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Comment Re:headline is misleading (Score 1) 374 374

For some reason this seems to be the way renewable levels are always quoted. Scotland plans to be 100% renewable by 2020, but only by generating 200% of what it needs with half from renewables and exporting the excess. Well, they have a lot of wind up there.

Comment Re:DMA (Score 1) 94 94

An external PCIe bus is just a bad idea, like external PCI and ISA buses before it were. PC Card has mostly died now, thankfully. Firewire is pretty much dead on new machines too. Only Macs really seem to go in for Thunderbolt. People are catching on to how bad this sort of thing is for security.

Comment Re:Maybe someday (Score 1) 94 94

I prefer flash memory chips that can be updated. If the manufacturer has to send everyone a new ROM chip, and for most of their customers also fit it for them for free, they are unlikely to fix any bugs they discover. With flash chips at least there is a chance they might patch any security holes.

Comment Re:Obligatory post for all Unicode articles (Score 1) 190 190

He has valid points. Han unification has been a disaster and can't be easily fixed now, but it was done early on without enough consultation. It's all very well to suggest that someone should just submit a proposal, but that costs a lot of money and the ones that will really fix things tend to be rejected anyway.

It is a serious problem that some people can't write their names in Unicode, or that software using Unicode can't ever hope to handle even the top 10 most common languages in the world properly without a great deal of language specific hackery.

It holds back Unicode adoption and creates problems for people. Passport issuing services avoid Unicode because they can't enter people's names. Airlines avoid it for the same reason. But if the hotel booking system is Unicode... Well, you might not even get that far, because border security won't let you in as your name doesn't match a valid reservation anywhere.

Submission + - NTT, Japan's largest fixed telecom provider, begins phasing out ADSL

AmiMoJo writes: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), the third largest telecoms provider in the world, is beginning to phase out ADSL for broadband internet access. NTT is no longer accepting new registrations, and no longer manufacturing the equipment required. Instead they recommend users opt for their FLET'S HIKARI fibre optic service. Their "Giga Mansion Smart Type" services offers 1Gb/sec for around $40/month.

Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 4, Insightful) 541 541

It's got worse as companies got larger and the people at the top more separated from the people at the bottom. In a company of 30 people, the boss having to let five people go means speaking to them personally and experiencing the reaction of the other staff. In a company of 300,000 people an exec decided to get rid of 5,000 people in another town and delegates the job to a subordinate, never even meeting those people once.

It's enabled managers to avoid that unfortunate human trait of compassion, feeing them to make hard nosed business decisions where employees are just another resource. The reason Japanese companies last so long is that the managers, no matter how high up, feel personally responsible when they have to make people redundant, like it's a personal failure and something they should apologise for. In the west they feel the opposite - it's a triumph, money was saved and the business streamlined, and they deserve a fat bonus.

Comment Re:Just memorize them [Re:I hate hieroglyphics] (Score 1) 190 190

You don't need to learn 80,000 characters for Chinese. In China there are around 3,500 characters that most people need to know, and around 2,200 in Japan. However, most of them are related, made up of multiple simpler characters next to each other, so you don't need to memorize 3,500 unique symbols.

For example, many characters include the base character for "person". Once you know this base character and a few other base ones, you can pretty much guess the meaning of many of the more complex ones just by looking at how they are made up. They also provide a built-in hint system for memorizing the complex ones.

Using symbols this way has many advantages, one of the biggest being the speed at which text can be read and scanned. Westerners often seem to think that Chinese and Japanese web sites are just huge disorganized walls of text, like something like the 1990s, but actually they are very easy to scan for the part you want.

Comment Re:Shouldn't this work the other way? (Score 1) 190 190

The proposal comes from a Google engineer who has done all the work figuring out what symbols are needed and what they should look like. Now the Unicode consortium only needs to consider it, and perhaps suggest a few changes.

As the proposal states, the major need here is to bridge the language barrier for important health information. It's actually a real pain for people with certain allergies to travel, because even if they memorize the characters for "peanuts" human beings find it hard to spot them in the dense text on the back of typical food packaging.

Submission + - Unicode consortium looks at symbols for allergies

AmiMoJo writes: A new preliminary proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium suggests that specific emoji for food allergies should be added to the standard. The proposal (PDF), submitted by a Google engineer, is under discussion and may not be added to the standard at all but offers a peek into some useful new emoji. It suggests the addition of peanuts, soybeans, buckwheat, sesame seeds, kiwi fruit, celery, lupin beans, mustard, tree nuts, eggs, milk products and gluten to help those with allergies express them in shorthand.

Comment Re:The missing part of this story's coverage (Score 2) 492 492

The telemetry shows that it was too high to be "peeping", and didn't linger over the guy's property before he shot it down. Might be fake of course, but more generally speaking my understanding is that it's something of a grey area just how low aircraft can fly over property before it becomes a legal issue.

If the shooter had thought to take a photo of the drone (there must have been a few smartphones around) he could at least try to press charges, but by shooting first he had left the drone operator with the only evidence.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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