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Comment Re:Big deal... (Score 2) 215

Where I live we still have (mildly) radioactive sheep from Chernobyl which farmers can't sell. I would suspect that our masters wish to extend the life of nuclear plants for two reasons - lack of people willing to invest in new ones and the cost of decommissioning. I remember reading last week in the paper (one editorially in favour of nuclear power) the soothing news that that the land around Dounreay plant in Scotland which has now closed should be relatively safe in 330 years. Also the decommissioning cost at today's estimates will only set the UK taxpayer, or perhaps soon the Scottish taxpayer, back by around £3 billion. That's for one plant. You can see how the costs will rack up as lots come to the end of their useful life.

Comment Re:So is there an alternative? (Score 1) 109

There are a lot of new techniques being developed to allow experimentation without the use of mice or other animals such as http://www.drhadwentrust.org/current-portfolio/skin-cancer. DHT are funding quite a few different research projects as are a number of other organisations which they hope will overcome the limitations of and errors resulting from studies on non-humans.

Comment Re:Completely different contract/machine/goals (Score 1) 99

And what, pray, is wrong with "maths"? It is a contraction of mathematics, plural. I agree with the use of "codes" however as while it is syntactically well formed, a better and more correct term to convey the meaning is "orders". For your information, you spelled "furcating" incorrectly, by the way.

Comment Re:Later machines and the British computer industr (Score 1) 89

Unfortunately, Thatcher and her City backers didn't believe there was any future in making things and pursued policies to run down industry in the UK. They believed, as has every government since and indeed most governments around the world, that the only thing that matters is the comfort of the spivs who make their fortunes by gambling in the casinos that are the financial centres of the world. The reason for this is clear - the spivs fund the political parties. Thus, off-shoring to the cheapest labour market, lack of domestic investment in technology and the taking of obscene profits by a few have guaranteed that the west is descending into third world status.

Comment Re:Netbooks (Score 1) 266

Personal computing has been the realm of keyboard+mouse for almost 30 years, but the multiplicity of cheap sensors that is arriving will allow for complex tasks taking advantage of a variety of peripherals, each one good for a particular interaction modality: 3D input, direct selection by touch instead than by a remote cursor, wide gestures for navigation between tasks... they can be done now with more than mouse selection and key combos. That's true either for collaboration (that is not going to disappear even if works are no longer in the office) or for isolated thoughtful work. A single worker will want to take advantage of multimodal interaction and separate information surfaces to keep track of different subtasks and for multitasking, which are difficult to do on the traditional desktop metaphor.

This is the kind of thinking that gave us Gnome 3 Shell and Unity. Quite frankly I and almost everyone else I know is quite happy with a 2D interface, keyboard and mouse for most tasks. I certainly find almost anything else including the new whizz-bang phone-on-a-desktop interfaces rather less productive and after a while, irritating. I don't want to wave my arms around, swipe or pinch things, or indeed have my handwriting translated or talk to a machine. These sort of things are entertaining for adolescents who don't need to make a living and are fine for tiny amounts of interaction on a phone but don't scale up too well. They are gimmicks like 3D TV - solutions to problems that don't exist. There is a reason that the 2D, menu based interface has been around so long and it isn't that there was a lack of technological capability to make something better. The reason is that it works well and people like it.

Comment Questionable functionality? (Score 1) 151

I see that they plan it to have a range of 40Km. That's less than 25 miles on a charge so not much use for those living in rural areas or in the commuter belt of a lot of cities.The car would only be really useful to those living within a small distance of their commute or main travel distance. Does this not just take them away from existing efficient public transport and increase congestion? Assuming they want personal transport for further distances they would also need a more conventional car.

Comment Re:Doughnuts? (Score 3, Interesting) 535

Animals releasing methane don't have anything to do with global warming, since that's already part of the carbon cycle. Fossil fuels are the issue.

They surely do. They would only be a natural part of the carbon cycle if they existed in sustainable numbers. Unfortunately there is an increasing amount of livestock being bred to satiate the market for animal products, both in the west and the rapidly expanding markets in the east. In the east, it is increasingly seen as being desirable to copy western patterns of consumption and this includes adopting a western style diet high in animal products. The by-product is both increased methane production and the expansion of factory style farming which also entails high energy input.

Comment Re:Lesson learned (Score 2) 231

Exactly. Regardless of how the vulnerability was exposed, the researcher did the right thing and handed the information to the owner of the system. The result was the right one and the intent was honest even if the method of discovery may not have been strictly legal. Any good and fair legal system should judge someone on intent and outcome. Computer security relies on the willingness of well intentioned individuals who sometimes use illegal methods to reveal vulnerabilities. I can't see how it is productive to scare people from revealing what they find by prosecuting them when their intentions are not malevolent, in fact, precisely the opposite. The resources of law enforcement should be directed at those who have malign intent instead.

Comment Re:Or... (Score 2) 114

You can change the icons quite easily and there are a number of sets available online. To change the icon set go to Tools>Options>View and you will see an option for Icon Size and Style. Select a style from the drop down menu. BTW I find the LibreOffice interface infinitely preferable to the mess that MS Office now uses. I used to be a fan of MS Office and thought it was their best product but switched OpenOffice long ago after having suffered more and more bugs and the interface becoming more convoluted and less productive. Having switched again to LibreOffice I have found the improvements over OOo very well executed and had no bug problems. The project seems to be moving along nicely and MS Office file support is excellent.

Comment Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (Score 1) 239

You won't regret the move to Kyocera. I think their lasers are pretty much unbeatable. Nice print quality, reasonably cheap to run and well made and to top it all - no image drum to replace. I haven't regretted moving to them at all. I used to like HPs but find them fairly expensive to run but reliable as long as you avoid the lower cost models. The Kyoceras have panned out better overall though.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 2) 110

This is a good solution but until there are significant inroads made into getting corporate IT specifiers to adopt ODF compliant software, users won't be able to use it on most corporate machines. The solution must be to actively market the standard to the corporates who currently can't see past proprietary formats and counter MS's dominance. This is easier said than done as MS aggressively pushes their product and spreads disinformation. Corporate buyers also tend to distrust anything which is free to install as they can't imagine it will be any good. I know this from experience of a trial in my workplace where I and a colleague have for the past 4 years, used only Openoffice for all our word processor and spreadsheet work while all our other colleagues have used MS Office. Despite only having problems opening two .doc formatted spreadsheets in that time, most of our colleagues including the MD have decided to stick with MS office - the main objection being that MS Office must be better because it is expensive! Another argument I have heard is that there is a high cost to retrain staff due to minor differences in the interface even though MS Office now sports the "ribbon" interface which to be frank couldn't look more different to the previous menu based interface. The real problem is that there a lot of people with a vested monetary interest in keeping MS Office dominant and support staff don't want to learn to support something different.

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