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Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

gbjbaanb Re:Study financed by (71 comments)

it could be part of the revenue - how many of those rear end crashes were because the tailing driver wasn't paying attention and trying to keep going, and how many because the driver in front fancied a slow crash that was someone else's fault to sue for "whiplash injury" compensation?

1 hour ago
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What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

gbjbaanb Re:What will happen. (352 comments)

right... ok, we'll just have go for plan B - slavery for all workers while the landed elite get rich.

Or.. we'll just find different jobs for everyone to do

1 hour ago
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What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

gbjbaanb Re:Old (352 comments)

there's always new jobs.. even if its working in "customer support" or marketing.

There's a reason the West has migrated jobs from manufacturing to the service sector, the manufacturing is done in China or similar, leaving western workers to either design, advertise or sell the products to each other.

Its pretty old news, what happens depends on the area automated - when Gutenberg created the press, the old clerks stopped copying by hand and started becoming more like authors (similar to have the newspapers have been replaced by bloggers and opinion), though when the Spinning Jenny was introduced there was a lot of public disturbance, but in the end it worked out.

7 hours ago
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Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

gbjbaanb Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (142 comments)

quite true, and part of the problem is the pyramid scheme of them all, designed to make pots of cash for the people who create the currency in the first place as they have a stash of coins before it starts.

What we really need is the government to create a virtual currency, with all the regulation and control that entails. Then you can have all the benefits of a cryptocurrency but with the benefits of it actually becoming mainstream for the majority of users, without the problems a truly anonymous one has with regard to criminal activity.

2 days ago
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What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

gbjbaanb Re:Embrace (215 comments)

"The real thing for your .NET platform" will be "the Open Source .NET platform produced by the .NET Foundation."

or will it be "the real thing for the .NET version platform"?

Or the .NET platform that is open source, but you still need to buy a load of stuff to get the juicy stuff that powers most applications nowadays, like WCF and WPF.

Now, if someone forked it and produced a GUI that worked well, rendered fonts without fuzziness or needing a caching service, and performed well... then I'd be much more positive about this open sourcing of .NET core.

3 days ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

gbjbaanb Re:Time to mourn another passing... (155 comments)

I don't know - Google seems to do very well indeed on advertising revenue, I can't think why the sites that display their adverts aren't doing nearly as well....

3 days ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

gbjbaanb Re:Oh yeah, he was a orthodontist (155 comments)

You gotta be joking?!

At work, I have a dual core i7 and 4Gb RAM and you know what - I spend my whole day staring at the damn applications while they think about swapping back in to run. I click Visual Studio and it thinks for a couple of seconds then pops into its usual full-screen view, then I click on SQL Server's management studio and ... it thinks for a bit before popping into view.

As a developer I usually have 1, sometimes 2, VS instances open plus SQL plus firefox with the application services and client app open. 4GB just isn't enough to run these monster programs.

And maybe that's the point, where I would easily have said 4GB is loads... that was before people started saying 4Gb is loads and therefore it doesn't matter how much of it I use up in shitty, inefficient data systems. Your program might run fine, but often I have to run 2 of them and that's when you see the problems.

There's one thing about efficiency, and then there's another about not caring and stuffing your programs full of layer after layer of abstractions to the point where it performs like a dog and sucks up all the RAM there is available because "developer time is more important than user time". Pah.

3 days ago
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In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

gbjbaanb Re:I'm guessing that a lot of enterprise technolog (153 comments)

na, it'll be because they just aren't good enough to understand the C code. Tell the developer to grow a pair and start using the right tools rather than the only thing he understands. (and frankly, I doubt he'd be able to understand the complex algorithm anyway).

4 days ago
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In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

gbjbaanb Re:I'm guessing that a lot of enterprise technolog (153 comments)

doubt it, a lot of it is chosen by developers buying into the hype of the coolest new technology or language or framework... which invariably turn out to be a pile of shit.

For example, a few years back all the talk was of Biztalk and some people developed their "this time it'll be great" tech products using it, and now some poor sods are lumbered with a steaming piece of legacy poo that they have to maintain and that costs them a fortune. Before that there was so much talk of functional languages (which are ok in themselves) that would be a silver bullet that solved all problems, and Ruby after that, and .NET before that, and ... well I could go on but its depressing.

I think sharepoint is the main technology chosen by non-techies but the techies are way worse for jumping on the du jour bandwagon.

Our industry embraces technology churn far too easily. Change might be good, but only in evolutionary steps, making things better. I think a lot of it is driven by people who either don't have the experience or simply can't handle the current tech and so see anything different as a chance to avoid being found out.

4 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

gbjbaanb Re:No thru traffic (594 comments)

why would that happen - you'll have to implement a Resident's parking scheme where residents get a badge to display in their windscreen.

5 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

gbjbaanb Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

You'd think she could come back for this one-off Christmas special edition. Finding out what the legally-enforceable terms and conditions of the GPL are in court is of principal importance to the whole open source software community (and the proprietary one too!)

5 days ago
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Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

gbjbaanb Re:please keep closed! (50 comments)

true, same here - I just wish they'd made the distinction between then better - C# for RAD tooling, C++ for performance/efficiency/"heavy lifting" like it used to be with VB and C++ but instead it seems C# was designed to be "the new Microsoft language" by one division so they wouldn't have to work with the other division :-(

If you want to see a better benchmark for performance, look at MSDN magazine's article on WWS, where the Windows division wrote a compatible version of WCF using C so you can see a good comparison of 2 things that do *exactly* the same thing, but written differently.

5 days ago
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Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

gbjbaanb Re:please keep closed! (50 comments)

My bet is that their own command and control code is completely native.

mine too. See Herb Sutter's speech at Build 2011, (Here's a transcript)

What happens in the Datacenter? Citing a study, Mr. Sutter claims that the biggest cost is Hardware and Power. These account for 88% of the total cost of running a Datacenter. Performance/Watt has a direct impact on this, and it can be improved by having more efficient programs.

and

Quoting Bjarne Stroustrup: âoeMy biggest contribution to the fight against global warming is C++â(TM)s efficiency: Just think if Google had to have twice as many server farms! Each uses as much energy as a small town. And itâ(TM)s not just a factor of two⦠Efficiency is not just running fast or running bigger programs, itâ(TM)s also running using less resources.â

So they're thinking of their dollars - more efficient programs means fewer servers for the same workload, means less cost and bigger bonuses for the bosses.

This is why Microsoft picked up C++ again after practically killing it off, or at least keeping it around as a niche product solely for the Windows and Office teams that still used it. Its also why the dev team are going all-in on the native .NET, using the C++ backend compiler to create native code from .NET programs, which will help but won;t solve the fundamental efficiency problems of .NET like GC that effectively encourages inefficient use of memory.

5 days ago
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Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

gbjbaanb Re:please keep closed! (50 comments)

only the shitty stuff they don't care about - all the good code is kept locked away, for good reason. Its only the crap that isn't so bad they don't want you to look at, but they do want you to maintain that they open source.

IIRC all the cloud goodness they have went C++ a while back, as they looked at how much it cost them to run .NET code on all their servers, when you have a million servers the loss in efficiency of running .NET everywhere adds up to a significant amount. Hence their "C++ Renaissance" of a few years back.

5 days ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

gbjbaanb Re:Sound like... (79 comments)

and to remember smoking in TV shows... there was one called "Between the Lines", about 'internal investigations" cops. One of the actors was told he should smoke as it was part of his characters... only the actor had just given up smoking. So he said "sod it" and smoked... famously continually smoking throughout the show. It gave the show a really "grittier" look about it.

about a week ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

gbjbaanb Re:When you try and leave . . . (79 comments)

That show already has a theme park - Portmeirion in west Wales. Go visit it... (yes, I know, its a real village first, but I think it only exists now due to the tourist trade)

about a week ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

gbjbaanb Re:Here comes some heresy... (79 comments)

No, its tru - most of MP isn't very funny at all, its just that we forget the crap bits and remember the good.

What's most important about Python is that they did it at all, before them there was practically no surreal style comedy, it was all made by men who used to be in the military and were used to entertaining the troops or Victorian variety music hall type stuff. That Python changed the comedy landscape was probably more important than their hit-and-miss show, but that's what you get when you push so far past the boundaries of the times.

Take a look at Spike Milligan's stuff, a lot of that was so weird as to be unwatchable, but the good stuff was great.

Same could be said of every evolution of comedy - in the 80s when Ben Elton and Alexei Sayle were basically shouting "down with Thatcher", they only had some stuff that was funny, but it changed comedy for the better as it settled in. Today, League of Gentlemen or Little Britain's stuff has a lot of crap in it too, but you remember the good sketches.

about a week ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

gbjbaanb Re:Sound like... (79 comments)

Don't forget, it wasn't just ok to smoke around children - it was actually good for you.. or at least, that's what the doctors in the adverts told us

See if you can spot the cigarette advert featuring the babies in there!

As for the Disney-fied theme park, you should watch "Churchill: the Hollywood Years", where a (US marine, of course) Winston Churchill first appears with the Enigma machine that's he's single-handedly (well, with his black sidekick's assistance) captured from the Germans, but then visits London's East End which, as every American Hollywood person knows, was populated entirely with happy, singing, Irish Cockneys.

about a week ago
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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

gbjbaanb Re:Good news (232 comments)

true, but most people crave the Microsoft solution because its branded well, or its just hyped, or they're just sheep who do what their masters tell them to do.

In most cases the product is poor, and I find the poorer the solution the more vociferous some people are about adopting it. Like every Sharepoint installation, or Biztalk (that a dev team at my place bought into... and now some poor sods have to maintain the PoS that was developed using it that is costing the company a significantly large sum), or the poor sods who had to go with Silverlight just because it was by Microsoft.

In the automotive situation, going with Microsoft was more about brand awareness (or plain old corruption maybe) than any amount of due diligence into the actual better product for Ford's customers.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Dear Apple, pay tax or we'll sue you

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 3 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The EU is to decry Apple's tax arrangements with Ireland, Luxembourg and Holland tomorrow, stating that their tax deals amount to "illegal state aid". Penalties if found guilty are massive fines (probably still less than if Apple had paid the 'expected' amount of tax). It suggests an interesting way of making companies pay tax, and I imagine Google, Microsoft et al will be next if this case succeeds."
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Why Banana skins are slippery wins IgNobel

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 3 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "This year's Ig Nobel prize was won by Japanese researchers investigating why banana skins produced a frictionless surface compared to apple and orange peels.
(apparently "The polysaccharide follicular gels that give banana skins their slippery properties are also found in the membranes where our bones meet." so its not all fun and jollity)

Other prizes were awarded for noting that dogs only defecate when aligned with north-south magnetic fields, and that 'night owl' people are more likely to be psychopaths than early risers. Yes, that probably includes you."

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So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 5 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

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AMD's new gfx API Mantle offers 40% framerate improvement over OpenGL and Dx

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a year ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "AMD has a new low-level graphics API to take on OpenGL and DirectX. It works by reducing the amount of overhead involved in most graphics operations and getting closer to the metal which results in some substantial frame rate improvements, especially on CPU bound systems.

AMD have been talking about the possibility to hand over control to Khronos Group in the future and that they have a SDK scheduled later this year which will make it possible for Intel and Nvidia to start working on support for Mantel if they want to."

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Fight ash dieback disease.. on facebook

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a year ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Remember folding@home and similar massively distributed programs that tried to get enough computing power to help fightr diseases, the latest one is a little different. In the UK, Ash Dieback disease is has been imported from the continent and is killing all the native ash trees, so researchers have created a crowd-sourced game to match genetic sequences of resistant trees.

Computer systems to match thousands of sequences are difficult to do, but humans are very good at pattern matching, which is why the game was created.

And released on Facebook to reach a wide community, who can play an entertaining puzzle game without having to pay for a single f*** sheep (or leaf). About time."

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Interplanetary Internet tested on the ISS

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "At last — we have a new Internet protocol (eat your heart out IPv6) — called DTN (for disruption tolerant networking).

This "interplanetary internet" has been used by an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS) to send commands to a robot on Earth and will be used primarily for communication with distant nodes."

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Windows 7 finally overtakes XP

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Microsoft Windows 7 has finally overtaken the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system on web-based market share figures from Netmarketshare

So what does this mean for Windows 8? Another 5 years before it has as many installations as Windows 7, does that mean that writing Metrp-only apps on a OS that doesn't have critical mass will be as successful as Silverlight?"

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Nokia sells Qt to Digia

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Finnish software company Digia announced today that it is acquiring the Qt software business from Nokia. Digia plans to pick up where Nokia left off, continuing Qt development but renewing the toolkit’s focus on cross-platform support."
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Apple assisting the trade in stolen iPhones

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Need a new iDevice? Simple — first steal one, then 'accidentally' break it and take it to your nearest Apple store and present it for warranty repair, and an Apple 'genius' will hand you a brand new one, no questions asked.

So Apple could help make stolen iPhones useless to the thief by locking them, or they could be encouraging thieves who know they'll get a brand new one to sell on. More worryingly, this will invalidate your insurance:

Charlie Durrant was a victim of iPhone theft. After her handset was stolen last year she reported the theft to Apple and her insurer. However, when she requested a replacement phone, her insurer told her that one had already been issued in her name. The thief had taken advantage of Apple's lack of checks. ... "someone had just gone in and got a brand new one, making my insurance invalid.""

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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "On Wednesday, the European Commission published a strategy document aimed at setting up systems to protect children online. In the document — but not in the accompanying press release nor the citizens' summary — the Commission mentioned that it will soon propose a "pan-European framework for electronic authentication", full details will be announced on 30th May.

The launch of the strategy follows a push to strengthen internet security in the EU. It also outlined legal measures to make it easier for people to use a single e-ID for online services across borders, which would underpin a move toward a pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature (Pefias) framework."

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Amazon accused of bullying small firms, and inflat

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Online shopping giant Amazon has been accused of artificially inflating prices by banning firms that trade on its website from selling goods more cheaply elsewhere on the internet.

Amazon has ordered them to ‘maintain parity between the terms on which you offer or sell each item through Amazon’ and the amount they charge for the same product on other sites."

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Nokia sells 12 phones per second

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "no, don't worry Windows Phone hasn't taken over the world... this is the S40 "burning platform" success story.

What surprised me: To make S40 phones attractive to them, the software — and the hardware it runs on — now supports a wide range of apps, from the wildly popular Angry Birds game to instant messaging and apps to connect with social networks. Ms McDowell says that "a lot of work is being done to get such marquee apps" on to the S40 platform, to boost its attractiveness.

So why run a smartphone when a 'dumb' phone can do everything you want, including 3.7 million app downloads per day.

Last year, this low-margin business contributed about half of Nokia's profits."

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Spanish bank BBVA to use Google's cloud

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Spanish banking giant BBVA is switching its 110,000 staff to use Google's range of enterprise software.

The bank told the BBC it would use Google's tools only for internal communication, but the deal can be seen as a breakthrough in corporate adoption.

The customer and bank data will still be held on internal systems, but all communication will be via Google services, mainly driven by a need to serve the bank's increasingly mobile workers."

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Winner of Microsoft Excel World Championship

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The world of competitive computing has another winner to add the the honour-rolls. This time its UK student Rebecca Rickwood who has beatuen 78 other finalists to be crowned best user of Microsoft's spreadsheet software, Excel 2007.

Sincere congratulations to Miss Rickwood, but please — find out about boys soon."

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the Longhorn dream reborn

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers."
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New runtime for native Android apps on Windows

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system.

BlueStacks has overcome the performance barrier by building a native x86 Android runtime that doesn't have to rely on emulation. The company says that Android applications running on its stack will be highly responsive on Windows and won't suffer from the kind of lag that developers are accustomed to experiencing when using Google's emulator.

No product is availablefor download to the great unwashed, but partner Citrix showed a demo of the system at Citrix Synergy conference. An alpha of the runtime will be available for download in July."

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Skylon spaceplane passes key review

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.

Skylon is a design for a workign spaceplane that uses revolutionalry engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages.

Its estimated the cost of delivering payloads to orbit will drop from $15000 per kilo to $1000 making this the best prospect for commercialisation of orbit."

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Web standard gets EU funding

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC is reporting news of project Webinos, an initiative to provide a common platform for web applications that would sidestep current operating systems and allow devs to create web-based apps that would run anywhere — PCs, TVs, cars, mobiles.

The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach.

The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices... Companies can afford to have an app on two or at most three platforms — they're extremely costly to develop and ensure the user experience..


Makes sense for all, except companies that thrive on having their own, proprietary systems to 'differentiate' themselves from the other proprietary systems."

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ISP's top data hog gobbles 2.7TB of data in a mont

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "In a rare turn of events, a Belgian ISP has released figure for its "super users" by bandwidth usage not to demonise them, but to show how good their network and plans are! 1 User downloaded more than 2TB, 7 others hit the 1TB mark.

Its only a matter of time before there's a competition for who can clog this network up with the most traffic :)"

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