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Comment Re:Continuum could be a big hit... (Score 1) 88

I think that is a moot point with windows 10. Yes, some people will expect anything to work on whatever hardware they own, but then they head to the app store and it is clear that 1) some apps are not available compatible and the store will tell you that you can't download them; 2) there are many applications in the store that are badged as compatible with win32, 64 AND ARM.

Typical Slashdot users will be interested in whether it's a win32, x86 or ARM device but the real customers will behave like those visiting the google play store: first you choose the app, then you get the store to start the install. If it doesn't work, you try another app. Hopefully with universal Windows apps it will be clearer why something does not install.

Comment What about the minicabs and TFL? (Score 2) 216

Interesting that the debate seems to be centred on the Black Cabs of London, omitting the role of TFL (Transport for London = - hint in the URL) and of minicab companies.

Minicabs are normal cars for hire, they don't look like "London taxis", their drivers don't have specific training just for working in London and they can ONLY work via advance bookings. The phone booking requirement is a major difference in relation to official Black Cabs who can stop anywhere when you see them and ask for a ride.
The minicab companies are easy to find as they advertise at train stations and leave leaflets and business cards in many businesses and even through home letterboxes. If you are at a major train station, hotel, etc. you'll find a queue of Black Cabs waiting for passengers, the runs are metered and you can fit 5 adults. Some of their seats have a child seat built in, so that's another nice thing about that funny shape of car.

The minicab companies tend to have self-employed drivers. They bring their own car, typically a 4 door saloon or a 7 seat people carrier and they pay the fuel and insurance from their own takings. They also pay the minicab company for the dispatcher service. Some 5 years ago this was something like £90 per week, which means that between car expenses, the insurance and the dispatcher service, there is a lot of money to pay before the driver sees any profit. The insurance is extortionate in London, even more for working in this kind of trade. Memory fails me, but I think I was something like £3000 per year, again, 5 years ago.

So, before Uber and Hailo turn up, there is a very regulated competition between the Black cabs and random drivers trying to make some profit from their old Toyota Avensis even if they don't speak the language very well. The Black cab drivers are notorious for being picky about the areas served, but they do know the inner London boroughs very well - The Knowledge is a real thing, it's like they have all street names and POI in their heads and use satnav mostly for traffic info.

The TFL has a role to play in all this, as they have their name on the licence for both types of taxi business. Probably they take some money from them all. The TFL website is a very good one, for knowing about train, underground and river services, but when it comes to road services, you can find out about buses and road works, the taxi service being quite secondary. That's what I think that they should be working on, rather than having everyone complain and litigate.

The way I see it, the taxi apps reveal something very crucial that disrupts that peaceful coexistence between minicabs and Black cabs: passengers want to know time and place for their ride, like they do for other transport, rather than always get the same answer from the minicab phone dispatcher "they'll be there in 5 minutes".
If TFL does not work on providing this service to passengers, then the disruption is that Black Cabs will actually deliver a worse service than minicabs in very important factors: the certainty about when the driver will turn up; the price that will apply; the form of payment available to passengers.

While in the past, minicabs were the shoddier alternative to Black cabs, now "the Knowledge" and being able to hail a taxi from the street become less important. Before, the self-employed driver was sharing a lot of revenue with the mincab company as a barrier to entry, but now they can have more of their costs turn into variable rather than a fixed rent.

From a passenger's point of view, what Boris and TFL should be working on is not protecting the Black taxi trade through more legislation, like the ridiculous proposal that was made last week (discussed on that was a set of laws tailored to sabotage Uber. They should have geo-location on all Black cabs right now, and a proper dispatcher service so that people can make bookings through the TFL website and pay with the Oyster card like they can for train, tram, bus and river services. Right now minicabs are changing to become better for passengers, be it with Uber, Hailo or with smaller dispatcher companies. Black cabs could do the same if they wanted.

Comment Re:Sometimes the ethical path is very clear (Score 1) 618

[...]Engineers: struggle for ages.
In pub: Well, we could enable a special testing mode to pass the tests?
In work: Shall we do this -> up the chain. Original context is half forgotten. Approved.
Changes made. Software specs made. Timebomb implemented.

I'd go one step further and suggest that the pub has people from several auto manufacturers and they realise that the problem is common in the industry, therefore would work out well if everyone used the same solution. This way, when the scandal comes to light, the explanation is "everyone is doing it" and it's best to protect the industry (under the threat of job losses) by changing regulations elsewhere. It's not too different from the LIBOR rates rigging by some UK banks.

I read in the Guardian that there will be re-testing of emissions to ensure that now the numbers will be right. If a few million cars from several manufacturers go up one or two tax tiers and the car manufacturers pay a fine, it's a decent result.

Comment Re:Android? (Score 1) 177

A PC that size? Well there's The dell xps 1820 AIO. Essentially a sort of imac with a battery. Unless you are Hafthor Bjornson, you'll use it your desk and move it other places rather than as a normal tablet...

Comment Re:Let me see if I have the meeting right (Score 1) 480

It's something I never really understood. And it seems to be something that is actually pretty much an US thing. I don't see the same clinging to dress codes over here in Europe.

Interestingly, in the 3 different european countries where I've worked there's always been an employment contract clause about standard of attire. In some places it's loosely enforced, but if it's in the contract, people need to intelligent enough not to get themselves into trouble by looking and making the company look bad.

I think that overall in this thread there's an exaggeration about looking professional meaning there's less time to do the real work. A quick images search for Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard and their "humble garage" shows people dressed neatly for work.

If people need more specifics to get with the brief, I'd say that in my experience Dockers-like trousers and a plain shirt (long or short sleeve) always look right, as long as the clothes are clean. The company-issued tie seems to be a specific to manufacturing companies I've visited thus far. I find it funny (in a good way) to see everyone wearing the same tie, funny in the other way when my consultant turns up with the Looney Tunes tie.

Comment Video or it didn't happen (Score 2) 273

"Understand the connection between body, mind, energy, and spirit and how the interplay between these impact health and disease."

I hope that the University will publish the videos taken during the lectures and of the experiments conducted to show the connections between body, mind, energy and spirit. I think this transparency and level of disclosure will do a lot for the reputation of everyone involved.

Comment Re:what? (Score 1) 65

How about remote control centres for drones without having high latency connections? I don't know where drones are controlled from, but I imagine there are advantages in reducing the distance to the targeted areas.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.