Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Devil In The Detail Roundup #1

The first in an occasional series in which you humble Devil briefly collates some stuff that has interested him but which he cannot be arsed to write about at any length (mainly because he is insanely busy). Call it an aide memoire for myself if you like...
  1. Dizzy's quote of the day from the Conservative Conference.
    However the quote of the day for me has to be from a CF [Conservative Future] member who informed me that there are two types of tory women, 'bitches and sluts'. Apparently you can be both at the same time. I can't deny I was taken aback by this. The things people say when they're drunk huh?

  2. Via Daring Fireball, an explanation of why hacked iPhones may become iBricks with the new update—assuming no real malice on the part of Apple. It's all to do with the Firmware apparently.
    Its entire system (OS X 1.x) is built into firmware, mostly in a compressed state. This is expanded and run by the main ARM processor, obeying a built-in boot ROM. Supposedly, there are at least two more processors, taking care of network communications and of the cellular radio; each of these has its own boot ROM, and the radio processor has separate flash memory to hold state information regarding the SIM card, cellular system activation and so forth. One of these processors no doubt controls the USB interface to allow the main processor's flash memory to be reloaded externally. Furthermore, every SIM card also has flash memory on it, containing the IMSI number, network identity, encryption keys and so forth, bringing one more source of complexity to the process.

    In other words, you have a complex system of at least 3 processors interacting, each one with a boot ROM, two with flash memory containing state information. Powering up such a beast is a complex dance of each one waking up, testing its peripherals, checking its own state, then trying to talk to each other, then communicating to bring the entire system into a working state. Furthermore, the necessities of the cellphone system and of testing out such a complex piece of hardware mean that the iPhone must decide, on each power-up, in which of several states it's in: factory testing, just out of the box, activated, reloading the main firmware, working, "plane" mode, and so forth.

  3. In Mugabe-style, Blackpool Council decides to punish people simply for not liking a law: the smoking ban in this case.
    3.9.3 Smoking
    The licensing authority recognises that premises licence holders who do not comply with the prohibition on smoking in enclosed public places will be dealt with under the relevant legislation, and ordinarily will not be brought to its attention through the review process. Premises licence holders however, who persistently fail to comply with the legislation, and/or positively promote non-compliance should be brought before the panel on review and can expect that suspension or revocation of the licence would be the normal course of action.

    Take a close look at the little section starting "and/or". What this seems to be saying is that a publican, such as Stuart Dudgeon who is vocally opposed to the ban could have his license revoked. Remember he has not broken the law, but what he has done is support somebody who has broken the law, in this case Hamish Howitt.

  4. Freeborn John discusses the slaves of the working class.
    But this also casts an odd light on the labour movement and on trades unions. Through their adherence to the ideas of jobs for life, and their demands that working class people be able to depend on benevolent and paternalistic forces, be they employers or the state, or both, and take the consequent lack of freedom that results from this they not only stand in direct line of descent from Roman slaves, but they also demand that they be able to remain as slaves. The dignity of labour is no more than the degrading comfort of the steel slave collar on the neck.

    And for all their Pooterish, John Major, Little Chef aspects, the lower middle classes have this in their favour: they came from there. They would not accept the collar. They aspired to independence and freedom.

    Until the psychology of the working class disappears, Britons will always include some slaves among their number.

  5. The stupidest lawsuit ever: some fucking American is essentially sueing Apple for £1 million for dropping the price of the iPhone by $100. Can you say "you didn't have to buy it, you stupid fuck"?
    Li was among the thousands who waited hours in line on June 29, 2007 for her chance to purchase one of the touch-screen devices, according to the suit. When she reached the front of the line, her local Apple store only had 4GB models remaining, which she purchased anyway despite having intended to buy the larger-capacitied 8GB model.

    She, like thousands of others, the suit claims, is now the victim of price discrimination in that she cannot resell her iPhone for the same profit as customers who purchased the device after price drop. Similarly, she cannot trade up to 8GB model she had initially hoped to obtain and is now left with a product that has been discontinued.

    Some of the comments are class, too: I particularly liked this one.
    what's wrong with people!? Some lady CHOSE to buy something, then sued becasue her deal wasn't sweet enough? Honestly. don't be a customer. stay at home. turn on the gas stove, end yourself.

    I can't say that I disagree: these people give humanity a bad name.

  6. Finally, DumbJon drew my eye to the fact that, only a short time ago, the unions were urging councils to let their workers use networking sites such as Facebook. Therefore it was inevitable that some weak-minded fools would spoil it for everyone else.
    Three council workers have lost their jobs for spending too long on the internet auction site eBay.

    One was sacked and two resigned after managers at Neath Port Talbot Council found some staff were spending up to two hours a day on the website.

    Union officials have blamed bosses for "putting temptation in their way" - by allowing access to the internet.

    You've got to love that union consistancy, eh?

  7. Via Fake Steve, it warms my heart to see these photos from a lecture theatre at The Missouri School of Journalism.
    Now I feel almost sad for that poor kid with the Windows machine in the front row:)

More substantial posts to come later...

2 comments:

haddock said...

http://tinyurl.com/3b3yqz

Anonymous said...

Sorry - photo shopped. Just look at the variation in reflection.