* Posts by Rufusstan

17 posts • joined 6 Jan 2013

Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media


Re: Shocker

As far as education goes, I've seen schools go for the bottom line of no social media (or else...), or at least any identifiable accounts, which sorts of defeats the point to a large degree.

There are several professions in the public sector when you are effectively never off duty, and it makes sense to act accordingly.

UK.gov recruiting 400 crack CompSci experts to go into teaching


Re: There is no quick fix!

Sadly, as I used to love the guy (and scarily had forgotten who you meant until I saw the old images), what he did wasn't even close to teaching (oh that it was).

Try doing what he did without BBC budgets, with an audience that is: not self-selecting, standing right in front of him, and made up of hormonal teenagers.

Pile on the certainty that the audience will ask awkward questions, with at least one guaranteed to being something you had not planned for (or that no one really knows the answer to). Finally, take away the option of a take 2 if anything gets buggered up, and then you are close to teaching.


Re: @Ben Norris

It is hard to discuss this sort of thing when the usual misconceptions about teaching get trotted out. It is strange that people believe that you finish a 'teaching' degree and then just get dumped in front of students. - Its like saying someone finishes a medical degree, then immediately becomes your GP.

Most secondary teachers (especially maths/science types) get a good degree in their subject first, then spend 2 years training before they are fully qualified. Even then roughly half of teachers don't survive the first 5 years -- Its a profession where you only find out if it is for you after doing it for the first year or two.

Everyone has good and bad experiences with teachers. A lot of the bad experiences come from either: teachers in the situation above who get through the training, but are learning that it isn't for them after all. Others for some (often logistic) reasons are stuck teaching outside their specialism/comfort zone, or the school cannot get a teacher of the quality they'd like, because often they are hard to find.

That said, as I see it, the scheme has no chance of succeeding, especially in the short term. Why?

Firstly (and as usual with the government), everything is set up backwards. They build a new curriculum, put a deadline in place to enact it, and only then begin to set up the infrastructure and training to make it work.

Secondly, after the grand ideas, it is all done on the cheap. Assuming they find their 400 masters, they will be spread extremely thinly. Even ignoring the primary sector, each will have about 10 secondary schools each to work with. If its a compulsory subject, they will need multiple staff to cover the load, so each master could be dealing with 30+ trainees.

From there the options are to: retrain qualified teachers to work in a new area -- assuming you can find teachers who can or want to do that. That is quicker and easier (and presumably the preferred, cheaper option), but means non-specialists doing most of the teaching; which is never good.

Alternatively, you take IT professionals and retrain them as teachers, they could well progress quicker than fresh graduates, but still has to be at least 1-2 years before they would reach a level of competence capable of delivering the subject.

This is all meant to go live in 8 months.

Who’s Who: a Reg quest to find the BEST DOCTOR


all of the above

As many others, its who you grew up with. While I caught the end of Pertwee's era, Tom Baker was always My Doctor,

The 5th-7th Doctors fell short because I was too young to understand the need to change. In hindsight I underrated Davison because of it. Colin Baker and McCoy were in the series as people were trying to kill it and neither was given enough time -- Although sadly, the 7th Doctor was just getting interesting when they pulled the plug.

Its hard to to compare the B+W Doctors and the 3 (so far) reboot regenerations as I have only seen them as an adult. They all stand out in some way, but I think Patrick Troughton leads the pack slightly.

By the way, thinking back to the 70s stories, could you imagine pitching Genesis of the Daleks today?

OK, this 6 part Saturday family show, The main themes are: Racism and Genocide, Nuclear war, Bio-Engineering, Torture and has lots of morally gray decisions. It has a race of Psychotic aliens and an villain that seems to be a mix of Hitler and Dr Strangelove. -- The kids will love it :)

Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates



That is the exact point as I see it.

There has been 10? 20? More? Years of ever more Draconian DRM introduced over a number of media and the long term effect has been to impact on the legitimate purchasers (price, accessibility, sometimes function), without stopping those who wish to watch/listen/play/read for free.

Any DRM will either be broken or bypassed is there is enough interest, whichever route gets the pirates to their goal fastest. In this case if the DRM cannot be broken, then as an example, its more money for those dealing in Identity theft.


Re: To be honest

The only issue with the argument of using a 20ft screen (assuming that you've got somewhere to place it) is that the optimum viewing distance is somewhere between 25ft and 50ft away.

That basically IS a cinema; I've certainly been in smaller ones over the years.

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia


1, 3, 5, 106; who cares.

When a few years back it seemed likely no more lost episodes were out there to be found, even finding clips drew a lot of interest.

Just finding 2 episodes in 2011 caused a major reaction.

As someone who saw from Pertwee on at the time (from behind the sofa of course), any lost episodes they find are something I've not seen or had ever expected to see. From that perspective, how many is less important.

That's not to say I'd complain at them finding a lot, there are stories I'd give my right wossname to see.

Thanks, NSA: Amazon sales of Orwell's 1984 rise 9,500%

Big Brother

A Clockwork Orange Is a weird fit to this, because it is more about the state scrambling to find a way of dealing with an element of society ('the kids') that is totally out of its control. That said, there are plenty of signs of it throughout most youth culture (the fact that the phrase itself is used is a good starting point). Luckily, a bit of the old Ultraviolence is still pretty rare.

The really sad bit is that the discussion is all about which dystopian future we are resembling. (rather than are we or not?)

The only upside is it reminds me just how long its been since I read any of them, so I might be adding to Amazon's 9500%

Microsoft announces $499 price tag, new games for Xbox One


Re: Comparing like with like

They have not come out and said upfront that it is going to happen, but are talking about some kind of streaming/emulation -- through Gaikai (which they just happen to own now). Wont be until next year at least, or how it works in practice.....The whole do I use games I already own for free or have to rebuy? hasn't been mentioned yet.

Chewbacca held up by TSA stormtroopers for having light sabre


Perspective goes both ways.

I can see the need to stop major threats and he was only held up for 10 minutes or so, but I thought it was something huge. It just seems to be scaled up for a 7 footer. -- I'd post a link to a pic, seems not trusted enough yet, easy to find anyway

Personally, I just think the TSA guys just wanted an excuse to have a look; it is pretty impressive.

By the way, have to love the dangerous threat stuff. He is 7 foot 3 and all, but also is almost 70.

Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits


its the face not the person.

They could use anyone they wanted as the next doctor, no matter whatever the actor's previous history in the series. The precedent in series lore is a bit sketchy but is there.

Back in the 60s, they wanted Lala Ward to take over Romana, even though she had a major part in the previous series. She regenerates, and despite everything that has happened before or since, basically chose her new appearance.

That suggests that the Doctor could do the same if the writers wanted him to, they'd just need to provide an in-universe reason for him to do it, since up to now, as is his personality, he tends to 'wing it'.

PC market facing worst-ever slump in 2013



There are factors like windows 8, and the: 'all the cool kids are using tablets' effect, but in the end if people are not buying PCs it is down to: 'why should I?'

At the low end, so many tasks that were traditionally PC only can be carried out on other devices, so if that is all you want to do; why buy a PC?

On the other hand if you need real power? I'm an old-school desktop user, mostly because of the BYOD (build your own device) factor, and here the problem is: what you have is good enough. Now, my current system can handle any task that I have thrown at it, and I don't see anything new on the horizon that would change that.

At the same time (or perhaps because of it), looking at the new hardware; why bother anyway? Next years graphics cards are just rebadged versions of this years cards. The new Haswell processors have nothing to make you upgrade from an Ivy bridge, 8gigs of RAM is enough, and when its not its a cheap upgrade.

And so on....

Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market


Re: Worry.

The Oracle decision last year in the European courts seems pretty straightforward, and they have covered most of the workarounds that Microsoft could use.

Sell a physical product, and the owner can sell it on with no restrictions.

Sell a license and the owner can sell the license under the same conditions. (Or access key or whatever they decide to call it). The bottom line is if they have sold you something to let you use their software, you should be able to sell on whatever 'that' is.

Microsoft's activation fee for a used game would be interpreted that they are opposing the sale (new owner can only use the game if they give us money), which is specifically excluded.

The cinema ticket idea suggests the only work around I can think of (ignoring the fact you can sell on tickets), and that would be to sell games with time-restricted licenses. It would open a bigger can of worms I think. At one end, you have the likely riot when gamers realise their copy of the latest AAA title actually only lets them use it for a year. At the other end, if they put in licenses that are active over a long period, someone will quickly argue that they are effectively (in law) unlimited, and all the above applies.

Long term, its going to push everyone to Software as a service, but as was pointed out elsewhere, it just moves the argument on ownership to a new point.

Sadly, Microsoft seem to have everything in place to make a system that works. Removing games from your account makes selling games on very practical. The other main irritation -- lending games, could easily be facilitated by giving say, 48 hours leeway between putting a disc in and needing to activate. You give a game to a mate, and they get a couple of days to try it out.

If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news



No one offers things like demos these days, but it isn't unknown for Steam to run things like free weekends. Obviously it is not necessarily the game you might be interested in, but the mechanism is there to download a game and try it for a couple of days.

Personally, the 'aah sod it' factor during sales when stuff is going for a couple of quid tends to mean that I'm rarely looking for something to play

Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE



I've been dithering since I first heard about the sale.

Was with BT for years, but when I bumped up against their (at the time) unadvertised softcap, I was gone within a couple of days. The delay was only to find a viable alternative.

Now I am stuck. I LIKED Be/O2, and really want to have nothing to do with Sky, So unless things have seriously changed in 3-4 years, my only options are the providers I rejected last time, or go back to a company I never thought I'd deal with again. Decisions are bad.

Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER


So Microsoft don't want my money anymore?

OK, upfront I admit I fall into neither of the Microsoft camps: no fanboy, but I have no wish to burn them with fire either. I tend to have a 'good enough' attitude towards software -- strange as I am pretty obsessive over hardware.

Anyway, I use Win 7, largely because it doesn't kick me in the knackers when it boots, and pretty much does what I need it to; The same with my current Office.

Now as I see it: Win 8 wont ever go near my PC. I don't hate it, but looking at the features I just conclude it isn't aimed at me. Which is fine unless Microsoft keep heading down the tablet/mobile route.

I was considering upgrading office this cycle, but there is no way I would touch it with the conditions on the license which seem harsher than those on an OEM op system disc. The fact that there is no other option for retail purchasers is insane. The fact that their terms are likely illegal where I live is just the Cherry on top.

So? I stick with Win 7 until time moves on to the point I have to change, If the current version offers no real advantages, It is Linux I guess. With Office it is more immediate. I have my shiny DVD and could keep reusing indefinitely, but now I want to upgrade. I'd section myself before I bought Office 2013, so Open source I go. Ironically, I've tried Open Office before,but didn't stick with it when the choice was learning a completely new setup VS an old system that was OK (the 'good enough' thing again). Now Microsoft themselves have persuaded me to try again.

The really sad thing is I am the sort of idiot that helps keep Microsoft afloat by taking the easy option. If I am typical, when I walk away; I never go back (stopped using IE about 8 years ago and would rather gnaw off my own testicles than go back to it. -- OK maybe not exactly; but you get the idea). What it means is that, as others have commented, these new tactics could backfire spectacularly.

Anonymous turns private eye in Ohio rape case


Re: Here say?

Its rare that something hits hard enough that I sign up just to comment, but its the degree to which those in authority here colluded to simply make this disappear that utterly astounds me.

It will be very interesting to see if the publicity generated by these revelations has any actual impact.

I also have to put the Denning quote into context as on the surface it puts the English system in an equally bad light. At the time he made it, the old boy was touching 90, and had been retired for years.

In fact he had to retire due to a stream of increasingly erratic comments and judgments, so while he said it, he was in no position to put it into practice, and similar comments had ended his career.


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