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Comment: Re:Please tell me this is satire (Score 1) 320

by mattsday (#49131871) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

To be fair, he's just a low level back-bench MP without too much power. It's like we found the dumbest guy in the country and elected him president or something.

Still, you have a point. We have yet to see an atheist Prime Minister. Can't seem to abolish the monarchy.

Both Clement Atlee and James Callaghan were atheists - that's two.

Fortunately though religion has been at the fringe of our leaders manifesto and I hope it long continues!

Comment: Re:It Has Not Failed (Score 1) 474

by mattsday (#47488841) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

I hope this isn't what you actually believe, as it sounds like an authoritarian nightmare to me! What would happen in your little imagined scenario is that the powers of control would inevitably extend to all undesirable* behaviour and would one-day collapse under its own weight or civil war -- after millions suffered.

* Undesirable being defined by the same nutcases who put this law in to place and could include being homosexual, jewish or having drugs planted on them

Back in the real world, I firmly believe punishment should fit the crime. In the case of taking drugs I can't think why it's a crime and why we would seek punishment! Someone at home getting high doesn't even deserve a trivial fine, let alone having their life ruined.

The only time I see it coming in to play is when mixed with other activties. High controlling machinery or a vechicle? Harsher sentencing. High looking after kids? Child neglect, harsher sentencing. Vandalism or assault... you get the idea.

There will be a negative impact to society where people get hooked on drugs and drop in productivity, but we already have problems with alcoholism, gambling, etc...

Comment: Re:So, will a 2005-era routers get a firmware upda (Score 1) 264

by mattsday (#46288931) Attached to: Routers Pose Biggest Security Threat To Home Networks

I agree, except it's better to push people on to 802.11n in the 2.4Ghz space; it uses the radio space more efficiently and won't slow down your neighbours. It also adds range and reliability. Considering most complaints aren't going to be about the routing performance but the wireless coverage, upgrading to n would be a boon for many, especially dual-band if their devices can run on 5Ghz.

Comment: Re:Removed "Disable Javascript" check box (Score 1) 365

I agree and dislike this behaviour.

Fortunately others do too and there's a good addon already available:

Kinda sucks having to get one just to hide the tab bar, but works well enough so far.

Comment: VERY Cool! (Score 1) 178

by mattsday (#42995059) Attached to: France Plans 20-Billion Euro National Broadband Plan

Ignoring the politics a little bit, there was a really good example of how this CAN work recently with the B4RN project.

A consortium of local farmers came together and allowed the use of their farmland and spare time to place fibre and hook up the local residents with gigabit internet speeds. By coming together as a consortium and being cooperative (rather than greedy) they have combined both entrepreneurial vigour with a sense of social awareness. I don't see why this model couldn't work in France too...

Comment: Wrong Comparison (Score 5, Informative) 418

by mattsday (#42897623) Attached to: Surface Pro: 'Virtually Unrepairable'

They compare it to the iPad, which is pretty bad to repair... However, as a general purpose computer running a full OS, a fair comparison would also be the MacBook Pro Retina. ...1 out of 10 as well.

This is a bad trend with custom screws, glue and all sorts of crap.

Comment: Re:i have purchased the affected products. (Score 5, Insightful) 709

by mattsday (#42641775) Attached to: How Much Beef Is In Your Burger?

It's not about the ethics of the animal in question, it's about the promises made by the manufacturer (no mention of horse) and the questions of quality control, correct process and oversight.

My concern isn't "OMG HORSIES!"

My concern is "fuck you consumer" as they pump the product full of whatever they think they can get away with to turn a profit.

Comment: Re:*Cough* United Kingdom *cough* (Score 1) 1387

the United Kingdom still uses MILES to measure distance, MILES PER HOUR to measure speed, STONES and POUNDS and OUNCES to measure weight, and FLUID OUNCES to measure volume.

OK, I'll bite. Aside from miles to measure distance and speed on the roads, we certainly do not use pounds and ounces in daily life. All meat, food etc is sold in grams. Almost all drinks are sold in litres. Temperature is done in C on the TV and most cookbooks are metric (often with imperial translations).

The only exceptions I can think of are:
1. Beer and milk - we still buy these by the pint (with the metric equiv printed on the label)
2. Roads, as mentioned
3. Human weight is still often done in stones and lbs

Is it perfect? No. However, most people born in the last 30-40 years will have been taught exclusively metric at school. They're comfortable with it.

There is no way that anyone short of a politician would claim that the UK is "Metrified" (or metrificated) and yet they do.

Sorry, I know it's great to paint the US and Liberia as "holdouts". The truth is there are a lot of houldouts that JUST DON'T GET COUNTED.


The UK isn't perfect and we're not all the way there yet, but I don't think people are running around confused. We're getting there (to metric) it just might take a bit longer... The important thing is that we've started!

Comment: Re:Unique? (Score 1) 190

by mattsday (#41695139) Attached to: In UK, Apple Must Run Ad Apologizing to Samsung

It's written in the judgement, section 84:

"Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design. The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely."

The judge took believed Apple deserved it because they had to lean up the mess they created. The judgement ( is very easy to read and the summary of the Publicity Appeal (section 64 onwards) goes through this verdict. I was quite surprised at how informal and layman-oriented the language was.

Comment: OS X Regressions (Score 1) 484

by mattsday (#41385841) Attached to: Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

For those not familiar with this paradigm shift in OS X, John Siracusa nails it in his Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Review.

I don't think either implementation makes the applications easier to use. They seem to have been done for no other reason than "we can".

Mountain Lion's implementations aren't as awful, adding back most of the 10.6 functionality to iCal and making Address Book usable without constantly clicking between screens. However, they've gone this far, it would be trivial to remove the stitching and faux leather leaving them with standard apps that follow colouring conventions.

Certainly from a HUI perspective and imho the changes aren't positive.

Comment: Re:The problem is shifting liability (Score 3, Insightful) 133

by mattsday (#41321221) Attached to: Chip and Pin "Weakness" Exposed By Cambridge Researchers

I used to work in a store when Chip & PIN was introduced to the UK - after the switchover we were told in no uncertain terms that we would take liability if we didn't use Chip & PIN when it was available (e.g. verify by signature). This makes a lot of sense to me, as some peoples signatures had rubbed off and others really didn't match.

Whenever I go to the US, my card is almost never checked. I usually get my card back before I even sign. There is often zero fraud prevention at the point of sale. Even when they ask for photo ID (rarely) they often just check the picture, not my name or even if it's valid ID.

From my side, I would consider liability to be very much on a merchant who didn't bother checking properly and reduce it as an incentive to help me reduce fraud (e.g. chip & pin systems).

Comment: "Find new niches" (Score 4, Interesting) 432

by mattsday (#41040619) Attached to: GNOME: Possible Recovery Strategies

Why does GNOME have to find new niches? It's the de-facto desktop installation for an awful lot of distributions and has been the primary choice for an awful lot of people for the past 10+ years.

It seems to me that they already had a huge user base and many more coming on-board through the likes of Fedora, Ubuntu and Linux Mint. They had a good thing going with a consistent toolkit (GTK+2), LGPL and some really nice software. From my humble perspective, this is a great starting point.

Instead they released GNOME 3. I have no idea who it's for? I remember GNOME 1.x and the thousands of configuration options - it was definitely overkill for a standard desktop environment. I think GNOME 3 is bad for exactly the opposite reasons - completely no customisation. I have no idea why they can't get this right and understand their target audience.

Fortunately, there are solid alternatives. However, I find it a great shame that GNOME seems to be determined to lose its userbase to meet some CS/HCI textbook ideal.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments