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Comment Re:Still a poor quality bag (Score 1) 45

A total novice can design, cut and stitch a bag to custom fit all their individual devices for £25 of material. An off the shelf bag you are talking about, created by an experienced leather worker is into the £££ range, a custom bag finished to that standard I wouldn't even be able to guess as I don't think they commonly exist unless you have a leather worker locally, and those skills are being outsourced now or guarded as they slowly age out of employment.

Being able to pop along to your local maker stocked with 10 affordable cutters rather than the 2 they may have at the moment and walk out 90 minutes later, £30 lighter for the time, with the components needed for a custom made leather bag and finish it up during a Daredevil marathon on Netflix has a certain appeal to people.

Comment Re:UBER UK (Score 1) 302

I have been a private Taxi operator when I was a student so I have a few numbers. If I owned my own car and maintained it and wanted to work within a company structure, I would have paid 40% of my fare to them, this fell to what I earned as a driver of their vehicles to I took 25% of the fare, and was made up to minimum wage if business ran slow. If I took the owner route, on a typical short run of 2 miles my taxi rate without waiting times would have been £7, with £4.20 coming into my pocket. If I was working an UBER rate, I would charge £5.60 for that run with 80% coming back to my pocket which is £4.48. Added up over a night thats a bit extra in my pocket with the customers coming straight to me. I can also spend that time sitting in the rank waiting for customers the old fashioned way, and also have my mobile phone on for phone bookings and for UBER bookings. I can mark myself as unavailable if I am on a long run or just leave it on and use it like my normal scheduler. If I do a long run, between two twos which was another common run at the begining or end of an evening, a 20 mile journey in the cab would cost the customer £42 with £25 in my pocket, the UBER route, 31.50 with the same £25 in my pocket. The system only starts going in the Taxi companies favour on airport runs which would have netted 67.50 vs £61, but that a 50mile journey, and you can pick someone up pretty much 100% of the time to come back. From my point of view it works out much as such the same, I don't have to deal with drunk people and cash.

Comment UBER UK (Score 1) 302

UBER in the UK are already covered under our existing private hire car laws, they require background checks and they are required to hold a PHV Operators Licence. Insurance would also have to be as a commercial driver and as such cover public liability of passengers as part of the policy, as well as increasing the policy cost. Outside of London however there is not such a protection racket running for Taxi drivers, and private individuals have always set themselves up as operators. What UBER means for these drivers is they can piggy back on their infrastructure and let them handle payments. Sounds like a win for the private operator.

Comment Bad title of FA (Score 1) 388

Surveyed ALL teachers, not just computing teachers, this covers 24yr old NQTs for Secondary School Computing Science to 65yr old Primary visitin Home Economics teachers. It is only the primary teachers that are panicking over teaching computing as the "IT" provision they previously provided was a joke. I have a number of friends who are Primary Teachers who should not be expected to be masters of everything. I as a Secondary School CS teacher am not expected to go down to English and lecture on the importance of Character X in Play Y, so expecting a general Primary Teacher to pass on anything other than the bare essentials of computer use is absurd. If this article actually said that 68% of specialist computing teachers were concerned the pupils knew more than them I would be seriously concerned for the subject, but that is not what it said. Also from a Scottish POV, this is all an English Shit Storm, please stop using the catch all UK, up here in Scotland our curriculum was changed a few years ago, we develop our own curriculum and testing strategies. The concept of state curriculum and standardised testing in anything other than certificated courses is pretty alien here.

Submission + - Programming at Work

An anonymous reader writes: Hello! Every summer (and other holidays) the work load at my job becomes minimal. I like scripting (HTML, CSS etc.) and would like to get into programming just to tinker a bit due to curiosity.

At work we are not allowed to install anything except company approved software. Is there something I can program in that has an IDE like I guess I am asking for a recommendation on both language and IDE at the same time. Again, I want to reiterate that this is to satisfy my tinkering curiosity and thus not need something great, just something more advanced than HTML/CSS.

Submission + - Oracle Billionaire Buys Hawaii (

sleiper writes: The sixth largest Hawaiian Island of Lanai is to be bought by Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison.
Larry already owned a large portion of the island which he will increase to 98% of the 141^2 miles of island and gain 3200 subjects.

The island of Lanai hosts 2 holiday resorts, 50 miles of coastline and a rugged interior.

No definite figure on the cost, but one of neighboring island Maui's newspapers had previously valued the sale at between $500 million and $600 million.

At least Richard Branson's Island is private


Submission + - Track the trackers with Collusion: Interview with Mozilla's Ryan Merkley (

colinneagle writes: Among the eye-opening statements in his recent TED talk, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said, "Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet. Our voices matter and our actions matter even more." After you download and install Collusion in Firefox, you can "see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods," Kovacs stated. "Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don't know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It's now time for us to watch the watchers."

I've been using Collusion for some time now and it is jaw-dropping to watch all the sites that still stalk us across the web even with DNT and privacy add-ons.

The Collusion page states: "The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to." Recently I had an opportunity to ask Matt Thompson, Chief Storyteller & Communications Director for the Mozilla Foundation, and Ryan Merkley, Chief Operating Officer for the Mozilla Foundation, some questions.

Comment Re:I've wondered... (Score 5, Interesting) 93

So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

Because they know the equations for their ridiculously complicated physics stuff, and most physicists are expected to be literate with computer programming. I have two PhD friends, both in Physics (meteorology and cosmology) who are now both hardcore coders due to their training.

Comment Re:Encrypted VPN (Score 2) 32

But I don't see why a company in the VPN market can not come up with a simple consumer product that would encrypt a users traffic. There has been some proliferation of this type of idea for users of public WiFi connections, ie a one-click third party app that anonymises internet traffic. I can see a market for this type of product if enough of a buzz is made about it. Of course this just draws attention to a nice little work-around that we have, and might focus attention on combating it, but judging by how cack-handed governments are when it comes it this area, I doubt it.

Comment Encrypted VPN (Score 5, Interesting) 32

I already use a lightly encrypted and anonymised VPN service to avoid traffic shaping when watching movies and playing games, and when accessing US services, all this would do is make me plug my service directly into my router, instead of just activating it when I needed it. All these laws will do is force more people to go down this road, I'm not doing anything wrong, but I also don't want Johnny Government looking over my shoulder at everything I do.

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