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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

Shimbo Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Your argument about not wanting to change something due to the length of time that it's been unchanged is laughable.

As well as being entirely untrue, of course, given the number of incompatible format changes Office has gone through over over the years.

5 days ago

HP Claims Their Moonshot System is a 'New Style of IT' (Video)

Shimbo Re:4.3 U (68 comments)

Exactly, in a cold / hot isle rack you are left with a gap which would need plugging with something.

A 42U rack would have 7U wasted space that is almost another 2 servers...

They will sell you a .66U spacer, or a 13U box that fits three of them. It may be a dumb idea but not that dumb.

about two weeks ago

Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

Shimbo Re:This just illustrates (365 comments)

If it doesn't it's time to switch supplier. If they all hold their prices, then they risk being investigated as an illegal cartel. So, maybe not immediately but it creates a downward pressure.

about 1 month ago

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Shimbo Re: The real question in my mind (119 comments)

If he had 10 million dollars, he wouldn't need to.

about a month ago

Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Shimbo Re:Competition Sucks (507 comments)

As far as London taxis go there are two sorts of taxis: the familiar black cabs, and minicabs. Black cabs have the privilege of being able to be hailed by a passing passenger, whereas mini cabs need to be booked through their firm.

The main public interest in this distinction is that booking minicabs means that a third party will have a record of the passenger and driver, if the police need to come looking to see what has happened to the passenger. It takes years of training to know London well enough to get a taxi licence, so it's something of a barrier to someone with criminal intent.

The thing about Uber, is that it provides a very efficient way of linking up minicabs with passengers, whilst maintaining the record that the law requires. However, the taxi drivers have got used to the inconvenience of having to book the competition as their competitive advantage.

about a month and a half ago

Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't

Shimbo Re:Real Reasons Thorium is Being Held Up (204 comments)

Thank you for posting this. I'm rather tired by the constant stream of posts here that claim if we just switched to Thorium/Helium-3/Unobtainium, we would have all our energy problems solved by the end of next week. It's good to see an intelligent discussion of the real engineering problems involved for a change.

about 2 months ago

Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

Shimbo Re:Who would have guessed? (217 comments)

And they are completely harmless to humans.

Sorry, but that's grade A nonsense. There isn't any chemical that is completely harmless to humans.

about 3 months ago

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

Shimbo Re:You can't copyright facts (303 comments)

I think the appeal court got it largely right: API design is a creative process. Anyone with any experience in programming knows that some APIs are well designed, others are bad ones. I think it's a nonsense to claim the API is a fact.

I don't like Oracle, and I don't really like the consequences of this ruling. However, Google really pushed the boundaries of copyright law to the limit here. And if people choose languages that are explicitly free to reimplement in future, that's a good thing.

about 3 months ago

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

Shimbo Re:Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

What if you all agreed that nobody could restrict the future use of these seeds.

Then the seed companies would lobby for laws to make sharing seeds illegal. If you think that is being paranoid: it's already happened. (it didn't pass - that time).

about 3 months ago

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

Shimbo Re:But it is! (642 comments)

Except, I don't think that is what the general theory of relativity says. Maybe you're thinking of the special theory of relativity, which says that in inertial systems one frame of reference is just as valid as another. However, I don't think the sun and the earth represent an inertial system, so I'm not sure why that would apply.

Er, no. The special theory deals with inertial frames, you need the general theory for non-inertial frames. According to the general theory, you can't tell the difference between gravity and acceleration. So, you can claim that you were stationary on a roundabout and the rest of the universe swirling about you caused space to warp in such a way as to cause you to fall off. That's a perfectly valid interpretation according to general relativity, if a somewhat egocentric one.

about 4 months ago

EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

Shimbo Re:Ooh look! (111 comments)

What's with all the Euro-hate, anyway?

I don't think a random MP or MEP saying something particularly intelligent or unintelligent counts as news. MPs or MEPs will be found talking to almost every lobby group you can imagine at some point. And, because they are elected by proportional representation across a variety of languages and cultures, MEPs in particular will have a very diverse range of views.

To be honest, I would be happier if /. didn't run any such stories, because on average politicians say a lot more stupid things than sensible ones. Actual policies would be different.

about 4 months ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Shimbo Re:UK Taxpayers (341 comments)

What I would like to know is how much would it have cost to upgrade to Linux? As a UK Taxpayer, I would prefer my money to be invested in Linux systems instead of Microsoft.

Much more than that, obviously. You don't replace the operating system, reinstall and develop specialist applications for £5 a PC. Of course, paying for extended support doesn't move you forward, so you have to some sort of migration next year.

And really, as a taxpayer (IMHO), you (and I) should be wondering how the NHS managed to piss £10 billion away on a failed IT project, and how we can avoid them doing it again. £5 million across the whole of government is fairly small beer to keep existing systems going, compared to the amount you could blow on a load of migration projects.

  It sucks that some departments are going to miss the deadline but the questions I'd like to know the answer to are 'what are their migration projects for next year?' and 'are they on track to be completed before the extended support runs out?'. Have they got a credible plan, and it's just slipped a little, or is it a total fuck up? That, to me, is the big money question.

about 4 months ago

London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

Shimbo Re:Translation (193 comments)

It doesn't sound like they're using web apps, at least not yet

No, but they were (apparently) using mostly Citrix apart from the power users. A Chromebook seems a good fit as a remote desktop client; you don't have any more issues with requiring an always on network than you started with. For once, a fairly sensible strategy it seems.

about 4 months ago

XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release

Shimbo Re:Is XWayland... (83 comments)

XWayland is the X server for Wayland, so that you can run traditional X applications on Wayland (as opposed to Qt etc. applications, which will talk directly to Wayland).

about 4 months ago

IRS: Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency

Shimbo Re:If BITC are property.. (273 comments)

The government can't force me to use currency if I don't want to.

How many chickens would you like to bet on that?

about 4 months ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:Rewards the hacker (104 comments)

What I find incredibly offensive is that the charity's CEO didn't even apologise to the 10,000 innocent victims whose data was lost as a result of his organisation's failings. Instead he is trying to shift the attention onto the ICO and try to portray themselves as victims.

In all probablility burning tens of thousands pounds more of the charity's money in the process. If they do actually go to appeal, rather than just saying it in the heat of the moment. It's a she, by the way.

To be fair, they are victims in the sense that if they didn't get hacked, they might have got away with their negligence but that is often true. It's rather like blaming the guy that pulled out in front of you when you were drunk driving.

about 5 months ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:hmmm (104 comments)

Doing things right" is an incredibly nebulous statement that nearly no judge should be in a position to determine.

The principles are in Schedule 1 of the DPA

about 5 months ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:so they got an anti-abortion judge (104 comments)

Why is it a "heavy-handed" fine? It seems to me that when an organization endangers members of the public via negligence, they should receive a penalty that is sufficient to motivate them to change their practices.

It's less that 1% of their annual turnover, and could easily come out of their senior management's pay. Think that will happen? Me neither.

about 5 months ago

New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management

Shimbo Re:Cold Fusion and Polywell Fusion are (109 comments)

We've been building tunnel diodes since the late 1950s. That's for electrons though... I don't see how tunneling can help protons.

Some enzymes use it; bioscience is frighteningly subtle at times. Not for fusion though.

about 5 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Shimbo Re:Of course it's "lawful" (169 comments)

What do you mean it didn't happen?

He was arrested and held for 6 months then allowed to go free by the UK government.

GP argued that the courts always sided with the elite. However, Pinochet lost the case, although some of the charges were dismissed. The government later decided to let him go on medical grounds.

about 5 months ago


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