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iOS 8 Strikes an Unexpected Blow Against Location Tracking

elvum There's an obvious response (323 comments)

Stores and malls that want to track you still have options - perhaps the most obvious one is to offer free wifi to their customers. Which is probably a win-win situation, although most users probably won't realise that part of the price of the "free" wifi is that they get tracked until they tell their device to forget the network again. There might be some subtle biases introduced into the data captured by this method if some kinds of customer are more likely to accept the offer of free wifi than others, mind you.

about 3 months ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

elvum Re:OMG! OMG! OMG! (711 comments)

Buy any Apple device - they usually come with some free Apple logo stickers.

about 3 months ago

Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

elvum Every time. (172 comments)

This happens every time a popular website (or application) is updated with a redesigned UI. The fact that thousands of users are complaining tells you nothing about whether the average user finds the site easier to use. The fact that people are posting here on Slashdot to say that they personally dislike it also tells you nothing. Fundamentally, people hate having change imposed on them, particularly if they don't know or agree with the reasons for it. And frankly even if Yahoo's existing users overwhelmingly hated the new design, it could still be the right decision for the company - they need to attract new users from other services, not satisfy their existing dwindling base.

1 year,21 days

Chilling Guidelines Issued For UK Communications Act Enforcement

elvum It's hardly chilling. (111 comments)

This is just the latest occasion when I have wished that /. editors would, you know, do some editing. The story is interesting; the attempt by the submitter to spin it as evidence of a particular viewpoint adds nothing.

All legal jurisdictions are having to come to terms with the fact that groups of people in social networks now have the ability to publish (mis)information on a scale that was previously limited to mainstream media outlets. This effort from the UK authorities is (in my opinion) a reasonably balanced one, that does a good job of extending the existing British consensus on where the line should be drawn between free speech and criminal irresponsibility into the modern era.

about a year and a half ago

In Calculator Arms Race, Casio Fires Back: Color Touchscreen ClassPad

elvum No. (170 comments)

What do these devices have that couldn't be implemented as an app on a general purpose smartphone or tablet?

about 2 years ago

Killer Asteroids Are Good For Life

elvum Are? (70 comments)


about 2 years ago

Galileo To Be Europe's Answer To US GPS

elvum "...answer to GPS" (402 comments)

GPS is a question?

more than 2 years ago

UK Police Force Posts All Its Calls On Twitter

elvum Re:Delay? (66 comments)

Police in the UK use TETRA, an encrypted radio system.

more than 3 years ago

UK Police Force Posts All Its Calls On Twitter

elvum Re:So (66 comments)

Why does any organisation need a PR department?

more than 3 years ago

UK Police Force Posts All Its Calls On Twitter

elvum Re:So (66 comments)

To be fair, this is two staff from the PR department doing the tweeting, not front-line police officers. Given the publicity they've received in return for those two person-days of effort, it seems like pretty good value to me.

more than 3 years ago

Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car

elvum Re:Really... (334 comments)

Are those American ("English") gallons, or British ("Imperial") gallons? There's a 20% difference...

more than 3 years ago

Why Intel Wants To Network Your Clothes Dryer

elvum Clothes dryer? (330 comments)

My highly advanced clothes-line technology comes with an implicit display of its power consumption - zero.

more than 4 years ago

Another Contender For the Land Speed Record

elvum Re:Not the same race (85 comments)

I think it's a bit more complicated than that - Bloodhound *is* direct competition for Eagle, but not necessarily vice-versa. So whether or not they're in the same race depends on your perspective...

more than 4 years ago

UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards

elvum A kick in the teeth... for whom? (197 comments)

Yes of course, it's the people who signed up for first-generation ID cards whom we should feel sorry for here. Poor dears.

more than 4 years ago

What Kind of Cloud Computing Project Costs $32M?

elvum Re:Wrong question. (158 comments)

This is the DoE - how about Mushroom Cloud computing?

more than 4 years ago

10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day

elvum It's today? (232 comments)

If /. had run this story yesterday, many more sysadmins would have been appreciated...

more than 5 years ago

UK's National Portrait Gallery Threatens To Sue Wikipedia User

elvum Re:what kind of question is that? (526 comments)

Yeah, we couldn't stand the quality of the tea over there; secession was our only resort...

more than 5 years ago


elvum hasn't submitted any stories.



Week in Chamonix

elvum elvum writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Well, I survived my week in Chamonix - shame I didn't manage to climb any mountains! It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to get to Cham from Geneva (the nearest airport, incidentally) - there's a twice-daily coach (thirty quid) and a four-times-daily train (twenty quid) with two changes. Eventually I got to the campsite and met up with Andy and Sarah. This was Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday were rained off. The forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday were good so after much, much discussion (I wanted to do snow routes, Sarah wanted to do rock, Andy wisely kept his opinions to himself) we decided to head up the Mer de Glace and climb the Aiguille du Moine.

It took us most of Friday to pack, naturally, and just as we walked out of the campsite it started hailing. We eventually got to the Montenvers railway at about half-four, and our progress up the glacier was lethargic to put it mildly. At sunset we reached the Via Ferrata up the cliffs from the Leschaux Glacier toward the Couvercle Hut (near which we'd planned to camp) and knew that we had another four hundred metres to ascend. We turned round and camped on the glacier.

A 6am start saw us up the ladders and at the hut at about eight, and nearing the top of the Petit Moine glacier and the start of the route at about nine. The route was obvious at first, but soon became non-obvious and we certainly took several long-cuts. We soloed (attracting the admonitions of at least one passing guide) until the route brought us back to the steep couloir we were nominally following; at this point a steep but wide snow gully. Since we'd left our ice gear at the start of the rock, getting up this was interesting: Sarah volunteered to lead it, and was unamused when yours truly cried "icy death" as she neared twenty metres of runout and the first protection opportunity. (In my defence, she'd all but ordered me to...) We made it up safely though, and several steep and off-route pitches later we reached the summit ridge, where some on-route and English-speaking passers-by told us that we were about 45 minutes from the summit. It 4pm and we were knackered, so we did the only sensible thing: went down, using up every piece of ab tat we possessed (plus a load that we scavanged) in the process. Downclimbing the ladders to the glacier by torchlight ranks as one of the less pleasant experiences of my, um, experience, but with the psychological aid of two cow-tails I made it safely and arrived back at the tent at ten thirty where Andy and Sarah (who had run down from the hut) were waiting with tea.

Needless to say we abandoned our plans to climb the Aiguille de Tacul the next day and just yomped on down to Montenvers.

And that's about it. Two more days of rain and then I came back and let Andy and Sarah get on with climbing hard things. I've now been roped (no pun intended!) into a trip back to the Couvercle hut this weekend. The Nonne and the Cardinal are on the list of possibilities, but I will most definitely be avoiding a repeat of the Moine! (Read my lips etc.)

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