Having warned that companies would resort to this soon, only to be mocked and downvoted, all I have to say is: "I told you so."
213 posts • joined 26 Jun 2009
"Re: Dumb meters for dumb people
Actually no most of the dumb meters don't have radio transmitters and I've no idea what makes you pretend to know otherwise."
Bzzt! - No cookie for you!!!
It depends on the area, but simple usage status radios of meters have been in use as early as 1978! (the Metretek, Inc. AMR). Of the last three places I lived, two were definitely AMR equipped. So yes, it is in use, has been for decades, and you, as well as millions of other the uninformed, simply don't know what you are talking about. Frustrating, as people complaining about such things distract us from real problems.
This entirely depends on how well the engines are designed for it. A huge number of tricks, ranging from pumping the oil for a second before sparking the engine to using fairly complicated logic to determine when it is appropriate to stop-start the engine can eliminate much of the actual engine wear we would normally associate with this sort of usage. MUCH larger starter motors, in the "small traction motor" range, can provide stop-start capabilities while actually extending the life of the engine by doing a better job at smoothly pulling the engine up to idle speed - all while outlasting the engine itself (if not overloaded, well-built electric motors are very durable).
Exhaust systems are probably going to be the biggest long term bugaboo, and even on those, a lot of start-stop systems don't kick in the stop-start feature until the entire system is "hot" just for engine and exhaust life - again, good algorithms make the difference. That said, a very real question is just how much real return we'll see from all of this. In some areas, probably quite a bit - but I can't help but think that for most people, in most places, we'll just be paying for greater complexity that we don't need, because we simply don't do that much stop-start driving anyway.
Remember, this pack is intended to power all the electric accessories (including electric cabin climate control) while the ICE is powered down, and still have enough power left to start the engine multiple times (7was mentioned, but I would assume that that is if you haven't been sitting around for ages running your car's AC). In normal use, you wouldn't see that much power used "in one shot," anymore than you would drain a fully charged car battery completely dead just turning your traditionally configured car over once.
"As for coffee mugs: if you can'y take time to enjoy your coffee from a china cup in a static location, you are living your life wrong. Sooking tepid machine java out of a plastic tit at 80mph one-armed is ridiculous."
What right is it of yours to say that this is "living your life wrong?" Some people happen to enjoy driving, especially once they get out away from the city, and at least half of those people liked to sip at their coffee* while doing so. Since /someone/ has to take the jobs which include this type of driving, I'm happy to let them do so - and enjoy their coffee while they get paid to do something they really don't mind doing.
For that matter, you have a very narrow minded of driving and the road in general. I once knew a motorcyclist who had a cupholder attachment (cute thing, gimbaled like a ship's cooktop). In the city at stop lights, and on the open road away from traffic he'd sip his coffee, just like anyone else. I always thought he was a little nuts, but it added to the pleasure of his ride - so it really wasn't MY business.
* Oh, btw - I don't use an electric coffee machine to make my coffee, and my travel mug IS ceramic. But I sip my java while driving. Personally, I find your narrow viewpoint ridiculous.
"Incidentally, does the dual usb adapter use power when the usb's are unplugged? I too would like to leave one plugged in permanently although my cigar socket remains on for an hour after you pull the key out (if there is a device plugged in) so I dont fancy trickle killing the battery everytime I use the car."
Yes, it does pull power - but in such small quantities that your car battery won't even notice 1 hour of "standby" usage. Even at full draw (hooked up and charging), devices like this usually pull less than an amp from the 12v line, MAX. There are a couple of different ways of making devices like these idle, ranging from techniques that require single digit milliwatts (so long as nothing is plugged in) to the very crude that use a phantom load to provide the minimum draw the switch mode power supply can operate at. However, even the crude phantom load devices will pull relatively tiny loads compared to your car battery capacity.
If you still have doubts, there is the final test - all energy must go /somewhere/. In electronics, most unused (waste) energy ends up as heat. If your USB adapter is cool to the touch in idle mode, you know that it won't hurt your car for it to just sit there for a little while, plugged in, while the car is off.
This is a hot topic of conversation all over the 'net right now.
First off, it's highly unlikely that the price will be higher over iTunes - that would look REALLY bad for Apple, wouldn't look good for Netflix, and is such an obvious disaster that it's just not going to happen.
Second, most people seem to agree that a) Netflix probably wouldn't pay the 30% - if nothing else, they probably can't afford it, and b) Apple is unlikely to budge on it's 30% standard.
Since the second point is inherently contradictory, something obviously gave somewhere, but exactly what, and where, and how, is at the moment anyone's guess. Let's face it - this deal is good for Netflix AND Apple - Apple TV is not, has not, and doesn't really look apt to do well on it's own, and Netflix could use all the subscribers it can get - so long as it gets them at a price that makes them even barely profitable. Maybe Netflix is getting something from Apple to make it worth eating a 30% hit to a small set of it's subscription base. Maybe the two - *quiet gasp* - compromised? We may never know while it's still relevant. *shrug*
"Pillock, most of us are IT pros here, we can do useful stuff, having installed a beta, in microseconds. Looking at a veritable turkey takes hours.."
Perhaps if he had said "hours" this may hold water (bearing in mind your extreme hyperbole - I've never seen a hard drive spin up in microseconds, so installing an OS that fast seems slightly unlikely). I believe he said "half an hour," which to try out a new OS is perfectly reasonable in my book.
"You mean those industrial-size floor polishers that are all motor? Those things must use kilowatts of power. Hard to understand how a mobile charger could bring down a whole station when a cleaning machine doesn't affect it in the least."
Actually, 1 kilowatt or so for your typical floor polisher (though most of them don't have much in the way of starter caps and thus have a nice fat current surge at start up). A phone mobe charger is equally likely to blow a breaker if it is short circuited as a floor polisher (as in either case, current will cease to be limited by the device and only be limited by the wiring + whatever is making the short, tripping the breaker /almost/ immediately). However, other posters are correct - in neither case should it significantly impact anything upstream from local distribution.
"How many police in the world are able to track someone who is borrowing someone elses wireless internet service?"
We know of at least one company that built a huge wifi database that included MAC and physical address correlations, even if they did get slapped down for it (Google, I'm looking at you). It's not a big stretch to see police using such information in high profile cases.
It's so nice to see so many people, especially on a Brit site, upvote enforcing morality with blind rage and a gun.
In case anyone is wondering, this is why I often feel the bile rise in my throat at the levels of hypocrisy in the El Reg forums.
Damn gun loving Brits.
-d, a yank
"AdamWill, would you please provide evidence that a person going through immigration at a US port of entry on US soil (including inland international airports) is not in the US?"
I'm not AdamWill, but I will offer a reference that at least clarifies the claim. As near as I can tell - and this isn't my field much less am I the specialist who should be answering this question - the points of entry in question are most definitely U.S. soil - but a number of what the standard American assumes applies to them ANYWHERE in America (if not the whole damn world in some cases) is totally meaningless until you've been cleared for entry. If you want more information, reference the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), § 235 [8 U.S.C.].
'"i'm a lifelong NRA member, and this makes me cringe for so many reasons"
It'd make me cringe too but at least with the right to bear arms you can shoot the asshat that thought it was a good idea right?'
I'm not an NRA member... I don't even own a gun. However, I have to say, that is just plain stupid. Having the right to bear guns or not has nothing to do with the right to kill people. Otherwise, a knife or heavy blunt object would work just as well.
"USA too lost its triple-A rating..."
Actually, the USA losing it's triple-A is one of the biggest reasons to not worry with the same happening to France. It was patently obvious from the way that S&P handled the American rating that it was completely disconnected with reality. In addition, little of what we would expect to happen from a true lack of creditworthiness appears to be true. Truth be told, I'd call for an investigation into whether or not S&P stands to profit from disruptions in Sovereign credit - both for the American AND the French credit rating cut.
"The US like to tout democracy as the ultimate freedom, but apart from their right to vote, the average chinese person does indeed have much fewer obstacles in their life."
Odd, that's not how it seemed to me. On the other hand, both the US and China are big countries and it's easy to only catch a slice of native life when you are visiting, even for years. Still, as a yank, I have to say that I /think/ I have cleaner air and water in the cities, better access to medicine and general infrastructure in the country, and despite a really intrusive, obnoxious government, one that is just a little less likely to come arrest/shoot me for running my mouth off online than the average Chinese. In short, I don't think I live in a free country - but to compare the U.S. to China seems a bit much to me.
P.S. - I really am only commenting on US vs. China. The article is bloody ridiculous, even if it did make me giggle at least once (Jetsetting grave robbing? Announced on twitter? Really, that would be surreal).
"Now, it may sound strange, but old, non-connected TVs still exist (hell, TUBE TVs are still out there)."
The numbers are shrinking every year, but I would not be surprised if tube television sets don't still make a significant fraction of the sets out there and in light use. I still see them all over the place, tucked into corners here and there where someone wanted a television and dug up something from the 90's - if not the 80's.
"If someone invented one of those replicators in Star Trek, would you have some sort of problem with that too?
"Replicating food is killing the supermarkets, and it's illegal!""
All joking aside, Monsanto would probably be filing suit before the replicator even cooled off, so I'd guess that yes, they would. There is plenty of I.P. in physical products. Whether or not some of the associated "rights" (see Monsanto for example) should have been granted or be enforced the way they are is a different question.
Actually, one of the things I like about Netflix is how well it seems to adjust to my available bandwidth. Between my laptop and my phone, I'm using their service away from the house/office as often as not, and while the quality does noticeably degrade when I'm in a bandwidth poor environment, it usually doesn't stutter and hang (e.g., YouTube).
Roughly speaking, the CIA are the spies (Central Intelligence Agency) and the FBI are the more conventional police (Federal Bureau of Investigations). While the CIA isn't supposed to target citizens (and thus generally not domestically), the FBI can operate domestically, or with the cooperation of local authorities, abroad.
Having tried the WD Live Plus Omega Fun Thingy (or whatever they call it these days), I have to say I found the D-link Boxee offering more than worth the price. Of course, the WD box failed to handle files in a number of creative ways, even after proper firmware upgrades. The Boxee interface is polished well enough for me for local media. More importantly, it plays everything.
I was thinking much the same with the PCB layout tools. However, it looks like a key difference may be just where in the process this limitation is made obvious (the EULA is not obvious). If it is before you can waste any time getting locked in against your will, I don't see the problem here. Unfortunately, it sounds like you find this out after you make your first book? If so, it is a serious problem - though as likely a stupid mistake as a deliberate IP grab, me thinks. We'll see if they correct themselves in a timely manner.
Actually, not all monetary concerns are that simple. Issa probably CAN'T be bought quite that simply, he has too much money of his own. On the other hand, NO ONE with that much money doesn't have his own vested interests. It would take someone with the virtues of a saint to ignore those interests, and I've never really noticed a tendency for saints to get elected to high public office.
Ok, I know I'm practically asking to be flamed here, but...
While I'm glad the Internet payment fee was dropped, I wish that either a) they had kept the fee for phone payments or b) done away with phone payments altogether, and that every other non-essential utility would follow suit. They are a horribly inefficient payment processing method, usually contracted out to a third party, and subsidized by the bulk of the customers who neither need them nor would want them if they knew their price.
How about just using WPA-PSK instead of WPS (or WPA with Radius)? Why the need for MAC address white list?
Depends on what you are using it for.
If you are a typical user, then YES. The primary purpose of WPS is to make it so easy (and enabled by default, in most cases) to have some sort of wifi security that typical users will actually do so. MAC address white listing defeats that simplicity anyway, and ANY WPA variant is better than this.
On the other hand, some other uses of WPS include easy wifi config. This has been adopted somewhat heavily for use in wifi attached appliances. It's going to be harder to change those on a drop of a hat, so if you happen to be using those, you are probably stuck with MAC address white lists as your best choice.
Actually, I think that if almost five out of six times a certain light went on on my dashboard a car jumped the red, I for one would pay it plenty of attention. Granted, I would rather save the money and drive for myself as of yet, but I wouldn't brush this off as useless.
"It's obviously an open-cell foam, so it would fill with water and still sink. That doesn't make it any less cool though."
Maybe, maybe not. Water has a fairly high surface tension, and this is a VERY lightweight substance with rather small openings - I suspect that without additional energy to force the water to overcome the obstacle of surface tension, there would be insufficient migration into the cells to cause the structure to sink. Of course, should the water actually penetrate into the structure the same surface tension forces will then encourage further seepage.
Of course, I'll openly admit that I'm guessing here. :)
While "pure" R&D may often appear to happen in leaps and bounds, actual engineering tends to happen in small steps. If in doubt, look at battery technology today compared to batteries of 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and 20 years ago. Another area to look at is power electronics, which went from being non-existent, to expensive and rare, to cheap and ubiquitous. All these new, exciting discoveries you keep hearing about? Expect these technologies and more to show up in your hand 10 or more years from now, not next year, and you probably won't be too disappointed.
You do realize that the obsessive haters are about an order of magnitude more annoying than fanbois, don't you?
I don't own one of these train wrecks (sorry, my wife does and I can't stand the antenna problems), but a quick check on "them their 'internets" shows that the iPhone 4 was released June 24, 2010. Seeing as this isn't quit the end of 2011, that makes for a less than 1.5 year turn around, not 3. I also don't recall any major recall beyond a (somewhat ugly) case thingy. As far as just being an updated 4... well, the clue is sort of in the name, isn't it? It's the iPhone /4s/, not the 5, or anything like that.
Really, if you're going to hate on a product, at least get your facts straight.
"EU law will be enforced even if the company is based in a third country and has its data centres outside the EU, the statement reaffirmed."
Either the EU is going to create the Great Firewall of Europe, or this is a totally lost cause. It may cause Facebook, etc. to move their datacenters and other points of presence out of Europe, though. At least they won't have those pesky jobs... ;)
It's worse than that; a certain online supplier with an ovum-based name failed to fulfill an order I placed with them which had a fair number of drives in it. The worst part is that they took a week to do so, despite my contacting customer service to ask what was going on. Of course, in that time drive prices had risen elsewhere. It seems that right now even retailers with good histories are falling down on customer service.
Flame icon, because when I complained about the price increase, I was told that they "don't do price protection," and I should re-order the items that I still needed which were available. I did so, but oddly enough, from a retailer with a large cat-based name. Who managed to get the order out their door in 1 business day, so I'll be using them as my default supplier for a while. :)
"For one thing issuing an ultimatum demanding the release of an unnamed person makes no sense."
If this makes no sense to you, then I would suggest you haven't thought the situation through. To name the individual makes them vulnerable to reprisals both before the deadline and, should Anon release the information, after. What's more, these reprisals are likely to be both from Los Zetas and (should he survive) from without.
On the other hand, effectively demanding that EVERYONE currently being held is released doesn't automatically give your guy away, and leaves open the possibility that you didn't even have a guy in there in the first place.
As far as the kicking the hornet's nest that is Los Zetas... I'm torn, and I'll admit that. These are ruthless killers who will take out innocents in order to keep their empire in line without even a second of hesitation. On the other hand, I don't generally blame the government when a terrorist kills a lot of people. Since right now there is really no civil authority there deserving of the name, I can't blame any local member of Anon (or anyone else) who tries to strike back in whatever way is at their disposal.
"There's this thing...
Called a class action lawsuit...."
Which is civil, not criminal. I'm all for a class action lawsuit in this case, but the fact remains, this should ALSO be investigated as a criminal case. There is no difference here between a common criminal setting up websites to scrape users information and what these "legitimate" companies are doing, and their Executive Officers (at minimum) should be held personally responsible for it.
"Does this surprise you?"
No, actually. In fact, I believe the very first line of my post said that I wasn't surprised, rather, I was disgusted. Criminal behavior in the corporate world has become common enough that people aren't even noticing anymore, and unfortunately, this will not change until we eliminate the corporate shield and start holding individuals in corporations responsible for their actions.
"You don't seem to realise that not all parents are capable of even knowing where to start setting up web filtering, you're an IT guy and you probably don't even begin to understand how difficult this is for some people."
Actually, considering that I spent an entire summer teaching basic computer literacy workshops for primary school teachers a little over a decade ago, I have a VERY good idea how hard this is for some parents to understand. Yet, by the end of 12 hours of training, all of those teachers knew, at the very least, how much they did or did not know, which meant that they knew when they needed to call for help. Most of them were comfortable using the computer, and after a couple weeks of practice, were ready for even more training.
Computers have changed a lot since the summer of '97, but the fact remains - these are skills that can be taught, even to people who are clearly frightened of the idea of a computer and the internet. If you can't handle a class to bring you up to speed, pay someone to help you. If you can't afford either, then you can't afford the monthly ISP fees, much less the computer necessary to use one. At least around here, the classes are subsidized and available at such low cost as to be nearly free. It simply requires the dedicated effort.
"Nearly everyone likes a bit of porn anyway, what's the big deal. Just don't ask for it in a disgusting way, but surely there's no problem is asking: Can I have access to the adult sites please, thanks""
Bah! Call them up complaining that you can no longer access goatse. Get your friend to do the same thing, but "two girls, one cup." Lather, rinse, repeat. See how many BT phone operators end up off the lines with nervous twitches on the inside of a week. ;)
"For example, Catholics and Protestants who attack each other cannot claim to be Christian."
That's a nice thought Bob, but when the bulk of the world, including the practicing Catholics and Protestants, identify them as Christian, it pretty much falls apart. I'm not trying to be trite here, but it's sort of like a "hoover" or "kleenex" or "xerox" - all of these words may have meant something very specific a long time ago, but that's well and over now.
It really is a nice thought, though.
"How many 16 year old males do you know ? I assure you, they do and they also know how to get round the simple blocking that routers allow. Perhaps the ones with grielfiends who say Yes don't bother but contrary to rumours this is the minority (see The Inbetweeners as a sound factual reference)."
And it provides most of them a cheap thrill that they are scared of getting caught at, so most don't do it very much - no more than when skin mags were around in our time. For the rest, they are determined enough that if they absolutely must they will go over to a friend's house who's parents have signed up for the porn feed - you know, just like teen boys used to go over to the one house where someone had found their parent's stash of porno VHS tapes.
Either way, trying to control this particular aspect of 16 year old behavior is somewhere between silly and obscene. That's not to say that I am going to hand out pornography to my kids, but I AM realistic about it - it is something that they will see. Better to teach them about the realities of sex and prepare them for the world than try to wrap them in wool and fail.
"I yacht, I sea kayak and I hill walk. In an emergency, I'm likely to be unable to get through on marine VHF (hand-held at sea level or below) or mobile phone. I don't rate my chances of anybody seeing a flare in/off NW Scotland. So my only way of raising the alarm is by triggering my EPIRB. If it doesn't have a GPS fix, I'm unlikely to get much of a response."
So don't go out when the military has announced, LONG in advance, that GPS will be down during X block of time over Y area.
Is this really such a hard concept to comprehend?
P.S. If the RN is nearby, and you're at sea, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that they will not only receive your VHF transmission, but can triangulate on it. You do have VHF on your yacht at least, don't you?
If I had to guess, I'd say that the jamming is of "moderate-to-high" level importance. It is absolutely critical that the military practice with degraded electronic communications, especially those they tend to take for granted such as GPS. It's possible as a one-off to just "make believe" that they don't have any GPS, but that seriously reduces the sense of reality, as well as eliminating any ability to practice countermeasures.
That said, the RN is NOT insensitive to safety issues. If it was just fisherman losing their nets, I suspect that they would respond the same way that the US Air Force did when they were practicing with some black tech that kept opening (and according to a few complaints, frying out) garage door openers across entire suburbs. Specifically, they basically said: "We're the military, cope with it." I suspect that the RN would have responded the same.
On the other hand, safety issues (at least among their own civilians) tend to get a response from most Western militaries. Some Admirals are probably gritting their teeth at the "dumb fisherman," but they'll plan ahead for next time.
"Most fishermen can still navigate without GPS but in a similar way to how most people don't use a map in a car, most fishermen don't use charts now (but still have them onboard in case of failure)."
I use a map. Less talking back to me than a silly GPS. ;)
"The real problem seems to be cases where the GPS is reporting inaccurate positions so you think you're safe and end up hitting rocks or catching nets - both of which appear to have happened during this exercise."
GPS is, first and foremost, a military system - civilian GPS was always a very nice afterthought. If the RN needs to jam it for practice twice a year, so long as they send out proper notice, the fisherman should simply cope. As for said notice, it's already been noted on this forum that amateurs who sail in that area were well aware of the coming failure - if the fisherman weren't paying attention to what should be standard notices, then that's their own fault. What are they going to complain about next, that the RN isn't nuking storms out of the sky so they keep fishing?
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