1252 posts • joined Monday 5th March 2007 21:42 GMT
Foundation and Earth?
Obviously teaming up with google and controlling the world is the next step...
What after that? Robots coming out of the woodwork despite no evidence of their existence up to that point? A mysterious clone of the Wikipedia Foundation on the far side of the world? (Ooh, that'd be the EU's attempt at creating a european competitor to google wouldn't it. I wonder how that's going...)
@I can forgive every coding blunder
Would that not be everythingButMixedCapitals?
aka camel case? If you've got a programmer writing names with ranDom CapITals in them then yes, that person has a problem, but if he's writingLikeThis in order to makeItClearer for the reader then, sorry, you don't have an argument.
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.
Simple fact is, the industry hasn't hit a wall yet so they aren't bothering to change, and they'll carry on this way right up to the point where someone important can't get an IP address. Then they'll change.
@Victor + Luke
Actually you're both wrong. American English is a dialect that branched off from "English" in the mid 19th century and retains much of that character, whilst British English continued along an evolutionary path heavily influenced by its colonial heritage (doo lally, tiffin, thug, for example, replacing "slightly mad", tea and footpad). Communication between the two dialects has been strong, so they share words with each other, *but* it's likely in about 500 years they'll be as incomprehensible to each other as Scots English and English are today.
Despite what you might think, nothing about creationism actually rules out the possibility of alien life. I know there are times when creationists have said otherwise but they're silly people.
Look at it this way: if you were God, would you stop at one planet?
There's an entire universe out there! The evolutionist looks at it and marvels at the wondrous possibilities of nature. The creationist looks at it and is struck by the infinite majesty of God. You know that feeling you get when you look up at the stars and realise just how far you're actually seeing, the one that makes you feel so very, very small... anyway the assumption that God would only make one planet full of life is silly, and people on either side of this great chasmic debate using that assumption are equally silly.
In fact it's all silly. Lets go and get merry instead. And no, I don't care if it is thursday.
it would put another nail into the coffin of the creationists.
Nah. "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd."
Of course it could be argued this was just a reference to people who weren't Israel but, where's the fun in that?
"And the difference between invisible aliens and God is what?"
God doesn't anal probe you,.
"Does make me wonder why those jolly chinamen [and women, of course] wouldbe poking around belgian interests?"
Steven, go look at a map and find out where Brussels is located, and the Hague, and all those lovely EU institutions, and NATO headquarters.
Think about it for a moment...
Realisation dawning yet?
Personally I think there's a moral difference between filesharing something and making copies to sell. The latter isn't merely distributing, it's actually profiting from a criminal action which, as I recall, carries a few extra penalties under UK law. As a some-time software developer I don't particularly mind people sharing my (crap) writing around, nor even the software I write - hence the GPL - but if someone were to start *selling* it then I'd be very angry.
I know I'm not making as much sense as I'd like here but I think the point is that, in cases where a trader is passing off illegal copies as genuine and profiting from it, they don't have a leg to stand on. It's not any sort of moral statement and it *is* essentially theft, inasmuch as they are making a profit from something that had no part in creating, and inasmuch as a company willing to take the initial hit and drop its pricing down to that level could well stand to make quite a few extra sales. The fact that they aren't doing that doesn't make this particular act any less reprehensible. They're not stealing in the classic sense but they are profiting from a criminal enterprise, which is something you could never say about stuff on p2p. It's like the difference between Robin Hood and your more average highwayman.
Also I could say a thing or two about Bradford and not being surprised but I won't... oh wait, I just did. Never mind!
@AC re POS
"Unbuntu may or may not have these problems, but nor does it have a competent POS solution, so I hope that you aren't advocating it as an alternative..."
I would suspect not, as most competent POS apps are written to run on suitably configured versions of Linux, Unix or whatever, *without* the huge overhead of running hulking great window manager (or Windows Super Elite Fancy Edition or whatever) underneath. You see, most people running POS want to be able to run a POS and *nothing else*.
There is no Ubuntu Branded POS software because Ubuntu isn't aimed at the POS market. There is POS software that will run on Ubuntu, just like it'll run on any other suitably configured linux distro, but why would you want to use a desktop/server oriented OS for POS applications?
And, for that matter, why would you want to use windows?
Freedom of speech does not allow you to write hurtful things about someone else.
Actually, yes it does. You can indeed say these things and you can accept the consequences of them, if they then cause actual problems. Shouting "fire" in a cinema is the classic; the act of the shout itself is freedom of speech, but the subsequent charges for multiple manslaughter resulting from people being trampled to death are the responsibility you need to take for acting on your freedom to yell stupid things. The criminal act in this case was not the speech itself but the choice to do it in that particular spot.
Or, to put it another way, if you shout fire in a crowded cinema and nobody gives a damn, are you guilty of anything? By your idea, you are.
Freedom of speech is absolute necessary. If you start saying that people are free to speak as long as it's not "insulting" or whatever then you no longer have freedom of speech, and without freedom of speech you are no longer free to live your life as you see fit, nor criticise the government, or "corporate interests", or whatever. Without freedom of speech you are a slave to the whims of the people who decide what is "reasonable".
Now common sense, of course, is a whole different matter but that's a case of personal scruples. The day they start legislating common sense is the day I give up on humanity. Oh wait, they already do.
The one with the ticket for Mars in the pocket, please.
Well you can tell by the way I use my walk...
Perhaps the most extravagantly expensive disco ball in existence.
Can't help but think we'll end up attracting a load of Jon Travolta aliens... oh dear, Battlefield Earth might actually come true!
See this is what happens...
We're in a horrible half-way house. Huge rafts of legislative power are handed over to the EU already, so the provincial government (for that is what it is), not wanting people to realise that it is effectively no longer the de-facto or even de-jure government of this country, makes lots of big noises in the few areas it can still control by pushing through more and wide-ranging new legislation in those tiny, tiny areas and micromanaging everything where it still has the power to legislate. Why else the obsession with targets, with increasingly meddling in what were once personal, private matters and so on? It's because that's all they have left, and to satisfy the ego, the delusion of influence, or to simply con people into believing that they are still relevant, the entire political class goes along with it, because to admit otherwise would make people realise that there's simply no point in the Westminster parliament any more.
Laws like this are the result of all that. They criminalise what was once the domain of individual discretion, because that's pretty much all our political class can meddle with these days.
In theory we are, but DEFRA or MAFF or whatever it's called this week has cocked up the payments to our farmers. We're paying the French to do it, but our lot are having to set aside land - o comply with the rules requiring them to do so - and aren't getting paid for it. It's all disappearing into the pockets of consultants somewhere in Westminster.
So, they've done what any sensible person would do in that situation and started farming industrial crops instead. Oilseed rape and flax don't count under set-aside. Which, incidentally, is why set-aside can't be used to boost biofuel production. it's already being used.
Then of course there's the problem that the EU's requirement for 10% of our fuel to come from biofuels by 2020 (or 2015? I forget...). To produce that amount of biofuel we'd need to use all of our arable land - set-aside *and* the stuff currently used for food production. So we'd be entirely dependent on imports, at a time when food production has dipped due to the unusually cold weather, and pressure is being added from biofuels.
There are many reasons for this happening, not least the weather, which saw China's crops devastated recently...
Forget the morality of the war for a moment (since when was war ever moral anyway?). It's not the number of ships, or their position (though we should probably follow the American line and have the damn destroyer in a close support role rather than nearly 30 miles away) but the fact that RN training for boarding ships is apparently up the duff.
Lets put it this way. In any sort of situation where you hold the tactical high-ground and are approached by an apparently hostile enemy, do you:
a) stay where you are, call for support and get ready to shoot?
b) climb down and drive toward the bad guys?
If you answered B you're probably one of the members of that boarding party. They had the tactical high-ground - they were on-board a ship giving them an immensely superior field of fire and *cover*. They could have sat there, called in the marines (as it were) and simply shot at the Iranians if they made any threatening moves. Instead, the duffers got off the tactical high-ground and into their boats, and went for a fishing trip or something.
that used to be standard naval doctrine when boarding a boat. Apparently this lot were too busy listening to their iPods during that part of the training lectures...
"Hopefully the engineering culture at the ex-Soviets has not fallen prey to the same "normalization of deviance""
landing off-course and other "deviances" were planned for from a very early point in the Soyuz program. It's why they still carry pistols.
Well I don't know what you would call taking one of the most productive and efficient oil companies in South America and running it into the ground if not "being a tit"...
Futures are based on a lot of factors, not least being predicted future productivity. When a producer suddenly starts to drive its productivity down, as Venezuela is doing right now, it will cause the futures market to react by putting up the price of oil, expecting scarcity in the future.
@Heard of peak oil?
Heard of the massive new strike off the coast of Brazil? Third largest field in the world, I hear, and that's just the start. There are predicted oil reserves off most of south america and under the south atlantic that have yet to be tested because the technology to drill that deep under water was only recently perfected. New technologies are also allowing previously ignored 'less than idea' fields to be re-assessed for production.
The high price of crude is partly due to Chavez and other oil producers being tits and - mainly - increased demand from India, China and other emerging economies. If peak oil were the sole cause of rising prices we wouldn't see the current massive, demand-driven rise in primary commodities like cobalt, aluminium, iron and copper, caused by the same growing economies.
Sure, we'll run out of oil one day, but not *just* yet.
<-- not angry, just flaring off excess gas... :)
"then there is some proxy between you and the (non-existent) website."
Yeah. The ISP.
"Just cover one in solar cells for powering the steering and propulsion etc and yer laffin."
Well, no. Helium has a nasty tendency to leak out of an airship's envelope over time, and with the changing temperatures over a 24 hour period it'll be venting gas and dropping ballast to try and maintain a constant altitude. You'd have to bring it back every few days for a refill or it'll be bobbing around the valleys of the Kush half a year into it's mission, looking slightly wrinkly, until some Tuareg pops it so he can do chipmunk impressions.
Nobody's asking the question: why are we trying to sell the eurofighter?
Ok, so at one level the answer is simple: the saudis want it.
But it's not that simple...
You see, the MoD is looking at a way to get out of its obligation for the Tranche 2 eurofighter because it massively underestimated the final cost of paying for all these planes, and has realised - a little too late - that the Eurofighter is designed to dogfight over europe in a war with the soviets, as a stopgap until the Americans can launch their nukes. We don't need that capability anymore. We haven't done for nearly 20 years.
So they're trying to get out of buying, and if they can't get out of buying they're trying to recoup the cost of tranche 2 by selling it off to the saudis. That's why they've tried so hard to fight repeated investigations into the sales; they're going to be billions out of pocket if they can't, which threatens Brown's Hero Proj... um... defence initiative in the new carrier for the F22s. One or the other will have to be canned. Imagine having a carrier without planes... of course Tranche 3 of the Eurofighter is expected to be retrofitted for carrier operations, but we aren't buying those as far as I'm aware.
Don't worry. The government you elect actually has very little power these days. The real government is in Brussels.
Of course, you don't get to vote for *them*...
@JonB, Ethiopia has one other problem...
War. The country has been at war, with itself or Eritrea or Somalia, on and off, for the best part of thirty years. Most of the famines there were caused by people being driven off their land, armies stealing all the food or the work-age population getting slaughtered. And not down the pub, either. My dictum tends to be, when there's a problem, look for the man from the government. In this case the men from the government are carrying guns and stealing your son, but in other cases...
Of course Ethiopia might be in a much better position if it weren't for the protectionism of the US and the EU, both of whom prefer to see third-world farmers starve so they can protect their own farmers from having to actually compete in the world marketplace - and of course CAP finally achieved its stated goals and reduced our surpluses just at a time when we *really* need them. Ohio is 100% behind biofuels in the US, and France is pushing it here. Both are demanding more subsidies. There's that government interference again. C'est la vie.
The Biofuel boondoggle is just the icing on the cake, coming at a time when world food production has actually taken a slight dip (largely because of rising fuel costs, consequently causing a double pressure on food prices). I mean, who thought it would be a good idea to use *food* as *fuel*? What *idiot* came up with that? Oh wait, it was the government. How silly of me. And there's that man from the government again...
Paris, because even she's smart enough to know that you don't use bread to heat your home and you never, ever trust the government to feed you.
Not new, of course...
But under this government, particularly with Martin in the speaker's chair (and on the committee that oversees the handling of the transcripts), Hansard has reached Pravda-levels of "truthiness".
This is what happens when you put people into positions of apparent power with very few actual responsibilities and little consequent oversight, as is the case with most of the national legislatures within the EU. They become corrupt. They focus on the few areas where they do have power and they micromanage them to death, they project their "power" onto everything they can and they become completely, utterly corrupt. It's no wonder Private Eye nicknamed this lot Zanu Labour... but, then, even the Zanu PF are probably less corrupt at this point. At least they have to run a country. Our lot just sit back and pretend they're running it whilst padding out their wages and pensions and waiting for their retirement.
And, consequently, uninformed idiots become the norm rather than the exception.
The irony of your comment is that they don't run the country. The European Union runs the country, these people we vote for just fiddle around the edges, micromanaging the few areas of policy they have left. Schools, hospitals, defence, some parts of criminal law and a few bits of environmental policy. That's about all they have now. Ever wondered why they're so obsessed with the NHS? Why they can't stop coming up with new "initiatives" that are so narrow in scope and so invasive into every day life? They're trying to justify their existence to themselves, as much as anyone, and do so by meddling and micromanaging the few things they actually have any power over.
And the rest is the fault of the union...
The irony of it is, if we left the union we'd still be stuck with this lot and they'd have all that much more power over us. Makes an independence-minded fellow like myself very confused...
Worth pointing out again...
All the film does is show quotes from the koran that islamists use to justify their attacks, and actual film of these same people quoting these quotes, waving swords and talking about killing kufrs. Basically demonstrating that they're a bunch of murderous thugs...
And they respond with death threats. Yeah. That really showed he's wrong. Great job guys!
The funny thing is, at least two high profile terrorists have said that, without opening speil and the scrolling blurb at the end, it's actually the sort of film "they" - the terrorists themselves - would make to propagandise their own people. That being the case, can it be called "anti muslim" if they themselves are making exactly the same films?
Most of the world managed to survive quite nicely for quite a few thousand years of civilisation without any form of ID card. All an ID card does is prove that it belongs to the person holding the ID card, it doesn't prove that person exists (pretty obvious) or who they actually are. It doesn't provide "identity". Identity is innate.
You can tell who's watched it...
They mouth off about hate. Stupid. The only hate in the film comes from the mouths of supposedly moderate muslims. It's worth watching just to see the kind of people our governments are cosying up to.
There are muslims out there who just want to live their lives in peace but they don't get a voice. The murderers and hypocrites get the voice, because they're the ones who worm their way into positions of influence. They're the ones who wave swords and knives, blow stuff up and get all the attention. I mean, look at Ken Livingstone's muslim associates. Are they the sort of people muslims want representing them? I doubt they are, but they're the ones that he bends over backwards to accommodate. And so it goes throughout the western world. Wherever muslims become a significant minority, governments seem determined to seek out the most hateful representatives they can find and lavish them with attention. Meanwhile we plebs, and the muslims who just want to live in peace, get shafted.
"Only in america?"
Yeah. Only in america does stupid stuff happen, except when it happens somewhere else, like right here in old blighty where I've seen or heard about contractors taking pot-shots at each other with nailguns, idiots knifing their friends to death by accident and more idiots deciding it would be a splendid idea to walk along in front of a high-speed train. But crap like that only happens in america, right, because Americans are Stupid. Everyone knows that...
Blame the parents!
The problem seems to be that nobody bothers to teach kids to at least pretend to respect their elders, or any sort of manners whatsoever. The first place they should be leaning this is at home. Unfortunately a lot of parents seem to think that they can just abandon their sprogs to a series of educational institutions without actually putting any effort into them... except when the institutions try to discipline their children, then suddenly it's their right to demand people be sacked for speaking mean to their little johnny or whatever.
Then we have the well-meaning morons who start trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone regardless of how adept they are... bright pupils get under-served, slow pupils get put in classes they can't handle, and the ones in the middle suffer because they're being beaten up by the bright ones and the slow ones. Standards are lowered so the kids at the bottom run don't feel "left out" by not achieving the highest possible mark.
At some people people will realise that not everyone can get an A*, and that different pupils need different kinds of attention. Suddenly we'll have some sort of new super-school where the brightest kids go, and motivational schools for the less able kids. They won't be called grammars and secondary moderns, though. oh no. They'll probably be called "excellence centres" or something equally trite.
Madison stood somewhat at odds with most of the framers of the US constitution in believing that the government should by necessity control the governed. This is a flawed premise to start from, as it assumes that the government allows the governed to remain at its behest, when the opposite is and should be the case. The majority of the US founding fathers were of the opinion that the government should be subservient to the people, who would exert the necessary control over that government, removing the need for the government to control itself. This attitude works as long as your government is composed of people who believe that the government should serve the governed rather than control them.
The last century has seen a progressive move toward the Madison way of seeing things, placing the governed in a subservient position to the government. The end result is that people go into government believing they have the right to do whatever they want, and the consequence is Dubya (whom I once supported unconditionally), Clinton, Nixon, Blair, Brown, the EU... Stalin hitler pol pot mao the japanese empire and god knows what else.
Start from the correct premise, that the government stands and falls only by the will of the governed, STICK to that premise, and you will have a truly representative and just government. The mistake came in listening to people like Madison rather than reading the words of the US declaration of independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"
A government should make no assumption of an implicit right to control the governed. The reason we're facing all these intrusions into our private life is precisely because people listened to people like Madison and his assumption that the government should have that control.
Quite possibly the stupidest idea I've ever heard!
Putting international and domestic flights through the same departure lounge? WHAT?!? What bright spark thought that would be a good idea? Bet it was the architect, you know; he probably thought "open and airy! Security? Who cares? It's art!"
"Spitzer infrared showcases"
The things people will do for a bit more exposure...
Mine's the dirty brown mac with the camera in the buttonhole...
If climate change is indeed a natural phenomenon, why should we be trying to stop it? If we caused it then I would expect we would need to do something to reverse our changes, but if it has absolutely nothing to do with us, if our effect is immeasurable, why should we presume to stop it? Are you going to claim that we know the ideal temperature of the planet?
Two things to be aware of regarding plastic bags:
Their durability makes them recyclable - in that they get used again and again. Real recycling that is. I keep hold of bags and use them for all sorts of things that would otherwise require me to go out and buy much thicker purpose-made bin-bags.
They're made using byproducts from petroleum distillation that would otherwise end up being dumped somewhere. Stop producing plastic bags and that stuff will have to go into something else.
I mean, sure, they make a mess, but wouldn't a campaign of getting people to actually put their rubbish in the bin be a better solution?
... I'm the one with the beard, shouldn't I be the evil one?
Anyway I think the preferred term is "rustic", and possibly "characterful", as this allows the inhabitants to pretend they aren't living like a 15th century peasant. Granted, a 15th century peasant with double glazing and a computer, but still...
There are always exceptions
The last place I worked before going freelance managed to finagle 50% of its permanent development team as women. Of course the fact that the permanent development team consisted of two people (I was contracting) might have had something to do with it. And the fact that both of them had brains so big they wouldn't even fit inside my skull is probably why they were hired...
I don't miss the place. They made me feel inadequate. :) But I think that should prove the point, in that both these people were the most suitable for the job and were hired because of that, not because of the shape of their genitalia.
You just described The McInternet!
The yellow one with the red and white stripes please.
- IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL
- Nine-year-old Opportunity Mars rover sets NASA distance record
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS
- Comment Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE