Feeds

* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2329 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Movie review: Oblivion

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

I've only seen the trailer, and couldn't see how it is different from "The Matrix" - strange things happen, people in life-support pods, and a black man wearing shades in a dark room promising to reveal the truth.

I'll probably go to see it, but only to tide me over until Iron Man 3, and then Star Trek.

1
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: "Tom Cruise" - Hollywoods permier scientology creepozoid

I don't think the major problem is corporatisation of the industry - it is the fact that actors and directors have too much power. In fact, too often they are the same thing, or wearing one of those hats plus being the producer. This is, in my experience, almost always a bad start. A good movie is a team effort, and one person having more than one important role is usually a sign that the team is diluted. Another problem is that, somewhere along the line, film-makers forgot that we need to have some empathy with the characters if the movie is to work and have any lasting impression. No excellent movie has an entire cast of characters you don't actually give a flying toss about. Look at "Pulp Fiction", for instance, when all of the characters are actually really nasty pieces of work, but there is something to engage with, and compare it with, say, "Mission Impossible III".

Of my recent sci-fi viewing, "Moon" was quite good with some reasonable ideas, good acting, and a clear vision from the director; "Dredd" was fair, with excellent camera-work but too lacking in scope and characterisation; "Prometheus" is okay, but doesn't go far enough, and doesn't have a single character to empathise with (compare that with the real "Alien" franchise); and "Robot and Frank", which nearly got it right, though I had more empathy with the robot than any of the humans.

1
0

Anons torn over naming 'n' shaming of 17yo's gang-rape suspects

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Rape IS a hard crime to prove... BULLSH*T! @Black Betty

The law in common law countries requires guilt to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. When the evidence is coming from one person, and being refuted by the other, there is always reasonable doubt. The truth is that, without further evidence, which, by the nature of the offence is going to be hard to find, it *should* be hard to prosecute a rapist if the rule of law means anything at all. Feminist jurisprudence cannot insist on a change to that principle for rape and other crimes againt women and claimat the same time that it has anything to do with equality.

2
0

'You can keep it' - Brit's nicked laptop turns up on Iranians' sofa

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: They bought a stolen laptop.

As usual, the idiot legal positivists crawl out from beneath their stones, not giving a damn about facts or context. I suggest they try living under a *really* legal positivist regime, such as Sharia - the bleatings might change very quickly.

On the other hand, I've got some more examples of the complete lunacy of the legal positivist mindset for my students ...

0
1

FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Every article ... @ Sonny Jim

"Still, the headline "Phone + expensive transmitter can be used to hack planes" doesn't have the same ring to it ..." But how does the headline "Phone + trivially-inexpensive-to-bad-guys transmitter can be used to hack planes" sound? "Expensive" is a function of many things, not just financial cost.

0
0

Geolocation tech to save 60 Londoners from being run over next year

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: @Nuke - @Graham Marsden

You have hit the nail on the head. Up here around the land of "Jam, Jute and Journalism" there seem to be three types of driver - the ones that completely ignore the indicator stalk, the ones that use the indicator stalk as a "curry hook", and people that don't come from here originally - with the former in the majority. I don't know what the locals are taught, but it isn't the same Highway Code I know ... even (some) driving instructors omit the use of indicators!

0
0

Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Plenty of competition out there

Thanks for the tip about fotpathmaps.com, but just visted it: got, "Sorry, we've run out of our allocation of data for today. The problem with a free service is we cannot afford to buy more data. Some tiles may appear blank.

Please try again later/tomorrow." It looks as if you may have Slashdotted the site!

I'll stick with Google Maps and the OS site, thanks.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: This is getting silly

I was a big Multimap fan - IIRC it also used to have OS mapping when the OS site was an absolute pain to use. I was seduced away to Google maps by the fact that it was better to use and had extra information - Streetview, I think, was the thing that weaned me away completely.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: I remember streetmap... @ J.G. Harston

"... Streetmap provide proper Ordnance Survey mapping ..." Yes, and if I want that level of information, I'll go to the OS website and find it. It isn't difficult, and allows me to have the two sites open at the same time for comparison.

The OS site used to be really poor unless you knew the grid ref, but now it is more friendly once you know roughly where you need to be. It could still do with some work, though.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...@ Graham Marsden again

I just saw your reply further down the page - I see you do favour the BBC solution ...

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap... @ Graham Marsden

So Google should not give people the information they have searched for easily at the top of the page for reasons of ... well, what? What is your solution to this - that Google randomly select a map provider site to put in that position? If so, why? Or do you want Google to adopt the same sort of required statement as the BBC used to have regarding their publications - "Other map providers are available"?

1
0

Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: This should make a point

What are the others? I've not seen one yet.

0
0

Review: Kobo Arc Android tablet

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Unless I'm missing something:

No expansion means no sale to me. I want my books and notations on removable media.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Kobo has already been where the smart shoppers have ended up.

The usual copyright troll showed up, I see.

1
0

Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Prime time viewing

"... try not to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that another human being has died, regardless of what you think of that person..."

Why? I hated her when she was alive - I'm not a hypocrite like so many others to change my views just because she doesn't breathe any more. I will, however, not state my opinions regarding how she died for fear of being mderated off the board.

1
1

Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Bugger!

For those who haven't seen the link from the BBC website or elsewhere, you can leave messages for Iain at http://friends.banksophilia.com/guestbook/. There are some great ones already (though I only got to about page 15 this afternoon).

Let's hope this is one of those situations where the doctors have got it wrong - or that there is an SC vessel being diverted our way with an important mission.

7
0

Animal Liberation drone surveillance plan draws fire

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Privacy? @ Robert Carnegie

Are you trying to funny? If so, it failed.

1
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: "<group> with nothing to hide have nothing to fear"

I've been doing that for years. Good to have you aboard!

1
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Small farms

That makes it alright, then ...

Oh, wait ...

1
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Good on 'em @ Tom 7

"Check up on reports of people communicating with severed heads at executions if you dont believe me."

I don't, because there isn't a single reliable source of people "communicating with severed heads". All the ones I've seen fall into the homeopathy category of reliability

2
2

Federal lawyers, MIT threatened following Aaron Swartz' death

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: They make... @AC

By your definition, anyone that fought for the end of the Soviet Union from within is a criminal that made bad life decisions. They should not have hated those that enforced the laws, because it was a distorted view of reality. They will hopefully be found, prosecuted, and shipped off to prison to live with other folks in serious denial.

In other words, you are a total moron who does not understand that laws can be bad, and even good laws can be applied badly by those with a vested interest in doing so. Those who do so should have a little "skin in the game" to keep them closer to "honest".

3
2

Brits, Germans, French, Dutch, Spanish and Italians ALL to probe Google

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Country club for psychotic socialist control freaks

The benefits of the EU are not what you think they are. The EU for many years did exactly what it was supposed to do by ensuring that no single country can get so far ahead of its neighbours that war is a possibility. It also wrapped up the leaders of individual countries so closely that they fight through bureaucracy and diplomacy, rather than belligerance and military. It also made the governments of Europe have common economic enemies - the USA being the biggest at the beginning, China coming up on the rails.

The Euro fucked all this up, of course, because it didn't allow countries with weaker economies to do what was necessary to keep afloat. War in Europe is closer now than it has been since 1939.*

*Not that I'm expecting it to happen, but without the EU the instability in Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Spain etc would be extremely worrisome ...

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: No one escapes the EU Inquisition...... @ Dan Paul

Dan, until you understand the differences between EU Regulations and EU Directives, you are unqualified to comment on this topic.

A Regulation is, in effect, the same as Federal law - it exists and is applicable in every state without any action required on the part of the government of each or any individual state. They are used very, very rarely.

A Directive sets out a set of priciples and goals that need to be addressed by every state. However, how these are addressed is up to each state. In essence, they set a minimum level of compliance in order to level the playing field for commerce. However, some countries (e.g. UK, Germany, Sweden) tend to take it as a minimum and then tack some extra on. Other countries (e.g. Italy, Spain, Greece, the newer member states) tend to treat them as a ceiling and try to do the bare minimum to comply.

And, until you actually know what "socialist" means, you aren't fit to speak at all ...

0
0

Public cloud will grow when experienced IT folks DIE

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

And " those [organisations] where regulation mandates it." They are going to be stuffed if there aren't people with proper skills to keep the servers up and running.

Of course, they can always lobby for the regulations to change ... backed up by the cloud-cuckoo merchants, of course!

1
0

Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

"... give the side mirror a good hard smack with something solid on the way past. I do."

Criminal damage for minor disadvantage? Such a nice person ...

0
0

Printed electronics firm prints more money in quest for safer poultry

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

Okay, jake - apart from the fact you did something similar years ago, what is your point?

0
0

After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

@ P. Lee

"So, let me get this straight, hysterical newspaper reporting is bad, but the state over-riding parental responsibility and forcing children to be injected with arbitrary substances is ok?"

Yes, hysterical newspaper reporting is bad.

No, the State overriding parental responsibility where it is unwarranted is not ok.

Yes, the State overriding parental responsibility when it comes to clear public health goals is okay.

Unless you are going to claim that we were better off with polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella etc, then you are clearly barking up the wrong tree.

1
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: There sure as hell is a need for press regulation

Committing suicide is just about the most selfish thing a person can do.* This person proved Littlejohn correct - and is therefore stupid.

*My past career as a psychiatric nurse, and being someone who has been close to killing myself, give me the insight to say this.

2
2

Torygraph and Currant Bun stand by to repel freeloaders

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Er, that photo - fondleslab fees

I was going to pick up on that - why is there a bigger subscription for tablet users? I don't care - I don't have a tablet and I won't pay for a subscription to a news-service*, but it would be interesting to know why one method of reading downloaded material merits a significant price differential over another.

*I can't remember the last time I looked at any UK newspaper's website, or print edition, for that matter. Like many others, I get Private Eye every couple of weeks, read BBC and Al Jazeera websites for general news, and El Reg for most of the rest.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: @An0n C0w4rd @ Turtle

Too many. Once is too many, and all I need to say is "Robin Hood Airport" to show that it happened too many times already.

1
0

Free speechers want into Apple and Samsung sealed court filings

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

@ Typical AC troll

Since they are not involved in any market-bending lawsuits of their own, then I would say that the answer is "No, why should we be?" Quite simply, the Apple/Samsung case is hugely important with all sorts of implications for the future. The courts should be very slow to allow corporate entities to put any evidence under seal - they are not real people, and should have limited rights to protect information.

2
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: @ Pen-y-gors @ Ted Treen

If you can't see that there is a world of difference between truly private information pertaining to individual "natural persons" (to use the legal term) and quasi-private information pertaining to "corporate entities" then the capitalists have successfully worked their magic on you ... and that isn't a good thing.

3
0

'End the commercial-in-confidence CROOKS' CHARTER', gov told

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Milton Friedman said it...

And Friedman was a seriously sad man. Many of us are far more careful with others' money than with our own. If I'm on expenses, I do not stay anywhere that I wouldn't if buying it myself, and when it comes to subsistence, I never reach the limit set. Indeed, I sometimes decide that it isn't fair to charge someone for expenses if, for instance, I enjoyed it. I also ensure that I book flights and accommodation myself, rather than through the fleecing "travel agent" the organisation insists on using, because I can usually save the organisation a fair percentage. On occasion, I have been on the end of "Spend lots - we need to get rid of this money before it is taken off us." I don't understand that mentality.

So, back to Friedman - he, like so many right-wing economists, are essentially fraudulent bastards who think everyone is out to get what they can. They demean the honest majority, and so do you by believing it,

4
0

Oz shop slaps browsers with $5 just looking fee

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Touch Call

I'm sorry? You actually support a shoe-shop that charges you a fee to try shoes on????

My frst response is bit ad hominem, so let me simply rephrase it to recognise that it takes all sorts to make a world ...

1
1
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Easily Understandable But Possibly (And Probably) Hopeless.

If she actually had any expertise in areas that matter, such as people skills and marketing, she wouldn't need to be charging an entry fee to the shop (incidentally, how is she going to enforce that if people walk in and go out without paying their "rent"?)

This is another example of the sense of entitlement some merchants (movie and record industry, I'm looking at you too) have to earn a living without changing a damn thing. This daft woman deserves to go out of business - perhaps the clue-stick will bless her with a pummelling then. After all, Rampant Spaniel has come up with several good ways to increase footfall, sales, and - most importantly - loyalty in just a few minutes. It isn't hard, ffs.

3
0

Dongle smut Twitstorm claims second scalp

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: I hate sexual discrimiation with a passion...

Telling smutty jokes to others who you know won't take offence isn't "discrimination". Hell, telling smutty jokes isn't "discriminatory" at all. "Discrimination" is something everybody does every day of their lives, and that there it is a value-neutral term. Only where the discrimination can be perceived as unfair, i.e. to the detriment of the person being discriminated on grounds that are not legally acceptable, is there an issue. To put it another way, the fact that you have your current job means that someone else discriminated between you and the other applicants.

This woman is part of a very unhealthy attitude towards humour, and an increasingly unhealthy attitude against men, much worse than that the feminists rail against, because it is deliberate, and calculated to demean men. The only downside is that this daft woman will probably take her case to court and get damages for being sacked (though that is quite correct - what she did was not a sacking offence).

5
3

MasterCard stings PayPal with payment fee hike

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Unsecured loans

Whereas, given the choice between two equally good [whatever-it-is-I-want-to buy], I'll always take the PayPal route because it is easier, I'm not giving my payment details to the seller, and my credit-card company doen't know what I'm buying whilst giving me payment protection. Win all round, I'd say.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge
Pint

@RoI

Well done!! Have one on me - you deserve it!

0
0

Space probe spies MYSTERY 'Cold Spot' in very fabric of cosmos itself

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: The cold spots...

But what about Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings ... ?

0
0

Stop excluding vulnerable Brits from digital agenda - MPs

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Errrrrrrrrrrr

No wonder you posted anonymously, AC 09:50. You are an objectionable, spying little shit who isn't worthy of consideration.

Fuck off back under your stone and don't come back.

2
2

Caught on camera: Fujitsu touts anti-terrorist pulse-taking tech

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: So, you can defeat this by being late?

"Alternatively, lets make it so that there are a 100 different things the terrorist has to get right every time in order to not be caught."

Or - and I know this is from completely outside the envelope - we could stop being so f***ing paranoid and allow going to airports to be a pleasure again. I know it isn't going to happen anytime soon, but it is a pleasant dream of mine.

8
1

CCTV hack takes casino for $33 MILLION in poker losses

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Never mind the scam on the game .....

I obviously have imagination failure - what can you possibly get for $30k a night that you can't get for £500 somewhere else? All you need is a bed, an internet connection, possibly cable TV, a bath/shower, and someone to bring food and drink when you want it, but it will be added to the bill. Oh, and some reasonable security and privacy - make the top figure £1500 a night.

I genuinely am baffled ...

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

"... hence they are at fault for handing the info over?"

Not necessarily. A suitably placed employee could have been paid in some way, or threatened, in order to get the required access. There is mention in the article of a VIP handler (or similar term) being sacked - this may or may not be related to the access to the cameras etc.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Faraday cage

"The first fail was thinking that spying on your customers was a good idea." Ironically, this is done in all "respectable" gambling establishments in order to identify cheating. There are levels of security in casinos that would make a government weep. Everything from straight observation to pattern recognition, both by humans and machines. Security in depth at its best.

"The second fail was consolidating the information from the spying." Well, maybe yes, maybe no - part of the security comes from consolidating and integrating the data. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks is a different question.

"The third was the security/social engineering breach." Which are almost impossible to eliminate. If the person you want can't be bought, s/he can be threatened either directly or by threats to significant others. Not so much a "Fail" on the part of the casino, because no-one is immune from social-engineering one way or another.

I was hoping Bruce Schneier's blog would have something on this, but I don't see it.

0
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Brings a new consideration to the phrase

"A reasonable country wouldn't allow gambling full stop."

"Yes, because banning gambling, like banning drugs, will immediately result in the complete cessation of all such activity and no-one would ever gamble illegaly."

I upvoted both these, even though they are contradictory, because they represent how I feel myself.

Whilst I don't use drugs and I don't gamble, I can see the utility of one (drugs), but not the other (gambling). In an ideal world, gambling would not be state sanctioned, and certainly advertising wouldn't be allowed (I am actually repelled by the averts for the various gambling establishments that have recently been allowed on British TV). However, in order to be consistent, since I think that drug-use should be legalised and brought within the remit of the State because it is an aspect of freedom,* and because it reduces harm to those indulge, then I logically have to accept the legalisation of gambling.

*Unlike libertarians, I don't think that freedom resides in being free to die at the hands of someone less scrupulous than you.

2
0
Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Cojones but

"Did he have a hidden earpiece, going to he loo a lot or was he taking calls on his mobile?" I was wondering that, too. Getting the information was relatively straightforward, if complex in practice. Relaying that information is the real trick. I doubt the old "hearing aid" trick wouldn't work, not when money was being lost hand over fist, and surely the casino has those private suites screened from radio anyway (if they don't, then they may well have to show it isn't negligent failure). I am intrigued ...

0
0

National Security Letters ruled unconstitutional

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: Damn constituion @YAAc

"- it's a pity we don't have any judges that are independant." I can't decide if you are trying to be ironic with that comment, but I downvoted you just in case you aren't. There is absolutely *NO* (did I emphasise that sufficiently?) that the UK judiciary as a whole are anything other than independent of government and Parliament in terms of their judgments. There have been some questions as to their politics, being white male barristers for so long, but, if you had any clue about English Legal History, certainly over the last 50 years, you will find that ministers have regularly criticised the judiciary because decisions went against what the government of the day wanted.

Note that I do not speak of the future - the new Court structures, and the potential for "affirmative action" to hurry people who are not white males into judicial positions raises the spectre of political interference and a more tractable judiciary - and I do have serious worries about where we are going.

0
0

Googlification of Britain: Forget 'IT worker', we're all just 'digital' now

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: From CIO to CPO and Emporer's clothes @taxman

"BUT AT WHAT COST AND WILL THE PUBLIC AND BUSINESS FIND IT OF USE???"

This is one of the things I find head-bangingly irritating about the current crop of civil-servants: they don't ever try to dress it up as "This is how it is going to help you/make your life better/[whatever]", where "you" is the person on the Clapham omnibus. People are willing to overlook a lot if they perceive they are getting some benefit from it - that is why Google etc are so successful. There would almost certainly be ID cards already had they focussed on "This is how it makes [insert market research determined point] easier/better for you". The same with this. I'll leave it for fellow commentators to decide whether the overriding reason is: a) arrogance; b) cluelessness; c) something else; d) all of the previous.

0
0

New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge

Re: What about the oil barons??

As I read somewhere else this week, there are no "oil companies" any longer - they are "energy companies". It will ultimately make no difference to them - they will still make money providing the thing that civilisation runs on - electricity.

0
0

HEAVILY ARMED SEX CRAZED DOLPHINS on RAMPAGE in Black Sea

Intractable Potsherd
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Soon to be seen at a nearby fishing trawler ...

Shurely, "Your haddock or your life?", or, if that's a bit too land-based, "Arrrr, mateys, your fish are mine!" (Though the latter probably needs a parrot and and an eye-patch, which would just be silly ...)

0
0