2459 posts • joined Friday 28th April 2006 12:50 GMT
Re: A better method
Yeah, because carbon trading (a scheme where you make yourself feel better by bribing some peasant farmer in the third world not to go mechanised so you can make the emissions they would have made, then they pocket the money and go mechanised anyway) worked so well, didn't it?
Because although humans require taurine (a protein fragment which does not occur in any plant), there is a rare genetic disorder which leaves someone lacking the necessary enzymes to manufacture it in sufficient quantities -- thus requiring a dietary source of taurine.
A less rare condition is the inability to digest gluten (a protein found in wheat), but this also pretty much precludes a vegetarian diet.
Also, even if one is able to manufacture one's own taurine and digest gluten, there are still many "foods" from which the human digestive system is no good at extracting nutrition, but other animals have no problem converting into something humans *can* eat. Much of the "input" 2kg. could be inedible to humans. As for the stuff that's not edible even to animals (such as the poisonous above-ground parts of the potato plant), that is what we should be making biofuel from.
Series 3, Episode 4 ruined the entire show for me with its cheap transphobic "humour".
It might have been redeemed, had the joke only been on Reynholm as the only transphobic one in a bunch of otherwise indifferent people; but as the episode was presented, the audience were expected to join in with the jibes at the expense of April [the transsexual character]. This really is not acceptable in the 21st century.
Re: A method
Legend has it that a German engineering firm once sent a tiny drill bit to a British engineering firm, with a note saying "This is the finest drill bit in the world" -- and had it returned to them with a hole drilled all the way along its axis, and a note saying "No it isn't".
Raspberry Pi, VICE, job's a good 'un.
<-- You don't even need to be one of these .....
"At least compulsory voting stops disproportionate influence going to a bunch of nutters" -- No, it doesn't.
When people are voting for the wrong reasons, they may well be voting for the wrong candidate. If they happen accidentally to produce a valid vote, then that will be counted, even although it arguably shouldn't (since it doesn't represent what anyone sincerely believes).
Just writing an increasing series of numbers down the ballot paper -- or up the ballot paper -- creates an accidentally-valid vote which will favour the first -- or last -- candidate listed on the ballot paper.
Abstentions outnumber votes in most countries; so compulsory voting is (potentially) giving disproportionate influence to probably the *worst* possible group of people to give influence to.
Re: Pear shaped matter?
I hitched a lift with a quantum mechanic once. We got pulled over by the Old Bill. This officer asked him "Do you know how fast you were going?"
"No," he said, "but I know exactly where I was!"
I do hope .....
..... that those of you who have expressed an ideological opposition to renewable energy are fully prepared, if the rising price of fossil-fuel generated electricity outstrips the falling price of non-fossil fuel generated electricity within your lifetimes, either to continue paying the extra for fossil-fuel generated electricity or to stop using electricity altogether if it is all coming from renewable sources.
Ah, another one who confuses orgasm with ejaculation.
They are, in fact, two distinct phenomena. Orgasm in men usually triggers ejaculation; but if and when you do finally learn how to get the fireworks without the mess, it will prove to be one of the most worthwhile experiences of your life.
<-- This is what it feels like, if done properly.
Re: Questions to ask objectors
Yep. See also "Gavin and Stacey", series 2, episode 6.
Well, I for one will be joining in next year
I'm definitely going to have a go at this next year, and my best friend is also up for it (so we can combine our budgets). We've the best part of a year for menu planning, so we can be checking prices and doing calculations in the meantime, and thus have no excuse not to live it up a bit on our £2 a day between us .....
And no, it's not by any stretch of the imagination the same as actually having to live on £1 a day full-time. Those days are behind me now, touch wood .....
Re: A quid a day
Why spend money on Tupperware (other food storage brands are available)? My local takeaway serve up their curries in plastic boxes that are reusable several times before they eventually go brittle.
Re: Is this an annual event?
Right. You're on! I'll be signing up for LBTL 2014.
I've got the best part of a year to prepare for it ..... What can possibly go wrong?
I just wish they would open up the Source Code of Flash.
After all, it's not as though they are making any money selling the binary .....
Is this an annual event?
Is this an annual event?
If so, I think I might be interested in having a go at it next year.
Re: Neanderthal DNA
Any two samples of DNA must have at least 50% in common, just due to the way that base pairs work.
It has already been invented (or rather, is going to have already been invented). The reason why they haven't visited us to tell us about it, is that going back a few minutes or hours to make witty remarks which people only thought of some time after the event soon became by far and away the major commercial application for time travel, and as a consequence the range of commonly-available time machines is restricted.
Re: Landfill Android?
Extortion (because that's what it is, when you falsely claim that someone owes you money) isn't to be relied on as a revenue stream, though. If the manufacturers got together they could all refuse to pay the bogus patent royalties, and Microsoft wouldn't be able to do a thing about it.
Re: Beats vs. BeyerDynamic
Joe Meek used to master on speakers nicked from cheap record players and transistor radios, because that was what he knew people probably would be listening to the finished result on.
Re: Good @AJ Stiles
No; what I'm saying is "anyone who attacks me must do so at great risk to themselves."
Seen this .....
Recently a friend of a friend was telling me about a "scales" app for Android. Now, I know for a fact that there isn't a weight sensor behind the glass of most smartphones, so this has got to be bogus. (And it is: whatever you place on the phone, it shows the same weight which you entered during calibration). I didn't keep it installed for long after downloading it.
I checked out another one, and the permissions it was requesting scared the backside off me.
I think this is a good thing
I am cautiously optimistic about this.
Too often, people visit a high street store to look for something, decide what they want, and then go and buy it cheaper online from someone who simply doesn't have the same overheads. This ultimately damages high street stores and the people who depend on them. There are many reasons -- financial, ideological, or a court injunction, just for starters -- why a person might not be able to get on the Internet.
There's another way to be sure
There's another way to be sure: make the next generation of secure smartphones physically incapable of running native code. There's simply no excuse for it, in this day and age; processors, and therefore interpreters, are fast enough nowadays. Every single processor could be made with a different and incompatible instruction set, if needs be.
If everything on the phone has to be interpreted, then everything on the phone -- including malware -- also has to be human-readable. Then, if you're sufficiently bothered about security, you can pay some disinterested third party to audit apps on your behalf.
This is a nice beginning.
I'd go further, and outlaw remotely-controlled vehicles with weapons systems. Or anything (besides conventional armour) that denies the target a chance to fight back at their attacker, even.
Re: Bloody Advert!
I have, but here's the thing: I don't care. It's *my* screen, and *I* will decide what I get to see on it.
In fact, if I've blocked an advert for your company, that actually means I'm more likely to buy from you, since I tend to avoid companies who advertise to me on general principle.
Sound idea, lousy implementation
Most food crops have inedible parts that would have been ideal for making biofuel, because there's not much else you can do with them. There's also a lot of animal fat going to waste (while we import palm oil and kill orang-utans).
Anyway, we have to get the implementation right. Sooner or later, non-renewable energy is going to be exhausted; and thanks to various vested interests, we probably won't find out about it until it's too late.
Re: You got me there.
The ONLY RAID worth using in Linux is ordinary kernel md RAID. Not fake hardware RAID with a proprietary driver; not even true hardware RAID which presents a single logical drive to the host.
You'll find out why, if you ever lose a RAID controller .....
Re: But ...
"But, when 625 line and colour on UHF came along, there were still mono sets, and would be for many years. So while there may have been no requirement for backwards compatibility with existing 405 line VHF sets, there was a requirement for compatibility with new mono sets."
Not really. It was always planned to run the two systems side by side for about the lifetime of a TV receiver. If people wanted a mono set, they could have bought a 405-line one (knowing that its usefulness would expire suddenly one day); or if they wanted a 625-line set, they would have had to have bought a colour one. Besides which, someone would eventually have worked out how to build a mono receiver capable of using the "designed first and foremost for colour" transmission standard.
Bad laws need changing
Frankly, I'm pissed off with the excuse that "Megacorp X are duty-bound to make a profit for their shareholders" being wheeled for every affront to human dignity perpetrated by one of these out-of-control monsters.
If that's really what the law says, then it needs to be changed. A corporation's responsibility, first and foremost, should be to respect the standards of the environment which deigned to permit it to exist in the first place. Delivering a profit to shareholders should be optional. And if a corporation crosses a line in pursuit of profits, then sanctions need to be applied.
Who didn't see this coming?
Since the smoking ban, and with the advent of (1) OTC nicotine replacement therapy, (2) cheap imported tobacco and (3) homegrown cannabis that can be smoked "neat" without tobacco, an important revenue stream for the government has been closed down. This means they are going to have to get their money somewhere else, somehow.
Many people drink alcohol, and everybody eats .....
Re: I would just like to say that....................
I'm just pleased to find out that I weigh a whole four kilos less than a full cylinder of hydrogen :)
Apropos of not much, 70 kg. of H2 would be about 21.08e+27 molecules.
Re: Shut up you incorrect pedants!
405 line telly was never PAL, it was mono. There were experiments with NTSC on 405, but that only works over a cable; do it wirelessly and real-world wave propagation phenomena distort all the colours. They also tried SECAM, but the delay line required at 10.25 kHz scan rate was too expensive.
The irony is that PAL -- which automatically corrects the errors that plague NTSC over the air, dispenses with the over-complexity of SECAM, and still has little to no effect on existing mono receivers -- was chosen over an RGB-native system, when the move to a new broadcast frequency band (UHF) and a new line structure (625 lines) meant there was no need for the new system to be compatible with existing sets anyway!
Re: MS java versus Sun
There's legal precedent that anyone can merely re-implement a programming language from scratch -- look up FoxPro.
Before Java was Open Sourced, Microsoft licenced it from Sun under quite reasonable terms. They then breached the terms of the licence quite spectacularly. Specifically, you are not allowed to call a software product "Java" (which is a registered trademark, and so requires a licence to use) if it does not pass a series of compatibility tests. (The actual compatibility tests were always Sun's proprietary secret, in order to prevent vendors from gaming the tests.) Microsoft's "Java" implementation failed compatibility (on purpose: Microsoft intended for their "Java" to do things that Sun's Java couldn't, as a way of persuading users to choose Microsoft Java over Sun's Java. This was exactly what Sun's licencing terms and compatibility-testing régime were intended to prevent), and so they lost the right to call it "Java". When they persisted in doing so anyway, Sun took them to court.
Re: Top Tip (c) Viz
According to Frank Castle (M. I. Mech. E.) 's log tables, 2 * 2 = 3.999. I'm not sure that error is deliberate, though; just a simple rounding error.
The existence of deliberate errors in maps has been proposed as a plausible explanation for some of the "SatNav SNAFU" stories that used to crop up every fortnight or so. It certainly makes sense. I wonder if a bridge has ever collapsed because the designer ran afoul of a deliberate error in a book of tables? How far can the publisher disclaim responsibility, knowing that they introduced deliberate errors?
Re: according to my parsing...
I get -4.74999..... as follows:
brackets have highest priority; (1 / 4) = 0.25
Then the unary minus gives -4
Then the exclusive or (yes, you can have fractions in binary; 0.25 decimal = 0.01 binary) gives, as near as damn it is to swearing, -4.75 (it's actually a recurring fraction; when you flip the bits and add one, you get 100.10111..... which is close enough to 100.11. In fact if you actually used an infinite number of digits, they would actually be equal; the difference between them must have an infinite number of zeros before the 1, and therefore must be equal to zero).
What are Oracle smoking?
The law is quite clear on the matter: Anyone else is allowed to make a product that can be used as a drop-in replacement for some product that you make. It's called "fair competition". You can't use copyright, patents or trademarks in such a way as to prevent this.
If the only way for them to make their thing do what it's supposed to do properly, then such bits of your work as they absolutely need to copy in order to make it work -- but no more -- are excluded from the scope of protection. For instance, if you use a special connector for the power supply that goes with your widget, other people are allowed to copy that connector closely enough for their after-market power supply to be able to make proper contact with your widget. If your games console hardware is checking for a signature block on a storage medium (such as a ROM cartridge or optical disc), then that signature block must be excluded from copyright in the interest of interoperability. Otherwise, you would be able to lock competitors out of the market, which is very Not Allowed.
Maybe Google should insist for Oracle to show them how they can make their own compatible Java replacement (which the law explicitly allows them to do: blocking interoperability is anti-competitive behaviour of the most blatant kind, and Oracle are now entering the realms of deliberately obstructive behaviour) without actually copying any Oracle code.
Re: according to my parsing...
Only in BASIC.
In real programming languages, the "hat" is the bitwise EOR operator; or means "beginning" in a search pattern, or turns a "match any" pattern fragment (such as /p[aeiou]t/ which matches pat, pet, pit, pot or put) into "match anything but" (/[^0-9]/ matches any non-digit).
Re: The paperless office.....
It was actually all going in the paperless direction anyway -- until they invented the laser printer. Previous technologies for generating scrap paper had invariably been noisy with ugly results (dot matrix), noisy and excruciatingly slow but with pretty results (daisy wheel) or whisper-quiet but temperamental and expensive to run (early ink jet -- come to think of it, modern ink jet, too). Then along came a brand new device for generating good-looking scrap paper quickly, almost silently and inexpensively .....
Re: Sounds good
"As I see it, Ubuntu's target audience has been people who want it to 'just work' (sorry for trite phrase,) ideally out of the box. Which would imply no compilation."
No apology required. I get exactly what you mean. The problem as I see it is, compiling software from Source Code doesn't "Just Work, out of the box". When you find out about some obscure package foo that your distribution's maintainers haven't thought to package, so you download the Source Code foo.tar.gz and it says you need to have package bar installed, and you know you have got bar installed, that's as confusing as hell -- and it sends a wrong message. What it actually means is that you need some file that would have been "left behind" if you had built bar yourself from Source Code, but you don't actually need for day to day use of bar. And your distribution's maintainers have helpfully separated those files out into a different package just for developers: bar-dev. But this is not obvious. And from the point of view of the user -- who really doesn't think of themself as a developer -- it ends up looking as though compiling software from Source Code is some sort of black art, some arcane magic, something they aren't meant to understand. It reinforces a view of "them and us". And it should not be like that, because everybody has something to give to the Free and Open Source Software movement -- unless they get so deterred by one bad experience that they defect to Windows. And what's that done for the hapless developers of package foo? Somebody wanted it so badly, but now they've been dissuaded from trying to install it.
My point is that, once upon a time, separating out developer files was beneficial to the "normal" user; including the developers' files in the main package would have done them a greater disservice than omitting them did the potential developer. I am no longer sure that this is the case: the inconvenience to users wishing to compile packages from Source Code as a result of separating out the developers' files now exceeds the inconvenience to other users that would result from including them.
Some users certainly will make the effort to learn about developers' packages, or even learn the hard way -- I ended up reinstalling a whole bunch of libs from Source Code one one box, once in my younger days, just because I didn't know about developers' packages. And that experience has informed the position from which I argue. If you'll allow me to use a cliché of my own, I just don't want anyone else to have to go through that.
Compiling a package from Source Code really needn't be any harder than double-clicking on a tar.gz file to start the configuration (./configure) and compilation (make) process, then supplying a password to allow installation to system-wide folders (sudo make install). And if it barfs for want of a dependency, then it isn't unreasonable to assume that installing the named package from repository ought to be enough to satisfy that dependency. Now, if the file manager (or its archive plugin) is really smart, it could detect that this is the first time you've ever double-clicked on a Source Code file, and turn on (if my hypothetical dev-depends: existed) automatic installation of developer packages. A smart "installable Source Code archive" plugin could even parse the error log and suggest a fix. Result: Compiling a package from Source Code is now as easy as (even although it will take a bit longer than) installing a pre-compiled binary package, for the casual user who -- for whatever reason, of their own business -- would like to install something that has not yet been packaged for their distribution.
Anyway, you've convinced me to put my money where my mouth is. I'm going to take a look at dpkg and see if I'm up to the task of adding the needed feature myself; and if I should bottle it, then I will at least suggest it to the developers. Either way, I plan to offer my bunch of patches or humble feature suggestion to Ubuntu first, because I think they do try hardest to have "everyone" as their target demographic. To prove I'm not as bitter as I may have sounded, I'm going to say this: Be my guest and suggest the dev-depends: idea to Debian -- or even Fedora; I'm sure they'd love an advantage over dpkg and apt-get. This is not a zero-sum game; we'll all come out winners if it's adopted, whoever is first.
Re: Would love to switch to Libre Office
But if you rewrite the macros, you only have to do that once. You would have to keep paying out for a new Office licence every time Microsoft brought out a new version. In a really pathological case, Microsoft could deprecate or remove a feature you were relying on; and then you'd have to do some rewriting anyway. (Open Source can't do that so easily, since removed features can usually be hacked back in when necessary. This can lead to patch wars and eventually forking, as one party storms off in a huff or gets banned -- vide OpenBSD. The users will eventually decide which one they prefer. Occasionally, there is even room for both versions to co-exist.)
In the end, it's a trade-off. At some point, the cost of keeping legacy VBA code outweighs the cost of getting rid. When that happens, rewriting to use LibreOffice becomes "doing it properly", and keeping Microsoft becomes the bodge.
Re: Sounds good
For clarification, I'm currently running Debian on most of my boxen (including servers and desktops); but after trying Ubuntu on a laptop, I quite like it. It's not dumbed-down; I can still edit files in /etc/ with nano -- or even gedit with sudo --if I choose to do it that way, and it won't confuse the GUI configuration tools. (And I really love the Unity interface on a widescreen display, with its vertical launcher down the left-hand side; but I can see why classic GNOME 2.x users might find it different.)
It's simply wrong to imagine that compiling software from Source Code should be beyond "normal" users. Precompiled binaries are a legacy of Windows, not the traditional way complex software has been distributed. Actually, assuming that users are stupid -- as opposed to merely ignorant, but capable and ready to learn -- is a legacy of Windows.
Separate -dev packages make it harder for "normal" users to make the "leap" to building from Source Code, by putting that gap there in the first place -- by assuming that users will not, by default, want to build from Source Code. Disk space and bandwidth are cheap nowadays.
One alternative to "forcing additional stuff onto users" (most of whom, I'm sure, wouldn't even notice it till they double-clicked a .tar.gz file and it just installed itself) would be to extend dpkg to include, besides "depends", "recommends", "suggests" and "conflicts", a "dev-depends" category. With a simple configuration setting, installing a package could automatically install its -dev files or not; a database of -dev packages already required / installed would make it even easier to switch routes, by suddenly requiring or de-requiring a bunch of packages which will then get installed or uninstalled automatically at the next upgrade.
Another idea would be creative misuse of "suggests": optionally automatically install anything from "suggests" that has -dev in its name, and make every package suggest its own -dev. But this is not really the right solution, as it will involve just as much upheaval again if and when a "dev-depends" category is created.
I've just downloaded the Source Code, and am now working my way through installing the heap of -dev packages I need to build it.
If there's anyone from Canonical listening, the one feature I would really, really, really like in Ubuntu 13.10 -- and the one that might finally get me off Debian -- would be to merge all -dev packages in with the respective main package. Separating them out made sense 10 years ago, when drive space was measured in gigabytes, processor speed in megahertz and everyone was expected to know exactly what they were doing. Today, -dev packages are a PITA. If somebody really doesn't need the development files, they can delete them; but HDD space is not really a valid concern anymore, compared to not making it needlessly complicated to build packages from Source Code.
What a surprise - Not
Every software project starts small and grows features; the more users it has, the faster it improves, and the more it improves, the more users it gets, in a kind of positive feedback loop. (Every software project eventually ends up incorporating a Turing-complete programming language, as well, whether intentional or otherwise.)
Sooner or later, the options you can pass to configure grow past a screenful, so everyone just builds it with everything enabled whether or not they need it. At this point, it acquires a reputation -- whether deserved or not -- for "bloat".
Sometimes, someone forks it and chops out chunks (Firefox was Mozilla minus lots of stuff). Other times, a whole 'nother project comes along, started from scratch, and displaces it. Until it, too, starts growing features ..... And the whole cycle starts over again.
Re: Hmm@A J Stiles
No, I'm saying: Spend the money on civilian projects instead of military willy-waving. In times of budget defecit, civilians must come first. Even if the entire army, navy and air force wind up on the dole, it'll still be cheaper that way.
What if all that money had been spent on actually useful civilian stuff like ..... Ooh, I don't know. Power plants (including various renewable technologies and a mix of different variations on nuclear, with an eye on what works and what doesn't); strategically-located recycling centres; high speed railways; repairs to our ageing water supply and sewage networks; social housing and the NHS?
Finally I get the chance to use this .....
This joke has been waiting over 20 years for the right audience.
Q. What kind of grass grows on Tracy Island?
A. International fescue!
Re: At last
For all anyone knows, there could be malware in Evasi0n itself.
I didn't see any Source Code offered for download; just a precompiled binary that could have had anything in it. As far as security-related software goes, this is a dealbreaker.
Re: At first I thought the calendar is wrong
What licensing restrictions? Qt has been GPL for years now.
Re: early days of ACPI
"early Pentium days, before Linus had even started work on Linux" ..... "under Windows 95"
Um. You do realise that the first Linux kernel release (5 October 1991) was made on an 80386 and predated even Windows 3.1 (6 April 1992), let alone Windows 95 (24 August 1995)?
Not that this invalidates your argument in any way. This, incidentally, is why I support giving hardware manufacturers a simple choice between releasing full annotated Source Code for drivers, or having their products banned from the market.