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Discussions

GeoffC GeoffC Picture of a retired stiff
  • How long have you been together?

    Been together 22 years.

    When the law changed in The Netherlands, we got a registered partnership in 1998

    And then later when the law changed again in The Netherlands, we got around to being upgraded to the full civil marriage in 2003

  • "Why do I need Vista?" - Scoble and Clement explain!

    It's not the question that I would be asking. As far as I'm concerned:

    'The real question is not "do I need Windows Vista?", but "what is the cost of upgrading/replacing my complete system - applications, hardware, and operating system?. The cost of the upgrade of the operating system alone is not the point. I would like to be proved wrong - it would be great if all my applications and hardware continued to be supported under Vista. But somehow, I don't think that's going to happen, and I'll resign myself to soldiering on with Windows XP for as long as I can.'

    More at http://spaces.msn.com/members/gcoupe/Blog/cns!1pfnKMM_BORf8-PhonbrwGoA!1825.entry

  • "​Genetic&quo​t; AIDS Cure Finally Discovered?

    a ! wrote:

    Mr Stimpson, a Scot living in London, was found to be HIV-positive in August 2002, but 14 months later a blood test suggested that he no longer carried the virus. A further three tests confirmed the finding.



    Actually, that's not right. The three negative tests were *before* two tests giving a positive result (August 2002). Then 14 months later there was a single test with a negative result. Mr. Stimpson has been asked to retake the test. So far, he has refused to do so.

    Perhaps I'm needlessly cynical, but I also note that apparently while refusing to take further tests he has nevertheless signed contracts for his story with both the News of the World and the Mail on Sunday - neither of which can be considered to be beacons of responsible journalism, in my view. He has also tried to sue the clinic that gave him a positive result.

  • Age

    jamie wrote:

    we need a couple more old people



    OK, Jamie - I'm 56...

  • London is the venue for the 2012 Olympics Games

    Jeremy W. wrote:

    I'm not a firm believer in the games, but I AM a firm believer in local investment. It costs short-term, but always (unless poorly managed) bears out in the longterm.


    I too am a believer in local investment. However, the key phrase you used is "unless poorly managed". I see little evidence that Olympic committees/governments are getting better at managing that investment - in fact, it seems that the complexities of the modern world are conspiring against what little chance of success they have.

  • London is the venue for the 2012 Olympics Games

    Jeremy, please note I said "recent games". Calgary happened 20 years ago. Barcelona, in 1992, 13 years ago was, I grant you, a great success. But the evidence seems to show there has been a tipping point for recent years. It seems to have moved from being a driver for a "nice return on investment" to being a poisoned chalice.

    And as for "it being a no-brainer for European countries", remind me again, where is Greece? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4007429.stm 

  • London is the venue for the 2012 Olympics Games

    "Having the Olympics is a good thing".

    Hmm, I think for the residents of the London Boroughs they will find that they have just won the Golden Albatross. The costs of recent Games have spiralled out of control, with the benefits not keeping pace. That's clearly been the case for Athens, and even for Sydney, the facts make for uncomfortable reading: http://www.liebreich.com/LDC/HTML/Olympics/London/Sydney.html

    And if you think that the budget for London isn't going to be overrun horrendously, then I've this bridge that you might like to buy.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • A New Interface for Calculators

    jonathanh wrote:
    MathJournal for the Tablet PC has done all that (and much more) for over a year. http://www.xthink.com/MathJournal.html 

    Looks like sloppy reporting from New Scientist and academic hype from Swansea


    Well, not quite, Jonathan. Mathjournal and xThink differ in the user interface from what UoS has done. The difference is that the user's input is rendered on the fly in the UoS system, whereas with the xThink products, the visual feedback is provided in a separate window *after* the "calculate" button has been pressed.

    I personally prefer the user interface approach of the UoS system, because it gives me continuous feedback as I am going along - not once the calculation has been carried out. It's what I mean about user interfaces "not getting in the way". There's a distinct modal jump with the xThink approach, that I think I personally would find distracting.  

  • A New Interface for Calculators

    New Scientist this week has a story about a novel interface for calculators. The demonstration movie is particularly striking. I assume that it will work out-of-the-box on Tablet PCs.

    I think that indeed this interface is more "natural" for those of us who do not use calculators all day and every day. Practitioners have presumably already made the necessary learning to adapt to the calculator interface. For more infrequent users (e.g. me), this new interface would really help - and it ties right back into how I learned mathematics with pen and paper.

    A good interface should disappear when you're using it - it should never, ever, get in the way. That's one of the reasons why I hated with a passion the old Reverse Polish interfaces on the original HP calculators, and why I still end up with wrong answers on today's calculators - the interface is fighting with what I learned with pen and paper.

    I've downloaded the software, and am trying it out on my PC, which has a graphics tablet. If this works, then I'll be able to consign the Windows Calculator application to the dustbin of history...

    P.S. I simply adore the title of the web page at the University of Swansea.

  • More Photostory 3 Fun: High tech meets NO tech

    Jamie, thanks for this. It's interesting how using B&W somehow triggers other emotions - e.g. a sense of being back in time - and enriches the photos' impact.

    Glad you're enjoying the Rebel XT. I'm still learning about my Rebel - most of the time I stick with the "easy" functions - I very rarely use the "creative" modes yet, but I'll get there. Some examples are over at my space on Flickr, such as this http://photos13.flickr.com/17833900_f8763414dc_b.jpg 

    Other stuff via http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcoupe/

    Cheers.