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Comment Re:Chinese that speak English (Score 2) 578

For me it is not so much what language do they speak internally but what is the common language to speak internationally that is interesting.

For example the language of the sea, and of the air is English. For example when a French or Chinese air traffic controller is communicating with an aircraft of their own nationality it must be in English, so that all the traffic which is listening on the same channel knows what is going on.

A similar thing has happened for international trade. I am British but work for a Norwegian International company. The official language including in Oslo head office is English. I was on a course in South Korea with a Norwegian instructor, and Korean, Chinese, Malay and Japanese attending. I was the only native English speaker, but everything was conducted in English.

I asked one of the Chinese students about how many learned English in China (he was from Shanghai). He said everyone, (but not everyone learns well of course).

I suppose another factor amongst those on the course is that they view English as a neutral language, so that it feels more equitable for a Korean to be negotiating with a Chinese person in English than Mandarin

Comment Re:Vinyl? Never bought it, never will (Score 1) 278

It was interesting in the queue at HMV Aberdeen, I had bought a vinyl record, the person in front had bought one and the person behind also.

I suppose there are a number of people still with a serviceable record player. Recently the store has started stocking vinyl, and so the sale of vinyl there can only go up.

I would not expect that vinyl would improve much from 4 to 5% of sales, but then that is enough.

Why are people like myself still willing to buy vinyl? Well I suspect that there are a lot of different reasons. If you are older and have grown up around vinyl, and have a reasonable sized record collection then there is a reason to maintain the record player, and do all the servicing like cartridge changes etc. Vinyl is a pleasant way to listen to music, there is the simplicity of form and function, basicly scratches on plastic and an amplifier.

If I was starting out now I would never have gone the vinyl route, but I have my old transcription record deck, I refurbished (partly rebuilt) my valve amplifiers (circa 1963 seperate pre- and left / right power amps), redesigned the front end of the valve pre-amp. So as an engineer it is a double pleasure for me to enjoy music on a system which I understand down to the last component.

Comment Re:Keep Up the Goodwork (Score 1) 62

I also have been a subscriber since the beginning and the Magazine is great. A lot of fun and a lot of useful info/tutorials etc.

And there is still room for a magazine, I travel on Helicopter, onto Offshore Installations with very little network connection available. There are still plenty of places without good network coverage.

So having the paper Magazine is important for me

Comment Re:Why Non-commercial? (Score 2) 65

It's absolutely spectacular. It's quite possibly the best computer I have ever owned.

I have had a Pandora for over a year and I agree with the above. It is a fantastic device for many reasons and I just love it. For the size, for the ready made programs and games available from the repository all neatly packaged for the pandora, for the very usable keyboard and great gaming controls, for the very friendly and productive community, for the exceptional battery life. Also it has an up to date firefox on the unit and I can use the pentadactyl add-on to give me vim style keyboard control of the browser.

There is more information to be found on the forums at openpandor.org The Pandora may be physicaly small, and the case does look a bit ordinary, but with it you get a lot, and there are still lots more that I could explore on the unit.

Especially for someone like myself, I travel a lot and have to travel light. I must take a company laptop filled with company software, I cannot mess to much with the company laptop, I need to produce official certificates and reports on this. There is really not enough room for another laptop in the bag.

The Pandora fits easily as an extra. I can play games, browse the internet, write some code, play some music, watch a film. It comes with me every time I travel.

I agree that it is not for everyone, and that is fine because it is great for a lot of us, there is no one device that fits all.

Comment Re: I'm sure pirates will like them. (Score 1, Interesting) 216

What are pirates going to do with no access to controls?

There will allways be a manual override, on the fancy automated vessels that I check out (fully equiped with Dynamic Positioning systems or DP) there are automatic control systems (DP), simple backup joystick systems and finally simple manual systems (levers for thrusters). These would very likely remain. A pilot would need access to these when taking the vessel into harbour.

Even though it is possible to have vessels remote controlled while at sea they would still need to be manned when they come into the quayside in a harbour. When I come into harbour after testing vessels for sea trials the captain always completes the delicate berthing procedure using the simple manual levers

As for disabling the remote control systems, plastic buckets over the small satellite domes and if there is a large V-Sat then just pull the plug.

So the hijackers just need to come on board the vessel armed with buckets, and perhaps a wire snip for the V-Sat. Also it would seem like a victimless crime to them. They get a ship load of equipment to sell, nobody is hurt, and the insurer pays

Comment Re:Fails on give a damn (Score 2) 47

I work as a ship inspector. I test the control systems in ships with Dynamic Positioning systems as my speciality, but I also occasionaly inspect tanks, including ballast tanks I thought I might give a bit of general background to the type of inspections that go on with vessels, and who does them. In addition to the Flag State, there is the Port State, and the Classification Society, so there are actually three sets of inspections that can happen to a ship. The Flag State's job is to interperate the International Maritime Organisation IMO rules for the vessel. These are the rules which have been agreed by all members of the IMO, so this will include SOLAS for basic safety, and IOPP which sets rules designed to limit oil polution as two examples. The Classification Society predates the IMO regulations, it started with Lloyds of London in the 18th century, and soon after it was required to have the stamp from a classification society in order to be able to insure your vessel/cargo. The classification have their own rules and encompass all the major systems and structures that make a vessel sound. In addition there is the port state who can ask for a spot inspection of any vessel that comes into the country's port, and detain any that does not come up to scratch. Detention is the nightmare for any trading ship owner, so this is the stick that they most fear. Port state is informed of any vessel coming into their harbours, and if the flag state, or class society has any oustanding deficiencies related to the vessel, or if the flag state or class society are not top rated, then they will board and inspect the vessel, and likely detain it. Both Flag and Class require wide ranging annual inspections, and larger scopes every 5 years (on what is refered to a 'renewal' survey) Panama by the way is not a bad flag as they go, it is in my humble opinion as good as the MCA or UK flag state. Hope this explains how it all works, must go I have a ship to inspect ...

Comment Re:Not Surprised (Score 1) 370

Wouldn't help that much. When I worked for the provincial government IT, literally 90% of calls were people forgetting their passwords.

Seriously, that's your fault, with your password policies

Similar thing with North Sea Offshore platforms that I have worked on. Day/Night shifts with various individuals using a shared PC with a generic login having password policy dictated from the office onshore.

The reality of course is that users have the current password taped beside the monitor, because who wants to be logged out of your information portal when that big generator is down in the small hours.

The chances of the IT department ever seeing the reality are very slim, they undertake all the maintenance via a remote connection or have the comms tech change out the equipment.

Comment Re:Horray! Less effective technology (Score 1) 93

I agree with girlintraining, the closer to actual face to face communication the better. My wife is a psychotherapist and she has told me that sometimes she can smell the stress on a client, an indicator that would be missed even on Teleconferencing. So the ideal is to be in the same room with the therapist.

Comment Re:Translation...Information wants to be locked up (Score 1) 318

OK.

I said "I drive a Renault Espace". Your comment was "Why on earth did you buy an espace? You do know it's made by Renault, right?"

So why ask if I know that the Espace was made by Renault, when it is obvious that I do. Also why say "Why on earth did you buy an espace?" that is an unproductive and unfriendly way of asking the question

Next: "Was it because they once made an F1 car that looks like one?". Well if you ask anyone whether something looks like an F1 car they will not respond as if F1 commonly refers to a version of a people carrier made in 1995. It might seem clever for you to later put a url to that effect with a moniker "google is your friend". But if you think that the obscure version of a commonly used term is as valid as the commonplace usage because you can google for it, then I think google might well be you enemy.

Well your responses seem to be adversarial and unfriendly and. whether you intended them as such they appear trollish.

Comment Re:Translation...Information wants to be locked up (Score 1) 318

Renault Espace is a 7 seater people carrier very comfortable for long journeys through Europe. FYI there is no F1 car that looks like a people carrier. The idea is laughable.

google is your friend

Renault made a car called the Espace F1, but they did not make a car that looks like a F1 car. Take a look at the Espace F1, it looks like a big van not a formula one car.

Comment Re:Translation...Information wants to be locked up (Score 1) 318

1) Why on earth did you buy an espace? You do know it's made by Renault, right? Was it because they once made an F1 car that looks like one?

Renault Espace is a 7 seater people carrier very comfortable for long journeys through Europe. FYI there is no F1 car that looks like a people carrier. The idea is laughable.

2) The car is probably required by law to give you the generic powertrain codes without a fight, so what are you really trying to get out of there?

Fault codes mainly. There is some obfuscation going on with Renault. There is no law that I know of that I can call on to make Renault give me detailed fault codes, although I do agree that they should be forced to make it easy.

Comment Re:Translation...Information wants to be locked up (Score 1) 318

a lot of OBD-II information is locked out from those who repair cars.

And from the owner of the car. I drive a Renault Espace, when it is working. In order to get an idea of faults on my Renault I bought an OBD-II interface and bought a reader that was designed for a Vauxhall car, there is non available to the general public for my Renault.

If this proposed Android device allows the fault codes to be read from the engine so that I can phone around mechanics with symptoms of the car's problems then this will make me hugely less dependant on the dodgy big Renault garage in my area

Well at the moment I now have an interface for this car, but it was not easy to get the equipment I needed. Renault had no interest in letting me read the fault codes on my own car, they want me to go to the big Renault Garage on my town and hand over lots of money every time I get a fault light up.

Well I have a superb mechanic lives 5 minutes up the road from me who can do wonders with the mechanical side of car maintenance but cannot use the OBD-II interface, and having the fault codes is all he needs to get the car working.

So I would be delighted to have the android device connected to the car, but only if it gives me diagnostic information about faults.

Comment Re:Tied to a time and place (Score 3, Interesting) 839

TV is broken because, with a few exceptions, content is tied to a specific time and location.

I agree

TV is a system where the broadcaster pushes content at you according to their schedule

Entertainment on the Internet on the other hand is largely a system where the user pulls content when they wish to use it.

People prefer to pull content when and where the want rather than have it pushed at them. For that reason, in the long term, TV will lose out to internet based entertainment

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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