation".
The saddest part was that we previously had a perfectly good working system using Paradox and WordPerfect, created by someone (a civil engineer, not an IT guy) in our own branch. Him being just there also had the advantage that he would implement any changes needed as time went on. But we had to ditch it because management wanted an all-Microsoft shop, and moreover wanted to ban any in-house coding on the assumption that it could not be any good.
@Bloodbeastterror - Re: Top drawer agreed...
Wrote := I'll skip over this sentence, though - "roll out a system that doesn’t properly"
I assumed that something got left off a cut-and-paste there.
Wrote :- "We've already reached saturation of interior lighting levels in our homes (at least in the UK)
So all homes have all their lights on all the time?
Offices, yes. At work there is a glass covered (roof and sides down to knee level) 50 yd link between two buildings. Every morning its continuous line of flourescent tube lights is still on from the previous night (presumably the night guard patrol turns it on in summer). I turn it off each morning, because it is as bright as daylight in there. If I do not, no-one else does. In fact if anyone else sees me turn it off they give me a very funny look - almost makes me ashamed to do it.
These people would not leave such lights on at home - yet. But even I now keep my hall light on all evening because it has a low energy bulb. I did not leave it on when it was incandescent, so I certainly use more electricity there now than before.
@JP19 - Re: I'm not sure
wrote :- "The general driving populace numbers about 30 million. Do you really not expect it to contain a proportion of idiots?"
I thought the object of the driving test was to weed them out.
Re: @Ian Michael GumbyHere's the rub...
big_D wrote :- "I never said that the newspapers should remove the stories from their websites. In fact I said that they cannot do this"
Then they should try :
They just need a court or a law to make them do it.
Re: @Ian Michael GumbyHere's the rub...
Nuke wrote :- "If he does not like it he should complain to the web sites of the reporting press"
DavCrav replied :- "That wouldn't do much good. Newspapers are protected under public records provisions."
and big_D replied :- "That's the problem Nuke, he can't."
Of course he can complain. He can send them a letter or email complaining - just as I can complain about the Earth being round. I know perfectly well it won't change anything (try silencing the Press). But that does not justify attacking a third party instead. Just because the Earth remains round does not justify my bashing my next-door neighbour's head in, or even complaining to him about it. I should complain to God (the guy the Press think they are) - the true culprit - even if he is not likely to listen.
But that is not my point. My point is that it is the websites of the press that are showing the info. Google is just a method (among others) of searching for website content. Big_D thinks it better if only a dedicated researcher, not Joe Public, could find this stuff - like in the olden days by looking through paper archives.
If, IF, we accept Big_D's argument, then the answer is for newspapers to remove everything over a month old (say) from their websites. Seeing that the highest courts are now involved in this affair, let them get the statute law changed to enforce this, or establish case law by punishing the Press for keeping this stuff on-line (the Press won't do anything otherwise) instead of punishing Google, who are just a vehicle for info already in the public domain.
@Ian Michael GumbyRe: Here's the rub...
Wrote :- "if you google the guy's name... you don't get that he was exonerated and won millions of dollars in lawsuits, but you get his name and all of the press from his trial."
If he does not like it he should complain to the web sites of the reporting press, not to Google for finding them.
But the guy got millions for it? I'd take that deal any day.
Re: What's that Spanish guy's name again?
It's Mario Costeja González. Sounds like he didn't keep up his mortgage payments.
@mhoneywell - Re: Ballmer's MIcrosoft legacy...
Wrote :- "Most successful people only have one good idea, and it usually only succeeds by accident. I don't think you can criticize people for that."
I don't think he was criticising him for having one good idea, but for having no more than that.
I am racking my brains to think what that one good idea was. Was it donkey.bas?
@AndyS - Re: A joke....
Wrote :- "and .me means... well, I'm not sure really
I haven't a clue either. But I have registered two domains with .me because I wanted a particular address and it was already taken under .co .com .org etc.
These dot extensions are meaningless. except where it includes the country of origin (assuming it is correct). I have been looking for building regulations lately and there is sometimes no other way of knowing I am not looking at the regs of some other English speaking country. Browsing one earlier, it was only when I got to a reference to roofing "shingles" that I realised it was a USA website.
Re: @Peter Gathercole - HMS Belfast
Peter Gathercole wrote :- "
[The competition] is the best historical artefact, so unfortunately, it is limited to what actually still exists"
The Turbinia then, the first turbine vessel, now in a Newcastle museum.
"but Dreadnought herself was rapidly overtaken by subsequent ships"
So was the Bombe overtaken, and most other good inventions (not Concorde though)
"the Queen Elizabeth class [battleships], which was IMHO probably the peak of the British Super Dreadnoughts. Subsequent ships ... culminated in the fast battleship"
Indeed, the QEs was superb, but they were "fast battleships" as a type, the first of the type. At Jutland they were placed with the battlecruiser squadrons, having the speed for it.
Citizen99 wrote :- "Slightly pedantic topic swerve ;-) , The Hood was a battlecruiser"
Yes, but battlecruisers are generally regarded as a type of battleship rather than a type of cruiser. The Dreadnought type and the battlecruiser type were later merged into the single fast battleship type, mentioned by PG.
Battlecruisers got a bad name because of the losses at Jutland, and of the Hood. However this is partly a consequence of their being in the forefront of the fleet; at Jutland they (and the QEs) took the brunt of the fighting and night fell before the main Dreadnought fleets got to grips with each other. The Hood was sent after the Bismark because it was one of the few available British "battleships" fast enough to stand a chance of catching it.
@Peter Gathercole - Re: HMS Belfast
Wrote :- "
The original intention was to allow the ships to carry more (16 vs. 12) six inch guns, but as the quadruple turrets were never built"
Interesting, I did not know about the quadruple turret plan.
However, I don't know why the Belfast was in the same running as Concorde and Turing's Bombe; it was a fairly conventional cruiser, bigger than most but in technical terms similar to hundreds of others in the British and foreign navies at the outbreak of WW2. Only the fact that is is preserved might make it seem special to people today - but in its time it was fairly ordinary, and a minnow compared with battleships such as the Hood and the Vangard, and the Ark Royal as you say.
To nominate a warship I would say HMS Dreadnought, the 1906 battleship, so advanced for its day that made all others obsolete at a stoke. If only we still had the technological drive and confidence those guys had back then!
Wrote "Taylor 1 gets more downvotes than upvotes just for recounting his experience, with no insults involved. Kind of confirms what he says."
This is not an Open Source forum, so why does that confirm anything? In fact, I have found that factually recounting any non-upbeat experience on any forum (political, lifestyle, closed source, whatever) can bring downvotes even when you think you are being neutral; it is not exclusively an Open Source thing.
Perhaps in this case the downvotes are because he refers to "a few years ago" and by implication goes on to assume that remains the case today (would not go back etc). In recent years I have used a number of Open Source forums and have not found any of that behavour.
"There would be no room in the pub and it would be so full of bores no one else would want to go there anyway!"
BTW, the "Guru" in the O2 advert on the right : isn't that Rolf Harris?
Wrote :- "if the Apple employee did say that the iPhone could **NOT** be bent then it seems only right and proper that potential customers could validate that claim"
I was recently buying a bed with built-in drawers inder it. Such drawers have been getting weaker and weaker over the years (bottoms used to be plywood, then hardboard, now cardboard, paper next?), so I asked the salesman how stong the drawers were.
He said you could stand in them. I was almost tempted to step in, but intead I invited him to step in himself. You never saw a smile vanish so fast from a salesman's face. He didn't, and I didn't buy the bed.
Wrote :- "Stop showing a map from Google Maps when searching for an address"
This is getting really silly.
How about paper maps. Do you buy an Ordnance Survey map and then complain that when you open it it shows an Ordnance Survey map? Do you look in the paper Yellow Pages and complain that it does not tell you to go and look in Thompsons instead? WTF do expect to see when you look for an address on Google's website?
If it really pisses you off, use Steetmap instead.
@Wade Burchette - Re: Not surprising
Wrote :- "Touch screen works well in point-of-sale machines because the user stands close to the machine, their arm is not extended.
Touch screens are also a good choice for public terminals such as in information kiosks, because there is as little as possible to vandalise or throw ice cream over; coupled with blocky interface apps that do not challenge even the lowest 0.1 percentile visually impaired or ham-fisted. Why anyone would have thought such an arrangement a good idea for home and office PCs I cannot begin to imagine.
ZanzibarRastapopulous - Re: The Price of Patents..
Wrote :- "Can you imagine how expensive patents would be if the patent office had to ensure that each one was fully defensible in court with no overlapping patents or prior art?
Would not cost much if they demanded to see a working prototype before they granted a patent. The UK Patent Office used to do this.
Nor would it cost much if they employed some people with enough general knowledge to had already heard of the existence of stuff as commonplace as radio control. Christ, I became aware of radio control devices when I was still in a pushchair. Where the hell do the USPO find such unworldly people - from unexplored parts of the Amazon Forest or something?
@Lars - Re: High time
Wrote :- "High time I patented .... a handheld gadget remotely controlling a small boat, and a large and a small train,
Ah ha! You forgot something - an aeroplane! Too late for you, I thought of it first. And a guided missile : Oh wait, they thought of that three-quarters of a century ago : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henschel_Hs_293
@westlake - Re: Repeat after me.
Wrote :- "Fiction is not prior art. ... [A screenwriter] doesn't have to engineer a solution robust and sane enough to trusted when remotely piloting a 60 meter yacht.
Neither does an applicant to the US Patent Office. All they need is a proposal on paper which can be a mere flight of fancy, let alone fiction.
Wrote :- "MS got 32,000 new employees in the Nokia acquisition. Did anyone really expect them all to remain?
Re: Is this even controversial?
"But what choice is there in the long run?"
What people did before the cloud was hyped.
@RyokuMas - Re: Much as you may hate him...
Wrote :- "- we have heard allegations of Google manipulating search results to lower competitors rankings
Actually I am sick of Google giving links to their competitors in search results. For example, I have just Googled for "monmouth plumbers" (near where I live) and the top results are all competing directories :- ratedpeople, yell, mybuilder, thompsonlocal and further down are 192, cylex, and yelp.
It's stupid. If I wanted to look in Thompsons or Yell I would have looked there in the first place. If I look under plumbers in the paper Yellow pages, I see plumbers, not instructions to "Look in Thompsons instead!". If I search for Monmouth plumbers I want to be given Monmouth plumbers, not other f#&king search sites. The Web is awash with too many search sites. I am told on good authority (ie someone who works there) that Google include their competitors in search results to avoid being accused of monopoly practice - it is obviously not working though.
"Facebook have been running pychological experiments with newsfeeds"
WTF is that to do with Google?
@AC - @Ledswinger
Upvote from me, but you wrote :-
"I can imagine there was a similar disjoint with cars, electricity and industrial production in the past
That is not the past, it is the present.
Until parliament ... is better populated by those with a genuine grasp of technology
The only PM I am aware of with a technical background was Mrs T who had a chemistry degree. I remember "New Scientist" magazine celebrating that fact when she came to power.
However it backfired. Having changed careers, science to politics, she seemed to look back with hate at the time she was the lab junior (having to fetch, carry, and make the tea like we all did once?) and had it in for technology. In the event she presided over the destruction of Britain as a leading technical nation, steering it to "Service" industries.
Thatcherite Culture ?
Perhaps the Germans and French do not share British companies' love affair with sub-contracting and constant changes of ownership that Mrs T's government kicked off. For example, I had BP supplying me with LPG (I live in the sticks). Then one day I got an email from an outfit called MacGas saying "We have taken over BP's business. Your quarterly tank rental is due. Pay us £n now." (A year later the ownership changed again).
Without reading the Financial Times every day, how TF are we to know if this is genuine? Phone a help line and be told by someone with an Indian accent "Yes, pay us!" ? Very re-assuring, not. I would have thought that if a company changes hands, then all its contract customers should be sent some form of communication from Companies House (at the new owner's expense) as confirmation.
As someone above said, the public are trained to accept scams.
@Uncle Ron - Re: Marketplace
Wrote :- "It's probably unfair to penalize or to consider penalizing MS in 2014 for a marketplace system that has been institutionalized since the 1980's. It's not good or bad, it just is.
Like I've been murdering people since the 1980's and putting the bodies under the floorboards. The neighbours complain about the smell, but the police now accept it as part of the scene around here - it has become institutionalised. It would be unfair to penalise me now. It just is.
@Anomalous Cowshed - Re: Beware, O horny IT types!
Wrote:- "You're assigned to baba Samba y Futebol. She's not had a man in over 80 years"
New keyboard from you please.
@James Micallef - Re: spiders
Wrote :- "Adding a few eligible bachelors to a community with a lot of single women"
No chance of that. After this story the place is going to be overwhelmed with men.
Re: Strangely, that is EXACTLY what happened..
Wrote :- "I will only ever sit in an automated car where there is a big fat handle labelled ABORT that does something MECHANICAL to kill the damn thing and open the door.
Same here. My experience with most computer controlled things (operating systems for a start, then word processors as another example) is that I very soon find that I have a scenario that the programmer never thought of, or assumed would never be required. Automated help lines of banks are another example ("Press 1 to increase your overdraft, Press 2 to find out your balance, Press 3 to set up a Direct Debit, etc etc") - I am never calling about anything they have thought of.
So we are to believe that those who program automated cars have thought of every situation that might arise on the road - orders of magnitude more situations than could arise with a bank account?
@ Henry Wertz 1
Wrote :- "Human-driven cars only need $35,000 worth of liability insurance.
I'm interested where you got that figure. What country do you live in? I am in the UK and thought it was several million. I'd be interested in putting up a $35,000 (in GBP equivalent) bond rather than pay my ~300 GBP annual insurance premium. It is a better return than many bank savings accouns.
Wrote :- "You bought a toaster! Here are 57 more toasters that you might be interested in!
That is because they know that the one they just sold you is crap.
Writer paid per word?
" the time it takes for Earth to go around the Sun "
Thanks for using eleven words when one would have done.
Re: I smell a shill
Wrote :- "I've worked for state bodies: but for most of my working life I have been with private enterprise. PE is incredibly inefficient ........ Of course there are exceptions and, of course, some civil servants are appalling."
Agreed - I've seen both sides of it too. Small businesses, supposed to be the most efficient of all, ("nimble", "lean" and all that myth), are the worst. The one's I've seen have been owned and run by people who merely inherited them (from perhaps more capable forefathers) and would not employ anyone who they could see were more capable and intelligent than themselves - out of fear and jealousy I suppose.
My wife, a bookkeeper, (very capable, but in a different field from the companies' main businesses) has worked for several small companies (and through them has dealt with many more), and the stories she can tell of their incompetence would make your hair stand on end. According to Free Market theory they should go out of business, but they don't because their rivals are even more incompetent.
Dangerous and illegal working practices are rife in small companies too. Like where she works now, when the HSE safety inspectors call, they park their illicit bottled-gas heaters off-site in the lorry and move a ton of junk away from the fire doors; the inspectors always forewarn their visits because they have been told to "go easy" on small businesses.
@ Brenda McViking - Re: Mail order deliverers?
Wrote "They tiptoe up to the door ... and then launch your new monitor over the fence"
..... or they take it away and leave a note that you must collect it from their depot. I have been asked to collect from a depot which was further away than where I ordered the goods from.
@Fihart - Re: Doorbells @Ho Ho Hipster
Wrote :- "just seems logical to include a phone number on delivery instructions"
I have a regular gas tank delivery. I have asked delivery guys to phone 5 minutes before they arrive so I can unlock a side gate and get my dog out of the garden.
They told me that the company mobiles they carry can only ring their HQ. This is not uncommon I gather, presumably to stop delivery men from using company phones for personal calls. You can hardly expect them to use their own phones.
FTFA :- "its [US] staff is 55 per cent white .. 15 per cent Asian. ... 11 per cent .. Hispanic, . 7 per cent .... black....
According to America's 2010 census, 77.7 per cent ... white; 5.3 per cent is Asian; 17.1 per cent is hispanic..; and 13.2 per cent is black.
So he must be ranting that there are too many Asians and not enough whites, unless that is a misprint.
My former uni has banged on about getting more girls to apply ever since I've know it. They are now about 55% femail. Yet they still bang on about getting more girls to apply. It is beyond me what their agenda is, unless they see girls as ornaments.
Hoping they submit him to some Chinese torture
No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off
Just what the world needs ...
... another connector standard. As for first post thinking 5 years is a turnover time for kit, my camera is 10 years old and going no-where yet, and bits of my PC kit are >20 years old - I am typing on a 1992 IBM AT keyboard with a PS/2 connector right now. I don't think the world can afford to follow the throw-away cult for many more years anyway.
Saving a few seconds? ... balance that against the time you spend earning the money to replace your all leads or buy cumbersome adaptors, or even new kit itself. Doesn't even take me a few seconds - I glance in USB plugs as I pick them up.
I don't know why they could not have made the orientation of such plugs obvious in the first place. They could have adopted a semi-circular profile for example (my PS2 keyboard plug body at least does have such a flat on it). Oh, wait, I am forgetting there is a fashion for "flat" shapes.
@Richard 81 - Re: Wikipedia Rules
Wrote :- "Nope, it was tea. Tea served us very well in the old imperial days.
Nope, it was cigars, and gin and tonic. The tonic was quinnine and it kept the tropical fevers away; the cigar smoke kept the mosquitos away in the evening.
Wrote :- "When [a soldier] was demobbed after WW2 one was given one's Demob Suit... designed by Montegue Burton. ... he was said to have 'Gone for a Burton'.
I always thought that "Gone for a Burton" originally (and before the end of WW2) meant "gone for a beer", Burton being a brand of it. It was an advertising slogan - like there would be a cartoon of a bus waiting with no driver and one passenger saying in a speech bubble "Where's the driver?" and another replies "Gone for a Burton!". (No drink-drive worries in those days)
It became a national standing joke, with "Gone for a Burton" being used about any absentee, then especially if they had met withan accident. So a mother might say to her 8 year-old going too near a cliff edge : "Careful, or you'll go for a Burton!".
@Captain DaFt - Re: I don't buy it
Wrote : "If the AI is truly intelligent, it'll realise that every link in the chain supporting it requires human intervention. (Power, manufacture, software, etc.)
I would have thought that those functions (manufacture etc) would be the very first areas in which AI would be put to use and make humans redundant - we are halfway there already.
Then humans would be doing nothing but lounging around (like the Eloi in "The Time Machine"), or "at work" attending conferences on how to organise conferences (like we do already), or spending all day posting redundant comments to El Reg (like this one). Sorry, no reliance on humans at all by that point.
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