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Michael De La Rue
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Michael De La Rue

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Iain Banks;  What can I say other than congratulations to him and his future widow?  

Well actually, plenty.  I hope Adele gets some consolation.  My small, amateur, always Non http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chill_filtering Whisky collecting habit came  from following advice from a character in one of his novels.  If you don't find that disturbing then you haven't read the Wasp Factory yet.

I sometimes think of being Scottish as a bit of an unfortunate insight into life.  A bit like finding yourself Atheist.  Something you wouldn't wish on someone else, but wouldn't want to change.  Iain, together with James Kelman have helped give that insight literary form.

Read all his books whilst he's still your contemporary.  There's also another unrelated Scottish author with a coincidentally similar name (compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Banks with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_M_Banks) you might like to read some of those soon too.  
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Michael De La Rue

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Please note a couple of updates I added at the end;

A funny post from +Andy Rubin;  Google is complaining about other companies using Android whilst not contributing back.  However Google specifically chose the license they did, - the Apache license - exactly because it lets this happen.  More or less the license states:

 "Please take my software for anything you want;  for this particular software I really want it.  I will not complain"

Now Google is complaining.  The standard signs in this case are copyleft licenses such as the CC-BY-SA, GPL and AGPL.  By choosing not to use those licenses Google was trying to set up to allow Google to take other people's work without. Google should not complain when people do the same thing back.  They could even have put out public warnings that they won't work with people who take from their ecosystem without contributing back.  They did not.   Using the power of being a large company to block this after other companies have invested years of work into development is wrong.  

Don't get me wrong.  Sometimes a license that lets people lock away your software is the right thing.  For zlib, the library which drives gzip, Jean-Loup Gailly chose a special license (see http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html) without any protections even when working with the Free Software Foundation which almost always uses copyleft.  His aim was to get everybody to use his code with a specific aim of driving patent using competition out of the market and to make sure all gzip implementations were compatible.

Jean-Loup Gailly is an individual person.  If he sets out to destroy competing solutions (which he more or less succeeded in) that is his personal choice.  The only weight he has is the set of users that chooe to follow him.  Large companies which can block other people's work with a few words in an ear have different ethical boundaries.  If they want to protect their stuff then they have to put up signs saying so.  They should not call in the attack dogs after the fact and having failed to give clear warning.

Update1: Having written this I find I'm partly agreeing with a Florian Mueller post; from a guy well known for almost always twisting every issue.  This doesn't 100% mean I must be wrong, but there's probably something I have missed and this issue is being blown up for publicity reasons.  

Update2: This post seems to make it pretty clear that Aliyun is providing a proprietary O/S whilst distributing other's developers software without a license https://plus.google.com/u/0/103363032720099694411/posts/dbLKa87x4zz   that clearly gives Google the legal right to go after Aliyun but should not be confused with Google's attempts to limit the use of components they have already promised can be used freely.  
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+Michael De La Rue Aliyun is a incompatible version/fork of Android.
Quoting Andy Rubin again:

"However, the fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools.  And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps).  So there's really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform"

and

"Based on our analysis of the apps available at http://apps.aliyun.com, the platform tries to, but does not succeed in being compatible."

Aliyun has no requirements to be compatible with Android, as they are not a member of the OHA, just as Amazon.

But Acer is a member of OHA, and as a member they have certain obligations, like don't use an incompatible Android version/fork.

Aliyun is free to make it's Android fork and anyone is free to use it, as long as it is not a OHA member...

Google has no problems with Aliyun (well, they have some, because Aliyun app store has several pirated Google apps there, but that's another story). The real problem is with Acer, an Open Handset Alliance member that is fragmenting the Android ecosystem.
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Michael De La Rue

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hmm...   #btlcritique   #photo   #baby   #portrait  
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P.S.  this was taken a while ago;  I'm pretty sure there was nothing to be concerned about in the eye.. 
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These press stud electronics kits are sold as "BrainBox" though possibly rebranded elsewhere under very different names. A really great toy. Here's a rectifier bridge demo I built with my son with him working it out as we went along (though afterwards I changed the layout a bit myself to make it more presentable / understandable. :-) careful you don't let the crossover contacts touch..

Wikipedia article about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode_bridge

#electronics   #kids  
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I had a look at those, they seem to be a bit smaller / different kits and don't have several of the fundamental components.  This seems to be the one we have http://www.cambridgebrainbox.co.uk/Explorer2.html  I haven't found a different source of the press studs though, so we might get a second kit to cannibalise. 
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Michael De La Rue

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hmm.. #BTLcritique, but I'm really putting this up because I like it...
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I like the subject of the image but I think it would be a better image is the sky was a deeper blue and if the clouds were more neutral in tone. You also might want to increase the chroma, or saturation of the trees. I realise it's a winter image but the evergreens could use some help to stand out.
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Michael De La Rue

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The best camera is the camera you have with you; in this case my little / old / battered LX2. Rail connections on the way to the doctor forced me to spend an hour in Pszczyna, but it wasn't wasted. The park around Pzczyna castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pszczyna_Castle) looks good even if the museum is closed till February for renovation.
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Bonsoir la photo du château est un peu loin, mais c'est pas mal el pourrait servir de support pour faire une belle aquarelle?! Le pont est super!!! Robert M 08 France.
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Michael De La Rue

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Commercial exploiters of new technologies should be required
to convince Congress to sanction a new delivery system and/or
exempt it from copyright liability. That is what Congress intended.

A crazy idea; an essential declaration of war on human progress;  a fundamental attempt to destroy the fundamental freedom enclosed in the principle that "Everything which is not forbidden is allowed".

Who would write such a thing?  A tinpot dictator?  A crazed KGB agent from the 1950s?  No;  these are the words of the guy who was responsible for copyright policy in the USA.

For every successful technology (GPRS / LTE) many other unsuccessful technologies (Rabbit Phones / WAP / WIMAX / ) have to be tried.  These technologies lead the way to success for others whilst their investors lose their shirts.  If each new technology had to wait for Congressional approval and proof that it didn't disrupt existing business models to reach the US market then Americans would still be driving steam driven cars.  

This isn't even funny as this guy is one of the guys who founded the World Intellectual Property Organization.  It sheds a bit of a different light on their work.  
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Michael De La Rue

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How do you like this one?  I happen to be posting on tuesday so I guess I should jump on the #portraittuesday   bandwagon...

#baby     #btlcritique   #critiquepls   #airbrush    #lumix  
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Thanks +abhishek chamaria ; it seems that appeared when converting to JPG which is a bit wierd.  Chopped.
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Michael De La Rue originally shared:
 
Want to know when to avoid Warsaw for Euro 2012?   Here's the crucial page.  I tried to use some sharing function to put this into Google+  

Summary;  8, 12, 16, 21, 28 June   ; the first one starts at 18:00; all others 20:45.    Avoid the centre of Warsaw, especially on the 12th.   

The main place to avoid is the centre;  mostly around the "Fan Zone" http://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?c=540&l=2   the Russians were to have have a separate (invite only?) party place but that plan seems to have failed http://www.emetro.pl/emetro/1,85651,11840107,Rosjanie_chcieli_miec_swoja_strefe__politycy_im_nie.html

Interestingly enough, even though every single other sharing function I have ever heard of, and Google services are there on the Warsaw UEFA page  and despite the fact that the underlying service supports it, google+ sharing is not visible on the page.  I guess someone must be scared of Google+ ??

#euro2012   #googleplus   #warsaw  
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it's really annoying that you still can't change the sharing settings on a post after sharing it..  
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Michael De La Rue

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The last remaining producer of APS film has officially pulled the plug.
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Does anyone have any hints to stop Google search (especially news) from second guessing me all the time? E.g. it keeps forcing me to the mobile search when I use it from my phone even when I want plain news search. Also the fact that it doesn't search for the keyword you type but the one it thinks you type unless you put everything individually in quotes??

Basically a "do what I said, not what you think I wanted to say" button..??

I'm beginning to get really frustrated with this.. (and Google searching just turns up more frustration: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=33461dc1da20b5b1&hl=en)

Update: it's so non-deterministic it reminds me why we switched off Alta-Vista in the first place;
- try from the phone browser - can't access non mobile news / get no content
- try from Fennec - get news but get redirected to Polish
- change language - get redirected to mobile
- change to classic - get redirected to Polish
- change language again - okay;; but now the RSS feed (which is what we really want to reach) keeps disappearing

I do not want user friendly software. I want user obediant software. Like a big Alsatian police dog. Maybe it growls, but when you say "attack" it does exactly what you said, not attempt to deliver your newspaper.
Want to permanently turn off mobile formatting on iPad
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Michael De La Rue

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How to be (pseudo/a)nonymous on Google+

+Bradley Horowitz put up a post about the new policy on pseudonyms on Google+. This hints at how to be anonymous but it doesn't spell it out. The clarification comes in a comment from +Yonatan Zunger but even that doesn't spell it out 100%. So let's go for it.

If you need to be pseudononymous you must use a pseudonym which looks like a real name to a quick check by a Google script or employee. The key; most important quote is this:

In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.

As I read it that is the Google+ chief architect giving you specific legal permission to use a different name from your real one. When you do this you are not misrepresenting something to Google.

If you are at risk of torture or of being fired from your job for posting things under your real name then you have an out. This answers one of my biggest objections to Google+ and Facebook.

In fact, this policy is better for those people than an expectation of use of handles. Handles, in a community like this, which mostly uses real names, stand out and mark the person a different. That is not desirable in a situation where you are trying to secure your identity. Some people might feel pressured to use a handle so that other people don't feel tricked. Now we have a clear statement that you don't have to.

Finally; the interesting view will be the one from the people who don't like Pseudonyms at all because some people might hide behind them and cheat. Well, in fact this doesn't change anything; you will have noticed by now that on Facebook and Google+ there are quite a few fake accounts. There has never been anything available to stop people from deception. The real name policy is like a cheap lock which only stops the honest.

P.S. If you find it difficult to think up a name, picking randomly from the top 8 US First name/Surnames here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_popular_given_names#North_and_South_America
and here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_common_surnames_in_North_America#United_States

will very likely work both here and on Facebook. N.B. On Facebook you will be in breach of their terms of service as I read them.

Edit: clarify that it's going to be Google that decides what makes a "real" name....
Bradley Horowitz originally shared:
 
Toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+

With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world. And during the Google+ signup process, we've asked users to select the name they commonly use in real life.

Since launch we've listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process -- in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals.

When we analyze the set of all name appeals on Google+, we find that they generally fall into three major categories:
- The majority (60%) of these users want to simply add nicknames.
- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)
- And the remaining 20% would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another unconventional name.

Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear - our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey.

Nicknames and Names in Another Script

Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. In the next few weeks, we’ll be displaying it more broadly as part of your name in other areas of Google+ as well. So if you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jane Doe (Smith), or सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma), you can now communicate your identity the way you want to.

To add an alternate name, go to your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, select your name and click on “More options.” (See attached photos)

It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.

Other Established Identities

On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat to +Madonna.

If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:

- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following

We’ll review the information and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference. While a name change is under review, your old name will continue to be displayed. For new accounts without an old name, your profile will be in a non-public, read-only state during the review. Either way, you'll be able to see the status of your review by going to your profile.

For more details, check out the Google+ Names Policy: http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271

To reiterate, the features described herein will be rolling out over the next couple days.

Today is a small step towards improving the ways in which you can communicate your identity on Google+. We will be listening to feedback from the community and will continue to refine all aspects of how we handle names and identity over the coming weeks, months and beyond.

Thanks for your continuing feedback and support.

Bradley and Team G+

#googleplusupdate
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Bragging rights
Drew a GSM network on a piece of paper. And had it built. Traversed Pelevoux. Stopped bragging after two points. errr...