* Posts by Big John

327 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

Big John
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Meh

Re: electric bikes are established technology

"...rather than being distracted by radar sensors and vibrating handlebars or whatever."

Could have been worse. Could have airbags. To, y'know, throw the rider clear of an impending crash, or more likely, well above it...

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East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

Big John
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Re: The future of startups

...quetzalcoa.tl...

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

Big John
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> "Hardly the sleek, shiny, graceful vision of ion propelled vehicles science fiction promised, is it?"

Maybe a few crufty movies promised it, but nothing in print did. Sleek and graceful is fine for atmo-hindered fast-movers, but in a vacuum no one can hear you woosh.

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Satellite cannon starts shooting Doves, this time under control

Big John
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Re: Over tightened screws?

So they really "put the screws" to this thing, and that drove it into auto-fire mode? Somehow I'm not surprised.

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Big John
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Re: What is their life-span?

Interesting idea, but costs must be met first. To avoid government involvement, a new source of funding is required. Maybe crowdfunding? Like, "Everybody please contribute ten shekels to the 'SkyTubes' project."

Happily there now exist alternate, non-govt. "Go to space" outfits that may be approached.

I'm thinking this thing is actually doable! Will it fill a need tho? Hmmm...

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Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

Big John
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Re: Secure transport system?

> We do want the stuff that goes in one end to come out the other.

And hopefully not in the way a shotgun does it!

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

Big John
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Re: They should compromise

> What is so fundamentally wrong or unbearable with the concept of state or local governments providing a public utility service?

The concept alone is not an issue. But the reality is that governments always punch below their weight when they try to 'do stuff' for the public. It's a stupid way for society to apportion its resources when acquiring utilities. This was proved by the Ma Bell breakup and numerous other examples.

Trouble is, govt do-gooders always assume that they (if given a chance) will do it much better this time. And every time they get the chance, we have to read about the wastage, scandals and corruption for years after.

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FORK ME! Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database of 50,000 drivers

Big John
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Re: A step too far?

Maybe (like Walmart associates) Uber really sees their drivers as partners.

Yeah right.

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Google pulls out of gaping Blogger smut black hole

Big John
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Unforced error

> Google is backing down...

Must be that "Don't be evil" thing...

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SkyProwler VTOL transformo-drone set to darken skies

Big John
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Re: Meh.

In addition, what about the new rules (in the US at least) requiring that all personal drones not leave the unaided eyesight of the operator? This whizzer will leave that space PDQ if you don't constantly turn.

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Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

Big John
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Top Secret

So a sweeping new policy that affects much of the world is 'achieved' by a tiny trio of officials who are not actually legislators, and they did not see fit to let the rest of us know the details of their plan ahead of time.

I can only speak for myself, but any time I see politicians fixing things that are not clearly broken and keeping it all a secret, alarm bells ring.

But who cares what a sore loser thinks?

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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

Big John
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Re: We Internet pioneers breathe a sigh of relief

"Man, I don't know who you are or what kind of 'engineer' you are, but you are just totally and completely wrong. Please adjust your foil helmet."

What, is that it? Aren't you going to continue this line of argument? I mean, there's so much you could say about ancestors, hygene, etc. Why stop at mere foil? Are you trying to be 'subtle?'

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Porn on Blogger – Google takes stiff action

Big John
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Happy

Eye of the beholder

> Nudity will still be permitted on public blogs “if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.”

So someone in the employ of Google will be tasked with perusing great sheafs of nudie pics, and carefully considering the pros and cons before passing judgement? How does one go about getting that job?

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Burning Man hackers get burnt

Big John
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The burn

Yes, I want to spend a week out on a miserable, hot, flat, dry lake bed in the Nevada desert in the middle of summer, eating all that wind-blown alkali dust, surrounded by tens of thousands of weirdos, posers, and trust fund kiddies, and I want it so bad that I will cheat so that I can brag about getting tickets in the first minutes of the sale.

This event started as a pure anarchy thing with just a few free spirits, but now it has morphed into a crowd-sourced, tightly controlled, Phreakland-On-The-Playa. My brother attended it once, and the word is you better have a fully equipped caravan/motorhome if you don't want to feel like a refugee all week.

Apparently many make do with tents and such with no shower available, so when the daily water truck comes 'round to settle the dust in the "streets," these fine people run along behind to get a free shower. Apparently the need is very, um, strong...

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Big John
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Orange Alert!

"We learned about the potential threat yesterday and since then we have been working with Lenovo and Microsoft to create an industry patch to resolve the threat."

Which threat? The security threat, or the threat to their bottom line?

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Nvidia U-turns on GTX 900M overclocking after gamer outrage

Big John
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Flame

Re: Laptops

Or just allow gamers to melt down their laptops if they like. As long as Nvidia makes it clear that overclocking voids the warranty, who cares? Testing to destruction is a fine old tradition!

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The Extreme Centre, Rise of the Super Furry Animals and The Kind Worth Killing

Big John
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Re: Socialism: it's fun, try it!

You mustn't berate the socialists so; after all, they have the best of intentions!

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Google hatching YouTube Kiddie Vids – report

Big John
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Big Brother

Re: What's next ?

> Adblock for kids ?

Tsk tsk. That just won't do. The primary purpose of this app is conditioning the young ones to endure/accept advertising 'impressions' as early as possible. That way when they're older they don't even attempt to circumvent the ad-delivery system.

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Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

Big John
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Re: Stop or you'll go blind

"Any laser system worth its salt can just up the power and burn through the fog and rain can't it?"

Certainly, but consider that fog/rain is highly variable. One second you're burning a nice clean hole thru the fog, an the next you're burning a nice clean hole thru the receiver.

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Big John
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Even in a niche it's not viable, since the field of view would be more restricted than out in the open.

Aside from that, there will also be problems with passing co-workers, cats, butterflies, what have you. However, these problems might be mitigated by simply increasing the wattage of the laser a tad...

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Hackers break the bank to the tune of $300 MEEELLION

Big John
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Sudden wealth

How does one go about hiding the fact that one is now very very rich, with no good explanation? Looks like the ripoff was the easy part. Of course, it could be bigger players (govts, multinationals), but for them the take is too low compared to the risks.

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Microsoft's patchwork falls apart … AGAIN!

Big John
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Re: A patch that breaks powerpoint?

Well, perhaps the patch wasn't 100% effective in all cases.

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Big John
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Re: Rather disingenuous article

Listen to the way Spike Jones tested the quailties of a Strad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btdIr886BwU

Starts at about 2:00...

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Big John
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Wrong letter

I always thought those holes were shaped to look like 'S'es, y'know, for Stradivarius...

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HIGH-RANNOSAURUS WRECKED: Druggie dinos tripped balls on psychedelics – boffins

Big John
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Re: IT reference appreciated

I would say that burning people as witches is slightly worse than installing Win on tablets. However, I would expect to be uttering Lucifer's name while using such a device, so yes there is a connection.

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Amazing, cool, wow: Humans naturally use POSITIVE words, and that is GOOD

Big John
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Meh

Re: "always look on the bright side of life"

You characterize our culture as "confrontational," I prefer "dualistic." Recall: "God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness." Not direct creation really but separation, with judgement on the good/bad property of light in the same breath. We must assume that darkness has been deemed bad by default. So yes, Judaism is founded on duality just as the first cell began by finding a way to separate the outer from the inner with that all-important discriminatory membrane. Heck, even our brains have two sides!

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Big John
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Happy

Re: Limited use solution

"Or maybe some majik to break the CO2 back into lumps of carbon and free oxygen... but since there's no majik for this...."

Ah, but there is! A magic substance exists that can do precisely what you want and it's solar-powered too. The best part is, it's everywhere! It's called 'chlorophyll...'

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Big John
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No they won't. Large scale sequestration is never going to happen, just as reduced fossil fuel burning won't happen, and the same with catastrophic climate change (except for big glaciers maybe).

Sequestration tech is like big renewable energy systems; they only exist because taxpayer monies are being shoveled into them, and the moment the money stops, they will grind to a halt.

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Taking a look at Luna: the smart bed that knows your sleep secrets

Big John
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Trope dead ahead

"So, for example, we can tell when you have got into bed and run a check that your door is locked," Massimo says by way of explaining the possibilities. "If it is, then nothing happens, but if it is unlocked, we could either provide an alert or tell the smart-lock to lock itself."

We all know how this movie ends.

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Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

Big John
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Have a cigar

So while the big investors are lighting cubans with large-denomination bills, the company accountants are (publically at least) looking seriously worried about a lack of bottom-line 'profits.'

Sounds a lot like the movie industry!

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NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

Big John
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Re: Ted Cruz

Gee, what about 'evidence' that doesn't read like this:

"I don't know if you're aware, but he's completely fucking batshit insane. Full bore ultra-right wing anti-science whack job with added Jesus."

I just did a fast check and apparently Ted's main science crime is that he's a climate change denier. Oh no! Quick, hide the children! That man is batshit insane!

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Big John
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Re: Ted Cruz

The sites you cite I would characterize as center-left to far-left. Can't we just deal with Tech here without having to slant at each other?

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Big John
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Boffin

Re: Ted Cruz

Here is what the article says:

"Republican senator Ted Cruz has been appointed as the congressional manager of NASA and he's said he wants to cut costs where possible. It may be that more NASA programs face the axe as the horse-trading over cash begins."

Notice the lack of a quote? We're led to understand that Ted is a mean ol' science budget slasher, with only the slenderest of reeds to prop up the assertion. But heck, that's just peanuts compared to all his other heinous crimes, so who cares if it's "really true" or not?

Could be, but I'd like to see exactly what Ted really said, in full, and make up my own mind. Particularly since he hasn't actually slashed in anger yet.

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

Big John
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Re: Kickstarter "Staff pick" badge

Sorry, my dumb mistake. Sixth-grade reading comprehension I guess. I withdraw the charge.

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Big John
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Re: Painful

"I'll have you know that I tried this here in the Greater Antipodes. The doctor says that I'll be able to walk normally in a few weeks."

You fool! You're supposed to work up to it gradually.

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Big John
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Re: Kickstarter "Staff pick" badge

"Thanks for making it clear that I can freely ignore those in the future."

You wrong the Reg staff. I believe they realize this is a sham product, and thus produced this article as a full-on satire/comedy piece. It's basically filler, employed to keep things moving along during slack times on the tech front.

That said, it has basically worked. This thread is as least in the top ten percent, entertainment-wise. Nice going, Reg. :-)

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Big John
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For that to work you have to place the ball inside the sock and tie it off...

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Big John
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Re: Crystals

If the commune had the ability to mind-affect the crystal, why even bother converting that power to electricity, with the losses that would entail? Wouldn't it be more efficient to apply such power directly to the job at hand?

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Google boffins PROVE security warnings don't ... LOOK! A funny cat!

Big John
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Alert

POPUP ALERT!

Maybe part of the problem is that ANY popup warning is often viewed with suspicion when it appears. Except by those with sixth-grade reading comprehension...

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Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

Big John
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Re: Please, do explain

It exemplifies the "hostile look over your shoulder at something you weren't expecting." Trouble is, it's a highly expectable action for Zuck to take, and anyone that doesn't expect such actions won't be upset at this one, thus the photo makes little sense.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Big John
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Re: I still shudder...

Q: When will Windows be finally ready for the desktop?

A: An unspecified time. It's called the future. Get used to it.

Actually a desktop-ready Windows occupies one possible future, and there's no guarantee it will happen in our particular timeline.

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FUMBLE! NFL app drops privacy ball just before Super Bowl Sunday

Big John
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The real crime

So you wanna make an app to monetize the bejabbers out of the fans? You say you want their private data, and you want it NOW?

Fine, fine, but for sweet mercy's sake, please use crypto! Exploit nice!

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'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

Big John
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Black Helicopters

I can imagine...

"Dude, I think I crashed your drone on the President!"

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BOT AN ABOMINATION: Mechanical DRONE VAMPIRE spreads wings

Big John
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Facepalm

Bats got legs

They just don't use them much except for hanging around. Can't optimize a bat for walking or it's no longer a bat. Yet the lab coats keep trying to blend one function with another incompatible function. Well, it's entertaining anyway.

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ATTACK of the FLYING MOUNTAIN: 2004 BL86 goes by like a BULLET

Big John
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Re: One for the budget fetishists

How do we know those squirrels aren't just acting traumatized?! They're very clever...

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Video nasty: Two big bugs in VLC media player's core library

Big John
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But.. but.. I liked the cones...

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Elon Musk: Wanna see a multimillion-dollar rocket EXPLODE? WATCH THIS

Big John
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Re: This botched landing was originally categorized as a "prang"

To be accurate, it was a prang-bang.

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Big John
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Re: boom

Maybe it wasn't very soft, but it was right on target. I figure the lack of fluid at the end led to the approach being just a stone's throw out of line. The auto-controller had been tasked to try to land the rocket on the barge, and not just wherever it happened to be when the surface was reached. When it became clear that the barge was not going to end up directly below the rocket, the controller did its best to make it so.

Pretty good placement, under difficult conditions too. Those low-angle rocket approaches are a bitch. But hey, at least some of the rocket landed (and stayed) on the barge, right?

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Facebook? More like FOGEYBOOK: Zuck's hangout is a cyber-retirement home

Big John
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Meh

Is this Peak Facebook?

Well no, I expect the Hydra will forsee the fall of its main head and sprout innumerable others.

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LEGS IN 2015: SpaceX Falcon's landing PUT ON HOLD

Big John
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Re: "tends to err on the side of caution with each launch."

"If only rocket companies could do the same thing as software companies..."

It's true, software isn't as spectacular when it fails. However, a rocket failure creates but a single disaster...

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