* Posts by JLV

358 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

JLV
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and that is the problem with global warming and ecology

Way too much of the agenda is driven by ideology and emotional issues, as exemplified by Greenpeace.

This gets us strange results such as a Germany that actually emits more CO2 after 100B Euro of renewable subsidies (in their sunny climate). It gets us scientific advisers who get fired, albeit for daring to question GMO hysteria. It gets us policy being set by people who I not trust to run a small company, let alone spend untold billions of our money. It gets us people who reject projects that do not fit 100% within their narrow worldview - an example being a high capacity transmission line being blocked in the SW USA because it could carry "fossil electricity".

There are reasons to support a shift of energy policy, even for those who are skeptics. Oil will not last forever, even if the peak oil scaremongering is likely overblown in the short term and intended for the hippie faithful. And a fair bit of its reserves are in countries that, frankly, I would rather see getting considerably less of our money.

Choosing to sit on the fence is not without risks, because idiots are currently in the driver's seat.

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

JLV
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Re: Ah!

correction:

Trevor, you are now as a god sky fairy to me. ;-)

@ Trevor - good show sir!

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

JLV
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Re: one film edit

"The director, cut" edition

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Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

JLV
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Re: @ Lallabalalla

" != (

i.e. I meant notice the quotes.

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JLV
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Re: @ Lallabalalla

"the sheeple"

Notice the parenthesis. Meant to signify irony.

Do get a brain :-)

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JLV
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@ Lallabalalla

>Sorry, Apple-haters but the battery life is also very good

What's with the dumb fanboi-sm? I like iPhones too, but this is a genuinely clever technical innovation and it has nothing to do with Apple's capacity to innovate or not.

Oh, of course you think that your clever arguments are gonna convince the heathens to come and worship @ Apple.

Just like some of the other commentards apparently can't read a review of a clever Android-based phone without needing to bash Apple. Which of course is going to convince "the sheeple" to realize the errors of their ways and follow the one true way.

Do grow up.

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JLV
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Re: And the best part

and excellent to read in bed as well.

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JLV
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Re: Chile

>the English would have stopped rubbing the German's noses in it years ago

They should. Poor man. Imagine how horrible it is to be afflicted with multiples noses and then being being made fun of.

Disgraceful.

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Finland ditches copyright levy on digital kit, pays artists directly

JLV
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Facepalm

utility?

Taxes can often fail to generate as much revenue as they cost to administer. Ask the French and "L'impot sur les grandes fortunes" which consistently failed to collect as much as it cost to run - too few payers, presumably too adept at tax accountancy.

By the very nature of what is being taxed here, where it is being taxed and collected and the intent of re-distribution to a nebulously defined set of recipients, music levees must surely be fairly high up the administration cost scales.

That Abba quip is telling - remuneration is likely directly linked to sales volume, rather than necessity. And most certainly directly proportional to the amount of money spent by any given artist in paperwork to firmly position his or her snout at the through.

But spare a happy thought for what your wallet has achieved. All those happy bureaucrats at the collecting societies. All the politicians being able to "do the right thing". POS vendors and extra staff to track the collection. Remuneration for deserving artists who are likely already, and justly so, well-connected to your country's cultural intelligentsia but somehow can't make ends meet on their own merit. You know, those guys & gals who are repeat guests for shows at your local state TV broadcasters.

But we still have those still-starving young artists hoping to make it big.

The funny thing? So many many of our countries have reached for the same stupid solutions to a non-problem. Mine, Canada, has. Almost would make one think that governments love to tax regardless of actual social or fiscal utility, just in order to extend their bureaucracy.

Which of your countries do not have such a system? Are your musicians any worse off?

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

JLV
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Re: Good article

>And I believe your beliefs make you an asshole.

Speaking as an agnostic with definite atheist tendencies, I think the whole "holidays vs Christmas" thing is kinda silly, from both ends of the spectrum.

Like another form of PC-speak, where someone is "vertically challenged", rather than "short".

The holidays around Dec 25 are time off holidays for most workers. They happen to be originally motivated by something that might or might not have happened 2000 years ago. That's besides the point, for me, but they are important enough, on most folks' schedule, for work or family reasons, to warrant easy identification during communication. "Christmas" seems to be the natural choice and easily understood.

Otherwise, if we successfully wiped out Xmas as a designation you'd end up with "the holidays in Dec" and the "holidays in April" (Easter). A bit silly, innit?

"Joe, please make sure the program identifies the correct non-work days around the April holidays."

And Halloween being All Saints Eve originally? Surely another candidate for "the October 31st Holiday"?

Myself, I find the "sky fairy" terminology a bit over the top. A bit in-your-face to believers and I am relaxed enough in my non-belief not to impose it onto others. But at least it has the shock value to remind people that one person's belief is another's superstition.

Insisting on re-labeling a public holiday's convenient and generally accepted designation because of its, fairly tenuous (because of lack of actual observance by most), link to Christianity seems rather pointless however. Let alone caring overmuch about not offending other religion's followers, when you can be fairly sure they would feel no compunction not to label their own holidays naturally and probably don't care either way (traditional Muslim doctrine rates Atheists rather lower than Christians).

Just as pointless as the folks stridently insisting on "Christmas" in fact.

Happy Holidays, or Merry Christmas, y'all. Whatever floats your boat. Live and let live ;-)

p.s. now, if only my the cafe I am in would turn off their @*%$& Holiday carolsl!!!

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JLV
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Facepalm

Job?

Is it his job?

What part of "personal video streaming service" do you not understand?

Now, since you clearly need some detailed explaining, verrrry detailed, I refer you to the other posters who warn of the risks to one's career when telling off sufficiently elevated higher ups to take long walk off a short pier in piranha country because "it's not your job".

Point is, it may not be his job and I hope he was on call at least, but there would be little upside to telling the little dictator to buzz off. The only forgivable thing about the I-will-bug-folk @ 6 AM for non emergency is that, from India, timezone differences to some parts of the world (I'm @ UTC-8) pretty much _always_ screws someone, one of the many endearing traits of dealing with it.

Should I type just a little slower for you?

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

JLV
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Re: problem...

>Book Uber, get into the car, issue fine

Upvoted for common sense but

wouldn't that be legally considered as entrapment? Though I agree with your sentiment in principle.

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JLV
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Re: Money

So true.

After poking fun at Zynga a few days ago, I clicked on its "major stockholders" section of Google Finance. Guess what, I recognized some of my mutual funds.

Oft overpaid idiots, mutual fund firms. 2% (Canada) to manage someone else's $? Whether you make them a profit or a loss?

Nice work if you can get it. And certainly enough $ bilked to pay for all sorts of spiffy ads & "unbiased" investment advisor kickbacks.

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Google pushes 'go' on Android Studio

JLV
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Re: Yuck

Eh, eh. Rational Clearcase anyone? Round 98 or so...

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1074580/clearcase-advantages-disadvantages

- 4 (separate) services to run on Windows, before you could use it.

-each time I boot I got about 3-4 notices about "urgent" CC problems on those services, before I even thought of bringing up the GUI to manage anything.

-back then I didn't know version control software, and the need to use a control applet with about 10-15 tabs, each with 10-15 fields, certainly didn't enlighten me very much. A model of how to design interfaces.

- our clever architect/tech lead team had a 60-70 page document on how to use CC, but it basically kinda boiled down to checking one checkbox in one of the 15 tabs, somewhere, 90% of the time. Oh, and dunno if they didn't understand branching or CC didn't do it well, but branching was basically used in a broken fashion for about a year or two.

Most of my work was in-database, and I only need to check-in files 2-3 times a year, so I would forget the whole miserable mess each time around. I finally made a deal with my colleague and neighbor. I would help him with particularly hairly SQL queries and he'd wrangle with CC on my behalf on the rare occasion.

Good times.

I tried a bit of SVN and it seemed OK, but I really like git and the fact that it meshes in so well with bash and the command line. Still finding my way around, but it works quite well.

YMMV, but please do use a VCS, on your own if your shop is too backwards. World of difference and don't let an abomination like CC disgust you like it did me. You'd be surprised how many folks still rely on copying folder full of files as a backup.

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JLV
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upvoted, but...

>IntelliJ is built in Java. So to use it you have to expose your machine to Oracle's vision of a runtime

Well, I ain't no fan of Java myself, but, in the context of an Android dev environment, wouldn't many other tools besides the IDE proper require you to have Java? So, it's not like you are installing Java just for the IDE.

(Still teed-off that my printer (Brother!) required a Java applet to configure its wifi and that JRE doesn't have a proper full uninstall on OSX, as I subsequently found out. Very 1990's, both).

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It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

JLV
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Re: unintended consequences

Good points, which is why I am very curious about how the laws, and lawsuits, are going to evolve with regards to self-driving cars and trucks.

Right now we have a regulatory situation where most software is more-or-less exempt from getting sued, most of the time, for defects. On the subject of road traffic and driver error, we also have copious case history of damages and indemnification procedures, funded through insurance, for driver-caused accidents.

And we have a history of rather more extensive damages where the fault can be attributed to shoddy work by the car manufacturer. But most accidents are caused by drivers and/or road conditions or maintenance-caused mechanical failures. Not by manufacturing defects as such.

Let's take as a hypothesis that a correctly implemented self-driving car can be made to drive 10x as far a human driver without causing an accident.

If there is an accident attributed to say the Civic 2025's self-driver software, I don't think it will fly to say "oh, well, let's grant damages as if a human driver caused it by gross negligence. and keep it in mind that it is much safer in aggregate". Or "geez, you signed the EULA, didn't you?"

I am guessing that car manufacturers will be hit up for much larger damages, at least until case law stabilizes.

So, even much safer self-driving cars (no, didn't say we were there yet) may take some time to take off, precisely because I think that the software will in this case be held to a much higher standard. Is this an entirely rational or desirable approach, if software could be made safer than human control?

p.s.

Wonder if the same principles guiding the airline industry could apply instead. The Brazil-Paris flight crash was due to problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447 with the instrumentation and software, but Airbus didn't get sued to oblivion either, they were just expected to fix it thoroughly (yes, there are lawsuits pending apparently but aircraft manufacturers generally don't get dinged too much).

p.p.s. what kind of idiotic website is going to use vbscript in 2014 anyway?

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NORKS: We didn't hack Sony. Whoever did was RIGHTEOUS, though

JLV
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You could always watch Team America. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372588/

Though it's making fun of Kim Jong-il, not Kim Jong-un.

Oh, and it probably makes fun of the USA as well. Kinda.

I'll watch The Interview. I dislike Sony, but the Kims even more so.

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Angry Birds to angry words: Rovio flings 14% of its staff out the door

JLV
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Some corrections seem warranted...

as Zynga and King Digital are finding figured out, building a sustainable gaming business is a very tricky job passing off a one hit wonder as a major investment opportunity is a very neat trick.

as Zynga and King Digital investors are finding out, building a sustainable gaming business is a very tricky job

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=ZNGA&t=5y&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

It's kind of a balancing act when a very small team lands a very big hit on mobile. I think the model going forward is to adapt the movie model, where you have the people who make the movies and those who distribute them. Both can be rewarded, but one hit movie does not a major studio make.

Maybe something where the small team pockets the profits from their initial platform and then partners with an established, non-abusive (cough, EA, cough), game company to port it to other platforms. Well-done, the major publisher can make money off an established, low-risk, game. The small team can pocket the big $ and see if they can build a steady business.

But... nothing quite as cool as a $7B valuation, eh, Zynga?

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Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1

JLV
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Paris Hilton

dumb question... how to install "out of band"

By coincidence, yesterday I had finally decided to be brave and install 5.0 on my Nexus 5. The reason I had held out was the reported wifi bug where you lose wifi.

And, to be honest, I also always wait for any Apple update for a few days to see if the path blazers have had issues. Still waiting to install Yosemite, for example, more than a few days.

Anyway I ignored all the OTA notifications for 5.0 in the last 3 weeks.

So, yesterday, when I finally did look to install Lollipop on my KitKat 4.4.4, I went to Settings, About Phone, Check for Updates and was told I was current (presumably for KitKat). No sign of Lollipop.

Put in a call for support @ Nexus Canada or Google Canada and got a call back.

After having me check for updates at the same location, the support person put me on hold. When she got back she told me I had missed the rolling OTA window and that they were putting out a new one that should be better anyway.

So, my question is, if I want to keep it simple, do I have to take an Android OTA when notified, as she said? I saw that there were ways to install manually, but I am really looking for a built-in "upgrade to the latest version", triggered at my convenience when I feel comfortable ? Only for major releases - I assume KitKat would have found a KitKat 4.4.5 out of OTA schedule regardless - is that correct?

Paris, cause I feel a wee bit clueless.

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

JLV
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>Seeing mostly men? Then you’re the problem.

BS.

I have never treated any woman differently at work from a man. I suspect many of us haven't either.

Yes, yes, and I do remember the recent article (much more factual, IMHO) posted a lady in IT and about the guys hitting on her and being general pests at trade conferences. Like many of the commenters I was horrified and believe the guys responsible should have been reprimanded if not fired.

And, no, I don't generally prefix my remarks with something about discrimination against men. We still are in general better off than women.

But... back to this article.

Why do you feel the need to lay some guilt trip on us? If no women seek to work in this field, that is regrettable, but it is also largely their choice not to. Will you be writing an article any time soon about how women are at fault for not having enough males in the nursing profession? No? Didn't think so.

Now, if I was a manager and chose not to hire or promote women, then yes, you'd have a point. But I am not, many of your readers are "just" techies and you did not qualify your blanket criticism in the least bit.

By all means, I don't mind if you encourage us to take steps to increase diversity and be accepting of women in our field. I don't mind if you remind us not to engage in any sexist and unpleasant activities. For example, going to strip clubs with your buddies is your business, if you're into that. I find it profoundly distasteful when it this is done in an after work context and you happen to work with women. Yes, some women will be OK and will be having a laugh but it is insensitive to think none will object or feel uncomfortable. And, yes, I know companies where this happens.

Constructive criticism is not the same thing as telling us that the reason so few women work in IT is all due to us and not at all due to the preferences of those who choose not to pursue IT.

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Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby

JLV
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Clam XAV - (took Sophos out for hogging)

Tesseract - command line OCR coming from Linux

Picasa pix mgr (from Google)

Dash - (freemium) offline IT documentation browser

Macports - to install more goodies (see also Homebrew)

LibreOffice

Not free:

Sublime Text editor

Pixelmator

Affinity Designer - vector graphics

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

JLV
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Re: Legal?

>Their T&Cs say you have to pay 100% of the week's stay

There are plenty of valid reasons why hotels have no-show policies that include billing you if you've caused them to lose business by reserving and then not showing up.

I am NOT saying that you were not justified in giving those folks the boot. And a full week's stay seems a bit over the top too. I am saying that the facts need verification in your case, not just a blanket dismissal that such terms are contractually null and void in general.

I would hate to lose the convenience of guaranteed reservations because honest business owners could not enforce reasonable terms.

p.s. Why do I anticipate an impending name change for the Broadway Hotel? Not necessarily a change of management scumbags mind you, but a name change.

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JLV
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Re: Boohoo

And, if you notice, unlike what the article states about trolls crawling out, many of those low reviews are more than 3 weeks old. This ain't just the interweb lynching a poor wretch for a clumsy (and stupid) attempt at muzzling undue criticism.

Granted, the amount of upvotes to those poor ratings is probably motivated by their recent press coverage.

Personally, unlike some other posters above, I don't particularly care for businesses giving out frequent explanations/rebuttals, even apologies to bad reviews. When you have a business which is constantly justifying itself, you get the impression that they spend more time doing PR than fixing their product.

That's different when it's have a business which generally gets good reviews and feels like they ought to communicate with a few disgruntled customers.

From a quick perusal of the older reviews, this hotel just seems to stink, period (and probably literally too).

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Bloke, 26, accused of running drug souk Silk Road 2.0 cuffed by Feds

JLV
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Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent???

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29950946 / Huge raid to shut down 400-plus dark net sites

"""The so-called deep web - the anonymous part of the internet - is estimated to be anything up to 500 times the size of the surface web."""

Really? There are 500 gb of dark net storage for each regular gb of cat videos? Paid by whom?

Is this in the family of Stephen Fry tech expertise? I see the potential in boosting viewers fears and therefore ratings but ... what a moron. Numeracy and common sense, whazzat?

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FTC tells 'scan to email' patent troll: Every breath you take, every lie you make, I'll be fining you

JLV
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... but it's the law

Not exactly

"cannot threaten legal action against a business unless it has sufficient evidence to pursue a patent infringement case."

Point is, they know they have no case to begin with but they are _pretending_ to anyway. That's what the 16k is about.

Whether or not a patent is valid is one thing and many of them are silly. But there is some logic to making patent users liable under _some_ conditions. Think stolen goods & "your Honor I knew that $50 for a Galaxy S5 in a back alley was dodgy but I am not a thief".

Problem is that trolls like this then abuse not only the patent system but then go after innocent bystanders chosen for their likely low defence capacity _and_ lack of vested interest, due precisely because they are bystanders. Seriously these guys make regular patent trolls look like Mother Theresa.

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JLV
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Re: Point of responsibility?

I am not sure about the exact legal subtleties here, but it seems to be a relatively common occurrence that trolls go after the customers instead, especially smaller ones.

Whether or not the troll could then be pointed back to sue the manufacturer is one thing, but the troll's gamble is that a small biz will instead fold and pay them a fee to avoid the possibility of going to court. I guess the troll can always opt to walk away if someone tries to fight them.

Excellent move by the judge here, too bad it can't become a blanket penalty to all trolls for frivolous threats of this specific nature. But maybe it'll serve to lower the barrier to similar troll penalties through case law.

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Hide your Macs, iPhones and iPads: WireLurker nasty 'heralds new era'

JLV
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Re: OK so let me get this straight..

>keywords: OS X applications

So, like I am wondering. Will the AV community actually have to do some work on OSX for once, rather than repurposing stuff to scan for Windows malware coming in somehow? And, will they catch WireLurker, or just claim it's not a virus, but user-installed?

Wonder how successful their threat handling will be. I recently ditched my (free) Sophos AV for excessive CPU guzzling doing live scans. Using ClamXAV, on-demand instead. But, since these puppies haven't really been blooded on OSX, dunno how much to trust them...

That said, it sounds like it's not exactly easy for the average (Western) Joe MacUser to catch this, at this point.

As usual, those who believe Macs are inherently immune are naive. Inherently more robust (than Windows) most likely, but that's about it.

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

JLV
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Re: Disney patents internet search censorship

and this is not your everyday normal 17 year expiry patent either, no sirree.

This will be extended ad-infinitum, because it's Disney's.

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This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

JLV
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Re: Not as simple as that indeed....

You left out:

4) More affluent societies tend to emit more CO2.

We really need to address that, because, if the climate experts are right, that is gonna bite us on the ass. Of course, some of you are gonna debate that the experts don't know, but just consider this is a risk assessment scenario. Just because you don't know everything doesn't mean your best long term bet is to ignore a credible risk.

In the past, we've successfully managed to dial down other types of pollution, mostly because, as we got richer, we could afford to care and substitute. We need to do that ourselves in this case, and convince newly industrializing countries not to follow in our previous footsteps.

And, one lesson we need to learn, quickly, is that good intentions, or even spending, counts for diddly wrt to CO2. What counts is hard reductions. If we waste money sponsoring solar in sunny Germany or biodiesel in Iowa that is money not available to pursue better methods. If the Canadian government wastes money on Ontario solar pork, that is money not available for climate change mitigation.

Naomi, and a whole of other greens, are confusing their political goals with engineering results.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

JLV
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

> bright-coloured black square wheels

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JLV
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Re: Pulled off on MS Office?

Upvoted!

and the ribbon is a showcase of why Sinofky & co are idiots wrt to user choice and a clever (hah!) Ballmer should have seen it coming*.

Within 3 weeks of installing Office 2007, I had found a 3rd party plugin that restored the menu, albeit in really skeleton form. So it can be done, easily.

I get that the ribbon may have better useability for some other people, I do.

But how difficult, if some hacker could do it, would it have been for MS to provide their customers with an option of choosing menus? Keeping in mind that some users seem to want to stick with Office 2003 until you pry it from their cold, dead, hands, precisely because it still has a menu?

Our way or the highway indeed. Well, that highway sure looks crowded now.

* I think Office sales are more entreprise driven and run on different cycles than Windows entreprise upgrades so the ribbon issues may not have been as apparent in customer adoption metrics. Of course, when Metro got universally panned in beta, it was apparent. And apparently ignored too.

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JLV
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

I don't do desktop Linux but how recent is your experience?

Most distros come with a pretty nifty package manager a la apt/yum. On the command line it will be something like apt-get firefox. And... drum roll... a desktop distro is bound to have a gui front end for it.

I think you are right to bash the old style installers you are talking about, but they're mostly gone now. Try again?

Having said that the constant flux in Linux GUIs is what drove me off. KDE 3 was good enough.

Choice is _not_ a panacea, for core, needs-to-be-used components, especially wrt to newbies.

For example, Python suffered greatly from an overabundance of GUI toolkits. Newcomers had no obvious, elegant and mature default GUI toolkit to work with and were told to evaluate the choices themselves. Just where you want to be as you finally jump into a brand new technology.

This cycle started up again with web servers, until Django got general acceptance and became the default to use. Not to take away any credit from good alternatives, like Flask, but a good-enough default also forces the wannabe challengers to up their game in terms of power, useability and stability. I've had the displeasure of working with several crappy, buggy, immature Python web servers and GUI toolkits which should never have been widely recommended as choices and it does a great job in undermining your confidence in the system as whole.

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

JLV
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Re: Am I a criminal?

No, you'd be doing him a favor.

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Hey Apple, we're gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

JLV
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I like the idea of a next-gen language that is C-inspired, a la D or Go. By that, I mean relatively simple and limited in its syntax, but still powerful, with a clean syntax and built for speed.

i.e. lump the C and Python/Bash/Ruby/LISP lessons together. Add a (small) smidgen of C++**/Java as required and stir.

Agree that Apple has little upside from actively promoting Swift to OSS, but will it quash it?

Wonder if they'll pull a Sun/Oracle and get all hissy on the API/test suite whatever...

Or will it be benign neglect* a la MS/Mono?

OTOH, what is the downside to Apple if Swift takes off? Can't see it being pushed by the other big players, so the competitive risk is low. Its unique selling point is probably largely tied to a clean integration to iOS/OSX APIs anyway. A good way to acquire some geek cred if it becomes popular? Java was good for Sun's profile, even if their own apps on it seemed to be the least polished of breed to me.

Still, sharing more than strictly necessary doesn't seem that much in Apple's DNA.

* actually, I have no idea how much/little MS has supported Mono.

** Not dissing C++ here. Languages like Swift don't need the full complexities of a low-level system language however.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

JLV
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slightly OT, but can I make a special mention?

of much annoyance @ Amazon wrt Canada?

amazon.ca == very limited content, no mp3s. Try searching for "mp3" funny.

amazon.com - we won't stream ppv or sell mp3s if you have a Canadian CC.

I have wondered how much is due to Amazon's stupidity and how much is due to the CRTC "looking out for Canadian's interests" by foisting Celine Dion, French language and Canadian content requirements upon us. They've certainly been very active in trying to corner Netflix lately.

Here's hoping for a reasonably-priced access to GoT (I have only broadband + Netflix)

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iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

JLV
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Re: Retina iMac

>Best ever computer. If you don't want one of these right now, you shouldn't be in IT. Or in life.

Please accept my award for "dumbest ever statement".

As a frequent, but not exclusive, Apple user I find it annoying how much the slightest positive opinions about their products elicits howls of "fanboi, fanboi". After all, I hardly notice much difference between my OSX bash shell and my VM's Ubuntu. Postgres, Python and Django run seamlessly on both. We are all people of the 'nix, why can't we just get along?

Then I see statements like yours to remind me why snobbery & herd-think is associated with Apple use ;-)

The screen is an awesome change, yes, but I mostly hope it will relaunch a pixel arms race in laptops and/or standalone screens. An iMac is entirely the wrong format for me. That screen should still be going strong long after its computer has become a paperweight. On the other hand it is not portable anywhere. Good for many, not for me.

Kudos to Apple for upping their game and I hope everybody copies high res offerings on computers. If anything it might actually bring down prices on >2560 screens.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

JLV
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Re: 10 years

>as a species spend more money on spectator sports

True, that.

Some years back there was a critical article in a business magazine about the latest round of cap in hand from the ITER folks. Same magazine that usually flags global warming concerns.

I think that the amount of $ ITER was asking was about 3 weeks worth of global oil consumption back then. Granted, spending it on ITER by no means guarantees a favorable outcome, but with fusion such a potentially elegant escape from emission concerns that it behooves us not to be overly stingy with it.

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JLV
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Re: To the skeptics...

Yeah, I agree with the healthy dose of skepticism.

But maybe the investment is to spread the risk? Considering how many $B are going into the ITER fusion project, even a large corporate parent might balk at taking a fraction of that type of risk solo.

And, if they did strike gold, I wouldn't be surprised if the public and politicians claimed that the tech was too beneficial to belong to any one corporation and belonged to humanity as a whole. Spreading the ownership pie might help there too.

Still, I remain quite skeptical of the whole thing.

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Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant

JLV
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Sounds like sloppy police work, being explained after the fact

I mean, how difficult would it have been to ask Iceland for cooperation for a clearly criminal entreprise?

Granted, if it was a server in a known-to-harbor-miscreants state, they might have had reasons not to do so. But in this case?

If I were the judge, I would not accept the government's "non-US server means open season on hacking" claim. Not least because the US will itself have a hard time making a case for for redress if its servers get hacked from abroad (cough, China, cough).

Whether or not that should get Ulbricht off the hook is another story, he does sound like he deserves being put away for a while.

Same crap as with the blanket eavesdropping - US law protecting individuals somehow does not apply when foreigners are involved. Good thing for them they are not a tinpot country somewhere, because no one would put up with that crap from a tinpot country.

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Want to break Netflix? It'll pay you to do the job

JLV
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expect failure

I rather like Netflix's approach that things will fail and you need to recover gracefully. Most IT professionals will agree with that. But Netflix goes one step further and actively develops systems that get the carpet pulled from under them, in the form of randomly failing components. Call it productive paranoia.

A lot of IT pros could learn from that. And, in terms of security, a lot of IT could learn from the same approach, tweaked to trigger failure on unusual/excessive access.

"What, the same IP is now downloading 1MB of confidential data/minute, for the last 3 hours, whatever for?"

"Hmmm, why am I seeing a 'select * from credit_card_table' with no customer_id specified?"

Far as Netflix's programming goes, it suffices amply to keep my brain sedated on the boob tube. The key is not to expect to find something you want on Netflix. Chances are it won't have it. Rather it works if you are content with the occasional gem* that you find on it. For less than a quarter of the price of basic cable TV, I am quite happy with it. Not least because I find cable TV a ripoff and general TV programming dumb as a bag of nails.

* N. has lots of really good BBC content in Canada that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

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French prez mulls mobe, fondleslab tax for telly

JLV
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Boffin

bloke never met a tax he did not like

£3/phone

say 25m phones/yr assuming 2 yr cycles

But not if you pay TV tax already, say 50%

Say 3x 25 x .5 => £37.5m/yr

Questions to Mr Hollande: how much will it cost in civil servants to admin this tax?

How much IT & biz overhead to collect it?

Yay, I can see where your poll ratings come from... Les edentes te saluent.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

JLV
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next?

Judge in Pakistan orders defamatory articles about Pakistani politicians and/or military taken off search.

Really, why should the world care about French court judgments more than say Pakistani ones? This is just as obnoxious as US extra territorial meddlings.

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Take THAT, hated food! It's OVER, tedious chewing! Soylent strikes back with version 1.1

JLV
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Not half a bad idea, if it delivers

Hey, I like food and can cook fairly well. French origins. And believe deeply in watching one's diet.

But sometimes you can't be bothered to cook, nor do you want to eat greasy unbalanced fast food. Just wanna pass by the pump.

If, and that's a big if, Soylent (takes cojones to use that name) delivers on healthy, why not fuel up with their goop from time to time?

Am also a big believer in food contrast. If you eat lobster all the time, what's special about lobster? Eat simple most of the time, splurge as much as you can. This stuff sounds like it would even make a wonderbread & velveeta sandwich seem foodie.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

JLV
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Re: Dear reader

I agree with Tim, the solutions will have to come from increased research and tech, best delivered by self-interest. On the other hand, a gradually increasing carbon tax is an excellent way to discourage emissions, as long as it is not just a tax grab.

Companies don't really care about oil. They care about profits. If they can sell you the energy you need in another form, they will. So what if some corporate dinosaurs don't adapt? Let them go out of business. And on the consumption side, companies will be happy to minimize their energy costs and well-run ones have accountants to point out energy saving potentials.

Was at a climate march 10 days or so ago. So, so hippy. Discouraging to see how many attendants seem sure that sticking it to the man or hugs will automatically save the day. Really risky to let that bunch drive the agenda but they are admittedly more aware of the problem.

Let's not forget assisting poor countries through the transition. Coal burnt in India is just as bad as coal burnt in near Berlin and limiting population growth is also a big way to limit emissions.

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JLV
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Re: The problem with this article...

2 things:

What are the comparative scales? How many of our 80m/day barrels of oil go into non-burn use? I think you'll find it a small fraction. Long term, it's actually an incentive to preserve oil by not burning it. Coal? Likely even less non-burn usage.

Second, let's take plastic. It might pollute the oceans and all that, but as long as it is not burnt, the carbon remains locked and out of the atmosphere.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

JLV
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Re: Even if James Comey got everything he ever wanted ..

IIRC France classified unauthorized use of encryption as deserving of same penalties as unauthorized military-grade firearms, well into early 90s.

Warrants already exist to compel decryption. Apply the damn laws, stop inventing reasons why the state needs unfettered access all the time.

France, and the US, have both had cases where spy services started spying on opposition politicians. That's the scary risk to democracy, rogue spies serving incumbents and what's to prevent it without judicial oversight?

Without absolving the US one bit, almost none of our Western countries have avoided this post 9/11 hysteria. Even granting the need for intensified counter-terrorism intel, we should at least get transparency and sunset clauses.

Thank you, again, Mr Snowden.

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

JLV
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Joke

>drop their payload

uh, uh, I can see the next James Bond plot already. Recipient is Prime Minister or the like.

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Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI

JLV
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Re: Where are the crims?

What about selling lists of addresses which seem to be vacant to criminals? Winter, you would expect a thermostat at low for 3-4 days to mean owner is away. Ditto smart tv and that works in summer too.

Granted, break ins are not usually hi tech and might even be trending down for various reasons. But there is still a lot of potential downsides to an internet of things that allows extrapolation of your daily habits in the real world. Seems like we are at the same maturity level as Outlook running vbs ifrom emails, back in the day. Or me clicking on my buddies' exe joke attachments.

Naive.

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

JLV
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Ford Focus (audio by MS) and Bluetooth

Rented a Ford Focus twice this year. Nice cars, if you forgive their Microsoft-powered audio system. In both cases, I was just trying to play some tunes off my phone, nothing more fancy, wasn't about to be dinged on roaming charges.

iPhone 4 - In a week, I never got it to Bluetooth, barely managed to get the crap stereo system to accept a linein on its 3.5 jack. Half the time it would try to switch to another source.

Nexus 5 - 3 weeks. Bluetooth recognized right away. Well, recognized enough give me some kinda 911 warning every single time I started the car with my phone in it.

Music? No such luck, their voice guidance kept on telling me to do configure something in their menu-driven system to source music through Bluetooth or somesuch. Except, there was no sub-menu of that name, or any kind of function related to their advice, anywhere.

It was almost worth it not having music to laugh at the truly huge mess MS manages to make out of a car's stereo system. Mind you, despite being a nice drive, the Focus uses 3x as many switches and options to provide the same basic car control and status info as my Civic, so the stereo ergonomics fit.

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