"Biologists in particular are reluctant to invest time in learning programming skills."
Of all people Biologists should know that populations that are the least adaptable are doomed....
869 posts • joined 7 Sep 2006
For a small business or individual, the cost of an operating system is negligible to start with, but the constant upgrades and subsequent loss of time as things fall over is really annoying. No wonder many have updates turned off. Dread to think what it's like for a large business.
We have one machine running Win 10 that must be kept in version sync with the only program it runs, anything else and it fails.
Printers are also susceptible - yes this is 2020 and we can't have reliable printing. Great as long as you don't mess with them, but upgrade at your peril is my mantra.
I seem to recall hearing that airline food has to be spiced up a lot to compensate for the reduced taste/smell sensation of being in a reduced pressure atmosphere. Not surprising then that consumption at sea level is a rather different experience. I wonder if they have a pressure chamber to test that on the ground? Excellent story though and glad at least some of the food is not wasted.
One possible reason is that UK companies need to be able to prove their employees have a right to live and work in the UK (new rule a few years ago). An easy way to do that is a copy of the passport etc for all applicants - ticks a lot of boxes. Keeping those details secure is another story....
"..asks the staff what they want.." has it's dangers though. If I ask 3 people their opinion I expect at least 5 answers, all conflicting.
Reminds me of an NHS project I heard about some years ago to do data entry directly for new births instead of numerous bits of paper. They used a midwife as a consultant and tester etc. Proper job. Then it went live. When a baby was whisked away by pediatrics they didn't get a weight so had to resort to paper - no option to proceed without a weight. Same if twins arrived - no option for 2nd baby. The reason was they had used a community midwife who just didn't see these things every day and nobody asked her the right questions. Ask carefully...
Like this little gem:-
"The pointing accuracy of the 10-metre long XMM-Newton is 0.25 arcsec over a 10-second interval. This is the equivalent of seeing a melon from a distance of 300 kilometres, using a handheld telescope and seeing it without the slightest wobble!"
I wonder how they are going to measure the fullness of a bin. Weight? Ultrasonic level? Light beam? Either way I expect tinkering and hacking if not outright theft of devices assuming these are to be retrofitted to existing bin fleets - how much will homeowners be charged in future when their bin grows legs and walks away? (used to be £25 each around here).
It is also going to make "bin day" a bit of a lottery - not all bins are near the road and need to be dragged thorugh gardens and ginnels. Perhaps this is only for businesses and city centres?
I hope I see a follow up article just over the horizon.
Yup - we have a machine weighing about 18 tonnes, £250k to replace running win2000 on it's local control station. Another, about £100k, runs NT on the front. The backends are PLCs (e.g. fanuc/siemens). I fully expect future generations to just reset the clocks and carry on. These sorts of machines are often sold on (2 of our old ones went overseas) for a very, very long life.
Still got 2 XP in the mix of about 20 desktop machines, one 14 years old, one 12. When they break they will be replaced. No problems but also not used for general web browsing so relatively low risk. One never changed because inertia, the other is "cold dead hands" kind of reason/person. It may well come to that.
.. when teachers would launch the blackboard rubber (eraser - a lump of wood the size of a brick) at any kid reverting to ankle biting annoyance. They usually missed but it woke us up. A rugged phone sounds like it would do the same job though.
I used to look forward to history, now it's just a memory.
Sometimes a test is done to find the weak spot and where the effort should be going. This may not have been their intention, but I bet they learnt a lot.
I've been told many times that any fool can make kit unbreakable, but if you don't break something then it was overengineered :-)
Yes the lab coat please with the copy of "Ignition!" in the pocket.
I'm conflicted. When I bought a house in the mid 80's I was treated as not worthy to own a telegraphic connection without extensive vetting, signatures and payment in advance, even though the line and phone were already installed.
But I also knew some folks who worked for the GPO/BT at the time, excellent and conscientious engineers who worked very hard and gave fantastic customer service. They were made redundant.
You're right, you can't turn back the clock.
As well as all the numerous problems mentioned above, a major aim seems to be to enable the poor downtrodden consumer (you and me) to have better internet so we can stop at home and buy more stuff easier. At the same time we need to "save the high street". Have they thought this through?
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