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UK Broadcaster Sky To Launch Mobile Service

hughbar Re:It is an attempt to lock in customers (32 comments)

Also, you're supporting the Murdoch empire, including the Sun etc. etc. As for the rest, 'quad play' and 'bundles' used to be called bundling in the computer industry and several large lawsuits [somewhat] abolished it. When everything comes from one supplier, they give you the service they want at a price that they want.

2 days ago
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Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

hughbar Re:Competition is good (276 comments)

As a bit of an eco-nazi, I don't see any of this as 'good', more 'features' every year, none of them particularly useful [do you really want to watch crappy music videos on a tiny screen, judging by my commute people do though] and more phones made/destroyed/in landfill.

Actually cell phones are a nuisance anyway, people can't walk and text or phone and text, so they bump into you. On bicycles, they risk life and limb [theirs and unhappily others] in London by using headphones [though admittedly a walkman or ipod is just as 'good' for this].

Despite what you see above, I love tech, having been in/around it for 40 years, but I really, really believe we need to step back from our current destructive and rather purposeless [except for making cash, of course] product cycles. Fat chance.

2 days ago
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User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

hughbar Re:Crusty Hardware (189 comments)

Yes, agree, but the problem also with XP is end-of-life. Shame because it was one of their best ones too!

about two weeks ago
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User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

hughbar Re:Crusty Hardware (189 comments)

This way, sanity lies too, the resource cost of manufacturing new PC is enormous: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... so doing it just to put money in the pockets of Microsoft, Apple etc. is an aberration.

I recently changed my desktop but it was about 10 years old and I've given it to a recycling company. I've been able to do that because I'm a Linux user, it would have worked for BSD etc. too.

about two weeks ago
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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

hughbar Where's the Linux phones? (241 comments)

I regard Android as an abomination, basically engineered to geo-locate us, sell us stuff, isolate us from the web, 'give' us tons of mutually incompatible insecure 'apps' all in an unnecessary thick 'sauce' of Java, the COBOL of the 1990s. See also, this rant: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/... and this: http://blog.codinghorror.com/a.... Of course, it's Google too, though, in principle, open-source, another huge reason to avoid.

So I'm waiting for Linux phones, essentially I probably trust Canonical more than I trust Google. That may make me a fool, we'll see...

about two weeks ago
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Winston Churchill's Scientists

hughbar Re:Don't forget stats & much has changed since (77 comments)

Thanks, great essay. I was lucky enough to do public school [that's a private fee-paying 'prep' school for those in the US, it has a very unhelpful name] and I got to write FORTRAN program in 1965. We ran it on a mainframe in a steel mill in a nearby town. That mill has, of course. closed now.

Secondly I and a pretty-much-genius friend built OSTEC, Oundle School Transistorised Electronic Computer, something that was pretty much just a full adder and a bit of core-store [ferrite core, they still use it in space]. It had a backplane and [fairly standardised] printed circuits that I etched with ferric chloride. I also etched a number of shirts, to the disgust of my mother.

I'm really happy that 'proper' computing seems to be coming back with Arduino, Pi and Scratch. At time of writing I've just come back from a local school where we're just starting a Code Club: https://www.codeclub.org.uk/ So I feel that things are picking up a little, people are, at least, aware that we've been neglecting science and technology for quite a while.

The worry I have left is that education should be about human potential not just about 'jobs', commerce is lobbying hard, so expensive to train people, so they prefer school to output pre-trained/compliant workers with low expectations. Go figure.

about two weeks ago
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Winston Churchill's Scientists

hughbar Re:Most Secret War (77 comments)

Thanks, I probably shouldn't have picked on that, as a chemist who also did 12 years of Latin. It's the 'only the Greats' and 'only PPE' that's the worry. We should be broad. Funnily enough, when I entered IT, there were no degrees and a lot of the better programmers were classics scholars, Latin and Greek seemed to help them with COBOL and PL/1, go figure.

about two weeks ago
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Winston Churchill's Scientists

hughbar Most Secret War (77 comments)

Although I'm old enough to have seen Churchill's funeral, I wasn't really aware of this. There's a good clue in his quote 'give them what they want' for Bletchley Park. Anyway, a good read about science and intelligence [apart from Collosus etc.] in WW2 is: http://www.hive.co.uk/book/mos...

We're coming up to an election in UK and we don't seem to have anyone much that appreciates science amongst our politicians. It's a real problem since the actual world is now full of pure science and technology. Still, we have lawyers and people that understand ancient Greek, they are always -really- useful.

about two weeks ago
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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

hughbar Re:Hope the muslims win then. (329 comments)

Cheers! Sorry about potential confusion...

about three weeks ago
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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

hughbar Re:Dear Prime Minister Cameron, (329 comments)

Yes, I think we have had slightly better though not recently. I'm thinking on the lines of 'more humane'. I had a bit of hope for him as being young, with a disabled child etc. that he might understand a bit about other people's problems. But he's an ex-SPAD [that's a 'special advisor', for those in the US] and ex-Carlton marketing person, so I shouldn't have got my hopes up. He's a prick, Milliband is feeble but also priviledged, Farage isn't a man of the people and runs a party of fruitcakes, so that leaves the Greens [of which I am, pretty much] and, of course, the Pirate Party and the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. I used to regularly vote for the Loonies in the local elections.

about three weeks ago
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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

hughbar Re:Dear Prime Minister Cameron, (329 comments)

Agree. Actually he can fuck off anyway, an awful prime-minister surrounded by greedy, idiotic cronies...

about three weeks ago
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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

hughbar Re:Hope the muslims win then. (329 comments)

Yes, I agree. My formalised version of this is 'apprenticeships' for anyone that wants to be an elected official or senior paid official, is that they have to 'train' for a a year or two in a project [US], estate [UK] of scheme [Scotland] and live on the basic umemployment amount. Most people at this level are doing their best and are often incredibly brave and motivated, two jobs, long shifts etc.

Also this would mean that people prepared to do this, probably did have serious motivation to improve society rather than just enrich themselves and do nothing. However, I'm sure, after a couple of years they'd probably find a way to pay someone to do this for them.

My 'other' plan is a hole in the school floor that opens when any pupil expresses a desire for/interest in politics. It's probably the most humane way, although a little difficult for the parents. Trouble is. that might dispose of the the Mandelas and Ghandis too.

about three weeks ago
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Google Sees Biggest Search Traffic Drop Since 2009 As Yahoo Gains Ground

hughbar Anyone else find Google 'pretty bad' anyway? (155 comments)

I use DuckDuckGo for the most part now. It's imperfect but, like many UK people, I dislike the tax-avoidance [edging on tax evasion], the hyper-intrusion and the unhealthy dominance of Google [and Amazon]. Before anyone from the US jumps on me, I would do the same for a UK [or French etc. etc.] owned organisation that displayed the same 'symptoms'.

However, when I do use Google, usually via DuckDuckGo with !g, I notice that the results seem to be less relevant each month. I know they play around constantly with the algorithms and personal profiles [hence as an anonymous Googler, I get something less than optimal] but it's just 'not very good' now. As programmer I often go straight to Stack Exchange anyway, short-circuiting the search engine bit entirely.

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

hughbar Re:What about Galactus? (300 comments)

Yes, I immediately thought of Galactus too. But the research could prove or disprove whether Galactus is a small brother or cousin of the star eater? Perhaps the star eater evolved from Galactus-like life forms because someone [a fool] irradiated it?

We would need to engineer Silver Surfer++ AKA Platinum Surfer or Very Rare Earth Surfer etc. etc.

Obviously, all that would be incredibly useful, it gets MY research money vote.

about three weeks ago
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What Isn't There an App For?

hughbar Re:Anyone else hate 'apps'? (421 comments)

I presume this is a shill? There's so many things wrong with this, '100% better', 'more secure' than I don't know where to start. Actually, since Amazon has decided that paying taxes is optional in the UK, I don't buy buy from them anyway.

about a month ago
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Snowden Documents Show How Well NSA Codebreakers Can Pry

hughbar Re:Do users really care? (278 comments)

Oh exactly. I don't use Facebook, mind you I'm a geek, an only child, quite old and I can do without a lot of superficial non-communication. I talk to my friends and have dinner with them, once or twice a week in meatspace. There's probably a camera in my curry, isn't there? Just a joke.

about a month ago
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

hughbar It's an election year in the UK in 2015 (294 comments)

Enough said. I nearly made the 'l' an 'r' but I must think of the children, as Dave Camoron the suppository salesman has said.

about a month ago
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At 40, a person is ...

hughbar Bah! Youngsters (286 comments)

I'm 64, still running and still coding. I demoted myself from 'consultancy' back to code about 10 years ago. I take care of myself, but it's not obsessive, besides like many runners, I like to run. I don't have a car and walk or cycle nearly everywhere, as in the 1960s when I was young. 40, given current expectations of longevity etc. is a young person nowadays. But I believe that attitude. lifestyle and personal expectation play a large part in ageing where there's no actual dysfunction.

about a month and a half ago
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

hughbar Re:Springtime on Titan (82 comments)

Yes, sorry, over enthusiastic about the whole concept and I should have checked! Thanks!

about a month and a half ago
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

hughbar Springtime on Titan (82 comments)

Autumn for Pluto and Uranus.

Sorry, even at 64 years old, I couldn't resist that.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Starting on intermediate maths?

hughbar hughbar writes  |  about 10 months ago

hughbar (579555) writes "I haven't done any 'real' maths since university about 40 years ago. I wasn't useless, but not that great either, I had to do some elementary quantum mechanics and the kind of arithmetic that an empirical scientist always needs.

I'd like to start on a little more, but every entry in Wikipedia seems to lead to another entry. Can't find the end of this piece of string. Should I specialise? Is there a book or course that covers university entry and first year maths for non-mathematicians [for example, people switching major subject]? Any ideas on this welcome, I'm ready to start but just don't know where to start."
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Events Calendar for Local Community

hughbar hughbar writes  |  1 year,9 days

hughbar (579555) writes "I live in a London suburb that has many activities and classes, yoga, IT [of course], running, art, assorted volunteering and many others. With the help of the local council, we'd now like to make a centralised, searchable database of these, with a number of helpful features:
  • Easy to make submissions, otherwise the whole thing will always be out of date
  • Web accessible [obviously] but mobile phone friendly as well
  • Maybe, publish and subscribe, so people can 'subscribe' to yoga listings for example
  • Handles repeating events, like a classical web calendar
  • Maybe, can be consolidate with nearby events calendars

I'm aware of http://mrbs.sourceforge.net/ and webcalendar: http://www.k5n.us/webcalendar.... for example. But I'm wondering whether there are other suggestions, especially as this is a useful social application. And, yes, I'd like it done with open source, then we can tailor it."

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hughbar hughbar writes  |  more than 8 years ago

hughbar writes "The BBC is carrying this article [url:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6057734.stm] suggesting that the human race will split into an overclass and an underclass in 100,000 years time. Anyone else see evidence of this now?!"

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