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* Posts by Robert Long

81 posts • joined 6 Oct 2008

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Microsoft, Asus launch anti-Linuxbook campaign

Robert Long
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@Charles Manning

CO2 isn't a poison, you just can't breath it. You can't breath water either.

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Fans decry tennis gal's breast-slash plan

Robert Long
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@ChrisC

"I find it intriguing that we (society) have no problems with women inserting silicone or saline into their bodies to increase the size of their breasts, and we have no problem with women removing fat from their body to make them slimmer"

Well, I for one object to both of those, along with botox and painting your teeth white before going out, as currently suggested by a TV advert.

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Google: The internet is 'the right programming model'

Robert Long
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XMLHttpRequest?

Come off it - javascript was pulling dynamic content from servers years before someone decided to slap "XML" into the name of the technique to sell more powerpoint presentations. What made the difference was the DOM settling down so that code to do these things could be relied on. XMLHttpRequest is not needed and never was - it's just a marketing buzzword. Rather like XML itself, really.

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Eurofighter Tranche 3: Oh please, God, no

Robert Long
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Trident?

What war did Trident prevent? Oh, do you mean the fictional one the Yanks told us was on the cards in the Cold War? Once Stalin was dead there was more chance of the Care Bears attacking Western Europe.

Trident was and is a fucking joke.

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Please kill this cookie monster to save Europe's websites

Robert Long
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Sounds Fine to Me

The Law isn't there to provide business opportunities; as a user I'd be very happy if this was introduced and enforced and it's tough titty on you if your website is designed around slapping loads of tracking information onto my computer.

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Turkey's YouTube blackout enters year two

Robert Long
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On the other hand...

YouTube is full of crap anyway.

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Secret US robo whispercopters head to 'undisclosed location'

Robert Long
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Remember who's telling you this

US manufacturers and government departments always triple the success rate of any project to justify the cost, so this is probably very noisy and struggles to hover at more than 8,000ft if theres a breeze. If it works at all, that is. Oh, and it'll cost enough to feed the world six times over too.

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Apple drives iPhone app developers to the brink

Robert Long
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Our survey said...

...don't care.

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Google accused of UK tax dodge

Robert Long
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Naive fools

If the UK tax rate was the same as The Republic's then these crooks and their bent accountants would just find somewhere else and eventually the "anti-socialist" morons posting here would be reduced to saying that it's madness to tax companies at all.

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Microsoft kills MSN Encarta

Robert Long
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End of a trend

Encarta was crap but free; Wikipedia is garbage but free. Presumably the next step is to actually wipe parts of the user's brain for free.

Kids really need to be taught in school that reading someing on a big blog does not mean that it's true. Even if it's a really, REALLY big blog.

Actually, at least a blog usually has some track record you can look at to get a feel for what the writer's prejudices and areas of knowledge are. With WP one simply has to guess which wind of fashion is currently blowig across any given page at any given moment, so in some way's it's actually much less useful than just reading some random blog.

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Microsoft's Silverlight for mobile to muscle iPhone

Robert Long
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Deep yawn

This is pretty unimpressive - by splitting a picture into tiles we can load only the tiles we want? Wow. I wish I'd thought of that! What's that you say? It also makes a set of thumbnails to go with it so you can have, er... thumbnails of the image? Innovation squared, man!

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Obesity witchhunt is a 'moral panic' - sense out of Texas

Robert Long
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Answers

"Two specialists (NHS), one private consultant, three nutritionists later, they cannot find what is wrong with me."

You're eating too much.

"I lived on exactly the same food and exercise regime as my brother (who is thin and of socially acceptable proportion) for six months."

You might think that, but I'd guarantee that you're wrong.

"He lost two pounds; i gained three stone. We kept a food diary and took it to my GP, who promptly accused me of cheating. "

You're GP was sort of right. What's happening - and it's pretty common - is that you are eating and blanking it out of your memory. Alcoholics do the same thing with drinking - they'll remember the two pints they had at lunch and forget that they worked their way through a bottle of vodka over the rest of the day. How many people with drink problems have looked at a pile of empties in total and honest disbelief?

You're snacking - for sufficently large values of "snack" - and your addicted mind is simply discounting those snacks in order to prevent your concious mind from being able to see what's going on and doing something about it, which would be a threat to your addiction. Your addiction has direct access to your brain and can literally change your perception in order to maintain its access to the addictive substance.

Get a headband with a camera and wear it 24hrs for a week (one frame per second would do) and then show the result to your Doc or your brother. The result will probably shock the hell out of you, assuming that you can manage to leave it on without cheating (which again you will probably not remember doing).

You have a mental illness and it needs treated - keep trying to find a physical reason for your weight and you're wasting your time.

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Robert Long
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@FatAC

"This comment has been written by a morbidly obese person age 28, who has lost a combined total of over 40 stone over the last 8 years but gained it all back because i could not afford to maintain the regime that assisted me in my weight loss."

What exactly are the huge costs involved in eating normal amounts and walking about?

Unhealthy diets are almost exclusively expensive in terms of money; they're very very cheap in terms of time, however. So, basically I think you're pretending the problem is money when it's actually laziness.

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Robert Long
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Boffin

Stats

I like the way the bootnote actually proves the NHS's claim: alcohol is more affordable than it was in the 70's. The fact that cars and TVs are too is not actually relevant, is it?

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Kaminsky: MS security assessment tool is a 'game changer'

Robert Long
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Not not?

Firstly, it's obviously "Not exploitable". Secondly, let's wait and see if it makes any difference to MS's bug rate before we get too excited, shall we?

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Privacy campaigner vows legal challenge to Google Street View

Robert Long
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Pandering

Even blurring faces and number plates is going too far, IMO. It's the thin edge of a wedge that can be driven in further to make ordinary photography illegal. If Google can be sued for taking a picture of a street then why can't I?

These "privacy" dickheads shouldn't have anything to sue about, anyway as clearly none of them would ever venture out in public where someone might see them and even, horror of horrors, recognise them!

Twats.

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Robert Long
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Cnut raileth against the camera

"Heres one last thing to consider, if cameras like this are good. Why not have a camera at Every stop sign, at Every redlight."

Because they'd be live feeds at that point and you're into a different area, although it's still not that big a deal if a) the cameras only cover public places, and b) EVERYONE can access them. The real problems start when only a select number of people are allowed to watch everyone else and/or the cameras intrude into private areas.

Let's face it: currently you are already able/liable to be photographed everywhere you go due to the number of phone cameras.

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BBC botnet 'public interest' defence rubbished by top IT lawyer

Robert Long
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Shock horror!

Lawyer claims damages might have been done; may require court case.

Jesus, why don't these parasites just piss off and leave us all alone?

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Reverse engineering Apple's OS X

Robert Long
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Thinking braindead

I remember having to do that "call the next address" crap in the early 80's. Good to see Intel has made such great leaps forward (no pun intended) in it's crappy instruction set.

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Mathematica man brews 'AI' Google Killer™

Robert Long
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Do they?

"The problem is: We already have Wikipedia and Google that - together - get the job done well enough. "

I assume Ted's from a parallel world where this is true. In our reality, sadly, WP is worse than useless and Google's ability to answer such questions is poor and getting worse each year.

Not that Wolfram is going to solve it. Having read "New Kind of Science" I feel safe in saying that he's had his one great idea and there's nothing left in the bag. NKoS was a waste of trees, as well as containing some very self-serving notions about the history of cellular automata.

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Dragons' Den winner infringed own patent, IPO rules

Robert Long
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Hmmm

You know, it's almost as if the whole concept of using the army to back up ownership of ideas is really, really stupid and outdated.

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TfL cans mobiles on the tube plan

Robert Long
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@Shame

"Yes, there'll always be some idiots who abuse the privilege, but phone could be useful on the underground (not least when I ended up on the wrong train the other day - a quick phone call to my mate [ a londoner] could have pointed out that switching to the Victoria line was much faster from where I was than taking the northern line all the way back up and saved me missing my train!)"

Bad luck to have got on the one tube train in London that doesn't have maps every three feet.

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Scientology spokesman confirms Xenu story

Robert Long
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@John Adams

"No disrespect meant, but atheists have a theory that there is no god and religious folks have a theory that there is a god."

Actually they don't, by and large. Unless you define me assuming that you, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, can't fly as the same as you beliving that you can fly.

We're born without any belief in gods and simply remaining in that state is not really equivalent to moving to a state where we believe some folkstory or other that our parents told us. Unless you're a intellectually bankrupt fool who is desperate to point the finger at others in a shallow attempt to distract attention from the fact that you in fact do believe nonsense without any supporting evidence, for example.

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Apple preps Jobsian magic wand

Robert Long
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@Rolf

"You guys obviously still don't get how patents work. The novel feature isn't having a gadget with an accelerometer you can wave about, a la Wiimote, it's the application thereof to control a media centre (eg. zooming in to photos, or choosing songs to purchase from a music store)."

Yes, because no one with a Wii has ever used it for exactly those things. Ever. Oh, wait...

This patent application is garbage.

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BBC botnet investigation turns hacks into hackers

Robert Long
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Idiots

Clearly many posters (and lawyers) would prefer that these 22,000 machines were still churning out spam and DoS attacks.

As it stands, ISPs should be prosecuted as accessories to the enormous numbers of hacks perpetrated by machines on their networks - hacks that they could easily prevent.

This is journalism, people - actual real journalism, not wikishite bogOsphere journalism where you only have to tell other people who already knew so that they'll link to you. Normal people out there in the "real world" have no idea what a bot net is and would welcome being warned that their machine has been dettached from one.

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YouTube blocks music videos in UK

Robert Long
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Let me just check...

No, apparently I don't care.

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Boffins breed new programming race

Robert Long
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Damn right

Everyone should know how to program, read, write or drive a car. Owning a computer you can't program is as stupid as owning a car and then going everywhere by taxi.

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Zhao 'C' - Chinese police computer says no

Robert Long
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Re:Who determines your name?

Actually, I think it's pretty clear that Jacqui Smith doesn't give a toss who gets shot by accident.

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Nude Apple iMac pics leaked to web

Robert Long
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Keyboard?

That reminds me of my old PET keyboard. I didn't think Mac keyboards could get any worse. Looks like I was wrong.

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Portuguese open sourcers decry MS-only gov eProcurement

Robert Long
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@Darren Bell

He's a troll that's been doing the rounds of threads hereabouts; you'll get to recognise his writing style after a while and can then skip onto the next post without worrying about him.

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Neil Young posts angry YouTube missive

Robert Long
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Paris Hilton

Twatter generation

Amazing how the Internet wonks can all get excited because some retarded nobody has posted the details of their latest shopping trip on Twatter and then get their knickers in a twist because someone who's, you know, actually done something that made a difference to the world makes a reasonable sensible argument about justice and fairness.

I'm not a NY fan - I don't own anything by him - but I'm aware that his body of work adds up to more of an achievement than Facebook, MySpace, Wikipedia and Twitter all added together.

Why don't you all piss off and get back to watching Jade Goody die on YouTube? That seems to be the level of talent that's deemed newsworthy today.

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Microsoft boffins devise 'secure' Gazelle browser

Robert Long
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Yawn

MS claim "something we've not released yet" will solve all their users' problems. Same old record they've been playing since what? 1979 or so?

Push off, kid, you're bothering me.

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Shuttleworth gets cloudy with Ubuntu 9.10

Robert Long
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DVD

I know why codecs etc are not pre-installed and that's fine. I don't understand why decss is not only not installed but requires stepping out of the normal installation system to get it running.

As to Windows not coming with full media support - I don't care; it doesn't even come with a compiler so as far as I'm concerned it's a toy system and I don't use toy systems. I was trying Ubuntu on a laptop to see if it was a viable low-maintenance/fast-install option instead of Gentoo which I normally use.

I'm actually very happy with it, but the DVD glitch just seemed pointless even in light of the various stupid patents and laws that our wonderful politicians have approved while they got on with the important job of sailing the economy into the biggest iceburg they could find.

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Robert Long
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Sod all that...

I just want it to play DVD's without having to have a net connection to download "extra" bits for my media player. When was the last time playing DVDs was considered an extra?!

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California ban on violent video games killed on appeal

Robert Long
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@stolennomenclature

"If they do not have enough intellect to figure that violence in the media can have a negative influence on children watching it, then they ought to be confined to some sort of instituion"

Actually, they have been.

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Robert Long
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Land of the free sicko

What a load of crap this judgement is. People having sex is BAD, people killing each other is ENTERTAINMENT. No wonder America is such a bloody mess.

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Abba star slates 'lazy, stingy' Pirate Bay fans

Robert Long
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Copyright is fair in theory

I'd be happy to see copyright reduced to "life or 25 years, which ever is longer". I don't see any moral basis for allowing the work of a living artist to be forced into the public domain; but I don't see that there is one either for allowing their children or some faceless corporation to live off their work forever either.

The "It's simple" comment here had the right idea; most of the PB supporters are transparently people with no talent who think that they might be able to gain either money or status if they were allowed to exploit other people's skills and ideas without having to come up with their own. They have no argument except "I WANT".

Well, who the hell cares what you want, you bunch of losers? Piss off and let the talented people get on with their work.

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Hydrogen motoring too heavy for pundit

Robert Long
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Petrol Stations? Petrol Stations?!

How can anyone expect petrol-driven cars to take off when it would require almost every major town in the country to have a place where petrol was available over the counter (presumably in specially made bags)? To say nothing of the difficulties faced by the rural driver! Who thinks of this nonsense?

Clearly, steam driven cars will remain the only feasable option, as both water and coal are already easily available everywhere already

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Apple's Mac OS X update breaks Perl

Robert Long
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Apple don't want you to program

They hate programmers; they know that any programmer could replicate Time Machine in 6 lines of Perl; they know that any entusiastic amateur programmer could replace most of iLife with a few good Hypercard stacks. Imagine if people actually could use their computers as computers! They might actually learn something useful and not have to keep running back to Apple for everything.

Jobs thinks your computer should be like a toaster and you don't program your toaster do you?

Which makes me wonder why Macs are so over-priced if the intent is for them to be Crippled Computers for Dummies(TM). If you want a toaster, buy a bleeding toaster.

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Brits and Yanks struck with embarasment embarrassment

Robert Long
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Boffin

Miracle cure

Take the computers (with their spell-checkers) off the kids in school and get them to read some books and I bet you'd find that by some amazing coincidence that their ability to spell would dramatically improve.

You can't reform a language, or anything else, by simply redefining it to match the ability of those who are unskilled in it. Because they'll be unskilled in your reformed language too and then you're into a spiral that ends with people pointing and grunting. You know, like teenagers.

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Windows 7 'upgrade' doesn't mark XP spot

Robert Long
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@Len

What you say is all true, but it does point out just low poor quality the OS is, doesn't it? The user's files and the system files should have nothing to do with each other.

Will Windows EVER be ready for the normal desktop user?

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Harry Potter Lexicon published after judgment-guided edit

Robert Long
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@DutchOven

The first book was "quite good (for a kids book)"?! Are your kids retarded or something? The first one was quite good for a book written *by* a kid, but it was badly written, derivative drivel for an adult to churn out.

Rowling's pathetic gurning in the court really was embarrassing - she's raking it in for what were essentially a rehash of a bunch of ideas that have been done many times before and then rolls out the "that's a copy of my work" routine? Hypocrisy ahoy!

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Judges: Don't know the law? It's understandable

Robert Long
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Also,

Many judges are idiots who would not understand the law even if they happened by chance to know it.

It is a sad fact that there is no such thing as a "sure thing" in a British court (this may apply to other countries too) - no matter how clear the case or how totally iron-clad the evidence, a judge can take a fancy to the opposing lawyer and ride roughshod over you and it'll be up to you to scrape the money together for an appeal.

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The pan-European Office for the Ecodesign of everything

Robert Long
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Economists? Don't make me laugh.

Economists know nothing.

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Boffin dubs global warming 'irreversible'

Robert Long
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@Matthew

The "CO2 was 17 times higher than today" claim for the Ice Age is simply bogus - in fact it was lower than today, and the curve you asked for is well known, as is the cause of the lag in it (which is to do with the solubility in the oceans of CO2 varying as the temperature varies). Probably too complicated for you, but that has no effect on its validity

You can go and live on Venus if you think CO2 has no effect; let us know how that works out for you.

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Robert Long
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Wildly optimistic

I'd be very surprised indeed to see only 3ft of sea-level increase before my 100th birthday in 2065.

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Time to axe Microsoft's Zune

Robert Long
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Walkman

The Sony Walkman was the iPod of its day - which wasn't THAT long ago - but eventually the mystique wore off and people realised they could buy the same functionality and sound quality elsewhere and the Walkman became a museum piece. The same thing will happen to the iPod, and then the Zune will be playing in a level field. Where it will still fail because of the DRM, but that's another story.

At the moment, the iPod is just a brand with no compelling reason to buy it unless you're into the brand, which a lot of people are for now.

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Google and the Great Wikipedia Feedback Loop

Robert Long
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Experiment

After reading this article I set my own machine up to fiddle any Google searches to append "-site:wikipedia.org" and tried various searches overnight and this morning. I have to say that it's been like a walk in the country in comparison to normal. It's easy to forget just how oppressive the WP monocrop is to your thinking, even when you actively try to ignore the damn thing.

@Flocke Kroes: I agree that WP is best on maths, then physical sciences, fading into self-parody by the time one gets to subjects with any degree of interpretation such as history or politics, but it remains the case that any fool can edit the thing (and they frequently do) and if I already know enough to be able to judge the accuracy of a page then I probably won't be looking at the page in the first place, will I?

EB has by any measure one wants to pick failed to grasp the Internet but that failure doesn't actually make WP a better resource.

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Robert Long
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Spelling

I love the way the wikiwanker complained about the spelling of Cherenkov but didn't use the correct alphabet. If you're not using the native script, then you can basically spell it anyway you like that carries a reasonable understanding to the reader.

"Č" conveys precisely nothing to me, and neither does "Черенков", which IS the correct spelling. So, "Cherenkov" is just fine when your audience doen't know your particular accent system and while Čerenkov is no more or less "correct", it *is* less helpful.

Also, of course, who knows if the long WP page is correct? Indeed, does anyone at WP care if it is or not?

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User-generated reviews - blessing or bull?

Robert Long
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Bad reviews are more useful

It's generally easy enough to read a bad review and decide if the poster is either mad or unlucky, but any good review could be a plant. If no one can think of anything substantial to say against a product that's usually a good sign.

Best of all is to ask a friend who has one and forget about what the crowd thinks either way.

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