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Comment: In the UK, it's free (Score 1) 66 66

Pay-As-You-Go phones don't have a monthly tariff.

One network, GiffGaff, you get free 0800 calls, free calls to other GiffGaff users for 6 months after you topup and you can even get free minutes for helping people. Calls are 8p a min though.
With the other one I use, 3, it's 3p a text, 3p a min to phone.

Comment: Re:meanwhile (Score 1) 342 342

What if your company is HQ in Bermuda, and you operate an independent subsidiary in UK?

Then keep receipts.

UK has introduced a general anti tax avoidance law. Basically, if it looks and serves like tax avoidance and the Govt says it is, then it is.

Whether either that or this new Google tax will hold up under EU law, I don't know.

Comment: Placebos are far from useless (Score 2) 447 447

Placebos have undoubtedly successfully treated more people than any medical procedure. [We can say this because treatments are rarely twice as effective as placebo. As such, placebo can be considered to be responsible for typically 50-100% of a treatment's effectiveness.]

There are many health issues where treatments don't outperform placebo by 10% eg mental health.

Now if you or your public health service is on a budget, a cheap placebo might well be the best option.

A couple more points:

- Many treatments are impossible to test against placebo eg osteopathy and the like. Homeopathy is perfect to test against placebo -- it is scientifically indistinguishable from water. Therefore we know with far more certainty than anything else that homeopathy doesn't outperform placebo. We could still be wrong but we can be surer of that than any other complementary treatment.

- Double blind is a necessity for testing against placebo. Single blind cannot give a positive result -- but a negative one means your treatment is pretty bad. But double blind methodologies are often flawed and should always be tested by asking the patient what they think they took. If > 55% guess correctly, you have a problem.

Comment: Re:Vivaldi is likely to be skinnable... (Score 1) 167 167

I agree.

In my opinion, Opera 12 was the prettiest browser. I still use it on my laptop.

I'm going to forward this Slashdot post to Vivaldi so that they can see how unpopular their skin is. Unfortunately, their website is done out in the same skin.

I guess Tetzchner wasn't the aesthetic one in Opera Software.

I still think Vivaldi will soon be the best browser available for power users.

Comment: The game mechanics depend on the worst players (Score 1) 81 81

The more one of your players dies, the stronger the other team gets. It often literally is that player's fault you lose.

I'm trying to get S2 to reduce that effect because it heavily limits the effect of your own play -- making it approach a game of chance, rather than skill.

Comment: 16-bit? (Score 1) 158 158

From what I remember of what one of the Devs said, part of Opera's layout engine was 16-bit and this caused a lot of rendering issues which had to be hand-fixed.

Allegedly, it was too difficult to rewrite. Additionally, with Google et al writing new standards for the web, it was just too much work to use a non-Chrome rendering engine.

I like uh... Opera 27. I'm not keen on the Look & Feel of Vivaldi so far but if they can make it flexible enough to do want I want (or support Chromium extensions), I'll switch.

Comment: HDR is gamebreaking (Score 1) 141 141

I'm surprised people don't talk more about this. At least as worthy as 3D... and I love 3D.

It brings out far more detail, depth, dynamism and a lot of other Ds. Most importantly, it takes pictures that look more like how we see things.

Why don't pocket cameras have this?

Now it's occurred to me before that 3D ie two lenses can help with HDR and the software should be able to figure out both HDR and 3D from one lens doing short (dark) exposure and the other lens doing long (light) exposure.

The biggest flaws of phone cameras for me are lack of zoom and lack of image stabilisation. With the latter, there's no point having massive resolution because 80% of it will be camera shake.

And nothing beats the camera you have on you.

That's very true.

Comment: I think you've pinpointed a massive flaw here (Score 1) 351 351

I was hoping that the trilogy could be rescued by a fan-edit. But now I don't.

The Hobbit is completely devoid of suspense (haven't seen Part 3 and will wait for DVD). Compare with FotR:

Opening story with Sauron kicking ass.
The early scene where Frodo and the hobbits nearly get discovered by a Dark Rider. Probably the best scene of the trilogy, with visually-distorting magic and insects freaking out if you weren't convinced yet.
Weathertop, not one of the better scenes but still great.
Arwen rescuing Frodo. First deviation from book but probably made it a better film (unlike deviations in later 2 films).
Moria scenes: just amazing.

To be frank, FotR was vastly better than the subsequent two, which relied on large battles for thrills. I'm going to guess that Jackson had some help with FotR... and thank God. It's become one of the best films of all time.

Now the Hobbit had nothing like that, maybe because of child audience potential but also because of the other big flaw: none of the dwarves are convincing bar possibly Thorin. They don't look right and don't act great either.

Maybe keep the sections focussing on Bilbo, Gandalf, Radagast, Smaug, bits of Thorin and turn it into an hour long prelude to LotR. Yep, cut 80-90% of it.

Comment: Normalcy bias (Score 1) 177 177

ie 'nothing that bad has ever happened before and therefore it's probably not happening to us'

There's another bias where you feel you emotionally can't take any more responsibility and thus just pray that the worst case scenario isn't happening. Not sure it's been studied yet.

Comment: Is this not a bit US-centric? (Score 1) 688 688

The UK has terrible economic problems but unemployment isn't particularly one of them. Wages have held up quite well considering how badly the economy was wrecked -- and rose up until 2008.

I'd suggest US wages are stagnant because of:
1. Job insecurity -- having to live off welfare in the US is a really scary proposition.
2. Stagnant minimum wage. Hasn't changed over 10 years and is lower than in the 1950s:

Naturally, the economic crisis has been a big factor too.

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.