* Posts by Sam C

17 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jul 2008

Hitler kicked off iPhone

Sam C
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One of my favourites


Beeb tech boss seeks to expand TV licence online

Sam C

New invention: The Interweb!

I wonder if some of the people posting comments have heard of this thing called the Interweb. It's client/server so you can track who's using it (as opposed to broadcast where you can't, at least not easily).

This could lead to a fairer system for everyone, as you might only have to pay for what you watch. And, as others have pointed out, could open it up to international markets. The current system requires you to pay if you have a TV, even if you don't watch any broadcast channels subsidised by the license fee. You wouldn't have to charge people just because they had a broadband connection.

Of course you can be cynical and say they'll screw us for everything they can... but they haven't even suggested anything yet, why not give them a chance?

Sacha Baron Cohen scars Paula Abdul for life

Sam C

@Kevin Gurney

True, but that doesn't mean there aren't some setups in his movies. Couldn't comment on this one without having seen it, but the Pamela Anderson bit in Borat was obviously a setup. Most of those legal cases are from the general public rather than celebs / actors as well.

Swiss woman rolled over Facebook

Sam C

Re: Wot a w*nker

Well done, anonycow, you've bought capitalist doctrine hook, line and sinker.... our lives are meaningless without work! All praise the Company!

Tory terror police were 'fishing' for Liberty

Sam C

An example of why we need to fight draconian laws

The whole "if you're innocent, you've nothing to worry about" argument doesn't take into account police incompetence (or is it malice?). The more power we give to the police, the more chance we'll end up with wrongful detentions / convictions, either because they have prejudice against groups like Liberty (an entirely legitimate and relatively moderate organisation), or because they don't like you for whatever reason.

I think the G20 fiasco shows just how much we can trust the police as an organisation.

Dragons' Den winner infringed own patent, IPO rules

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10 years is long enough

Regardless of whether it infringes on the patent, 10 years is long enough to make money on an invention like this, especially with something this trivial. If someone is disincentivised from inventing something because they won't have IP protection after 10 years, then we're better off without their work.

Short patent periods are surely good for the economy, as it forces people to make use of their invention quickly. And after it's expired, it's not like you go out of business - you just lose your monopoly. Long patent periods stifle innovation by preventing improvement of existing products, which is exactly what's happened here.

BBC: Top Gear Tesla didn't run out of juice

Sam C


From memory, they pretty much stated the Tesla ran out of juice well before it was supposed to. I think there are probably pretty good grounds for a formal complaint.

Maybe they do that for every car, in which case they need some sort of disclaimer on the show saying something like "All results are for entertainment purposes only, and are purely fictional".

Not that that would stop the Clarkson fanbois treating everything that comes out of his mouth as the absolute truth.

Larry Wall on the Zen of Perl 6

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Stunning write-up!

My god, it's plain to see the days - if not weeks! - of research that went into this piece. Seriously, is El Reg just trolling, or do you hire your writers directly from the Digg userbase?

Climate Bill scores a fail in economics

Sam C

Surely a cap is much more effective

I don't see the difference between politicians setting the cap too high, or raising the tax too high. If you don't trust them to do one, surely you can't trust them to do the other.

However, there is one difference between the two: science can calculate with some degree of accuracy the actual amount of carbon we can safely emit. But putting a cost on that is a much more difficult process. In fact, the usual way economists deal with that is to leave it up to the market. If I *really* need to emit x tonnes of CO2, then I'll have to pay the price based on supply and demand for that percentage of the pie.

I think the problem isn't so much about not bearing the cost of our actions, but of the market not acknowleding this is a basically a scarce resource. Putting a cap on that, allocating x tonnes to companies, and x tonnes to individuals (or households), and letting anyone sell of their excess is surely both the most economically *and* environmentally sound approach.

Satanic net neologisms - nominations invited

Sam C

Webinar FTW!

And while we're at it, how about "FTW"!?!

I use "automagically", but it's always ironic... e.g. so we'll wait for the "automagic" parsing and distribution process to kick in (i.e. the process is complex, and possibly still yet to be written... but it's the sort of thing business people might just assume should happen by itself). Used in kind of a similar tone as "Interweb"

Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Sam C

15 minutes to boot can happen

.. on Corporate networks at least. e.g. try booting up with McAfee On Load Scan enabled. Windows might start, but to fire up any app takes eons. Not to mention slow networks, broken login processes, bloated CorpWare, and a lack of Admin privileges to tweak anything.

The people who setup these networks tend to be poorly paid (since it's deemed a fairly trivial part of the IT dept), and often at the more incompetent end of the IT professional scale. Even if they were paid a lot, not many true geeks are gonna want to spend their times tuning Windows Desktop installs. Still, I'm sure a lot of companies could save a fortune just by improving this. Management is usually far too short-sighted of course.

'Series of Tubes' Senator convicted of corruption

Sam C

It's not a bad analogy

If he's said "It's *like* a series of tubes", it might not have sounded so stupid. I'm sure that's what he was told to say anyway, but he muffed it.

But at any rate, this guy is clearly a crook, so he gets what he deserves. Altho the only difference between him and just about every other politician is he got caught.

Agile development - can’t scale, won’t scale?

Sam C

It can work

I'm currently working on an Agile project for a well known company with probably about 30-40 people involved directly (i.e. developers, testers, BAs, project managers, product owners, etc). There were a lot of problems getting everything into place, and things aren't perfect, but it does run pretty smoothly now.

I'm not sure how this project could have been done without an iterative approach (we're using 2 weeks), as the business is constantly changing and refining what they want, and the techies are gaining a deeper understanding of the technical issues, including dependencies between some complex systems, not all of which can be changed.

The thing is, Agile can actually make it *easier* to work with bigger teams, because it helps you break things down into rational chunks. Altho admittedly getting to that point can be painful.

I think companies in certain industries who've decided not to go for Agile because of the short term pain of putting it in place might live to regret it in the long run.

Met Office: Global warming sceptics 'have heads in sand'

Sam C

@ dervheld

Interesting argument. I assume then that since there are large amounts of scientists (and no doubt other professionals) employed to do genetics research and the like, you don't believe in Evolution since their jobs depend on it? As with any Scientific theory, it's also "unproven".

US made to wait for Quantum of Solace

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Outdated business practices?

Hmm.... aren't they just driving the yanks to piracy? Sooner or later, they'll realise they should be releasing a movie at the same time across the world, including the DVD and downloads (non-DRMed of course).

Reminds me of the movie exec who was complaining about people using txt messages to tell their mates not to bother go see a movie because it's rubbish. In the past, people would apparently just have to find out it's crap themselves, netting the movie makers a tidy sum. Of course, the simple solution to that problem (other than banning txt messaging) is to just make good movies....

Mozilla insists Firefox 3.1 won't hit bum note for developers

Sam C

It's a pretty long-standing convention

Major version number changes mean backwards compatibilty is (likely) broken.

Minor version numbers are backwards compatible.

Just because a lot of marketing departments have ignored this in recent years in the name of version inflation, doesn't mean it's no longer used by technical minded people.

Fasthosts brings down Edugeek - and leaves it there

Sam C
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I switched from Fasthosts (after they overbilled me and refused to refund it) to these guys and couldn't be happier. Reasonably priced, and excellent support.