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Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment Re:Assume it is .. (Score 2, Insightful) 491

I hate to break the Slashdot rules-of-posting, but I've got some sympathy for Microsoft here. A lot of the things Vista tried to do was to sweep away some of the old crud and make developers code more securely- that was what the whole Blah wants to do something- confirm or deny bit was about.

Everyone's reaction? Waaaaahhhh, my computer is far more annoying. Where are my XP disks?

MS are damned if they do sweep away old insecure crud (because old stuff stops working) and damned if the don't sweep old crud away (because their OS has a load of crud in it). Their main competitor (Apple) doesn't have this problem- when people move to a Mac they expect all of their old stuff to stop working- indeed none of their old applications work!

Comment Re:Assume it is .. (Score 1) 491

Fecking windows control freak admins!

Right, here is what happens if you try and implement this:

  1. People will do anything to avoid being connected to your domain. They'll hide their computers. They'll buy new computers from a different budget pool, them claim that because they bought them from non-IT department money they can do what they want with them. They'll bring their own computers into work.
  2. Your users also spend all of their time trying to hack around your restrictions rather than doing the work you pay them for. It's very hard to lock Windows down totally.
  3. Your new full time job is unrestricting web sites from Websense Express, and installing necessary software on their PCs, and fixing programs that don't work if they don't run as Administrator

Intrusion detection and virus scanning is great idea, but taking peoples rights to look after their own computers means you piss them off, and give yourself tons more work. The right answer is to give them something that doesn't get easily hacked. Since many companies are stuck with Windows, the GP has it right- let them do what they want, and then if they break it keep a clean image.

Comment Re:Yep, now explain that to the politicians please (Score 4, Insightful) 241

The problem is that TalkTalk sabotage their own arguments by being one of the biggest proponents of Phorm and traffic shaping. If it's just a pipe, and "oh we can't possibly be expected to look inside the packets and find out what they are", why are you planning on inserting adverts into my web pages at the ISP stage?. Why do you open up my packets and make some of them go slower or faster?

The truth of the matter is that ISPs secretly love pirates- they pay the broadband bills. Modern piracy has been a big loss for the content industries and a big win for telecoms companies. Please don't pretend that Dunstone is resisting this because he is a huge fan of civil liberties, he is resisting this because it is good for his business.

Comment Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (Score 4, Insightful) 260

I suspect that keeping your content indefinitely is what already happens, and they were merely trying to update the TOS to reflect reality. And besides, if you delete stuff from there, how are you ever going to know if all the copies have gone from their computers? And are you expecting them to go through all of their old backup tapes and delete your data?

It's also important to remember that Facebook is a hugely popular website that makes no money whatsoever. Their basic business model is to sell your privacy and give you in return the website. They haven't worked out how to do it yet, so you can expect more stuff you don't like from Facebook at some point in the future.

Comment Re:I hope P.B. win this trial (Score 3, Insightful) 406

1) People have been pirating computer games on a large scale since the early 80ies. If you haven't been able to make a buck before, you never will.

This is true. There has always been piracy to a greater or lesser extent. To talk about music, when tapes first came out, piracy went up, then when CDs arrived there was a short golden age for the record companies of very low piracy. Then CD burners came along, and piracy went up again.

The equation has always been about how much effort it takes to pirate and how good the pirate copy is, versus how much money it costs to buy the stuff legitimately. Traditionally, buying the stuff is good for people with lots of money, but no spare time (i.e. working people), whereas piracy has always appealed to people without a lot of money but a lot of time on their hands (typically students, and the unemployed). Taping a song from the radio in the 80s takes dedication- if your a kid in your bedroom that can't afford the $2, but you've got the time to wait for your song to appear on the radio, then you'll tape it. The kid's parents who have been at work all day will just go down the shop.

Torrents have now got to the point where the effort is so low (everyone knows about the Pirate Bay) that pretty much everyone has enough time on their hands to bother. If the rights holders are to reverse piracy, they don't need to drive out all piracy, they merely need to make it more effort than buying the stuff for the majority of people. And that's what's different now.

Comment Re:I hope P.B. win this trial (Score 1) 406

I've heard this argument several times that they are "just linking to illegal content", as if what they are doing is just like an HTML link, just like google.

These guys are actually running the Bittorrent trackers themselves. That is to say they are coordinating the distribution of files, far more directly than merely linking to them. No tracker, no torrent. Although they might not actually have any of the goods on their servers, they have filenames, and SHA1 checksums of the chunks of the material. This is a clear distinction between the Pirate Bay and mere links.

There is no doubt in my mind that if torrent trackers were around when copyright was invented, then torrent trackers of copyright material would have been made illegal. They only slip through in Sweden due to out-of-date laws. Sweden should change her laws.

Comment Re:Good (Score 2, Interesting) 241

The reason this attitude is considered acceptable in ISPs and not for other fields of work (do you think BT hand over phone records without charging?) is because ISPs in this country are giving way into the idea that they are responsible for what their users are doing. It's kind of become accepted that ISPs could look inside every packet and decide whether it's bad stuff.

They shot themselves in the foot when they introduced all that packet filtering for torrents and so on, and when they started thinking about introducing Phorm. Aha, says the public, so you could tell what's going on all the time, so if you let your customers do bad things, you could have done something about it.

The minute the ISPs gave up their common carrier status (i.e. like the post office saying- we just transport the mail. We don't open all the letters to find out if it is illegal- e.g. a blackmail demand), they invited every Tom Dick and Harry who doesn't like what is going on on the internet to bwahh at their door.

Comment the real problem... (Score 1) 117

The real problem is that they don't change the questions often enough. Every exam I ever took when I was at school or university had past years questions available. It didn't matter, since this years were going to be different.

All Cisco need to do is change the questions more often. That's got to be cheaper than interviewing people in the exam.

Comment That's just economic development (Score 1) 494

This is economic development, and is good news, although I appreciate that it won't seem like that if you are one of the people laid off.

The reason Dell were in Ireland in the first place is because Ireland was the cheap labour centre of Europe. As they've developed, it's no longer true and their economy has been replaced by a knowledge economy. In many ways, cheap-ass manufacturing leaving your country because the labour is too cheap is a complement. Next, the same cycle gets to happen to Poland. Everyone moves low-skill factories there, the place develops, and then the staff get expensive so Dell will go somewhere cheaper again.

Comment Re:Sony needs to... (Score 1) 302

The thing to remember about the XBox 360 is that it is being sold at a huge loss.

Microsoft has a huge pile of cash lying around, in the billions. It earns money chiefly from a Windows monopoly that is looking less important by the day.

They could do one of two things- give the cash back to the shareholders (a good idea, but one that is never popular with CEOs, since it reduces the size of their empires, and therefore the salary checks), or what Microsoft is doing, which is throwing cash at a huge rate at various projects (the Zune, Windows Mobile etc.) to try and get a foothold in another market so their business has got a future even if people stop buying Windows.

MS don't care about making any money from the XBox 360. They in theory are thinking about the XBox 1000, a Playstation 5 competitor to make the money back. In practise what they really care about is throwing money in and trying to get market share, so it looks from the outside like they are competing in an new area, bumping their share price.

I feel sorry for Sony, since they are trying to run the games business like an actual business that they try and make money from, rather than a multiple-billion loss leader.

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