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Comment Re:It was the first standard for video? (Score 1) 406

One of those people who think that everything can be done on a smartphone

That's the 'future' of computing, according to manufacturers and politicians. For little people, hacking, open source projects (even though large corporations benefit) and general 'invention' is a bit dangerous. Better done in a government or corporate setting, smartphone lets the consumer consume 'monetised' media and play Candy Crush Saga. Iphones and MacBooks are for being cool but products of total design control. You don't want ports to plug stuff in, you just need to use what we decide you can use and make money from. Even the hack stuff is trending towards pretty blue and pink, 'hack on this, but not very much'.

Incidentally, I don't believe this is conspiracy, it's just a shared motive of profit maximisation. But it suits an agenda of increasingly passive population in thrall to their mobiles (Skynet is here, it's just that it is ridiculous and distractionary) and 'devices'.

Comment Re:Perl (Score 1) 414

Yes agree. I make a living out of Perl, so I'm biased, but, if you use it simply, it's pretty much Basic. I voted for, Basic, OK I'm old, but 'Hunt the Wumpus' etc. helped a lot of people, and, Basic was designed (like Scratch) to be a simple on-ramp for non-programmers.

Comment I stopped reading at... (Score 1) 66

The protocol was designed by GCHQ, the U.K.'s signals intelligence agency,

as a Brit, living comfortably and peacefully in the London suburbs, I'm tired of this shit. It's not saving lives or preventing terror either, do you think any reasonably intelligent terrorist will think, I need to talk to my mates, ok MIKEY-SAKKE is my 'go-to' tool?

Comment Re:Wonder when "open source" will hit vehicles (Score 4, Interesting) 279

I've commented on this before. IBM, I believe, called this 'functional pricing' in the 1970s. When I started in computing in the mid 1970s, ICL (UK mainframe manufacturer) had two printers, a 300 lines per minute and a 600 lines per minute, no difference except a couple of resistors (this was pre 'unlock') and, of course, the price.

Of course, theoretically, 'competition' in 'markets' should stamp this out. However, a great deal of competition now seems to be for the best cheating (VW et al.) and best regulatory capture (DMCA etc.). Bless 'shareholder value' and screw the consumer.

Comment Re: Arduino kids (Score 1) 112

Thank you, you are so right. Programming is fun, not just for some notional neckbearded priesthood. Yes, if one needs to do something 'serious' (avionics, billing SCADA) the approach must be more rigorous (looking at recent electric grid exploits, apparently that's not true of SCADA, in fact), but kids don't normally do that. It's a 'way in'.

Comment Re:Older people who feel in love with basic on c64 (Score 1, Funny) 112

Do not be ashamed! Spent a lot of time in the late 1970's/early '80s with a Teletype 33 copying out 'Hunt the Wumpus' into a Honeywell-Bull Level 64 mainframe.

It made me the person I am today, living alone in a basement, no friends, paint-stripper breath, three days beard and a very annoying pedantic way of talking. What, exactly, is not to like? We need to form a club, except that I don't get out very much.

Comment Just say no, don't go (Score 1) 129

We effete Europeans have found the solution, don't travel to the USA. This is not criticism of the 'people' who are usually generous and friendly (though a little weaponised for our wimpy UK tastes) but government and big business really need fixing. Perhaps we could put on our red coats and invade? Then swap all these guns, paranoia etc. for cucumber sandwiches, with the crusts cut off and a little pepper and vinegar. Cricket is good, too.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 456

I'm not sure why this has been modded 'troll'? Perhaps by hard core Objectivists, are you there Ayn?

Taxes repair the roads that Apple et al. use, the schools that educate Apple's future employees, the police that protect shiny Apple stores from being looted, the hospitals (in Europe, until TTIP imposed anyway) etc. etc. So hard code tax avoidance is an economic externality for society. Warren Buffett said that, pretty much and I agree.

I've some sympathy with the conflict between fiduciary duty to 'maximise shareholder value' and this, but, for example Facebook paid about £4k last year in the UK on profits of zillions. Starbucks (that purveyor of expensive brown shit-juice) made a 'voluntary' payment of £20m, nice if we could make 'voluntary' payments. Cadbury and Nestle, no better.

The provisional solution is name, shame and boycott. I don't use Facebook, Amazon (just a little), Cadburys (chocolate is now foul USA-style soap after Mondelez takeover, anyway) and I don't see why anyone would pay £2.50 and up for brown slop in Starbucks.

This isn't anti-USA BTW, but US corporations are in the forefront of bad behaviour in this area.

Comment Re:*could* be ok, but probably won't (Score 1) 88

Nope, wish it was, but it's part of the original university but for mature students (that will let you guess, begins with B). I offered to do a couple of talks, read through the syllabus (to make sure I wasn't duplicating) and was disappointed/appalled. Same thing for (admittedly, sample of one) MSc guy I talked to, not masters level 'stuff'. I expect/hope UCL etc. is a lot better.

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