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Alan Bell
Works at Libertus Solutions
Lives in London
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Alan Bell

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This is the most ridiculous sales minimisation strategy I have ever seen! http://www.meizu.com/en/ubuntu/game.html
Click three crosses, get told to go away and come back tomorrow when they will tell you to get lost again!
What on earth possessed them to do this, the BQ flash sales were nutty enough, but this is astonishing.
Not particularly accessible either, but neither is the phone itself I suppose.
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Vincent JOBARD (Winael)'s profile photoJames Hudson's profile photoAlan Bell's profile photo
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Having got the BQ I am not rushing to collect all the phones. If Google make a ChromeOS phone or Firefox release a nice handset like the Fx0 then I would be seriously tempted. Up to then this is a perfectly decent phone for all my requirements, and it will presumably continue to get better.
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Alan Bell

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well that is a bit of a leap
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/votes-for-16yearolds-will-make-them-more-vulnerable-to-sexual-predators-labour-mp-says-10328805.html

and yes, he really did say it
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/428/#c428

"This move towards making people adults at 16 will make a lot of young men and women more vulnerable to sexual predation than they are at the moment."
Reducing the voting age to 16 will make young people more vulnerable to sexual predators, a Labour MP has said.
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Folmer Fredslund's profile photoMichał Prędotka's profile photoDavid Alan Gilbert's profile photo
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Perhaps voting booths work differently on that side of the Pennines.
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Alan Bell

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Apparently Blockly can be "made brighter (for children) or more depressing (for businesses)" guess I should tweak it to be more depressing then!
https://developers.google.com/blockly/custom-blocks/defining-blocks
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Alan Bell

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yo dawg, we heard you didn't like SQL so we put SQL in your noSQL so you can still SQL as you NoSQL
http://www.couchbase.com/press-releases/couchbase-introduces-n1ql-breakthrough-query-language
Couchbase, Inc. is adding fuel to the NoSQL fire. At its user conference, Couchbase Connect, happening now at Levi's Stadium, the company announced beta for Couchbase Server 4.0 and provided thousands of attendees a glimpse into its breakthrough query language: N1QL: SQL for JSON.
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Alan Bell's profile photoAlistair McKinlay (YaManicKill)'s profile photo
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Well, let's be honest...no one actually conforms to ANSI SQL anyway :-P
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Alan Bell

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Alan Bell

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woah +Mark Shuttleworth tough draw, you got the hulk! http://xkcd.com/1529/
Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). BTC 1FhCLQK2ZXtCUQDtG98p6fVH7S6mxAsEey ...
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Don't make me mad. You wouldn't like when I'm mad. Daisy?
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Alan Bell

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With my democracy geek hat on I am very impressed by the #hometovote  return of lots of people to Ireland. It has been a long time since there has been a vote in the UK worth getting on a plane to participate in.
 
We're #ProudToLove  and proud to support marriage equality. #VoteYes   #equalmarriage  
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Ubuntu Bhoy's profile photoAlan Bell's profile photo
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yes, that is true, the Scotland independence vote was important (and I think the right result for the circumstances, get a currency and bank plan and try again)
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Alan Bell

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This is a good move, I think there are some very badly written laws being proposed to tackle the issue of revenge porn, but I can see no down side to this improvement.
 
We're taking some important steps today to stamp out the problem of revenge porn. My kudos to the entire team who's been working on this!
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Alan Bell

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computers get pareidolia too, this is very awesome
 
All of these images were computer generated!

For the last few weeks, Googlers have been obsessed with an internal visualization tool that Alexander Mordvintsev in our Zurich office created to help us visually understand some of the things happening inside our deep neural networks for computer vision.  The tool essentially starts with an image, runs the model forwards and backwards, and then makes adjustments to the starting image in weird and magnificent ways.  

In the same way that when you are staring at clouds, and you can convince yourself that some part of the cloud looks like a head, maybe with some ears, and then your mind starts to reinforce that opinion, by seeing even more parts that fit that story ("wow, now I even see arms and a leg!"), the optimization process works in a similar manner, reinforcing what it thinks it is seeing.  Since the model is very deep, we can tap into it at various levels and get all kinds of remarkable effects.

Alexander, +Christopher Olah, and Mike Tyka wrote up a very nice blog post describing how this works:

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html

There's also a bigger album of more of these pictures linked from the blog post:

https://goo.gl/photos/fFcivHZ2CDhqCkZdA

I just picked a few of my favorites here.
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Alan Bell

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as I said a while back, it is a 10.04 moment! A cracking operating system, but the last of it's lineage.
 
"If you read just one review of Ubuntu 15.04, written a month after it actually came out, it should be this one." -- Me.
I have run Ubuntu 15.04 since the day it was made available, and while it was a great release, one decision by Ubuntu is ruining it for me.
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Alan Pope's profile photoAlan Bell's profile photoCarl Draper's profile photo
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I am not up in arms about it, I for one welcome our new user interface overlords. I just thought that this was the last of the line for Unity 7, because that is what was announced and I didn't see the update to the announcement. My bad.
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Alan Bell

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Very sad to see the manufactured drama in Kubuntu today. It was always a bit of a side project, a hedge in case GTK and Gnome wasn't the future of the desktop. It was the backup plan, and oddly now Canonical are ditching GTK and going for Qt QML in the phone platform and the next generation desktop. I don't really understand how Kubuntu ended up being a separate thing from the next desktop. Now due to the odd technical decision to go Qt but invent a whole new desktop and not use KDE all the expertise in Qt is wasted and we end up with Ubuntu running a toolkit that is only known to people who don't want Ubuntu and is unknown to those who do. Drama in a project that is done for fun is hugely hurtful and draining and I have a lot of sympathy for everyone involved.
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2015/05/kubuntu-project-lead-asked-to-step-down-by-ubuntu-community-council
I don't know what will happen, there is clearly a deadlock over trademarks and binary licensing. Canonical has a position that they think the soyuz built binary packages can only be used in approved derivatives and would like Kubuntu to agree to a license to use the binaries, or rebuild them without a license. This is a somewhat questionable position for Canonical to take, but if you assume that it is tenable then Kubuntu has a couple of viable options. Spending years asking Canonical to take a different position is just manufacturing tension that doesn't need to be there. Now that it has come to a head there isn't a way for either side to gracefully exit the situation, I think the Kubuntu community need to break away, find a new trademark and infrastructure and become independent, or just stop, down tools and walk away. That is always an option when you are doing a project because it is fun and suddenly it becomes not-fun.
The leader of Kubuntu has been asked to step down by the Ubuntu Community Council, a decision that raises questions on the distros' future.
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Stefano Rivera's profile photoMark Shuttleworth's profile photoBenjamin Kerensa's profile photoScarlett Clark's profile photo
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+Mark Shuttleworth "JR was asked to reconsider his language on numerous occasions, and just took it as a reason to bully the CC harder."

Show the KC the evidence they have asked then even Jono has said evidence needs to be shown.

"At this stage the key question is simply this - how do people passionate about KDE in Ubuntu want to be represented?"

Those people already decided they voted to support JR as their leader going forward. JR continues to lead the KC.
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Alan Bell

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recently I had a bunch of solar pannels fitted to the house, it is a bit of a complicated roof, so we couldn't get them all on the south, so I have three west and three east and six south facing panels. Each has it's own microinverter, and maximum power point tracker so they are not configured as strings, which means that if one is shaded it doesn't affect the performance of the others. I checked out the likely performance using blender and a sun path https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsovmL9hv80 and figured that it would be a lower peak output, but would generate over more hours meaning we use a bigger percentage of our own  generated energy.
I am messing about with visualising the data from the system, you can see what it is doing today at http://hencam.libertus.co.uk
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David Alan Gilbert's profile photoAlan Bell's profile photo
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I might do something like https://twitter.com/Edent_Solar at some stage too.
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