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Comment Re:Ah, the wikihouse - interesting but *so* expens (Score 1) 96

I didn't read TFA (obviously), but I read the summary as you could download the architectural plans for a house. That sounds pretty good - if it says "this bit is double-skinned brick work, with an 8" RSJ sat on top of it", then that's enough to go off and build it - even without the fabrication technology (although if someone ever makes a brickwork 3D printer, then you could use that).

You probably wouldn't want to go ahead and do it without some specialist oversight, but getting plans for someone else's house and putting something like it on your own land sounds like a great idea.

As an anecdote: my university had a class room block that was actually a copy of one of those "out of town" office blocks. They didn't create anything new in the design, they just got the builders over and said "okay, we'll have another one just like it here, please". It wasn't a particularly pleasant block to be in, but that's why they put the Faculty of the Built Environment in there (no kidding!).

Comment Re:The future for Yahoo.... (Score 1) 260

I'm ex-Yahoo, and I know first hand how utterly rotten the culture was when I left. I once was on a mission to decom a handful of crappy servers running some really crappy code. They were once, in the mists of time, used to perform some tracking on a particular campaign, and were the brain-child of an idiot architect. They cost money to run, so I tried to find who consumed the information they produced. I checked around, and actually found people very helpful - it turns out, no one was using the data, so I could literally have just switched off the servers and no one would care. BUT they were still serving tracking pixels on a number of sites. I then log tickets with all of the properties I could identify asking them to remove the pixels from their pages - "it'll make your page load faster, and it'll mean we can switch these servers off, so save the company some money" (ie. "come on guys, this is a good thing"). I'd say I got about 30% traction - that is, about 30% of the properties involved actually went and did it in the following 6 months. The others just ignored me, and so I suspect those servers are still humming away today - thousands of dollars and a few years later.

So anyway... the point is, there's a long way to travel. There's a huge amount of cultural change required to even make small changes to any of the hundreds of Yahoo properties. From what I hear, Marissa is challenging the property owners to make a big change in 3-6 months - some will make it, some with hack their properties to shreds to make it and some will fail. From there, I guess she knows what she's up against.

I for one do hope they make it. Despite everything, an Internet entirely without Yahoo leaves things a bit too open for the likes of Google and Facebook. Yahoo's got the scale, and they still have a massive, massive user-base. Hopefully they can turn that to their advantage and be a credible player on the Internet. I'm sure people will say "yeah, but Facebook is better" or "Google search is better" or whatever, but that's not the point. Yahoo just needs a few niches that are the best there is (which Flickr could be, if they keep going).

Actually, on Flickr - the mobile App is actually pretty good. I can't admit to using it all that much because I'm a photo-luddite, but the app is quite nice. That's not to say it's perfect, but it's going in the right direction.

Comment Re:France isn't representative of Europe (Score 1) 293

France is also quite racist in the "global top 10 racist countries" (if there were such a thing). They're therefore quite inclined to keep immigration as low as possible. In some ways, this is a good thing for France, but as shown here, in some ways it's bad.

(Side note: A Swiss political party were running ads on trains that depicted some white sheep pushing the black sheep out of the country)

Somewhere like the UK is generally much more multi-cultural, and much more accepting of immigrant workers. Even with all the UKIP and Daily Mail crazies, we're still a remarkably welcoming place (London especially). That's not to say there's no racism, but it's a whole lot easier to come here to work than it is in France.

My point being that a French person whinging about how difficult it is to work in France is, as you say, not at all representative of Europe.

Comment Re:We're artisans (Score 1) 326

I tend to call myself an Electronics Engineer (rather than an Electrical one) because I'd rather fix the neighbour's TV than I would put in some new power sockets or fix their kitchen lights for them. If I'm trying to avoid their TV, then I call myself a Digital Systems Engineer, which seems to qualify me to fix broadband and Windows PCs.

At work though, I call myself a sysadmin so I get to work on Linux machines and write some Perl ;-)

Comment Re:My theory (Score 1) 1010

...and since Adobe (and lots of other people) want to move all their apps to the "cloud", it'll only be a year or two before all you need is that same old 2.0ghz C2D laptop to do all that hefty photo editing. I'll bet the owner of that laptop will be just fine for years to come, even though he's going to take up photography next year.

Comment They're using a consumer 3D printer (Score 1) 113

They're using a printer you can buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-57567-Square-Mouth-Shovel-Fibreglass/dp/B0002GUMDW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359722298&sr=8-1

Why the hell would you build anything for 4 people? Surely they can live in a big hole with a lid, can't they? This seems more like a job for a mining machine than a 3D printer. Then again, I'm not a rocket scientist, so I don't know what I'm talking about.

Comment Elite (Score 1) 704

Elite, for me, made me wonder and guess how the heck they did it. To this day I don't really know (although have since given up really trying to find out). It also was what would later be called "virtual reality" long before anyone though of such a thing.

Later, I remember Ultimate Software coming out with Speech for the BBC Micro. That didn't get much traction, but it's pretty damn clever. Beyond that, Mosaic was pretty cool. So was Wii Sports. The Apple Newton was too, although I never really got a good play with one.

Comment Re:Turn off wifi (Score 1) 323

Alternatives include: Wifi@Home and Smart Wifi (I've been using the latter, and it seems to work very well - I've also used Wifi@home, but for some reason it stopped updating my location so thought I was always at work. Whilst that fallacy might be useful around my annual appraisal, it wasn't so useful for switching the Wifi back on when I got home. All that said, Llama seems to be able to do a lot more than just Wifi...

Comment Re:Start small and do it in stages. (Score 2) 366

(5) Longer time-scales (at least for a time)

If you're being hot-housed, you get something that ostensibly works out the door, and "to hell with the unit tests". I someone told me "I need X in a week", I'd just hash together any old crap that essentially meets the requirements. If they told me "do it as quickly as you can, let me know when it's done", then I'd probably spend a bit more time planning it out so that I could make a better job of it, and be reporting my progress along the way.

Comment Grand Designs (Score 1) 74

There was an episode of Grand Designs here in the UK where two guys built a house predominantly out of machine cut plywood that they formed into boxes. They stuck the the boxes together and pretty soon had a house. Whilst not 3d printed per-se, it's the first machine-made house I've ever seen.

I do wonder if it would be possible to make a wall building bot. You put bricks in a hopper, cement powder in another hopper and connect it all to the water supply. Out comes your new garden wall. It's not too much of a stretch to have it skip out sections to put windows in, and then you're 80% towards the main structure of your house.

Comment Re:Deletion of duplicate files (Score 1) 314

Could it just be that if you upload the same file twice that it deletes the second one?

As others have said, it would seem impossible to do this across users, although I suspect you might be able to do it at the block level. It's possible the TOS wording was lawyer-speak for "we'll use block level dedupe", or it could be included to insulate Kim Dotcom from future legal issues about deleting illegal content.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 437

Dare I be all MBA for a moment?

Yes, hardware is cheap to buy, but it's expensive to run. Hence, less of it = less operating costs.

My point is, if you could save 10% of your servers, you could be in line to make serious amounts of operating savings. The fact that those savings aren't in your cost centre mean that they seldom happen - but in enlightened companies where they join all the dots, they do. In those companies, you go back and fix up your code because it's a net cost saving to the company (not just a cost because of the "lost" developer time, as most companies seem to think). That said, if your company runs its entire operation on a half dozen servers, then you're unlikely to be able to decom anything, even if you make giant efficiency gains, so this only really holds true if the application in question runs on a few dozen servers.

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