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Comment Re:The BBC has a mixed record (Score 1) 542

I think that will also be the first time the BBC have done Pratchett, too - very interesting.

We've all passed a lot of water since Neverwhere - the BBC had a bit of a "so what - it's only SciFi/Fantasy" attitude to production values in the 80s/90s which has hopefully been killed off by the success of Who. ISTR Neverwhere looking like the entire budget had gone on the title sequence...

Comment Re:Next year - "Good Omens" (Score 1) 542

There's also the BBC version of "His Dark Materials" in the pipeline, and Netflix's "Altered Carbon" coming soon. Both of which require a certain amount of ...bravery on the part of the producers.

Plus there's more of the Expanse on the way, Wasn't overwhelmed by it (they've messed up the best character from the books - the potty-mouthed Indian UN bigwig) - but it was pretty watchable.

Comment Re:Shocking! (Score 1) 1001

But if you can't code a sorting algorithm without a reference,

You're missing the point.

I agree, that if you can't jot down a simple sort algorithm on a whiteboard you're probably not much of a programmer. That's not what's being asked here.

The issue here is being expected to memorise Knuth from cover to cover (ISTR there was a whole volume on sorting and searching) so that you can regurgitate [insert name of reviewer's favourite sorting algorithm] on demand without thinking - because any moron with time on their hands and a high boredom threshold could do that. It's a lazy assessment technique that gets used because the interviewers don't understand the job they're interviewing for so if they asked a sensible question (like here's a problem - how would you begin developing a solution) they wouldn't be able to understand the answer.

The correct answer is (a) use whatever sort() function the language provides (or change the database query to get a sorted list to start with), because its probably better than anything you could pull out of your arse in 60 seconds or (b) if that won't do, ask "why not?" and spend an afternoon researching sorting algorithms & libraries to find something that meets these oh-so-special requirements before, as an absolute last resort, writing your own.

A better solution would be to give them some broken code to debug - that would separate the persons from the other persons....

Comment Re:How is this supposed to work? (Score 1) 382

Busses drive all day long every day. When are they supposed to recharge the batteries?

Bus stops. The clue is in the name. Especially the major bus stations at the beginning and end of routes where they already sit for significant periods between runs.

Thing is, busses drive fixed routes on a predictable timetable, in cities where they're never that far from electricity, so its straightforward to set up the infrastructure. That makes them much more practical for electrification than private cars (which have to cope with spontaneous road trips). I think its safe to say we're mainly talking urban busses here, not long-distance Greyhound-type routes.

Plus, who cares if they're not cheaper, or if you don't believe they'll stop polar bears from melting? This is still taking a substantial source of particularly nasty particulates off city streets.

I can't see cities jumping on the idea of busses that have to come back to the depot to be swapped out every 4 hours.

Why not? The drivers have to be swapped out regularly, too.

Comment Re:Big blow to apple? (Score 1) 79

Why is a third party monitor having problems a big blow to apple?

(1) Because these displays were advertised (by Apple) as being designed by LG in close collaboration with Apple. They featured prominently in the launch of the new MacBook Pro.

(2) Apple's new policy seems to be not to produce their own displays, routers, back-up drives (they've stopped AirPort development, dropped their existing display) - this is a blow to that policy.

(3) Because Apple have staked a lot on the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port by making it the only port on the new machines (TB3 has been around on newer PCs for a while, but always backed up by USB, HDMI/DP etc.). Having a single cable to a display that provides 5k, webcam, audio, downstream USB3 ports and can power the laptop is TB3's party trick - but the LG/Apple display is the only thing on the market that currently does that. There are a few 4k USB-C displays but they can only support USB2 downstream and don't typically supply enough power to do more than trickle-charge a MacBook Pro.

(4) Its early days for USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 and Apple has forced the pace with its new machine - we've had stories about cheap USB-C devices frying machines, incompatibility problems (didn't Dell have to drop their TB3 dock?) so, yeah, at this stage in the game I'd have a preference for buying USB-C/TB3 gear from Apple's list where feasible.

Also, its kinda likely that this was originally going to be an Apple-branded product - if you ignore the black plastic case, the restricted choice of ports and their layout is far more iMac/Apple Thunderbolt Display-like than other LG products. That would also explain the interference problem: if the electronics were supposed to go in an Apple-style solid aluminium case then who needs extra RF shielding?

Comment Re:Well of course VIM beat Emacs in a poll (Score 1) 145

Of course VIM beat Emacs. If you want to interactively and visually manipulate your text "directly" - there are plenty of great, modern editors around (with masses of extensibility and customisation potential) of which Emacs is just one, rather dated, example. If, instead, you prefer to modify your text by applying functions to it - with visual feedback and interaction playing second fiddle - then VIM/vi is the only game in town.

The mistake is people in the second group (who might well tend to over-represent the Sheldon Cooper end of the spectrum, shall we say) trying to evangelise it to people in the first group.

Personally, I loathe vi, but that's partly because (a) I spend a lot of time, unavoidably, using non-modal wordprocessors and editors and can't cope with the constant mental paradigm shifts and (b) I didn't learn vi when I was 15. That said, I still use vi more than emacs (comparing two very small numbers there), but only because it would never occur to me to type 'export VISUAL=/bin/emacs'.

Comment Re:Addressed In the Call (Score 2) 53

Or, to put it another way, the apparent quarter-on-quarter growth that they were happy to see trumpeted in all the headlines was less than the "measurement error" due to the way the figures were calculated. (As, to be fair, is any quarter-on-quarter decrease of the same size). So, a flat quarter then...

Of course, for a quarter during which Apple's main competitor in the phone market (Samsung) had to withdraw their new flagship phone, Apple's iPhone 7 (a completely new phone c.f. last year's 6s spec bump) had its first holiday season (even if the quarter missed out on the launch), as did the Watch 2, and they released their new MacBook Pro laptops after an 18-month wait, not having a significantly better quarter seems a bit embarrasing.

Comment Re:Incompetent Computer Users hate Automatic Updat (Score 4, Insightful) 498

He went to an important event where he needed 100% up-time in a public place that he most doubtfully was on a 3rd party wireless network and he made no effort to make sure his computer was up to date before hand.

Have you actually used a computer? You seem to have reality entirely back-to-front.

Updating your OS or other key software just before an important event or deadline is the stupid move here. Once in a blue moon, there's a major vulnerability of the "instant remote pwnage" variety that might justify dropping everything and patching, but for the vast majority of updates, the risk of the update process going wrong, or the update breaking or changing something exceeds any risk from running unpatched. Auto update - even automatic checking for updates - became an abomination as soon as it was used for anything other than the highest-priority critical security updates. Update your software when it has a bug or vulnerability that affects you. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Patch during quiet periods.

If your "security policy" is causing downtime or data loss then you've got your risk assessment all screwed up.

Comment ...doesn't mean its a fake issue (Score 1) 167

Fake news, maybe. If any large company "leaks" its post-Brexit investment plans before the terms of Brexit have been agreed, then somebody probably misspoke or was misquoted.

We'll find out the in a few years' time if it is a fake issue, when Brexit has actually happened, the trading terms with the EU are known and Random Big Corp decides if its going to invest in the UK or Poland. However, the UK not going to be in the single market or customs union then - the PM has said that much, and anything else would be tantamount to Brussels voting to disband the EU. To pretend that isn't going to be a factor in corporate investment is just plain fantasy.

PS: if the Tories' solution is to become a tax haven thats going to be good news for the owners of the flat over the fish & chip shop in London where BigCorp declares its profits, but doesn't guarantee that the actual work (and employment) won't still be sited in Poland - unless there's some fantastic new international accord on tax avoidance (oh, my aching sides!)

Comment Re:double standards (Score 1) 167

US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and India are not in the EU, but they aren't being punished.

Yeah... if only you could build a factory in the US and get unfettered access to a single market of 300 million consumers... or a data-centre in India and hire well-trained workers at near-third-world wages...

Plus, those countries haven't been building their economic infrastructure around the EU single market & customs union for the last 40 years.

Comment Re:If there's no deal, the UK leaves without a dea (Score 1) 167

It's not a reason why we can't, it's a reason why it would be a terrible idea.

I think you and I only differ on the pragmatic meaning of "can" and "can't".

Meanwhile, could someone please explain to the Lib Dems and others proposing a referendum on the final agreement as a condition for supporting Art. 50 that if Art, 50 is invoked we are leaving and the only choice at the end of the process will be "take the deal and leave" or "just leave".

Nothing quite kicks an Eton toff in the teeth like giving him everything he wants and more.

Its the only language they understand...

Comment Re:If there's no deal, the UK leaves without a dea (Score 2) 167

That is, stop attending the meetings, stop paying the fees, stop letting in filty immgrunts and repeal the EC act.

Seriously? While we're at it, perhaps if we hooked enough rowing boats to the UK and paddled really, really hard we could move the entire country away from Europe and next door to some other international pariah with a reputation for behaving like a moody teenager and being impossible to do business with - North Korea maybe? Or, give our New Best Friend Trump a few more months. As someone who's opinion you, presumably, respect said:

Of course, if you act like a total dickhead to your trading partners by not honouring prior agreements, they're unlikely to want to do much negotiating with you since you've proven untrustworthy.

That's called a reason why we can't just take our ball and go home.

I don't see what's wrong with that.

What's wrong with that is that the EU Council & Parliament just need to filibuster for a couple of years and they can give us a "take it or leave it" deal that only has to be better than the default...

Why, if we're leaving, do you think we're owed some sort of special treatment?

Its not "special treatment" because no other state has seceded from the EU, so there's no "usual treatment" to compare it with. None of the non-EU states with existing agreements (Norway, Switzerland) were in the EU to start with. The EU is a lot more complicated than a trade deal (and those take a decade to negotiate). What about EU citizens living in the UK? What about UK citizens living in the EU - do they get shipped back? Arrested as illegal immigrants? Oh, and those immigrants you are so worried about - many of them currently get stopped by border controls in the EU. EU companies with offices and assets in the UK? UK companies with offices in the EU? Tourists currently in the EU (who have no right to be there the second we leave the EU)? Students? What happens to the lorries full of imports and exports passing between UK and EU docks if nobody knows on what terms they are allowed in or out?. Even if we don't actually get concessions, long-term, at the very least we need some sort of orderly plan and timetable for making the transition without overnight chaos - unless we want to re-enact the Berlin air lift?

You know all those stupid, stupid horror stories and ridiculous threats of economic cataclysm that Camoron and Osbourne built their pathetic "remain" campaign around? The reason that everybody thought they were stupid and ridiculous was that people assumed that there's be some sort of civilised negotiation about the terms of departure that would anticipate and mitigate - or at least plan for - those problems. You start saying "well, we could just tell the EU to fuck off" and suddenly all that FUD starts sounding plausible.

This was a well known and understood consequence of leaving.

Not according to the "Leave" campaign who told everybody that the Europeans would be so desperate to trade with us that they'd let us stay in the single market and custom union at the same time as "taking back control", and that anybody who suggested that there might be any downside was "running down Britain".

I have no quarrel with the minority of Brexit voters who weighed up the arguments, did the research and decided it was all worth the risk. However, if you think such people swung the Brexit vote then I have this brilliant scheme for using our EU contributions to fund the NHS that you may like...

Still trying to work out how handing a huge victory to the hard right, richest minority of the Conservative party struck a blow for the little guy against elitism...

Comment If there's no deal, the UK leaves without a deal (Score 1) 167

No. The Lisbon Treaty on the procedure for leaving the EU can be summarised as: "the state wishing to leave shall bend over and pick up the soap." - now, technically, it was a bit silly to sign up to that, but at the time nobody thought that the UK PM would be stupid enough to call a Brexit referendum and, even if they did, no PM would be gormless enough to lose such a referendum, and even if they lost the referendum no PM would be stupid enough to pretend that they were obliged to pay more than lip service to the result of an advisory referendum.

More specifically, the procedure under the treaty is:

(1) UK invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty saying it wants to leave. The PM has said she'll do that in March.
(2) Then the UK gets to negotiate a deal for leaving that, yes, has to be passed by the European Parliament "or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."
(3) At that point, the UK parliament may be given the option to approve the deal or reject it.

So, once Article 50 is invoked, the only way Brexit doesn't happen in March 2019 is if the European Council unanimously decides to extend the deadline. If that doesn't happen, and (predictably) the deal negotiations go to the wire then the only choice that the UK parliament will have in step (3) is "take the deal on offer or crash out of the EU with no agreement causing maximum chaos and confusion".

Oh, and note that the "deal" isn't necessarily this mythical trade deal that gives us access to the single market - according to some EU politicians we can't start talking about that until after we've actually left (and, in any case, negotiating such a deal in 2 years would be a new world record). No, this will just be things like who gets the cat, who gets the record collection and what happens to all the EU citizens living in the UK and all the UK citizens living in the EU (probably they'll get to go home on alternate Saturdays).

Comment Re:Dear UK cell phone travelers... (Score 1) 101 it true that the cell company Three allows unlimited data when roaming in the US? Has anyone tried using hundreds of gigs of data while traveling here?

Yes. I haven't tried "hundreds of gigs" but I've used Maps, email etc. freely and haven't incurred any charges. Only gotcha is that calling a US phone still counts as an international call from the UK.

I think there's a time limit on how many weeks you can use it for in one run, so there's no point trying the old "Hi dude... er, sorry, hello old chaps at Three I am and genuine lime... sorry... British person (I say, what ho, God Bless the Queen, poh-tay-to, al-you-min-y-um and all that) and can I get... er... I want to pur-chase one of your fine SIMS for use here at my home in Londonengland..." routine.

I'm paying £20/month for 200 minutes and unlimited data.... I think its a bit more now for new customers (I got grandfathered).

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