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Comment Re:Street lamps don't help much (Score 2) 301 301

"When you consider the ongoing costs of electricity"

Street lamps are generally on very long poles. Fill the poles with batteries rather than cables, add solar panels and use LED lights.

You could easily make street lights a net contributor to electricity.

Comment Re:Defensive versus Offensive Patents (Score 2) 133 133

That's the point - on one hand, they could be thinking about doing this, which would be worrying.

But, by registering a patent, they can make it a lot harder for anyone else to do it - and if they don't do it themselves, then it is a net win for consumers, in preventing such advertising.

Comment Lawsuit (Score 2) 487 487

If Microsoft are stupid enough to ship this "feature" - and have it turned on by default - what are the chances that they will be hit with a massive lawsuit?

No doubt there will at least be group policies - if not it disabled entirely - on professional editions of Windows, because corporate customers are going to run a mile from having external guests authenticating on to protected networks with confidential material, just because they happen to be a contact of the person they are visiting.

Comment Re:The future of console games (Score 1) 249 249

I don't have any reason to doubt them - however, it is more complicated than that. Being able to install and play the games takes more than just downloading them from Steam. It dependson how they've been coded, what they expect, etc.

And then there is the issue of timeframes - if it goes tits up, then any ability to download software won't be provided forever.

Comment Re:on *average* (Score 1) 247 247

Bigger qualifier would be - what is measurable software quality? The only measures that really matter are how few bugs are there, how non-serious are the bugs, how easy are the bugs to fix in reality, how quickly and reliably can new features be added, or old ones removed, and how efficient is the code?

You can't genuinely measure software quality in the static. You can't measure it against the unknowns of the future.

Refactoring to meet some arbitrary definition of software quality is a red herring. But refactoring tools and techniques are an invaluable part of addressing the challenges of the future - of being able to address bugs / isolating code for testing, being able add/remove features, increasing code reuse instead of duplication for maintenance and predictability.

Comment Re:track record (Score 1) 293 293

If the two-engine planes are such a risk, how the hell have they got air safety certificates?

Unless, due to scheduling issues they intentionally want to run the plane with broken engines, I don't see any good reason why it needs four engines.

Fair enough, buy American - especially when the A380 is more expensive. But given that it is a completely custom fit out, I don't see why the smaller size of a 787 should be a problem either.

The 787 would make it practical / possible to fly into smaller airfields too. And be much, much cheaper - to purchase and run.

Comment Re:Consumers? No just whiny fanboys (Score 1) 113 113

Kind of.

You're right, the performance - as long as it stays within 3.5GB - is fine. The thing is, given that the extra 0.5GB brings the performance down, they probably should have just made it a 3GB card - which again would have given the same amount of performance in the majority of cases - and shaved a bit of the costs.

Comment Just because we sail, doesn't make us a pirate (Score 1) 437 437

I'm sick of the outdated business practices of media providers. Sure, you can understand the regional libraries for Netflix, et al when the times when things are sold, shown on TV, shown in cinema differ in each region.

And you can understand why that is the case when you are shipping film to cinemas and producing and shipping the film stock is a logistical problem. And to an extent the same with DVD and Blu-Ray.

But we are increasingly moving to a world where we buy or rent digital files rather than physical media. Where even cinemas are going to digital projection and just get files streamed to them.

Other than the time it takes to unwind the backlog, there are no valid reasons for having such vast time difference between when things are released in different regions. And resolving that, there is little (aside from one or two broader regions based on economic activity) reason for price differences between countries.

Making these region locks, on the whole, rather pointless. We need to be clear about this - if a content provider chooses not to provide the content (for very weak reasons), then people attempting to circumvent these arbitrary blocks are not to blame, but the content providers themselves. Stop treating us all so badly.

Comment Long odds (Score 1) 755 755

It's interesting that people believe in creation / intelligent design and use the "odds are so infitessimally small it couldn't happen by chance" reasoning, when the problem with having any being or force responsible for creating everything is you then have to ask who created the creator?

There are approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the observable universe, and even if you say that habitable zones of galaxies are quite small, so really we should talk about the chances of a galaxy sustaining life, then that planet count comes from there being 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

1 in 200 billion are quite infitessimally small odds.

And the odds that we were created by "chance" are far higher than there being an intelligent creator that would design our planet, our galaxy in order to sustain life, and yet create over 200 billion other galaxies without any life, because what would be the point of that?

Comment Re:uh, no? (Score 1) 340 340

The likelihood that strafing would fail, and in so doing alert the crew into making a call, is probably higher than a missile cleanly taking the the plane down.

Even if the crew had a chance to make an emergency call about the missile, then it would likely be about the immediate issue (e.g. engine explosion, loss of cabin pressure, etc.) rather than specifically identifying the cause.

You will lose an important tape file.