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Comment Re:Where's "Scroll Lock"? (Score 3, Informative) 673 673

The study was performed on a MacBook keyboard. There is no scroll lock, print screen, pause, insert, home, end, page up, page down...

As a MacBook user myself, I actually miss the insert for shift-insert cut'n'paste on ssh sessions. Other than that, I'm fine with all the others being missing. The right-click is interesting - do they literally mean right-click, or do they mean the context-sensitive event (two fingered click on a trackpad)? On a MacBook I would have thought the second one, and I also use that a fair amount.

Comment BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 4, Insightful) 132 132

Although I'm more or less in favour of this (details around copyright 'compensation' nonsense from the EU to sort out), it does present a problem for state-funded broadcasters such as the BBC.

I'm a UK TV license payer, therefore I fund the BBC. Someone in France, for example, is not funding the Beeb and without geoblocking would be able to pick up for free all of the programming that I and other UK license payers are making possible. Now there seems a reasonably obvious way round it - introduce subscriptions, but this is more problematic than it seems at first glance. Would still need geoblocking + subscriptions for outside the geoblock, because otherwise the current practice in the UK of not caring where and what I'm streaming to will fall apart (you'd need to verify the subscription or similar - how would my kids do that when it's just me on the license, are we talking about having to name everyone covered by the license payment etc.). Worse, if the revenue from subscriptions starts becoming a significant part of the BBC's income, then it will start to produce more content geared towards those subscriptions and become less 'British'.

I'm using the BBC as an example I'm familiar with, but there are other state broadcasters in Europe. The BBC model of license to keep it independent of government editorial control is the only funding model of its kind I can think of, but I would imagine the same issues would apply to most of them.

Comment Re:Forget party, all that (Score 1) 21 21

What's so damned special about relationships? If it's about equality, then tell me, why does a childless married couple pay less in tax than a widow with a child who earns the same as the couple? I'd say the widow's relationship to the child matters to society, the couple's relationship doesn't matter to anyone but them.

Why is it legal to discriminate on the basis of marriage?

Why does any government in a secular country have anything at all to do with marriage?

Comment Re:Legacy system based on Fox DB (Score 1) 617 617

My company still runs a large FoxPro application for its business. It started as dBase II, then moved to FoxBase, then eventually to Visual FoxPro. Development started in 1986, and is ongoing for new features, and there's still code (some of which I wrote) from 1987 running.

Comment Deliberate 'overextraction'? (Score 1) 67 67

What if I had a machine that tried to extract, say, 4,000 calories worth? Would that lead eventually to automatic weight reduction?

Off the top of my head I would think no, because I would still need to generate that 4,000 calories in a consumable form in order to make them available for extraction. From reading though, I can't tell if the devices are pure extraction or whether they also stimulate the conversion process.

Comment Too many assumptions in the questions (Score 2) 173 173

A sample question: "Who do you think would benefit most from unconscious bias training at your school (or program)? ..."

There is an assumption there, which is as yet untested, that the respondant believes anyone would benefit from unconcious bias training at all.

Comment Re:Why does Jobs always steal the limelight? (Score 5, Interesting) 266 266

Thing is - there were a lot of talented hardware engineers at the time. Woz owed an awfully large amount to Chuck Peddle, for instance, and the role of MOS and Commodore is massively underplayed these days in a "history is written by the victors"-style approach. Most of the early pure engineering-led eight bit companies died a death, but Apple survived. Why is that? It wasn't due to Woz.

I really don't want to underplay Woz and I agree with the comments, but you can see from his ventures since that the involvement of Woz does not necessarily make for a sustainable company, and Woz alone could not have created Apple.

Comment Speed is indeed important (Score 1) 6 6

Not everyone has a brand-new computer; The manuscript of the book I'm about to publish is in Open Office Word, about 400 pages and full of large images, and autosave is a real pain because it takes minutes to save the file.

Like another commenter said, I wouldn't make it the most important thing, overall efficiency is. But software speed is important to anyone with an older computer, especially a Windows computer, because the computer slows as the registry grows, and the registry never gets smaller, only bigger.

Comment Re:Virtulize it (Score 1) 66 66

IO ports. The Beeb had millions of them, and they were used in education too. At school I wrote programs for light-sensing diodes for instance, which were just plugged straight in.

I have a BBC emulator and it's good. It truly isn't the same thing as using the real hardware though - even simple stuff like the feel of the keyboard. I have vice64 and use it to emulator the C64, but I also have a real C64 sat in my retro-cupboard all set up and ready to go. That cupboard contains a monitor/TV, C64 with 1541 snaildrive; datasette and Commodore mouse; a Gamecube and then baby-of-the-bunch Wii. Of those the Gamecube and Wii are most easily replaceable in feel since they were operated entirely through controllers, and so long as you still use the controllers a full-screen emulator will give you pretty much the same experience. The C64 emulator will not, purely down to things like key layout, keyboard feel, SID bugs making each chip unique etc.. A BBC emulator won't give you the same feel either. Both will do well, but it's not the same.

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