* Posts by Alan Hope

36 posts • joined 13 Jul 2016

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

Alan Hope

Re: Font problems

I noticed this too - hits the first time user between the eyes when they fire up Writer and type in their first 3 words.

First impressions matter, guys.

Alan Hope

And Writer is developing into what looks like a usable epub creator.

6.2 can handle images. You can specify a cover. epub2 or epub3.

Keep working on it guys, this is one feature MS do not have.

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

Alan Hope

If GCHQ could already use ghost accounts to access our encrypted comms then this is EXACTLY the sort of request and discussion they would want in the public domain... an easy way to feed us the notion that currently we can use these apps freely and securely for our deepest darkest secrets.

EU Android latest: Critics diss Google's money-spinning 'cure'

Alan Hope

Perhaps we feel that Google should pay users for their cash-cow slurp by giving them their software free plus a regular sum of money which represents an individual user's fair share of their mind-bogglingly vast profits.

The Chinese are here: Xiaomi to bring phones to the UK next month

Alan Hope

Re: If this was five years ago...

"... GPS pointing in entirely the wrong [random] direction, ..."

fyi, GPS is non-directional, it is purely a position system. For direction you need magnetometers, but more and more phones are coming without these. In which case your software needs to use a moving GPS location to generate direction.

Softcat warns of Brexit cloud forming over UK tech, vows: If prices rise, we'll pass them on...

Alan Hope

Re: There's always an excuse to increase prices, but...

"Pretty conclusive"? I see lots of "pending", and "awaiting application" countries. However I see the mighty Greenland is fully on board with a "trade agreement", and you can tell how important that is... I mean just look at the SIZE of that red splotch!

Alan Hope

Re: There's always an excuse to increase prices, but...

Exactly. It is against EU law for us, even at this stage in the Brexit process, to even start to broker free-trade agreements with other countries. Yet our Remainer friends persist with their patronising, "remind me, exactly how many free-trade agreements does the UK have outside the EU" etc etc. Sigh.

UK.gov looks to data to free people from contract lock-in doom

Alan Hope

Re: Business Opportunity!!

Basically, the cheapest contract for each service would immediately get 100% of the customers. Then to stop themselves going to the wall all other companies would have to undercut because if they offered the same price, then absolutely no reason to change.

A perfect free market! Would end up with the first company offering just-keep-afloat pricing surviving, and all the others would go bust. Then might as well nationalise it and run it entirely at cost.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Alan Hope

Re: Equality in advertising

Curiously, nowadays and increasingly commonly, gender does change.

Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

Alan Hope

Re: our NHS will be short staffed

They've been turning away Australian nurses because they don't speak good enough English.

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

Alan Hope

Re: The basics

Hard copy ECG to be sent.

1. Fax in Drs Office, to Fax in receiving Drs Office

2. Scanner in Drs office, into computer in Drs office, image attached to email message, sent to receiving Drs office, printed on printer in receiving Drs Office.

Ah, yes, that's so much better!

Alan Hope

Fax or Whatsapp?

Fax or Whatsapp ... which is best for sending a copy of an ECG when a copy is requested as part of an urgent referral to specialists at another NHS hospital? Hard copy by drone? Scanned photo as email attachment? Before you brag about "axing the fax" define the alternatives and tell us all why a fax is any worse / less secure / less reliable.

US watchdog OKs robo-doc AI that spies eye disease all on its own

Alan Hope

"Meaning that 13% of patients with the disease are not detected. That's not great, and I'm surprised they are proposing to remove the doctors entirely. Could it be that the doctors are even worse?"

The reason we know there is a false-negative and false-positive rate is that the diagnostic criteria have been defined by doctors and the false-negatives and positives are then identified by professionals. Qualified medical consultants remain the gold standard and will be so for a very long time.

What is presented here, is an AI-based pattern-recognition screening system that may improve the pickup rate of, or perhaps be used to help initial training of non-medical "graders".

FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Alan Hope

Re: Eggs out of pancakes

Perfectly possible. You just feed the pancakes to a hen and a cow, they will process them for you and return your eggs and milk.

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

Alan Hope

I miss NHS fax machines

As a trainee doctor, ward fax machines were perfect "push notifications". During a busy day we sent off blood tests, arranged investigations. While working on a busy ward it was brilliant that as soon as a result was available or a test reported, the fax machine buzzed. At next opportunity we would check the result, initial it, and stick it in the notes.

The current expensive network systems are miles away from providing the speed and convenience of this setup. We have no push system, and are reduced to repeatedly logging in and going through interface-hell to see if an important result is available yet.

Providing timely clinical information to busy medical staff in the NHS has without a doubt gone a long long way backwards since the 1990s :(

Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

Alan Hope

The only way to have a fully aware and instantly reactive driver is to have them actually perform the task of "driving".

When you're driving you have a constant state of heightened awareness of what is going on around you, and what might happen at any time. As a passenger in a self-driving car you simply don't, and self-driving tech can never change basic human psychology. And, yes, I know we have our weak points too but road accident rates continue to fall.

I am now convinced it's not going to happen until we have 100% autonomous vehicles that can cope with all conditions and eventualities. And that is a very very long way off. Driving as we know it is here to stay.

Zombie Cambridge Analytica told 'death' can't save it from the law

Alan Hope

Re: Fob off is a very polite way of describing it

"The retarded spellchecker on android does not know the word Taleban and ate the b."

... because it's actually spelt Taliban :)

However, not unreasinable to expect it to properly correct that one.

Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata

Alan Hope

Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

Folk with a social conscience and a philanthropic bent are still around, just that the big movers and shakers in our world are all scoring high on the psycopathy scale.

Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Alan Hope

Re: @NonSSL

So, Roku Media player will play my LAN content...

"Not available in your region" :(

Oh.

UK users get a pretty poor deal from Roku.

Well done, UK.gov. You hit superfast broadband target (by handing almost the entire project to BT)

Alan Hope

Leafy Glasgow west-end suburbs here @ 20Mbs (FTTC) but I bet we're included in BT's 95% figure. Wonder what the ACTUAL figure is. 10% perhaps.

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses

Alan Hope

Re: LoL!

Yep, the domains are still available to buy.

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

Alan Hope

Re: Fair enough, but...

Because the next obvious step is an absolute requirement for insurance for children running. A fast moving child can knock someone over you know!

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Alan Hope

"Um, "as a developer", you do know you can customise the toolbars such that the reload button can be next to the navigation buttons?"

Just tried it again. You can drag/drop all the other buttons but not the reload button.

Which then begs the question... why not include the reload button in the toolbar customisation?

Anyway, it was just 1 of many small things. Maybe I've just become too familiar with Chrome.

Alan Hope

Hard to change over once you have used Chrome. Firefox can't properly import your Chrome bookmarks (it puts them all in a single folder). Then, as a developer, the reload button is an annoying distance away from the navigation buttons causing instant and constant extra mousing around. My chosen theme has yet again become "not-compatible" after an auto-update. My eye is constantly distracted by the curvy tabs and the odd-sized and very dated-looking round buttons - though maybe in time I would get used to them.

Give your users a clunky experience and they will pick an alternative. I've nothing against Firefox and I keep it there for testing but I'm afraid basic usability trumps memory-efficiency on a high-end computer.

Do hate the data-slurping though. Is there any way to configure Firefox to look and work like Chrome? :)

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Alan Hope

Re: Not a *buntu fan, but more power to 'em!

Offends my OCD - ubuntu is a word not an acronym. NHSbuntu would be like NHSindows. Why not "UbuntuNHS"?

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors

Alan Hope

Re: Easy juice? Sounds good to me.

Ok, I'll bite. Exactly which "valuable nutrients" in veg makes them healthy? Guess what. Despite vast sums spent on research, you can ask any dietitian, nutritionist, professor of nutrition science, etc etc and they simply don't know. They can't even hazard a reasonable guess as a starting point for further research. Is chlorophyll some sort of mysterious unrecognised wonder-food? Is it the water in them? Maybe the cellulose? We know for sure (the science has been done) it is not eating an excess of vitamins.

So your "energy levels" are higher after drinking "green juice"? Ah the power of the human mind. What pharmaco-physiological effects do you think might be boosting your "energy levels" beyond, say, some carbohydrates (in which case try some of your favourite sugar-filled fizzy drink instead).

And the evidence behind the "3-a-day", or "8-a-day", or "5-a-day" fad? Wow, if you want to see some flaky science full of vague assumptions look at where these figures come from.

Basically, food is a zillion-dollar industry so any "science" behind it is systematically distorted and hyped until it is simply no longer recognisable as science. What was Phelp's diet again that produced one of the greatest ever Olympians? (http://www.bravotv.com/blogs/what-olympic-athletes-eat-and-drink-every-day-will-shock-you).

Me? I love food. I enjoy a decent mixed diet including fruit and veg (because I like them not because of any defined health benefit). I am vaguely aware of my calorie intake and am not obese.

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Alan Hope

Re: Aussie Judges

There would be a counter-suit on behalf of all galahs.

(nb "Stupid galah" is a common phrase in the land of galahs)

Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

Alan Hope

Re: Pretty much nothing.

It boots up much more quickly.

Stick in the W10 desktop and it's effectively Win7.5

Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment

Alan Hope

Re: But how to know if someone has an implant?

We know all this anyway. Systems have been in place for years.

Strong non-backdoored encryption is vital – but the Feds should totally be able to crack it, say House committees

Alan Hope

Yes, I wondered about this type of encryption. Where every key used to decrypt produces a perfectly plausible decryption text, however just 1 of these keys produces the actual decrypted text. How would they find it hidden in a vast and almost infinite sea of plausible alternatives.

Too simple so I must be missing something.

LeEco Le Pro 3: Low-cost, high-spec Droid takes on the big boys with a big fat batt

Alan Hope

Re: Headphone volume warning...

Blame EU legislation.

AI can now tell if you're a criminal or not

Alan Hope

Re: The return of phrenology?

"trying to argue this with a numpty in a political forum is described in the Old Testament: you are throwing pearls to pigs."

You mean the New Testament of course - the Sermon on the Mount.

Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Alan Hope

Kind of disappointed it wasn't a boomerang.

Lenovo: Our gear will be 10% more pricey from 1 August

Alan Hope

In the run up to mid 2014 pound had been rising steadily against the USD. Didn't see Lenovo reducing their prices then. As usual, shareholders and bonuses come before customers.

Telecoms provider Oricom working with NHS fraud officers in ongoing probe

Alan Hope

Yes, it's "the NHS is" not "the NHS are".

Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Alan Hope

Now, where did the money actually go? This level of financial mismanagement is simply not possible without substantial fraud involved and there should be prosecutions and jail-time.

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