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Comments

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Hammerhead System Offers a Better Way To Navigate While Cycling

David Off Re:Bike HUD (249 comments)

Strava have just launched a doo-daa that works with Google Glass. I don't know whether it does any of what you want but may be worth a look.

For bike navigation, when I'm going somewhere in town I just pop my car's TomTom in my pocket. It has a 2 hour battery life, has cycle routes and speaks the direction. Pretty straightforward.

about 10 months ago
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Real World Stats Show Chromebooks Are Struggling

David Off My Figures (250 comments)

Just checked the logs for a site I run. Over 375,930 unique visitors 81 were using Chrome OS. That's what 0.024% I think. Which is the same as the reports figures.

Can you print from Chrome OS btw?

about a year ago
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Why My Team Went With DynamoDB Over MongoDB

David Off Re:Bad planning (106 comments)

Interesting analysis.

I've been messing around writing my own Java NoSQL CMS called Magneato. It stores articles in XML because I use XForms for the front end (maybe a bad choice but there isn't a good forms solution yet, not even with HTML5) and I use Lucene/Bobo for the navigation and search side of things. It is focussed on facetted navigation although you can have relations between articles: parent of, sibling etc via Lucene.

It actually sounds like my efforts are better than this team have produced.

about a year and a half ago
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As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow To a Trickle

David Off Re:Demand More (665 comments)

An example being Charles Mackay of "Madness of Crowds" fame who had the Victorian equivalent of a Triple Platinum with "Cheer, Boys, Cheer" in 1846.

http://www.pdmusic.org/russell/hr50cbc.txt

about a year and a half ago
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Marx May Have Had a Point

David Off Re:Some notes on Marx and capitalism (1271 comments)

> Marx was quite right about a key point - if capitalism is allowed to use competition between workers to drive wages down, buying power drops and the system stalls, or stabilizes with most people just above some minimum survival level. That's where we are now.

You know in heavily regulated France where we don't really do capitalism we are are at the point were most salaries have stabilized at or just above the legal minimum wage (about 1500 bucks a month).

> The US peak was in 1973.

maybe to do with the oil shock and the fact the 1st world could no longer grow on the back of cheap oil?

about 3 years ago
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Sony Announces End For MiniDisc Walkman

David Off Lossy Data Compression (191 comments)

I don't know how much you value your backups but saving via a lossy compression seems like a recipe for problems.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Living Without Internet At-Home Access?

David Off Re:Addiction control (462 comments)

I agree with you but have a different plan. I have a day a week without computers which I think works quite well for me, at least it lets me get a break from what is quite a full on IT career.

Although this is not what the OP was asking.

more than 3 years ago
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British Tax System Uses Web Robots To Find Cheats

David Off Will it work? (190 comments)

The UK Revenue come up with these kind of big statements now and again but I think they will make more money out of the FUD factor than from the actual bots - that is if they can get a working system. Without information from ISPs etc it will be difficult to tie most eBay identities to an actual tax payer, the amount of information to trawl and reconcile will be enormous and the SNR very high.

more than 3 years ago
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Google's Schmidt Says He 'Screwed Up' On Social Networking

David Off Re:Google totally dropped the Social Networking ba (252 comments)

Until I read your post I hadn't realized just how much crap Google owns these days. They could do to shut down about 75% of that stuff really. Docs, Gmail, YouTube and that search engine should be enough.

more than 3 years ago
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Google, Microsoft In Epic Hiring War

David Off Desperate more likes (235 comments)

Google have even contacted me, for the second time. That shows how desperate this hiring war is getting. Not heard from Microsoft though.

more than 3 years ago
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Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

David Off Re:You have to ask? (247 comments)

> and constantly in bewilderment at why Joe down the hall who hasn't produced anything in 4 years and who's last major project was a disaster is now a VP.

As you allude, and contrary to popular wisdom, those are the guys to watch. If they've survived 4 years in an organisation without producing anything tangible they must have a lot of powerful friends. You have less trouble with the producers, because they are doing stuff the scope for doing something wrong is much greater.

more than 3 years ago
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French Hacker Arrested After Bragging On TV

David Off Re:Meh? (134 comments)

The blurring is always poorly done on French TV programs. They had a program about men who visit prostitutes and I recognized a work colleague being interviewed. The blurring didn't follow his head very well so you could see parts of his face, only the eyes were really covered.

more than 3 years ago
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Denmark Now Supports EU Copyright Term Extension

David Off Re:30 years is enough (145 comments)

I would go with 30 years except for the case where someone is profiting from your work (e.g. selling it in either digital or hardcopy form). In this case I think the author should receive a cut but this expires on the original author's death.

more than 3 years ago
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China To Overtake US In Science In Two Years

David Off RTFA (362 comments)

As noted in the original article they used references as an indication of quality. On that basis China was 9th rising from 0 -> 4% of published papers.

Regarding numbers, my wife is a University Professor in France. She has a target of at least 4 papers per year. So even in the "west" quantity not quality can be an important driver to publish. One of her colleagues has been suspended for not publishing enough (well nothing at all for 5 years).

more than 3 years ago
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London Stock Exchange Finishes Switch To Linux

David Off Re:get the fact (106 comments)

Yes, it was one of them. I worked on another Reuters Intelligent Advisor which ran like a 3 legged dog, a very expensive dog, until someone did the decent thing and shot it through the head.

I don't think RIA's expensive failure can be wholly blamed on .net. I think the technical team deceived management and probably themselves about what they could do. They had drunk the SOA/Web Services kool aid and the architecture was basically wrong. I suspect a number of devs saw the project as resume keyword fodder.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Fights Apple Trademark On 'App Store'

David Off Re:Windows (425 comments)

> Microsoft, as usual, were late to the party.

That is because they had to wait for the Mac to come out so they could see how it was done, decompile the OS etc etc. so they could produce their own rip-off version. I think this is widely known. Microsoft is late to every damn party, it is hard wired in their DNA from the day they ripped of CP/M via QDOS.

Other windows systems around the same time were GEM (1983) and Siemens Collage (for Unix - mid to late 80s similar to GEM). The term commonly used was WIMP systems for Windows, Icon, Mouse Pointer. This term dates from 1980. GEM was also widely used.

more than 3 years ago
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Recalling Windows 1.0 At 25 Years

David Off Siemens Collage (384 comments)

I remember using GEM back in 1986. It was quite good.

Interestingly it looks similar to a Unix Window System I worked on for Siemens around the same time called Collage (I think). This ran on the Siemens Sinix variant of Unix. I wrote a spreadsheet for Collage and there was a word processor. The system ran on the MX2 / X20 mini computers as well as MX500 multiprocessor systems. One model was a dinky little desktop about the size of a small form factor PC and ran using the National Semiconductor 32 bit processor range. It is was a kind of NeXT Pizzabox before its time. The big advantage of Collage was that it didn't crash all the time.

There doesn't seem to be any Wikipage on Collage so I guess it is lost in the midst of time.

more than 3 years ago
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Early Review of 11" Macbook Air

David Off ipad with a keyboard (348 comments)

Cool, an Ipad with a real keyboard.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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The Man who Hacked the Bank of France

David Off David Off writes  |  about 2 years ago

David Off writes "In 2008 a Skype user looking for cheap rate gateway numbers found himself connected to the Bank of France where he was asked for a password. He typed 1 2 3 4 5 6 and found himself connected to their computer system. The intrusion was rapidly detected but led to the system being frozen for 48 hours as a security measure. Two years of extensive international police inquiries eventually traced the 37 year old unemployed Breton despite the fact he'd used his real address when he registered with Skype. The man was found not guilty in court today of maliciously breaking into the bank."
Link to Original Source
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David Off David Off writes  |  more than 7 years ago

David Off writes "A spammer has been ordered to pay £750 compensation and £616.66 in costs to the recipient of unsolicited commercial email. It is a landmark ruling as it is the first time a UK court has set a level of compensation for junk email. The private prosecution was brought by Gordon Dick under under European Union wide antispam law which makes it illegal to send junk electronic mail. Mr Dick told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that his email address had been "harvested" from a group where he was a member in contravention of the Data Protection Act and EU electronic privacy legislation. The spam mail had been sent to 72,000 recipients. Mr Dick is himself electronic marketing specialist has set up his own website ScotchSpam to highlight and help others with the problem of spam email."
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David Off David Off writes  |  more than 7 years ago

David Off writes "Last summer BBC Television decided to launch a space shuttle shaped motorcar, the Reliant Robin, into very very low earth orbit! Now this may not be the X-prize but it is a very very cool hack that harks back to era of MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club. Now a shuttle launch costs hundreds of millions of dollars. The Beeb built a very convincing shuttle from the Robin, a main fuel tank and two SRBs in an industrial unit in Manchester. There was very little money but all the tea the team could manage to dring. The rockets develop 8.5 tonnes of thrust and this was the most powerful private launch in Europe to date. The Robin had to be stripped from 750kg to 250kg and avionics fitted for the flight back to earth. All doesn't quite go to plan as you can see in the 20 minute film which was broadcast yesterday. It would be nice to know more about the tech behind the launch, the film is thin on details."

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