1503 posts • joined Friday 14th September 2007 07:00 GMT
Re: Recruit new Playmonaut
I assume there are some limits on maximum weight and dimensions.
Since we're printing the 'plane, perhaps we should seek to print the Playmonaut?
Looked at from the right point of view, in the long term Capitalism is theft. It keeps moving around, but the over the 300-odd years of its history, the successful countries have succeeded for a while by skimming the cream off a flow of wealth. So Britain made huge amounts of money by moving wealth through the City.
Yes, there is the industry which can be built as a side effect. Capitalism started as a way of sharing risk. Whether capitalism is the only way of organising a society to do that is still open to debate. Communism failed, but can we seriously claim it was the only alternative?
Bitcoin isn't a good answer, for various reason enumerated in the article, but does it need the mechanisms of capilalism to be useful? The bank is older than capitalism, and Islamic practices have found alternatives to interest. The speculator, buying and selling on a market, is far older than we might think, and doesn't depend on the instruments of the modern financial markets.
E-bay, and the importance of reputation, have been mentioned above. The City and modern banking sometimes seem to be making "My word is my bond" into a hollow jest.
What next is a very good question.
Re: Open Networks
There's an App on my tablet which knows where the APs for TheCloud are, Though the map can be a bit erratic. I know where both the local locations are and they don't match the markers on the app's map. I wonder if a man-in-the-middle attack could fake a location update? That sort of detail makes it harder for an attacker, but it isn't much extra protection. And, with the mapping errors (the bus stops are correctly placed), there's a chance to fool a stranger to the area.
Re: Some 'Secret' bases
There was a lot of effort spent on photo-recce of the Soviet Union, with various high-flying aircraft such as the Canberra and the U-2 demonstrating that it was hard to intercept high-fling aircraft. Whether the Soviet Union even managed the same over the UK, I've never heard anyone say. But once satellites could do the job, both sidescould fix the locations of what was visible, and Moscow wasn't quite where the official maps said.
Rough rule of thumb: any bunker completed before 1960 might not have been on enemy maps. And how would those bungalows have looked on the photo-recce images? Google Earth shows it as rather hidden among the trees, almost too hidden, and the radio mast is in the sort of place a radio mast might be put for all sorts of reasons.
There were always more targets than bombs anyway. And you could never be sure that any bomb would arrive where intended. And it wasn't a good idea to have two missiles aimed at exactly the same location. Some of the odd-seeming targets were just locations chosen so that several missiles were close enough to the "real" target. Do you drop one warhead on Parkeston Quay, or do you lay out an overlapping pattern to cover Harwich and Felixstowe? Shotley Gate Post Office might be as good an aiming point as any.
Mid-March, FinCEN put out a new interpretation of the US regulations. They're the US enforcers on this, and what they think the rules mean matters a lot. They seem to be aiming at virtual currencies of all kinds, and it looks as though they regard virtual currencies as cash.
I'm not sure that anyone knows what is really happening, but the new interpretation take full effect, with possible prosecution, in a little less than four months from now. And it already seems to have scared Linden Labs, with the Linden Dollar currency used in Second Life, into a burst of headless chicken mode.
The way FinCEN thinks makes a bit of sense in what they consider to be cash. But the registration requirements might take in a lot of small businesses. Is it Western Union as a whole, or are the local stores with the Wester Union sign dragged in?
Re: or more likely.
I'm not sure Paypal is as bad as you think. Last USD payment I made through Paypal was a better deal than my Card gave me for a USD purchase of similar value. Paypal tells you in advance. Card payments you don't know until afterwards, but with the various forms of internet banking you don't have to wait for the statement.
Not that competition in such things is a bad, and the Google system (giftcards available for Play) could be very useful.
(I signed up for Paypal a long time ago, and times have changed, but getting money to the USA can still be awkward.)
Paying Google from the UK
You can get Google Play giftcards from UK supermarkets. There's a number under a scratch-off strip which you use to make the transfer. I didn't know that the Google Play account was effectively part of the Wallet system, but watch out for GBP -> USD charges. We're charged in sterling on Google Play. Paying somebody else through Wallet could be expensive.
(I've been tracking another internet company's problems with payments from Europe: they're in California, and Paypal works, but there's something about them which rings loud alarm bells at my bank. And they have been doing awkward stuff for all their European customers, where there are a lot of payment paths which are used rather than cards and Paypal. It seems silly to make it hard for customers to pay you, but there are some changes in US regulations on payment handling.)
If I needed support, I would rather have a Bowman's Wolf than a robot cheetah.
[Obvious joke about preference for cats deleted]
Re: Au-pair in a tank...
A panzer that is positively pink?
Re: Let's see
I can think of a few examples of non-English eye-candy who would be quite comfortable with an SU-100. Those cracks about the skills of au pairs are a wee bit sexist.
And don't forget the ammunition
In some ways the BBC is no better
The BBC's iPlayer service is good sometimes. Then Adobe drop an update on you, stuff breaks, programmes you downloaded become unusable, and you cannot download a second time.
Torrents start to look desirable.
Re: Haven't they ever heard of ...
I know several notaries in the USA.
They are little more than minor office staff who have taken a course and got a licence from the state, so that they can say "This document is a copy of the original that I saw." They have some sort of official seal locked in their desk. It's a formalised way of being a witness.
When they see the original document, and put it through the office photocopier, that's a worthwhile legal confirmation. In this case, they might be making a copy for several different files, and don't have an original document, so it sounds dodgy. Their seal and signature hardly means anything.
"notary" can mean very different things in different countries.
I can see a notary's stamp being part of routine office procedure in this area, but the foundation, in this case, is unsound.
Re: Another info/access grab lurks in your Paypa account
What I often see is a bit of confusion over just what is going on. From my time running a business, I know some of these things. Some people misunderstand. Some businesses give lousy explanations. And some people seem to want to boast of their superiority.
I've been with Paypal for a long time, I had to "verify" my account at the start, and that involved a debit/credit double on my bank current account. I don't think it needed an open-ended permission, but it was a long time ago. So all I can say is you should look carefully at what they are asking for. But I didn't have a problem, and getting verified is worthwhile. Once they have confirmed the current account, you can send money to Paypal through your internet banking, at a lower fee.
Paypal are a bank. So feel free to be suspicious. Being a bank is not the sign of reliability that it was.
American Money Laundering Regulation and Virtual Currencies
As several outfits seem to have discovered, including Linden Research as they operate Second Life, no matter what they do to dress up these things as not-money in their TOS, the US Government is telling they are a virtual currency and requiring bank-level regulation.
Me, I go to Tesco and buy a Google Play gift card, and credit it to my account.
Why does Amazon want a pretend money.
(The Linden Research response to the regulations has been to make it harder for customers to pay them, which sounds weird.)
Re: The real story here is that pump!
What I recall, from my distant past, it that a convection cooling system needs more of a height difference. Some early motor cars relied on convective water cooling, and that needed the top of the radiator to be some way above the cylinder head. You also need to use big enough pipes that viscosity is less significant. It doesn't scale down very well.
We have become cyborgs.
While I am not sure that a mobile phone is the best choice of technology, we are all a sort of cyborg. We are all rebuilding ourselves with the tools we carry, and have been since the first flint was knapped. Clarke and Kubrick had it right with that jump-cut from a thigh-bone used as a club to an orbiting satellite.
We cannot sense magnetic fields, so we carry a compass. All this is just another step on a long road. I've aligned a paper map using a compass, so that I can match the landscape to the map. Now we have lightweight tablets which have the built-in magnetic sensors and can display the map. I regret that some people may never realise what their tools are doing, but I remember the first time I did this with a map, and connected in my head two places, on different roads, that had seemed completely unrelated yet were about a quarter-mile apart.
Is it right that we come to depend on these machines? I prefer to know the old-style tricks they emulate, because batteries do fail. For this guy--does he work from a garden shed or is Sweden too far north--he's had the fun of solving the problem. And that might be enough reason.
Re: This new benefit scheme is bullshit
Fuck the new disability scheme, and everything associated with it.
IDS is definitely not my type.
Re: Re "Royally Fucked"...
Caution here: There may be distinctions in law between physical property and copyright. Tje term "intellectual property" can be very misleading.
You would think that the Theft Act covered motor cars, but they still have to use "Taking Without the Owner's Consent" for a lot of cases. Even clearly physical property is not that simple.
I'd be inclined to look closely at the law on fraud.
Re: Excuse me
I'm puzzled here
If somebody has posted images to a service such as flickr, don't they have to have an account, with a contact email address and all that?
So how can $_CORPORATE_PIRATE claim due diligence if they don't get in contact with that account holder?
I can see how a failure to answer can be too easily be taken as proof of an orphan work, but not even trying would be a clear step too far. This is going to depend rather a lot on how the courts decide such details, it still looks like a bad thing, but are people missing something? Is it data in the image file, or does the context matter? Is a notice on my web page sufficient?
Re: Probabliy better understood as...
As I recall my 20th Century history, corporate capitalism is a component of fascism, but fascism needs a few other things. It does seem to be adding up. The ECHR was constructed partly as a barrier to Fascism, so the way the government seems to be talking it up as a threat to freedom is a bit worrying. There are other signs.
We're on the road.
We can still turn back.
Good publicity, but a little unrealistic
I've seen a few web pages on this theme, and the recipes can look rather good. But I'm not sure the pricing is realistic. Price an egg according to the cheapest supermarket price for a box of 30. Have a recipe with component prices taken from four different supermarkets.
How long before all this feeds into the shirking benefit skivers meme that plagues the press in the UK?
Because of pack sizes, food storage, and transport costs, this can become an intellectual challenge rather than any practical assessment. And I recall that J. Hickory Wood made comedy out of the idea, over a century ago, with an account of how a young man may live in London on a minimal budget.
DRM messes me up
The only DRM system I routinely engage with is the BBC's iPlayer system. This depends on Adobe AIR. I can download files which (usually) expire after 30 days, which is plenty of time to watch them.
I have twice this year seen an Adobe AIR update make unusable the files which are stored on my hard drive, waiting to be viewed. Reinstalling from scratch is sometimes necessary to get things working at all.
The BBC has a pretty decent set of rules they apply. There is iPlayer software for all my devices. But the basic reliability is not there. And that turns BBC iPlayer into the biggest advert around for the benefits of digital content piracy. And who can claim that anyone loses money from pirated content being preferred to the BBC's free service?
So that explains it...
I'd noticed that Ubuntu used to work well on my old netbook, and doesn't any more.
Hardware graphics acceleration needed...
I shall have to give Lubuntu a try, I suppose.
I am, I am afraid, a little old-fashioned in my tastes and not without reason. I have seen enough instances of new UI shiny that seem to do little useful, and maybe divert resources from design elements that arguably need fixing. Such as a program locked to one rather bad colour scheme which can be described as "shit-brown" is its predominant shade.
Re: Payday Lenders are scum
Isn't that particular company buying adverts on TV?
Just where does their money come from? I'm a bit doubtful that they earn a huge wodge of wonga from Google-supplied adverts on their web-pages. And I know that some insurance companies, in their adverts on TV, make a point of telling us that they don't appear on price-comparison websites.
At least those meerkats are fun.
Re: Any Reg readers own a Lamborghini...?
Do Lamborghini still build farm tractors?
Fast Police Cars
It was around a quarter-century ago.
There were a couple of Dutch police officers at the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show, with their vehicle.
A Porsche 911
I expect they had been picked for the visit, but my later experiences in the Netherlands suggests that their Police are much less inclined to confrontation that they have become in the UK.
Maggie Thatcher's claim that there is no such things as society would be loudly mocked by the Dutch, though the context of her claim is a little bit more subtle than the way it gets reported now.
Like for like
So, a tablet has a screen comparable in size to early netbooks, but where's the keyboard?
The first netbook I bought is still running, and still a useful machine.
Tablets do some things better, but need extras to do some of the most basic jobs computers are used for.
A netbook was a good choice for the schools market, something that a child could carry around and use, but I have heard a few stories about Linux-hostility from teachers. The ultra-cheap computers don't seem to be enough, and are tablets going to be any use?
They'll call them something else, and they will have more power, but that cost-niche for portable keyboarded computing isn't going to go away. Looking at how Ubuntu has changed, we seem to have thrown away a few good ideas that came from the netbook boom.
Re: "And it certainly didn't negatively impact DVD sales." YES IT DID
But the way BitTorrent works gives the lawyers the chance to accuse the downloader of also distributing.
There's a can of worms in that.
During WW2, there were a heck of a lot who saw action. Some were captured.
Under the rules which applied then, Officers were better treated than NCOs and other ranks. They could spend their time planning and executing escape attempts from Germany. The Sergeants were not badly treated, but could be put to work. In this country, German non-officer PoWs were working on farms.
Churchill is on record as saying that Sergeant Pilots were a mistake. They should all have been given commissions, but he had allowed himself to be persuaded otherwise.
Two of the Lancasters on the Dams raid were wholly crewed by Sergeants.
In some ways, he is so ordinary
Iain is a very typical Science Fiction Fan. Like many of the writers, he was also a Fan. I met him several times over the years, often in the bar and both of us part of an incredibly diverse conversation. I could say much the same about other well-known SF authors, and some of them were old enough when I first met them that their deaths were no great surprise. We all die.
This death will be far too soon.
Those exotic prices are likely to be the result of uncontrolled automatic pricing.
Seller A has his pricing robot set a price at, for instance, 98% of the most expensive.
Seller B chooses to advertise at 105% of the most expensive other seller, and buy a cheap copy if anyone is fool enough to buy.
Neither, alone, is a stupid rule, but in combination, the price keeps increasing indefinitely.
Re: "dependent on local meteorological conditions"
With the combination of weight and wingspan, it wouldn't take much wind to mess up a take-off or landing. Not just wind speed, but direction.
Re: Local Dupe @Matt Bryant "he was depressed a long time before....."
So a prosecutor uses the threat of a long prison sentence against a man who is suicidal?
Sorry, but if you think that is all OK, I feel slightly ashamed to be of the same species as you.
Could be too short
I'm running an LTS Version, and the jump to the most recent is huge, with all the changes around the graphical UI which have happened.
With two versions per year and the chance of some real crud in whatever the latest version is, nine months feels too short. I hear what people are saying about sticking with LTS versions for serious use, but if this change reduces usage of the intermediates, is the development process going to get enough feedback?
It is, alas, possible to see this as a sign of Canonical becoming rather uncomfortably arrogant. Those big changes to the graphics: there is a reason Mint is out there. Are Canonical listening enough to the users?
Re: Coming to a wallet near you...
You've hit on part of this. Visa in Europe is a distinct company, licensing the brand. Mastercard is the world-wide monolith, and apparently has a tendency to try to stop merchants from selling certain sorts of lawful goods. The different banking regulations in different countries would have some effect.
Paypal in Europe is also a distinct company, operating under European regulation (Luxembourg's implementation of the relevant Directives, I think). I would think that snooping on purchase details would be regulated. I don't know if Google Wallet is even available in Europe, yet.
It is pretty obvious that Paypal supplies info that identifies the final destination of the payment to the credir card system, because it ends up on the statement, and Paypal tell you what this tag will be, so that you can identify the transaction. How much more info do Mastercard and Visa want? Do they want the itemised list from the supermarket?
Nevertheless, having seen how US merchants seem to lag behind Europe in the security features they use, I feel a little more comfortable going through Paypal in Europe, rather than feeding my account details to another US-based operation.
Wild guess, maybe, but it might mean that Windows 8 doesn't exist, this time next year.
I've noticed several things which Windows 7 does better than previous versions, mostly under the bonnet. Can we separate the in-your-face changes such as Metro from the hidden stuff? To be honest, I doubt that. Linux can do better, but it doesn't escape the concept that the designers know best.
Part of the process
It is rather obvious to me that 3D Printing, of one sort or another, could make a big different to metal casting.
The two main options are actually making moulds, and making the master-models from which the mould is made. Depending on the particular process, those parts can be damaged or destroyed at later stages.
Can a 3D Printer make the sand-based moulds for casting iron? I doubt it, and I doubt whether developing the tech to do so would be worth it.
Could 3D printing make the master model for a process such as lost-wax casting? It seems pretty likely to me, and it is a process for high-value cast metal items.
And there are in-between processes, such as what Games Workshop does. Put a 3D printer in the chain from designer to production, and it might lead to changes in what the business can do.
Re: $33 million in EIGHT HANDS?
This method seems to stop you making big losses, but you need to be able to match the other players.
$33 Million in Eight hands? And how many players? Was that winning eight hands out of more being played, or one big win? What gave the stunt away?
Either it was the technology that raised an alarm, the player was too good, or his style of play was suddenly very different. And that last might be why the VIP Host is out of a job for not noticing.
And, yeah, you wonder about the other players.
Anyway, even on the vague reports, I can see there being a film made from this. Don't set it in Australia. Don't have Chinese gamblers.
Don't play poker against somebody who looks like Geoge Clooney.
Sometimes it's just luck.
While there are a few known ways of winning in certain games of chance that don't depend on accessing secret knowledge--any player can count the cards in Blackjack--a casino is set up against the players. They bias the odds they pay out. so that some money sticks with them. But when enough people play the unusual events happen. It's like tossing coins: getting ten heads in a row is very unlikely to happen, but it does.
Another factor, and we go back to Blaise Pascal for the math on it, is that even in fair game, the player with more money has an advantage. If it's a dollar a play, and you only have one dollar, you have to win that first game.
We can talk about the banks being the insanely wealthy predating on the rest of us. Casinos are the predators on the insanely wealthy.
Re: Secret Service
It's one of these American things. It isn't really secret, it does several distinct jobs, and they are the Federal experts on investigating computer crime, rather than the FBI.
It's one of the older parts of the US System, and I have no idea of why the got the Computer Crime job. Maybe the politicians were wary of giving the FBI too much power.
Re: How do I get my connection?
I am not in Lincolnshire, but next door. There's stuff going on, but I've net heard of any contract yet.
I know where the local cabinet is. It's not nearby and the "wet string" takes a roundabout route.
The existing wet string between cabinet and exchange is longer, and since the cabinet is next to the local school, I suppose we will get some benefit. I'm sure the council would want the fibre to that particular cabinet.
I get the feeling that if the routing were designed from scratch, most of us would get a better service, The local layout goes via the older part of the village, and then doubles back to what was built in the 1960s. Current ADSL also seems to suffer weekends and evenings: all this fibre is going to be pretty useless if the back-end links aren't upgraded to match.
In about a year, expect a pod of femake dolphins and calves to turn up, demanding maintenance.
Re: My Precious
There's a difference between pretty pictures and serious aerial photography. I'm not sure just where this guy is in that range, I get the feeling that he could be doing the sort of thing that involves selling people aerial photos of their homes and businesses, or he could be a bit further up the scale.
Either way, the possibility that the proposed law could destroy a photographer's protection for his work seems pretty real to me. And I find myself wondering just what might happen at EU level, because the web is certainly EU-wide, and pulling a stunt like this would certainly come under the original trade provisions. It's not about the EU trying to supplant national governments this time. If the guy is still protected in Germany, the British Government is asking to for an EU spanking.
This cynical commenter reckons the issue will come to a head just at the right time to be used to create an anti-EU scare story before a referendum.
Some people do seem to be able to make money out of stereo photography of the city...
Oh, that's not what they mean by "a pair of Bristols"?
(Sorry, I lent my coat to that young lady. She was feeling the cold.)
Rocket Landing is old hat
Some of the first efforts to use rocket braking were tried during WW2. It didn't quite work, partly because of the effects of the rocket blast on unprepared ground. The Soviet Union deployed a solution that involved a parachute, with the rocket pack between the payload and the parachute.
I've seen film of those WW2 tests. The rocket blast was excavating a crater, which was reflecting an asymmetric gas flow which flipped over the payload.
If SpaceX want to use the rocket landing approach, they have to be able to land on ordinary open ground, and they have to pretty accurately steer to a safe area. The Dragon capsule might be more stable, less likely to topple or flip, than a booster stage, but what size of target area will they need?
Water landings ain't easy, but the sea is big, and a lot more uniform. There are no trees and no sticking-up boulders.
Re: Ancient news.
That's an interesting theory about Daily Mail readers.
I couldn't possibly comment.
What is COBOL like?
I reckon that a lot of the arguments for using COBOL in teaching are about the same as the arguments for using BASIC.
And, yes, I know BASIC allows people to do some rough stuff. That's what a teacher's red ink is for.
Maybe Pascal would be better. And being exposed to a variety of languages is definitely a good thing. Anyway, recruiters ask some stupid questions about experience such as expecting new programmers to have language experience that pre-dates the existence of the particular language. How can we rely on what is being said here?
I gather that keeping Spitfires flying supports a component manufacturing industry which can supply all the parts you need to build your own Spitfire. So for DIY spy-in-sky stuff, go for the Spitfire PR Mk XIX. Not only do you get good pictures, you get to fly a Spitfire.
Nothing else comes close.
Meanwhile, Amazon screws the creators
I write books and no way am I self-publishing through Amazon. You have to work through their USA subsidiary and deal with the US taxman. That's on top of all the weird tricks they can pull because of their market dominance.
So what sort of deal will Tesco offer? And will their ebook suppliers, of whatever size, be able to make money?
(The horse meat? Tesco contracted with suppliers, specifying where the meat came from. Some of the suppliers ignored that. Who can you trust? It's crooks all the way down.)
From my own experience, I am coming to think that the old disks were more reliable than the current tech. If there is a reduction in reliability as data density increases, there is one of those awkward engineering tradeoffs.
How does a home user back-up the current generation of drives? Will people fork out the cash for a RAID array in their laptop? How do you sell multiple drives. How do you support them?
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