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Comment Electric cars (Score 1) 494

Why should your company be giving you this for free?

At what point does gaining "green credentials" falter under the expensive?

Do you really think that KW's of charging power available on demand throughout the day by allowing any significant percentage of your parking lot spaces to be able to charge is cheap or even possible? Honestly, you're into MW before you even get out of SMB territory.

Your electric cars are SO GOOD that you can't make it to work and then home before you need a charge?

There's just too much common sense missing from the article here. If your engine-based car conked out in the parking lot, would your company pay to put in fuel pumps or (worse) even pay the fuel for you? Not unless they were a HUGE company, and it would come with so many usage caveats.

If you're installed electric points and you are OVERSELLING them, how different is that to those ISPs oversubscribing their broadband connections, etc. and yet we moan about them?

The companies have a choice - install more capacity at great expense for a minority of users who can't be bothered to manage their recharging so it happens at home instead of work (at the saving of pence to them, and lots of money to the employer), leave things as they are and let people moan, or take all the chargers away.

I know which one I'd choose.

Comment Re:Yes - it worked in the Kibbutz! (Score 1) 491

Yes, communism - as an ideal - is something that almost all practical interpretations of have led to failure. There's nothing wrong with the idea of doing things for the good of everyone, but it breaks down catastrophically the second you have one person who doesn't want to play ball and wants more than their fair share.

Communism is an idealist dream. It works only when everyone co-operates.

Comment The Ferengi (Score 1) 491


I'm far from a Trekkie but from what I remember of watching it and the various spin-off series when I was a kid, money did indeed exist.

The Ferengi, for example. Profit was their main aim.

End of argument.

Sure, we can argue canons and spin-offs and all kinds of junk but imagining something to be "free" because of some (mis-remembered) imaginary perfect world just isn't going to work in the real world.

Comment Really? (Score 4, Informative) 112

Because voice recognition - just for starters - hasn't come on much in the last twenty years.

Last time I used Siri (which was only a few months ago), I asked it a simple question and it just sat there baffled. I spent twenty minutes trying all kinds of simplification, better pronunciations, and rewording but still it wasn't able to fathom anything useful from it. No, I don't have a strong accent (but what the fuck should that matter anyway?) and no I wasn't in a room full of noise (but - again - are we going to have to go outside and find a quiet spot to get these things to work in the future).

Apart from where there are obvious detectable keywords that they can make up the rest of the query around, these things are SHIT, and always have been.

I work in schools, I've dealt with a number of teachers and "learning support specialists" who hear that there is a voice recognition software, who then insist we need to use it for those children unable to write properly, and then trial it and discover just how useless it is - especially if the child already has even the most minor of communications problems too - and then realise what a waste of time it is.

One teacher I know wanted to write all their school reports using voice recognition because they were sold how wonderful it was by some guy paid to train them. Yeah, in a silent hall, using his exact phrasing, it seemed to work. Ten times slower than typing, but the demo was nice. However, you've not saved time or effort, you still have to double-check everything before it goes out (and inevitably on a computer because the devices aren't even close to being able to be controlled by voice - "Oh, no, change that word elephant to giraffe, please") and the accuracy in any real-world environment or using anything other than very basic phrasing SUCKED. I laughed when they told me that's how they wanted to write their reports - hundreds of them each per member of staff within a one-week window. The technology is honestly that bad.

And the rest is just bollocks of the highest order.

Comment Re:Battery Life (Score 3, Informative) 262

I charged my Samsung (non-i) phone once this week.

And that was only because it dipped below 30%.

Admittedly it's not calling 24 hours a day, but it's on 4G all the time and has modern smartphone capabilities.

16 hours battery life? That's pathetic. Really?

The one thing I have to hand to iPads is that they last a long time on battery. But 16 hours? That's just the perfectly ANNOYING level of battery life. Not enough to survive a day.

Comment Re:Conflict of Interest (Score 1) 186

I see nothing to suggest, in any literature that I can find, that they are any more than ordinary scientists who have detected an anomalous effect. That's not fusion. And neither is it fraud.

They were asked to verify existing research in 2004 and were unable to. They tried again in 2009, and could only detect something unusual. Nobody has yet come forward with any proof, method or explanation that actually attributes it to cold fusion past rumour, hearsay and guesswork.

This is the current state of the field.

I'm not saying they are frauds, I'm not saying that this effect isn't present, I'm not even saying cold fusion is impossible. I'm saying that the current state of science is that it cannot be produced, harnessed, reproduced reliably, explained satisfactorily, or attributed to fusion at all.

There are plenty of "respected" scientists out there, with qualifications and professorships who are spouting all kinds of nonsense in all kinds of fields (and cold fusion still attracts them - look into the credentials of certain people involved in eCat etc.).

Comment Re:Conflict of Interest (Score 3, Informative) 186

That's not what Wikipedia etc. tell me.

Not definitive research, obviously, but since 2004, there's been nothing of note that I can see, and most of it rehash / recheck of previous results.

Yes, the field suffered a huge PR setback, but it recovered shortly after but is now more a discredited FIELD than a PR disaster. Nobody is able to reproduce even the early results, let alone come up with anything new.

And although such science is worthy of investigation, there is still investigation ongoing. And none of it appears to be particularly productive.

The crap about LENR being reproduced in 200 labs seems... well... bollocks to me. There's a big difference between an anomalous result and actual confirmed cold fusion and they almost all fall into the former virtually immediately.

As with all things scientific and Wiki-related: citation required.

Comment Re:Add all Europeans to the Do Not Fly List and De (Score 1) 203

Er... please do. You'll hurt yourself more than you'll ever hurt us.

In case you haven't noticed, the US is *not* top of quite a lot of things. Even when it is top, the EU is right behind it. Additionally, all those visas are for researchers and people already established to be in short supply in your native population. ANY country in the world would be idiotic to cancel visas like that. That's where the best international talent is choosing to come to your country and contribute to YOUR economy rather than their native one.

Cutting off your nose to spite your face is not an established or recognised economic tactic for a reason.

P.S. "I want your US-based ISP to give all your data to my EU-based company that owns a website that you occasionally log into. Why are you resisting? What's wrong with you? Just give it to me or I'll cancel all your visas!" Notice how STUPID it sounds when you turn it the other way around?

Severing ties with the US would be a net gain on our end. Unfortunately, you only get a net loss on the other or things wouldn't balance. It might also mean that we no longer feel obligated to follow you into wars that had nothing to do with us.

Comment Garrett (Score 2, Interesting) 688

a) A fork is not the end of the original project. It can be. But usually it's not.

b) "In October 2014, Garrett stated on his blog that he would no longer contribute Linux kernel changes relating to Intel hardware" - That's pettiness, and I'm sure the kernel came to a grinding halt that day too.

c) If you can't get your changes past other people, to the point that you have to fork and maintain an entirely separate branch on your own, that's usually the sign of messy code or absolute loss. It means that you want only YOUR way to be the way. That kind of lack of co-operation isn't the way forward, but you are more than free to pursue that. The number of followers of that fork versus the stock kernel is likely to be tiny, and changes likely to come back in the "accepted" format into the stock kernel before you see any real usage of it outside developers and testers.

d) "He is a recipient of the Free Software Award from the Free Software Foundation for his work on Secure Boot, UEFI, and the Linux kernel". Ah! All the bits that I *don't* want in the kernel. Did he work on systemd too?

Comment Any (Score 1) 113

If you don't trust them, and know that, that it doesn't matter what you use.

Encrypt, and only use encrypted. You can do this in many different ways, but if you never reveal the encryption key to them, YOU CAN GIVE YOUR ADVERSARY ALL YOUR ENCRYPTED DATA. That's the whole point of encryption.

Encrypt, store in the cloud in any location you like. All they get is encrypted data that they can't do anything with. As only you need to access it (and not random general public, which is a much more difficult thing to secure), only you need the key.

Problem solved.

Comment Credit Cards (Score 4, Interesting) 345

In the EU (but not the UK), banks will send you a text for EVERY credit card transaction. If there's a problem, you can contact the bank. It's also free.

Are you really telling me, in this day and age, that we can't have suspect transactions result in a text to your phone that you can then authorise - even before the web page refreshes?

Banking is so in the 1950s of computing that it's laughable. It's done deliberately in some circumstances to profit from charges, fees and the timings of clearing payments. But you can't claim fraud if you haven't taken SIMPLE measures against it.

Like asking the user to confirm suspect transactions using a secondary method (that can be phone for old people without mobile phones, text for those with phones, maybe even the bank's secure app if you so choose). Declining a card transaction because it comes from an unusual place is no longer a metric to decide on the suspicion assigned to a transaction. I've purchased from all over the world, especially in the run-up to Christmas when Amazon, eBay et al only stock the normal boring stuff and I want something a bit different.

In one instance, my Italian relative came over, went to a DIY store with us, paid for the transaction and KNEW BEFORE WE'D HIT THE DOORS that he'd been double-charged on his bank account. A text came through, then another, in a foreign country, before he'd even left the shop. And we were then able to cancel the second transaction.

Why the fuck isn't just this standard practice?

Comment Really? (Score 1) 247

Is it just me?

"Don't be evil" is like said "Don't commit crime".

It's stupid, obvious, and pointless to say. It should be obvious.

"Do the right thing" is much, much, much more difficult to do and something that happens much less often.

Not that it matters, it's a fucking company motto, which means nowhere near as much as they've spent on consultants to come up with that bollocks.

But in terms of semantics, this is an upgrade, if anything.

Comment Re:Yeah, and? (Score 1) 408

Where's the declaration of this war? Which nations signed up to it? Which elected official in charge of a country has been voted into power on the premise of declaring war on an entity on the other side of the world?

Terrorists have been around forever. You've melded "justice of terrorists acts" into "consensual war of nations".

"I have five dollars for each of you." -- Bernhard Goetz