* Posts by Jonathan Lane

12 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007

Massive fire on Olympic site

Jonathan Lane

Londons burninh

I'm in the Citigroup tower in Canary Wharf and I can see the smoke from my nearest window. It looked at first like it was coming out of the HSBC building as it was hanging ominously over the top of their tower. Maybe the Citigroup traders panicked thinking HSBC was on fire until they realised it's actually miles away.

Male pattern boldness

Jonathan Lane


Anti-patterns are often more useful than patterns and these are some great anti-patterns. I recognise a lot of them from the code I'm maintaining. What about the Factory pattern that only creates one type of thing? Template classes that can only have a single type in the instantiation? Those are good anti-patterns for obfuscating your code too. I've also got some smart pointers here that aren't very smart (like a reference counted pointer that actually takes ownership like a scoped pointer). They're great for really hacking off the maintenance programmer.

Battle of Britain pilots actually crap shots

Jonathan Lane

@Michael Compton

Why's everyone getting so worked up? It's called cognitive dissonance. Scott Adams talks about it a lot in his trolling blog. Essentially, the vast majority of posters here seem to have projected an opinion on the article writer (original rather than the Reg reporter) and proceeded to demonstrate why that opinion's wrong. I didn't notice in the article where it said that the RAF was crap because everyone was under trained and yet loads of people here seem to take issue with that by providing lots of excuses.

Guys, read it through again carefully and then consider what you want to comment on. No-one's saying that the Germans were better trained or that it's a big problem that the RAF were under trained. Those are just the facts being reported which everyone seems to agree with.

Toshiba to field HD DVD-equipped Xbox 360?

Jonathan Lane

Why integrate with a TV

given the history with consoles dying? At least taking a month to repair the console isn't the end of the world. I wouldn't really want to be without my TV for that long. I'd also expect my TV to last a bit longer than the XBox 360. That bit sounds like a bad idea to me. Integrating the HD-DVD drive with the console in some way seems reasonable to me though. I'll keep my premium and attachment player. I prefer this model to the PS3 where Sony is trying to push a HD format on consumers. I bought my 360 before I had an HD TV so I appreciated being able to save some money upfront and buy the components as I needed them. Consequently I never bought a PS3 and since the price is currently in free-fall I'll hold off until it either goes away completely or the price bottoms out.

Greenpeace admits iPhone 'compliant' with Euro chemicals rules

Jonathan Lane


I think the point about the battery being otherwise separately replaceable isn't that it should be disposed of properly but more about replacing the whole unit. When the battery dies in a few years time maybe you'll think it's so expensive to get it replaced by Apple that you might just as well buy the next new phone/toy and discard the entire phone which you might not have done had it been user serviceable.

TBH I don't see many people with battery explosion related injuries so I presume this exploding phenomenon is either rare, nonexistent or fanboy justification.

World leaders meet to tackle global warming

Jonathan Lane

@Fred Fnord

"Go look at the best available models for what the world looks like in 100 years. Twenty minutes on a web site will save you making a total ass out of yourself in public."

Fred, take a look at the best models for what the world will look like in 100 minutes and try to work out how accurate your 100 year models might be. If meteorologists don't know what the whether's going to do tomorrow what chance do they have of guessing what will happen in 100 years time based on trends that aren't completely understood. Let's face it, no-one knows what's going to happen, no-one knows what impact people are having on the environment, no-one knows what our attempts to solve it will have. What if stopping all of our pollution, cutting methane output, cutting CO2 output causes an ice age? We don;t know enough about the environment to be able to actually control or even influence it that heavily.

Self-powered Wi-Fi adaptor?

Jonathan Lane


You might try an ethernet to wireless adapter, assuming you have ethernet. Maybe a wireless router with ethernet ports. Depends on what you're trying to wirelessly connect to.

DVD Forum gives three-layer, 51GB HD DVD the thumbs up

Jonathan Lane


Sounds good to me. A lot of people are saying that downloads will make this unimportant. I'm not completely convinced. I can see that downloads may eventually become de-facto I don't see it happening anytime soon. Firstly, ADSL isn't fast enough to download an HD-DVD size movie + features. Secondly, if I've spent the week or so downloading that movie I probably want to keep it offline somewhere. Maybe with the size of harddrives now that's not so important. Most importantly, though, is that I want to play these films on my TV not on my PC monitor. I also don't want to have a PC under my TV for this. I want a stand-alone box that is dedicated to playing movies and does it well. At the moment, that's a standalone player for one of these formats. None of the studios seem to be focusing on downloadable content at the moment so I don't see how it's going to take off - legally.

'All-in' DNA database plan hinges on human rights case

Jonathan Lane

missing the point?

I thought this judge was being slightly ironic in making that statement. I didn't think he was genuinely suggesting that an all inclusive DNA database would be a good thing - that was the impression I got when I saw him on breakfast the other day. I thought he was moaning that the database as it stands has a random collection of innocent people on it. Regardless of their ethnic makeup there shouldn't be any innocent people on it. If there are going to be innocent people on there then it should be everyone not just some random sample. I tend to agree with that. I think an all inclusive DNA database is a terribly bad idea but having any innocent people on there is probably as bad if not worse.

Best big TVs?

Jonathan Lane

I went for LCD

Personally, I bought a 40" LCD. I compared several LCDs and several plasmas but ultimately went for a very good Samsung LCD and haven't regretted it at all. What you need to consider is that LCDs tend to have better resolution for less money. That's starting to change but slowly. Plasmas tend to have better black and contrast levels. Generally speaking, the contrast and black levels make a bigger difference to perceived image quality than resolution. That depends on the size of the screen and how close you're going to sit to it. It's also hard to judge these things in the store because of the amount and quality of the lights there - plus the set-up of the screen.

I went for the Samsung F series and, side-by side with a good plasma there's little difference in terms of image quality and stability. The plasmas have slightly better contrast. Basically, I would summarise as: if you're going for a cheap fairly large display go LCD with a high resolution. If you're prepared to spend a lot of money then go for a high resolution (1080p)plasma. It's the medium price level that's the difficult choice. I'd say pick a few models of each in your price bracket and try to see them in a showroom side by side. It won't be a definitive answer, due to the store conditions, but should give you an idea of which way to go. Look particularly for motion blur and reaction time. I saw speed2 the other day and, although a generally poor movie, there is a sequence where they're in a room and the lights flick on and off. That sort of thing really shows up response time and motion blur.

'Wild West' internet needs a sheriff

Jonathan Lane

Linux isn't the answer

as Colin McKinnon suggested. It's only more secure because it's a minority OS. If we all switched from Windows to Linux hackers and virus writers would switch focus as well and everyone would be switching back to the, apparently, more secure Windows. At least part of the answer could be to mandate that Windows users *must* run a firewall, antivirus/anti mal-ware software and always be patched up to date.

ISPS could enforce that incentivised by a reduced rate/insurance. Again you run against this being a global problem. Alternatively, get MS to force a firewall, antivirus etc on users. Make it easy to switch but difficult/impossible to completely remove. Eventually, with OS upgrades, that could solve the problem at the expense of compatant computer users being upset/annoyed.

What's al-Qaeda's take on the iPhone?

Jonathan Lane

Do they listen to music

I know the Talliban didn't approve of music so presumably Al-Qaeda aren't too keen on it either. I suspect wherever you heard that Ayman is a Kylie fan was probably falling for his ploy to sound cool. Somebody probably told him, "hey when you do an interview for the West, tell them you listen to Kylie. It'll make you come across more sympathetic.". Anyway, good article, enjoyed it.

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