×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Brian the Bold Re:Old git speaking here... (942 comments)

I'm 10 years older than you, but then my children are 20+ years younger than you and they talk in the same units I do even with friends their age. They have been metric schooled all their lives.

Not sure if there are any rules to go by, but in my experience the British are quite unfazed by rules and do as they damn well please.

about 3 months ago
top

David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Brian the Bold Re:Old git speaking here... (942 comments)

My children have been taught in metric for their whole lives, they are now both adults but they don't talk in metres, kilometres or litres, they talk in miles, feet, pints and gallons.

I don't see or hear many young British people doing the same although I do once remember overhearing a teenage girl say "And it was huge, at least 15cm..." which did bring a bit of a grin to my grizzled old chops.

Just leave well alone, and remember that the Concorde was built by two countries that used different 1960s units (not metric for the UK) and that everything fit together and worked perfectly well for the 35 year flying life of the aircraft.

Oh yes, miles were to do with 1,000 strides of a Roman legionary IIRC, and the yard is actually the width of "twelve good men's feet leaving church on a Sunday".

Leave well alone, Britain is very attached to this stuff.

about 3 months ago
top

David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Brian the Bold Old git speaking here... (942 comments)

... who can't understand what the fuss is about.

I don't think DC was saying *not* to teach in metric units as well, he was suggesting that maybe teaching people in the units that a vast number of people still use would be sensible. Road distances are still marked in miles, we use mph for speed indication, we buy non-bottled drinks in pints.

Remember that imperial measures were based on relationships with the human body and other natural features, it makes sense to understand them.

When I'm working I use metric units for everything, but I still say "that's a few hundred yards down the road" unless I am talking to someone from a metric country where I use metres so as not to confuse them. If someone asks me how far somewhere is I have an instant mental understanding if I tell them in miles, but even if I convert that to kilometres it is meaningless to me because I don't think in those units.

Learn both, education is supposed to be about flexibility!

about 3 months ago
top

Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?

Brian the Bold Re:Preupgrade (458 comments)

preupgrade is not supported on F17 or later. Instead you use FedUP which does much the same thing but using different back end tools to achieve it.

about 2 years ago
top

RIPE Region Runs Out of IPv4 Addresses

Brian the Bold Re:IPv6? (241 comments)

Look, it's music. There's this thing known as personal taste, and another one known as tolerance of other people's opinions.

Overlay anyone's musical taste with someone else's and you won't get a match.

more than 2 years ago
top

British Prime Minister To Announce Porn Blocking Plans

Brian the Bold Re:Hang on a second... (286 comments)

No, actually, hardly anyone in the UK loves the things you describe, but sadly as in other countries far too many people do not think about or take enough of an interest in what our supposedly intelligent politicians do.

more than 2 years ago
top

F-18 Fighter Jet Crashes Into Virginia Apartment Complex

Brian the Bold Re:Budget cuts (295 comments)

I don't believe that either of the pilots had not separated from their seats at impact, the main parachute is stowed in the headbox and is pulled out by the pilot's body mass as the seat separates after the drogue parachute has stabilised the trajectory.

The reason the seats are close to the aircraft wreckage is that the pilots left it very late to eject, they knew the likelihood of hitting houses was high and were trying to dump the aircraft in the ocean, when they realised they couldn't make it and that there was no point dying while unable to get there they banged out in short order. The seats are very capable, but it is entirely possible that the canopy only fully inflates as the pilot's legs reach the ground if ejection is at a low height.

more than 2 years ago
top

F-18 Fighter Jet Crashes Into Virginia Apartment Complex

Brian the Bold Re:Grim Factoid? (295 comments)

Well indeed some of these losses were in combat, but not that many.

In the early to mid 1950s, the RAF fighter squadrons mostly flew Gloster Meteor and DeHavilland Vampires, the newer aircraft had not yet made it to squadron service.

The Meteor in particular had some very nasty habits, if you opened the airbrakes when the undercarriage was extended then you would immediately lose control and from low altitude in the landing pattern a crash was inevitable as there was not enough engine power to recover even if the airbrakes were retracted before impact.

There were also many collisions during training, and quite a few crashes due to bad weather and fog where fuel exhaustion led to ejection and loss of the aircraft. THe RAF had many more pilots and aircraft, training was less comprehensive and many fatalities were young, average pilots who did not have sufficient skill and time in the air to be competent enough to survive.

more than 2 years ago
top

UK Plan Would Use CCTV To Stop Uninsured Drivers From Refueling

Brian the Bold Re:Riiiight (691 comments)

In the UK it is illegal to store more than a small quantity of petrol/gasoline in domestic premises. I think you're allowed essentially two 5 gallon jerry cans but no more.

more than 2 years ago
top

Harnessing Interference For Faster Wireless Data

Brian the Bold Re:Reliablity? (91 comments)

As an RF engineer, when I hear people mention the words simple and radio in the same sentence I smile inwardly and anticipate a project that gets to the desperation phase more rapidly than usual without any design input to allow it for tuning the performance of each circuit block.

In short, radio is never as simple as you think it is.

more than 3 years ago
top

I get most of my books...

Brian the Bold eBooks and paper books (283 comments)

I buy my books as paper, but then I often go and find an non-DRM eBook of the same thing, that way I have paid the author for what I read and I can have a copy on my PC and my eReader without spending additional money on the same thing.

I don't see this as in any way problematic, I don't pass on the eBooks to anyone else.

more than 3 years ago
top

UK Government Wants to Spring Ahead Two Hours

Brian the Bold GMT is named for something (554 comments)

And that something is the Greenwich meridian, which is in the east of the UK, so most of the country is west of this line.

Now this change wants to bring us into line with countries that are either mainly east of the meridian or sufficiently far south that they see more winter daylight than we do.

It's a bad idea, it was tried in WW2 and also from 1968-1971, and it was unpopular and unwanted then.

Why we're going down this path again I really don't know.

Sheesh!

more than 2 years ago
top

Smart Grid Brings Powerline Broadband Back?

Brian the Bold Re:Causes interference to licensed spectrum users (120 comments)

Well remember that amateur spectrum is allocated via the ITU and international treaties, so it isn't within Ofcom's power to just take it away without a major consultation exercise and then obtaining resolutions at the next WRC. If they tried to do it unilaterally then there would be a lot of flak to deal with.

Remember that the new UK government is intending to change Ofcom's remit, I doubt they will have enough manpower to deal with all of this while their whole raison d'etre is being changed under them.

more than 3 years ago
top

Smart Grid Brings Powerline Broadband Back?

Brian the Bold Re:Causes interference to licensed spectrum users (120 comments)

I see above a link to the Ofcom FAQ. As usual this is a bit disingenous, where it states that they have not found any breach of the essential requirements of the EMC Regulations, what they fail to state is that in all the tests that have been conducted by independent test houses the peak level of emissions is >30dB above the EN55022 Class B limits, which is a strange definition of EMC compliant in my book.

Ofcom is a politically motivated body, and it doesn't want to rock the boat with the EU and brand PLT devices as illegal in the UK because that would affect european trade and the supply of "harmonised" goods.

The PLT regulation process via the CISPR committee has totally failed, it has not been possible to agree limits that simultaneously allow the PLT devices to work as desired and to meet accepted EMC limits that have been enforced for decades. This process is being restarted, but is likely to be gerrymandered by the European Commission to allow existing non-compliant devices to be sold.

EMC engineers are up in arms about this, if the approach being used were to be extended to other standards then you can forget ever having interoperating non-interfering RF-based systems ever again, ultimately sense might prevail but only after all our wide area systems had been crippled by wideband interference.

We can only hope that this sort of wired networking is out-evolved by other technologies and dies a natural death. Otherwise it's going to be a train wreck.

more than 3 years ago
top

The Case For Oracle

Brian the Bold Re:Face the truth (341 comments)

Simple, because the additional code required for that would have led to poor performance on the platform Google envisaged for mobile devices.

more than 4 years ago
top

Vodafone Backs Down In Row With Android Users

Brian the Bold Re:And this is why you buy unlocked/unbranded (106 comments)

Well, that's as maybe, but in this case I found that the cost of a SIM free Desire and then 2 years of a SIM only contract was about 180 GBP more than the cost of a 2 year contract plus a Desire from Vodafone.

When I bought the phone, before signing on the dotted line I asked specifically about the branding aspect of the software and was told that it was essentially unbranded but with one "scene" (home screen wallpaper/icon/layout) that was not even set as the default. I was also told that Vodafone would not be changing this in the future, the staff in the Vodafone shop also told me that they disliked the heavily branded phones because an increasing percentage of their customers were telling them that this would be a deal-breaker for them.

In addition to this, a joint press release from HTC and Vodafone at 3GSM stated clearly that only the HTC Legend was going to have the Vodafone 360 applications on it by default because it was seen as a "differentiated experience" and was not being treated like the other HTC Android phones.

There is also the small matter in the UK of the Sale and Supply of Goods Act which states that goods must be fit for purpose and of merchantable quality, this means that a firmware update that badly affects the function of the phone as this one did will form part of the reason why it can be rejected and the vendor expected to sort out the mess they have caused.

Luckily for me, I did not apply the update because I read about the disaster before my phone notified me of the update. I also knew that an Android version increment will mean a major version increment of the software, as soon as I saw that this was still a 1.x version I knew that it wasn't Froyo!

So, Vodafone have contradicted their stance at sale time, and they are not allowed to do that when the information given at the time formed part of the contract of sale. The phone actually becomes the purchaser's property immediately, the contract is for airtime, and while it may recover the subsidy on the phone it does not mean that the network still owns the hardware with the exception of the SIM card.

This is an important victory, but there will need to be some vigilance to ensure that they don't try to roll the 360 apps into any future Froyo bug fix releases, in fact the simple solution is one that has already been taken, putting the Vodafone 360 apps in the Android Market for those that want them and then they can be removed without needing root access.

more than 4 years ago
top

France Says D-Star Ham Radio Mode Is Illegal

Brian the Bold Re:Project to replace the proprietary codec (282 comments)

Yes, this is really the big issue, how to get digital modes where everything is open. After all the point of amateur radio is the self-training aspect of building and operating equipment.

The AMBE codec is proprietary and cannot even be reverse-engineered as the protocol and format itself is protected by patents.

Radio amateurs should abandon it (the performance is fairly poor too) and replace it with something that complies with the spirit of the licence.

Do please go and donate some money to David Rowe, it's better than giving it to Icom and losing your freedom.

more than 4 years ago
top

The Bloodhound Will Stay On the Ground At 1,000 mph

Brian the Bold Re:In all seriousness... (242 comments)

Yes.

Because records are always increased with time, because it can be done.

Bloodhound SSC is a project designed to showcase British engineering capabilities and talent and to enthuse and encourage the next generations of engineers who are currently at school and have not yet decided what they want to do for a career.

Have a look at the project web site, all the information is there.

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

more than 4 years ago
top

I prefer to work ...

Brian the Bold Re:frank herbert approves (392 comments)

Er, I think it was Thufir Hawat who had a problem with sitting back to the door.

more than 5 years ago
top

UK Gov't Proposes Massive Internet Snooping, Data Storage

Brian the Bold Re:Another good reason to encrypt your data. (342 comments)

You're right, Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act does indeed allow for compulsion in dissemination of keys.

That's why it is important not to store anything sensitive in encrypted form, but to pass it about using methods where keys are ephemeral and are never in the possession of the person targeted. If intercepted data simply cannot be decrypted, the authorities will come to understand that they are unable to seize anything of value.

Perhaps this would be enough to get them down from their insane power trip and back to sensible levels of state vs individual power.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

Brian the Bold hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Brian the Bold has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?