* Posts by Aaron Em

1573 posts • joined 20 Jul 2009

United Nations: 'Overpopulated Earth? Time to EAT BUGS'

Aaron Em

Re: Chickens

Oh, God, spare us the hectoring of evangelistic vegetarians, especially those who assume that those of us who spurn their sackcloth do so only out of some lack of epiphany which could be redressed through getting to know a chicken or a cow. I tell you, sir, I have been elbow deep in the manure of both sorts of creature, and I assure you that neither has a nobler purpose than to serve our species as they do. That vegetarians' preferred fodder could not possibly be produced in so vast a quantity as it is, absent such an inexhaustible source of ammonium for fertilizer, we shall entirely leave aside.

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Aaron Em

'Nutritionalistical'

The word you seek is 'nutritious', or perhaps 'nutritive' if you're feeling fancy. Please don't invent abominations where none are necessary.

Your ratio is also, I think, mis-expressed; as it stands, you imply that two kilograms of edible chicken meat result from every kilogram of feed, which seems unlikely.

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Aaron Em

Re: The standard objection, reiterated once more

Katie Saucey: 'Decedent' means 'one who has died', which probably is not what you intended to convey; Romero aside, the dead do no chomping, be it of bugs or otherwise. Leaving aside syntactical cheap shots, you don't so much answer my objection as leave it to devolve upon your notional descendants, or at least upon someone's notional descendants, who no doubt will thank you most kindly for your efforts on their behalf.

Presumably your inclination here is to avert what is commonly known as "Malthusian catastrophe", but to make arguments of this sort is an abuse of Malthus, no less egregious for being commonplace among those who inaccurately imagine themselves his intellectual inheritors. As a cleric and a man with a keen sense of history, Malthus would have in any case been careful to avoid suggesting any positive action be taken, save entire abandonment of the attempt, to avert the inevitable failure of utopian social engineering, whose necessity he so ably demonstrated -- to say nothing of the fact that, as a high-church Anglican writing at the turn of the nineteenth century, his famous essay could only have been intended as a broadside against the very Dissenters whose modern descendants, the political progressives, attempt, through deliberately ignorant misrepresentation, to force his legacy into the service of their disastrous turn.

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Aaron Em

Re: @RonWheeler - Or...

Ron Wheeler: 'Ye' is an extremely archaic form of the second-person plural nominative, identical in meaning to modern "you all" or "y'all"; your use of it here is just plain wrong. 'Sirrah' constitutes a direct insult, or would do were I to assume any actual knowledge of the word on your part, which assumption would clearly be erroneous. 'Thy' is an archaic, highly informal version of the second-person singular possessive; it is today commonly found only among ignorant Renaissance Faire types and Quakers of the "plain speech" ilk, of whom the less said the better. Your implication of religious faith on my part, while accurate, fails to sustain the implicit obloquy with which you strive to invest it.

Permit me humbly to suggest, as one who is a somewhat accomplished prose-stylist to one who is not, that you bone up on the forms in question, before further befouling yourself in public with their profligate abuse; as an acceptable second best, you might at least confine yourself to addressing the substance of my statement, rather than committing another embarrassment along the line of your most recent effort. Should you find yourself capable of neither task, you would be well advised, if rather unlikely, to conform your behavior to Switzer's maxim.

To address what I will, solely for the sake of discussion, dignify as your response to Marsden: You absolutely do suggest the elimination of what you so charmingly call "breeders". That you do not, yet, suggest they be punished with fire and the sword for procreating, but rather merely ostracized and shunned for their notional ignorance and selfishness, does not in any way preclude the suggestion that they be suppressed by more positive means. Speaking with an eye to history, something else which I suspect you lack, "mere" ostracism tends rarely to remain so; a belief as uncompromising as yours, after all, is unlikely in the extreme to find itself capable of, much less satisfied with, "out of sight, out of mind".

Graham Marsden: You imply causation where none is known to exist; at most, it has been demonstrated that, among some cohorts in some societies, women who have further advanced their education will tend to have fewer children. The strength and generality of this correlation remain, at least to my knowledge, uncertain in the extreme, to say nothing of whether any causal mechanism has been demonstrated; while I'll grant my lack of specific interest in the field might have betrayed me in the former question, I very much doubt an answer exists for anything remotely resembling the latter.

As you demonstrate yourself a eugenicist of the same stripe as our common interlocutor, may I pose you the same question I did him? Perhaps you'll offer the meaningful answer he couldn't. As one who feels himself qualified to render an opinion on the relative value of whole societies' sexual behavior, does it not concern you that Western societies already reproduce well below replacement rate? Your preferred means of population control -- that is, positive eugenics through the increased availability of higher education, something applicable only to societies sufficiently affluent to consider such increase -- suggests not, which inspires a certain curiosity on my part, as to the basis of your evident wish further to dis-privilege the world's most advanced and capable societies in the reproductive stakes. Have I perhaps mistaken you? If so, I eagerly await correction; if not, I likewise await satisfaction.

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Aaron Em

The standard objection, reiterated once more

Whom do you propose we trust with the power to decide who may reproduce and who may not; by what means do you propose they enforce that decision, in the face of all the furious objections its attempted implementation would certainly engender?

Be careful; suggestions such as yours, however well-meaning, necessarily tread in realms inhabited by some of the most atrocious regimes known to human history.

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Aaron Em

Re: Or...

An unhealthy interest in the reproductive habits of others is the hallmark of the eugenicist, be he avowed or otherwise. As such, does it not concern you that Western societies in general already reproduce below replacement rate? Evidently not, to judge your invective on the subject in its context. To reiterate and expand upon another commenter's well-made point: congratulations on making the social engineers behind this report look good in comparison! While their beliefs are no less abhorrent than yours, at least they manage a certain degree of consistency.

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3D printed gun plans pulled after US State Department objects

Aaron Em

Re: pretty nuts from over here.

You barely had any mass killings before, and here in the US, where we haven't enacted any remotely similar legislation, the frequency and severity of gun crime have fallen drastically in the last two decades anyway, except in places like Chicago where a blanket ban exists on the provision of carry permits. I won't argue that mass shootings are anything other than horrible, but making laws on that basis is akin to outlawing stars because they sometimes go supernova.

Perhaps you're simply still closer down there, to our shared origins as prison colonies, than we are up here. I must confess some slight disappointment in my fellow descendants of transportees; in any case, I know where I'd rather be.

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Aaron Em

Re: Gun Banning is Ridiculous

The only true words in your comment are the last five; all the rest are idiocy of the purest ray serene.

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Aaron Em
Facepalm

Re: Good god!

It seems to me that all Don Jefe wants to see are consequences whose possibility whatsisname who runs Defense Distributed agreed to accept as a condition of being issued a firearms dealer's license. But hey, sure, he's an asshole, why not? As we all know, the fundamental principle underlying the entire Western concept of law is that if someone on the Internet likes something a whole lot, it's legal.

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Watchdog: Y'know what Bitcoin really needs? A REGULATOR!

Aaron Em

Re: isn't "sovereignty" just the another word for "tyranny"?

Good man.

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Aaron Em

Re: Sovereignty

You're reading me from the wrong perspective, or perhaps vice versa; the detractors, among whom I number myself, recognize Bitcoin and like ilk as threats to sovereignty, and consider them undesirable as such. In your construction, sure, sovereignty equates to tyranny -- but why not say what you really mean, and replace "tyranny" with "evil"?

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Aaron Em

Re: Sovereignty

Given that you mention the gold standard at one point in your comment, I find it odd that you conflate sovereign currency and fiat currency throughout the remainder.

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Aaron Em

Sovereignty

Is threatened by a currency which isn't under the control of the state, but I've long since given up trying to get Bitcoin fanatics to understand that, much less to acknowledge that sovereignty has some value. Anarchists, the lot of 'em, whether they realize it or not -- the question now is, have the United States the wit and will to take as short a way with this batch of fiscal bomb-throwers as is necessary to preserve themselves unimpaired? I think they shall; even the most moribund of creatures may still be roused by an obvious existential threat.

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Monitor-makers ponder Android-powered touch screens

Aaron Em

Yo dawg, we heard you like computing, so we plugged a computer into your computer so you can compute while you compute.

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Internet freedom groups urge W3C to keep DRM out of HTML

Aaron Em
WTF?

Thought it said Free Software Foundation on the door

Did they change it to "Free Content" and I just never noticed?

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COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO: NASA rovers scrawl giant willy on Mars

Aaron Em

Re: Goldmember

Take a look at this -- I could swear it was an enormous drawing of a..

Dick! Get a load of this, you'll never believe...

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Google's Page drops the A-bomb: Google Glass runs Android

Aaron Em
Happy

"tech-specs tech specs"

Did you hug yourself when you thought of that one?

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Netflix plotting move to HTML5 video - but only if DRM works

Aaron Em
Facepalm

...does it hurt, being you? If not, it should.

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Mozilla floats payment simplification balloon

Aaron Em

Re: Nice idea, but...

Now that's a handy trick to know! ¡Gracias, señor!

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Aaron Em

Re: Nice idea, but...

Any fiscal incontinence you suffer is no one's responsibility but your own. What worries me about this is the thought of malware which can keylog a password and then actually spend my money for me.

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Web host Linode, hackers clash over credit-card raid claim

Aaron Em
Thumb Up

Re: Linode has my loyalty...

Same here. I've been hosting my own services there for almost a decade, my contract clients' services for a few years as well, and have never had cause to complain. Still don't!

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Aaron Em

Real programmers

use a nine-volt battery, an unfolded paper clip, and a steady hand.

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Aaron Em

Re: Emacs + Evil

You do know that, by combining Emacs and vi, your major accomplishment is likely to be drawing fire from both sides of the eternal holy war?

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Aaron Em

Strange

I've never seen emacs spelt that way before.

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Congratulations, freetards: You are THE FIVE PER CENT

Aaron Em

Re: Thanks Andrew...

Your stats impress me little; of course a welfare agency is going to say that most welfare claims are legitimate and fraud is negligible, because to say anything else is to admit they're not correctly doing what is commonly perceived to be their jobs, and even to produce research showing anything else is to risk later exposure and scandal.

"Deserving" and "undeserving" are the terms in which you choose to regard what I said, and of course it sounds that way to you, because no one's ever suggested to you that it might be permissible to consider that charity can be wasted. (Same goes for the idea that charity is not best provided by a government, which is why the only alternative you see to a massively defrauded, extremely top-heavy welfare system operated incompetently by a government which has no business wasting its valuable time and effort on such matters, is no charity at all.) For some, charity is an opportunity to make a better life, not to mention becoming self-sufficient so that further charity is not required. For others, it's a crutch which enables them to continue in a lifestyle which makes them a liability to the society in which they exist. Charity given to the former is a good investment; charity given to the latter is a sinful waste. It's not terribly complicated unless you're progressive, in which case everything I've just said is completely unthinkable and you should probably just go ahead and decide I'm an evil bastard so you don't have to worry about anything I say any more.

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Aaron Em

Re: Thanks Andrew...

Taxes are indeed the price of civilization, not to mention garbage pickup &c. They are also the price of living in a society saddled with federal welfare programs for the hapless, the hopeless, and the outright criminal, which I think is where the commenter to whom you reply sees a problem. That problem lies not with the idea of charity in its own right, which is a fine thing and morally sound; enforcing it as an obligation with criminal penalties for failure to comply, not to mention making it impossible to uphold the philanthropist's duty of ensuring that the limited resource of charity is not wasted on those whom it will do no good, degrades the very concept of charity along with everyone involved.

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Oklahoma woman cuffed with loaded .22 in pork holster

Aaron Em
Pint

Smoking gun, eh?

You'd think she would at least let it cool off first...

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BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED

Aaron Em

Re: OhMaGERDZ, they're trying to take our porn!!

Only men can be sexist. Didn't you get the memo? Sexism requires power, and only men have

power, so only men can be sexist...says an ideology that's supposedly pro-women. But, hey, saying that makes no sense is sexist.

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Aaron Em

Re: OhMaGERDZ, they're trying to take our porn!!

Well, hey, who are you to judge someone for putting the requirements of ideology ahead of the needs of individual people? It's not like history offers any examples of that ordering of priorities going horribly wrong, or anything.

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Aaron Em

Re: OhMaGERDZ, they're trying to take our porn!!

I'll save our feminist interlocutor some effort here.

1: No, because it's not the product of reason but rather of religious belief. Might as well ask a Catholic to explain how the Trinity works; you may get a lot of words in response, but the net intellectual content will be null in both cases.

Your second question I can't authoritatively answer, but my experience of Internet feminism suggests the possibilities range from "it's empowering, unlike the filth produced by men" to "women who make porn are internally colonized by the patriarchy and thus have no weight as a counterexample". Take your pick, I suppose; intellectual content in all cases is the same as No. 1, in that there's no way to arrive at any such conclusion from a set of axioms not chosen in advance to produce the desired result.

Accusations of "mansplaining" in 3, 2, 1...

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Aaron Em

Re: Democracy...

...is a terrible idea, for precisely the same reason as replacing professional systems and networks administrators with a council of the organization's most popular users is a terrible idea. It's also impossible, again for the same reason; it all sounds very nice and cheerful, but at the end of the day you need someone who knows how to get things done. The EU/US method of installing a permanent bureaucracy which actually runs the country, but still putting on elections so the punters can feel like they have a say, works better than genuine demarchy, but that's about all there is to say in its favor.

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Brace for MORE ZOMBIE ATTACK ALERT pranks, warns security bod

Aaron Em

No less accurate than most of the intended programming

And certain to liven things up, too! "Zombies sighted in Waukegan, film at eleven" -- Orson Welles wishes he had it so good.

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Fire danger as iOS mislocates towns, again

Aaron Em

That must be

the thinnest tissue of excuses I've ever laid eyes on. "My dog ate it" is a paragon of credibility by comparison.

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Aaron Em

Re: Apple - Arse - Elbow.

Apple Maps could be better, sure. So far, though, the only place where it's really a problem seems to be Australia, and mostly the arse end of Australia at that. This being the case, moderation seems rather more in order than promptly chucking my phone in a wood chipper, in favor of whatever platform you happen to prefer, but I appreciate not everyone will agree with such a radical reaction as mine.

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Aaron Em

Re: your question:

Leaving aside for the sake of charity your rather Pavlovian response to the hated name, I would note that it's entirely possible to build a website that's a thin wrapper around Google Maps, and which behaves in most respects similarly to a native app on iOS devices. No doubt it's quite feasible to do the same for Android. Cheaper, too, so why the hell didn't someone in their IT department have the wit to suggest it as a much more sensible alternative? And failing that, why not just produce an app that's itself a thin wrapper around Google Maps? Many have done so, including Google themselves; their version is called "Google Maps", and it works quite nicely.

My suspicion is that someone on the IT staff wanted to learn Xcode and Objective-C, and thought this would be a good way to get paid for it into the bargain. Wonder how that's working out for him.

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iOS 6.1 KNACKERED our mobile phone networks, claim Vodafone, Three

Aaron Em

Strange

Last I checked, you had to join the Google borg to do anything worthwhile with an Android. Meanwhile my iPhone cruises happily along with all my calendars and contacts plugged into it and syncing both ways via CardDAV and CalDAV, to a server I set up for myself and I administer. The Android clients for those protocols are at versions 0.3 and 0.2 respectively, are broken in many exciting ways, and still cost money. I took my phone out of the box and pointed it at my Baikal install, and it just works. iCloud? If I wanted to, sure. But I don't have to. Pretty good for a "legacy" platform, and exactly what I expected when I paid extra for a premium experience instead of cheaping out on Android and all the suffering that implies.

The market share argument is cute, too. By that reasoning, Windows is a better desktop OS than Linux, because it has a larger install base. (Which reverses cause and effect; it's a better desktop OS than Linux, therefore it has a larger install base.) And who cares if their dishwasher or their toilet runs the same OS as their phone? I

mean, who actually wants that?

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Paper computers: Not mere pulp fiction

Aaron Em

Paper loses

I have roughly half an Imperial ton's worth of books in electronic form. Not one has ever failed (apart from a few I had to convert to an open format). Not one has had a flat battery, so long as I remember to plug in one if my devices every other day or so, which I'd have to do in any case as I don't use a dedicated reader. Not one has ever had a blue screen of death. (What kind of book could crash the OS you read it on? No kind I've ever owned, seen, or heard of.) I've never dropped one, because one can only drop a physical object; when I've dropped any of the devices on which I do my reading, they've survived perfectly well, and even if they didn't, I would lose no data because, like any IT professional worth not running out of town on a rail, I keep good backups, reducing the problem to a matter of paying replacement cost for the phone or tablet I was careless enough to wreck. The publisher and retailer don't know when I read their books.

Oh, and my books are not susceptible to fire damage, mildew, or bookworm; they take up an amount of space most easily expressible in square nanometers, rather than an entire room, and add nothing at all to the expenses involved in moving house; the entirety of my library fits quite handily in my pocket, a real boon when it comes time to decide what I want to read next; current display technology has everything I read looking quite handsome -- comic books especially -- and future developments will only make everything I read look still better; and electronic editions of most of the books I've bought are actually cheaper than it would've been to get the same data printed on a flammable, fragile substrate which can't be easily searched or shared, and which doesn't interoperate with anything.

To hell with dead trees. Long live ebooks!

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GNOME project picks JavaScript as sole app dev language

Aaron Em
Thumb Down

Re: la la la la la la la

Warning: assignment in while condition at line 3

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Filter Great Firewall of China's architects at US borders - petition

Aaron Em

Curious

That petition reads like English is not its author's first language, don't you think?

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Christmas ruined for 2,100 sex offenders booted off online games

Aaron Em
Facepalm

Re: not many?

Spoken like someone who doesn't know, and won't care, that convicted felons may not lawfully own firearms if any sort.

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Group vows new webOS smartphone by 2016

Aaron Em

"I've got a good idea!"

And a friend on the Register's editorial staff...

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Google defames Reg columnist Verity Stob

Aaron Em

Re: The wisdom of the crows

Actually I incline to the theory that Ms Stob is a nom de plume for none other than Mr Orlowski himself. Has anyone ever seen them in the same room together? My point precisely!

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Private cloud user in dialogue with Atmos, el Reg facilitating

Aaron Em
Pint

All this talk of ATMOS

and not one mention of Mr Potato Head in tacky blue armor? I am disappointed in you lot! And on a Friday, yet. Shameful.

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AWS to ISVs: Let us vaporise your Windows apps

Aaron Em

Widows server, eh?

Would that be the one with the Orphans client?

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Hero Playmonaut lost at sea as SPEARS ditches in Channel

Aaron Em

Model M, eh?

Good man!

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Saucy Star Wars strip show - sorry, burlesque - to tour Down Under

Aaron Em

Re: Presumably

No kidding! Less gimmick, more practice next time

please.

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Children increasingly named after Apple products

Aaron Em

I named my son Deb and my daughter Ian -- half marks?

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Twenty years of text messages: We've reached Peak SMS

Aaron Em

Re: Pseudo-SMS

It falls back to SMS if the recipient doesn't have an iMessage-capable device; I've seen this behavior frim both ends, so can be reasonably sure that is indeed what it does. Surely there are enough reasons to complain about Apple that there's no need to invent new ones!

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Scientists build largest ever computerized brain

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Japan firm offers mums-to-be 3D printed unborn infants

Aaron Em

Re: Hmmm, maybe I should...

If you're having it out anyway, why not just display it in a jar of formalin?

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