* Posts by The Indomitable Gall

1277 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Wow, Barcelona really has a problem with tech disruptors. Watch out Airbnb

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Get it right.

Exactly. The concept of couchsurfing is sharing, because you're... well... sharing. Paying for services isn't "sharing", it's "commerce". You pay for a room with AirBnB. It's commerce.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: uncontrolled tourism

" Yes, I can see how that would potentially be a huge problem for a country with such a booming economy right now. "

You realise that one of the things that obliterated the Spanish economy in the economic crisis was that their economy relied excessively on tourism, right? When Brits and Germans stopped buying holiday homes, their GDP tanked. I would have thought this measure would fall quite sensibly under "learning from your mistakes".

Moreover, there is a massive homelessness problem due to bank foreclosures and repossessions. The last thing Spain needs is inflationary pressures on accommodation when so many people are out of work. I know at least one person who is already renting a flat privately purely to sublet it as an airbnb business (this is in Valencia, not Barcelona, though) and that means one less flat available at normal rents for a family seeking permanent lodgings in the city.

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Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last – by leaked Snowden files

The Indomitable Gall

@goldcd

" Maybe nobody did get secretly caught and imprisoned though.. maybe. "

Imprisonment isn't an effective means of silencing someone. I suspect that the collapse of the ABC case resulted in an increase in "suicides" among troublesome types....

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

The Indomitable Gall

Re: "Almost certainly"

" The 2 most popular brands of 'e-juice' have been found to contain chemicals that are not safe to be inhaled and those are the ones that are supposed to be legitimate. "

The last time I read a report of this type, the leading vape brands responded by pointing out that the study had heated the wick to higher than normal operating temperature, and had burnt the product. The temperature in the study was in the public domain and the manufacturer's claims appeared sound.

You wouldn't accuse a cake mix of containing "carcinogenic black carbon" on the grounds you'd turned your oven up too high and left the cake in too long, would you...?

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DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

The Indomitable Gall

As a road cyclist, I'm under trees about as much of the time as your average car driver, if you leave long-distance journeys (ie motorway travel) out of the equation.

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Gazan medico team 3D-prints world-leading stethoscope for 30c

The Indomitable Gall
Coat

Re: Autosculpt?! Really?

Maybe it's the brand of 3D printer he was using...?

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'WOMAN FOUND ON MARS' – now obvious men are from Venus

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Ignoring the bleeding obvious...

Bloody hell -- you're right! It's giant Skeletor, buried in sand, and the tiny woman is trying to escape from the grip of his bony fingers!

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

The Indomitable Gall

Re: inside out

" There's a PA company (mackie?bose? someone odd) who used to use a bulb for speaker protection. If you drove it too hard the bulb lit up, increasing in resistance as it got hotter. The bulb would then finally blow, saving the drivers, with which it was in series. "

Not that long ago I was sitting in a public talk, entranced by the flickering blue lights on a pair of Bose PA speakers, and wondering how the professional crew responsible didn't understand that if the overdrive warning light is coming on, words get pretty unclear...

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This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

The Indomitable Gall

Re: standard comment in laser physics:

What, they had to pump the pigs to get them to lase? Sick fuckers!

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Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Essential introduction to computing

[stares disapprovingly at DIM statement]

Now go back to your room and think about what you've done.

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

The Indomitable Gall

Re: When it's finished will?

The reward wil outweigh the Risk....

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: I wholeheartedly approve.

The business class service would have to have fully-appointed meeting rooms, as you'd be spending your entire outward journey with you team prepping for the meeting you were going to.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: The Chinese and Russians are going to build it??

WRT modern sailing ships...

Problem 1 has already been mentioned (weather-dependent journey times make the logistics of running a business tricky.).

Problem 2 is why sailing ships went out of fashion in the first place. In actual transit, tall ships were more efficient than powered ships (because a twx lot of a powered ship's capacity is dedicated to engines and fuel) but they took an awful lot longer to load and unload because of rigging etc. And that was before he invention of the modern container ship, which is the easiest thing in the world to load and unload, given that everything is stored in lorry-sized containers and piled on deck.

Sails mean surface use, which is unacceptable, even without the need for all the ropes and cables of traditional rigs, so no-one's interested.

The high altitude kite idea, IIRC, was targeted specifically at supertankers. They have nothing on deck anyway, and they travel between specialist locations where there's not as much competition for berths.

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Han Solo to get solo prequel flick in 2018, helmed by LEGO men

The Indomitable Gall

Re: The really annoying thing is>>

The biggest problem with most of the stuff tagged onto the Star Wars universe is... light sabers and Jedi. Everyone loved Dark Forces, but lamented that there were no light sabers in it. And everyone wanted to say "use the force, Luke" and there was no force either; so they wrote Jedi Knight. But rather than flip to a "golden age" à la Old Republic, they set it just after the films, which meant suddenly injecting all those crazy force powers that then end up being reflected back in the prequel trilogy.

The books and comics not only immediately started introducing Jedis so they could have more light-sabers, but they also all played up this pre-Empire superpowerful Justice-League-of-the-University Jedi Council nonsense, and suddenly the Jedi went from being a few relics of an ancient way of life, mocked and derided by many (see Vader's argument in New Hope and Jabba's dismissive "he's using an old Jedi mind trick" in Return of the Jedi) to being a bunch of walking one-man armies armed with more pyrotechnics than the all the Earth's national holidays put together who were wiped out within the living memory of half the characters in the films.

Kenobi and Vader only made sense as the end of a long slow decline in the traditional ways.

The orequels would have made more sense if Kenobi was just a soldier and was laughed at for carrying a light-saber into battle, and if there were a handful of others like him using the force subtley like in the original films, and Annakin Skywalker was one of them, perhaps even a young soldier that he had trained hiimself.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: "[...] his methods for making the Kessel run in 12 parsecs."

That was in a book, not part of the official backstory. The original line was too things -- a mistake and a lie. A mistake in that the script guys didn't know it was a unit of distance, a lie in that the script notes that it was just Solo trying to bluff Kenobi.

If they have the Falcon doing the Kessel run in record time in this film, THAT would be retconning, as it would rewrite the original script.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Erm....

@The Man In Black

Timothy Zahn is a hack, and his plots, names and races were cheesier than a fridge full of Camembert and crappier than the Greater London sewage works. Good riddance, I say.

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Reg Lectures serve up Net Terrors, Rare Earths, and Ancient Tech

The Indomitable Gall
Flame

Now I know from previous articles that these lectures are held in London, but wouldn't it be worth mentioning that, like, you know, in the article...?

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Einstein told us "everything is relative"

Einstein also say "God doesn't play dice". He was wrong about quantum mechanics, so he wasn't infallible....

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The Indomitable Gall

Franco died in 1975. The first elections were then held in 1977 and a new constitution was formalised in 1978. The new constitution was unequivocal in separating church and state, so it's hardly surprising that the law was dropped.

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Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano

The Indomitable Gall

@Steve Davies 3

" an 8.8mm Canon "

I prefer 35mm Canons, but I'll settle for a micro-four-thirds digital model.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Well I feel sorry for Mrs Elephant.

You realise that mammoths were the same size as Asian elephants, right? Don't let the name fool you.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Animal made from ancient degraded DNA released into the wild

I think mammoths are kind of safe -- compared to (for example) cane toads, it would be trivially easy to hunt them down and cull them if required. Much like the sequoias imported and planted in the UK -- if they did prove to be dangerous weeds, we could find them all (they can't hide) and cut them down, and within one sequoia generation, there would be no more sequioas in the UK.

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BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun

The Indomitable Gall

Re: But everyone knows you can't take panto comets seriously

Oh no you can't.

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The Indomitable Gall

@Wilseus

Are you telling me that Superman was colourblind? So how does he know what kryptonite looks like?

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Analyst dons Tim Cook mask, thinks: Glass went well for Google. Let's do that, too

The Indomitable Gall

" 1) The video camera (if any) has a hard cover that has to be slid aside/opened before filming. Will protect the lens and also make it very obvious to bystanders whether you're recording or not "

No it won't -- there are plenty of AR apps that will could make use of the camera without recording being on -- real-time text translation, for example.

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The Indomitable Gall

@Jubtastic1

" another 5 years or so of miniturisation before anyone can make a pair of AR sunglasses indistinguishable from ordinary sunglasses, that's when Apple will release a product* "

Except that sunglasses are currently getting larger, specifically because designers need them to be big enough to carry a brand and be recognisable. Apple want to be visible and recognisable, so getting right down to sunglasses size isn't strictly necessary....

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Vince Cable opens hipster-friendly London tech creche

The Indomitable Gall

Re: a uniquely British solution

The "uniquely British solution" for any problem is to make lots of disparaging jokes about the French, then realise that they own half your infrastructure.

Thus I conclude that Cable is suggesting privatising city councils, and selling them off to French-led consortiums.

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Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The Indomitable Gall

What is more concerning...

I can't help feeling that this is a very odd bit of clothing. It looks like a swimsuit for when you're not... well.. swimming, but it fact it's really a T-shirt that goes between your legs in order to avoid wrinkling or rising. Why would anyone put up with a constant wedgie from a T-shirt, just to avoid a wee bit of wrinkling?

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Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Decommissioned nukes

Oh no, we have had the global thermonuclear war. However, the machines made us forget when they plugged us into their VR system. They have also evolved a warped sense of humour, hence the Occulus Rift making people puke.

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Gamers! Ransomware will scramble your save files unless you cough up $1,000

The Indomitable Gall
Headmaster

@AC

" I'd be more worried about it being a MAC! "

As this is a Flash-based attack, your network hardware is not relevant, thus spoofing an alternate MAC for your NIC isn't going to have any effect.

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FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

The Indomitable Gall

Food greatly simplifies intertate commerce, in that people who don't eat die. (Reductio ad absurdum.)

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The Indomitable Gall

Other people are scared...

It's not just the ISPs proper that are scared -- it's a fairly big issue for MacDonald's and Starbucks too. If you do any amount of travelling, a recognisable chain which advertises free wifi in all its outlets can be very appealing. It's certainly easier than going into an unknown local café and asking about wifi, particularly if you don't know the local language.

A knock-on effect of keeping municipal internet services fee-paying, is there can be no free municipal wifi. Municipal wifi is a great leveller, because with it, we know we can get online literally anywhere, so we don't head to the multinational chains....

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Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Reboot?

Annakin, both the "I see dead people" version, and the "I see nothing but red" version, deserves to be booted out the airlock...

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: It's just a movie....

" The Star Wars prequels are similar to Starship Troopers (the movie) in the sense that most people criticising them do entirely miss the plot. Don't see the wood for the trees, so to say. "

Not the right cliché. The plot was tiny, and hidden behind all the distracting fluff tacked on (which is not what vignettes are, incidentally. I'd say the plot was a clearing, which you couldn't see because the viewer was outside an Endor-sized forest with a whole moon's worth of trees between the viewer and the clearing.

The theme held promise -- the corruption of power -- but the overall plot was ridiculous. Episode I in particular had a lot of people moving about for no clear reason. Episode II had two people who appeared more robotic than R2D2 deciding not only that they understood the concept of "love", but that they were in it. Episode II gave the opportunity for a good tragic twist when the Trade Federation told Kenobi that they were building the Death Star to fight against Darth Sidious, but then Lucas chickened out and made that a lie. The Greek-level tragedy of Obi-Wan destroying the galaxy's last hope against the founding of the Empire and personally delivering the plans for the Death Star to the future Emperor would have been a fantastic plot twist.

And in the end, even the political intrigue needed a figure of ridicule to pull it off. It should have been someone we liked who messed up.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Warranty void if seal is broken

"They'll probably have a standby mode, and an irreplacable fuel source that needs recharging every 24 hours."

I'd be more worried about the fact that you can't plug it into a charger without it turning itself on. Kind of risky.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Retrogression of the "Force".

@Vlad,

" You are angry, AC. Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. "

Suffering leads to ???, and ??? leads to profit.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Retrogression of the "Force".

" As for why the lightsabres might get more spitty. Well, let me think... hmm three seconds later I came up with the idea that possibly it's because all the other Jedi/Sith are dead and the couple who are left lost the previously refined art of constructing lightsabres and are trying to work it out from the beginning again, hence the technology is messier. Obviously three seconds thinking is too difficult for you. "

If you'd thought three seconds more, you'd have remembered that Luke Skywalker's Return of the Jedi light saber was built by Luke himself, seemingly after the death of Yoda, so with no ancient Jedi blacksmiths left to pass on the knowledge. Luke's entire Jedi training appears to have consisted of a week with Kenobi and a few months with Yoda, so it can't have been that hard.

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Kanye West: Yo, DNS... Imma let you finish, but this gTLD is one of the best of all time

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Bah!

He is a gay fish.

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LICKED: Behold my TOAD-PROOF ERECTION, boasts Aussie boffin

The Indomitable Gall

Re: That fence will exclude everything not just the toad

Yes, but the reservoirs aren't part of the natural ecosystem, so blocking them off completely would rebalance things quite nicely.

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Silicene takes on graphene as next transistor wonder-stuff

The Indomitable Gall

@Andre Carniero

"Still waiting to see real-world applications of graphene, though..."

It's nanotech -- why would you expect to see it?

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Competitors dead in the water?

Still 100 MBIt and no SATA.

<p>And still no sign of audio in. I mean, seriously -- the Broadcom SoC was designed for camcorders and embedded multimedia, but there's no ADC anywhere on the Pi board. It's an unbelievably odd design decision.

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

The Indomitable Gall

Actually...

I think the studio that made the film win this one -- how much free press is this generating? And there'll be plenty of people who go to see it to "stand up for freedom". Pass the popcorn....

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Unlock your mobe by STROKING it with your PEARL

The Indomitable Gall

"It's not a pearl, it's a bean."

Well, that's how I heard it anyway.

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Finland ditches copyright levy on digital kit, pays artists directly

The Indomitable Gall

Budgets declining.

"if the state budget declines, so too may artists’ remuneration. "

This is not a problem. Consider:

The state remuneration is to compensate for lost sales in implementing a right to "space-shift" recorded media. This is important because increasing consumers' rights over recordings retroactively changes the value of the product. The industry can say "but we could have charged more if we'd known," which is true. So they are compensated.

However, look at where we are now. We now know that people will copy files across devices. It is expected. Therefore, the labels should be accounting for it in the price of first sale.

It follows that the revenue in artists' compensation schemes should drop year on year as the industry adapts.

Everyone's happy, no?

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UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

The Indomitable Gall

Profits...

Note also the fact that mobile operators are "unable" to block premium rate numbers. I appreciate that call charges are different on landlines and mobiles, but... WTF?!?!? I mean, how is it technically feasible to block premium calls on landline exchanges, but not mobile ones? It's the same bloody thing! The only difference is that the operators have CHOSEN not to implement such call barring. Their choice, their negligence, their responsibility... surely?

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Pervert's Guide man's new book, an urban myths tome and Youth, an underrated gem

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Some BS

Indeed. No historical society has institutionalised individualism and thrived in the long term. Modern society is a corruption of earlier family-like tribal structures. Individuals have used positions of trust (head of the household) and slowly mutated them into positions of "authority". Domination etymologically meant little more than running a household, patriarchy was just doing as your father said. But now these words have been corrupted by office-bearers to mean something more controlling and sinister.

This sort if self-interested individualism killed Rome. It was the increasing servitude of feudalism that triggered the French Revolution and the birth of modern democracy. Industrial capitalists' lack of altruism led to trade unionism and communism, but they only stalled the march of the current individualist wave which is set to bring our society tumbling down.

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: It doesn't require much genius to know it is far easier to provide criticism when

Spoken like a politician. Politicians love criticism to be accompanied by a counter-proposal, because then they can attack the counter-proposal rather than having to defend the flaws in the current system (and no system is wihout flaws). This leaves us with a "disposable politic society" where we throw away all our policies and start from scratch on new policies, instead of mending only the broken parts. Nowhere is this clearer than in education, where every 30-ish years we swing between strict grammar-spelling-and-times-tables "basic skills" teaching, and let-them-be-free-to-create "holistic" teaching, instead of integrating the two (NB lots of individual teachers do go work resolving the two ideologies into a coherent whole,but it's never institutionally codified).

So it's good to go into some depth about the problems without confusing the debate by introducing one of an infintite variety of possible solutions.

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The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Eh?

@Peshman

" but if a signal is broadcast on a particular frequency then how do you stop that particular frequency from being hijacked? Or there is nobody capable of spoofing a satellite transmission signal to bork your bit of hardware? "

If that's really a concern, then the best trick would be to use a parabolic receiver, which is traditionally used to isolate a particular signal from a particular point in line-of-sight -- in common parlance, a "satellite dish".

Obviously not all satellite receivers bother with the parabolic dish now (GPS, most satellite phones) but if interference is a genuine concern (and it will be if you're operating on a band that isn't specifically reserved by the ITU) then you'll be wanting that dish....

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

The Indomitable Gall

Re: WILL THIS BE BRIANS LEGACY?

"has this fuck actually contributed to science or has he just passed a load of exams?"

The former. Exams finish at MSc level, and you get a chair (professorship) based on your academic weight. You can look up some of his papers, if you like. I don't know what the ATLAS project is, but I'm pretty certain he's using the LHC at CERN for more than just high-energy Scalectrix...

http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Author/23398545

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The Indomitable Gall

Re: Helium-3

Yeah, but then some 21st century human hair gets in the reactor and mutates. Future man will be wiped out by the resulting monster!

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