Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.
When she can spell like that, I can see why you called her "Gramma"
125 posts • joined 20 May 2011
Meh, I think I'd side with the researcher. Even if I realised the person I was trying to help would likely reject it, I'd prefer to at least give them the chance. If they accept it, then my estimation of humanity increases and I get my "good deed" badge for the day. If they don't accept it, I shrug and let them reap what they sow content in the knowledge that I at least tried. Which seems to be exactly what this researcher has done.
Just my 2 cents.
Came to say the same, but with an attached anecdote.
I used to commute through Reading town centre on a regular basis, and the amount of earbud-wearing zombie pedestrians that stepped out in front of sodding double decker buses without looking beggared belief. And those machines aren't exactly quiet. Tragically, one man did in fact lose his life to this during the time I lived there, but the investigation found that it was his own fault (they put it more tactfully than that). The bus's cctv clearly showed him stepping out without hearing or looking.
I don't think a silent bus was the problem, nor "e-noise" the solution.
There's a world of difference though between "Hi Weather App, I would like to know the weather at postcode SW1 1AB" once or twice a day (whether you're there or not), and the app reporting your exact GPS co-ordinates, available WiFi networks and visible mobile phone towers three times a second, to people or companies you don't even know of.
Only a couple of times in my career have I been told "just do it!" by a manager in the face of my warnings of dire consequences. Both times, I've answered: "I will do as you ask, but I will need your request in writing as well as an acknowledgement that I warned you about X, Y and Z". I was quite happy to tell them that I needed it to cover my arse when things inevitably fell over. Most of the time, the managers' requests mysteriously went away. For the one that didn't, the manager did at least stop and think through what he was asking before pushing ahead.
I drive a 1997 Toyota Starlet. Most of her parts are a simple unbolt-and-replace deal. She had a new clutch put in her recently, took a little less than 6 hours to do.
My other half drives a newer Nissan X Trail. Great machine, but with all the extra bells and whistles crammed underneath the bonnet the same clutch-replacement job took three and a half week-end days and five evenings during the intervening week. Just stripping the engine down to get at the sodding thing took days! Even replacing a rear seat-belt (prime chewing target for the dogs) involves stripping out every bit of internal trim starting from the boot and working forwards.
I was thinking the same. My favoured hobbies usually involve making things and I have a large number of projects queued up for the workshop. Unfortunately, I regularly hit months where I just don't have enough cash to buy tools or materials and progress on my projects grinds to a halt. Thus, my spare time tends to get diverted to YouTube or video games. Money definitely helps people get out and about and spend their time productively.
I have only once had my desktop hijacked in my career (they did the old "rotate the monitor" trick). I have successfully avoided any further hijackings by 1) being very diligent about locking my machine when I step away from it and 2) Making it very clear to everyone that the day anyone messes with my machine is the day that they will leave work to go home and find their car with four flat tyres and a bicycle pump on the bonnet.
There is of course a line between a quick laugh and a genuine inconvenience, but my sense of humour tends to evaporate fairly quickly when that line is crossed.
One question is: are IT staff more susceptible, or are IT staff more targeted? I imagine it wouldn't be all that effective to call or email a factory line worker or a shop assistant to try and get them to change some details in a portal system that they probably don't even have access to. I can very well imagine a help desk person getting a call from someone saying that they're a supplier complaining of 'an issue on their end', but I can't think of many other places in a company that would be the destination of that kind of call.
Just food for thought.
@Big Al 23
The latest incident I heard of that matches what you say is this:
I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that this is the incident you are referring to. The woman broke her ankle, and caused the accident because she was using her phone and back-ended a fire engine. She took no action to prevent this in the apparently mistaken belief that the car would do the braking for her. I believe the police reprimanded her for the US equivalent of driving without due care and attention.
If I've got the wrong incident, can you provide a link to the Reuters article?
Sounds like an extension of the "If you can't dazzle with brilliance, baffle with bullshit" approach. Also used to great effect by large companies to limit bonuses, raises, promotions of their own employees, justify bonuses, raises of management, justify the appointment of manager's mate to high-level role, by governments when enacting new 'security' laws...
That list was supposed to be small, but I can think of so many examples on the spur of the moment that it's depressing.
In this case, superfast is faster than fast (which is standard), as opposed to the internet connection that I have which is standard (i.e. fecking slow). Hope that clears things up :)
Treating things seriously for a minute, the gov (in the first result I found on Google, so take that with a pinch of salt) defines superfast as a download speed exceeding 24 mbps. Other Google hits centre around the 25 to 30 mbps region. What you and I would call "normal" speed.
Yeah, I remember a similar "used by Google" test question. It went along the lines of:
"You have been shrunk to 3 inches tall and are in a blender. How do you escape?"
I thought for a minute and then answered "pray", which didn't impress. Apparently the correct answer was "jump", on the basis that muscle power scales according to mass, so regardless of how tall you are you should be able to jump the same height if all other factors are the same. When this was explained to me, I pointed out that A: Most people use a blender with the lid -on- and B: If someone has the power to shrink me to 1/24th my size, catch me and then stick me in a blender then I don't think a quick jump is going to solve that particular problem (lid or not).
I have very little patience for trying to find "correct" answers to blatantly contrived scenarios.
Hmm... One example of "ai" not being capitalised, fifteen of "it" not being capitalised, a distinct lack of a baffling number of abstract proper-noun phrases and a concise, cogent argument...
Are you feeling OK? It's like seeing a post from Bob without any random capitalisation. One comes to expect some things around here.
I'm of the opinion that GDPR was designed specifically for Facebook. Once it landed, Facebook had two choices. 1: Clean up their act, or 2. Risk a massive fine. I'm betting a number of EU politicians were banking on FB not being able to kick the addiction. Myself, I'm not wondering whether Facebook will be caught by GDPR, I'm wondering how many times it will be caught.
Popcorn at the ready.
My personal belief is that it should happen.
The reasoning is similar to why big motor companies invest so heavily in Formula 1. The prizes and prestige of winning a race or season cannot outweigh the millions they spend developing and building cars that are only good for a small handful of races at best. The real prize is when they can apply the advancements they make to their everyday cars, making them lighter, more efficient, and crucially better than their competitors' offers.
In these cases, it isn't the destination that matters so much. It's the journey, and what is learned along the way. The destination is just something to focus on :)
Ah, fair enough. I was mis-remembering the Falcon Project rocket that they switched away from. Digging a little deeper, it apparently used solid Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) as fuel, with HTP decomposed in the manner you describe to provide a hot oxidiser.
*Opens Pedant's guide to Pedantry at 1st page*
*Reads "Rule one of Pedantry: Be right"*
Um... oops :)
Getting out my Pedant's guide to Pedantry, but does a hybrid rocket count as a mono-propellant rocket? One propellant is solid (the fuel?) and the other, liquid propellant (oxidiser) is pumped through it to allow throttling. Only one liquid propellant, but still two propellants?
Not certain here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
Quote: "Over the past 20 years,...the lead time for delivering software has come down significantly. It used to take years. Now it's more like weeks."
Do you know why?
Because many more people are developing software!!
Also, I get the feeling that twenty years ago people put a lot more effort into developing bullet-proof software. These days they seem to be aiming for software that'll hold together just long enough to make it to the next patch release.
One previous company I worked for had a rather bad habit of promoting people into positions where they couldn't do much damage. One such person, promoted to the position of project manager, was renowned for having -never- brought a single project to a successful conclusion.
They would never have dreamed of promoting someone who was -good- at their job. After all, who else would do that job?
I have to say, my basic Zen package is pretty much the same price as what BT were charging me (after several poorly-communicated price hikes). Speed is limited to about 2mbps where I am, so anything above a basic package is pointless for me. However, where BT regularly throttled the connection to 500kbps and point-blank dropped it about every half an hour, Zen only lost connection twice since I switched. And both of those were power cuts.
I'll stick with Zen, as others here have attested. Mere mention of the letters BT sends me into an incoherent ranting frenzy these days...
I actually went over this during my dealings with BT a year or so ago. Phoned up to complain about the erratic connection and the shite speed (0.5mbps) and they directed me to their flash-based speed checker. Wouldn't accept any other result to start with, until I said that Google and Mozilla had removed flash from their respective browsers and their speed checker would no longer work on any modern machine. Technically bollocks, as you can get flash to work if you really want, but it was enough to make the support droid cave.
Quote: "Jackson said its orbit has the highest eccentricity ever observed for a foreign object passing through our Solar System."
Now I might be wrong about this, but a foreign object passing through our Solar System would not be in orbit around the sun, it would merely be passing it by. It's "orbit" would be hyperbolic, which would thus make it's orbital eccentricity infinite?
Either the object is the first interstellar object we've seen (which is was was largely reported, and would make this extra piece of information redundant), or it's straight-up wrong.
Ok, ok, I'm leaving. Mine's the one with a copy of "Pedant's guide to pedantry" in the pocket.
If I remember my biology correctly, a bacterial culture (I assume that's what is being referred to here) grows exponentially over time. So culture = c ^ t, where c is the initial culture (a constant) and t is time.
Likewise, according to Moore's law, technology gets more powerful over time, doubling every 18 months. So this should produce a similar equation, albeit with a different constant. Call these cC and tC, for cultural constant and technological constant
This gives: 'digital' = (cC ^ t) ^ 2 + 4 * (tC ^ t).
I.e. a constant and very large waste of time.
At this moment, at home, my office floor is covered in Lego Technic (and assorted other blocks) in the process of being sorted. My collection consists mostly of long beams, plates, axles, gears and a few other more fiddly pieces. In my youth, with these very bricks, I have built room-high marble runs, working and reasonably accurate clocks, a three foot long, seven feet high automatic rolling crane, elastic band powered guns that quite frankly got far beyond being safe...
My brother got Lego City style sets during those same years. He built... the Lego city sets.
Don't get me wrong, I will likely still buy Lego Technic sets. But I treat the model I buy as something nice to build once, for the interest, then disassemble to fuel my next project. I regard the themed sets as largely a waste of time.
I have to agree, the quality of the Xperias is rather lacking. My other half was a staunch fan of Sony phones from the Ericsson days, but since Sony Ericsson split the quality has gone down. The only Xperia I owned had a nasty habit of not noticing when I took the headphones out and continued to pump sound out to the jack until I reset the thing (extremely annoying when you answer a call, don't hear anything and haven't figured out the bug yet). A factory reset cured the issue for a few months, but it then reappeared. Every Xperia phone that has been in the house has had it's screen cracked. My other half's phones began eating through battery life extremely quickly...
I could go on, but the gist is that there were so many little bugs with the Xperias that we decided not to bother. I now have an HTC, and my other half went to Samsung.
The recent actions of Microsoft, Google et al have made me (and undoubtedly a great many other people) understandably suspicious of anyone who utters the term "data collection". However, I agree with the approach outlined above (@Eugene Crosser). If the data collection is one-off, opt-in and I can see exactly what data is being sent, then I have no problem. Bonus points if I can tailor exactly what data is sent. The fact that Ubuntu's source code is apparently available to examine means that any extra data sent in an underhanded fashion will be quickly picked up.
The main problem I had with other companies is that the data collection was often either opt-out, repeatedly and continuously opt-out when they sneakily change your settings back, or even just mandatory. There was no transparency at all on what was collected, and an awful lot of apparent deceit.
I will be keeping an eye on Ubuntu, but as long as things stay pretty transparent I don't think this is an automatic black mark against them.
Something to consider that might skew the results a bit...
Three years ago I was working for a large company based in Reading, effectively as a junior software developer. My salary was around the £21k mark. A year ago I got a different job in rural Northern Ireland. A .Net / ASP web developer, earning a similar amount.
On the face of it, my standard of living should not have changed. However, in Reading, I could barely afford the rent on the 1 bed flat I shared with my other half. Here in NI, I own a 3 bed house with outbuildings, 2 cars and can afford to kit out my own workshop. But still on the same salary.
Salary, taken as a number, really isn't representative of your standard of living. It changes it's value far too much across the UK.
Cheaper or as cheap as BT. Reliable connection, even out in a rural part of Northern Ireland on a line that seemed to give BT constant issues. Good customer service too, according to reviews, though a year into the contract I've not yet had cause to ring them.
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