Made from old baked bean cans.
Probably built it in re-purposed old Moskvitch and Lada factories, which could explain everything!
611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
Little point in offering high bit-rate audio on the internet as, these days, there is an incredible amount of compression, processing and butchering applied at source. Can't recreate what's been taken away. Most CD's and radio (both FM and DAB) sound absolutely foul, as there is very little in the way of proper dynamics left after being pumped through such monstrosities such as "Optimod" and the like. It's only too obvious when fed into an audio editor like Audacity. It almost flatlines! Not a scrap of life left in the music, any semblance of a decent dynamic range having been completely wrung out to dry. Fit only for background music! Every production is now trying to sound louder than anybody else's, with the result that EVERYTHING now sounds awful. Decent sound quality now seems to be a thing of the past.
Sounds like some sort of "witticism" that went awry. Not the sort of comment or "joke" that should be made in these troubled times. Tasteless, if that was the intention, bearing in mind the virus can be fatal. Not totally sure it warranted an out-and-out firing though. Some sort of admonishment or downgrading maybe.
I can see this being a bit of a joke. How do they "regulate" social media that's not based in this country, not to mention millions of websites? They don't do a lot about anything, anyway, other than slap TV stations' wrists every now and again for inappropriate content after the watershed - or something like that!
DAB was in a VW car I borrowed whilst mine was being serviced recently. Bearing in mind that I hardly ever listen to the dross most radio stations put out these days, when I tried it, out of interest, it seemed to work well enough for car quality but also bear in mind that Bluebell Hill transmitter (puts out local TV as well - why they didn't use Wrotham is probably another story) is only just up the road from me, so nice strong signal. They all "burble" if the signal drops. Haven't got my early Technics DAB tuner up and running indoors after a house move, simply for the aforementioned dross reason and the fact that (I've probably mentioned this elsewhere - many times) when I first had it, there was no doubt it was superior. Noise floor so low, it was practically non-existent, decent dynamic range, etc; because, presumably, a half-decent bit-rate was used but, as time wore on, withe more and more stations shoe-horned in with ever-decreasing bit-rates, PLUS the dreaded Optimod processing seemingly being screwed up several notches, sound quality now is absolute rubbish. Might just as well be FM, for all the butchering that goes on before it actually hits the ether. (Younger readers please look it up!)
I would hope that all the companies approached would tell the joint signatories to poke the letter where the sun doesn't shine. I am getting sick and tired of hearing about "lawful access" (especially from that twit, Barr!) to get past encryption - as if there's a way of doing this without the bad guys also getting in, as they will, sure as the sun rises every day! Betcha they are rubbing their collective sticky little hands together as I speak. What a glorious prospect to get hold of bank details, personal information and goodness' knows what else. I despair.
I needed a rare appointment with my doctor (and still do) for mystery leg and knee pains. Went to patient access website for appointment - says my practice is unavailable. Great. Phoned and was put on hold for 20 minutes, with foul music. Hung up. Tried again later: "We are experiencing a very high call rate at the moment", said robot. "We know you are waiting and you will be answered shortly". That "shortly" turned out to be 25 minutes. "Oh. we're not getting many appointments from the website these days", said the live female human receptionist. Hmm. Pointed out that it might be something to do with it coming up as "practice unavailable". "So how do I get an appointment at present?". "If you want one the same day, you have to ring at 0800 and we have appointments we can release". Once again, I pointed out that if I rang at 0800, and had to wait on hold for someone to answer for the best part of twenty five minutes, then that would probably negate the theory and I guess any same-day appointments would be all gone. "Well, we ARE rather short-staffed", was the excuse. Doh! It's almost as it the whole thing is actually engineered to keep those pesky patients away, as they're really a bit of a nuisance to the smooth running of the practice.
Who does Ken Marsh think he's kidding? I would NOT be happy about being stopped myself. What if I was a businessman rushing for an appointment and their faulty tech. made me late? Or someone who had been taken ill, on the way to a doctor? How's about that, yer' honour? And just how long would it take to ascertain that I was just a totally innocent passer-by with maybe some vague resemblance to a known villain? What procedure will police use to clear people in the shortest possible time? I can see some suing taking place here for wrongful arrests. It's dangerous technology. This needs more thinking, methinks.........and THEN ban it, forthwith!
Is what she was. I always wanted to throw something at the TV screen when she appeared. Strangely enough, Trump has the same effect, She had a thing about nationalised industries. Post Office Telephones (as was, and who I used to work for as an engineer) was actually originally a government department and was running quite happily until Maggie got her sticky hands on it, got it changed to British Telecom, sold it off to all and sundry and it went down the pan from thereon in. Likewise other industries. Gas comes to mind. She was a disaster.
Possibly! It's a start, I suppose, if yet another invention of the devil can be stopped at source. There are a more than a few rumblings in the UK about the London Metropolitan Police "trialling" facial recognition and, presumably sweeping up perfectly innocent people in their database, despite denials. (If you're doing nothing wrong.........etc). Don't know who supplies THEIR kit. Be interesting to find out. Wonder if a FOI request would work?
I sent a standard mail to our UK police authorities, protesting about the facial recognition trials in the UK and got this boiler-plate back:
Thank you for your e-mail to the Commissioner’s Private Office.
A total of ten deployments have been carried out across London as part of the Met's trial of Live Facial Recognition technology.
During each deployment, the technology was used overtly with a clear uniformed presence. Information leaflets were distributed to the public and posters with information about the technology were displayed in the area.
Throughout the ten deployments, a total of eight arrests were made as a direct result of the flagging system.
While those who declined to be scanned were not necessarily viewed as suspicious, officers used their judgement to identify any potential suspicious behaviour.
The Met continues to engage with many different stakeholders, some of who actively challenge our use of this technology. In order to show transparency and continue constructive debate, individuals and groups with varying views were invited to each deployment.
The technology tested during the trial is developing all the time and has the potential to be invaluable to day-to-day policing. Tackling violent crime is a key priority for the Met and we are determined to use all emerging technology available to support standard policing activity and help protect our communities.
A full independent evaluation of the deployments and the technology itself is ongoing and expected to conclude in April. We will use the findings to help inform how the Met uses the technology in the future and will publish the findings at the earliest possibility.
We believe facial recognition can be an extremely valuable tool to keep London and its citizens safe, alongside other tactical methods we deploy. The public will rightly expect our use of this technology to be rigorously scrutinised and used lawfully. During the Met’s trial phase we have made use of existing legislation however there is currently no specific legal framework in the use of this technology and we are therefore keen to ensure that the appropriate legal and ethical frameworks are put in place to support its use.
Existing legislation which supports the Met’s use of facial recognition technology, has been published on the force’s website. This provides information about why the Met is trialling the technology, where and when it has been used and how we will engage with Londoners during the deployments. More information can be found here: https://www.met.police.uk/live-facial-recognition-trial/
Potential of a smart phone? No earthly good if the information is not there to start with. I was there today, dropping off passengers, then attempting to pick up others. Website arrivals flight information was sketchy, with some flights missing or no information against the flight numbers (so no use for one's shiny smart phone there!). Gatwick's auto. phone information system just went dead the second I entered the flight number (so no use for one's shiny smart phone there!). I had no idea of the status of my incoming passengers' flight and felt that Gatwick's main number would probably be inundated, so I didn't bother trying that (so no use for one's shiny smart phone there!). Arrivals concourse info. screens were also all over the place, with my flight number also not showing on there at all. My passengers also said that the baggage reclaim section was also not working. The main complaint I have is that there was no information whatsoever in arrivals that there was a problem - not even any public address announcements and certainly no whiteboards. There were lots of baffled-looking folk with furrowed brows looking at useless screens, obviously wondering what the devil was going on. In fact, as far as I could see, the only information that something was amiss was a rider on the flight information website saying that information screens were not working properly. A bit more communication (in more ways than one!) wouldn't have gone far amiss.
DAB was the most appalling bit of skull-duggery foisted onto the unsuspecting British public in many a year. CD quality? Just who are they kidding? I was an early adopter with a Technics tuner and it all sounded fine initially, but quality has slowly gone down the pan, mainly due, I presume, to the ever-decreasing bit-rates, not to mention the ever-present audio butchering caused by compression and/or processing. Sounds like the dreaded Optimod is still in there somewhere. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in the mists of time that the original DAB spec. might have included user-adjustable compression. Anyone else got that in the memory banks? If so, it never happened - obviously. ANYTHING might be better than the absolutely appalling sound quality from FM these days. I hardly ever listen to radio, as I find it pretty painful on the ears. Even internet and satellite radio seem to use excessive amounts of compression. All the stations are desperately trying to sound more punchier than the others, with the result that they ALL sound as grotty as hell. Flat as the proverbial pancake. No dynamics - flat-lining. Why the Radio Authority (as was) ever allowed this to happen is beyond me. I have reel-to-reel recordings off FM from many years ago (bearing in mind the upper audio limit is about 15 khz. and they sound brilliant. Today's transmissions are a travesty.
Self-driving cars seem to be being touted as the be-all and end-all for the future. In which case, surely the beast should have had enough electronic know-how to realise what was happening and either brake or avoid? Isn't this the very thing that is supposed to be their salient feature? Safer than a human driver I have seen quoted. Doesn't appear to be so in this case. I reckon they have many years to go before they can be trusted (if at all) and, speaking personally, I don't think I would EVER feel at ease in one.
Blowed if I would give any age verification to some anonymous purveyor of smut! Having said that, this UK government seems intent on having as much control over the internet as the mad Chinese, with their daft encryption back-door ideas (pinched from the Yanks, I'll be bound) and the nanny attitude to this sort of material in this day and age is appalling. Good parenting is the answer to keep children away from it and I thoroughly resent being told what I can and cannot watch in the privacy of my own home, especially if it does not affect anybody else. The sooner the lovely Theresa, Amber, et al, realise that they are elected to serve the people and are NOT there for their own agendas, the better.
There's always one isn't there? I have to say that smacks a little troll-ish. The man was just standing up for his rights. If it is not illegal to photograph in a public place, why should he be required to identify himself - especially as the original inquisitor (it appears) was not actually a police officer? I thought this harassing photographers under false pretences malarkey had died a death with better education in the force. I well remember a case from a few years back near me where someone was also arrested in Chatham under the pretence of the anti-terrorism act for taking innocuous pictures of shops and some demolition work. The original jobs-worth who wanted ID (which was refused - and quite rightly so) was, I believe, not a police officer but a jumped-up council official with no ID himself, who then called the police. The photographer was eventually "de-arrested" but not after having been thrown into the back of a police van. I myself had some aggravation from some army types, milling around a road accident that I was photographing. I was told in no uncertain terms (in front of witnesses) that if I had included any of them in the pictures, they would confiscate both camera and film. I stood my ground and stated the law, also inferring that I would sue the pants off them if they tried it, and the person concerned backed off. Unenlightened security guards are also quite often belligerent with a lack of knowledge of the law and there are numerous stories about them trying to stop photography in a public place with a heavy hand.
The company I drive for in the UK has had the automatic text notification on its system for some time. Separate text messages for booked, despatched, arrived, complete with car make/model and its registration number (licence plate for our colonial comrades!). Also gives the driver's first name, all of which probably gives comfort to female passengers especially, to confirm that they are getting in the correct vehicle. Bear in mind that we "proper" drivers are subject to all the vigorous checks by the local authorities (and pay heavily for the privilege!) that these Uber clowns seem to be able to opt out of, for whatever reason. Car sharing they say. Twaddle. Of COURSE it's a taxi service. It's about time some firm action was taken to level the playing field, as far as these upstarts are concerned.
Reminds me slightly of insurance companies. Make too many, high-value claims and they either refuse to insure you or raise the premium to such extortionate levels that the poor old customer can't actually afford it. All works well for the company all the while they're taking your money but if they have to pay out, it's a different story. So-called "unlimited" data deals were always too good to be true. ISP's don't like customers actually using the service as advertised. Throwing people off seems very underhand to me, if they are merely taking up what the ISP offers. A deal's a deal in my book and this does smack of welching but I guess there may be something hidden in terms and conditions that cover this.
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