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Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1) 120

Oh, and :-

5) He thought that to go electronic and/or to extend the srange, the dial code needed to be all digits. Why? The old alpha characters were already translated into digits, so why couldn't buttons do the same?

FTFA : "telephone exchanges that spelled pronounceable words were starting to be exhausted. All-digit dialing would create a cache of new phone numbers". Who said they had to be pronouncable? My postcode (zip code to Americans?) and most others are not pronouncable (eg mine starts "NP16" - the 16th area of Newport - and goes on with another digit and two letters which I dont want to put here) but neverthless are much easier to remember than all-digit phone numbers.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1) 120

Oh, and :-

6) Shortened phone leads from 3 ft, which sounds long. However in the 1950/60s office phones were quite scarce and often shared between several people. Desks were placed face-to-face in pairs or groups of four to share a phone, in which case that 3 ft was all needed, and more. But, Karlin worked in a phone company office, where no doubt phones were all over the place and that fact does not seem to have occurred to him.

I have worked with people like Karlin. The same sort of busy-bodies who will change your chair height and adjust your screen brightness when you are not looking because they have views on the subject. They volunteer for the "Elf and Safety" courses and become the office safety vigilante, and get biscuits banned at meetings because they are considered unhealthy. They are jerks.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1) 120

4) Believed that people can remember a 7-digit number - they can't, unless it is one they use regularly

What other seven-digit numbers would you need to remember?

Any number, like the plumber's, that you have just looked up in a directory or got off the Web needs to be transferred to the phone pad. Perhaps I'm retarded, but I cannot do that without glancing back at the number part way through.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1) 120

But we know Karlin was cool

Karlin was cool? Sounds like a jerk to me.

1) Got numeric keys the wrong way up

2) Shortens co-workers phone leads in the middle of the night until they complained loud enough for him to hear. They might have been irritated long before that point, and how would they necessarily know to complain to him. Could he not have confined the experiment to his own phone? Co-incidentally, yesterday I rigged a cord for an overhead bathroom switch. It only took a minute to fix an optimum length by trying it, and getting my wife to try it too.

3) Replaces a rotary dial with push buttons - a no-brainer as all electro-mechanical devices were being replaced with electronics at that time.

4) Believed that people can remember a 7-digit number - they can't, unless it is one they use regularly

Comment Re:Sounds like a subscription... (Score 1) 365

There is at least two unique innovations offered by Amazon:

1. You are charged separately instead of annual subscription as you would with newspapers

2. Subscription happens on the internet with a computer

Yep, that looks highly innovative to me. They should have filed for two separate patents.

I take it that your post is irony, but pay annually for newspapers? Maybe direct from the publishers, but it is quite usual (in UK at least) to order papers and mags to be delivered from a local newsagent, and call in the shop to pay him once a week.

Comment Re:Racism is a cause, (Score 1) 474

we have a few good reasons to believe that most of that is gone and will not be coming back, and that is that all races are far more integrated and in constant contact with each other

What makes you think that knowing people makes you like them? You must be really nice and have only ever met really nice people - in La La Land perhaps? Anyway, it did not work in the Balkans when Yugoslavia broke up. The worst disputes are within families, and the most brutal wars are civil wars, where people know each other only too well. Japan became uninsulated in the 19th century only to become embroiled in 20th century wars. In fact people have no particular reason to hate people they do not meet.

we may eventually come to a time where it's impossible to determine someone's race.

But it will remain possible to determine what someone's race is not. Blacks in the UK will complain if one of their number "has too much milk in their coffee", and I do not believe the Nazis bothered to determine what someones precise mix if they did not think it was pure Arian.

Comment Rewing the wrong things (Score 1) 51

Why do these renewable fanatics (not neccessarily these scientists, maybe the journos reporting this) always pick on the wrong things to renew. Looking around things that are manufactured - and discarded - the weight of transistors cannot constitute even 0.0001% of it all.

Why don't the greenies pick on something like the fact that many people rip out and replace their bathrooms and kitchens and general furniture every five years.

Unfortunately, making things "renewable", and hence compromising their robustness and lifetime, leads into a downward spiral in which people have to replace things frequently, leading to even more waste of material and energy, notwithstanding their "renewabilty". A transistor made of paper - who the heck is going to sit there at the end of its life and pick off the paper to recycle it? I think that even the up-country Chinese 8-year-olds who normally do this work will draw the line at that.

Comment Why love small companies? (Score 1) 649

I think companies split up too readily as it is, in the UK at least. Like the railways, once responsible for everything within their fences, are now the supreme buck-passing artists. Train late? The train staff blame the signalling (different company), who blame the track maintenance teams (different company) who blame a sub-contractor (different company) who say they are only an administrating agency who blame their self-employed workers who blame thier suppliers who blame a delay on the railway ... and so on and so on.

Same with the electicity supply, water, road maintenance, builders, and, in my professional job, even "well known", "large" engineering companies which are actually conglomerates of sub-companies. It is often impossible with these these to find out just who you are dealing with, they are administrative mazes, deliberately so. Even the people "fronting" a company often genuinely do not know who is behind them, there are so many layers of buck-passing though mini-companies of pure middle-men, all taking a commission, that the buck stops nowhere.

This love affair with small companies in the UK was boosted by Mrs Thatcher, who's attitudes were rooted in her father's small-town grocer's shop. The fallacy of applying this attitude to the economy as a whole is described here :-

www.nuke.demon.co.uk/grantham_grocer

Comment Re:Microsoft controls compoter booting (Score 1) 185

No offense, but I don't want to pay for a DOJ that staffs an extra 2,000 people just so that they can read every piece of email that comes in, and respond back with a detailed analysis of all the legal mistakes made.

In fact I would pay for my proportion of the extra staff to consider these points and investigate them properly.

Better (and cheaper) than allowing MS to treat me as a doormat and cash cow, by locking me out of my own PC unless I buy their software.

Comment Re:Microsoft controls compoter booting (Score 1) 185

How would entering a bootloader key into an UEFI input box be more complicated than typing a product key into an installer input box, which apparently users managed to do for quite some time?

Not neccessarily more complicated, but a serious psychological barrier. Because when installing an app with a product key the user is not overriding, or conscious of overriding, a "safety feature". But entering a bootloader key will have the nature of overriding a safety feature, which will deter casual users from trying out Linux and possibly liking it. Microsoft hate it when that happens.

Of course, most Windows users never install an OS, Windows being pre-installed. To do things at UEFI level will be a bridge too far for most users.

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