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Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 2) 65

That's the one. San Junipero was positively upbeat by Black Mirror standards and seemed to be about "proper" uploading of consciousness (for the benefit of the person being uploaded) using not-invented-yet technology - something that's been exhaustively covered by SF (and we've got the TV adaptation of Altered Carbon coming soon). "Be right back" was much closer to the spawn of Eliza and Siri powered by Machine Learning snakeoil described in TFA.

The example that springs to mind is the novel Zendigi by Greg Egan. (First novel I bought as an eBook - turns out to be a paean against digitisation. That's me told).

Comment Re:Old people will probably say BASIC (Score 1) 525

It's hard to ignore it when it's embedded in the computer boot ROM

...and it is hard to compile Pascal or C when your mass storage is a 300 bps audio cassette tape recorder, and you only have 4K of RAM (which was the main fallacy of the BASIC-haters at the time, when a floppy controller and drive cost twice as much as your original computer).

Comment Re:An Industrial Revolution 50 million years ago?! (Score 1, Troll) 620

Can anybody tell me more about the humans and their Industrial Revolution that happened 50 million years ago to cause this earlier global warming incident?

Well, we could point you at the Wikipedia pages that explain all this, but you'll only accuse it of being warmist fake science and cherry-pick this for any uncertainties or unknowns which you can claim disprove the whole thing... While also missing the point that these were changes that took place over tens of millions of years and could have been driven by things like continental drift and very slow variations in orbit or solar output... rather than a few billion stupid apes digging up and burning every scrap of fossil carbon they could find over the course of a mere century.... or the concept that a small initial change in temperature could trigger the release of huge amounts of otherwise sequestered methane...

From TFS: Climate change denialists often mention that CO2 was high in the past, that it was warm in the past, so this means there's nothing to worry about,

Of course, in the past, the locations of many of our major cities or key agricultural lands were in the middle of parched deserts or under oceans which would be... inconvenient if it happened again.

Comment Re:Has to be for mobile GPU (Score 3, Informative) 148

Suddenly Apple cares enough to develop their own GPU?

Newsflash 1: Apple have been using their own A-series systems-on-a-chip (including CPU and GPU) in iPhone/iPad/Watch & AppleTV for a few years now. They license IP from various companies (ARM, Imagination and others) and have taken over a few chip designers to achieve this.

Newsflash 2: Apple owns one of the leading gaming platforms on the market: it's called the iPhone.

Apple has drunk deeply of the kool-aid that says that everybody is going to be using phones and tablets for all their computing needs in the next few years.

Macs, meanwhile, are mostly running on Intel integrated graphics or unspectacular AMD mobile graphics chips. Tim Cook recently stood up and re-iterated how important the Mac line is to Apple - and anybody who understands political talk will know that means exactly the opposite of what it says.

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!)

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