* Posts by Lotaresco

1060 posts • joined 24 Sep 2007

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Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Lotaresco
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Re: F1 is a Car Crash

"I didn't realize people knew this much about people who drive around in circles"

You're thinking of NASCAR. HTH.

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Lotaresco
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Re: F1 is a Car Crash

"I go back to Sterling Moss"

Was he Stirling's more expensive older brother?

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Lotaresco
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Re: F1 is a Car Crash

"the most exiting was the pit stop"

Well, duh. The only place they can exit in normal circumstances is the pits.

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Lotaresco
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Gimp

That has to score some sort of record...

... for fastest, most OTT, fanbhoi knee jerk. First world problems or what?

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British government to ink deal for yet another immigration database

Lotaresco
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This will fail...

... for the same reasons that it has failed in the past. The Civil Service can't write requirements. They don't even understand the concept. So what happens is that they get the suppliers to write the requirements themselves with some contractual stipulation about "Chinese Walls". This is flawed because it assumes that the supplier's staff will have sufficiently broad knowledge to be able to write an inclusive set of requirements that leads to selection of an optimum design, build, service and support from the supplier. However every supplier, even with good intentions, only favours or understands what they do now. They can only choose from their own menu.

It gets worse when the Civil Service get involved with design reviews and their "new" ideas. When you get the likes of GDS screaming "Agile" and setting up some naïve process which isn't Agile because the government can't do Agile but they put some fairy-dust sprinkling of Agile in place then continue with their old design review boards and four month review periods. Then every decision needs to be signed off by a Minister who doesn't even understand what they are looking at because a PPE degree doesn't cover anything about IT, more delay, more cost, more flighty last-minute design changes.

Still we can fix it now by buying a cloud solution <rolls eyes>.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

Lotaresco
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"I'm going to stick with 'cause they are all greedy a-holes who use possible sales as merely permission to be data fetishists."

Good call.

It's so broken that, for example, staying at a hotel in Central France because the road was blocked with snow ahead sees me deluged with adverts to return to the same hotel. It's not going to happen guys, it was a distress purchase. I buy, say a DIY item like a drill, I get besieged with advertising for drills. I'm not a site manager, one drill should last me the rest of my life.

It doesn't even work for things I buy often. I'm working on a project where I need several mini PCs. I buy a handful from suppliers to test, I find one I like. I'm now receiving adverts from every single manufacturer tested for their mini PCs. But, the type I want is no longer in stock. So I'm getting ads for stuff I would never buy. So what happens? Yes, I add the names of the advertisers to my list of "Organisations that I will never do business with." Way to go, guys.

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Google's not-Linux OS documentation cracks box open at last

Lotaresco
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What's that you say Johnny?

No Fuschia, No Fuschia, No Fuschia for me

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Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Lotaresco
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10Mbps?

So less than half the rate that we (in a part of England that's so rural that you have to drive 9 miles to find a petrol station) get from ADSL? What is the actual point?

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UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks

Lotaresco
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Re: That's good, but...

" Mullard, Ferranti, Marconi and ICL should not have been squashed into the ground"

Mulllard - the investors sold all their shares to Philips in 1927

Marconi - merged with BAe

Ferranti - collapsed after an enormous management cock up of buying a pig in a poke

ICL - sold off to Fujitsu by a government too bone idle to work out what else to do with the company

Only ICL was "squashed into the ground" in that list.

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Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

Lotaresco
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Re: Of all places

"What has to happen for people to stop wanting to kill one another?"

Relinquishing US citizenship seems to be one of the things that helps. Being 12th in the world for gun deaths and first in the world for gun ownership (more guns than people) isn't a great start in the "wanting to kill each other" stakes. It's also not gun ownership of itself that's leading to the appalling record in the USA. Norway, for example has one gun for every three people but has a firearm homicide rate (per 100,000) that is just 6% that of the USA. So the real factors in firearm homicide seem to be guns + murrican.

Interestingly most of the top 12 places in firearms deaths are taken by countries in the Americas/Caribbean. The only exception being Swaziland. Y'all need to calm (the fsck) down.

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Lotaresco
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"If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns."

And the police, the armed services... and indeed anyone with a legal purpose for gun ownership.

If you're going to blart what you think is a truism, it's a good idea to make sure that it's not a falsism.

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Lotaresco
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Flame

Hopes and prayers

Well that should work just as well as it has to-date.

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2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

Lotaresco
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Attention span

There are three SF movies that I can think of that demand a greater attention span than that exhibited by the average twitchy gamer. 2001, Solaris (the original) and Stalker. All of them are worth watching but require full attention. All three of them have been described to me as "dull, boring" by people born later than the 1960s.

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Here's the list of Chinese kit facing extra US import tariffs: Hard disk drives, optic fiber, PCB making equipment, etc

Lotaresco
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Re: Hats off!

"Don't forget to narrow it down to only those machines used in making hats out of felt."

Can I get felt here?

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Lotaresco
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Re: @ Tom 38 You don't get it...

"Trump is an interesting character."

In the same sense that Toxoplasmosis is an interesting disease, yes.

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Yes, Emergency Service Network will be late and cost more - UK perm sec

Lotaresco
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"When TETRA / Airwave rolled out well over a decade ago police forces gained a significant increase in communications capability."

It was indeed a long way over a decade ago - I worked on the next phase of roll out supplying Airwave for Fire and HA use, ending up with control rooms being commissioned in 2006. the police had been using it for some time before that.

The two problems that I recall were that few of the users liked it, mostly because end user training was dreadful. I once showed someone how to use a handset, including the emergency button and how to change to a different talk group. He said the five minute chat taught him more than the approved training course. The second problem being cost, to the extent that instead of being used as designed at as combination TETRA terminal and GSM phone the users ended up festooned with multiple mobiles and the Airwave terminal. This was because a separate phone cost a lot less than putting a SIM in an Airwave terminal.

However having got to the point where users can (just about) use it and the control rooms have more or less got around to integrating it with GIS and C2 systems throwing it out seems the worst option.

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Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Lotaresco
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"We used to have one. Google blue streak. Cancelled by the usual short sighted politicians who thought sucking up to the USA was a better idea."

Blue Streak continued to fly up until 1972, as the first stage of Europa which was, a bit of usual national politicking aside, pretty much the Farnborough designed Black Prince built by a European consortium. That work lead to Ariane. Effectively, as ever, when faced with relatively modest costs the UK government bailed out before the payback point. A story that can be seen to happen over and over again.

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Lotaresco
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Re: The Swiss are in it

"I got a distinct impression the reason we ended up with a referendum is that "our representatives in Parliament" didn't do their jobs over several decades..."

Much of the "problem" has been caused by weak-kneed UK politicians (i.e. all of them) who didn't want to be responsible for enacting unpopular legislation. So they hatched a cunning plan of lobbying Brussels to get their unpopular legislation issued as an EU wide directive. Then they could shrug and say "Oh deary me, look it's the EU wot dunnit, not us." Even though the directives were drafted by UK civil servants then passed to the EU for rubber stamping.

After forty-odd years of using that particular wheeze they got bitten in the bum by it because the electorate were convinced that everything horrible in their lives was done by Brussels.

The bit that the MPs haven't worked out yet is that now they will have to implement ultra-austerity because there is no money, there will be no trade to create money and UK manufacturing such as it is will decline. We can't sell our services to new markets because the biggest new markets (Asia Pacific including China, the USA, South America, India) don't want our services. So more belt tightening on its way and now they won't be able to blame Brussels so it will be obvious that the pain is being caused by UK government. Enjoy.

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BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

Lotaresco
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Re: Collapse of Facebook

"other social networks exist"

Yes, we could, for example, create a social network of peer-to-peer servers with no one organisation in charge of everything. It would be supported and standards policed by the users providing a demonstration of practical anarchy. Individuals would be permitted anonymous access and no one would have to state their demographic data to get access. We could call it by a name that reflects this user-centric view of social networking, say "Usenet". That's rather catchy.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Popcorn

"Under UK law, if you can prove material damage caused by spoken word, then you can sue."

Also untrue, there are things that can be said which are slander even if no material damage occurs.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Popcorn

"Don't think so. You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander."

Slander has been assimilated into the law of libel. Hence there is no specific law of slander. Both libel and slander are now referred to collectively as "defamation". However it is possible and reasonable to sue for slander. It's certainly untrue to claim that "you can't sue for slander". There are specific instances of slander:

  • Words imputing a crime punishable with imprisonment;
  • Words imputing certain diseases [1];
  • Words disparaging a person in his office, calling or profession.

for which it is possible to sue for slander without any proof of damage.

[1] Mostly diseases of the nether bits.

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Ugh, of course Germany trounces Blighty for cyber security salaries

Lotaresco
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Re: Switzerland

I agree, many things are cheaper in Switzerland. Fuel for a vehicle, for example - you should see the queues from Italy to fill up at the co-op petrol station at Vacallo. Restaurants are a good price compared to the UK, you couldn't get a meal for one person for £28 at most UK restaurants this side of McDonalds, let alone a "simple meal" for three.

The bad things with Switzerland are that, scenery apart, it's more than a bit boring and as was identified above, racism is rife. Racism runs deep, from the petty racism of cheating on small change and muttering insults under one's breath to the institutional racism that is expressed particularly at anyone Turkish or even anyone from the non-German speaking cantons.

I lived and worked there for several years and ended up living in Italy which is more expensive, lower paid but at least it's a happier place than po-faced Switzerland.

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British clockwork radio boffin Trevor Baylis terminally winds down

Lotaresco
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A man let down by others

I bought a couple of Baygen radios to give to people who needed them. It was a double benefit because Baygen had a policy of giving one radio away in Africa for each radio bought in the UK. Trevor wasn't just an inventor, he was a true philanthropist. I don't think he ever expected to get rich off the sales of the radios but I think he was (rightly) upset about the way his idea was both pillaged and diminished by companies looking to make a big profit.

His genuine innovation was the control circuitry that governed the clockwork generator meaning that the spring unwound at a rate determined by how loud the radio was. The rest was good design. The Baygen radios were a pleasure to listen to with a decent sized loudspeaker. They were capable of decent sound levels and could be used to entertain a family or a number of people in a public space in a village.

There's another side to a successful product and that is selling the product on its features and benefits. The Baygen was well designed, reliable and was a good product even without the clockwork generator (it was possible to run the radio from an external PSU). It should have succeeded as a product in its own right, at which point the patent issues become irrelevant and the design is protected by copyright. I think something else went seriously wrong at Baygen but have no idea what it was. I do remember getting quite frustrated with the sales droids at Baygen who didn't seem to want to sell the radios in the UK, and who were oblivious to the point that this was raising revenue.

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New algorithm could help self-driving cars scout out hidden objects

Lotaresco
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No scary implications

None at all, no possible military use for a detector that can see around corners and determine the velocity of an object[1] hiding around the corner.

[1] People are objects.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Or it could

"let's create some nearly impossible to perfect technology to allow us to go around curves 10 mph faster..."

Sounds good to me. Although 10mph isn't very ambitious.

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10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

Lotaresco
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Re: I had a ZX80

"I bought an ICL OPD when I was in college (spectrum with knobs on)."

Errm the OPD was a Sinclair QL with a built-in telephone handset. The similar device that was a Spectrum with knobs on was the Amstrad emailer.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Gateway Drug

"I had a metal bracket on to "secure" my ram pack "

I had a ribbon cable with a socket at one end and an edge connector at the other. that meant that I could use the RAM pack and any wobbling of the ZX-81 didn't cause any problems. The sockets and edge connectors were available at Maplin.

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Lotaresco
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Where are we now?

For the price that a ZX-81 cost at launch, I bought a "mini PC" last week. Today £99.95 gets you a N3450 1.1GHz quad core processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB SSD and 4K graphics. Adjusted for inflation the ZX-81 would cost £482.03 today.

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Lotaresco
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I remember...

Writing a lunar landing game in Z80 Assembler then lovingly hand-coding it in hex. I worked hard to give it real-moon physics and "realistic" thrusters that displayed flashing '<' or '>' and '=" alternately to give the effect of 'flame' the sky was peppered with '.' and '*' and some of them twinkled in a completely non realistic manner.

I loved it, friends hated it, but then having declared their hate would spend hours trying to land it before the "realistic" and almost inevitable crash happened.

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Brit military boffins buy airtime on HD eye-in-the-sky video satellite

Lotaresco
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If only...

If only there were some technology we could adopt that would make it difficult to see us from space.

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Swiss see Telly Tax as a Big Plus, vote against scrapping it

Lotaresco
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Re: BBC from the days of Yes Minister and Spitting Image - yes

"The BBC from the 80s was a place where the Today programme set the political agenda for the day, where Panorama did political investigation"

The Today programme has set the political agenda for most of my life, however Panorama has not featured particularly hard-hitting investigations. The Granada TV series "World in Action" was the one that had the most impact and saw the production team taking the big risks. Panorama was (is) always a little too safe and keen to doff the cap to the BBC's political overlords.

It's a reasonable bet that any story that someone thinks was broken by Panorama was actually featured in "World in Action" or Private Eye.

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Senate mulls offensive AI, new training tools and now Chinese faceswaps Trump

Lotaresco
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A new contender...

"But they would be androids, so it wouldn't be slavery?"

This implies a new contender for "The worst job in History" and I think it's a winner. The person who has the job of hosing out the innards of sex robots. I also think it's likely to be one of the last jobs to be automated.

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Lotaresco
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Not universally useful

There are some things that a tablet can't do or where using a tablet would be overkill.

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Lotaresco
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"Details like... you can't drag-drop nicely, manage files, save a JPEG... god."

Details that don't exist you mean?

I can manage files just fine on an iPad/iPhone using FileExplorer. It's easy to keep them appropriately filed and tidy on my NAS, DropBox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive, WebDAV, Box, etc.

As to JPEG, I can export as JPEG, PNG or whatever the heck I like, depending on the App.

Here, for example, is the list of import/export formats supported by ArtStudio.

Import: Images - PNG, JPEG, PSD, HEIC, TIFF, Brushes - ABR, TPL, Color swatches - ASE, ACO, Patterns - PAT, Gradients - GRD, Fonts - TTF, OTF

Export: Images - PNG, JPEG, PSD, TIFF

Knocking Apple/iOS is fine by me, but try to do it from a basis of knowledge rather than ignorance.

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Lotaresco
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Re: blast away

"I disagree, I think he's got the comparison right. Comparing the iPad PRO to the MacBook PRO."

Not really. A maxed out 10.5in iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil is going to cost you the same as the cheapest MacBook. That's the comparison point.

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From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work

Lotaresco
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Static ads good, javascript baaaad

The recent ICO et al cryptocurrency mining debacle demonstrates why it's a bad idea to permit third parties to execute code in your browser. For this reason I don't block ads, but I do block javascript. My firewall also blackholes all Amazon Adsystem cruft because I find it creepy to have a completely unrelated website to echo back to me what my recent purchases on Amazon were.

Oddly this thoroughly sensible security policy also removes 99.999% of all ads from all sites. This is the evidence that the vast majority of ads are not "well behaved".

No matter how desperately someone wants to sell me things, it is not a reasonable expectation that my computer should be used to execute their software without my permission.

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UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

Lotaresco
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Re: Is anyone else here worried about...

"Remember SkyNet anyone?"

It's not exactly difficult to remember, it's been in operation since 1970 and is now on its fifth generation.

Skynet

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Lotaresco
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Re: Political bullshit

"R is the number of the rounds w-bit round keys S[0, ... , 2r + 3]"

r is still undefined

PEBUK

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Lotaresco
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Headmaster

Re: Political bullshit

r is undefined

loop does not execute

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Lotaresco
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Re: "unnamed algorithm"

"I was going to go with "Rudd's Crud""

Comprehensive Restriction of Upload and Download by DAESH

or CRUDD

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Lotaresco
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Coat

"They used to burn books.

IRTA "They used to bum books."

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Getty load of this: Google to kill off 'View image' button in search

Lotaresco
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Snipping Tool etc

Given that the use most users seem to make of Getty images is for comment on social media, I suspect that a screen capture tool of choice will be used to do the job since most people want 320x240 image not a high resolution image and they don't want to pay £100 to say "LOL Kittens".

If Getty are so precious about a sale that they would never have made, then they need to pull all their images from search results.

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Facebook gets Weed-whacked: Unilever exec may axe ads over social network's toxic posts

Lotaresco
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Effective Ad campaigns

I'm wondering if the main problem from the advertiser's point of view is that social media does something that "traditional" advertising can't do which is to provide immediate feedback - people tell you to your face that your product sucks - and metrics that directly relate to how good or bad your advertising is - people tell you to your face that your advertising sucks.

Broadcast media don't give that relationship between what you say and do and what "the people" think about it. We've all been shouting abuse at the TV Screen or turning the pages of the paper and sighing or looking at the poster and tutting but none of the media morons received that information. All they could do was run "focus groups" assembled from people who want to be in a focus group or make indirect measurements of the effect of adverts that fail to account for other factors.

Now they get a direct link and their carefully built legends about what they do and how useful it is and it shows them what they don't want to know.

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Lotaresco
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For a moment there...

I had the hope that Unilever were referring to not wanting to be associated with a social media platform that promotes misogyny, racism, right wing extremism and jihadist murder. But no, it seems that their complaint is that people on social media are too savvy to believe marketing bullshit uncritically or that when a bullshit advert appears people call out its bullshit and that stops other consumers from being suckered. Boo Hoo.

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Just can't catch a break, can ya, Capita? Shares tumble 40% amid yet another profit warning

Lotaresco
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Re: Missing something

"What, you don't have them [Accenture] in the UK?"

Not only do we have Indenture, but they ran the disastrous NHS Connecting for Health contract until they got bored and abandoned it, blaming everyone else for the failure.

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Lotaresco
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The glitter has fallen off

Capita's business model of rolling faeces in glitter is coming unstuck as the faecal matter dries out and the glitter falls off. It has taken a long time. The comments on the recent register article about Capita's failure to deliver the Recruiting Partnership Project showed that there's a high level of awareness among contractors about how bad things were with Capita, but government has chosen to ignore all of the warning signs. Weirdly contracts have been awarded to Capita even though previous experience has shown that they have no experience in that area of work (as with the Recruiting Partnership Project) and no real hope of success.

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BOFH: We want you to know you have our full support

Lotaresco
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QNAP

The entire rant sounds like my average experience with QNAP. Although Simon missed the rant about the one "PowerUser" who for some reason is valued by the manufacturer as a useful contributor, but whose "advice" consists only of telling people that they are "newbies" who don't deserve to own such a magnificent product as the Bambleweeney SubMeson 142 and who therefore are beneath his contempt and if only the ignorant user would realise it, the reset switch is on the base of the unit under a sticker that is marked "DO NOT REMOVE, WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED" and can only be operated using a security pentalobe Torx driver. If the user dares to point out that they aren't asking for help with the reset switch but rather understanding how to create a storage volume, a subject that is both fundamental to operation and not covered in the user manual, the PowerUser will rant that they are clearly a congenital idiot, the product of fifty generations of inbreeding and they should run and sit in a pig sty for the next six weeks until the desire to pester PowerUsers with stupid questions has gone away.

Yes, "Schumaku" I'm looking at you.

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Samsung needs to eat itself, not copy Apple's X-rated margins

Lotaresco
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"That will only ever work for Apple tax payers. People who buy premium Android phones are savvier than that."

Having checked prices online, although it's true that the Samsung phone is cheaper, the like for like (64GB storage) monthly rental on a two year contract is the same. The phone market is still mostly rental. I checked SIM only deals when I renewed my phone this year. Several years ago it was cheaper (just) to buy a phone and take a cheap SIM. This year it's cheaper to rent the phone.

The mass market is rental. Apple/Android works out about the same cost either way. Given that, it's just a case of go for whichever phone gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.

BTW, I wouldn't have Samsung anything ever again even if they paid me to have it; not after the experience of their consumer electronics which have been the most unreliable tat I've ever owned. If I could afford to take the time off work I'd fly to Korea and stuff my useless TV and "Smart" media box up the fundament of their CEO. YMMV.

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If you haven't already killed Lotus Notes, IBM just gave you the perfect reason to do it now, fast

Lotaresco
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Trollface

Oh come on! This is fake news folks!

"Lasse Trolle Borup"

And his friend Valter Unterbrücke, no doubt.

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Lotaresco
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Re: Get your cars to Mars

"The Johnny Cabs were on Earth in 'Running Man'"

Total Recall

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