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* Posts by Robert Long 1

1141 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

Robert Long 1
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Re: Human Nature

"The web is simply a reflection of contemporary society."

Maybe, but it's not a true reflection. It contains more than a fair share of the views of people who are extreme in one form or another, because they're motivated enough to spend the time putting their views out there.

Easy communication favours the nutter, whether of the cold fusion type or the Nazi type. The danger is that communication is the carrier for culture and if we continue to leave these views unopposed - and I mean strongly unopposed, not just a bit of tutting and saying "well, it's the modern world" - then they will get to shape the future. Mostly in the form of the mediaeval past.

So, the question is: should tolerant society tolerate intolerance? The answer is, I think, not if it wishes to continue.

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Robert Long 1
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Different stream

You can't get much more mainstream than Android, it's just not the mainstream everyone expected.

Having said that, if MS were restrained from abusing the market I'm pretty sure that Linux would be as common on the desktop as it is on phones. I work on a Linux desktop all day every day and there's nothing that I miss from Windows, and if there was (Adobe CS springs to mind) I would use a Mac. There's just no reason to bother with Windows any more.

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Robert Long 1
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Re: Forgotten?

"But given the hissy-fit Google seem to have been throwing about this, the only logical conclusion I can draw is that Google want to provide erroneous and irrelevant search results."

The point is that the data IS NOT ERRONEOUS. That's what we're talking about, that's the whole core of the controversy - the data is not wrong or inaccurate in any way.

PAY ATTENTION.

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Robert Long 1
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Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue

Just because it is.

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Robert Long 1
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Nothing but repeats

Murdoch as always banged on about "the establishment" by which he always means "people who do things I want to have a monopoly on".

Like father like son, like grandson.

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Robert Long 1
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Same as ever

Just like in 1999, there are no good web browsers. They all stink in one way or another; mostly the UI.

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Robert Long 1
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Re: Petard

"Can you point to one such claim, please?"

I can't point to one in print off the top of my head, but I have seen David Bailey, Leibovitz, Hill, and others make the statement either in real life or in interviews on TV. I'm pretty sure it was mentioned in the BBC series "Genius of Photography" in connection with a photographer who used a lot of props and extras.

Which is not to say that they're right under the letter of the law, but it is a common belief among professional photographers that it is dangerous to allow assistants to actually take the photograph.

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Robert Long 1
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Petard

Photographers have been arguing for decades that the person that presses the button own the photograph. This allows lazy bastards like Annie Leibovitz to sit on their arses issuing commands like "light that scene; put the props in an interesting arrangement; sort out the filters; calculate the exposure" and then step in at the last moment so that none of their army of actual creative people can claim to own the result.

Well, which is it? Is the owner the person that did all the work in preparing for the photograph, or the person that literally only lifted a finger?

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Robert Long 1
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Re: .."have matched middle-aged folks' tech ability by the age of six"

"I would have been subject to a great deal of psychoanalysis and considered a freak!"

That's redundant - the whole point of psychoanalysis is to identify what type of freak you are (mainly for the invoicing).

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Robert Long 1
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Using ≠ understanding

I suspect that similar numbers were being bandied about in the 1920s about how youngsters all knew how to drive and couldn't be bothered with horses and buggies.

But that doesn't mean everyone today can design a new car engine or even service one properly.

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Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law

Robert Long 1
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"Why do you assume that copyright is only for the mega rich."

Because it is. Google proved that when they industrialized copyright infringement with their Books project and got away with it.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: I invent a cure for cancer.....

"For that I get protection of death plus seventy years."

The correct solution, IMO, would be "until death, or at least 14 years".

As for patents, just scrap them.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Robert Long 1
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Re: I'm wainting with baited breath...

"Though theoretically you could fire photons out of a ship, just as you'd fire any energy source in any other form of propulsion. Microwaves would have a similar effect, "

Translation: you could use photons; on the other hand photons might work too.

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Robert Long 1
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Re: Wow.

"Since this spec wasn't written by the PHP developers themselves, what relevance (if any) would it really have?"

Go ask IBM how their specification for IBM-compatible PCs is doing.

FB is the 800lb gorilla of PHP deployment/usage.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: In my experience...

"Can you elaborate on this? In my opinion, and it seems to be shared in this thread, is that there is no good or bad languages, there are good and bad programmers."

There are, however, languages which are a good or bad fit to your problem domain. C++ is not a good fit to web development; but then I'm not really sure what is, although I like the look of Aida running on whichever flavour of Smalltalk you like.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: PHP is like democracy

"PHP may have support for objects but it's a long way from being object oriented."

Same as C++, then.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Specless master of the web

"stuff like launching a process, creating temporary files, creating a fucking file, etc. are all *MORE* difficult that any other language."

You've been very lucky if you've never seen these things done worse than in PHP (which in no way implies that PHP is good at any of them).

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Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low

Robert Long 1
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Re: Oh, yeah?

"That screen doesn't require a soul in order to do its job. It is merely required to interact with the quantum world in such a way as to produce an outcome."

The collapsing waveform interpretation doesn't recognize that as an outcome. Or, rather, it is incapable of defining what is and is not an outcome. Certainly the specific example you gave is not something that would cause a collapse as it's nothing more than some quantum interactions - possible interactions and no different from asking which atom a specific electron is in.

Again, I'm not arguing with QM or the results, just this nonsense that things don't exist until they're measured but the measurements somehow do exist. It's an infinite regression (turtles all the way down) and, as has been shown more than once since the 1920's, totally unneeded.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Oh, yeah?

@Christoph: everything you said in your post is wrong. There is no need to believe in waveforms collapsing when you observe them to explain any of that and in fact the superstition that observation collapses the waveform can be discarded without disrupting QM in any way. Bohr was a mystic and deliberately put his weird interpretation on the mathematics because it suited his world view with the complementarity bullshit.

If you sit down and think about the Copenhagen interpretation it becomes clear that it depends on the existence of souls. Yes, souls! Some special thing that separates observer from observed; a special property that makes the cat's observation less valid than the experimenter who opens the box and looks. It's silly, it's nonsense, and it is totally unnecessary to make QM work just fine.

If deBroglie or Bohm had presented their interpretations first we would never have heard about Copenhagen as the response would have been "well, that doesn't tell us anything different and it introduces this MASSIVE problem of why the waveform collapses; what's the point of this interpretation?"

Separating observed and observer is mystical mumbo-jumbo, as I said.

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Robert Long 1
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Oh, yeah?

"If you looked at individual neutrons, the waveform collapses"

Prove it. Here's a clue: you can't because it's mystical mumbo-jumbo.

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Robert Long 1
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Oh dear

"there's a long way to go before we regularly, if ever, see UHD in the home"

Well, that is a worry, isn't it?

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

Robert Long 1
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Re: Headline wrong?

@Ross K "God you're naive if you think that's how it works."

My point is that is not how it works but it is how they tell us it works, but when they are the ones breaking the law suddenly it works differently.

"That's the level the people who complain about "THE BANKERS 0MG!!!" are at. Not a clue what they're actually complaining about..."

Basically, what you're saying is that the rich should be allowed to get away with anything and you're happy to pay for it from your own pocket. Good for you; you can pay my share too, thanks.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Headline wrong?

How much a company is charged for borrowing money through a variety of sources and systems is a direct function of its share performance.

What has that to do with anything?

You have a very narrow view of money if you think that means money was "lost". I suspect you may have a degree in economics or something. You sound like the sort of numpty the LSE gives degrees to, at least.

"The very next day after being caught in the Libor mess, Barclays set up the Dark Pool specifically to feed lies to their customers. Because they weren't really punished over Libor."

From this we can deduce you a) don't understand libor, b) don't know anything about Barclays, c) don't know anything about dark pools generically or Barclays dark pool specifically

And that d), you don't actually have anything to say on the subject aside from posturing.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Losses

"The fund manager has no choice in obeying those rules, and no leeway to say "It's a blip caused by a nobber""

Sounds dumb to me. Can you point out the smart bit for me?

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Losses

"Stealing from pensioners, now a legitimate form of protest."

He didn't steal anything. Not a cent. Some money moved about and at the end some dumb people had lost some and some smart people had gained some - that was going to happen anyway. Meanwhile the guy that did the posting didn't make anything at all from it.

So: not stealing.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Losses

"Intent is a mitigating factor; it has nothing to do with whether you actually committed the crime."

In many cases it is. For example, you can't commit the crime of "murder" if you did not intend to do it, you probably committed "manslaughter" or something even less serious instead.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Headline wrong?

"When will people stop using the bankers as an example by which they excuse their own wrongdoing?"

When they're punished? It's called "justice" and it means that everyone is treated equally by the law. Bankers are still stealing and defrauding and being allowed to get away with it. The very next day after being caught in the Libor mess, Barclays set up the Dark Pool specifically to feed lies to their customers. Because they weren't really punished over Libor.

Until they're stopped there is no moral basis for punishing other people for doing the same thing. That's just the way it is.

As to this particular story: some money moved from some gamblers' accounts to other gamblers' accounts. No money was actually lost, especially by the company who didn't own the shares!

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Why Apple will continue to kick the PC manufacturers arse

Robert Long 1
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That's a new one on me, but I've not had a working laptop for a while so maybe it's a new thing that trackpads make any noise at all.

I have to say, though, that I've never been impressed by Apple build standards, or reliability and that's a problem if you don't live near an Apple store.

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Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

Robert Long 1
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Nothing better to do?

What is the Australian government's obsession with copyright law?

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ICO: It's up to Google the 'POLLUTER' to tidy up 'right to be forgotten' search links

Robert Long 1
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Re: I can see why Google should pay

"For example, it is a true fact that a person who lived previously in my house went bankrupt. However, as that person is in no way related to me, credit reference agencies are not permitted to record that information, even though it is true, as that might adversely affect my credit score."

Well, that's different as the information here is not about you, what's being banned is not the information but of the unjustified association of two unrelated facts. If you had gone bankrupt, this law would protect you, and that is wrong.

To broaden out the problem: when we send people to prison it is ostensibly to "make them pay their debt to society" and we're supposed to put it all behind us. There are good reasons for this in the general case.

However, all those trials were reported and are now in newspapers' digital archives where they can be searched for, if not by Google then using the papers' own website search functions.

There is nothing in this ruling that protects those newspaper databases except a naive hope that no judge will ever rule that those records are not in the public interest. Hoping that no judge will ever do something stupid is like hoping that a catwalk model won't do hard drugs.

So we're faced with the possibility that all digital records of news will come under a concerted attack at some point in the not too distant future by wealthy people with dodgy histories who want to re-write their reputations for future generations. How long before Bill Gates starts erasing the history of MS's illegal dealing with OEMs, for example? He's spending a fortune to buy a reputation already, so why not? Immortality is clearly important to him.

And, what about Steve Jobs if he was still about? Don't you think he'd be keen to get rid of all those nasty reports about how he treated his daughter? After all, that's not public interest and it's all in the past etc. etc. thank you, kindly, Mr Beaky. Luckily he's snuffed it but he's exactly the sort of arrogant bastard who would jump at the chance to re-write his official record. There's plenty of others.

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Robert Long 1
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Newspeak

"Rewriting history, airbrushing claims 'absurd'"

Except that rewriting history and airbrushing a house repossession were the exact aims of the case.

We are at war with Eastasia; we have always been at war with Eastasia and there's nothing you can do to prove otherwise.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: I can see why Google should pay

"As daggerchild says above; what credit agencies and the like are asked to do - by the same law now being applied to searchable web-indexes (not just Google) - is to make sure the information they hold about people is accurate"

In the original test case the information was accurate and that was never disputed. Thus we have a law requiring the hiding of fact rather than the correction of error. That's not a good thing.

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Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

Robert Long 1
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Re: Not fields as we know them

"Grains of corn boiled with lime and water are easily milled to obtain a nutritionally rich dough or ‘masa’."

I'm not sure why you think they had any major trouble based on the linked article, and they didn't.

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Robert Long 1
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Not fields as we know them

They were eating Maize which has a seed to yield ratio of 350:1, compared to European grains which, at the time, were having a spectacular harvest if you got 10:1.

So, if you're imaging English countryside you're imaging the wrong thing and wide open fields imply weren't needed to support the population.

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Hey Microsoft: You want to keep hardware partners onside? Stick to software

Robert Long 1
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Re: Hey Microsoft: You want to keep hardware partners onside?

"I imagine the feeling is mutual"

Yeah, it's one of them there self-fulfilling dohickies. And thus, evil contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.

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Robert Long 1
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Hey Microsoft: You want to keep hardware partners onside?

Answer: no, not particularly. MS wants to make money; hardware partners can expect no loyalty whatsoever if MS finds a way to cut them out.

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

Robert Long 1
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Re: @Robert Long 1

"That's an interesting point of view, and of course I cannot argue against it because I don't like party voting and the whipping system, but I wonder how the democratic movement intended to run the country at the turn of the 20th Century, when there was no mass communication, rapid transport was still fairly basic, and the public at large were largely uneducated?"

I'm not knocking representational democracy; I'm saying we don't have one.

The answer to your question is that the whip system is specifically intended to prevent democratic activity in the Houses and the system of open voting supports that by revealing who voted which way instantly. Neither were technical requirements of the day.

The combination gives huge powers to parties and raises a massive barrier to independents who simply can't get any traction. Neither are required and in particular having voting patterns kept secret until the election would seem to be worth trying. That would cripple the power of whips and party leaders. Revealing the votes in the runup to the election would still allow the electorate to hold MPs to accounts.

But there's other approaches which are more radical and don't require any sophisticated technology - treating MPs in the way that juries are done is one: every year 1/4th of the Commons is randomly replaced by a random selection of adults capable of passing a minimal "sanity" test (e.g., "what's your name?"). There are other options and many more today.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: @Forget It

"It really is representational democracy. Your constituency selected a representative (your MP) by a majority of those who bothered to get up off the sofa to vote, and they have voted on your behalf. Just because they did not represent your view does not make it undemocratic."

My constituency selected a representative who then voted on behalf of the PM and his American pals. There's no connection with democracy here except that the system was hammered out in the early 1900's specifically to combat the democratic movement and protect the party system that was in place at the time. By calling it "representative democracy" the ruling elites were able to undermine their opponents using the oldest propaganda trick in the book: label what you're doing what people want you to do while changing nothing of any substance.

'"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill'

How would he know?

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Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

Robert Long 1
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Re: DARPA: The Better To Murder You With, My Dear

"Are you enjoying the DARPA developed internet?"

Ah, the old "if the military didn't take all our money and spend it on toys and prostitutes no one else would ever think of a way to use it well" argument, eh?

I'll take the chance, frankly. The only reason we need a military is to protect us from the sort of person that joins the military; we don't need to be grateful to them as well.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: My hopes are dashed

"Maxim may have been disappointed had he lived to find that artillery and disease were the greatest takers of life between 1914-1919."

Mostly because his gun made it impossible to infantry to be mobile in the way it had been, so they ended up in unsanitary trenches that they had to be blown out of.

Anyway, Maxim didn't care one way or the other as long as the royalties rolled in.

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Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab

Robert Long 1
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Re: Is it just me.....

@Risky: "Do you just make this up or to have a set of bookmarks on Area51, Bilderberg, Protocols, Illuminati etc"

How many times do these people have to be caught being totally dishonest evil thugs before you stop believing their bullshit? Have you been asleep for 80 years? We're talking about the only country that has ever used nukes on a (beaten) opponent and who supplied Saddam with chemical and biological weapons for years when they were fighting Iran. When it comes to weapons of mass destruction they have the longest track record of any country in the world!

Why would anyone be so naive as to think they would NOT hold onto smallpox (just as, I'm sure, Russia and China have)? That's the crazy talk.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Is it just me.....

@DownVotes Are there really people out there that think the US doesn't have stockpiles of smallpox? I suppose you're expecting gifts from Santa this year too, huh?

The story goes that when the WHO arrived to certify all batches destroyed the military simply put them into the canteen fridges for fifteen minutes and them back into their normal lab fridges once the inspectors had gone. Specifically true or not, there's not a chance in hell that the US would really destroy such a potentially powerful weapon.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Is it just me.....

"But why do they need to confirm if it is viable smallpox?"

To see if it's worth adding to the US's weaponized smallpox stockpile.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

Robert Long 1
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"Could it take off from water?? Otherwise, it would seem like a Darwinian dead-end. Then again, it is extinct..."

In the long term, we're all Darwinian dead-ends.

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Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Robert Long 1
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Re: You think aircraft carriers are expensive...

"But no, Osborne had to sell them off for a pittance. The man should be ashamed of himself."

I can't imagine Osborne being ashamed of anything; he reeks of ill-educated entitled arrogance.

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When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Robert Long 1
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Re: Stupid decision, stupid story, stupid people

I have read both. The Reg article (and previous ones) is all about why Google should suck it up and stop whining about having to follow EC law while ignoring the fact that a company is being forced to act as a free filter for the courts in support of a deeply dangerous and flawed ruling by an unelected panel of unaccountable judges.

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Robert Long 1
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Stupid decision, stupid story, stupid people

The whole concept behind this ruling was moronic and the idea that it's fine for Google or any other company to have to filter the thousands of "take my selfie" requests it generates is just as bad. An application to a court should be the FIRST stop. What is the point of sending it to Google so that they can send it you your local court system? Waste of time, waste of money. Particularly since this way encourages morons to send off spurious requests; they would think harder about it if they were sending it to a legal office.

So, the story. A company is being sent requests to squelch free speech - not "correct mistakes", but to remove correct factual information. It's pissed off JUST LIKE YOU ALL SHOULD BE, so it's trying to breath some publicity into the problem. Strangely they didn't try doing that by contacting their local chippy. They went to a journalist. How very fucking strange. Imagine contacting a news outlet about the abuse of power by an idiotic half-wit judge that confused the "right to privacy" with the "right to hide information in the public domain about something I did and don't want people to know about". That's not privacy, that's secrecy. Different thing.

So we get stories like this, and pages of comments, by people who can't see past the "Google is Evil" slogan - which, haha, I agree with - to the real attack on real rights and freedoms encoded in this ruling which should at the very least be struck down and in an ideal world would lead to the sacking of the judge(s) concerned followed by their trial for professional negligence.

But judges are above the law to nothing will be done. Unless journalists start putting pressure on those that actually have the power to do something about it - it's a long shot, but Google thinks it's worth a try and I agree.

God, it's embarrassing how easy it is to distract people from the real story.

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Robert Long 1
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Re: "Rockstar and Take-Two’s use of her likeness was done solely to make money"

"The point of the lawsuit is that she's entitled to make money from her own image and other people aren't."

Is she? Aren't they? I don't remember voting for that.

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Remaining Snowden docs will be released to avert 'unspecified US war' – ‪Cryptome‬

Robert Long 1
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"If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions."

Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? Ultimately, if leaking secrets lead to people dying it's not a lot different from allowing other people to die because you didn't leak, which, to me, seem to be the choices here (just based on track-record, not based on Cryptome's strange claims). The US is upset because the people who are in danger after the leak are Americans. But the US isn't the whole world and I don't count each American death as worth 10000 non-American deaths as they seem to.

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