712 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
Re: Post PC
"My wife did it. Her second book was written on an iPad."
Excellent and I hope it sells well.
I'm *assuming* that the opus was continuous prose? Dawkins wrote The Blind Watchmaker on his BBC B+ (albeit with that large clacky keyboard). Lest we forget journalists phoned in copy typed on a TRS-80 via accoustic coupler over Strowger switched phone lines from various Front Lines a few decades ago. Joyce, Auster and Powell weaved their narratives on typewriters (similar ergonomics to a laptop or tablet/keyboard/stand).
I suspect the future will include workstations and laptops for those of us who need to include significant graphical content with our writing and for those who need to edit and convert multimedia content or corral and brand data. These might well be niche products, one hopes with lifetimes measured in decades.
Icon: Trench coat of course. Shorthand pad in one pocket and Talkman in the other.
200 'mostly in' HR?
They must have thousands, high thousands of employees for that number of HR. As the products *were* designed by an outside agency and manufactured in China, what did they all *do*?
"If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it."
Don't over estimate the power of rationality and don't under estimate the appeal to emotion in these matters. This is a yes/no referendum. 13% undecided and a 4% gap on the most recent poll I can find.
Re: Lies, damned lies and messing with popcon data
@ Flocke Kroes
Might be worth mentioning that default Debian is Gnome. KDE and XFCE4 take an *active choice* at install time, either 'alternative desktops' route during install or installed afterwards. Installing KDE on a Gnome system can lead to fun (phonon/pulse &c).
Might also be worth mentioning that the *default* for popcorn when using the text based installer is 'No' , i.e. Popcorn results not sent.
Interesting non-the-less. Just remember what happened to Sinofsky who trusted telemetry data....
Re: Very confusing
Had a ride in a Moscovitch once, tecchy at University bought one while I was doing my phud. Very nice little estate with chunky tires and wicked heating - December in Brum.
Seriously, there is something to be said for 'bog standard this is how it works', especially if you train people.
Mine's the greatcoat and ushanka
Re: Incoming Rant
"...To search, you just start typing and a search field appears with your text in it. It's pretty much impossible to discover this feature..."
Here we go, here we go, here we go....
I'm all for new flat pastels, but one needs to be able to find applications and files having allowed Nepomuk to index one's gigabytes.
Use the electricity supply cables?
I may have totally misunderstood this of course as I have no local knowledge.
This geezer is offering wireless connections, so no line rental.
Prices seem fairly steep by UK standards though, even given the lack of line rental. I personally could get by on his cheapest tariff as I don't do streaming. Others might need much more.
How does the 'last mile' work in US? Lower population density = harder I imagine.
Re: Learn the First Rule of Computer Science
@ Someone Else
Are these updates automatically applied as part of the general routine update thingy I used to click on in the days of Tiger?
Or are they clearly marked as *firmware* updates (which I take to be an analogue of a bios update) which is a whole order of other?
If former, I have *some* sympathy.
Re: Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android
I stand completely corrected, and educated, and thanks very much for the SLES link.
Re: Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android
> "Ah", some apologist might say, "the licence allows them to".
I understand and agree with the point you are making, but does the GPL really require Redhat to release their source code to the *public*? I thought the only requirement was to release the source to *those using the binaries*, i.e. Redhat customers. The rest is an act of generosity by a relatively small behemoth (if you see what I mean). You don't see SLES source available to the public and you don't see clones so far as I am aware. I'm not sure it is the same code as OpenSUSE at all.
Oracle Linux's desktop will come with LibreOffice rather than OpenOffice. I take some consolation from the irony.
I imagine the support is 'bundled' to some extent with other products for a total price. They've kept it going so it must pay.
"...the average organisation had 20 per cent of its employees' devices running XP."
Did the analyst really say that? I'm wondering what kind of average and if they had any cutoff on the size of the organisation. A self-employed person working from their shed would count as 100% XP otherwise. Some averages would ignore that tail of extreme values but some would not.
Did they really mean 20% of *PCs* in a large collection of organisations still run XP?
Icon: the nearest I could find
Creative Content is very close to Creative Commons is it not?
Surely not an attempt to confuse?
I see the Web site is not up yet, will need to keep an eye on the logo...
Re: Poor Bug Fixing
Another example of what application developers can do.
2nd Law is of Thermodynamics as others have pointed out.
I'm off out while it is not raining
Re: Poor Bug Fixing
"[$COMPANY | $OPEN_SOURCE_PROJECT] products seem to experience entropy worse than many other - they start off really usable, fast and lightweight, and gradually erode into a big brown dysfunctional mass."
I thought that was a general rule, you know, like the 2nd Law? Perhaps some teams can stave it off a bit longer (*BSD, Slackware) but it gets them all in the end.
There is a school of thought that suggests the 'big....mass' actually contains a lot of information about the problem being modelled by software.
If this comment is real and a correct perception of events, the Redmond based managers appear to be getting rid of *remote workers*.
As commenter points out, that is somewhat odd given the 'mobile first, cloud first' mantra.
The Tramp: Softies should all get reasonable jobs with the skills they have. I wonder what the Finns will be doing?
Re: I'm not surprised. (And there's some practical reasons too.)
"Paper-based systems don't stop data theft but the concept of stealing terabytes of data by photocopying/photographing properly secured paper documents is farcical, not so for ephemeral electronic data."
I accept your point about physical access.
However, the spies at present give the impression of grabbing everything they can and then sorting it later. Photographing paper will simply mean being far more selective about what they target. Pre-searching if you like, so that 'metadata', who is meeting whom, who is on what committe, will become key.
The tramp: I just sit on the bench and watch who is coming in and who is going out.
Re: There should only ever be one thing "first" in business...
True, but I suspect Microsoft's collective decision making hasn't decided *which* customer(s) yet. Hence the blunderbus approach.
Ichan's idea of splitting into Enterprise/Consumer orgs looks increasingly sensible (yes I know he just wants the money)
Other way round
I was having problems with the adsl from Orange. Kept phoning the nice (and remarkably informative) chaps in Mumbai. They could not seem to do anything their end. On the fifth call, the chap suggested I phone up the accounts number and ask to cancel the service. I didn't especially want to leave, they are all the same in the UK basically, but I did phone. I got asked why I wanted to leave, told the (obviously UK based) account staff member about the problem (capped connection speed) and the five phone calls.
Miraculously, original problem sorted in a day.
The tramp: very low AMRC
Re: Sad, but hardly surprising
"...their fan and customerbase..."
I can deal with customer base, I can deal with technical managers who buy Microsoft systems because of compatibility and legacy requirements and perhaps because of costs, but I'm having real difficulty with the idea of a Microsoft fan.
And it has just occured to me that the absence of actual fans might be the problem that Microsoft has.
The Tramp: sitting in the sun watching the world go by. Haven't seen a Microsoft device yet!
Re: I don't know anyone
"He writes that it's likely Apple's wearable computer will be enclosed in sapphire glass and have a long, thin screen which is quite different to the usual round watch-face."
Think of it as more of a messaging and health monitoring device strapped to your wrist and less as a portable timepiece.
Quick check on watch wearing: tends to be males who habitually wear suits. Non-suit wearing males and most females no longer seem to feel the need to strap a small metal or plastic pod onto their arm. Suspect status messaging by suited males but I can't read the codes (see icon). Apple will market to the non-suited ones about use cases that don't involve time.
Teenagers? Almost none. One or two with digital watches.
Another translation, with some logic that makes sense to me anyway.
"[...] my system uses the superheated gasses that have been through molds in process and sends them back to preheat 'cold' molds. Reduces energy costs for mold temperature control more than 20% over the traditional systems. It's the same system everybody else uses, mine 'just' has an extra leg."
@Don Jefe: and your invention would be patentable (I think) in the UK and most other countries. Should you decide to patent your invention in the UK, and should the patent be granted, and should someone infringe, you would have the option of taking action here in the County Patents Court (low damages) or in the Patents Court in Chancery (minimum 100K type costs, high claims). Your case would be heard by a judge who is a qualified patent lawyer. Comprehensive pre-trial documentation in highly structured formats. Requirement to agree *facts* with defendant.
Perhaps it is the idea that you can just pop down the local District court and run a complex technical case past the duty Judge and a local jury that is part of the problem?
PS: do you run molding facility yourself and use this for competitive advantage or do you licence widely to molding facilities? Just interested.
Re: Oh Dear
"I guess 'Cloud Storage' might have an end in sight in the USA!"
@Mr_Pitiful: just added a bit to your phrase. I suspect none of this tat is patentable outside of Texas.
"Our terminal held for over 24 hours at 95cm, but didn't survive the hour at 1M (the only tank we could get on short notice for internal testing was a couple of cm too short). The extra couple of CM make a big difference."
Would that just be the extra pressure or some other reason?
Such a small difference suggests to my uninformed self a seal that is *really* at the edge of its design at 95cm.
Think of the children: I'm on the scrounge for a free maths lesson idea here.
Re: RHEL's choices determine CentOS
Read this thread on CentOS-Devel just in case the SIGs are of value to you in a production capacity.
Springdale Linux (dark horse)
CentOS mission is really about servers and now cloud/openstack I imagine.
Google groups chat implies that Springdale Linux (AKA PUIAS Linux) intend to remain independent of CentOS  and rebuild an EL clone from the source. A look at their servers  suggests a 32 bit build already (I'm seeing an i386 boot image tending to suggest it isn't just 32 bit packages to support 32 bit programs on a 64bit host). Maybe there is some older hardware lurking in Fuld Hall?
Scientific Linux (Fermilab) have also decided to push out an alpha release of EL7 built independently .
Interesting times. My theory is more reasonably independent teams rebuilding from source means less mistakes and more error checking.
Just waiting for Oracle now [!]
Pints all round.
 http://springdale.princeton.edu/data/puias/7.0/ [mirrors in usual places]
Re: RHEL's choices determine CentOS
"Are additional repos against your religion?"
No, certainly all for extra functionality with external repos. Some places may have rules though, and my understanding of EPEL is maybe MATE 1.8 gets upgraded to MATE 1.15 or something in a year or two with different configs &c = more work.
Re: RHEL's choices determine CentOS
"IIRC, EL7 supports MATE. So you aren't forced to use Gnome 3."
MATE needs you to enable an additional repo.
If people want just a 'stock' CentOS without extra repos they will need to choose KDE or Gnome at media download time. Gnome ships with the 'classic' extensions enabled so it looks familiar (two panels &c) but still uses a composited screen.
Re: RHEL's choices determine CentOS
"...let me know a good distro that uses tested, efficient, and proven technology and not some limited-feature/beta nonsense...."
You could even try Oracle Linux and come over to the dark side with Java :twisted:
The troll: I'm going back under my bridge now
Nice as desktop
Although CentOS is primarily a server - and now cloudy - OS it works very well on the desktop/laptop(*). The RHEL Beta/RC and lately the prerelease CentOS builds have worked almost without flaw on an old laptop.
EL7 marks a new departure in other possibly less welcome ways...
Redhat have previously chucked the source code on ftp.redhat.com as a series of srpms. Now the source is deployed via a git repository, in fact a whole collection of repositories, one for each of the 9000+ packages. If I have understood the situation correctly, updates to the source code will be pushed as commits to each of the git repositories. RedHat push the commits, CentOS (and anyone else) can get the modified code. The git account represents the only connection between RedHat and the rest of the EL food chain.
The CentOS team have written scripts to allow package source to be harvested and the time line of changes to each of the git repos to be tracked so others can establish what is pushed over the wall by RedHat. This means that the other EL clones (Scientific Linux, Springdale Linux and, well, yes, Oracle Linux) will have to assemble the code in the same way or use the CentOS binaries to build on...
...Scientific Linux (CERN) have already started working with CentOS
Free software is developed in public, and the CentOS team are genuinely proud of buildlogs, seven.centos.org and the various exchanges on centos-devel with much more information available.
One of the slightly more entertaining moments for Reg readers may have been the 'professional discussion' around version numbering that took place on centos-devel. See
and the subsequent replies. I think there is enough of a narrative in that thread to keep a couple of sociology PhDs going for some time.
(*) You will need EPEL and the NuX Desktop (http://li.nux.ro/repos.html) repos enabled to get the usual codecs/video players going. You might need the Centos-Plus kernel to get wifi drivers for some older wifi cards. The stock kernel has been slimmed.
Pint: for all involved.
Re: sad but true.....
Goethe wrote about this as did Marlowe (himself a spy assassinated in a 'house of recreation' in Deptford) and Ben Jonson.
Where is the modern Wedekind/Berg to write the opera as a cautionary tale?
The tramp: no temptations when you are poor
PS: Can we be careful with the word travesty please?
Re: Actually more like part of the scenarios to "Quantico"
"In September 1978 Janet Parker, a medical photographer at the University of Birmingham, was accidentally infected with smallpox and later died. Her illness was initially diagnosed as a drug rash, but soon afterwards pustules appeared on her body. Mrs Parker's mother also developed smallpox, but survived. The ensuing investigation never established exactly how the smallpox virus had escaped from the university's laboratory."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/smallpox_01.shtml [ near bottom ]
Not just 1950s and 1960s. I sometimes pass the building that was pointed out to me years ago as the lab in question. Makes you think. Try the Wikipedia page and the summary of the Shooter Report if you want nightmares (I live and work in the areas mentioned in the report).
Re: What's to look forward to?
"How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8? Or IE 6/7 to versions 10 or 11?"
I actually agree with this bit (but I tend not to call people names as that just provokes a negative response).
I currently use a well designed and maintained system at work with Windows 7 like clients (we log into a server), roaming profiles, lots of software, and it is reliable and reasonable to use on core-duo/2Gb class desktop boxes. Secure RDP sessions mean I can keep the employer's data on the employer's system and work at home now and again when needed. Classroom kit just works. On the occasions when it doesn't, a quick call to support initiates a remote session (students always find that funny) and usually the problem is sorted without wasting too much of the lesson.
I can't help contrasting that with a previous employer. 50:50 the classroom kit would actually boot and when it did it took 10 minutes. Support was summoned by messages in a bottle. You had to take your data in on a stick as the classroom kit logged into a different domain from the staffroom clients and the staff domain was purposefully blocked in classrooms.
It should be said: no plans at all that I am aware of at current employer to go near Win8.
"Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions and the interface is cleaner too and it supports open standards unlike the older proprietary only versions."
Now that is where I have to start disagreeing. Microsoft's definition of 'support' for open standards is like Putin's definition of 'democracy'. I have plenty of words to describe recent MS Office interfaces but 'cleaner' isn't one of those.
"TfL noted that while Uber needs to clarify certain elements of how its operates with regards to its Netherlands-based Uber BV branch"
Provided tax income is maintained, I remain neutral on this issue.
The Tramp: can't afford taxis. Can't pay with money for buses in London. Shank's pony.
"Anyway I'm spending this weekend with him so it's all good."
Cherish those weekends.
That is all.
Re: When you can't hold it in your hand, or worse you have to right click on it
"Time and time again I work with skilled engineers who can (and do) rebuild jet engines, steam engines etc. they are by far the most frustrated by computer work. My conclusion is that they cannot get their hands dirty in order to fix the problem. Likewise, people cannot pick up, hold and test out computer tools. It all has to be done in the mind, and in my experience most people cannot get their head around this lack of touch / needing to visualise the problem, layer by layer."
@ Custard Fridge
You have a point here eloquently made.
Reading The Hand by Frank Wilson (role of tool use and dexterity in the development of the brain) and wondering on the possible misapplication of Piaget's ideas by Alan Kay and the rest of the Xerox gang.
As Dabbs said in his article, I have noticed some people have problems differentiating the window from one application from the general mess on the screen. It is as if they do not 'see' the current window-with-focus as something distinct. Bringing me round to Gnome Shell.
Coat Icon: I'm out of here before the downvotes start
"We have a policy of trying to have the device looking similar to how it was delivered, so that if one of us drops dead, the pupil can at least go to somebody else who can take over."
Start from known state sounds fine to me. Not sure about why you got downvoted but good on your for helping.
Idea: Kiosk linux preconfigured with the basics you mention. Big fat icons.
Re: But these are actually intelligent people ....
"It seems to start with people telling themselves in advance they can't understand something. Then - surprise, surprise - they can't understand it."
I teach maths to adults. This is my world. I have various strategies. Not sure they transfer to IT very well but it can be done. Have patience.
"The laptop is nigh on 12 years old with a Celeron processor and something like 512Mb RAM so it won't run any post XP Microsoft OS which leaves me with the option of telling him to buy a new PC to just browse the internet with or sticking Linux on it for him."
That vintage it will have a CD-ROM drive built in I think (and a decent keyboard unless nostalgia is clouding what is left of my memory).
Try a Lubuntu live CD. Presentation basically same as XP, there is even a theme that mikes it look like XP SP2. See how a live session goes down before spending time on installing and adding needed software. Explain that the times they are achanging and the alternative is *spending money* on new kit. You might be surprised.
The tramp: I'm 'the old man' to my neighbours!
Re: Perhaps it is just sitting still for a bit...
Not the Spaniards, but the Dutch.
The Tower is but a step down the bank. Forsake the Uber and walk in the river air.
The tramp: I've always been here and will always be.
Perhaps it is just sitting still for a bit...
Is not London Eye but a few hundred yards across the river from where Pepys sat under a tree and played an air on his pipe during that little problem with the Armada? He was Secretary to the Admiralty at the time. All he could do was wait... no status updates in those days.
Is it possible that the Leary like reveries reported here arose from the simple fact of sitting for an hour in a slowly moving vehicle?
One hopes the various communications devices where quieted.
Pepys would understand the icon.
Re: Ancient technology
"Yes, you can get a few MHz out of a KT88 without trouble."
12 watts input at 28MHz.
Depends what you meant by 'low bandwidth'. Shannon and all that.
Re: Ancient technology
...and the low maximum frequency of the sort of power pentodes...
Here's me building HF transmitter output stages with me Dad's old EL35s and KT88s from the cinema P.As in the late 60s.
And we never knew...
PS: cheapo Denon box downstairs and Beyerdynamics and a phone amp upstairs in the man-cave. All toastie.
Re: Improving your reproduction
@ Frankee Llonnygog and all
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Music Library
Fortnightly podcast of live classical (chamber) music. Mp3 128kB/s bitrate. Very listenable and creative commons licence. Sound a lot better than the bitrate (if you see what I mean)
Enjoy. Pass on to others.
Re: Assessment methods
@Yet Another Anonymous coward: we don't want to put them off too early!
@Ledswinger: you got me there, I copied and pasted the handle this time
Most replies seem to be for a combination of exam and project work of some nature. That fits into what employers organisations always say about developing 'soft skills' (working in groups, time management, evaluation of performance &c).
So we have to make the coursework work somehow and stop it being a competition to see who can find the relative/friend/person down the road who is most prepared to help.
One observation: you don't want to test maths/calculations in each technical subject at age 16, otherwise they will be answering the same kind of questions multiple times. Perhaps some stuff on hexadecimal, floating point representation (covers some wicked maths that) and a bit of logic - in addition to the actual computer stuff of course.
Food for thought: Gove can change the entire exam system without even having to have a debate in Parliament. The education minister has complete control through various 'regulations'.
Good news for those involved in schools.
Picking up on Leadswinger's comment in the original article, how do we all think these skills should be assessed?
1) Timed written exam
2) Long time scale open ended project documented by code and report
3) One day project with live coded attempt at a vaguely realistic problem and full access to documentation/Web
4) Timed assessment using a simulated environment of some kind without Internet access
5) Anything else
"They reap what they sow, 12 years of Labour meddling in education and 4 years of inaction by the Conservatives coupled with intransigent teaching staff who are not up to standard."
Add in the previous 12 years of Conservative meddling and you may have a deal.
PS: this article is about the exam board not the teachers.
The tramp: classroom teacher for a tad under a third of a century.
what could possibly go wrong?
"...based on Excel and which uses Microsoft Office macros... ...this mission-critical system..."
Coat icon: off out now.
Re: More "management versus labor" mentality
"An employee knows the requirements of a job up-front, and traditional job requirements are that you work in the office or store or whatever."
@ Alan W. Rateliff, II
I see where you are coming from with that, but I think 'traditional' job requirements might be changing as we try to get more responsive, but that is another discussion.
Flexibility: This is in the UK context of course. What about the situation where a valued experienced and performant employee experiences a change in circumstances without a clear resolution in the short term, i.e. is sole carer for an elderly parent and parent needs hospitalisation? Anyone with experience of how that works will tell you about a) sudden discharge of elderly parent b) gaps in continuity of social service provisions due to communications between social services and hospital c) protracted 'needs assessments' to access support both physical (wheel chairs &c) and service (meals on wheels, home care assistant).
They need a bit of flexibility. Can't predict how long in short to medium term (long term that old geezer in the hoodie with the sythe will take care of the situation). What are you going to do? Say "no"? Sack them?
- NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED
- SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015
- BuzzGasm! Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS
- Worstall on Wednesday YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
- Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS