292 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013
Re: It was all they could have done*
Have you considered option 5?
Take the R&D for a completely new way of providing cpu grunt and blow the old fab process into an economic backwater. Perhaps in ten years time IBM will be pushing the positronic brain that it has been secretly scheming over for all these years. Or perhaps an optical processor? Either way the fab it had would have nothing of use to the new process and thus be more of an hindrance than an asset.
I assume IBM is in business to stay in business and therefore will no doubt have thrashed through many of the arguments raised here and more before bringing down the axe. Thing is they are privy to more information than we are and so we can only assume they have come up with a cunning plan...and hopefully Baldrick was not involved.
Personally I think the processor is on the verge of being completely revolutionised and that is why IBM has been carefully offloading its "antique" technology, to be nothing more than a millstone around the necks of its competitors.
Ah yes, I do believe they exist at the union of the Venn diagram (criminal (banker) educated and intelligent)
It's all well and good rationalising the whole worlds production to meet demand as efficiently as possible, but some countries are not going to get a piece of that pie and further to that, some groups of people will find themselves living in the wrong country for their skill set.
In the UK we see ourselves as a tertiary economy, we provide services rather than dig the dirt or churn out widgets and that is a precarious existence.
If we look at the UK's economic advantages, they all focus on one aspect, people, and a very particular kind of person, one who is educated and intelligent. These are the people who run our financial institutions, design new processors or delve deep into the fabric of our universe, without them our country would be uneconomically viable
The problem with people is they can readily move to the other side of the planet, they are not a thousand acre fabrication plant costing billions, they are probably just the cost of a forty foot steel container, plus shipping.
Look at the brain drain that started several decades ago and consider the worth these people have added to foreign economies or seen another way, denied our own economy. (Although it must be said they probably had little opportunity to achieve a similar success in this country)
More importantly, how soon will it be before our only economic asset is equalled and perhaps surpassed by other countries? I'd suggest that time is upon us and the service industries this country has relied on so heavily will soon disappear to India and China, leaving what behind? What kind of product might the UK in a globalised world be excelling at to the point it would be uneconomic to move it elsewhere? Perhaps if quirky eccentricity could be "profitised" we just might have a future
Measure for measure
Call me cynical, but replacing a well defined metric with something that can be defined and redefined on a whim is just the kind of smoke and mirror governance that appeals to the likes of Dave the effing tory.
Who is the target audience?
Well, I'll go out on a limb here and suggest it is intended to be consumed by children. My friends 8 year old son is obsessed with it. He has all the merchandise and is a walking encyclopaedia of all things Dr Who wise.
Just like many other popular children's tv programs it isn't a bad idea to throw the parents a few bones to keep them amused and add a family dimension to it all, BUT if it focusses too much on keeping ma and pa riveted it is missing its whole raison d'etre, beginners SciFi for the next generation of dreamers.
As Peter Capaldi did state, right at the outset, and I forget his actual wording, but in short, the stabilisers are off. At the time I didn't quite understand what he meant, but I now believe he was referring to the end of making it palatable to adults. It is for children and as such you must view it as a child to get any enjoyment out of it.
You might as well critically review the Tellytubbies for all it matters to the real target audience.
I for one like the new format and yes I am aged eight and three quarters for about 45 minutes a week.
Looking to the future.
It is becoming increasingly obvious our friends in IT are busily creating the "peoples internet" One which has anonymity at its core and one that will prove impossible to survey en masse.
Sadly I can only assume it is just a matter of time before such endeavours are classed as terrorist assisting and outlawed. The right to intercept communications and electronic files will no doubt find its way onto the statute books and then that will be that, we'll be owned by the state, that is in turn owned by commerce which hasn't got the moral fibre to give a shit whether it's machinations take us on the road to oblivion or not.
A years supply?
Are you kidding me. I could eat the entire "years supply" in a weekend without a thought.
Yep. Maybe PwC needs an ethics inspection, 'cos if they're willing to swing the axe based on nothing but hear say from a customer, then what kind of a blind eye audit will hard money buy you?
I can suggest this as I am no longer looking to work for them in this lifetime.
Maybe keeping a check on the numbers in hell might be one of the cushier jobs and so I retract my previous besmirch in favour of a less hellish afterlife.
Re: I suppose
I appreciate scaling things up a few notches will set new standards in engineering accuracy, but surely not beyond technical ability.
No, I really do think it comes down to justifying the cost to those stumping up the cash.
As is the trend today, build it no bigger or better than the immediate task demands.
Thank God the Victorians saw things differently otherwise we'd all be floating around in our own sewage.
..the biggest constraint is money, but surely it would be cheaper in the long run and better for all concerned to just go with a 100m dish and forego the incremental steps along the way.
I'm waiting for CERN to start pushing for an accelerator ring around the Moon, obviously after they have built several more that have quadrupled previous constructions first.
It would be nice..
..if like the electrical power / rail / gas infrastructures in the Uk, the telco infrastructure was owned by one company and leased out to the many suppliers.
And I certainly don't mean in the way BT is working that system.
Hell, the government have been banging on about upping internet speeds for long enough, so why not step in and do it directly. Lay the fibre in a national scheme and lease it out at a reasonable profit.
My carpenter mate is adamant that 22/7 is pi, which while I would happily trust him to knock up a decent spiral staircase, I shudder to think what he would have made of the Millennium Dome
Ah! Yes. We could sell the idea that the internet is for all intent and purpose foreign soil and beyond their control by pointing out it will be very easy to start imposing punitive taxes on a "country's" exports that isn't signatory to any trade agreements.
Re: Was it or wasn't it?
Ha ha, yes it has been a while since I took a pedant spanking. Oh well.
Thank you sir, please can I have some more.
Re: Was it or wasn't it?
Have you ever tasted English larger Mr Summers 'cos I think your humour chip needs a reboot
Re: Was it or wasn't it?
Lack of taste or lack of humour?
Was it or wasn't it?
My money is on it being English larger, so I suppose, yes it was.
Re: Something for the weekend?
I have a cunning plan.
Using your totally inadequate 3D printer. create your widget, but with one slight adjustment, reduce its dimensions by 5mm all round for solid objects or 5mm bigger for hollow objects. Oh, and replace that corn starch with candle wax if poss.
Now spray the outside or inside or I suppose both sides with a suitably conductive material.
Take this and immerse it in a bath of whatever metallic based solution you desire and apply some volts.
After a few years have passed (yes, yes, it is blue sky off the cuff thinking after all) and 5mm of metal has been deposited on the artefact, remove and melt away the wax or corn starch.
Hey prestoish you have a copper coat hook or other such invaluable trinket to swank in front of your friends.
If I don't respond to critique, it's because I'm on the phone to the Texas patenting office.
Yep. The economic model used to play master astrologer has absolutely no bearing on the real world.
It's fundamental flaw is in assuming a perfect market, with homogeneous products, universal knowledge, no one person or group having unfettered control and all players act rationally.
Trying to factor the reality of just one of those anomalies into the model would be like knitting live cats and each individual model acts and is acted upon by all the other discrete models to make one hell of a tangle, even at its most naive level.
Another way of looking at it, is the model is perfect, we are just not living up to its impeccable standards.
Then again I'm sure capitalism could be readily defined as anything that tries to defeat the model.
Re: Supply and demand anomally
Argh. Yes, I missed that one. Thanks for pointing that out before my next cabinet meeting...ha, ha. I wish.
Still, fixing rents would be a great mechanism for cooling the markets gently if they were let's say fixed at today''s price with no opportunity to increase them for five years.
I was going to say at a lower point than today's market, but just how that arbitrary figure can be arrived at without overly penalising the fair landlords that exist already or piling huge costs on councils being required to trundle out armies of surveyors to fix it at 0.5% of rateable value beats me.
Sometimes a mass extinction event seems far more preferable than the work necessary to properly fix things. Oops, I think I've contracted BOFH syndrome. ..and I like it.
Re: The Missing Piece
The housing market is one huge artificially manipulated cesspit, so far removed from an economist's ideal it might as well be measured in Narnian lions teeth.
Every breath government takes impacts on house prices and anyone buying in either knows the risks or is plain stupid.
If your house is an investment, well you have to take the downs with the ups.
If your house is your home it matters not one jot how many lions teeth it's worth now.
If you think the beautiful landscape out of your kitchen window came with the deeds, well you're either Lord Muck or completely deluded.
If you think I'm paying one penny towards sharing their loss, then come outside and I'll attempt to share some of the pain from other Tory legislation that clearly had no impact on you.
Supply and demand anomally
In the article it considers rent fixing below the current "equilibrium" to be a cause for greater demand, which in custard doughnuts case is true, but people will generally only rent one house, while I would eat 1p custard doughnuts to an early grave.
Demand is inelastic, as in, rent fluctuations have little effect on rental demand.
What lower rents would achieve is a re-appropriation of property, less people will see the buy to let as a good ride and sell / not buy in.
This would indeed reduce the availability of rental property, but it would also reduce purchase prices back to something sensible and within the reach of those who historically never had a cat in hell's chance of buying a home.
Those new home owners have now reduced the demand for rental property, perhaps to a level that if rent fixing were removed, the market would find the new equilibrium was little different to the fixed price.
The final cure to Britain's woeful housing shortage is for us to fall in love with high-rise once more, but this time don't fill them with children and junkies, keep them for the privileged few who have made it into their thirties without feeling the urge to grow some sproggs or indulge an habit society can ill afford. That ill-fated group would fair far better at ground level anyway.
Re: Human Nature
Wikipedia will one day become the de facto source of all knowledge on this planet, not unlike the Encyclopaedia Galactica. However to reach this revered place it must be accepted by everyone to be true and factual, something which today seems unattainable. It is so because some entries are biased and have been written with alternative agendas in mind by individuals and organisations that seek to distort the truth. These contentious articles do not overtly advertise they are such and that is where Wikipedia and the rest of the internet fails.
As a user it is difficult to see what is generally agreed as right, honest, correct, etc, from the rest of the guff. Everything is busy promoting itself as the truth, while it is only the users diligence and tenacity that might eventually cut through the crap and see it for what it is.
If web-pages could be rated by users and those users votes weighted by their historic use / abuse of the system then we might get a little nearer to an acceptable marketplace for knowledge.
The internet is one of the best foundations to build a democracy on, but underpinning that has to be a comprehensive educational system that transforms children into rational thinking adults.
The war shouldn't just be against terrorism, but also ignorance and disinformation, the breeding ground for all the worlds troubles.
A fleet can deploy drone outriders to detect incoming torpedoes and counter with an inner ring of drones equipped with, short range, dart like torpedoes, designed to intercept at high speed.
I anticipate the drones would be small and torpedo looking, with a propulsion system capable of fleet speeds. Deployed from the air some twenty miles from the fleet, they should give any commander a sense of ease.
Alternatively the drones could be nothing more than seafaring copters. Again, dropped into location from a seeding drone, they float along the detection perimeter listening for their quarry. Once the fleet has passed beyond their operational zone they leapfrog to a forward point or return to a support ship to be refuelled and redeployed.
Or...Just drop floating hydrophones from a drone and recover them with the same drone using the ultra fantastic hook and eye tech.
Wouldn't it be nice..
..if a worldwide consumer group got hold of the reins for the rest of eternity.
A group that defines standards for all things and in this case operating systems.
An OS would then be expected to meet ALL the standards in every iteration it churns out and thus support the old programs that had also adhered to the standard.
New doc formats, for example, would have a requirement that they are accessible by older programs, its just that the older program would not display the flashing neon banners and such like, that the new format offers.
If installing the latest Windows was just that simple, but it isn't as you now have to factor in a whole gamut of devices and software that has ceased to function.
We only need to look at how the instruction byte Intel had taken ownership of has become perhaps the most inefficient part of x86 architecture. Even when it was obvious this byte was going double they still squandered the remaining resources left in the first byte, so now we have four byte instruction sets that could easily have been implemented in just two.
No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off
Gimme, gimme, gimme
"So you want type C functionality on your PC. Hmm. Well here's my pitch"
"I can install a PCI card at a cost of £25.99, with a front panel in a spare 5 and a 1/4 for £15.99, but then you're 450 watt PSU will need tearing out and replacing with at least a 750 watt "Ultra C" compatible. Ooo I'd say £75ish for a middle of the road one. Add to that, my time, VAT and several cups of tea and you're looking at £180 to add the new USB standard to your tired old i5."
"What? You don't want it now. You'll buy a new PC with it already crammed in. Would you mind waiting a few days while I swap my shares in PSU inc for PC inc ?"
Re: BT Retail used to be masters at this
I managed to sort my phone v's broadband contract in a very neat fashion indeed.
When the contract came up for renewal I transferred my phone number to a voip provider and negotiated a broadband only contract.
The phone service is way beyond what my ISP offered with many features, I would normally have had to pay for, supplied as standard.
I use my normal phone and have never had a problem.
£21 ish for broadband £6 ish for phone and the knowledge I can keep my exact same number no matter where in the world I move to, which incidentally means I can call anywhere in the UK from anywhere in the world for free and they similarly can call me as if I was still in Blighty.
Re: A candidate...
...and 500 years later, another race who had never known of mankind's existence, stumbled onto the devastated remains of Earth's once bustling civilisation.
Keen to understand what had once existed there, and even more intrigued as to how this once great people had vanished from the galaxy, they set about excavating through hundreds of feet of cockroach droppings.
Many months of fruitless search ensued until the day they stumbled onto a data centre.
It took their engineers many months more to coax something out of the scant remnants of data, but they finally found their answers to the question that had plagued their minds so long.
The head of the team stood proudly in front of the galactic media screen to announce their findings.
I will loosely translate what he said.
"Dear citizens of the inhabited planets and those in between. After sifting through many mountains of yummy droppings we have discovered what happened to the humans. The conjecture was right, they were indeed invaded by Mars and the chaos that prevailed was sufficient to cause the population to end it all. I shall now read you some of the man from Mar's statements, please ask your children and those of a weak disposition to leave the room....."
err I can't translate the rest as it seems to be gobbledygook.
Re: Job advertisement
Dear Spork / Hen
I am writing in response to your job advert for a chick / vulture, which I saw on The Register.
I have many sober moments, where I can recollect instances of drooling over the latest technology, the photograph's of which I have attached in lieu of a relevant CV:- Me and my CBM Pet: me and my Amiga: me and my Dragon: me and my ZX81, all of which demonstrate I am deeply rooted in the world of frustrating little boxes of joy.
I have never passed myself off as an expert in this particular field, but I understand how plagiarism works in principle and am willing to learn the art.
My current remuneration is linked to my productivity. As I am mostly down the food bank, I'd suggest emailing would be preferable to contact by telephone.
I look forward to you swooping down and grabbing, what I modestly consider, this glorious feast of talent very soon.
P.S. can I book September off as I'm going to a music festival in late August and will still be a little delicate.
p.p.s. I have also attached forty pages of continuous feed printout of a word processing program I written in 6502 machine code.
p.p.p.s I don't think the authorities will allow me to enter America to work at your offices there.
@ big_D. You are of course right, but it's the smaller engines that are still linking which raises the spectre of another way to skin this cat.
Perhaps, and I'm not trying to be contentious here, but perhaps we accept Google is the search God and that all other engines should be subservient to it.
That is, other search providers crawl through Googles lists to display their twist on results and not go it independently. Therefore Google does the de-listing work and this censured list becomes the de-facto face of the internet.
Or am I being totally naive, to trust Google not to take absolute advantage?
Yes, I probably am.
If those linking to the data are to be let off the leash, then it will fall to the data providers to review what they hold?
I can see many data sources considering removing everything that is older than, let's say two years, to ensure compliance, instead of the painstakingly expensive option of case by case.
Ah, now it all becomes clear. Historic data will once again be back in the hands of the privileged few and therefore can be rewritten to suit without any oversight from the billion or so people who at the moment are invested in that data.
1984 by the back door. "We were never at war with Max Mosley. He fought courageously against the Nazis in stockings and leather thigh boots"
I was told texting back STOP to unwanted texts would work, but it certainly wouldn't work if that was a blatant scamming job searching for live mobile numbers.
Why not force the carriers to accept a forwarded text from their customers as an instruction to stop all communication from that number?
So you want to send little Timmy an email...
...well, err, this is what I recommend.
"And how much will that cost deary"
"Well, only £18 per month" uttered while coughing "for the first 6 months then £70"
"Sorry deary, did you say £70"
"Errrr yesss, but you get all the boxing, porn films and cricket you can take"
"I don't want any of that"
"I'm afraid it's part of the package, this isn't Wollworth's pick and mix"
M$ & HP will work things through....
..in the usual manner.
It hasn't happened yet, as the worldwide recession is still a factor, but once things are on the up, M$ will do it's usual job creation rally by releasing an "upgrade" that makes half of your hardware obsolete.
And when I say obsolete, I mean completely useless as the drivers will no longer work.
HP and other players will also do their usual and refuse point blank to write new drivers, while happily pointing you toward their new shiny shiny.
This is how the old school create growth in a stagnant market, by ensuring what you bought five years ago has to be replaced.
Re: anti-smoking laws?
A good example.
Just as well America banned slavery when they did, as the cost to reimburse the industries for lost profits would be prohibitive once this little gem gets imposed.
If companies wish to trade as super humans, with rights and privileges elevated above humanity, then I should think it only fair they suffer punishments for transgression far and above those experienced now.
Maybe, when a man in a white lab coat starts to approach Google et al with a syringe loaded with an overdose of Pentobarbital they might consider a deathbed conversion away from the dark side preferable.
Re: I'm gonna start a new business, anyone care to join?
Err, I have my litigants guide to America and it suggest the term "allegedly" be scattered liberally through any statement I make regarding the performance of a named company. Also by talking in a rounded way they cannot squarely corner me.
As the alleged terms corrupt and incompetent are not allegedly the sole preserve of the companies you mention, the only other identifying features, that of, filling well heads with the left over goo from a nearby motorway construction, is also a practice of a community of travelling salesmen with a sideline in lucky heather.
Might I suggest, in the future, when your contract states you must use a preferred political donor to fill your well head, it would be most advisable to pay them off in stuffed brown envelopes and then get a bunch of gypsies in to do it. It will be months, rather than days before the weeds start poking through and the whole thing starts to crumble away.
I'm gonna start a new business, anyone care to join?
The business is drilling for oil as close to American shores as possible.
Obviously I will use the most incompetent and corrupt local company to dump whatever they tell me is cement sludge on my well head and...well...wait for the disaster.
After the company has been dragged to hell and back through the courts I can then sue the American government for having the audacity to pass a law that makes it illegal to fuck up their coastline, their livelihood and the waterline of million pound yachts.
It's only fair, as most American globals are fucking up society better than a politician on PCP.
Re: Souds good
Now that would improve the morning, as my extra head could wake me up at about ten, in time for morning break and not at nine in time for the departmental meeting.
"Hey Zaphod, did you say anything stupid while I was sleeping through that meeting?"
"NO, of course not, I vehemently agreed with everything the boss said"
"So you did say something stupid"
The expertise shown by several of his staff recently might suggest a merger with the NSA is more appropriate.
As I've explained many times
the dust on my workstation is proof of my explosive activity and not as you assume, total lack of effort and sloth like pace.
The marketing department insists the perfectly working software needs more glam, more pizazz, more flash.
Eventually as a user I am forced into removing their blinged up garbage and have a need to find another provider, one that hasn't been around long enough to have a need for a marketing guru.
Why anyone, other than a teenage chav wannabe would find a need for ninty percent of what Adobe shoehorns into its products is beyond reason.
Oh and while I've got Adobe in my sights, your flash player, with all that extra gooeyness would be much improved if the moronic caption telling me the escape key will cancel full screen mode has a subtext telling me the caption which is currently ruining your viewing pleasure can be stopped forever by typing Yes, yes, I know already, otherwise please wait several lifetimes for the crappy message to go and then restart the video from the beginning.
Re: HMG ????
Me too, but no thank you.
They also offered to upgrade me to 50Mb, but, I smelt a con, which I guess would involve the Super Hub being installed and the price going up beyond inflation AGAIN!!!!!!!
Re: have you tried switching it off and on again ?
"Have you tried sticking it up your arse ?"
"I'm afraid my arse is too full of excuses for the poor service to fit anything not first pulled from my managers arse already"
VM, BT et al
I hope while you are sitting on the sidelines, some of your revenue gets funnelled into the fighting fund for this honourable challenge.
After all, you too will benefit if the whole snooping debacle gets slapped down and you get to remove all the encumbering intrusions that GCHQ forced on you.
Don't forget, technology is shaping up to be an unstoppable force, one which could eventually see all your subscribers signing up with snoop free Brazil ISP over a next gen satellite array.
OK not soon, but the old line to your home is eventually going to get challenged in the market place, so think on.
Great article and supports my opinion that music is becoming more like puréed faeces to better take advantage of the utter disdain we have for fidelity.
Agent Lorrie I see a car parked on double yellows. Can you process?
I am two miles away, can't you do them over yourself
No I'm in Bangkok.
What on earth are you doing monitoring parking while on holiday?
I'm not on holiday I live here.
Well they pay me minimum wage, which allows me to survive admirably in Thailand., so long as I get 5000 parking tickets per week, and assists are just as good.
How does that work?
Well my pet dog has Google glass that streams live CCTV from all the known black spots. When he sees a car he instinctively tries to bite the wheels which activates a bleep on my smart watch and then I contact whoever is closest to the scene to attend and ticket the offending vehicle .
Wow, that's amazing.
Not really, I have to glance at my watch from time to time, which is really tedious.
Re: Anti-Virus is not "dead", profits are flat
You'll be wanting two operating systems then.
One to go online with and one to work offline with.
I do that now.
The online OS is a Linux distro and the offline one is win 7.
and they both get wiped and restored to squeaky clean every now and again with a ghost restore.
Not 100% infallibility, but in this day and age I'd settle for better than a toss of the dice, which seems to be the norm in security.
"Hello, Google? Yes, I'd like some advice, please"
"Sure sir, how can we help?"
"Well, you know how you manage to operate all over the world, and like, not be accountable in any of those jurisdictions"
"Well, I was wondering if you could send some of your guys over to us at the NSA to help us achieve the same status"
"For you sir, anything, we'll have Bob, Charlie and Dave visit you tomorrow, where should they report to?"
"That's OK, Bob knows the way"
Re: The future is APUs
I agree, I built my current desktop around an AMD A10 5800K and while gaming wasn't my first goal, it makes a good fist of it. It runs many modern games at full tilt and maintains my number one criteria for quietness, which not having a discrete, noisy, GPU card certainly helps.
As it is I have one huge chunk of heat sink on the chip with a low noise fan and but for the PSU fan that's it. The exhaust fan is still waiting to be fitted if the temps go up, but that hasn't happened.
I would highly recommend APU chips for any general purpose home build.
Re: A quantum computer running Windows?
Seeing as MS tends to create software that exists in the superposition state of working, but not working properly, I doubt they have the capacity to write the code necessary to lever anything of use from a quantum computer.
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