1385 posts • joined Monday 5th March 2007 21:42 GMT
Pound weight or pound sterling? # is generally considered to be a shorthand for pounds - we use lb for a similar purpose and, believe it or not, the # actually derives from the lb symbol. So # really is a pound sign, just not the *same* pound sign.
And now I'm going to go away and see if there's some way to blame the EU for all this.
Some people have no choice
Building regs require no hard wood, laminate or tiled floors *at all* in modern apartments, because the impact sound of someone walking on it even barefoot is almost impossible to insulate against, which means your choice is either the horrible greasy fibre free carpets they put in the hallways, a regular carpet, or lino. I'd love laminate floors but the downstairs neighbours would have a fit and the landlord would lose his top rate certificate thingy.
Quebecois aren't considered "real" French by the French, hence they are prepared to declare their new world cousins persona non grata because of their outrageous accents. I'm pretty sure Voda must have cut some deal along these lines (declaring Quebec didn't exist at all was probably too much)in order to make their sale of their French assets go more smoothly. It all makes sense when you think about it.
Problems with the arguments behind the DMCA
Intent and harm. Exercising your right to use your Xbox however you like doesn't come in the same class as shooting people for one very good reason: you don't have to negate someone else's rights in order to exercise it - well, unless you use it to beat someone to death, but that kind of proves the point, I think.
Claiming you have a right to shoot anyone you like would be classified as a positive right, in that others have to give up their rights in order for you to exercise yours. The right to own a gun for self defence is a negative right - nobody has to give up their rights for you to do that. If they're attacking you they're already infringing on your rights, and you have the right to defend those rights.
Saying you have the right to use your property as you see fit is a negative right. It doesn't take away anyone else's rights. You want to use your xbox to play illegally copied games, that's great! You can do that, as modding your xbox - which is your own property - doesn't affect anyone else's rights.
What you can't do is claim that you have a right to own those illegally copied games, as that takes away the right of the creator to decide how their stuff is distributed. The "right" to own those games is a positive right, as it requires others to give up their rights n order to accommodate your own claimed rights.
The DMCA is turning the negative right of property ownership into a positive right to interfere in the property ownership of others. It's bad law. The fact that it's law doesn't make it automatically correct and good and proper, as the law requires that the right to use your property as you see fit is reduced in order to accommodate the claimed rights of another. It's really no different from claiming the right to shoot people just because you have a gun.
Since most of the pages will be quite similar you could probably store most of the issues as diffs from some selected or patterned set of master copies. I reckon you'd get about 92% compression efficiency.
*ding* You have discovered politics!
What the hell is this, Civilisation 4? I'm just waiting for a military advisor to turn up and recommend nuking everything!
Because they can!
And besides, this is getting closer to the form-factor I've always desired: a two-screen tablet that you can use like a book. Preferably with some future version of e-paper. Holding an open book is much more comfortable than holding a large lumpen tablet of a similar weight and dimension.
But to reiterate my original point: Because they can!
In the sense that a bargain is an exchange of goods or promise between parties. A bargain may be a saving when you're happy about it, which is why we refer to an exchange that favours us as a bargain in the vernacular, but a bargain can also favour the other side. The point is that a bargain is an exchange, a deal, a contract or settlement. A bad bargain is a bad bargain, it has no good sides merely because it's called a "bargain".
A vehicle is not a Faraday cage. Or, more accurately, a vehicle is a faraday cage that will, nevertheless, not be able to block electromagnetic radiation at the wavelengths used by mobile phones. your idea that the car will prevent a jamming signal having an effect outside the car is very easy to disprove using this simple test.
1) Get inside your car.
2) Make a phone call.
If you can make a call then your car isn't an effective faraday cage at the wavelengths in question.
Any signal capable of blocking or intercepting your mobile phone from within the car will be powerful enough to affect phones outside the car. If it's not strong enough to transmit outside the car then it won't actually be strong enough to have any effect within the car either.
You make the mistake of assuming that limiting by law the "distractions" a driver will face will somehow reduce them. This is a false assumption. If you remove one distraction a driver will simply come up with another one. This is because the *driver* is allowing himself to be distracted. He is a bad driver. Banning his phone won't magically make him a better driver; he will still be a bad driver who will simply express that lack of ability in some other way.
Survive being handled by me, apparently.
I burned out five of the damn things the other day just by looking at them, or near enough. I had myself earthed and everything but they still went phut. Must be my magnetic personality (south pole - it repels everyone).
Unless you want to have a dedicated special socket for your car this isn't exactly "available" to the average householder. The 30 amp main is usually tucked away somewhere it can't do any damage and is hard-wired into the appliances it serves. There's a good reason for this: it's bloody dangerous. Moreso than a 13 amp fused socket, which will generally blow before you do, though you'll be in a bit of a pickle afterwards. Start mucking with a 30 amp main and you're toast. Or, if you're as lucky as I am with live wires(or unlucky depending on how you look at it), you'll have a great party story. You'll also probably have a toasted car.
60% lostyou mean?
Modern petrol engines typically are about 30% efficient, which isn't brilliant I'll agree, but is more efficient than the 10% you seem to think, mr AC.
A bigger problem with electric engines is that they use up a lot of energy dragging around the dead weight of the batteries. The reason petroleum products remain so popular is because, as has been pointed out numerous times before, they have the advantage of an incredible energy density, and they don't leave a huge lump of dead weight in the back of the car when they've been consumed. Batteries can't match either of these and probably never will.
Oh yes, "repurposed".
Because nobody, and I mean nobody, knew that this money they gave to the Irish Realist Artists Meals for Boys fund was going to the IRA to make bombs. Oh no.
A former American friend (former for many reasons) told me that she sympathised with the IRA right after hearing about the last bombs they set in 2001, knowing that people were killed and knowing that they were intended to kill many more than they did. She is not atypical. Support for the IRA was very high amongst Irish americans, often many generations removed from the people actually living in Ireland. They supported death from a long way away without thinking about the consequences of it. And they gave money to continue it.
In fact, you are right that the government of the United Staes was not involved, but neither did it do anything to prevent the well-organised and open funding of the IRA via NORAID. There is a certain complicity involved there. NORAID provided weapons to the IRA. Weapons. That's things that make banging noises and kill people. They did it openly. They openly appealed for money to do this on US soil, under the watchful eyes of the US government.
Much as I like the United States (which puts me at odds with a lot of commenters here) I cannot accept that they didn't know this was going on. Deliberate failure to prevent when you have the knowledge and the ability is tacit approval. At least some parts of the US government approved of the IRA's actions. Not all, but some, and with enough clout to prevent action being taken to stop the continued funding of those actions. Claiming that people didn't know where the money was going and that the US didn't have any role in that, when inaction that allowed the funds to keep flowing is itself a role is, at best, disingenuous. At worst it's either near-pathological denial, or outright lies.
A few libraries do not an open source OS make
What was that about getting facts straight?
One example negates two decades of constant corporate bullying, shoddy products, useless leaders, lies, deceit, anti-competitive behaviour and generally being shits to the world. I'll never doubt again!
Doesn't have to be.
It's a crime in France, we're both members of the EU and both signed up to the EU arrest warrant. It is conceivable that publishing comments on a website about a UK politician, which are then read in France and perceived as displaying contempt, could then be used to justify the issuing of an EU arrest order.
In the end that sort of chain of events is unlikely. However, the EU has already displayed a tendency towards attempting to repress freedom of speech when it's inconvenient. The items on free speech and freedom of thought in the Lisbon constitution-in-all-but-name are so filled with caveats and conditions as to render them completely useless if the EU decides you're going to shut up. It's not impossible to believe that they would, sooner or later, adopt an EU-wide law similar to the French law. It would be harmonisation, you see.
It's all about factors
The reason we use a 360 degree circle and 60 seconds in a minute are because of the factors you can get from this. A base 12 measurement system gives you more factors to work with than base ten, which gives you five, two and... ten. With base 12 you get five, two, ten, six and three, which is easy to understand when you're working with fractional mathematics. Fractions, I find, are more intuitive than decimal maths. Get a decimal point on the wrong place and you're out by an increasingly large factor. Get a fraction wrong and it's obvious immediately.
By curious coincidence the length of a yard, and a foot (and consequently an inch) can be derived using nothing more than a time standard and the motion of the stars. Despite popular belief these measurements aren't based on some sovereign's oversized foot, which is why they're remained so constant for so many thousands of years (tens of thousands if you count the megalithic yard).
This is the best page I could find describing the process:
Now, the problem with imperial measurements isn't an inherent one: they lack standardisation, which isn't a flaw of the units but of the people using them. Many were derived from the existing basic units for use in agriculture, and others were modified to fit that use (the mile used to be 5000 feet long, the same distance as used by the Romans, but was modified under Elizabeth the first for some reason). The solution would be standardisation, which was never actually tried on anything other than an ad-hoc and contradictory basis (most of the criticism of imperial measurements is how ad-hoc they appear, which is true if you take the entire gamut of measurements grouped together under "imperial", many of which were taken from informal measures for various things but which aren't actually related to the basic units). If you go back and work from the basic measurement of the inch, foot and yard you could create a set of standard measures for weight, volume and length that would be far more versatile than base ten metric. It would be rather revolutionary.
On the other hand metric can be converted between units counting on your fingers, if you're willing to give up some flexibility and a few useful factors. It's all about what you want to do with it.
Advocacy over. :)
Same reason there's a 500g metric pound
Stubborn refusal to give something up. Sort of like me with feet, as you will hopefully see somewhere higher up. :D
The most common comparisons seem to be a fully loaded 747 and a bag of cement. A london bus must surely be in there somewhere as well.
You go out to spend time with the people you go out with, not the entire planet. We may still be a global village (is that still the in thing?) but we're not required to give up any and every opportunity to choose how we interact with the rest of the world in the process. Sometimes it's nice to be out and still be a little separate from everyone else.
Or have you never gone for a walk in an empty park? Hidden away in a corner of a restaurant? Maybe found a little arbour where nobody else goes so you can spend some time out, but not flooded with noise from passers-by? I don't see any difference between that and this, except that this is an attempt to get bums on seats in a money-making establishment.
Tablets offer the possibility of a fully configurable user interface that allows the elimination of a keyboard when you don't need it and the possibility of a much larger interface for a given weight. In theory, that makes then superior to the current way of doing things, where a large part of your hardware footprint is taken up by permanent buttons. In practice it means that you lose most of the functionality of the keyboard and don't get an adequate replacement for it.
The problem, of course, is that tablets are not pushing the user interface far enough away from traditional computer interfaces. Apple did manage to hit on a fairly decent solution with their iPoke but it still has the problem that I always face with these sorts of devices: tactile feedback. When I press a button I want to feel it, even if all I'm feeling is a little bit of vibration to know that the button has actually been activated. Even my n900 doesn't get that right (it vibrates every time you touch the screen, which isn't what I was after), but at least I get an actual keyboard for typing with. It seems ludicrous that we're creating devices for possibly the most sensitive part of the human body (yes, more sensitive than that other bit) and not attempting to take advantage of the huge amount of feedback possible there. Instead we just offer a blank slate and maybe make a clicking noise. It's a complete waste.
But in theory it's great. :)
Ideally some sort of system of creating raised areas where the buttons or other features appear would provide a solution, if they could also be depressed, and if they could then only function if they were pressed properly instead of poked accidentally. It's a nice dream but I don't think we'll be seeing that just yet.
Identify with that lot?
Hardly. They represent me not one bit.
However yes, it is our sovereignty as a nation that is being reduced by transfer to a foreign government. This is not a contradiction. Sovereignty is a zero-sum game; either you have it or you do not. When it's transferred, one party loses and another gains. The fact that some of this foreign government's actions appear at first glance to benefit us as individuals doesn't mean much when the majority of its actions cost us both individually and as a collective. And yes, the same could be said of our own numpties but we can change our numpties, engage in the bloodless revolution of an election and have a new set of numpties who might be more tractable. We still have the right to do that, but those numpties we choose no longer have the power to do much because so much of that power - our authority, that they mere wield on our behalf - was handed over to a foreign government that we did not choose to represent us, and over which we have no control. That is a reduction of *personal* sovereignty.
We can't change the numpties higher up the food chain - they are immune from our collective will. And the EU, because it is immune from our will, is used by our own numpties as a means to bypass that same will in cases where it cannot convince us to go along with it, through quiet words with the ministers of other countries, reaching a consensus amongst themselves about the way to go, without ever consulting the people they claim to represent and always acting to further their own interests at our expense.
You seem to think that my argument is in favour of our lot against that lot, when it's neither. I'm against both, because they are all in it together when it's all said and done, regardless of the colour tie they have or what accent they speak with. They don't act for us, they don't represent us, they do not do a damn thing to benefit us except by accident.
You think this directive favours the little guy? It just gives multinationals another stick to beat SMEs and sole traders with, because a multinational can absorb the costs of non-compliance with the law (which carries no criminal penalty), whilst an SME can't afford to bring them to justice, and an SME can't afford to fend off a multinational bringing the full weight of this new law against it. The same as with every regulation, it favours the large over the small. Any benefit we as individuals might glean from this is mere accident.
(And yes, I do like saying numptie. Can you tell?)
From the 1st of November
This for of EU directive still has to be transferred into national law by national legislatures before it becomes law within member states. Until then, no, and it is likely that a lot of companies are attempting to re-arrange contracts in order to get one final run of long payment terms before the date comes up.
I quite like Europe. The EU is not Europe. I have also never exclaimed "save the British X" about anything because that's a distraction from the central issue of the reduction of the national right to self-determination.
So, let me explain this in simple terms. Sovereignty means having the ability to set your own laws, customs, and policies, raises taxes and interact with the world as you see fit. Under the EU's principle of subsidiarity, now that the EU has legislated in this particular area of law (contract law) we no longer have the right to initiate our own legislation in that same area. In other words, we are no longer sovereign in that area. That is what the sovereignty argument comes down to; we no longer have the right, under the rule of the EU, to set policy and make law on this subject, and consequently we are no longer sovereign in that subject.
If you think that's fine then great but, nevertheless, our sovereignty has been reduced by the actions of the EU. In fact now, under the lisbon treaty, we have none. The ultimate definition of sovereignty is the ability to set foreign policy, which we no longer have - that role is now taken by the EU. Without that ability we are not a nation-state, just as Wales and Scotland are not sovereign states but merely substates or administrative states within the United Kingdom.
Was that easy enough to understand? Again, if you think this is fine and like this idea then you are more than welcome to carry on thinking that. It is still a marginally free country (despite the efforts of Brown and Blair) but I feel it would be more intellectually honest to say that you agree with this idea of transferring sovereignty to the EU than trying to pretend it isn't happening, because it is happening.
"please note the spelling; after all, you're the one claiming to be an expert"
I make it a point to never claim to be an expert.
What a novel idea!
Not reading things I don't agree with. I must try that sometime...
Actually, no, that would be silly. Better to read and attempt to understand rather than complaining about it, n'est pas? I mean, if we never tried to understand opposing points of view we'd be in a pretty sorry state. Wars, fundamentalism, appeals to authority and insults flung at opponents would be the norm. It would be a nightmare.
I'd like to wake up now...
Lewis is a leftie?
Regardless of his political preferences, he's right. The cited projects were started under the Tories, but that doesn't absolve Labour of anything they did, it merely places the responsibility where it belongs.
Big Blue Elephant
Withhold payments to the EU until
a) we have cleared our own national deficit and
b) they stop increasing the EU budget in the middle of a recession
All that money we give to the EU each year would clear our budget problems in next to no time. Combine it with a marginal cut to the NHS, say 2% (you'd probably get a decent reduction in spending if you fire a few thousand middle managers and hire the same number of nurses) and we could be running a surplus in a few years.
I hate to nitpick but in actual fact English is a Germanic language. The Latin bits came to us via French, but the grammar, syntax and general wibbly bits are german. We really speak a fresian in french knickers (but, to be accurate, fresian is a language that descended from the same parent as english, which makes them distant cousins rather than direct descendant/ancestor).
Latin is a dead language. It isn't "spoken" anywhere outside high catholic mass and educational institutions. Its descendants are not Latin, though they share some features of it, just as I am not my grandfather, and just as latin is not proto-indo-european.
Still, a better comparison for the op to make would have been English or Spanish vs French. the former are loose, widely spread and "fragmented" but still work together and are spoken by a significant majority of the world population. The latter was once the language of diplomacy and art, but fell out of favour in part because someone wanted to peeserve the "purity" of the language.
posted from my n900. i suspect it is fresian to android's english...
And workable ones?
Yes, they do exist! Personally I choose to not make use of a wide variety of things because I have a moral objection to them. That's my own very workable moral crusade. I do wish more people were like me, but when I try and explain why I personally don't like something I get accused of being out to ban it, which is silly, and prevents others from hearing what I have to say.
That being: don't be silly. It's a personal choice, and we should all make personal choices instead of encouraging our "leaders" to believe that they have the authority to ban stuff.
The mistake people make when they hear something like this firewall plan is to automatically assume it's those damn christians behind it (yes this is the point I was coming to) when most christians couldn't give a tinker's cuss what you're doing on the internet. The urge to ban things isn't a uniquely religious one and, over the course of history, has been practised equally by every sort of religious and political movement - especially those with a more authoritarian bent. That the current Australian PM wants to ban things isn't a sign of nascent christianism, but simply a revelation of the fact that she's a control freak who would rather dispense with anything that gets in the way of her own personal vision of how the world works. In fact I'd go as far as to say her attitude and vision is anti-christian, given that banning is judgement, and we are commanded "judge not lest ye be judged" and told that we should take care of the huge dirty great lump of our own spiritual and moral failings before trying to involve ourselves in the speck of dust that is someone else's "immoral behaviour".
What I'm trying to say is, she's being silly.
What country do you live in, where this mythical policing of public places actually takes place? the only time I see a copper is when there's a chance to hand out a speeding ticket, bang someone up for eyeballing an officer, or count coup on the arrest of some kid for playing football with intent to enjoy.
you mean the plot they ripped off from diamons are forever? complete with identical sateellite design? there's a reason they dumped that director and rebooted the series after that abortion of a film.
You'd be surprised how hard it is to set fire to petrol, and especially diesel. Shoot a car in the petrol tank and it makes a hole, hollywood explosions notwithstanding. Shoot a l-ion battery and it is almost guaranteed to go bang. That's the difference.
Petrol is volatile when it's in a gaseous form, but in a liquid form it's relatively non-volatile. That's one of the reasons it's so great as a fuel, as it can be stored in a relatively safe form that has a very high energy density. As long as the future exoskeleton has a nice high impact non-metallic tank to sore the fuel in it'll be safer than lugging around a pack of batteries that have a not insignificant chance of spontaneously exploding.
To the wiki!
Roger, though I'm sure relying in wikipedia is seen in the same vein as having a faith around here, I did check before I posted. 65 mph is within the range of a category 1 hurricane for the north atlantic according to the wiki page on the subject. Now maybe they got the table wrong but, nevertheless, "only" 65mph (or 63 - me make typo) is more than a "stiff breeze". It's the sort of wind that pulls trees out of the ground. You'd have trouble walking down the road in it, never mind across a recently exposed mudpit in a river delta, carrying all your wordly posessions while egyptians on chariots chase you.
And @ac: no, don't be silly. If science could prove a biblical account christians the world over would rejoice in it and call it a new era of understanding as two factions finally find common ground.
Actually science and faith don't have to be opposed to each other. All the greatest scientists of the past were deists at the very least, an usually quite prominent in their particular faith and it's only the whole evolution thing that has really created a problem - but that's due to a historical fluke, of certain people in the generation prior to Darwin time seeing what was then the nascent theory of evolution as a means to abolish all sorts of established social mores, not just limited to faith. Darwin, a christian himself when he began writing the Origin of the Species, was shocked at the ferocity of the rejection of his ideas by the church and gave up his faith, but that rejection came because the church couldn't see past the actions of other, earlier proto-evolutionists who had used the idea of evolution as a weapon to attack the church; christians believed he was going to do the same thing and rejected him outright. Without that, christianity could easily have come to an accommodation with evolutionary theory because, at the base of things, it doesn't actually rule out the existence of God but merely changes and expands our understanding of how stuff happened.
Speaking as a christian...
... surely the biggest miracle in this scenario is that several hundred thousand people would be able to walk across a mud-flat in "only" 65 mph winds given that they're "only" the same wind-speeds you'd find in a category 1 hurricane.
Directives from the Commission *are* "EU law." The commission issues directives after they've been assembled by the Council of Ministers relevant to the particular area covered by the directive. Directives are routinely issued as regulatory directives that bypass the national legislatures entirely, however they still have to issue a number of legislative directives that must then be implemented by the national legislatures as well. The point being, though, that the legislation is issued by the commission as a directive. in truth there is no "EU law". It's all directives.
Yes it is. An adjective is a word who's primary syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun to provide more information about it, which is what an attributive does. The clue is that it can also be predicative. A sausage factory isn't sausage (the attributive noun "sausage" can't be predicative), but a fail boat is fail (the attributive adjective "fail" can also be predicative, like "smart" - that boat is smart. That is a smart boat).
Oh get over yourself you twit. I was trying to explain why it's stupid to bash American english and I went with a simplified historical narrative to do so. If I'd put in every caveat and historical tidbit (american English deriving new words from native languages, British english taking words wholesale from modern German etcetera ad nauseum ad infinitum) I would have been writing all night. You've managed to grab the wrong end of the stick so effectively that you're in a different tree.
American English is a dialect of English that split off in the mid 18th century, or thereabouts and it retains much of the character of English from that period. There are far fewer words (English didn't really start looting vocabulary until the 19th century, when we had all those Imperial holdings and such) and it has a much looser grammar. Back then nouns and verbs could be interchanged (and adjectivised) with relative ease; English, like every other language, has plenty of verbs that are derived from nouns, and nouns derived from verbs. The difference is that, in the intervening period, British English began deriving new verbs and nouns by adopting them wholesale from foreign languages as we took over large chunks of the planet, whilst American English retained the concept of deriving verbs, nouns and adjectives from within its existing vocabulary. As it adopted new vocabulary the act of derivation from within continued, turning nouns into verbs (hover -> hoovering; google -> to google) and both into adjectives (to fail -> a fail -> the fail boat).
Both languages still do this, but American English does it much more obviously because it's still essentially 18th century in character. This is just how languages work.
It's no big deal, just use a text-only browser.
Actually, it works fine for me in FF on Kubuntu. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong. :)
Pedestrians do daft stuff, so what?
What annoys me isn't pedestrians who wander around in their ipod zombie trances, it's when they think they can get behind the wheel of a car and do the same thing. I've lost count of the number of times I've narrowly avoided uncertain death only to find that the driver of the other car had these loud music-making devices crammed in their ears and were busy fiddling with them at 40 mph. In a 30 zone. Darwin doesn't kick in here because they would survive whilst killing off other, possibly smarter individuals.
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