Feeds

* Posts by Stevie

2605 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Collective Delusion.

I'm not annoyed.

This whole matter is of little import to me (like tennis). I've tried to explain that so you can get some traction in your own thinking instead of trying to understand atheism as a sub-genre of your own belief system.

Of course, I am failing because to a person who Believes, the core of their faith is likely the most important thing in the world. It would be difficult for them under those circumstances to see that I wouldn't be putting my "Atheism" (big A is probably the way they see the word) in a similar central position in my life, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record it doesn't work that way.

I didn't take philosophy courses at college so I cannot engage you in twenty dollar word exchanges but I *think* the relevant term from that field is "category error".

People seem to want to classify atheism as the obverse side of the religion coin. I'm telling them that as far as I am concerned there is no coin.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: the crucifixion scene

If you own a print of the Picasso work you'll be done as a drug fiend too.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Definitions

Again, you try and define my viewpoint in terms of your own and then discuss it as a variation on a theme. My atheism is only a theistic philosophy because of a trick of linguistics. Any understanding you have achieved of how I stand on the subject is fundamentally flawed as it is based on a false premise.

I'll try again, but not in an attempt to convert you.

I think the one thing all religions share that *might* be the definition you are looking for is the belief in the continuation of the human self after death.

It's phrased differently of course. People speak of souls but what they really speak of is the Self.

I have concluded, based on the evidence available to me, that humans have no undying part. To me it is evident that the self is the mind, which in turn is an emergent behavior of the brain's natural complex recursive activity. No brain, no self.

Understanding that this complex brain is possible to develop without some sort of helping hand is made easier if on spends some time thinking about massively parallel evolutionary processes over geological timescales.

3
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Collective Delusion.

You missed the point. The many who misuse the word "Religion" to mean philosophy of life or obsession notwithstanding, religion is a belief that there is a point to it all. One or more "gods" are usually involved, and invoked as a cosmic doorstop whenever the thinking gets too hard, and thanked whenever sheer chance caused the believer to personally not become involved in some catastrophe or other.

The real difference (for me) between anyone's religion and my atheism is that I *never* stop to say "this event could only be possible in the complete absence of a creator" and I rarely waste brainpower worrying about lack of gods and random universal chaos because it doesn't work that way.

People with a strong and firm belief in a creator and life after death often find themselves pondering the whichness of the why and can't understand that I simply don't, in the way I don't think about tennis or horseback riding or how paper is made unless I have some definite question about those subjects.

I am happy not knowing where reality all came from and the prospect of dying *still* not knowing (I wouldn't spurn the knowledge if it was there to be had of course). I don't need gods to invent it because they don't solve anything. Show me a real honest to Offler god and my next question is "Well, who made it"? All a creator does is drop a curtain in front of an unreachable problem horizon.

I've bent a few brain cells wondering about where the universe is, and can appreciate that for some the comfort of saying "this far and no further shall ye look" is appealing. The problem is that then they get upset when I don't share their views and start talking "atheism is religion" nonsense.

As for life after death, when asked once by a friend where I thought we went after death I answered "The same place the numbers go when you turn off your calculator". The question seems meaningless to me.

But I'm no evangelist, determined to make you all see the sense in my argument because it doesn't work that way. I'd be more likely to demand everyone stop thinking about tennis (except it would not occur to me to discuss tennis most days).

20
2
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

I have to read The Daily Mail?

Damn you, this is just like what happened in Orwell's 1984.

(Doubleplusgood New Rule though. Tried to upvote it twice.)

5
0

True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Description in final paragraph nails it.

Someone should launch a kickstarter to fund a reward for the outing of the real name and a matching photo of the git in the snuff movie.

Which I haven't watched on two principles: I don't watch torture porn and I don't contribute knowingly to the no-doubt sky-high web hit stats that make these videos so attractive to the murderers.

If they want to suppress all press coverage in their domain I say fine, and I'll start with yours.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: first used by the Spaniards

There's an account of what *I'd* call a concentration camp in Thucydides' Peloponnesian War which I read in the Penguin translation back in the late 70s.

Wassat, like 460 BC or something?

3
0

BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: JG Ballard

Hmm. I remember a throwaway conversation involving a spider spinning neural material as needed in a story by Delany. Possibly one of the Fall of the Towers books. Delany burned up ideas like that twenty times in any given novel.

Maybe my own tatty neurons are misfiring on this one, though. I remember the conversation revolving around how the reason the creature was spinning web was because it was thinking about the people looking at it.

Stupid brain, wearing out just when I need it most.

1
0

UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

You won't learn about magnetos and alternators by doing your own servicing.

You don't "mill" a spindle.

And as for my point, you just made it for me.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

"If you are a parent, it's up to you. If you don't understand either learn or pay someone who does. Simple."

I quite agree with this simple demand made in the most reasonable tone.

I trust you'll reciprocate my own sensible and reasonable suggestion that anyone wishing to use anything with moving parts be conversant with the operation of a capstan lathe to machine a variety of materials (or pay someone who is to explain it to them).

Shouldn't drive a car or use a disk drive if you can't make a spindle or a bearing journal in my opinion.

And don't get me started on why you shouldn't have an internal combustion engine if you can't explain the difference between a magneto and an alternator/points setup.

1
1
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Commendable zeal on the part of the police.

I trust there were no "universal backdoor" clauses built into this sensible request?

1
0

Wall Street woes: Oh noes, tech titans aren't using bankers

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

It couldn't possibly be because Wall Street Investment Banking has been graphically shown to be incapable of managing it's own house to the extent it actually crashed several world economies by means of its witless, self-destructive behavior and demonstrated in 2008 that the American Capitalistic Model was fundamentally flawed to the world?

Because, well, that's what I'd stick at the top of the answer list.

11
0

e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Well, the actual answer is to define requirements clearly, clearly understand and explain the difference between a development life cycle and a maintenance life cycle and where in each of those the "new requirements" fit, and (after the Govt. reps have finished frothing about how impossible this all is) sweeten the deal by writing whopping great monetary penalty clauses into the contract.

The real problem on these sorts of projects is that they run so long. If you can define your goals so that they can be delivered in the short-term (i.e. months rather than years) you stand a good chance of getting something useful for your money. The clue that this project was far too long here is "a change of government".

Personally I fail to see in this object oriented world why delivery on these systems is an all-or-nothing monolithic deal rather than a modular approach. We could cancel Cobol systems in the same time scale as these buggers and that would be using your old mainframe kit too.

Of course the whole thing reeks of "special relationship" collusion at high levels.

1
1

Boffins find hundreds of thousands of woefully insecure IoT devices

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: The IoT. All the s**t development practices of the real internet

All your lightbulb are belong to us.

3
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Oh my god I did not see that coming (through my needlessly internet connected binoculars).

1
0

Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

I give it three months, after which the [Satire] tag will be replaced with [Like, Not Serious] and three months after that the [rofl] tag.

4
0

Cargo truck crammed with garbage explodes IN SPAAAAACE

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Typical! The police arrive with a pair of fire trucks in tow if I burn so much as a handful of leaves but these buggers set light to seven tons of assorted non-recyclables and get a standing ovation.

4
0

Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

I think they should generate a unique browser name each session and send that to the bloody stats gathering crap (the major reason I can't load bloody websites on my commute as I pass from one WiFi hotspot to the next before Google.nothingtodowiththethingIwant finishes dawdling and lets me see the content.

For all the badness, it's worth remembering that the Browser Wars resulted in - free browsers. Netscape originally sold Navigator for Fifty dollars. That's fifty nineteen ninety five dollars too. that's like, I dunno, three grand in today's money. Or something.

0
0

Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Tee Hee. Reminds me of the reporter character "Mimi Ditto" from The Lone Groover in the 70s.

0
0

Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Still waiting to find out what my council will do if a dragon is hit by an asteroid in our airspace.

So much for FOI.

4
0

NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Huzzah! "Scientists" prove that gravity works on Mars!

2
2

Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

You made me read 3 pages of Selections from Maurice Bach so that you could grunt "Windows Bad" at the end?

Only the numerous pictures of the Westrex - a proper manly man's computer terminal - save you from a finger-wag.

4
0

Apple BANS 2 chemicals from iPhone, iPad final assembly line

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Benzene is nasty, fullstop.

"And if you are unlucky, the transcription error creates a cancer cell."

Or you might get something awesome like laserbeam eyeballs or the ability to call down lightning on command.

Mutation is like that, apparently.

2
1

The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

This article exacerbate the problem by citing so many links that required a further link to get to the meat of whatever point was being made.

0
1

Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

This asteroid is clearly held together by secreted alien resin.

Either that or the shape of the thing has tricked the scientists' spin-o-meter. Again, the work of aliens.

0
0

Dead Steve Jobs sued by own shareholders in no-poach pact brouhaha

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

This is the way we wreck the shareholder value,

Wreck the shareholder value,

Wreck the shareholder value,

This is the way we wreck the shareholder value,

In the search for a quick dividend payout.

0
3

What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Really?

The stats on that Wikipedia page do not refute the statement made (on my reading of it), though they do suggest it is inaccurate.

The 'fine print' clauses on the Wikipedia page are illuminating.

Thanks for the link.

0
0

Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

Stevie
Silver badge

Re:Isn't such stuff just common knowledge ?

Incoming clue missile: It's about not putting public focus on someone for the benefit of those too ... let's say "busy" ... to do that work, and to not do so to someone who is entirely unconnected to the affair.

And by Jove lets hope that whoever is named in this jolly little demonstration of the rule of the mob in action is actually the one to blame.

Though "anonymous" will be safe in any event because, well, no-one is threatening to name any of them.

2
0

Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

"We immediately started taking action to migrate the service "

To a bunch of post-its stuck on the server cabinet sides.

0
0

Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

No e-book is worth $9.99.

Not many e-books are worth half that. $5 is the level at which I begin to baulk, looking instead for the remaindered hardback, originally priced around $25 now going for $10 or even less.

I wonder what the authors make of that calculus.

I also wonder at an industry that pushes e-books optically scanned - and therefore error-laden - from originals published in the 1950s and 1960s, written by authors dead two decades and more and prices them at around $12-$15, and wonder what the living authors think of that. Who would buy such a thing?

And I can't tell you the smell that comes to mind when an e-book costs $12 while the hardback is in print, but can be had for less than half that when the paperback is published with no changes to the e-content. Not so much as a change of typeface. Yes, George, I'm talking about your books. And no George, I didn't buy it until the price dropped to $3. I believe that's your nose lying at your feet.

Perhaps it's time to remember that making a living by writing books is a very recent phenomenon, and that the window for that being possible may be closing owing to too many fat bastards grabbing all the pie.

1
0

Stephen Hawking biopic: Big on romance, not so much with the science?

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

But...the movie is based on an autobiography of his wife, not Stephen Hawking.

So no harm in less physics as I see it.

Besides, who wants to pay 10 bux to have two hours of hard sums pounded at them?

1
0

World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: There is an extra a.

No, there isn't. That particular bit was hummed in a Canadian accent as a tribute to Guy Gibson and "S for Sugar".

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Daaaah daah dahdah dadadaaaaah dah

Daaaah daah dahdah dadadaaaaah dah

Daaaah dah daaah dah daaaaah dadaaaaah

Dah dah dadadah daaaaaaaah...

5
0

Intruder alert: Cyber thugs are using steganography to slip in malware badness

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: two eyes, not five

I'll remind you of the memo of 8th Aug inst. Re: defamatory language in usage by embassy staff to whit: The practice of referring to the members of the Groaci diplomatic mission as "sticky-fingered five-eyes" will cease forthwith under penalty of extra duty in voucher reconciliation and expense report filing.

7
0

Hacker crew nicks '1.2 billion passwords' – but WHERE did they all come from?

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Two phishing attempts in two weeks to my normally phish-free email, one "from" Bank America, the other Paypal (apparently I must follow the link to unlock my account, which has been frozen due to unlawful activity!)

Crap.

I hope this originates from some stupid StackOverflow account and not anything I care about.

0
0

NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Stevie
Silver badge

At 1G you can get from Earth to Mars in six days.

Yesyesyes. Every 12 year old has done that math (or I would hope they had).

But this thing doesn't put out 1G. This motor would not pass muster in any sort of planetside test by the Galactic Patrol as it cannot make way in even an asteroidal gravity well.

Consider: To make the microwaves and steer them about you need lots of metal. To actually get any useful thrust from this motor it would need to be made entirely out of soap film.

1
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: I love napkin math!

You can't reach luminal velocity. The implications of the various bits of Relativity Theory in play mean that as you get faster the spacecraft gets more massive requiring more and more oomph just to maintain the same acceleration. The change isn't linear either. Near the speed of light the energy required to nudge the craft up to the line (photonic speed-wise) goes asymptotic. At least, it did some thirty odd years ago when I last did the maths involved to see what was what using equations I found in Einstein's own book "Relativity" (very readable, worth a look).

We don't need to do the experiment you describe to confirm the mass-gain at fractional lightspeed velocities. We use the effect all the time in supercolliders.

1
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: "quantum vacuum virtual plasma"

Aye, but when you were a lad they called Oxygen "dephlogistated air".

3
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

""Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma," "

Prediction: No, it isn't.

3
0

US cyber-army's cyber-warriors 'cyber-humiliated by cyber-civvies in cyber-games'

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Not much of a surprise there then

On the gripping hand, if the IT bunker is overrun by hordes of fuzzy-wuzzies your average nerd is going to be rather less help in the grabbing a rifle and bayonet and getting stuck in department.

They don't like it up 'em Mr Mainwaring.

5
0

CIA super-spy so sorry spies spied on Senate's torture scrutiny PCs

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: make them dig their own grave and lie in it

What, even Felix Leiter?

0
0

It's WAR: Internet of Stuff firms butt heads over talking-fridge tech standards

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

Never mind making the fridge talk to the toaster, build the thing with the compressor on top so the bugger doesn't use so much electricity heating *itself*.

5
0

Plane grounded so cops can cuff semi-legless passenger

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: The return trip would have cost an arm.

I'll bet she's hopping mad about that.

4
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

She'll do time for this. She hasn't a leg to stand on.

24
0

What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

PHP. Ptui!

No website is worth looking at unless it is scripted using Turbo Hyperventilated Zebulon-6 rev2.3.7 On Tramlinez-2.

At least until next Wednesday, when the beta release of Thunderbox ProtonSplitter 9.3 is promised for the CranezOnCrak framework.

4
2

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: mechanical here has to have a 2-stroke attached for extra noise

skelband, may I recommend you seriously consider purchasing a large (7500 KW peak load or better) "worksite" generator and mount it in the flatbed of your King Cab pickup truck (having family in Alberta I know that all Real Canadians have a King Cab truck)?

That way if you need to use a namby-pamby electric tool you can fire up the earsplitting generator and experience the thrill of go-anywhere electricity AND the proper amount of decibels for the job at hand.

My generator sounds like a badly maintained ice-cream truck has parked in my garden, and during the aftermath of hurricanes and other weather annoyances gives me the double joy of internet and lights AND neighbor annoyance in one earsplitting package.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Son swears blind he put them back in the box

The 10 mm one is still jammed on an inlet manifold bolt of his car. The 12 mm one is dangling from one of the battery terminals where it will eventually cause a short and arc-weld itself across the terminals. It will then be interesting to see whether the battery electrolyte will boil away *before* the battery explodes violently or whether the heat of this process sets the various plastic parts and rubber hoses on fire.

The rest of the "complete set" are scattered over the roadways of your home town as they were inadvertently left on various cross members and handy ledges in the engine compartment after the last job.

Kids. Love them, feed them, educate them, but never ever ever lend them your tools.

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: because more thread looks stronger;

No, Joe Public likes them because they are self-piloting and self-recessing when used for their intended purpose: hanging drywall aka sheetrock or, in the case of the galvanized or resin coated version, building a deck or fixing a fence. The thin shank is designed for displacing the minimum of the material being fastened in place so you *don't* need to drill a pilot hole.

Before you wade in, you are exchanging words with someone who drove about two hundred of the resin-coated type last Saturday in a marathon fence-repairing the likes of which hasn't been seen since the last marathon fence repairing at Chateau Stevie (gale force winds, carpenter ants - who against all reason are actually not real carpenters at all but bloody vandals that gnaw holes in wood instead of getting a proper house - termites and rot. I have some of each in The Fence of Go Away Neighbours).

Ordinary woodscrews, which absolutely require a pilot hole to sink, will shear as you drive them under these conditions, especially is using an electric drill-driver.

0
0

NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: No caps menus

0x700000000081800005

null pointer error

.who.would.want.all.caps not found in object library

call to method "menu" failed

0
0
Stevie
Silver badge

Re: I miss VB6

*I* miss VB4 and the "can do" attitude that surrounded it. You could buy the full product for less than the down payment on a new car too. Ditto LogicWorks ERWin. Ditto Visual C. Now it's all about knobbled "free" versions and multi-kilobuck licenses.

You can get ERWin for free *if* you keep revalidating it every month. This info good as of last summer when I got tired of it all and switched to a nastier but free DB design tool on account of CA always seeming to decide revalidation was required while I was trying to work on a train with a non-persistent and slow as frozen treacle internet connection.

8op 8ob 8op

Thrrp.

0
0