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Comment: Re:Contracts (Score 1) 306

by itsdapead (#48418123) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Laws trump contracts pretty much everywhere and in every circumstance.

Yes, but the laws need to exist first. UK, EU, Australia etc. tend to have stronger consumer protection laws than the US (which, AFAIK, vary state by state) and often have authorities that enforce them rather than leaving it up to individuals to sue. You'll notice that big firms like Apple are often getting slapped by the authorities in these countries (e.g. for selling extended warranties that partly duplicate statutory rights) c.f. in the US (where they get hit with class-action lawsuits instead).

NB, looks like Trading Standards have had a little chat with the hotel in TFA.

Comment: Re:Put yourself in your manager's shoes. (Score 1) 553

by itsdapead (#48262687) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Our company prices disk storage at $10,000 per terabyte.

I can quite understand why maintaining 100TB of storage might indeed cost $1,000,000 over some arbitrary period, if that includes hourly backups, off-site backups, 30-minute call-out engineer support, cost of running a machine room, cost of maintaining network infrastucture and cost compliance with laws governing storage of financial records, employee/customer personal data etc.

However, (a) it doesn't follow that 101TB of storage costs $1,010,000/year (that figure will include huge fixed costs) and (b) maybe, just maybe, not everything the company stores on hard disc needs a one-size-fits-all solution with hourly backups, off-site backups, 30-minute call-out blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Comment: Re:Put yourself in your manager's shoes. (Score 1) 553

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) 720

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) 720

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) 287

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) 156

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) 109

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.

The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.