"...You'd think at least one former boss would have started a charitabe foundation and given these licences to needy charities...."
Haven't the needy suffered enough?
247 posts • joined 26 Nov 2014
There's a dead tree version of Wired? Who knew?
I don't really see the point of paper magazines —especially technology focussed ones. It's such a fast changing area, the info is already out of date before it's gone to the printers, never mind by the time the customer gets hold of a copy.
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The two Cushing movies were dire. But I think [once again] a lot of the blame lies with the side-kicks. Bernard Cribbins and Roy Castle both played it for laughs, complete with irritating Chaplin-esque 'pratt-falls' which, even as a kid, completely ruined the movies for me.
It's all very well being able to laugh at the silliness and/or campness of series like Dr. Who and Star Trek from the lofty heights of subsequent adulthood. But it's important that the actors at the time play their parts as if they believe in them.
"...I promise I am not just being contrarian. I think Tom Baker's was the worst. Tom Baker is a great charismatic person - but he is Tom Baker. He played Tom Baker not the Doctor..."
As I recall it, Tom Baker was pretty much unknown [at least to us kids] before playing Dr. Who. So it may be fairer to say that his stereotyping/typecasting has happened subsequent to that. As he was so larger-than-life as Dr. Who, everyone employing him since then is probably asking him to play <whatever part> in a similar fashion.
"...Well that's surely going to come down to Lalla Ward..."
Pffft! –Louise Jameson [Leela] and Mary Tamm [the original Romana] by a mile.
In fact, I've often thought the shot where Tom Baker recovers consciousness to find Romana standing over him, wearing a long slit-sided dress –and the cameraman pans slowly up her legs to her face– may very well have provided the breakthrough moment in my childhood, when I suddenly realised my willy wasn't just for wee-ing out of and that it could move all by itself.
"...I never saw any of the Hartnell episodes..."
Hartnell [and Troughton] were before my time, but I've subsequently downloaded them all and watched them.
For me the worst thing about [especially] the Hartnell era is the exclusive use of [apparently tiny] studio-based filming which makes each episode almost unbearably claustrophobic to watch: the characters may be supposed to be exploring a vast alien jungle or sprawling city, but they spend almost the entire episode standing almost on top of each other beside the same couple of trees or doorway. The sense of "don't take a step to the left, or you'll walk off set" is palpable.
On the up-side, watching Hartnell fluff his lines regularly while the rest of the cast try to soldier on around him is quite amusing [albeit cruel, given that his deteriorating health was the cause of this].
"...For me, the one thing that would improve Dr Who out of all recognition would be to have the sonic screwdriver banned or at least not allowed anywhere near the last 20 minutes of any episode..."
There was a similar problem back in the day, when Tom Baker got saddled with the irritating K-9 who, likewise, tended to provide a tension spoiling 'Get out of jail free' card for every cliffhanging situation. I think that's why they got rid of the irritating hound.
"...I've voted for Peter Davidson because his appearance made me think at the time "but he's Tristan off All Creatures Great And Small"...
When I look at Peter Davison [in whatever he's in], all I can see is beige. I reckon he even bleeds beige. He's like cardboard made flesh.
And he brought all those qualities to his portrayal of 'the Doc'.
"...I grew up with Tom Baker then PBS here stopped carrying the program. For years I thought the show ended and that he WAS the only Doctor..."
In my view he WAS the only Doctor. Which is why I can't participate in the poll. Outside of Tom Baker [and Jon Pertwee], they were all the worst.
As with everyone else though, I'm sure my viewpoint is coloured by which Doctor[s] were current when I served my apprenticeship behind the sofa, on a Saturday evening.
The fundamental flaw with annual departmental budgets across almost all big industries, organisations and government is that, if you don't spend it all one year, the bean counters, rather than allowing you to carry over or 'bank' any surplus for the future, will say "Ah! You're over-funded" and cut your allowance for next year.
Meanwhile, your colleagues in the next department who wisely overspent on their budget, will be given extra for next year [probably the same sum that has just been cut from your budget], as they are obviously "under-funded".
So, because of this "Use it or lose it" attitude, everyone makes sure to 'spend up' their entire budget, every year, often buying the dearer option, or things that aren't really needed.
Oh dear. Was that the worst pun ever?
...or is there really a thing called that?
There really is a thing called that, isn't there? I can see it now: A fly-on-the-wall documentary about a chess tournament in a nudist colony. Coming soon to a Freeview channel near you.
"...Quoted phrase seems to imply that it's "constantly and silently taking photos" and thus rapidly consuming one's 16GB of storage even "before the button is pressed". Which is not true..."
I'm sure original article author realised that. I think the concern would be more about battery life, in this mode.
"...The walled garden does stop you doing what you like with your device..."
I don't object to the idea of a 'Walled Garden' in principle but Apple seem to apply their criteria in an arbitrary fashion that ends up locking out genuine developers producing genuinely useful, innovative apps –whilst allowing the App Store to be flooded with pointless crap and 'me-too' applications.
I mentioned in a previous thread a few of the apps & tweaks [that occurred to me at the time] which are why I JB my iOS devices. To that list I could add [amongst others] an app, whose name unfortunately escapes me, which was released about the same time as Apple added printing to iOS and which allowed you to print from your iGadget to several other WiFi printers and not just the models Apple approved.
"...Often it's down to someone's mate saying you should do this to your iPhone to get free apps that you pay for on the AppStore..."
People who jailbreak for that reason should be aware of the risks and pretty much deserve what they get. It's no different to downloading pirated desktop software and kracks from dodgy websites.
On the whole though, even with the adherent risks, I still think a JB iOS device [with the JB used sensibly] is a safer bet than an Android device, as regards security.
So is it the Center for Alternative Technology or the Centre for Alternative Technology?
... because the article mentions both.
I wish El Reg would make up its mind for once and for all whether it's an American rag or a British one and adopt the appropriate language. The semi-literate "I just put what my spell-checker suggests" mash-up of English and American [which seems endemic across most British news sites these days] is really starting to feck me off!
"..Would you care to explain why this is? What does jailbreaking give you that the non jailbreaked phone does not given your fairly restricted usage?..."
A few things which, while quite minor in themselves, added together make jailbreaking essential for me:
* The ability to SSH into my iPhone to add or remove stuff [I loathe iTunes with a passion]
* Adblocking apps
* Hide stupid iOs crap apps that I'll never use, like Nike+iPod, iBooks, etc.
* Set another browser as the default, other than Safari.
* Customise menubar display
...There are probably several more, but that's all I can think off, off the top of my head. basically it comes down to the old "It's my gadget that I paid for. I should be able to set it up how I want" argument.
Ignoring 'landfill Android' mobes, I think part of the problem is the cost of top of the range models. When the market was new, people were prepared to pay £300 or £400 to get on the 'smartphone owning ladder'. Now world and dog already has one, £300 - £400 [or even more] just for an upgrade to something that basically does what you've already got –only a wee bit faster– is a bit harder to swallow.
This is especially so when [if rumours are to be believed] the cost to manufacture most of these phones is barely a fraction of the final asking price.
I'm still using my original iPhone 3GS. It makes phonecalls, sends text messages, tells me where I am, has a basic camera and browses the net –and still lasts me a whole day on a charge. I do cast covetous glances at my friends' newer shinier iOS and Android gadgets. However my covetousness is nowhere near strong enough, nor my occasional frustrations at the slowness of my 3GS nowhere near irksome enough, for me to feel the need to spend upwards of £300 for an upgrade.
Having a foot in both camps [iOS phone and Android tablet], neither am I overly impressed with either OS. iOS is slicker and better designed but the 'Apple Walled Garden' makes jailbreaking almost compulsory [with the attendant risks that involves]. Android is much more hacker-friendly, but is still far too rough around the edges for my liking. Recent revelations of gaping security & privacy holes in both OSes also make me reluctant to splash out lots of hard-earned cash for new toys, with most of these flaws still present.
Yes. All that's out there at the moment does seem over-priced and boring. The only development on the smartphone front which interests me these days is Ubuntu Mobile. I'm not overly bothered about the lack of apps for it so far [I mainly use my phone for SMS and some web browsing] but, given that on current form, my next mob will likely have to last me about 5 years [as my current one has done], I'd want to buy the fastest and best available at the time. So I'm waiting for a Ubuntu phone to be released which isn't built on 'last year's hardware'.
"...You can laugh just the same while your competition self-detonates. Or at least slows itself down with a ridiculous duplication of effort...."
Yup. that's the Linux/FOSS world in a nutshell. It's reminiscent of the 'Peoples Popular Front of Judea' scene in Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Massive egos on every side, convinced theirs is the right way and everyone else is an apostate. Unable even to swallow their pride enough to unite against the common enemy.
And then the apologists come after, pointing out how it's all about choice and trying to convince everyone the constant in-fighting is all part of the master plan for world domination, sometime before the heat death of the universe. Because having 27 different crappy apps that try do do the same thing [badly] is so much better than compromising on one or two collaborative efforts that do it well.
"...The rest is beyond my security clearance level. Some importance is due to military e-mail addresses, which will not be discussed at all..."
"...Either we have law and order or we have mayhem. I happen to be exceptionally good in either environment. I *prefer* law and order over mayhem, but I can do mayhem..."
You are Jake and I claim my ten pounds!
"...f you are in your car listening to the radio and an ad comes on, you switch stations. If you are watching the telly and an ad comes on, you use that opportunity to grab something from the fridge or use the loo..."
ie. What he said
I've also made a point of immediately "changing channels" when that happens and clicking off the sites in question. The sooner these feckers learn to stop forcing their unwanted dross in our faces, the better.
"...After 22 years of web browsing, I don't think I have ever intentionally clicked on an ad, paid any attention to ads or purchased anything as the result of an ad. Has anybody ?..."
Nope. Me neither.
I really don't see the point of most adverts. OK. I know companies need to let us know they have a [new] product available, but beyond that?
Celebrity Endorsements: Do they think anyone is so monumentally stupid that they believe zillionaire actors and actresses dye their own hair with some crap out of a bottle, or shop at Iceland, or wear some cheap'n'nasty, fiver a bottle aftershave?
Sales Hype: OK. You've brought out a new computer, or camera, or whatever. I might be interested but, if I want an opinion about it, I'll read some warts'n'all independent reviews and form an opinion based on weighing up the pros and cons –not on the basis of the hyperbolic bullshit you put in your adverts, making it out to be only slightly less perfect than a pet unicorn which shits gold ingots.
"...So you want to directly or indirectly pay for content somehow?..."
Original content, maybe.
But I'd be curious to know how much of that there actually is out there. A very small percentage, I'd warrant. The vast majority of sites seem content to rehash the same press releases and wire stories as everyone else (and I'd include "A Site Not a Million Miles From Here©" in that) —although to be fair, at least ASNaMMFH© does at least make a bit of an effort to dollop a helping of 'Value-Added-Snark' on top.
When's the last time you saw some genuinely original content online, that wasn't available in a zillion other places too? I've not much sympathy for the majority of site owners who apparently think their virtuosity on the Copy/Paste buttons merits an advertising income.
Every time I see "voilà" spelt as "wuala" I want to punch someone (and I'm not even French). To see an actual French company collaborating in such crimes against humanity just makes it worse. So I'm glad to see it fail.
Now if all the companies in the world with the word "solutions" in their name would care to follow them to the wall, justice will have been served.
(... and don't get me started on that bloody word "arse-sum"!)
A while back, I was doing some teaching work on an art course at a college.
One day a group of photographers arrived at the classroom. They told me they were preparing next year's prospectus and asked permission to take some photos. They came into the room and instantly pointed out one of the black girls in the class: "Can we use her?"
Thing was, the girl in question was one of my worst students ever. She rarely came to class and never handed in any work.
The photographers hustled her off into another room, where they had set up their lights and tripods, etc. and then set about staging a photo of the student with her work. Trouble was, she hadn't actually done any. So, in the end they posed her pretending to be working on some pieces that had actually been done by one of her classmates [who happened to be white].
So, in the name of political correctness, this black student became the face of the course in the college prospectus, posing alongside a portfolio of work that had actually been done by somebody else [and not credited, either].
Oddly, my sympathies lay with the conscientious student who had actually turned up every day and diligently completed the portfolio of work, but was obviously considered 'not ethnic' enough to have her over-privileged white face marring the prospectus.
Almost smacks of racism, doesn't it?
...were better candidates than any women, or youngsters, or 'non-white' people who applied for those posts?
Nah. It couldn't possibly be that. Apple is 'teh racist' and every single white male in the world is an over-privileged parasite who has had life handed to him on a plate and only got where he is today by stamping the faces of the poor, the female and the non-white into the dirt.
The Guardian news desk called. They want their high horse back.
"...So how long till reaction engines build their prototype get it working then collapse under massive debt only to be sold to a US corp that makes a massive profit out of the design?..."
"...But the US mega-corp won't need to buy the designs. Thanks to the NSA/GCHQ, they'll already have them..."
No. If it's a success, the UK will give US the designs for free. After all, sycophancy is all about giving your all, with no expectation of reward.
Thanks for this article. It gives me a chance to divest myself of a couple of random thoughts that have been rattling about in my skull for a while:
1: TYPING AS A TECHNICAL SKILL
One of the strange things that the invention of the computer keyboard has lead to is that almost *everyone* [apocryphal stories about Luddite CEOs aside] now can type –at least after a fashion. When my mammy was a lass, she actually went to 'Typing College' after leaving school, to earn the various certificates required to procure an office job back in those days.
The average man [or woman] in the street wouldn't have even attempted to type something on a typewriter, because it was so slow and, if you made a single 'slip of the finger' the document was irretrieveably marred, as correction was anything but invisible.
What the advent of the computer has done has give us all the chance to bash away at the keyboard like the proverbial 'monkeys writing Shakespeare' but also to repair and correct seamlessly as often as needed. We've kind of all learned to type in spite of ourselves. I've never had a typing lesson in my life but, over years of prodding clumsily away on a computer keyboard have progressed from one and two finger typing to using most of the fingers both hands. By classical type training standards, I'm doing it all wrong. But I reckon I probably average about 40-50 words a minute and with a low enough error rate to make it feel efficient enough for my needs.
2: Assimilation Syndrome
It's amazing how, no matter how much technology advances in our own lifetimes, we assimilate the changes so readily and end still end up unsatisfied and looking for the "next best thing".
I'm not exactly ancient [a kid of the 70s] but if someone had told me when I was wee that, thirty odd years in the future I'd own several computers [one small enough to fit in a pocket] on which I could:
communicate in seconds with almost anyone, anywhere in the world, get live access to global news, instantly look up and find answers to almost any question across any discipline, watch television, listen to radio, read all my books, store all my photos and music, receive satellite pictures from space, allow me to pinpoint my location anywhere on Earth, virtually drive down streets on cities all over the world, edit my own movies, design artwork, print professional quality documents, etc. etc. etc....
I'd have thought they were describing life aboard the starship Enterprise, or suggesting that I would one day be the richest man in the world. And yet here I am, those not-too-many years later, in possession of all of that and more but still [like the rest of you, no doubt] covetting better & faster gadgets and moaning & complaining and comparing my existing gadgets to lumps of excrement whenever a download takes a bit long, a wifi connection drops, or an application crashes.
I wonder what futre Reg* readers will be complaining about, when they look back pityingly on the laughingly primitive tech we had to put up with?
Can I have a huge research grant and peer-adulation for my breakthrough theory that hunter animals have their eyes on the front of their faces and prey animals on the side?
 To maximise range-finding accuracy on objects in front.
 to see what's sneaking up behind you when you've got your face buried in the vegetation.
[The one with the nobel prize in the pocket, please.]
According to the Daily Fail's rehashing of this story [Look. I was bored and there was nothing else to read!] Edmonds also claims that his dead parents sit permanently, in the form of 'golden orbs', one on each of his shoulders.
That would really cramp your style when it came to certain 'Gentlemen's Relaxation' exercises. So no wonder the fecker's had to resort to his EmPad. It's obviously the equivalent of a cold shower, for the digital age.
"...Now could you please explain your analogy and how it relates to the story...."
* OSX native Messaging = Proprietary Apple Format & Protocol
* Android Messaging = Jabber = Google Talk = XMPP = Completely Different Format & Protocol
* Proprietory Apple Format & Protocol != Completely Different Format & Protocol
* OSX Apps != PC Apps
Do you get it now, or is it still a bit complicated for you?
Yeah, I kind of got the Garden of Eden imagery, but what's the girl's head in a circle being dragged about on top of a big shouty man's face for?
[Thinks for a bit...]
Let me see....
He's God and he's angry, so she's being symbolically banished from the garden by having her face cropped out of the image...
But the thumb moving the cropped head is a female hand. Surely they're not implying God's a tranny?...
Oh. I get it. It's her hand, symbolising that her fall from grace is her own doing.
Now it all makes sense. Brilliant piece of artwork. I heartily withdraw my initial criticisms!
[Phew! –it's tough work, this theology]
Are you actually insane?... or do you just believe every jingoistic piece of propaganda your [presumably American] government spouts.
The US economy is the biggest basket case on the planet. Your national debt is over 20 trillion dollars [and growing], you have entire cities going bankrupt and if any of your politicians suggest you should maybe 'tighten your belts' a bit, they get accused of being communists [or worse].
You better pray the rest of the western world keeps on worshipping the mighty Yankee Dollar and sucking on the mighty American todger. For if even a fraction of that debt were to be called in, or the same 'credit rating' standards were to apply to the US as are applied to other, less popular nations, the US economy would collapse faster than a Greek house of cards.
I've got a few stocks in various tech-related companies [though, not Apple] and they've pretty much all been dropping over the past few weeks, even the usually buoyant ones like Arm, HP and Nokia. My entire 'portfolio' [for want of a less grandiose sounding word] has dropped about 17% since the end of June.
So it's either "peak every technology company", or the stock market is just doing what it always does: rising and falling in the short term, whilst inexorably moving upwards in the long term.
"...I do wonder quite how long Sony can continue with this conservative design language before customers become bored with it and stop being able to recognise new models when they see them..."
Because product design is all about allowing people to show off that they've got the 'latest version'.
If only those unimaginative designers at Volkswagen, Fiat and BMC++ had thought to completely change the designs of their cars every few months, we might remember marques like the Beetle, the Mini and the Cinquecento today, instead of having had their boring sameness, year after year, condemn them to obscurity.
[In other opinion pieces on El Reg this week: "Why Oh Why Did Microsoft Change Things in Windows 10 –Instead of Leaving the Design the Same?"]
I quite like McAfee and Kim Dotcom as well. We live an IT world full of cardboard cut-out suits; spouting 'jolly spiffing synergistic solutions' babble so meaningless as to have me casting around for my Babel Fish and of companies eager and willing to hand us and our data over to ad men and government agencies.
In such a sea of conformity and kow-towing, t's nice to have the odd person not afraid to tweak the nose of authority and to say what they actually think.
[daft though it may sometimes be].
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