172 posts • joined Tuesday 20th February 2007 14:56 GMT
Intelligent Use of Resources
It always seems strange to me that in most of North America it is a given that no matter how little teachers are paid, it is considered to be too much. Yet no parent or voter ever seems to mind paying a high hourly rate to their BMW mechanic, dentist, hairdresser, or pool boy.
It is disturbing that so many people feel that money spent on educating children is somehow money wasted.
In all seriousness, can you ever pay a good teacher too much? Even a mid-range teacher will have an indelible influence on thousands of people over the course of a career. Is this really an intelligent place to pinch pennies?
(Paris, because, well - you figure it out.)
I can't believe that looking at the video actually RUINED the story for me. Talk about a disappointment!
There are beards, and beards.
For instance This Guy, who, unbelievably, is running for office.....
you have to look. this is the photo on his campaign poster.
Has It been a year already?
I guess that it's time for my once annual trip to hotmail land. Somehow the damned thing never dies, and somehow I invariably end up using it for something once a year. Usually to test another e-mail account.
Anyhow, I had a relative complain bitterly to me last weekend that all of a sudden they couldn't figure how to send an email since it became outlook.com. They're the kind of average non-geek user that uses hotmail, and they were rightly pissed off.
(Not that Gmail is remotely intuitive until you've used it daily for a month)
Re: Use too much Leccy? We will turn you off
"The point of load control is that you turn off those loads that won't cause too much inconvenience to large power gobbling corporations."
There, fixed that for you.
Re: Minor point
Oh if only he wasn't a British citizen and completely free of obligation to adhere to US laws...
Until he changes planes at a US Airport and finds himself magically whisked off to a sunny location to be imprisoned and tortured....
Contrary to what some Merkins believe, Merkin law doesn't apply outside Merkia
Tell that to Iraq... Afghanistan... Pakistan.... Viet Nam... and anyone stuck forever at Guantanamo.
Oh sorry - they decided that American law doesn't apply at the last one didn't they?
Re: Depends on the country
Canada too, and has been for decades. In a nutshell - and really it's kind of obvious - anything that the employer gives you is considered to be compensation for your employment.
Could be money, a Christmas bonus, an expenses paid vacation, bags full of acorns, lunches and dinners... it doesn't really matter. If you get some value from your employer, it's taxable.
Well, except for all of the Post-It notes and Scotch tape that you bring home....
I Be Afraid.
Right now the Facebook app is the one thing on my Android phone that is always half-baked. It has "Network errors" when nothing else does, it uploads photos that never arrive at Facebook, or which are posted four times. It hangs for endless periods.
In short, it sucks.
On top of that, Facebook is a company that I really don't trust, and I've long since stripped any "real" information out of it, and refuse to let it connect with any other site or app.
...the Facebook app has the ability to read settings for the HTC Launcher, the stock Android launcher, and the Touchwiz launcher – this, Android Police believes, is a smoking gun that indicates the app may become available as a standalone app in the Google Play Store as well.
Aha. I'm betting that the next "upgrade" to the Facebook app will try to tie it so tightly into the Android OS that it will be nearly impossible to sandbox. That's the moment when it will disappear from my phone.
Oh My God....
I'm not only reading an article about an alternate file system that I'll likely never bother to use, I'm also reading and enjoying the comment thread that follows.
I really better take to dog out in the sunshine for a walk.....
Re: Eh? Wifi?
FWIW, tried running it from USB instead of a DVD and everything is just fine. Odd bug that.
I'm liking the KDE a LOT, and am seriously thinking of changing over from Mint.
Re: NewsBlur - updated opinion
Ahem: "Due to overwhelming demand, free accounts are temporarily suspended.
By going premium you get full access to NewsBlur."
Re: Linux as a desktop is a failure, its time to move on
I call BS. Three years on Ubuntu/Mint with negligible problems. I was, and arguably still am a Windows ace, and have been up to my elbows in the guts of the thing. I also ran a Mac for several years. I would not go back.
I've got Photoshop humming along nicely in WINE, and the one thing that won't run under Linux (QuickBooks) is happy in a Vista Virtual machine. Otherwise I use 90% what came preinstalled, plus Chrome and a couple of other things that amount to personal preference.
Stuff Just Works. Every time. With significantly less virus alarms, update demands, reboots and pre-installed dreckware that seems to be part of the Windows world.
Unless you have some very specific demands that specifically require a Windows or Mac software package, there's no reason why 98% of the world can't get by very, very well with Linux on on the desktop.
Burned it to a DVD, stuffed it in and rebooted.
This is the first distro in a very long time that didn't automagically find my wireless card and allow me to set up my network in a couple of seconds.
I'm surprised. I spent ten minutes poking around looking for the right place to fix the settings, but never succeeded.
Eject DVD and back into Mint.
That said, the KDE environment looked very cool and useful, and I MIGHT try it as an alternative to my current Mint install.
Re: Not gonna happen
The current Canadian government is selling off the tarsands to the Chinese government. Any controls on foreign investment have pretty much disappeared in the general move towards sucking up to American corporations. Stephen Harper's own mother would be for sale for the right price.
I Am Filled With Dread
As a Facebook user from pretty near Day One, I feel qualified to say that EVERY time that FB changes stuff, they break it. Could you imagine Google designing an ad placement system that encourages users to post complaints and negative comments right below the ad? Can you recall Google repeatedly handling user privacy in a such a ham-handed fashion that even the people who don't care about privacy get angry? Can you imagine any corporation the size of Facebook that can't even manage to push out a functioning mobile app?
I am absolutely sure that these changes will just make Facebook one more order of magnitude irritating.
Given their resources, and the size of their user base, Facebook should have an interface - on my desktop and on my phone - that's second to none.
Just a guess
But this new and improved pay by bonk technology will turn out to be a) a pain in the arse for consumers and b) no impediment whatsover to crooks.
As for mating PayPal with Facebook? Yeah, right, I'm so gonna buy into that!
Rotten to the Core!
Hah! props for the tab containing PIL!
It's all about trust
Funny thing is, I'd actually trust Google enough to use that login for other things. Well, SOME things.
Facebook? Not on your life, both for the obvious privacy reasons, and because I assume that connecting anything to Facebook means a barrage of FB timeline spam* that I don't need or want.
No, Facebook is maintained as a tiny little island cut of from anything else in my life.
* Actually, the spam on Facebook is a great source of entertainment. Or more specifically, the comments that follow. Last week WalMart spammed us with news of their Green Student Challenge thingy, and the negative comments ran into the THOUSANDS. Broken up periodically by some poor social media moderator trying to convince people to behave nicely. McDonalds spam yesterday suffered the same fate.
Re: Lets see if this self-fulfills
I haven't found that for a couple of years - and yes I was victim to the "READ THE MAN PAGES" mafia back in the day. These days I find that forums are where all of the useful info is found, and that in most cases people are really helpful.
Of course it helps that modern distros (MINT for me) are actually able to install and run with 99% no problems. By the time you run into an issue it's usually a real problem with a real solution that someone has already found.
Re: I used to have the same problem
Picked up an older Dell desktop. The USB ports on the front are located under a bulbous protuberance that requires you to insert them pointing sort of but not quite upwards. Two stacked ports. No possible way to see which way they're oriented, or even exactly where they are. Four tries minimum to hit to right spot.
Re: Really, How Many Would Care?
People keep telling me this, but no-one ever can offer a link to a specific place or law. Web searches turn up nothing. I call BS on that old story.
Besides, every "real" camera in the world lets you runs of the noises.
Re: @ Barry Rueger
Quite an easy hack to turn it off on your nexus
I'm fairly hack friendly, and even ran CM for a while, but no, turning off the shutter sound is not all that easy on JB.
Re: Really, How Many Would Care?
Where? and how do they deal with "real" cameras, all of which AFAIK allow you to run silent?
Really, How Many Would Care?
Like dog plus 80% of world, I'm already downloading e-mail to my phone without BIS. In terms of data or power usage it's a minuscule thing. Push e-mail would be nice, but it's hardly a deal breaker.
I'm looking at the new Blackberrys to replace my Google phone not because I want or need BIS, but because I find the Nexus just isn't cut out for creating and handling information. By which I mean, writing an e-mail more than three sentences long.
I've been looking for BB reviews to get a better idea how well it will work for me, but have thus far been frustrated by the fragmentary and biased nature of everything I've found. Between the anti-RIM bitching, and the BB fanboi commentards, there is bloody little useful information to be had.
At least now I know how it will play with Gmail, which I use pretty much exclusively. I think I read that the BB will work OK with Google calendar. But beyond that, not much to go on.
For instance - real world battery life - not "if you turn off 4G." Battery with GPS, WIFI, and full phone function running.
For instance - how does the mapping and GPS compare to Google, or can I use Google's product on the phone?
For instance - how is the BB to use in cold or wet conditions - this is Canada after all, and the Nexus can be pretty irritating in snow and ice.
For instance - how does the camera rate? Does it, unlike my JB powered Nexus, allow me turn off the shutter click?
And, dare I say it, Twitter, Facebook, Google+....
Honestly, I thought that some of the reviewers who've had these phones for several week could have come up with a decently comprehensive review.
(Of course now I'll pointed to a half dozen such reviews. Oh well. (PS - a YouTube video of flashy features doesn't cut it either))
Multiplan and C64
Although I liked PaperClip on the C64, it was MultiPlan that made me sit up and go "OH. WOW."
A word processor was still like a typewriter with improvements, but automagically calculating numbers was just amazing, and I could see how far reaching that could be.
And yeah, WP 5.1 still rules.
The view from Canada
We're doing Netflix (US, via an add-on service to fool them into thinking we live there). The programming might be a season or two old, and the movie choices less than comprehensive, but we're paying about $12 a month, versus $40 minimum for cable.
For us it's a hands down easy choice. We're not TV junkies, and don't care if we're watching "this weeks'" episode of some show, so we could never justify the difference.
Admittedly Netflix lacks sports, and news, but I don't care about the former, and listen to BBC World Service in the car via smartphone for the latter. And surely Netflix' interface is horribly bad, and inconsistent to boot - some days it shows me "recently watched", some days it doesn't. No idea why. And I would LOVE to be able to tag things that I find and would like to watch later.
My frustration is the sheer amount of programming out there on the web that I can't (easily) get onto my TV. I'll happily pay for a single box that will get me the usual Netflix etc stuff, but also let me view streaming TV from websites the way that I can on my computer. And don't get me started about the madness of all of these regional series with differing choices.
Finally: An American remake of House of Cards? - that's just sad.....
Bang for Buck
We're one of those new Netflix households, via a new Sony DVD player. Plus a sub to Blockless.com, which makes NetFlix think we're in the US and not Canada, quadrupling our choices.
Upside: $12-13 a month, versus the $50-100 we would pay for a cable subscription.
Downside: a really mediocre interface, esp. on the TV; great holes in the selection, and no obvious way to guess what will or will not be available.
The geographic thing is critical. How come, for instance, US Netflix has more Dr Who episodes than UK Netflix? Weird.
All in all though, we've been lapping up a whole bunch of TV series that are new to us, if not to the greater TV universe.
C'mon, if it was a factory job everyone would be cheering about the increase in "productivity." I'm waiting until we can outsource the politicians.
Please! Quality over Quantity!
I'm amazed at the generally crap quality of most Android apps. There are exceptions, to be sure (Craigslist for example is brilliant, fast, easy) but overall I've deleted almost every app that I've downloaded.
Over and over I've concluded that app developers' primary concern was figuring out how to allow "skins" when their time would have been much better spent making the damned thing work properly. Or designing an interface that can be operated one handed, or in less than ideal conditions - it is a phone after all, not a desktop computer.
And I'm fed up with apps from large corporations that are simply annoying and unreliable. Yes Overdrive Media Player, I'm talking about you, with your "maybe we'll download that audio book while you're connected to WIFI, or maybe we'll wait until you're using the hideously expensive cel phone data package" and "no, why would we remember both the name of your local library, and your library number, when we can make you click through four or five pages to log in every time you want to browse for new books?"
I would LOVE it if Google et al actually spent some money to screen what they make available instead of relying on the usually useless user reviews.
Don't need 'em
Around here we have one PC running XP - very happily. That will likely need to be replaced in the next year to handle some software that's on the horizon that I'm sure won't cut it on this box. (Sibelius).
My box has been on Linux for a few years, on a five year old Dell box, with Vista running in a VM when I do our bookkeeping. I'll probably replace this box too in the next year, for more storage space, RAM, and speed. But that's a "want to" upgrade, not a "need to."
Probably my first computer upgrade though will be my smartphone, which is where I do a LOT of e-mail, browsing, and other on-line stuff. And I can see adding a tablet for a lot of idle around the house stuff.
My laptop was given a way to one of the kids when I realized that I was only opening it up once or twice a month.
Seriously? You're COMPLAINING about the difficulty of opening PDFs?
PDF is sufficiently ubiquitous that I don't even think about them. On my hard drive. On a web page, in a browser. As an e-mail attachment. On my phone. In a standalone app... I don't even give it thought. it just works. It's been at least five years since PDF presented any challenge at any time.
Now, if you want to talk flash web stuff in any browser on my Android phone.....
Ah, but What of Blackberry
I'm not an Apple fan (three years with a Powerbook cured me of that fetish), and consequently wound up with an Android phone. Although I generally am happy with my now ageing Nexus S, and with JellyBean, I have to say that I'm very interested in seeing what RIM comes up with this month.
At the end of the day my phone is used more as a computing device than a telephone, and the ease with which I can create documents and communicate them is what matters. I don't have a real need for Instagram or Facebook, but I do often need to write e-mails that span several paragraphs - something that's just too much hassle with a screen keyboard.
Between trying to compose in wet or cold environments, and battling the insanity of auto-correct, I usually leave anything important until I'm back in front of a desktop machine.
Yes, I want real clickety click buttons to type with.
Beyond that, although I use Gmail and Google stuff for most tasks, I do keep running into barriers. Even something as simple as resending an e-mail that somehow never was received - something that can't be done with Gmail. I just don't find that Google is really set up for for someone that uses mobile computing for business, and suspect that RIM will do this much, much better.
For those who jump up to exclaim "But RIM is going down the drain!" let's remember that not too many years ago Nokia RULED the cel market, and couldn't be touched, then Apple, which surely Google could never match, and now Google. It's silly to think that any of these companies can't fall from grace, and equally silly to think that any one of them (OK, Microsoft) couldn't reinvent themselves and regain the dominant position.
Old ≠ Stupid
Today I found a very old newsgroup post, and discovered that I was messing with Linux as an adult way back in 1999. * Which is a roundabout way of saying that it's idiotic to equate 60+ with any inability to use technology.
Let's just leave age out of it - you would never accuse someone of being too old to understand how to use a blender, or an elevator, you would just assume they were pretty pathetic.
* Caldera, if you care, and never did get the X-server working right
I'll bite. Because nothing has been able to replace it. I have a LARGE group of family and friends (in other words, non-nerds) who use the thing constantly, and it's the primary means of keeping in touch with them.
A couple have also set up G+ accounts, a handful are on Twitter, but Facebook is still the place. It's where EVERYBODY is, so it's where EVERYBODY will stay.
Yattering at them won't get them to move. Unless they start leaving en masse, forcing others to follow, that's where they'll be for the foreseeable future. And dumb as Facebook is, they've thus far managed to keep everyone in place while allowing a steady creeping but fundamental shift in the way that things work.
Do These Interface With Tin Foil Hats?
Here on the Wet Coast of Canada we have a critical mass of Letters to the Editor types who are convinced that their health is being irreparably damaged by a) cel tower radiation b) flouridation c ) smart electricity meter radiation d) WIFI radiation e) something else, not sure just what, but we're POSITIVE it's giving us headaches.
As Donald Sutherland put it. "You gotta quit with them negative waves!"
Now they'll be going on and on about these new light bulbs.
Look! Over There! A pedophile!
It's time stop worrying about pedophiles* in the bushes, and start asking yourself this:
While the media and government have you all whipped into a frenzy worrying about this specific crime, what things are going on that you're not watching?
Really, if the people who are screwing you left, right, and centre in a thousand ways need something to distract you folks, this is the low hanging fruit.
*North American spelling, as the "ae/ea" combinations make our heads hurt.
... that my first reactions was "Hey - that sound WAY better than any airplane meal I've had in the last decade!
Addendum #1: Then again, those were mostly Air Canada flights.
Addendum #2: Interestingly, in Kentucky no-one eats KFC - they eat Lee's Famous, which is much better.
Addendum #3: next time you're in or near a KFC, try to find the word "fried" anywhere in the store.
Apps? It's data that's killing me
Started using an app on my Android phone to listen to BBC in the car, and quickly ran into a data ceiling. The evil greedheads at Telus Mobility (in Canada) are demanding $25 a month for 2 gigs of additional data. That's a 50% jump on my current cel bill.
That kind of rip-off is so offensive that I can't bring myself to consider paying it, so no more BBC app.
Waste of Electrons
I've only been around for a partial eclipse (Northern Ontario, forget what year), but even that was pretty mind blowing.
What's even more incredible though is that anyone would bother watching an eclipse on the Internet.
Honestly folks, how dismal can things get?
Love / Hate
I rely on Gmail, and like it, but still tend to be beaffled by some of their designc hoices. Like no option to "Resend" a Sent message. Am Ia lone in finding this handy at least once a month??
Much like Android, I find Gmail to be 95% excellent. The other 5% though drives me to distraction.
I'm Lined up to Install it!
At the very first opportunity! When I buy a new retail PC! That has it already installed! In a year or two.
Seriously, that's how Vista and 7 got into the house. Can't see going out of my way to upgrade.
Craigslist / Freecycle
OK, I'm coming in very late, but what's with "throw it away?"
Anything remotely of use that I don't need gets posted to either our local Freecycle e-mail list, or the Craigslist "Free" section. I've yet to find anything that won't disappear within an hour.
Suggestion based on many years of experience.
Buy Office 2010 now, get a free upgrade
Really? I'd say buy 2010 now, avoid the 2013 version for at least a couple of years.
Or dig out the old discs from Office '97, which likely STILL will handle whatever you need.
(Mine's the one with the WP 5.1 discs in the pocket)
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- BBC suspends CTO after it wastes £100m on doomed IT system
- Peak Facebook: British users lose their Liking for Zuck's ad empire