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Comment: Re:C'mon, losers, we solved this in the 70's! (Score 1) 200

by bsdewhurst (#42747411) Attached to: Excessive Modularity Hindered Development of the 787

The problem was the guy hired to write the awk scripts decided to use perl instead and half way through his cat rolled on the keyboard and he couldn't tell which parts were written by him and which by the cat so he left it all in. The battery controller must be using the cat code.

Comment: Re:Phone / Internet (Score 2) 110

In New Zealand it is (or at least was) 24 hours without the phone = 1 months free line rental. I know of at least one power company in New Zealand that has to pay out $50 to each affected customer if an outage on their network lasts more than 4 hours. Both of these are for residential connections.

Comment: Re:HDCP is still here (Score 1) 142

by bsdewhurst (#42152741) Attached to: 4 Microsoft Engineers Predicted DRM Would Fail 10 Years Ago


The first DVD player we brought for my father (a Phillips) when you opened the box there was a piece of paper sitting on top of saying how to turn off the region checking.

The first DVD player I brought for myself I was comparing two very similar players at about the same price, the salesman walked over and said "you want that one, it comes region unlocked out of the box, the other one you have to look up the code online"

The unlocked one was the cheaper one by the way, still works to this day.

Comment: Re:Can we get rid of long sigs as well? (Score 2) 248

by bsdewhurst (#42086335) Attached to: Companies Getting Rid of Reply-all

Your right not the best example, but the first one that came into my head when I was thinking about how old e-mails saved my butt.

All my e-mails are archived on a specific archive server and can be retrieved by those with the required access should I get hit by a bus tomorrow, and I don't take it personally I have used the same reason for getting people to learn all of the things that are sitting inside my head. The company that I work for has nicely organised shared drives where nothing is ever deleted (and if it is there are tested tape backups) but as is always the case, things that have been done are always better documented than things that haven't been done. where do you store a "customer has told about this problem but ignored it" conversation that everyone can see (really I would like to know it is the only thing that is falling through the cracks).

Comment: Re:Can we get rid of long sigs as well? (Score 2) 248

by bsdewhurst (#42084915) Attached to: Companies Getting Rid of Reply-all

I am glad that I don't work for $BIG_CORP, I have all of the e-mails I have ever sent or received from a customer store in a folder for that customer (my inbox is in effect my to do list, the only e-mails in there are ones I have to respond to, either by reply or by doing work if they are from one of the work tracking systems.

The reason I do this is for the following situation, this is an actual example, names have been removed to protect the guilty.

1. I discover a bug in the minor piece of software that I develop where a common mistake in data input can result in a customer not being billed correctly. I trace the history of the bug and notify all affected customers that the bug exists, the conditions that it occurs under and why it is going to affect all of them (the input is a file coming from a source they all share) and that the fix is free as per their support contract.
2. All but one of the affected customers ask for the fix straight away, the other says they don't think it is important so they don't want it.
3. Fast forward one year customer who doesn't get the fix realises that their bills are coming out wrong, raises all sorts of hell with my boss about the buggy software that they are using, I forward their e-mail saying that they don't want the fix and suddenly they go very quiet.

Without my e-mail history it would be my word against theirs. Finally almost all of my projects last longer than 90 days, how do you keep track of what was agreed (most importantly agreed to be excluded) at the start if all the e-mail trails are gone.

I am left wondering what dodgy things $BIG_CORP are up to if they think e-mails over 90 days old are a legal risk.

Comment: Re:At last an offer. (Score 1) 582

by bsdewhurst (#41849317) Attached to: To Mollify Google on Moto Patents, Apple Proposes $1/Device Fee

Search for Whaleway Station Road in Kaikoura New Zealand, I did this on the weekend.

Apple Maps - The road does not exist

Google Maps - Clearly shows the road, the railway station and Whale Watch Kaikoura, the main tourist attraction in the town, which has only been there for about 15 years.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 419

by bsdewhurst (#41565539) Attached to: The Coming Internet Video Crash

You don't even have to nationalise it, just force the owners of the companies to split into two companies, one owning the network and the other selling services on the network with the requirement that the network has to sell access to any company at the same price.

You can also use a carrot for this, see Telecom NZ which split off its fixed line network into a company called Chorus in return for ~$1B, on the condition that it (Chorus who got the money) build an open access fibre network to ~65% of the population within 10 years. I guess in this case the stick in this case was the Government saying if you don't do it we will give the money to someone else and they can build there own network, with blackjack and hookers.

Comment: Re:People want cheaper tablets (Score 1) 657

by bsdewhurst (#40865271) Attached to: Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market

So you are treating them like PADDs from TNG? Do your trainees get one for each document so that can carry around a pile?

I am joking of course, but this is the perfect use for tablets and like you said it saves money (and space). I know of other companies which have done similar things, but since it was board reports for the board members they were using iPads, but part of their justification was they could just e-mail all the documents when they were ready and the board members could read them ahead of time instead of sending out massive piles of paper each month.

Comment: Re:Some thoughts on studies and numbers (Score 2) 202

by bsdewhurst (#40733843) Attached to: Three-Strikes Copyright Law In NZ Halves Infringement

Additionally, there have been a small number of people who have hit three strikes, and the music industry has not pursued disconnection for those people - presumably because pursuing it means taking it to a tribunal which might actually require evidence of infringement.

Good point, I would like to add for those not familiar with the NZ law, if you get to three strikes and the right holders don't take you to the copyright tribunal within a set amount of time (2 or 3 months I think) the earlier strikes are thrown out and the user goes back to the start of the process, basically a use it or lose situation for the rights holders, don't accuse someone unless you are prepared to back it up.

Comment: Re:Sounds good to me (Score 1) 90

by bsdewhurst (#40697819) Attached to: One Tablet Per Child Program Begins In Thailand

Once the tablets are deployed, the power to instantly update the curriculum via internet updates is powerful.

Unfortunately there are a large number of schools in Thailand, mostly those in rural areas that don't even have power let alone the internet. For example the school closest to me has bathrooms and storage inside but the two classrooms only have a roof and one wall with a blackboard on it.

Also if you read the specs these tablets have a battery life of 2-3 hours, if there is no power at the school you better hope the students have it at home and remembered to charge their tablet. In a way this is one thing OLPC got right with the XO1 include a hand crank.

But once the schools all have basic infrastructure then you are right the tablets could be a very powerful tool

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