* Posts by Prof Yaffle

18 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Jul 2010

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding

Prof Yaffle

Re: Putting lipstick on a pig.

"Polishing a turd" on this side of the water.

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh

Prof Yaffle

Maybe you'd be on more firm ground if your command of English were better, but perhaps your concept of a "dead language" needs to be revised. Languages are as much about culture, world view, texture and thought processes as they are communication: speak another language and you realise that other people simply don't think the way you do, have different ways of seeing everything from colours to the weather, categorise emotions differently.

You should consider that before you presume your world view is in any way superior to your neighbours'.

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

Prof Yaffle

Beware of False Profits

You can only tax profits if they're reported, though. The problem isn't inherently the double-Dutch-Irish-malarkey, it's companies using that to shift profits to a lower-tax jurisdiction. Inside or outside of the EU, who's to say what's a fair level of payment to corporate HQ for use of the logo, or for ingredients, or as a contribution to the global advertising budget? All these (and others) can easily be used to shift gross profit out as overhead, thus reducing the level of operating profit that remains.

KCOM-owned Eclipse FAILS to cover up the password 'password'

Prof Yaffle

It's Marginally Worse...

... the guys on the helpdesk can also see this in all its glory, and use it as part of the authentication process when you call them. So there's effectively no security at all given how widely-visible this must be.

Have Brits fallen for Netflix, or do they still LoveFilm?

Prof Yaffle

XBMC Binary Addons

I've got Lovefilm, but use it for the discs, not the streaming - I'm not buying a new TV just to support the IPTV service du jour, it's bad enough keeping up with DVB-T/S2 and MHEG standards making my tuners obsolete (my current TV lasted 8 months before The Space and superseded it...). And don't get me started on Lovefilm's support for their own tablet (Kindle Fire HD) but not anything else Android-ey, and that's before I ask whether I want to dangle my 'phone out of side of the television.

No, the answer to Linux/Silverlight/everything streaming to me is to embrace XBMC's new binary add-ons. Netflix, Lovefilm, the Beeb and everyone else can write closed-source addons, including whatever advertising, geolocks, DRM or authentication they need, and provide them to work seamlessly with the rest of XBMC. I can then have the YouView experience but without a(nother) soon-to-be-obsolete box cluttering up the lounge.

Other fine media suites are available and may have similar qualities, before I get battered with Plex, WMC or other brickbats.

Apple granted patent for ebook page-turning

Prof Yaffle


Haven't I seen this many times before? In every "once upon a time" Disney sequence, for example?

Just thump "animated page turn" into Google and find several million examples of prior art.

Very strange.

Cockatoo grabs his tool, manages to get hold of boffins' nuts

Prof Yaffle

I note that the diagram says "Manufacture of T10"...

... "the parrot begins to learn at a geometric rate. It became self-aware at 2:14 Eastern Time, August 29th" ...

Run now, before we're all enslaved in the harvesting of cuttlefish bones.

Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Prof Yaffle
Thumb Up

Go For It

It never ceases to amaze me when Radio 4 goes blathering on about ounces, inches, Farenheit, bushels, grains or similarly archaic measures. I'm 44 - firmly on the edges of "middle aged fogeyism" - and was brought up with SI right here on these shores, and have never really used anything else beyond the colloqualisms of "it's a few inches", "that's a few feet". Reach for a tape measure, though, and it's metric all the way. And don't get me started on road signs in yards, or my sat nav telling me to turn left in 200 feet... wot?

And yes, I weight myself in kilos as well, before you ask. But I recognise that this is a little unusual!

Verizon slips $3.6bn shiv into AT&T, T-Mobile ribs

Prof Yaffle

Unless they're issuing one per customer (complete with clumsy backhaul to drag around with you, although coverage would be fabulous), I suspect this is the new management speak for "people".

Greens threaten to sue over solar power cash slash

Prof Yaffle

Does it *Really* Cost in?

Not convinced by this myself, anyway. People throw around (as in the USwitch graphic) this 8% return annually, conveniently forgetting that you can't realistically get your capital back out, and there's no real evidence of the added value or not you get when selling the property. Worst case, you write off the panels completely, in which case the whole life return is nearer 4% p.a. (i.e. it take you the first 12 years or so just to get your initial outlay back).

Compare that to taking 12k and stuffing it in a high-yield account, tax-free if you can swing it - you'll comfortably beat 4% average over 25 years, and the interest would compound to boot - as well as all the cash being on hand if you need it back. And if you need a loan for that initial outlay... oh, dear...

So yes, you get a few quid of free electricity when you don't need it (I want solar to generate power on a winter's evening, not mid-day in July), and you get the smug factor, but really...?

I'm a closet tree-hugger, but not enough to spend this much to get effectively nowt back beyond a damaging social distortion. We'd be better off funding someone further south to generate power - maybe there's a new business opportunity for Greece?

Best Buy to shutter all UK megastores

Prof Yaffle

Not Just Dixons...

... you have to remember that the core black/white goods market is everywhere now. So, web stores like Amazon and Lasky's aside, Tesco sells this stuff, Sainsbury's does, every DIY multiple sells some of it, Aldi and Lidl even have a go on a random basis.

I wanted a DL DVD on the weekend, and went to Tesco first. Mind you, they didn't have any, and Curry's terrified me with a price tag of 23 quid for ten, so I went without... for that premium, I can wait a few days for Amazon to get something in the post, so I have to presume that DSG is pretty much for emergency purchases only.

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Prof Yaffle


Apple = Steve, Steve = Apple (well, plus the odd lawyer or several thousand, as Samsung might have recently noticed).

Let's see what the market makes of The Man stepping back - let alone what the company does, last time it didn't do so well IIRC...

Hardware-happy HP has swallowed a Sun death pill

Prof Yaffle

Whither EDS... or wither EDS??

So where does EDS fit into this now - far more bloodware than software given the people-intensive nature of customised outsourcing. Is that the sort of "services business" Apotheker wants, or are they also back on the M&A rollercoaster, I wonder...

MS bashes BlackBerry in tablet fight

Prof Yaffle


I had an iPad (sold quickly - hated the thing, far too limited in CODECs, for example), I have an Android tablet and I have a PlayBook. And yes, I even paid for at least one of those.

The PlayBook is a great bit of kit - nice size, swift, great UI (I really like the from-bezel swiping and the lack of a home screen). But the application selection is truly, truly dire - I don't know about waiting for the "run Android apps" engine, but I'd be better off getting out my old Palm III for application support. And the lack of native email is just rubbish... "take two smart devices into the shower? Er, yes, because they're symbiotically joined at the hip". Even then, when you're bridged to a Blackberry, you don't have full functionality - try creating a new appointment and mark it "private", for example.

To me, they've got one shot at a firmware upgrade to make the difference (perhaps linked to the upcoming cellular version), and after that... well, as a device to kick around the kitchen and quickly browse the web, it's great; as a toy to hand the kids to play flash-based games, it works marvellously. But not at that price, though, I'm afraid.

Nokia gets touchy-feely with two new Symbians

Prof Yaffle


... didn't they used to make mobile phones? I know I recognise the name from somewhere...

Samsung Galaxy S

Prof Yaffle


Ah, but no-one seems to have mentioned the killer feature for some - rSAP support (or rumours thereof, anyway). At last, an Android handset that pairs properly with most decent built-in car kits. Apparently.

Cable lays plan for graduate tax

Prof Yaffle


So how come it's fair to pay a fortune for my arty-farty degree because I then started my own successful business versus what the guy over there paid for his expensive law degree when he then decided to spend his career in the voluntary sector? Or the biochemistry graduate who bailed out and moved to California and thus pays no UK tax at all? Or that anyone taking a career break for whatever reason - VSO, having children, working abroad for a period - inherently pays less than those who stay plugging away?

There needs to be an element of minimum/maximum even if there's a large variable element. Or is it simply that earning more means you should always pay more - and why not charge 40% taxpayers more for bread and petrol as well just because they "have the money"?


Exciting company seeks Linux engineer

Prof Yaffle

Job Spec

No, the bonus is entirely appropriate, given that they're looking for someone to participate in "troubleshooting the client's hosting environment, network, IP traffic and sewers".

Severn Trent IT is based in Coventry, I thought... maybe they've moved...