Re: I'll Cheer You All Up
> (Can't think of anything the Welsh might do)
The Welsh seem to be channeling their Brexit angst into playing better rugby. :-)
1089 posts • joined 21 Jan 2014
> What kind of company puts all their communications eggs (or even a good percentage of them) in one basket ...[snip] Answers on a postcard.
Oh the irony. You do realise that, in days of yore, there was only the Post Office and every company relied on it for all their comms needs?
There is nothing new in a business being dependent on single comms provider.
> So for me its "ties to my official spot on the face of the Earth" versus workforce mobility.
You are conflating electronic voting with electronic voting!
There is electronic voting which replaces the paper ballot and box with something computerised but you still have to attend the polling station and vote in person.
Then there is remote, over the Internet voting, which I don't think anyone thinks can be made secure, yet.
I'm not sure what benefit the former brings: the equipment costs just as much as printing ballot papers if not more. The count will be quicker but currently (in the UK at least) counts happen overnight so for most people they wake up the next day to the result. A faster count means they might know by midnight instead. Whoopy doo.
> So why such strong objections for equipment plugging into the RF grid which, I think, lacks the kind of safeguards that apply to the electricity grid.
Firstly, any wifi router, as sold, has to comply with RF interference rules. If a rogue product comes onto the market then it can be removed, subjected to a recall notice etc as necessary.
BUT this legislation doesn't apply to routers as first sold: it applies to user mods afterwards. That would be fine if and only if there was evidence that user mods were causing widespread (or even near spread) RF interference problems. But there isn't any.
So we have proposed legislation that defends against an essentially hypothetical problem but is absolutely guaranteed to exacerbate a proven problem, namely that of botnets taking advantage of weak router security. Why would you do that?
Fahrenheit gets ribbed for having a cold "on the day" that he set his scale, with the result that the average human body temperature is 98.7 rather than the 100 he supposedly measured on himself.
The reality, of course, is that it took rather more time than the duration of a short cold to define his scale rigorously. Fahrenheit actually chose the upper value of his scale to be 96 so that the set points of 0, 32 and 96 were multiples of 2, which allows the scale sub-divisions to be easily marked mechanically.
The scale was later redefined to set the upper point to 212 - the boiling point of water - again deliberately 180 above the freezing point of water at 32, so the scale is still easily sub-divided mechanically.
But that redefinition caused the average human body temperature to go up a couple of degrees and almost ever since people have claimed that he had a cold.
Not a travel disaster story but...
I once did some work in the States for the same client - first two weeks, then back home for a month then another few days back in the States. Everything went well and all was fine except for one quirk: the invoice for one of the stints in dollars was exactly the same (to the penny) as the invoice price in Sterling for the other stint. This caused no end of problems between each company's finance systems as each would reject it in turn as a duplicate (as they would auto-match on the monetary value).
It was only when they eventually came to me to ask exactly how much time I had spent was I able to spot what had happened.
9) Make it compulsory to sell tickets by ballot, not first come first served.
So the ticket agency (or ballot operator if outsourced) would be obliged to accept entries up until a deadline date - at least two weeks after the ballot opens, say. Anyone can apply and has to give an address. Maybe a credit card as well, but it would be illegal to take money at this point.
After the registration period ends:
- the ballot operator is obliged to check for duplicate addresses, duplicate credit cards etc and exclude what appear to be multiple entries from the same source
- tickets are allocated randomly to those who applied. At this point the 'winners' can be contacted and asked to supply photos / whatever else is deemed necessary to prevent resale and the card is charged.
This has two advantages:
a) Large-scale scalpers would need a multitude of addresses and cards which would require much more effort that at present. (Small scale ones would still be able to operate using friends and family but they're not the concern here)
b) Fans who have 'real' jobs, such as nurses or teachers and can't just slack off for half-an-hour of repeatedly pressing 'Buy' on their phones can actually have a chance of going to a concert.
TBH it is (b) that most annoys me about these concert events where the breathless publicity blathers on about "...ticket sales opened at 10am and were sold out in minutes...". That's lovely unless you're driving a train, flying a plane, or trying to save the life of the latest teenage stabbing victim.
> Surely that's not entirely random, I'm not sure how feasible it would be to create a mirror that would reflect exactly 50% of photons? Otherwise there will be an overall bias towards a 1 or a 0 over time?
IDQ's website has a non-technical paper describing this. The mirror is within 10% - i.e. gives results between 45% and 55% and then an unbiasing procedure is applied to produce 0s and 1s at exactly 50% each.
> What's all this pro-grade/retro-grade nonsense? Why can't we just accept that some moons "go the other way" without labelling them with culturally loaded terms like Pro and Retro?
Would it help if we were to introduce more labels, e.g. pro-grade, prosumer, consumer, vintage and retro?
> but if I don't have to dick with shoelaces, I'll pay bucks for that
Perhaps one could interest Sir in the following?
[icon: service with a smile]
> Whilst devices may not have been prepared for the rollover in 1999 (all mine were fine), I doubt anyone could not be aware of such a thing by now. If you are writing the firmware in 2014, you buy any year less than 2014 as a rollover. Duh. The sky is falling not.
Some programmers still get leap year century calculations wrong. Whatever the reason is, it's not because they weren't aware of leap years.
> I like it when websites try to tell you that "targeted advertising" is a benefit for users.
But it is! Think about it. If you buy something innocuous, say a screwdriver, then you get endless ads for tools. But if you don't buy a screwdriver then you get endless ads for PPI, "A Surrey Woman Discovered This Neat Trick That Untidy People Refuse To Use" etc - endless, endless crap. Don't fight it. You know it makes sense.
> I'd always taken Bee memory as a given, as they remember the direction and distance needed to return directly to a specific area from the hive (with siblings).
There is a possibility that direction and distance is some sort of 'built-in' memory only usable for that purpose. This research shows that bees have a 'general purpose' memory that can be used for other tasks.
> I logged into my personal account earlier. The login page froze so I looked in the console. SignalR was trying to connect to a hub on 127.0.0.1.
Take care you aren't accused of being a hacker. It's subversives like you with your knowledge of how to use a console and the basics of IP addressing that need to be watched you know.
The 'phantom of Heilbronn' is a particularly worrying case - mostly because I don't know whether to laugh or cry: it took TWO YEARS for the police to work out what was happening.
> That's not going to happen. Smart people are not buying so-called "smart technology"
That's true for you and I because we live in homes that pre-date 'smart' and so anything we choose to add is exactly that: something we chose to add, and made a risk assessment in doing so.
New build properties, on the other hand, will be the reverse: just as car manufacturers are currently obsessed with adding 'connectivity' to their cars, so house builders will soon decide that building a smart house will be a selling point.
And then buyers of new builds will be in an impossible position: if the light switches are not physically wired to the lights then disabling the smart lighting system is rather impractical.
Their only hope is that a new industry springs up providing additional security to smart homes. :-)
"It all makes work for the working man to do" as Flanders and Swan once sang.
> A pair of wire cutters suffices.
That brings back memories of school friends cutting the speaker on one of these Casio calculators so you could play 'Invaders' at the back of the class without being (so easily) detected.
And on a related note, years ago I once rang the manufacturer of the Concurrent CP/M machines that we were using to ask which IO port the 'beeper' was mapped to. I was passed through to a gentleman who rather snootily informed me that the Audible Warning Device was mapped to port whatever. :-)
> So for your example I'd prefer to see:
> PerformSecondStep(); // Obviously these would use a better description.
The only problem I have with this is when the code doesn't split cleanly between the functions. Often something in step 1 sets up something else ready for step 2. And then you have to decide whether to pass it as a parameter or do something else. From a purist computer science theory point of view it's a parameter and should be passed as such. However, returning a minor value from one sub-function, to pass on as a parameter to the next sub-function gives it an exaggerated importance (because it's highly visible in the listing).
As always, YMMV, and rules are better if they can be broken occasionally.
Comments within code suggest code that isn't clearly written
I disagree. Yes, simple code and breaking things down into simpler and simpler sub-functions makes the code itself simple to understand, but if there is some domain knowledge required in order to understand why an algorithm is the way it is then no amount of simplification is going to help.
One way I get around this is to put the description of the algorithm in comments at the start of the function/procedure definition and then refer to the sub-steps at the right points in the code.
Function calculateFoo() uses the XYZ algorithm to determine appropriate responses for widget_x and widget_y controlled devices; as follows:
1) Identify the widget from the repository; use old repository for pre-1976 widgets
2) description of second step
3) third step
and then in the body of the code...
/* Step 1 */
/* Step 2 */
That way the explanation is all in one place but it is easy to see which bit of code implements which bit of the algorithm. It's not perfect, nothing is, but better than no comments at all.
and the big problem with comments is that the compiler doesn't verify them.
That's kinda why they're called comments. :-)
Out of date comments can be worse than no comments at all.
That's not a fault of comments, that's a fault of lazy programmers. (Or programmers not fully understanding the impact of the change they're making if they've left in something that's no longer required..)
> the biz is at pains to explain “if TDE encrypted SQL databases lose access to the key vault because they cannot bypass the firewall, the databases are dropped within 24 hours.”
The one time, the one time Microsoft actually does something quickly and efficiently - it's to delete your data. D'oh
> GOD KNOWS WHAT PAYLOAD
Yes, how long before a drug gang starts making clones that look like the Amazon Scouts but deliver drugs instead? Not enough drug dogs around to go sniffing every one.
Likewise have a gun delivered to the bank just ahead of your armed robbery!
The Putin version delivers Novichok.
I wonder if Banksy will paint one while it is trundling along?
Aah, the possibilities are endless.
On the BBC's "The Sky At Night" TV programme covering the Ultima Thule flyby, the mission person interviewed said that the aiming was so accurate the first detailed images received were only one pixel out from where they were expected to be. So the image could be what was actually taken.
(And if it was cropped, then the cropping was done by the spacecraft to save bandwidth.)
Either way, still impressive.
 Bar contrast, colour enhancement etc
> To be fair, there's an equal chance of getting that combination as any other combination. Of course you would end up sharing the winnings a bit more widely...
In 2009 the Bulgarian lottery drew the same numbers two weeks in a row. There were more winners the second time around because some people choose the previous week's winning numbers, each thinking that no one else would do that. :-)
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