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Interesting Items...

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Seen in this month's Scientific American (October 2013):

A planarian (flatworm) has a centralised brain and yet, if you cut off its head it is able to grow a new one in a couple of weeks. Amazingly, somehow it is able to retain a memory for its surroundings and where to find food, despite the decapitation.

Apparently iOS7 includes defences to some recently exposed exploits via apps with disguised malware or USB attacks.

The learned Scientific American is not immune to problems with units. In an article about the resources required to build generating plants from various forms of energy (oil, gas, solar, wind, biomass, etc), it compares each method with the total mix used at present - in terms of the "amount of metal needed for a specific technology to produce 1 kilowatt-hour of energy". Are we supposed to believe that generating electricity consumes iron, aluminium, zinc, etc? Either the lifetime of the plant has been built into the figures, or (more likely in my opinion) that should read "to produce 1 kilowatt of power".
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Surely the basic concept is correct because it must take more metal to generate 1kW hour of electricity than it does to generate 1kWnanosecond.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Say you use a ton of zinc (just for illustration) in the construction of a 1MW power plant. How many MWh does that ton of zinc generate? You have no idea unless you know how long the plant will be run for and at what duty cycle. Sorry, it should definitely be per kilowatt, not per kilowatt-hour.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Ah. I see your point. I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. I was along the lines of (say) coal. I.e. a ton of coal will produce ?? kWh when used as a fuel, rather than the amount being used in (say) the construction of the power station.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
On Rip-Off Britain this morning:

Direct funds transfers via your banking web site have no safeguards whatsoever. The name you put against an account number and sort code is not cross-referenced in any way, and is only used to identify the account TO YOU. The only thing the bank deals with is the account number and sort code, so if you get that wrong (either because you mistype or because the number was quoted incorrectly) your money ends up in the wrong place.

What's more, there are no processes in place to correct such an error. You can tell your bank there has been a mistake, your bank can tell the receiving bank there has been a mistake, and the receiving bank can tell their customer there has been a mistake - it is then up to that customer to voluntarily refund the money. The banks won't tell you who the customer is that is associated with that account, so you have nobody to pursue in law.

And yet, if money is credited to my account in a banking error, you can be damned sure the bank will take it back when they want!

This has prompted me to view BACS payments in a new light. Not that I need to introduce a new payee very often, but when doing so a small test payment will be processed before transferring anything major.
 
This reminds me of a friend of mine who banked with NatWest. One day he was checking his account online and noticed it had a £5,000.00 credit added that day! He immediately telephoned the branch, who were a bit surprised he was calling to query a transaction that he had apparently made in person that afternoon. When he asked for more information, he was told "he" had paid some travellers cheques into his account at around 3pm, when he pointed out that he was in fact at work, and had not been anywhere near the bank at that time, they then asked if he was not Mr Wong? When he said "No" (his surname does start with a W, but he is not Chinese, and is actually named after a town in the UK, they then looked at the transactions in more detail.

He later found out, as they had to call him back, that Mr Wong had written down his account number on 2 of the cheques, and the other 4 were in an account belonging to Mr Wong. Whilst he was on the phone, the lady at the branch actually said "You are very honest telling us about this, I wouldn't have said anything if it had happened to me!"

To sort it out, they had to remove all the money including all his own money, as the cheques hadn't cleared, so he was left with nothing, and all they could do was arrange a temporary overdraft for £5k to cover the error, and he was told, they wouldn't now what to do with the money, as it was up to Mr Wong to tell them he was missing the money!

All in all he wasn't happy but he had the overdraft for the next 8 years, until he changed banks!

And some people ask me why I check my bank account every day!
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Quite correct, I intended to write "1 kilowatt of power" (as I did in my email to the editors). Corrected.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Apparently iOS7 includes defences to some recently exposed exploits via apps with disguised malware or USB attacks.
= They finally plugged a bug that has been there for some time but they don't like to issue loads of frequent fixes like Microsoft do because it gives the impression that iOS is flaky.

However, they missed this one:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/20/apple-working-fix-ios-7-lockscreen-bypass-flaw

Expect 7.0.1 RSN.

Edit: Spoke too soon. iOS really is as flaky as the leading brands:

http://techland.time.com/2013/09/24/five-ios-7-bugs-and-how-to-work-around-them/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/09/20/another-ios-7-bug-lets-locked-iphones-make-calls-and-this-time-theres-no-easy-fix/

Ah well, if you will put yourselves on a pedestal, apple, ...:p
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
From Windows 7 Help & Advice November 2013 (something I was sent without being asked when the great PCPlus went tits up):

Google has forced Microsoft to remove a YouTube app for Windows phones from the Windows Marketplace, apparently because it is not coded in HTML5. The Android and iOS YouTube apps are not coded in HTML5 either.

Elsewhere in the issue the magazine claims "If you don't have a copy of XP, we'll even show you how to install it, absolutely free!". I have not found the details of that yet, but suspect it is coming in part 4 of an article for which the November issue contains part 1.
 
Re #5.

This has been in the money-help sections of the Sunday papers for some time. It's why cheques must be retained until clear "finger-troubles" can be rectified fairly. I try to avoid paying via BACS or, if forced to, triple- and even quadruple-check numbers, with a time separation to avoid number-blindness.

Martin
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Just did one of the security fixes on my wife's iphone. ios is looking more and more like Android with every incarnation. Stick the slide-up in the slide-down and you just about have Android's notification panel. Pity about the rest of the UI though, which hasn't improved.

I must say I don't understand that youtube business at all. Just checked in Windows8 and I can't see a youtube app there either, but what is wrong with using a browser? Or a link to the browser page? Why do you need an app? It's like that gmail app that is just a browser window, and I understand Az did a similar thing with the Kindle app so they could sell books on ios without apple taking a cut, didn't they?

Someone suggested that Windows Phone was such a small market it wasn't worth developing apps for it. Hence Google not doing a youtube app for it.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Re #5.

This has been in the money-help sections of the Sunday papers for some time. It's why cheques must be retained until clear "finger-troubles" can be rectified fairly. I try to avoid paying via BACS or, if forced to, triple- and even quadruple-check numbers, with a time separation to avoid number-blindness.

Martin

Me too, and I also send a small payment first, like Black Hole, if that is possible. If a firm offers Paypal, I use that instead as at least I know then that the payment is automated.

Also, beware continuous payment authority, eg, paying a recurrent amount by your card number, eg, a subscription or web space. It is very difficult to stop the payee from continuing to debit your account and once I had to cancel a card to stop debits from someone in the US. Even DD is safer than CPAs.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
What annoys me about iOS updates is there is no way back if you don't like it. Updating my iTouch I lost a WiFi finder app that Apple had disapproved, and got none of the benefits because my old iTouch didn't support them. "Have our shiny new UI" - maybe I'm happy with the current UI?

The 7.0 offer hit my iPad this morning, and I ignored it the same as I did 6.0. Fortunately I still have only one pending notification and not two. Unfortunately more and more apps then expect 6 or 7 minimum.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Also, beware continuous payment authority, eg, paying a recurrent amount by your card number, eg, a subscription or web space. It is very difficult to stop the payee from continuing to debit your account and once I had to cancel a card to stop debits from someone in the US. Even DD is safer than CPAs.
Direct Debit is covered by specific bank guarantees; never use continuous payment authority on a credit card (car insurance companies almost force you into it - opt out!).
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Direct Debit is covered by specific bank guarantees; never use continuous payment authority on a credit card (car insurance companies almost force you into it - opt out!).
And of course you can cancel a DD easily over the internet, unlike a CPA, where you may not be able to contact the payee, or they may make a mistake and take a payment anyway.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
Someone suggested that Windows Phone was such a small market it wasn't worth developing apps for it. Hence Google not doing a youtube app for it.
Just checked and there are loads of Youtube apps for Windows Mobile?
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Just checked and there are loads of Youtube apps for Windows Mobile?
And for Windows 8, almost all free, but no official one. Most of the Windows 8 ones seem to say "download video from youtube," which is what Google objects to.
 
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