I believe you but can't remember/find which story you mean. Can you tell us?
I've read loads of Clarke, when younger, but he was always a better futurist than an author (great ideas, weak characterisation).
410 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Apr 2021
"You think you've got problems? What are you supposed to do if you are a manically depressed robot? No, don't try to answer that. I'm fifty thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don't know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."
Quite right. £1 Billion sounds like a small amount if you're Samsung or Taiwan Semiconductor (or the PM's in-laws) but it is a lot of money if you're the Minister's old school pal, 'Toppy', who isn't too clear on what a semiconductor is but is willing to give it a go or that jolly good bloke he met down the pub who's willing to put the fab in a lockup rented from the Minister's wife.
I think the idea of a homemade one was discussed in 'The Moon Goddess and the Son' by Donald Kingsbury. I seem to remember an engineering students project turning a truck turbocharger into a radial compressor jet engine from around the same time. Probably all you'd need to add besides control actuators is a mobile phone, these days.
Here's prior art from 10 years ago; Do scientists mind being called boffins?
She (Rachel Youngman) said in UK and Ireland, the formal study of physics struggles to attract girls, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, people of Black Caribbean descent, people with disabilities, and LGBT+ young people into the subject.
It seems minor but why specify "people of Black Caribbean descent" when speaking of difficulties attracting students not just in the UK but "and Ireland"?
There are plenty of young black Irish people who might usefully be engaged with but most are of African descent whose families moved to Ireland more recently (when it became a place to go to, rather than one to get away from) and very few of Carribean origin.
Yes, I'd seen that but I could understand it - there are going to be a lot of people with the same name and unstructured datasets are likely to put all the "John Smiths" in the same box, literally if there is an obituary for one, but I can't see where the confusion crept in with a very specific and uniquely named software product. Oh well. No harm done this time and lesson learned.
I had a great example last week, as part of a search to figure out how to get a particular software package to integrate with a messaging network I asked ChatGPT.
It gave me step by step instructions how to configure the interface in the settings menu. The only problem was the interface didn't exist. I 'told' it so.
It insisted the integration was supported according to the software packages home page and documentation. Since I couldn't find anything in those, I asked for the link to the documentation page. It gave them. They didn't exist.
It's a nice warning on overreliance.
I think, if Lenovo realised who specifies corporate laptops in the firsdt place and who buys them secondhand (getting brand recognition out there) they would have a model with a swappable battery, all the ports and the old style keyboards. Some BOFH would add upgradeability to the requirements as a 'TCO reduction' measure and they'd be off to the races.
I have an old Thinkpad 240X from 2000 that had PCI, USB, Ethernet, serial,ports and came easily apart using coin slot screws to access RAM, HDD, CPU. It still runs (Puppy) but I can't find a PCI wifi card with supported driver. It was a different design approach.
This is a case where an enterprise has a mandatory policy for its staff. The management have confirmed the policy but aren't strictly enforcing it. A 3rd party, who is presumably a customer of the enterprise, feels so strongly about the policy that they are paying to detect breaches of that policy outside of the workplace and publishing those breaches to pressure management to apply it in the case of individual staff so detected.
The question is, if you were in a similar situation, would you be happy with this arrangement? (let's say your employer had a no drugs policy but you lived in a country where they could not require urine samples and you smoked up at weekends). If not, what would you do about it?
I considered myself bad with languages until I was dropped in a job in Germany for a few years without the expected support. My German clients all spoke excellent English but that still left me tongue-tied at lunch and in the evenings until I picked some up. A similar experience in Brussels before that taught me more than 6 years of French in school. I don't speak either well but I can generally understand what people say to me and get out a response, though if it's important/work related I will speak in English and listen in the other language.
I've done the numbers and it looks like a rollercoaster when you plot the cloud cost vs the infrastructure costs, there isn't one stable point.
If you're a greenfield startup then cloud is best, you can fail fast or scale infinitely so long as your revenue exceeds your costs. Once your load stabilises, you can probably do better on-prem if your workload is portable (because of course you planned your cloud exit strategy before committing to a vendor) but you might not want to take on the risk.
For a large existing business, usually you already have some datacentres and IT staff to let you estimate how much physical vs cloud will cost and you can have the accountants battle the OPEX/CAPEX decision in the boardroom.
My gut feel is that physical is cheaper if you already have a large enough IT staff and good retention but I wouldn't recomment anyone start there. Risk is the other variable. If your data centre goes down, it's all on you. If AWS or Azure goes down then it's for them to fix. You probably won't have as many failures but each will last longer and be more damaging. Security is also something I think is better in the cloud, not inherently but because you have to follow good design practices and plan what you're doing and because your platforms will be kept current.
You don't need multi-region unless you're running time sensitive apps world wide. Multi AZ, yes you need more than one data centre, redundant networking providers and routes, power etc and, of course, separate teams to run them. If you go to a hosting provider with that already set up then it doesn't costs much more than twice the hardware.
I like Sony but you tend to hit a limit on how far you can upgrade Android version. Google Pixel and predecessors are a safe bet but I would tend to look at Samsung S-something used/refurbished. That doesn't align completely with the original poster who wanted top of the line hardware. I haven't figured out how to get that cheaply yet.