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* Posts by skelband

1874 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

How Magic Leap got $542m from Google: Dress as a SPACEMAN with dayglo dancers

skelband
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> Baffled? We certainly were.

Absolutely mystified I think is the phrase.

Was there some subliminal messaging in the presentation that by-passed me?

If that is the kind of thing we will expect to see using their tech, there are more cost-effective ways of inducing delusions, LSD for a start.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

skelband
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Re: Go for it

> You mean like those: http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/dbus/

If only it would stop there.

The number of other system components that are link-reliant on systemd is growing. This in itself is the problem. More and more it is becoming practically impossible to not have systemd in the ecosystem somewhere.

http://gimpforums.com/thread-why-is-systemd-required-to-run-gimp

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skelband
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Re: Go for it

Lennart Poettering is a Microsoft mole.

But seriously, I think Poettering has good intentions but is implementing the wrong solution.

Binary coupling is the wrong way to tackle the problem of tidying up the Linux system infrastructure.

Interface standards like DBus are how you achieve this, not the sprawling, all-encompassing mess that is presented to us at the moment.

A fork might be the only solution to this. So many distributions are seduced by the cosy feeling of convenience. The tight encompassing of systemd to so many distinct system components will stifle innovation.

Poettering would do to learn from the teachings of experience from some very clever people in Unix history. Do one thing and do it very well.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

skelband
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Agreed. We have DVD box sets for anything that I care about.

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skelband
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> Once they realise that they can get the service without a cable TV subscription, they could become a cord shaver or cord cutter, and dump their cable sub – or part of it.

I don't think a lot of people outside the US and Canada realise how much the cable companies here are despised. Most people will cut the cord at the drop of the hat.

However, I don't think that there is much of a future for the likes of HBO with a subscription channel for just their own content. Netflix is popular because it is a general delivery service. Yes, they do have a few of their own productions, but they are an aggregator like the cable companies are at the moment and that convenience of broad coverage, cheap price and no adverts has a value.

To be honest nearly everything I watch is on Netflix. It's worth far more than the $8 I pay each month. That's so small I don't even notice it going out of the bank. How can cable possibly compete with that?

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City council thinks what we're all thinking: 'Comcast is terrible – and NOT welcome here'

skelband
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Re: There's a "New" in that England

I currently live in the lower mainland of BC, Canada and we have a Surrey, Richmond, Victoria and a New Westminster. Talk about a lack of imagination :D

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skelband
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Trollface

I'm a bit confused.

Boston. Worcester. City Council.

Is this a UK story or an American one?

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Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers

skelband
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Re: A dark future?

> Profitable? - that's the unknown issue and unless it is noone will get to use it.

Indeed.

From what I hear, they were out of the question because you can't make weapons out of the waste.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

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skelband
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Re: A dark future?

> If they killed work unilaterally, overnight, then yes we might. Unfortunately that isn't realistic, so what we're likely to see is gradually rising unemployment taking hold globally, straining welfare arrangements as those with no possible working future are forced to give up. It's likely they will be disenfranchised, angry, and must eventually become the majority.

This is the prospect.

Interestingly, in Switzerland, I understand that they have voted to pay everyone a living wage regardless of whether they are working or not. I don't know if that would work out in the end and Switzerland is an unusual economic example anyway, but it is one possible way of easing the population off the need to work just to subsist.

I still think that the bigger problems would be political. Too many people in power would be resist to any change in the status quo.

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skelband
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Re: A dark future?

> along with strict birth controls to limit the population.

I disagree with this point however.

Most of our experience in the western world is that child numbers are declining and more people are settling for not having children at all. When you have a good life, kids can be a bit of a party pooper. I think we will likely to see a decline and eventual stabilisation in population with the increase of affluence.

After that a number of the problems that we have with over population would recede. They wouldn't disappear entirely of course, because people want to live where it's nice: that's true whatever.

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skelband
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Re: A dark future?

> The problem is one of transition.

This is *exactly* the problem.

Getting from now to a post scarcity situation is the real challenge.

Personally, I can't see us of even getting a chance of that until we can get an abundant, non-polluting energy source which is still many years into the future. So much of what is wrong with the world revolves around the problem of energy.

After that, we merely (!) have the problem of ousting the comfortable incumbants from their positions of power and control, and sorting out our manifold social problems. Still a big deal but it would probably seem a lot more solvable at that point.

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skelband
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Re: A dark future?

> Society already struggles to mitigate the undesirable effects of those that will not work, preferring to claim a lifetime of benefits while causing nothing but adversity to society as a whole. How much worse will it be when even those with drive, ambition, and intelligence find that there are no jobs for them to fill?

Well consider this: if automation has provided for all the basic needs for a healthy life, what is the purpose of work? Indeed, what is money for?

> preferring to claim a lifetime of benefits

In order to make that jump, we need to stop thinking about leisure as shirking. We have the mind set that those that choose not to work as lazy and feckless. Are retired people lazy and feckless? We have the inbred notion of lazy benefit seekers because they are competing for finite resources with people that choose to work. If there is no competition, then there is no problem. Christ, if I could give up this job tomorrow and go on a cruise for 6 months I'd jump at the chance. Am I wrong to want this?

What I do know though, is if I didn't need to work, then I certainly wouldn't spend the remaining years of my life vegetating in front of the TV. There's just so much meaningful stuff to do.

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skelband
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Re: Will become a familar issue in coming years

> We badly need to rethink how our economies will work in a world that looks increasingly like there will be few jobs, with offshoring Western countries workers have already had a taste of what it will be like for everybody soon as automation and AI become the way companies produce things, the result so far is a scrooge like benefit culture from the UK government and tent cities and people living in storm drains in the US for those unlucky enough to be unemployed.

The kind of rethink that we would need at that point is far beyond what most people are capable of.

Consider the ideal punted to us in the 50s and 60s, a future of leisure where we would all have tons of spare time and we would enter an age of personal advancement, casting off the futility and drudgery of "work". So we're approaching that age and the problem for these people is "too few work hours". I feel for them, because they are trapped into this cycle that our economic system imposes on them.

Problem is our entire economic system is mandated on work and earning money. We're approaching the ideal of automated factories pumping out stuff, robotics starting to come of age and the heralding of a time when we don't need skinbags to do those things that people don't want to do. Sounds like heaven to me, but I can't see the rich and political incumbents ever letting that happen.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

skelband
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I can't think of much that is more antithetical to a free society than it being against the law to not vote.

This seems to be the stock answer by these cretins to practically anything: more laws, more restriction on liberty.

How about "more education", a "less corrupt government", greater accountability, fewer laws, greater liberty?

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Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

skelband
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Re: > You've not heard of Microsoft?

> Course I have, but I use Daz.

Same here. Don't like the smell of Microsoft.

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Vanmoof Electrified Bike: Crouching cyclist, hidden power

skelband
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Re: I'm a veteran of leccy bikes

> Yes, of course the cutoff is is a bit arbitrary but can you suggest a better way of dealing with such situations?

Maximum speed would seem to be a better choice.

The power should really be determined by the weight of the bike and rider which is hugely variable.

As mentioned above, a fatty riding a heavy (to take their weight of course) bike will need more power to make it more worthwhile. We should be encouraging this rather than making it more a niche for those that are already fit and slim.

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skelband
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Re: A fool and his money.....

> Any chance of some details of your bike?

Yeah, do tell. I'm quite interested.

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skelband
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Re: Hey Big Spender ...

> Some may think it would be better for people, environment and planet if the government £5000 EV subsidy was switched away from rich people's toys to machines like this. Being paid £3000 to take one of these away ... how many have you got ;-)

Damn straight. I'd have one tomorrow.

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Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe

skelband
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Stop

> Theft

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

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Lights off, nappies on! It's Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within

skelband
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> There’s something about the design of the original Alien that left me with a pseudo sexual queasiness, all moist egg vaginas and huge phallic headed xenomorphs.

Shame to say you have put words to that lingering subconscious feeling that has been disturbing me ever since. Thanks for that :(

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Prez Obama backs net neutrality – but can't do anything about it. Thanks, Obama

skelband
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Re: Dan Paul "He's got a pen"...

> And can we cut the crap with this Net 'Neutrality' misdirection? It has nothing to do with 'neutrality', it's just a word the anti-capitalists have seized on because Net 'socialism' wouldn't go down so well with the American public. They just hate the fact 'Wall Street' is going to make a profit, they actually don't give a hoot about the subscribers.

I would partly agree with those sentiments, but only in the way that Americans are toal hypocrits when it comes to "socialism". They apparently don't have a problem with fire services, state schools, the armed services, police, water, sewage etc when it comes to funding from general or state taxation where it makes sense to do so. After all, everyone needs those services at one point or another (sounds like healthcare doesn't it?).

The big problem with your point of view regarding cable though is that normal capitalistic forces are insufficient to ensure that cusomers get the best service since it most cases it is a natural monopoly. Many of the cable services that ended up with infrastructure from Bell and AT&T were effectively given yet another smaller monopoly. If there is no competition, then the service will be shit as shown by the manifold evidence presented on this forum and elsewhere. It *has* to be regulated since there is nothing else.

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Facebook scammers punt fake 'sexy vid' of Emma Watson

skelband
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Re: I read it again

I kinda know what you mean.

Whenever I see comments like that my mind is automatically drawn back to the first scenes of "you have dirt on your nose, did you know?" and it all feels rather uncomfortable :(

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AndroidScript returns to Google Play Store: Ad giant YIELDS TO THE MIGHT OF EL REG

skelband
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> Read the first article and comments first in future please.

Erm, so what is it in my comment that you disagree with exactly?

- App used trademark without permission? Check

- Google yanked it in a heavy-handed fashion? Check

- App to be reinstated with a new name? Check

App is a free download, Google can be arses sometimes, world still spinning etc etc

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skelband
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I presume it was yanked because it violated Googles trademark on the name Android.

Is this not the case?

It's not particularly unreasonable of them since in many jurisditions you have to actively defend a trademark or risk losing it.

Perhaps a little heavy-handed of Google, but your article might have been a little less click-baity if you'd mentioned this.

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Antarctic ice at ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

skelband
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Re: I think...

Gronda, gronda!

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Britain’s snooping powers are 'too weak', says NCA chief

skelband
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Re: Public confidence?

> Oh well three would rather be blown up than risk having their grocery order read. Any choice of terrorist cell? What a strange world.

It's a false dichotomy. It's not a question of either have your grocery list read or get blown up.

Surely, in the western world at the moment, it is far more likely to get killed by a goat than it is getting blown up by a terrorist? I just wish you could hear yourself from my perspective.

Check this out for some reality:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/youre-nine-times-likely-killed-police-officer-terrorist.html

The most telling statistic is the one about getting killed by the police, at least in one place. 9 times more likely.

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skelband
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> Even though he criticised the Snowden leaks as a betrayal,

He lost me right there.

It really comes down to two things: either you value freedom and the rule of law or you do not.

He's picked a side.

> “The [rogue NSA sysadmin Edward] Snowden revelations have damaged public confidence in our ability, whether it’s law enforcement or the intelligence agencies, to access and use data in an appropriate and proportionate way,” said the former chief constable of the small Warwickshire force.

All he did was review the truth. If that has damaged our confidence in them, then a job well done I think.

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CONSUMERISM IS PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE: Die now, pay later

skelband
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Re: LSD-onomics

>How exactly? Where would it be levied? If overall tax revenue were to increase, it would need to exceed the tax revenue lost from decreasing VAT, fuel duty, stamp duty etc as people buy fewer thigns, and the lower corporation tax as lots of companies (except banks) as businesses collapse. Presumably this would come from taxing savings. Well, this year VAT is £101bn, corporation tax £40bn, fuel duty £26bn. There isn't enough money to save to generate the interest to generate the tax to fill this shortfall.

The whole point is to accelerate the consumerist cycle. This is the growth that the government and economists keep telling us is so good for our countries.

Worker's wages are not increasing at anywhere near enough a rate. The only way to feed the beast is with debt.

> It doesn't follow at all, credit was relaxed so people spent more. We all know that..

Credit was relaxed so that people *could* spend more. If you don't believe that then you're very naive.

> So the banks should have won. But these are the same banks that "won" by going bust, and are still indebted after central banks printed $1 trillion of money to wipe out their debts.

Yes, but they were bailed out with public money. They can't lose because the government would not allow it.

Remember to differentiate between the bankers' own cash and the balance sheets of the banks. Those in charge did very well indeed thank you.

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skelband
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Re: RE: AC alternative to petrol

> All perfectly legal as long as you declared your usage and paid the relevant tax.

I think you're missing his point through the sarcasm.

In order to escape the consumerist/tax cycle, you need to escape the government's means for extracting larger and larger sums of money. In this case, someone found one way and the government jumped on them quick sharp. The government and industry is invested in the status quo and anyone breaking ranks will be stomped on good and proper.

Great article, but I think the real question is how, as members of the public, we can restrain the government from their legal enforcement of that status quo. If revenues fall because people are not buying into the consumerist cycle, then they will find other ways to extract money from us.

Like many others here, I have an old smartphone which I bought second hand and will continue to use it until its dying breath. A regular trawler of the thrift shop and yard sale, I refuse to contribute to the driving of this madness. Regardless, the government will get its cut, mark my words.

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

skelband
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They desparately need to get someone else in to write for the Doctor.

The current guys have seriously lost the plot.

Plain and simple.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

skelband
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Re: Jenna-Louise

> Bah, bunch of youngsters who never saw Wendy Padbury as Zoe the lot of you...

I saw her and she was nice, but a bit too high-schooly for me.

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skelband
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Re: Jenna-Louise

> Yup, second fittest assistant ever.

>The fittest being another Louise, Jameson, playing the scantilly clad Leela. Yep, Futurama fans, before you ask, two eyes. Young people : google is your friend.

You lie!

Sarah-Jane was the godess!

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Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

skelband
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Re: Do they really care?

Izal "medicated" (in what way, I have no idea.)

Ah yes, we called it "John Wayne bog paper".

Rough, tough, and don't take no shit from anyone.

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Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights

skelband
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Re: RE: DragonLord Well we'd need a more refined bill of rights

> Strange, I don't remember there being any restraint on Third World farmers growing further crops from genetically-enhanced, drought- and disease-resistant seeds supplied by the UN, specifically the GM maize supplied to African countries to help them beat famines. Are you taking a hypothetical case and trying to pass it off as inevitable or just talking male bovine manure?

You may be right in this particular case, but there are many documented instances of Mansanto and others supplying seed on the proviso that they do not replant seed but buy from them year after year. This is not DRM but is a good analog.

A better comparison would be companies developing plants that do not themselves produce seed. That would be a horrendous thing to drop into our eco-system and would inevitably hasten our demise after any natural disaster causing the general collapse of our society. Bottom line: we have to be careful what we let these companies do to our food chain.

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skelband
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Re: Well we'd need a more refined bill of rights

> Of course if they started DRMing food/essentials you might have a leg to stand on.

I think Monsanto would disagree with you on that.

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My employer, comply with data protection law? Don't think so – say 3 in 4 office drones

skelband
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Facepalm

> In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has repeatedly warned organisations to ensure portable devices are encrypted.

Whereas other members of the government/civil service are concerned about the prevalence of encryption on mobile devices touted recently by Google and Apple.

I wish they'd make their friggin' minds up.

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Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods

skelband
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Unhappy

We're all going to die!!!!!!

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Netflix bullish after six-country European INVASION

skelband
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Re: Scifi

> Unfortunately just this past week I have received and email from Amazon saying that they are removing all SG-1 Atlantis, Universe, from the end of the month.

That is the problem with relying on these services.

We've been a longtime user of Netflix signing up in the early days.

They do drop series and films from time to time. In Canada, they recently dropped a number of the older Top Gear seasons much to the chagrin of my son. On another occasion, we settled down to watch a sci-fi film that we noticed previously to find that it was no longer there. It's pretty annoying.

Lesson learned: if it's something that you want to watch a lot, get the DVD sets (as cheaply as possible of course).

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skelband
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> Series (particularly small quirky ones) do seem to be prone to getting cancelled after a season or two, usually without wrapping up the story so I prefer to not invest time in watching something that will get pulled just as I'm getting into it.

Yeah, I made that mistake with the later remake of "V". Was quite an amusing watch until you get to the last episode where the writers were quite clearly on pot....and it was quickly canned without any kind of reasonable resolution.

Quick check on Wikipedia is a good start for this kind of thing as I know now.

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SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches

skelband
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> After Open SSL this must be the final straw for lots of current OSS users.

You mean the OpenSSL that was a problem for Windows machines as well?

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Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT

skelband
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Re: Comments enabled on 'Comments of the week'?

And if the CotW next week is a comment on this week's CotW, will it destroy the Internet?

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Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

skelband
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Re: Apologetic.

> That's a difficult one to maintain. Because you're trying to straddle "community" and "country". And they're not actually the same thing. We could obviously say that my community is "Bradford Road, Doncaster" and it's the inequality in that which is important. At which point the inequality between my bit of Doncaster and Bradford isn't all that important. Or we could say that my community is Bradford, and it's the inequality in that which is important.

The real issue is that the country's laws and taxes constrain the reality and economic situation and how it relates to others outside that country. Yes, I feel for my brothers and sisters in poor countries who are far poorer than I, but there is a reason why countries have such radically differing economic situations.

Our countries are fairly isolated silos of development. Globalisation is making this situation leak somewhat as is the wealth redistribution policies of the EU. This is why countries are desparate to get into the EU. It pulls them up as much as it pulls down the others. You just cannot compare radically different countries in such a superficial way and draw from it any inference about what we perceive in our localised economic climate. The economic and political drivers are so different. Some face problems of war, some face poverty because of drought. Some, like the US, face obscene tax and the problem of an out-of-control government run almost exclusively by corporate interests.

It is an interesting question of how to guage the condition of people across the globe and how we can help them and something that should concern us all. But beware of drawing too much from the figures.

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Feds: Cheeky scammers are impersonating us in criminal capers

skelband
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Re: "Cheeky scammers are impersonating us in criminal capers"

It works for the US Federal Reserve.

They borrow and borrow without any chance of repaying the enormous amount of debt that they have incurred with foreign banks, particularly China. If the government does it, it is "good finance". If anyone else does it, it's a Ponzi scheme.

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skelband
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You create a climate of fear in the populous, expect the crooks to take advantage of it.

It's already worked for the terrorists.

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BlackBerry slowly pulls out of power dive into toilet

skelband
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Nice to see Blackberry doing something different from the rest of the herd with their phone.

In the current snooper climate, I'm surprised that RIM are not making more of their traditional stamping ground, that of security. If they could go that extra mile to assure users that they cannot access emails and messages even if approached by governments, then that would be a huge selling feature over the likes of Apple and Google.

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

skelband
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Pretty much all branded inkjet cartridges.

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HP: We will eradicate the colour grey from our market

skelband
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Facepalm

Translation: "Globalisation and market forces mean that we are losing our iron grip of the market."

Any company that has an active and flourishing market for their equipment and seeks to shit on it really needs take a good hard look in the mirror.

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Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

skelband
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Re: More like accessories market...

Agreed. I predict that the watch market will expand for a while as Applistas buy the new iThingie and then it will rapidly deflate, probably after a year.

There are some great use cases for this kind of device. I just think that they are very narrow and I think it will remain that way unless someone can come up with a more compelling use case.

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

skelband
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> Asked whether she was concerned by the BBC's own polling that suggested one in five "wouldn't miss the BBC" and one in four don't think it's value for money, Fairhead responded by telling MPs they should look at the full part of the glass.

So, erm Fairhead's response is, in actual fact, "Ignore them.".

He'll fit right in.

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OH SNAP: Getty Images sues Microsoft over Bing pics widget

skelband
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I must admit to being a bit puzzled by the claim by Getty images.

What is the widget doing that Google or Bing image search doesn't do?

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