* Posts by Robert Forsyth

323 posts • joined 1 May 2007

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Wave Tata, Capita: You've lost mega-contract to rival outsourcer

Robert Forsyth

Re: maths

I think the (broken) idea is,

In House services costs get bloated with tea breaks, career progression training, workers' Xmas party, pension schemes, sick pay, health & safety, etc. that these execs do not care about.

Also 'Accounts' have to deal with many suppliers of things use by the In House staff. All those extra account staff to check your 20p expenses claim was filled in correctly...

Also the (broken) idea of with no competition there is no drive to efficiency - sending things 1st class instead of second or in A4 envelopes - keeping useless staff because it is more expensive to fire them.

I worked for a global co. we had locally source cleaners who were happy and caring. Then HQ makes a deal with a Crapita type which costs the same locally, but may be cheaper in central London. We get the same actual people doing the cleaning, but now they are miserable and uncaring because their (hours and hence) pay has been cut.

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Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

Robert Forsyth

LibreOffice Writer or Math

Or Google Docs...

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1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

Robert Forsyth

It's the Parents' Fault, Partly

That gender neutral school experiment/document on the TV last year, initially the boys could do the logic puzzles, but the girls could not. However, after some practice the girls could do as well as the boys. The conclusion draw by the program was, the toys given to the children has a big influence on their STEM abilities. So nurture rather than nature.

When they cross dress babies and get other parents/carers to play with them, the babies dressed like girls were given doll like toys and those dressed like boys car or construction like toys.

With teenagers, peer pressure seems stronger than parent pressure, but gender stereotypes have already done their harm (in my opinion).

In the late 70's, for me, the computer class was equally mixed and given by a woman teacher. Most kids make something in metal/woodwork and sewing/cookery, I guess my school was fairly progressive, before you choose which exams to take.

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Robert Forsyth

Isn't it a small minority

of white males that give the rest of us a bad name?

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Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' is the ghost of Courier laughing mockingly at fanbois

Robert Forsyth

Re: Oh why?

However, looking at the drawings on the source link, how is this hinge different to the HP Pavilion x360, I am typing on?

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Robert Forsyth

Re: Oh why?

If it does an existing thing better, you can (and could) always patent it.

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Exploding alien bodies' space death-rays gave Earth its radiation cloak

Robert Forsyth

Re: Neutral atoms?

Isn't space full of hydrogen atoms, an electron around a proton, one per cubic metre. What would be required to ionize that into H+ and e- ?

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So you're 'agile', huh? I do not think it means what you think it means

Robert Forsyth

Re: so, say you have gone "full Agile"

You could make the shovel more cheaply.

Make it the right size for your newly identified customers.

Make it more comfortable to use.

In asking the customers and listening to them, they become invested in the product, they know about the new "smoothy grip" before it is available, you do not have to explain it to them.

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Robert Forsyth

"And Agile is just an excuse for micromanagement." no it's not. It is supposed to be a process of continuously improving the development process (and product) - making it more efficient, reducing rework, allowing people at the coal face to spot and communicate improvements early, so they can be implemented early and act for the greater amount of time.

Waterfall (and Agile) can suffer from flash-in-the-pan requirements from marketing, that will not go away until it is seen implemented.

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Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

Robert Forsyth

You can install many desktops

Reading the comments, it seems a lot of people seem to think you can only access one DE from your login

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot

Robert Forsyth

Re: ""I rode a bicycle with no hands today" has no meaning to someone who has never rode a bicycle"

You miss the point

I have the experience of riding a bike, like many other people, using that experience as context makes the sentence (even badly formed) unambiguous.

You could argue that the story involved in most contexts is like loose rules.

You enter a train carriage and ask:

"Is this seat taken?" or

"Is this seat free?"

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Hundreds stranded at Manchester Airport due to IT 'glitch'

Robert Forsyth

It is better to get it fixed than apportion blame and lose the source of any information.

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'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered

Robert Forsyth

Re: British Airways

These are low paying holiday makers, not business travellers

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Robert Forsyth

Re: If you cannot patch it quarantine it

Not incompetent (many are as arrogant as you) but overworked and lacking funds.

So you should not be able to access the X-rays from anywhere, but print them out and post them in internal mail, really?

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The rise, fall, and rise (again) of Microsoft's killer People feature

Robert Forsyth

Re: Talking to people at the computer

I really love those emails with instructions to open the (Word) attachment, so I can read a paragraph of text - in a nice font.

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

Robert Forsyth

Re: No they don't

Many if not most switch mode power supplies SMPS convert the incoming 50Hz AC to DC then drive a small/tiny transformer with 10kHz to 1MHz AC signal.

Most PCs and laptops and 5V USB chargers could probably take AC or DC,

It should be noted the peak voltage of the 240V mains is 41% higher (339V) than the RMS.

I heard France had a DC grid, in the old days you had a DC motor drive an AC alternator.

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Barbican Digital Revolution exhibition: Techies, arty types get intimate

Robert Forsyth

Re: Not brutalist, but...

Back in the mid 1980's, it did have a serendipitous nature, you could look over a balcony and see a band playing, but not anyway to reach the place.

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Today's bugs have BRANDS? Be still my bleeding heart [logo]

Robert Forsyth

Re: GOTO be GONE?

In Structured Programming (without GOTOs) the idea was that each block had one entry and one exit to make the code easier to debug, etc.

An idea which came in with Java, is you write the code as if there are no errors, so as not to hide the algorithm with error handling, then catch all the errors/exceptions at the end. The garbage-collection would clean up any unreferenced resources.

The 'IF' statement causes problems, especially a sequence of if-them-else statements which hides what is going on and the switch-case statement(s) can easily become unwieldy. However the logical and && and logical or || can be a camouflaged if-then-else statement or conditional branch or goto. The and && loosely the then part and the or || the else part. The 'and' && becomes; if the left side is false, return false, if the left side is true, then return the right side. The 'or' || becomes; if the left side is true, return true, else return the right side.

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Raised £350bn in crowdsourced funding? Tell me about it (not)

Robert Forsyth

Re: I'm sure you were railing against something

I think "nobend" is missing a k at the beginning and a hyphen/space after the "b", if it isn't obvious.

The picture is to illustrate the effect of the gushing cheesy words of a particular press release partly described in the article.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Robert Forsyth

Re: Bah!

Dowsing

Could it be that the water make a feint low frequency rumble which resonates the rib-cage?

Ever been too close to the bass bins at a concert and have the feeling your lungs vibrate?

Why does Tarzan beat his chest?

Although missing out the machinery in a hydroelectric plant, which converts the potential energy of water up hill to rotating magnets was amusing - akin to being frightened by the WiFi signal, but not the microwave oven, car alarm remote, cordless phone, etc.

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FINALLY Microsoft releases Office for iPad – but wait there's a CATCH

Robert Forsyth

Re: 5 people editing one document simultaneously

Currently, the document is emailed amongst the group and then there is a merge headache at the end of the day.

With Google Docs the problem was, as I see it, your bit of the document moved up and down as someone else deleted and inserted lines above your insertion point.

The other problem with these word-processors, is (other) people spend most of their time fiddling with the font and line spacing for page layout, which is wasted when someone corrects their spelling or grammar.

Most corporate templates, I have seen/used, are more of a problem than a solution, based on thinking that the word-processor is a dumb typewriter.

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Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

Robert Forsyth
Thumb Up

Heart Warming Article

Just as an eBook reader, it might replace expensive books.

I added a Bluetooth keyboard to my Nexus 7 for a similar experience to a netbook.

The film Beijing Bicycle might be worth viewing.

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Robert Forsyth

Re: Rename Windows

The computers Microsoft write for are not really called Micro, nowadays, since perhaps they are more powerful than mini-computers of yesteryear. Long time since writing BASIC for hobby microprocessor computers. I assumed microprocessor software was reduced to Microsoft.

More problematic, is that tablets and phones do not typically have windows, tending to have full screen interaction.

I assume Azure refers to the (colour of the) sky or sea; Windows implies a user-interface, despite how poor a simile that is. Azure for sky-blue would seem a good fit for something for your clouds to float in.

Dibs on Screens and Panels

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5 Eyes in the Sky: The TRUTH about Flight MH370 and SPOOKSATS

Robert Forsyth

Re: Last weeks images.

These cameras are not geostationary, you take two pictures the second one from a different place from the first (at a later time).

Obviously for moving things like waves, it is not going to work.

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Protect data by deleting it: Ground Labs

Robert Forsyth

Help or Hinder

Would it be useful to a data thief to piggy back on this tool, to show them where all the sensitive data is?

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Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Robert Forsyth

Re: vector graphics

Asteroids

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TSMC sole supplier of Apple's A8? NO WAY, says Samsung, US TOO

Robert Forsyth

Re: Unlikely

It might be a bit risky to have all your chips in one egg basket.

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Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic

Robert Forsyth

Is it not Cellular automaton

Conway's Game of Life http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life

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Microsoft tries to trademark 'Mod' in the US

Robert Forsyth

MS name for app?

Apple have App

Google have apps (should that be Gadgets?)

Mozilla have Add-ins

Microsoft could have Mod

for a widget which enhances the existing product, such as an Microsoft Office template to do your tax returns

Apple Apps

Google Grommets

Java Jars

Mozilla Firefox MFs

Microsoft Mini-apps or Minis

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Build your own mobile network for the low, low price of US$2,000

Robert Forsyth

Re: I've used one of those

I saw and used one (with my own phone) at Oshcamp2012 in Hebden Bridge, also a smaller sysmoBTS. The guys demonstrating it had provided a private mobile network for a festival in a desert in the USA

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Nokia tears devs' hearts out, shutters Symbian and Meego stores early

Robert Forsyth

I dun no, it seems like the board members were from non telecommunications backgrounds.

AFAIK, Nokia should have been using the "cash cow" of Symbian to develop some replacement "problem children" into "rising stars" - which is what they did, then threw it away, followed by killing the cash cow and flushing any remaining cash on a former competitors under developed "pet project".

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Multipath TCP: Siri's new toy isn't a game-changer

Robert Forsyth

Re: TCP/IP has been multi-path from the git-go.

Beat me to it.

May be the problem with a phone it that the mobile and wi-fi are given different IP addresses and your phone would have to add a simple virtual host/router to use both interfaces simultaneously. However, my netbook has both on at the same time, not sure how it decides.

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Robert Forsyth

Re: Confused

IIRC it was pseudo security

If someone was running a fake login screen with password snaffling, then pressing Ctl-Alt-Del would end the fake program, in theory .

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Robocars, backseat fun, satnav 2.0: Meet the bit of Nokia Microsoft didn't buy

Robert Forsyth

Re: Now I'm Completely Confused

Rolls-Royce etc. etc.

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Nokia quiz: Do you know what a phablet is?

Robert Forsyth

How about?

Phoney - bit bigger than a phone

Phtwo - ph one, ph two

or

Phonez

Phune

OK, I'm off

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Happy Friday the 13th! It's Programmers' Day

Robert Forsyth

@Stuart Longland

Surely, day 0xFF - flip-flop day

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Robert Forsyth

Surely, ...INTERSTELLAR SPAAACE

to keep the recent theme

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Robert Forsyth

How far away is it?

Is the 17 hours for the radio signal (18E12 metres away) to get here or for the press release to be published?

;-)

If they sent up a series of radio signal relay/booster satellites, with additional instruments, every few years, they might have a chain from the far reaches.

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Microsoft's 'We want a Mac look and feel' UK director splits after seven years

Robert Forsyth

Re: He has gone to work for

One could predict:

Microsoft will move into Apple like devices, meanwhile Apple will move to servers and server OS (enhancements) with their new found 64 bit ARM.

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Let's talk about continuous delivery

Robert Forsyth

What happened to Continuous Iintegration?

That is all.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Robert Forsyth

Re: Affordability my arse

@03:15 GMT Anonymous Coward

Polycarbonate is used for bullet proof glass, a'nt it? In 2011 Nokia were machining* the phone case out of a single piece of polycarbonate, Apple are innovating again.

* I think they meant machine finishing: mould it roughly the right shape then precise cut with machine tool.

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Swiss space plane to launch robotic orbital debris destroyer

Robert Forsyth

Reaction

The cleaner could push the debris down (mechanically) and be pushed up itself. Solar energy could be collected and used to lower the debris and raise the cleaner to compensate for atmospheric drag.

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Enterprise storage: A history of paper, rust and flash silicon

Robert Forsyth

Re: Storage Desnity...

The more 1 bits you punch, but the un-punched 0 bits? However, most characters/numbers will have some bits punched.

Each line adds another card or 8 inches.

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Finns, roamers, Nokia: So long, and thanks for all the phones

Robert Forsyth

Re: They totally missed the boat

My Nokia 5800 played BBC iPlayer fine (with the option to download the video and just checked the server for the licence) and it could output to TV with the included AV lead.

However, it wasn't an N series, being much cheaper including free music subscription, so was not the same market as the iPhone.

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Campus Party: Did it start Silicon Britain or let 5,000 geeks sleep together?

Robert Forsyth

Re: Travelling Godberries

Aren't most wars fought for acquiring and protecting resources for the greedy, the ideology thing is a marketing smoke screen to make the non-greedy support the greedy cause?

Some belief systems are for people who find science too hard, but mostly it allows oversized groups/packs of humans to live together efficiently (in towns and cities). These are the social protocols which allow trust and trade between people - think about the amount of work getting a bank account, if you did not trust them to look after your money.

Obviously this is an oversimplification.

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Furious Frenchies tell Apple to bubble off: Bling iPhone isn't 'champagne'

Robert Forsyth

Re: Ummm

On my OpenSUSE laptop/netbook

[Alt Gr]+' e -> ê

; -> é

@ -> ě

# -> è

~ -> ĕ

[ -> ë

] -> ẽ

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iPhone rises, Android slips in US, UK

Robert Forsyth

Re: I wonder if it's straightforward role reversal

I don't see how you can say Apple's phone is a fashion item, it has not changed much every six months.

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Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected

Robert Forsyth

How is it pronounced in Finland? Does that matter?

I think it is Nok ee-a in UK and No key a in US. From Wikipedia it is noc-i-ar ('n'anny, ch'o're, s'c'old, k'i'd, f'a'ther).

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Microsoft - do you really think you can take on Google with Nokia?

Robert Forsyth

Why is Nokia a brand?

A brand name is to indicate a level of quality in the branded product; branded bread did not contain saw dust.

If you "borrow" the brand name, but not the design and manufacture, what does the brand stand for?

The Nokia brand, in phones, stood for robust, value for money, but competent products - admittedly they had MS style cock-ups on the software sometimes.

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