456 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009
How do you know?
Everything we know know has come from observed 'facts' -- things we see that we can explain to ourselves through mathematics which, when tested by further observation, appear to 'work'. We can then make hypotheses on what we don't know, standing on the 'facts' we do know. When something doesn't fit the facts, we are cautious and slow to jettison what has worked so far. Only with overwhelming proof do we move to a new or refined set of facts.
How you know the universe can't have come from a singularity? It appears that your opinion rests on nothing observed. Unusual and unexpected observations do not undermine well-observed and mathematically-validated facts in one swoop. It's like saying 'my cheery tree bloomed a week early this year, so all of climate change is utter rubbish' or 'we seem to have sent a sub-atomic particle to Italy faster than light -- all of Einstein is now trashed'.
Re: undermining contractual trust...
I had a similar thing happen, in that they changed the situation so that I would be less well paid under their new 'project terms'. I gave my notice and walked free, having done my best to leave things in a good position to the person coming in. They had to spend about a year's money in three weeks to get enough people to cover my work (three, I think) until the project was delivered, a month later, with much wringing of hands by the management. Did it trouble my sleep? Not a bit. Did I come back four months later, after a period of fun and travel, at a higher rate? Yes I did, and enjoyed four more lucrative years with them. You are worth as much as you command on the market. If you have weird set of skills (yay me) then you can set the terms. Of course, one day my skills will no longer be needed by al the new systems, but I am an old codger and I'll be happy to toddle off to the allotment to remember happy times saying 'f*ck you, pay me.'
It couldn't be related to oppression
The long-standing, barefaced and blatant racist oppression (social, economic, political) by the Han Chinese of the Uighurs could have NOTHING to do with the violent resistance of those peoples. Oh no.
Re: "there're plenty of people who'd prefer to take the "cruise" approach" @h4rm0ny
Or you can talk in private in a place that can be shielded and inaccessible.
Re: They almost laughed him out of the boardroom...
I saw some footage from the early 1930s of passengers looking down on (I think) Brazil as they drifted slowly and gracefully out over the Atlantic to Europe and thought 'I want to do that'. I can't think of a more fascinating way of viewing spectacular scenery: ah, yes, glass of wine in hand while I watch the Andes or the Sahara slip below me, or as the sun sets over Sri Lanka and lights the Indian Ocean with gold. Please, please sell me a ticket--especially after I retire and have plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of the earth.
Re: The concept looks good
I care -- I like my ancient BlackBerry, but wish I could have some more modern stuff like the cool kids have. If I can keep my beloved keyboard and have some goodies, I will buy one in a heartbeat.
Re: Don't be distracted
Yes, that's really the issue. Assange only rose to prominent on a tide more noxious than he.
Re: That's who you need @hollerith
@Gordon 10: a fair point and a good one. Wikileaks has had some important successes, but it is not a one-man effort, and Assange is truly repulsive, in my opinion. Snowden, on the other hand, is a principled person -- as is Manning, who has suffering physical and mental torture because he (as he was then) would not be silent in the face of wrong-doing.
That's who you need
The guys that are full of themselves, paranoid and so on are the ideal type to create something like Wikileaks. Yes, they are unpleasant. Yes, they don't play well with others. But society reaps such benefit from what they do (Snowden, IMHO, is a hero) that I give them a break. As long as I don't have to hang out with them, I am glad someone with weirdnesses can actually create something for the greater good. Lots of 'normal' and nice people remain part of the boot-licking problem.
Alone? With a rubber duck? Some people should never be.
Re: Razor like insight
He could see it coming, but did know know where or when. Or the other way around.
Re: No sexier perfume on the planet...
Well, so far, I'd say you are right as far as wolf-attacks go.
No sexier perfume on the planet...
...than Chanel No. 5. And it's for grown-up women, not girls. My wife resisted it until one magical day when it was just 'right'. Mmmmmm....
It will be a sad day when No. 5 is no longer part of a beautiful women's arsenal of allure.
Let me guess...
Given this is a Jonze film, it will utterly fail the Bechdel Test.
the savvy ones jump
I was in a big company where cross-the-board cuts were being made. I decided the hovering axe was too stressful to endure and found another job. In my exit interview, they blurted out 'you weren't one of the ones we wanted to get rid of'. Well, I didn't feel that love and, from what I heard of the shambles that followed, all the other savvy ones jumped too, ditto feeling no love, and they were left with the drones and the clueless managers who had hired and retained all the drones while losing the ones who did the work.
Re: Interesting, but
Not a walk in the park, but if a person being covered by a 'new role at a new company' article had gone through serious medical treatment for, say, bipolar, do you need to mention 'oh, by the way, he was sectioned once and now takes a range of mood-stabilising drugs'? This is NOT the most interesting thing about them.
Re: Tell me who
Usually women are attracted by the size of your smarts.
How about: You get an STD from playing away from home. Your shared email at home suddenly fills up with STD medical adverts directed to you by name.
Or: you have a disability that you don't want your agency to find out about. They cross-check and find you and all about your disability and you don't get the job.
Or: You get an embarrassing condition you'd rather be kept private. You find your FaceBook page targeted with ads for creams for this condition.
Or: your insurance company decides to hike your premiums because they found out about a temporary condition and have added you to the 'risky' file without your even being aware of it.
I coudl go on and on...
Re: How about
My GP practice has their own forms sitting front-and-centre on the reception counter. They can't officially encourage people to opt out, as they would lose their charter or whatever, but they ask each patient pointedly. I told them I had already opted out and my doctor nearly shook my hand with joy.
And in the comments I put that I was an El Reg reader. Let them know where their fanbase is!
Neanderthal ancestors, I really want to thank you for that diabetes thing. Appreciate that being passed on. Yay.
verb vs noun
In the UK 'license' is the verb ('you license the use of...') and licence is the noun ('you must have a car licence'). Same as defense/defence etc. The USA don't have this usage.
Re: "I know absolutely nothing about the black holes...
@Jemma, do you know anything about the scientific process, what 'proof' means, what peer review actually involves, and why it is a fundamental part of the scientific approach to testing knowledge? I am no defender of the hothouse that is academia, but my experience has been that the first-rate scientists learn how to operate the system in order to be effective in their scientific work. They are generous and passionate and enthusiastic and honourable. Another Commentard's comments on Ellis sum up the best of the breed.
Again in my experience, the second-raters are the ones ass-kissing and trying to game the system, but that type are with us in every institution. Why pay any attention to them when you can spend time getting your brain around the insights that Penrose, Hawking, etc have given us? We should count ourselves fortunate to be living at the same time as these giants.
Re: Is this the first time that ...
Oh yes, oh yes. I worked for an organisation that had a cap--as if a cap could stop stupid, wasteful projects from draining yet more capital--and all that happened was that huge projects got chunked into amounts that would fly under the radar. The final spend was much higher in total, I think, because all the initialising of the project and getting staff and consultants on board was repeated for every chunk, even when it tended to be the same faces. And we had the same time-delays in getting it approved, so work-hour money was wasted. The project approval board seldom twigged, because the Projects team had learned how to obfuscate by talking about benefits (jam tomorrow).
Re: f*cking 9/11
I figure you got that about right. And it turns out that the only thing to fear is fear itself -- the 'home of the brave' kissed goodbye to a lot of what they say they hold dear for an illusory security. Their fear overcame any sense of restraint. I feel for them -- when the big rich kid first gets punched in the nose (and please insert her obligatory condemnation of terrorist acts) it can be a big shock.
Re: Going to be a painful future
I was just home to Alberta for a break last month and my first stop was a Tim Horton's. It was good to be back! Oh, and nice to see the folks, too.
Re: Hang on a minute... and counting
We could go back to the times you hired a champion to fight for you in trial-by-combat. But the lawyers have a DUTY to do everything they possibly can for the people who are paying them. LTIC, lawyers have to outline what they are doing for you before they go into court and do it, so you, their clients, can decide whether to stump up the money or not. Lawyers get a lot of stick in these forums, but if you are hauled into court by, say, a looney neighbour threatening mayhem because your tree shed a leaf on their lawn or whatever, you'd want your lawyer to be 100% focused on the best outcome for YOU. More seriously, if you are being patent trolled or on trial for a crime, etc, you want your lawyer to do everything humanly possible to protect you. And remember, you are paying -- you are in control.
Do people get blagged by smart lawyers? Yes, sometimes. But every lawyer I've met in big business has been conscious of his or her duty to the court -- which is to do their full duty by their client. Full disclosure, I am married to one, and her honour is stainless. She will refuse work, at the cost of her own income, if it is not consistent with the client's best interests, i.e. if she thinks they will blow a wad of dosh on a sure failure and NOT get what they want. Or she will warn them and keep warning them that the actions they are paying her to take are not in their best interests and work hard to get them to modify their stance. Or she will resign from the case. And she is not untypical of the breed.
Re: Incorrect: From the NHS:
No, they just have to spell out that alcohol -- bad, drugs -- bad. You can even see them being driven to say 'beer -- bad, vodka -- bad, cider -- bad' for those who think some things are fine for livers and some aren't. I say this because I had a long chat with someone who insisted that cider was not 'booze' in any health sense.
Re: Maltitol really is nasty in excess
Thornton's are especially bad, but I have found three a day is the maximum of any confectionery made of maltitol. I am diabetic and these sweets (not Haribo -- my favourite is the Leonidas no-added-sugar range--a class act) are an occasional pleasure. But one choccie or sweet is enough. You cannot use them as a one-for-one replacement. They have to be consumed cautiously. But many people (including me) became diabetic because they thought they could chow down on a bag of sweets with impunity. Maltitol's properties help remind us that over-consumption of ANYthing is a bad idea. I binged on sugarly confectionery and eventually got diabetes; if I binge on Maltitol-based sweets, I am punished immediately. I have learned self-restraint...
Re: More presidential lip service.
It stopped growing westward in 1890s. One reason the Civil War happened was because the western 'empty' areas were becoming territories and then states, and the Southern bloc were moving heaven and earth to make sure as many or all of those new states were slave states. May I mention Kansas/Nebraska here? The Civil War was not fought because of increased Federal power, but because there was a huge split in the population over slavery. The Southern bloc dressed it up as 'Sates' Rights', but the only right they fought to preserve was slavery. After the war, the Federal government did give itself extraordinary powers in the subjugated ex-slave states, but these were removed mostly under President Rutherford, and the small gains the African-American population had made were wiped out in an instant. Let's not go into what happened from 1870s to 1950s, when the Feds again decided that it was time to step in.
I myself am not a fan of big centralised government. Being Canadian, I know the downsides, but I also see the positives: a uniform approach, the ability create something that is more than the sum of the parts. But, in reality, there is precious little gain. But it's best to be accurate about history before using it to show something is bad or not.
Re: Even if it were effective...
Wow, I've never been this close to one of this sort of person before. Like being close to a celebrity. The ones who cling to the Constitution are often the ones who run bulldozers through its clear intent (e.g. 'right to bear arms'), but to watch them declare that the current Power-That-Be is taking us all to hell in a hand-basket has a certain queasy fascination.
Re: Nice one Ed
Yes, and can I work for him?
Re: If I had $2 million, I'd have a very comfortable life and never need to work again.
If you live off the interest from £4m, you get a modest yearly income forever. If you burn through the capital, you can live high on the hog for a short time. I, too, did those sums in the 1990s at a younger age and thought I would have to be frugal if ever I won the lottery. Now I'm old enough to burn through the capital. Sadly, the lottery has decided to withhold itself from me, presumably because of my hubris, or merely because the numbers are randomly selected. And I don't often buy a ticket.
I, too, would like to hear more from Mr Watkinson on 'is a workable and honourable patent system possible' and perhaps 'most ridiculous examples in the annals of trolling' and even 'how to do it right'.
Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?
Massive competition leads ineluctably to monopoly, as Adam Smith so rightly observed, because, while competition might be good for consumers, it is not good for producers, and they eventually think 'why don't we band together and stop cutting our collective throats and make the consumer our bitch?' Massive competition also leads to safety and quality cuts, not necessarily where the consumer touches the product (your mobile) but in the making of it. Massive fires/collapses/slavery in Third-World countries, loss of jobs in First World countries, and their increased impoverisation (I am thinking here of the American South), are all part of a system of capital without constraints. I am all for a capitalist system because, on the whole, it has led to more happiness than any other system so far created by humans, but history and present practice shows us that this gallant steed must be controlled by bridle and, if necessary, spur, to stop it trampling so many underfoot.
Because if you keep relying on someone else to ensure that the majority are vaccinated, you are helping to ensure that there will be no majority. Like relying on the decency of others to obey the rules of the road while you race about like an idiot--heck, those nice people will ensure you are safe!
Re: MOD application form ..
I did this once -- a process similar to recruitment and pretty complex, as I also needed to cover several languages, currencies, and so on. I was the design/usability person and I had two 'old lags' in IT who used old-but-seaworthy code to build an absolutely brilliant solution. Worked correctly right from the get-go, and cost the company only our salaries and a project management person we all ignored. It was my first in-house, hands-on big bit of work and my respect for IT professionals shot through the roof. They simply are a breed apart from the consultants (Capita, etc etc) I've had the non-pleasure to work alongside since.
Re: Is it?
I use StartPage, not Google. Works fine.
Who is there for whom?
IT has to support the business, no matter how idiotic or stupid the business is seen to be, because the business's view of the world is different than IT's view. And guess who makes the moeny...
Re: "get paid for creating and selling their stuff"
I am not an IP industry, I am an author. I need to be able to own what I produce and to make money from it. I also need to know that those who steal my work from me are breaking a law and that I can get redress in court. Copyright gives me ownership of what I create from the moment it is created until I licence or sell my copyright, in which case someone else (my publisher or a magazine) has that protection.
Copyright came in because the starting point of a 'thing' that is a poem or song or story or article was recognised to reside in the creator, who at that point was right royally ripped off as soon as anyone else could get their hands on it. Someone else reaped the reward and writers literally starved in their garrets.
The only place where buyers can set their own prices in an auction. Otherwise, the producer decides what he or she will flog the 'thing' for. Get the price right, it sells, get it wrong, it doesn't. Market forces work just as effectively in a world with effective copyright.
Keep the keyboard, keep me for life
All I want is a bit of a bigger screen and fewer fandangles, and a keyboard. I will be faithful to you, BlackBerry, as long as you deliver!
Re: Splendid, I am delighted to hear it.
Although I'd be happy to shove...
We have to presume that they collected data on everyone. NSA aren't 'for Obama' or any president, whatever flavour the next ones will come in -- they are for themselves.
Re: Impact location
I welcome our Cynara Cardunculus masters.
Timing is all
I once got told I was redundant the day back after Christmas break on 2 Jan -- right after I had maxed out my credit cards. I wished they had done it a few days before Christmas so I could have reined in my spending. They said they didn't want to spoil my Christmas... ffs, they spoiled the first couple of months of my new year.
An unremarkable photo, and yet...
I look at that shot of stars and little asteroids and such -- mundane, but beautiful, and I think: 'Space, the final frontier.' This stuff is do dam' cool.
Re: Good of you
I indeed am one, and had not heard of this latest stupidity by the BL.
My archive is safe...
I have a full run of the paper version, so will be donating to some other library (if any want them as a snap-shot of feminism in the Good Old Days) that understands its job to be the preservation and guardianship of all printed information, and not the monetising of what they were given for free and for which they get tax money to care for. The BL has made many appalling decisions over the past years -- chucking out hard copies of newspapers from the 1700s and 1800s, even though they knew their poor-quality microfilm copies were decaying, trying to get into bed with Google etc who were going to pwn their digitisations and so on. The BL Powers That Be are a mixture of lambs to the slaughter, not understanding what they are signing, and cavalier civil servants who get excited by a shiny toy such as digitisation and who forget that their sole purpose is to hold and preserve in perpetuity all possible print items as they can possibly store. Not to delete, shill or monetise them. They need to resist the modern mentality to make a quick quid, and they have to remember that they don't own what they hold --the authors do, as long as those authors are alive.
This sort of po-faced satire was in all the feminist publications I read as a grrrl, and they were pretty funny. This current example is, to me, a hoot: it sends up the deadly-earnest dear old feminist mentality while making a few good points. I've enjoyed seeing the foamy-mouth types lured out of their lairs by this. It added to my laugh of the day.
Re: @ dssf
A woman who can't put through an order, or gets the wrong stuff delivered, or sees an ordered gift get sent astray, might not be thinking 'CRM' but she will be thinking 'there are other companies who offer a similar product--why don't I try one?' Which is why Avon are not happy. Because female customers react in the same way as male customers to messed-up services.
- Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1
- Pics Indestructible Death Stars blow up planets with glowing KILL RAY
- Hands on Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update
- Video Snowden: You can't trust SPOOKS with your DATA
- 166 days later: Space Station astronauts return to Earth