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* Posts by Martin

11 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

Microsoft's Bing feeds you, tries to keep you captive

Martin
Pirate

@Jason

//.I've built three XP PCs this week in the UK and the PCs are all set to UK settings (natch) but everytime the IE8 setup runs through it defaults Bing to the Spanish version.

Donde esta UK version???? ///

search microsoft KB, you will find the reason/patch..... this is a known "feature"

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Yamaha DVX-1000 2.1 home cinema system

Martin

hhmm

//Someone we know also bought that 102" Panasonic plasma monster (for 50 grand or so) and even Blu-Ray looks crap on that. Still don't know why he bothered.//

...maybe its because you need to be sat in the neighbouring county to watch it at the correct viewing distance?

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Hotmail users bitch and moan about new interface

Martin
Paris Hilton

@ Daniel B

Daniel,

your 2mb limit must be due to your customer profile?

my hotmail has a 5GB inbox, currenly with 15% usage... so plenty of head room.

ok, its not the best, its better than yahoo my "other" main account is GMail.

the only reason i keep the hotmail is continuity..... ui have had a hotmail account since @1998 ... so everyone knows it and doesnt have to keep changing every 5 minute!

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Spam filtering services throttle Gmail to fight spammers

Martin

lets think out of the box

..voice sampling

if they cant pronounce their "V's" properly or pronounce Guitar as "gee-taar" with a hilly billy redneck accent they that should know it all on the head.

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Home Secretary in ID card gaffe

Martin
Black Helicopters

tehnically correct?

i am sure the core databases wont be direcly connected to the web.

check out most EAI designs and you will find the core data sat back offiice side and the data presneted to the front end via some operational data sotres and or a web facing portal

the databases wont be "online" but surely the data would?

otherwise how could any validation against the records take place?

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Driller Killer unleashed on UK public

Martin
Thumb Up

banning?

@ Paul Buxton

if we banned everything that was crap (let alone offensive - e.g celebrety karoke highschool wish for the moon ) what would ITV fill their schedules with?

....ok, you have my vote

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Great British fry-up under threat

Martin

Omelettes?

You can't make Omelettes without breaking eggs!!

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Paper calls for local ID cards

Martin

Local Cards, for local people!?

Well.... I suppose you could just slap a photo onto a local authority libray card? they already work on the principle of proving your identify and a local residency.

or, why not jsut make veryone submit their photos to Experian (tm)** as i am sure their credit references and address history tracking systems seem to know more about myself than I could recall accuratley and they probably have more info about me than they divlulge via there credit reports.

the "market profiling" can probabaly predict my future behaviour and patterns than any underfunded government schemes!

or, inf fact experian could issues ID and Natioanl loyalty cards and pay us for the information that would ebnefit them more than us, and if we could use the loyalty card as esso and tescos, or when we vote or access local and natona services maybe we they could send us further annaul payments in lieu of the information they collect.

this would have the benifits of costing the citizen nothing, and they would find a chaper way of adminitering the scheme than the government and lets be honest they are going to get the data from tescos, bp, barclay card and who ever anyway!!!

** Other credit refernce agencies and products exist...

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An inconvenient update

Martin

Statistically Speaking

The world is littered with statistics, and the average person is bombarded with five statistics a day1. Statistics can be misleading and sometimes deliberately distorting. There are three kinds of commonly recognised untruths:

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

- Mark Twain

This quote from Mark Twain is accurate; statistics are often used to lie to the public because most people do not understand how statistics work. The aim of this entry is to acquaint the reader with the basics of statistical analysis and to help them determine when someone is trying to pull a fast one.

Think about how stupid the average person is; now realise half of them are dumber than that.

- George Carlin

Things to Look Out For

----------------------------------

47.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

- Steven Wright

Where did the data come from? Who ran the survey? Do they have an ulterior motive for having the result go one way?

How was the data collected? What questions were asked? How did they ask them? Who was asked?

Be wary of comparisons. Two things happening at the same time are not necessarily related, though statistics can be used to show that they are. This trick is used a lot by politicians wanting to show that a new policy is working.

Be aware of numbers taken out of context. This is called 'cherry-picking', an instance in which the analysis only concentrates on such data that supports a foregone conclusion and ignores everything else.

A survey on the effects of passive smoking, sponsored by a major tobacco manufacturer, is hardly likely to be impartial, but on the other hand neither is one carried out by a medical firm with a vested interest in promoting health products.

If a survey on road accidents claims that cars with brand X tyres were less likely to have an accident, check who took part. The brand X tyres may be new, and only fitted to new cars, which are less likely to be in accidents anyway.

Check the area covered by a survey linking nuclear power plants to cancer. The survey may have excluded sufferers who fall outside a certain area, or have excluded perfectly healthy people living inside the area.

Do not be fooled by graphs. The scale can be manipulated to make a perfectly harmless bar chart look worrying. Be wary of the use of colours. A certain chewing gum company wanted to show that chewing gum increases saliva. The chart showed the increase in danger to the gums after eating in red and safe time after chewing in blue. However the chart showed that the act of chewing would have to go on for 30 minutes to take the line out of the danger zone. The curve was just coloured in a clever way to make it look like the effect was faster.

Perhaps the most important thing to check for is sample size 3 and margin of error. It is often the case that with small samples, a change in one sample or one data item can completely change the results.

Small samples can sometimes be the only way to get the analysis done, but generally the bigger the sample size, the more accurate the results are and the less likely a single error in sampling will affect the analysis.

For example, people will go on about how 95% of children passed their exams at such a school and 92% of children passed their exams at a different one, but the sample sizes are not actually big enough for the difference to be statistically significant: in a year group of 100, a 3% difference is a difference of three students, which makes the difference insignificant.

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US airforce in $500m push for better jet turbines

Martin

Vectored thrust is an awesome thing to behold

Boy you should have been in Britain in the 1960s when Rolls-Royce inveted the worlds first operation system for the Harrier! - you would have been impressed.

or even in teh 940s when we gave you Frank Whittles the Jet engine technology - ok, it was a bad ida to give it to the Soviets !

still not as stupid as cancelling the TSR-2 program!

and why have flying cars? - as Birmingham and Glasgow have shown - just build roads in the sky!!!?? (M8,M6, M5 etc)

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Qantas spunks AU$100m on 'pterodactyl'

Martin

Dress to left or right?

I would imagine the logo changed direction so it faces in the direction of travel.

This apprently gives a more progressive forward looking dynamism to a logo and its perception!

....it must be true, a man in the pub* once told me how he had secured a post at acompnay by recommending they change the direction of the arrow in their logo based on this very principle!

Did any one complain when they added or removed the wings? - how much 4X or fosters do you need to have drunk to see flying Kangaroos?

(* - ok it was a health food shop, but then the cultural reference doesnt work!)

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