"the equation theoretically spits out a number"
It does spit out a number - that's the point of an equation - no "theoretical" about it!
It's the the interpretation of the result that's in question here...
453 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008
Last time I was over there I couldn't help but marvel at the epics that were the drug adverts...
10 seconds of "do you have these symptoms? Our new drug might be able to help"
30 seconds of "oh... by the way... it might cause this, that, the other ... or even kill you"
10 seconds of "ask your doctor about it" (presuming that the previous 30 seconds hasn't put you off)
10 seconds of "oh... if you can't afford it we might be able to help with that too..."
That was pretty much the template for every single one...
Yes, bandwidth etc do cost money...
...but are you putting in the effort to host the adverts yourself...?
... or are you just plugging a script into a page somewhere, and letting A.N.Other host the adverts for you (and whatever other junk that happens to come with them)?
If the former - then fine, I'll unblock your site... if the latter, then forget it!
Meaning: "greater bungs from our mates who'll sell on the pleb's data to anyone"
Case in point - the DVLA - they'll sell your reg number to pretty much anyone as it is (especially those lovely sharks claiming to be car park enforcement agencies) ... I dread to think what they'd do with more freedom.
re: "Microsoft's Tablet PC in 2002"
I think I can go back further even than that - my first "proper" job was at a research lab at the QE/University of Birmingham, where (by the time I left in 1996) we were looking into using kit like this to hook into the Renal Unit pathology system we had developed - the medics would then have access to blood test results and proposed tests to be performed (automatically generated, via a rulebase).
As you'd imagine back then - battery life and connectivity were as issue as I recall, but as a proof-of-concept it worked rather well...
It's only not cost effective if each local install is costed individually.
Economies of scale apply - cover the whole country, and the high cost of some (rural) areas is more than compensated for by those for city centres and the like.
Putting my idealistic hat on - this should have been done from day one, but (at the risk of doing my broken record impression yet again) governments don't think beyond what will get them reelected.
I'd say that the investment rules are as such because successive governments have stuck to the "market" mantra and so have neglected the opportunity to get some decent management in who'll get the job done at a sensible price (from the taxpayer's perspective), instead appointing the same old nonentities whose turn it is for a nudge up the ladder (Sir Humphrey would be so proud...)
An example (admittedly from a different arena) - when they took the East Coast Mainline back into public hands, because National Express (or whoever it was) chose to walk away, they managed to get a decent team in place and it made money for the taxpayer. Fast forward to today... and Virgin/Stagecoach have been given the heave-ho after yet another bailout (and their shareholders are laughing all the way as the stock price rises as a result)
It can, therefore, be done - it just take a government with some balls to actually do it.
The sooner that HMG sees through this fiction - the better...
It's very simple - and I've lost count of the number of times I've said this... they should invest in the infrastructure at a National level, and not leave it to the beancounters at BT et al to decide who gets decent connectivity on the result of a "how profitable is it" calculation.
Improvements are still due
This may be a case of my misusing it...
...but have you ever tried applied a formula to tens (or hundreds) of thousands of rows...
...then waited an age for it to figure out what it's doing? (Even on a modern 8 core "business" laptop)?
That bit I can live with... just about...
...but what boils my piss is the fact that if you then try to interact at all with it... it starts the whole bloody calculation again (or so it appears)!
This has happened in versions I've used over the last decade or more ... sort it out MS!
For: "Users are not prepared to pay for it"
Read: "Can't afford to be extorted by the likes of BT, VM, et al due to factors such as local geography"
What I'm taking about getting the WHOLE country up to a base level that's worth the name - once that's done, then let those who want more pay for it.
"This appears to be mostly a commercial project"
...and while that mindset remains - we'll never get the "100% coverage by 2020" (or whatever the Government's pledge is this week...)
About time someone high up realised that this should be a National Infrastructure project - and paid for accordingly... instead of certain vanity projects
"From experience, luggage does get checked by the TSA."
Seconded from here - the last time I was out that way they left a leaflet in my luggage on the way home... right next to the one that they'd left on the way in (that I'd deliberately placed so that it was they first thing they'd see on opening it...)
"And once again. 'Cupertino idiot-tax corporation' is just fucking stupid and insulting - not to Apple, but to Apple customers. Like somebody calling El Reg a 'Brainless cretin-attracting News Outlet'."
If it weren't for the Silver Badge, I'd ask if you were new around here...
"...the principle of a user being able to audit code ... starts to appear a tad dogmatic."
Maybe so - but just because it isn't necessarily easy to do doesn't make the effort pointless.
"pay an internal team or two to review their code"
"Security by Obscurity" - backed up by "Audit by Obscurity"
"That is not to say they are infallible, of course."
Or open to "persuasion" to come up with the "right" result...
Because they rely on the inability (or sheer laziness) of some people to provide reasonable ad content on their sites, without simply plugging in some pre-written code over which they have no control...
I presume that Google are happy for others to do the work required to police their own small part of the 'net (given they won't allow usage of their payment system)
For example - I imagine that the National Lottery app will be cleared in due course, given that they already (presumably) already do the age checking required to allow players to buy tickets using a credit/debit card from it (they also have a ticket checker app that has no payment processing at all - which I believe has always been available as a result)
By that logic, you can't observe anything directly - all observations are records of something interacting with something else...
Even light - that's the interaction between a photon and the cells in your eye.
In the early days of particle physics - the interaction between a particle and the (supersaturated) gas in a cloud chamber, forming (essentially) a vapour trail... which is observed by... light.
The first observations for neutrinos - the interaction between the neutrino and by the (very occasional) atoms that happened to be hit by one, gaining the energy required to, at a later point, emit a photon of light.
(...but, before people start thinking there's a theme here...)
The experiments Ray Davis performed down in a mine involved the transmutation of Chlorine into (a radioactive isotope of) Argon, which could be collected and counted.
(Mine's the one with the Physics Degree in the pocket...)
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