* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Personally

And they'd all be called "!!!!!AAA__Aardvark TV"

A user friendly EPG would establish the user's channel preference by frequency of use and order by that, or at least put the most frequently used few first and the rest in alpha order.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Personally

Upvoted for processing power akin to a small legume.

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

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Re: Define "regularly"

"Personally it just means I only need to carry one thing, after all it's replaced the walkman, books, the camera, the calculator, the diary, the alarm clock, the address book, the Filofax... the library even..."

How convenient ot be able to lose all those in one go.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So?

"earn interest on the money still in your bank account"

At current interest rates? ROFL.

Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

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If the drones attract the hornets send them up with a flypaper payload.

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Re: Can I get a pinch of salt?

"They live like f*** 4000km+ away from each other."

It's the Mail. Their stock response would be that they're all immigrants here.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

"He cemented it up and figured that it was all sorted"

Best thing is to get the insecticidal foam. Either they fail to get through (I've seen them milling around without actually trying to get through) it or they carry it back to the nest. Either way is effective. Then cement it up.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

No, and before you ask, no cane toads either.

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

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Re: I want a smart water meter

"Wyrdness, in all honesty and sincerity, it sounds like your toilet is leaking."

I think you missed the point that his water isn't metered.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: It already exists...

"I'd be over £200/year better off. Win."

That can't be allowed. Your tariffs will be changed to ensure you lose.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Benefits - *cough* 1972 *cough*

"For those that didn't vote, then the only sensible interpretation is that those people wanted to go with the majority"

An alternative only sensible interpretation is that they thought it didn't matter anyway because it was only an advisory referendum and would be followed by a binding one if it went in favour of leave.

A further only sensible interpretation is that they thought it was such a damn-fool idea it would have been voted down without their input (a damn-fool attitude in itself but one we see mentioned here from time to time along the lines of "I don't vote because my vote wouldn't count anyway").

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Benefits

"but right now we have already left"

No we have not. We have started the process to leave.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Benefits

"Your right. But since the EU did not exist then you are probably remembering a different vote. Maybe something to do with a common market?"

This (apart from "Your") is something on which we can agree. There should have been referenda on Maastricht and Lisbon treaties with a requirement for super-majorities to ratify them. That really should be a requirement for any substantial constitutional change. That undoubtedly leaves a democratic deficit to which it's reasonable to object.

However taking an irrevocable* open-ended** decision without requiring a super-majority is simply piling one democratically bad procedure on top of the rest.

* in practical terms

** the terms of implementing it were and still are not defined

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Benefits

" And some now seek to overthrow democracy. What scares me is the nutters demanding democracy is overthrown because we didnt vote their way!"

Democratic decisions are open to revision at intervals of no more than 5 years in the UK and sometimes more frequently than that if things aren't working out well.

Unless we're presented with the results of the negotiation to approve or reject we've been committed to the result of a slim advisory vote (don't forget the advisory bit) with no such ability for revision however badly things work out unless we crawl back to the EU to rejoin on whatever terms they choose to offer (bye by GBP).

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Benefits

"Best argument for brexit I've seen so far."

Or at least, offset a little of the cost.

UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

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Re: I wonder if there might be an option for a third rail in the tunnels?

"Think of the problems shovelling the wring kind of snow out of the tunnels. Not to mention the leaves"

That reminds me of a cartoon when the Channel Tunnel was being proposed. A Tube station entrance with a notice outside: "Delays due to fish on the track at Tooting."

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: London not on the list

"That may be a possibility somewhere like (say) Huddersfield, but then again it may not."

There seems to be space at s good few stations although the tracks may have been lifted but a few stations run commuter services and don't have scope for passing loops.

Another route which really ought to be looked at is Huddersfield to Sheffield. It's been reduced to single line for the entire length except for Penistone station and a section has been taken out of service altogether resulting in a big diversion through Elsecar. Given that housing plans require more houses to be built in the area it serves and the inadequacy of existing roads for commuting this is another line that ought to be upgraded, at least to its original specification.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: London not on the list

In respect of the Manchester / Leeds / York route there are tunnels on it as well, and I very much doubt if there is the headroom to accommodate a 25 kV overhead and the associated pantographs along their lengths; I expect the tunnels would have to be rebored in their entirety. A project like that falls in to the category of "easier said than done".

The solution to that was to propose a hybrid system rather than full electrification which was immediately condemned as being a climb down from the original proposal. If only somebody had given it a few minutes thought before announcing full electrification in the first place...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I see West Yorks is one of the trial areas. Presumably this means that my friend way out on the nether reaches of ADSL will have to wait even longer to get FTTC whilst resources are diverted to cabling up Leeds etc.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"What is to trial, is the technology not well understood?"

Probably the uptake and the economic uplift it's supposed to bring.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: London not on the list

"via the Woodhead line naturally as that had 1500v Overhead lines"

Don't the tunnels have much higher voltage lines running through them these days?

80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

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Re: I think not

"projects that were impacted have converted their resource plans to work in terms of deliverables instead of T&M, which eliminates the IR35 risk."

And what's the effect of IR35 on the cost of the deliverables?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: All because the lady wanted 50 million

Please tell me you at least use a spell spill checker on your documentation

It wouldn't have helped. The spelling was right but the words were wrong. Another problem was the lack of capitalisation.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

"to pay VAT"

Not pay it but collect it, free of charge, on behalf of HMRC.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

"they only see the mess when their nose is rubbed in it."

Or not even then.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Instead of making up stupid schemes to block the "loopholes" that have emerged, re-write the entire structure such that all earnings are taxed on an equal basis.

Define "earnings".

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Re: Headline misleading..

"None of those I'm involved in are affected because none of them involve contractors specifically to avoid these issues."

So how are they staffed? Surely not 100% Civil Service. Are they being outsourced and largely off-shored as per the comments above?

Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

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Re: Spanner in the works?

"How about a campaign against self service tills?"

I only use them if I'm buying three items or less* otherwise the probability of it failing to recognise something is too great to be bothered with.

*For the would-be but ill-guided pedants that signifies a lesser number.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: time to Tax the Robots

"Ethically you may be right but economically you'd be discouraging productivity improvements"

Economically you'd have to tax them or find some other way of shifting the tax base if there isn't income to tax.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: so they are saying

"Are there different kinds of arts degrees?"

Yes, fine arts.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This shift will contribute to the ongoing decline in urban retail and mall footprints, space likely to be filled by the e-commerce firms looking for warehouse space and distribution nodes in and around densely populated urban areas, provided municipal zoning regulations adapt."

I doubt it. A well organised warehouse/distribution centre should be able to shift more stuff than the equivalent volume of shopping space. And note the metric is volume, not area. Low rise won't be attractive.

It should be payback to all those business park landlords who've let their car parks out to parking vultunres when they find they've helped drive away the customers who ultimately paid the rents on the buildings. But I suppose they'll just make more money by developing the redundant space for housing.

Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @Doctor Syntax

"that type of half-bright (or less) behavior of CFLs can be caused by switching the neutral instead of the phase wire"

Not CFLs. They're LEDs

"the glow is caused by leakage between the ballast and ground (probably capacitive coupling with an electronic ballast and inductive with a really old CFL lamp ballast)"

My suspicion is that it's some sort of leakage, perhaps a capacitive coupling, into the phase wire between the switch and the fitting.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @ Doctor Syntax

"Spuds are conductive."

So is the human finger ;) Don't worry, I'm careful about that.

"The glowing bulbs sounds like a serious ground issue."

That was my first thought. However, it doesn't trip the RCB which makes it seem less likely and it's only those two bulbs that show that characteristic. I will, however, be getting BiL to take a look.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Wilko do SES "filament" LED bulbs.

Filament types are the only thing I've not tried, mostly because I've not seen any that have an adequate light output - I've become very suspicious of "= X Watts" equivalences & tend to look at the actual stated light output. The other problem is that when I've seen these in use in pubs they seem to have a very low colour temperature, in fact, they seem to be imitating carbon filaments. But maybe I should look again.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

"Cal is blue, true ... but Stanford is red."

Sir Humphrey would recognise neither. Maybe TCD at a stretch but nothing further afield.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"my preferences for lightbulbs is that they should produce white light when switched on, and not produce light when switched off."

Odd phenomenon seen the other day that I've still not got to the bottom of.

We have 3 light fittings each of which take 3 bulbs or, as sparky BiL insists, lamps.* These have been are SES golf-ball types. Incandescents last fairly well but go out in spectacular style, invariably tripping the consumer unit & sometimes ejecting the glass bit & leaving the bit of screw-threaded tin in place to be extracted with the aid of a cut finger or two. QIs fail undramatically but more frequently. I'm attempting to replace them with LEDs.

LEDs are a problem of their own. The good-quality golf-ball format jobbies have a large opaque chunk occupying the bottom of the globular bit and just don't work with the shades on these fittings so I've resorted to the stick types. These are inevitably cheap (not necessarily to buy) and nasty and (a) often fail to achieve the claimed equivalence in brightness to incandescents and (b) come in a range of strange colours only vaguely matching an incandescent of the alleged colour temperature. So over the past few months I've bought a considerable selection trying to find something acceptable.

On the last pass of this I'd removed one of the bulbs from one of the fittings to change with a newly bought one and noticed that, despite the fitting being switched off, one of the other bulbs was glowing very dimly! I removed that & the third bulb started to glow. I've no reason to think that the switch is faulty or that there's anything strange in the wiring. I suspect that the switch-mode power supplies in the bulbs are able to harvest energy from some form of coupling in the wiring, either induced or capacitively coupled and that whichever of them was the more efficient grabbed whatever was going until I unscrewed it and the other took over. But is this capacitively coupled mains? Or is it coming from the local VHF transmitter churning out over 1 MW ERP a couple of miles away? Whatever it is I've got at least two LED units capable of producing allegedly white light when switched off.

*"Bulbs grow, lamps glow." Until we catch him out saying "bulbs" like the rest of us.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

All this smart doorbell stuff is mildly interesting but what I really want is a smart letter box that scan incoming mail and ejects junk right back at whoever's posting it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Just another attempt

Whenever I see that page ... it reminds me that I should have found the email address of the company's marketing dept so they can eat their own spam.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

"I wonder why is Blue is associated with Intelligence?"

It's the colour associated with the Universities. Both of them, as Sir Humphrey tells us.

'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

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The technical term for his behaviour is "gone native".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Can you imagine Amber Rudd doing the rounds of the Sunday politics shows, trying to explain one to the interviewer?"

Sadly, yes. The total STEM ignorance of Sunday politics show interviewers would make that possible.

Crushed Juicero now officially a fruitless endeavor

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Re: Start off by going national?

I read that as "rational". Also a good idea.

Big Tech slams Trump on plan to deport kids

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You've never come across the term "American Indians" then?

Just an earlier generation of immigrant. Apart from Africans in Africa we're all immigrants.

Bitcoin Foundation wants US Department of Justice investigated

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"Money is anything that enough people agree to use as money to make it usable as money."

This surely is the core issue. Arguing that Bitcoin isn't really money is a strange stance for businesses built around getting users to treat it as money.

User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: BOFH

"only believe half of what you think you saw."

Knowing which half to believe? That's called experience.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

@ Antron Argaiv

This isn't limited to catering. Something similar is apt to happen with IT contracts via big consultancies.

Initial pitch: High powered, mega experienced consultants introduced to client management

Contract signed: Recent graduates & interns assigned to the job.

Deputy AG Rosenstein calls for law to require encryption backdoors

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Re: Here we go again

"Just require the use of it if you want lucrative government (some run in the BEEELIONS) contracts, many of which can be make-or-break-ers for companies."

No problem. The US has a rump tech industry that sells to the US govt The rest of the world uses non-US products from firms that either left the US or started elsewhere in the first place. If that leaves the US floundering with its downsized tech industry why should the rest of us care?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Two things

"I think they could enforce it if they wanted to badly enough. We already know the NSA intercepts and backdoors routers being shipped to some countries."

You're still thinking in the US box. There's a whole lot of other countries out here. Some of them have quite nice climates where CxOs will be happy to live, quite amenable financial regimes and others have cheap manufacturing locations. OK, the NSA can make those intercepts when the goods are being shipped to one country - the US but the rest of us won't worry.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Two things

" I am sure it would not be hard to move the systems that compile the code off shore thus the product is never exported."

More than that: move the businesses themselves off-shore. Then, in a few years, the US can reminisce about the days when it had an IT industry.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Anything known to Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc is automatically known to the US government is not a good advertising line."

It's a very good line for vendors not in that list.

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