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Comment: Re:have to rewrite muc federal law to not microman (Score 1) 150

by illtud (#49502035) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Sometimes, he loses the contract and it goes to someone else. Sometimes, he loses the ability to get awarded future contracts

2014 EU Procurement Directives now allow contracting authorities to take past failures into account when evaluating tenders.
At last!

Comment: She was suing UK police over past outrage (Score 1) 143

Additional information from The Guardian:

This was the the female political activist who is suing the Metropolitan Police for planting an undercover officer in environmental/animal activist groups who formed a sexual relationship with her for two years under a false identity "Mark Kennedy". See previous stories about him here:

Comment: As a public sector procurer in the UK (Score 1) 143

by illtud (#46969905) Attached to: How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

I don't do projects anywhere near the scale of the article's examples, but we have to follow EU procurement rules.

I sympathise with the companies that bid for our projects, we have to advertise our procurements over certain limits (around $150k) throughout the EU. We have to be specific about what we want before we start (fairly impossible for off-the-shelf software solutions without unfairly exempting some suppliers) so the suppliers (or their salesmen) have to spend quite a bit preparing bids. Most of them will fail, so the winner has to recoup the cost of failed bids in any bids they win, so the're always looking to add costs to the contract.

I understand the reasoning behind the rules (stop people giving contracts to friends/family/golf buddies) but we usually end up paying well over what you know a local company could deliver for if you went direct to them and worked through a more agile process with fair billing. Having to control the costs of evaluating hundreds of bids from companies across the EU usually means that you set up a PQQ process to eliminate most small to medium shops that would probably be much better value.

I don't have an answer to how the process could be improved, but it's not great from either side.

Comment: Beta comment (Score 1) 2219

by illtud (#46192701) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Slashdot is the comments - nothing more.
For comments to work for me, I have to be able to filter at an overall score (I do 3+, mostly)
I want a way to click and see lower-rated replies to a post I see.
I value seeing the ID of a poster.
Beta font is way too big, and too much wasted whitespace.
For your beancounters - lower ID members are probably worth a lot more ££. None of those are here for the stories.
I control an IT spend of around $1M (not large I'd guess amongst lower UID ./ IT managers) and learn a lot from ./, but from the other contributors, not the stories. This is probably one of very few places I take note of see targeted ads, and sometimes I follow through. (check how many times I've declined the 'no ads' offering).
I imagine that you've looked at the bounce rate of a random new reader who expects a fun story site with big pictures. Fine if that's what you want, but I'd be surprised if the revenue from that (competing with every other similar site) would outweigh the loss of my kind of reader. And going with the beta as-is, you would lose me to whatever slashcode site wins the exodus.

Just saying, but I appreciate the chance to do so.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 1) 513

by illtud (#45692339) Attached to: Senators Propose Bill Prohibiting Phone Calls On Planes

Who modded this +5?

Even the summary mentions this possibility: if you make a 'silent zone' then the airlines will make this a premium option that costs more. I'm not commenting on the merits of the bill, just that pointing out that a comment suggesting something that's mentioned in the acutal summary (I haven't RTFL) shouldn't be modded insightful.

Comment: Re:I wish they'd do it here. (Score 1) 372

by illtud (#45242129) Attached to: NYC's 250,000 Street Lights To Be Replaced With LEDs By 2017

This town in West Wales (Aberystwyth) has already done this on main roads - not just the lamps but the posts and housings as well. The're a great improvement - I'm about 100 yds from the trunk (main) road here as I type and I have to look closely to see if they're still on. The new lights are very directional (no light pollution) and they have a much better spectrum if you're walking along the road and the illumination seems much brighter. They replaced low-pressure (orange) sodium.

I'm sure that replacing the posts (6m ish tall) cost quite a bit, and I don't know what the efficiency saving is, but the payback must pretty short-term as the Welsh government doesn't have money to burn. It's been a great improvement here.

Comment: This is new? (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by illtud (#44852713) Attached to: Stephen Colbert and the Monster Truck of Tivos

We've been doing this since 2007 (digitally) at the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. We have a licence to keep for the nation any broadcast TV that we recieve that meets our collection policy. We've been doing it on SVHS (and earlier technology) for decades before. We probably have an order of magnitude fewer channels than they have (UK Freeview - 50 TV & 24 radio) but scaling up the number of channels we keep in the buffer (two weeks) before programme selection wouldn't come close to the pricing mentioned in some of the comments here. We keep the full MPEG-TS as transmitted (so can use the raster subtitle streams if necessary) and ingest them into our Fedora-commons digital repository. We're moving to a version that OCRs the subtitles for improved resource discovery - at the moment we only use the EPG which we convert to our own metadata standard.

We use a commercial system, Imagen from Cambridge Imaging Systems, to capture and select, then our own workflows for technical characterisation, metadata transformation and ingest, but you could use MythTV or some other to buffer two weeks of the entire UK terrestrial output for a lot less than is being mentioned here. We will have a youtube-like interface (but with transcription searches from the subtitles) to search the tens of thousands of recordings that we hold, and it will incorporate digitised material from our own unique collections of film and video.

I'm sure that the BBC or other similar national broadcasters have monsterous systems that eclispe ours or The Colbert Show's - the system we're using was originally designed as one massive PVR for UK universities to try to save resources and share recordings amongst campus users rather than have each student download each progamme to their dorms (and uni storage).

The disks are getting full; purge a file today.