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Comment: Re:Not the right way anyway (Score 1) 583

by mikechant (#47106705) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

It is like the train system, eventually, after privatisation was supposed to make it more efficient, and ticket prices kept going up and up, you come to wonder that its problem isn't mismanagement, inefficient government, greedy corporations, nor old tech, it is just that it is a Victorian technology and concept.

Assuming you are talking about the UK rail system, despite it being "a Victorian technology and concept", and despite the fare increases, usage keeps going up, year after year (with very occasional economy related blips), and when lines/stations are re-opened they are typically getting massively more passengers than expected.

The second graph down on this page shows the trend:
http://www.railway-technical.c...

This page gives the up-to date figures:
http://orr.gov.uk/news-and-med....

New housing in some areas is being planned around new stations, e.g.
http://www.yorkshireeveningpos...

It's becoming increasingly clear that at least some of the Beeching closures should be and will be reversed, and some completely new lines will be built.
East-West rail (including reopening and electrification) is already planned and budgeted, HS2 is progressing, HS1 extension is highly likely, Crossrail will be finished soon, Crossrail 2 is high on the agenda, mass electrification is proceeding rapidly. And apart from the special case of HS2 there is a real political consensus around rail expansion.

Trams have also been re-invented for the 21st century in major UK cities; Manchester especially but also Nottingham and Birmingham are expanding their networks and are very popular.

Tram-trains are coming soon, initially in Sheffield.

Comment: Re:Not only that... (Score 5, Informative) 264

"Screwed" because MS only supported their OS for 13 years?
But also sold it on some new machines as recently as 4 years ago...

Hell, which Linux company is going to maintain a version of their OS (for free) for 3 years?

Err...several, for free, for considerably more than 3 years.

Common examples:
Ubuntu LTS: Now 5 years (increased from 3 years at V12.04)
CentOS: Pretty much follows Red Hat. e.g CentOS V6 maintained for 9 years (2011-2020).
Given that XP was atypical with 13 years support and Win7 gets 11 years (2009-2020), CentOS is very much in the same ballpark.

But wait: CentOS 6 will get 9 years of *full* support (including new hardware support every 6 months and new features mainly every 2 years). Win7 only gets 6 years full support and 5 years extended (security updates only).
I'd say that's a draw between CentOS 6 and Windows 7.

Comment: Re:Mathematics (Score 1) 589

by mikechant (#46927531) Attached to: Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

TFA is about UK public sector, firing is practically impossible,

Yes, it's so impossible that only 631,000 public sector jobs have gone since 2010. With about another 400,000 currently scheduled.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/u...

Yes, it's a left-wing paper. The 631,000 figure is correct and undisputed though.

Comment: Re:In their defence. (Score 2, Interesting) 417

by mikechant (#46438695) Attached to: School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

If we could not filter the ssl sites, there would be no option but to block ssl entirely by blocking all traffic on port 443.

Then that's what you should do. Intercepting an SSL session between (say) a pupil and their bank would potentially be illegal without the permission of both the pupil *and* the bank. And the bank is not going to give this permission. Blocking ssl is the only legally safe solution.
Still, it's your legal risk, up to you.

+ - Bitcoin's Mt. Gox Shuts Down, Loses $409,200,000 Dollars->

Submitted by satuon
satuon (1822492) writes "Mt. Gox’s shutdown is circulating like wildfire. Its repercussions are being felt throughout the world. Mt. Gox was the most public and well-known brand that represented Bitcoin’s exchange market. The company’s shutdown is rumored to be caused by a “hack” or “security breach” that resulted in a loss up to 744,000 BTC or $409,200,000 Dollars. (Based on the approximate value just hours ago from Coindesk.com) This is truly an unfortunate event that has caused the international community to shake its trust in Bitcoin as evidenced by the massive price drop. This is par the course, when a pillar in the community falls in such a funeral pyre. The best parallel would be the Bear Stearns’ failure during the 2008 global financial crisis. Hopefully, Bitcoin won’t follow in the financial system’s footsteps post-Bear Stearns."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How about that rented storage? (Score 1) 239

by mikechant (#45812381) Attached to: NSA's Legal Win Introduces a Lot of Online Insecurity

In the UK, almost everything that's "owned" is leasehold.
No, that's not true. No idea where you got that idea from. Maybe you were thinking of central London. Nearly all properties in the UK** are freehold, only about 2 Million are leasehold, mostly flats/apartments. There are about 22 Million properties in the UK, so that's about 10% leasehold.

This mentions the 2 million figure:
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-1585043/Mortgages-homes-guide-Leasehold-vs-freehold--right-buy.html

**UK: Actually figures may be for England and Wales not Scotland probably, but that covers about 90% of the UK by population so that's good enough for these purposes.

Comment: Re:I wonder . . . (Score 1) 606

by mikechant (#45795923) Attached to: How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down On the UNIX Farm?

Yes, a CLI CAN be turing complete and a GUI cannot be.

No, you're wrong. Just because *most* GUIs are not Turing complete doesn't mean they can't be. Informal proof: Take a Turing complete text-based language, convert the keywords, structures, operators, constants, variables etc. into GUI editable objects, write a GUI that allows these objects to be assembled in arbitrary ways, e.g. by drag-and-drop, and there you go. Effectively you are visually constructing some sort of flowchart which is mathematically equivalent to a textually expressed program. Some GUI IDEs are actually like this, which shows that the principle is possible in practice.

You might object that such a GUI IDE is not Turing complete on the grounds that it can't do this or that function with the underlying hardware/low-level OS etc.. but that's not valid; a general Turing complete language does not have to have access to lower levels of software/hardware. A concrete example is that many 'normal' text based Turing complete languages might not be able to do direct I/O or access raw devices of any sort, or handle DMA or interrupts, and thus might be unable to perform certain functions (like read the disc partition table for example) without invoking routines in some *other* (lower level) Turing complete language. But that's not what Turing completeness is about; it's about being able to express an arbitrary algorithm on an abstract machine.
Doing this through a GUI may be clumsy in many cases but not impossible.

Comment: Re:Here's What I Know (Score 1) 644

by mikechant (#45567345) Attached to: Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

You had your tooth drilled without anesthetic?

I have this done *at my request* and the dentist does not seem surprised. I find the injections much more painful than the drilling (many of my teeth have been filled so much they seem to have very little sensation left in them). It's just a faint dull pain for a short time, no big deal.

Comment: Re:Upate to the most current (Score 1) 241

by mikechant (#45561845) Attached to: New Windows XP Zero-Day Under Attack

You and the GP are both wrong. The proper way to do it is to risk-assess and cost-benefit analyse every potential upgrade and upgrade or don't upgrade based on the results.
I work on a large number of outsourced mainframes and the decision on whether to upgrade a specific software product for a specific customer is quite complex, and often depends on such things as the software supplier's previous record (do they break things a lot at new releases, etc..), and the criticality of the software involved (crudely, how much money will the customer lose per hour if this facility is unavailable).
The result is that some products are 'frozen' at a particular release (and the risk involved with this option is recorded and reviewed regularly), some are updated occasionally with extensive pre-rollout testing (typically when the current release approaches its end of support date) and some are updated regularly in a routine fashion.

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