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Comment: Re:Put yourself in your manager's shoes. (Score 1) 461

by itsdapead (#48228387) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Your managers are protecting _your_ interests by not letting you use that drive. Show a little goddamn respect.

How about the management show the employee a little respect and let him order whatever bits of sundry equipment he needs to do his job?

I think the sort or critical thinking that bosses don't want is the sort that asks "how many hours of my time do I need to save to justify the cost of a $100 hard drive?" or "if it really costs the company $500 and takes 3 weeks to procure something that Amazon could have on my desk in 24 hours for $100, maybe its not me that should be under pressure to make efficiency savings?" or even "If its all because of legal compliance issues, why doesn't big business club together, rent a few senators and get the legislation quietly fixed in a rider to the next fisheries bill?"

Comment: Re:Already in the UK (Score 1) 631

Are you laboring under the illusion that the only way to pay a machine in the US is with cash?

No, just that chip+pin makes more sense for taking card payments on machines than... well, last time I remember using a card in a machine in the US it was swipe and... Hey, fingers crossed, who needs a PIN?

Plus, they do have an awful lot of those bill readers.

Comment: Already in the UK (Score 1) 631

KFC and Burger King have been using touchscreen order & pay kiosks for some time, and I encountered it in a McD's for the first time about a month ago. The fact that we all use chip-and-PIN debit cards (and some people are already using NFC cards) probably helps - having to include the facility to feed dollar bills into a slot would put a crimp in it somewhat.

Comment: Re:Driving is filled with intractible problems (Score 1) 283

by itsdapead (#48211031) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

Anyone who thinks self drive is coming to a vehicle near them soon is living in cloud cuckoo land.

I wasn't aware that Google had promised to have self-driving cars in the shops for Christmas. You have to start somewhere - and since any large-scale adoption of self-driving cars is going to require the cooperation of government, that means starting the PR campaign early, not just the R&D.

I think its great that some of the billions made from the internet boom are going into blue-sky projects like self-driving cars, electric cars and space travel. Will Google be selling a viable self-driving private car before Tesla are selling a 300-mile-range compact for the price of a mid-range gas burner, or will we still be waiting when SpaceX gets to Mars? It'll be fun finding out.

Self drive cars might work on a closed track where the number of external factors are limited and can be controlled. e.g. an airport loop, or a theme park transfer.

...large business/university campuses, shopping malls, an alternative to trams/personal mass transit systems that vastly reduces the amount of "civil engineering" needed... Sounds like a business opportunity for Google to me.

Comment: Re:do one thing and do it well (Score 1) 155

by itsdapead (#48194059) Attached to: GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

Because the people who don't like emacs don't use it. No one builds software with emacs as a dependency and then tried to get every Linux environment to use it as a core dependency.

True, although GNU info... er, sorry, GNU info had a good college try at inflicting the emacs help system on the world.

Comment: Re:Weird situation with Mac Pro (Score 1) 108

by itsdapead (#48180079) Attached to: iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac

So the Mac Pro doesn't really make sense anymore unless you need its graphics cards to support OpenCL applications, or you want the parallelism of 8 or 12 cores, or you need its ECC RAM.

The Mac Pro never did make financial sense unless you needed those things (or 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports).

Apple's range lacks a basic quad-i7 headless desktop with good "consumer" graphics cards - and it will go on lacking it because,

(a) as other PC manufacturers are finding, there's no bloody money in mid-range mini towers, and other PC manufacturers don't have to bankroll the development of their own operating system and loss-leading application suite.

(b) it would cannibalize sales of iMacs, Pros and laptops which do make money.

Comment: Re:They _Should_ Replace It (Score 5, Insightful) 180

by itsdapead (#48113219) Attached to: CSS Proposed 20 Years Ago Today

I’m sure this won’t be the only "css" sucks comment.

You missed the absence of any sort of variables/constants to let you (e.g.) assign a logical name to a frequently used colour or a standard indent width. Preprocessors like "less" are a great help, of course, but I can't believe a simple macro substitution facility or simple expression evaluation would have over-taxed even 20 year-old hardware.

Then there's the bizarre box model where the size of the contents, border, inner and outer margin are all conflated - even Microsoft's mis-implementation made more sense. Or the simple, but completely non-obvious incantations to make a div act as a container, or auto-clear floats. I still can't get my head around list formatting.

Basically, you're left with the feeling that the designers of CSS had never used a DTP package, never used styles in a wordprocessor package, never used a UI layout manager or, for that matter, ever seen a website.

TFS was also right on the money in one respect: a standard with neither a test suite or a reference implementation is no standard at all. The whole set of web standards suffers from the delusion that (maybe outside of pure mathematics) you can reliably specify a complex system without non-trivial exemplification.

Comment: Re:Subway trains? (Score 1) 127

by itsdapead (#48110141) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

Why would the London Underground have subway trains?

Oh, they're talking about the actual Underground? I was assuming that a "subway train" was some more efficient way of getting people along a subterranean walkway. Whenever I've arrived at St Pancras overground station and needed to get to St Pancras Underground I've always thought that they could do with a train of some sort...

Comment: Re:ffs (Score 1) 276

by itsdapead (#48104331) Attached to: No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

Second, I'm pretty sure one of the purposes of a car headlight is to allow people driving the car can see where they are going. It turns out that that brighter lights actually help with that.

...but at the expense of dazzling all the other motorists, mucking up their night vision and creating distracting blue flashes in people's rear-view mirrors (due to the colour and small size, I guess - if the road is bumpy and there's a car with xenons behind me I keep thinking I've got a cop car or ambulance on my tail).

If they just used them for main beam it would be OK - they're too bright, and too concentrated to be used for "dipped" beams.

Finally, Audi recently demonstrated actual LED headlights that are made up of dozens of individual bulbs and are hooked up to facial detection, and actually dim the parts of the beam that are shining in people's faces.

Oh terrific. I'm sure that will work at least 70% of the time outside of a demo. :-(

Comment: Re:Free Willy! (Score 1) 474

by itsdapead (#48015945) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Thank you for correcting me (rolling eyes) now go correct Wikipedia:

Now go read the bit of Wikipedia about the Parliament Acts which allow the Commons to pass legislation without the approval of the House of Lords ( might also want to ask yourself how the heck and act like that ever got passed in a "theocratic monarchy").

You go on to say "the Queen must otherwise keep the fuck out of politics or else."

Right: "or else". She has real powers which, if she exercised them, might lead her to lose those powers.

No, she has theoretical powers that if she even tried to exercise would trigger the "or else". Even making an allegedly political comment causes a shitstorm.

if you have a monarch, you aren't a democracy;

Since you seem to regard Wikipedia as the fount of all knowledge: Constitutional monarchy is a form of democratic government in which a monarch acts as a non-party political head of state within the boundaries of a constitution, whether written or unwritten. (The article goes on to describe the UK as a Constitutional Monarchy).

if you have an official state church, you aren't secular.

...true, but if the state church is subordinate to an elected parliament, you don't have a theocracy, either. Your favourite source, again: Theocracy is distinguished from other, secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God". In the most common usage of the term, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the Byzantine emperor as patron and defender of the official Church); the government proclaims it rules on behalf of God* or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and divine approval of government institutions and laws.

* know, like "one nation under God"... :-)

Comment: Re:This is a defense of iPhone 6? (Score 3, Insightful) 304

by itsdapead (#48010119) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

LG and Samsung have solved it...

Also, when someone breaks their Galaxy Note, it doesn't make CNN and BBC.

I have a Galaxy Note 2 and, from the feel of it, I would fully expect it to break if I put it in my back pocket and sat on it. So I don't. If I'd wanted to do that I'd have bought a smaller phone.

What I don't get is why Apple decided to produce two phablets rather than update the 5 for people who want a phone and just have the 6+ for people who wanted a phablet. I'd consider the 6+ if it weren't quite so eye-wateringly expensive (esp. if you want decent storage), but I really don't see the point of the 6.

Comment: Re:Free Willy! (Sorry, finish the sentence) (Score 1) 474

by itsdapead (#47966057) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

As I've already said several times, I'd personally like to see the state church and the monarchy go as a matter of principle, but not as a matter of principle, and not at the cost of elected, party political "head of state" and the economy nearly running off a fiscal cliff because the two elected houses full of party animals were having a cockfight.

Comment: Re:Free Willy! (Score 1) 474

by itsdapead (#47966027) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Its political process is mostly run by an elected body, uh huh

No, its not "mostly" run by the elected body, the elected body has the ultimate power to pass laws. The monarch has no legislative power, she is bound by the constitution (which is not imaginary) to read out a speech written by the elected government once a year and otherwise keep the fuck out of politics or else. The House of Lords - which includes representatives of the church - can review and amend laws, but the elected house is at liberty to reject any such amendments and pass the law anyway. In practice, the amendments are usually worthwhile technical improvements.

That is not the way a "theocratic monarchy" works....

The problems with the UK system are the same as any other democracy: party-political dogma and all those super-rich plutocrats and multinational companies who aren't constitutionally barred from meddling in politics.

As I've already said several times, I'd personally like to see the state church and the monarchy go as a matter of principle, but not as a matter of principle, and not at the cost of

Comment: Re:Problem is, Kickstarter does not enforce the ru (Score 1) 203

by itsdapead (#47964511) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

After this experience, I will be much more reluctant to back a new project, knowing they can do basically anything they want with my money with minimal risk to them.

Sorry, but what exactly are people expecting out of crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding works because it is fairly informal and nobody (should) "invest" more than they can afford to lose or enough to be worth suing over. Otherwise, the whole thing would suffocate under the red tape, and the projects might as well go to a bank or VC, put their house up as collateral and risk having the funder foreclose at the slightest hiccup.

If you want to buy a product with warranties and legal rights, go to a shop (even in the USA retailers have some obligation to give you what you paid for). If you want to invest your money without risk, put it in a savings account in a major bank and enjoy the consequent 0.fuckall% interest.

Comment: Re:Yes and yes... (Score 1) 264

by itsdapead (#47955479) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Best selling means that most actual consumers think that 16 GB is enough. That means that while _you_ want more storage in a smartphone, most people don't. That doesn't make them wrong. :-)

Exactly. The base storage in many Android phones has been stuck at 16GB for a while - e.g. the Galaxy S5 (which admittedly has a SD slot) and the Nexus 5 (which doesn't).

If you're streaming your media and can cope with occasionally deleting apps you don't use (given that you can re-install them anytime, anywhere), 16GB is plenty. If you want to carry a decent media collection for offline use, you want 64GB+.

Now, whether Apple is gouging people on storage costs is another matter - but like all mass-produced electronics the production volume and logistics of multiple SKUs can be as important as the bill of material costs.

Personally, lack of a microSD slot has been a deal-breaker for me, which is why I've stuck with android, However, I know others (including techies) who are happy with 16MB.

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.