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* Posts by Big John

225 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

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MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

Big John
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Re: The law suits...

I agree, this 'digital revolution' we don't need. The obvious solution is to go with a body part that's not so easy to swipe (so to speak). What about an iris scanner? Or would that be too bulky? Maybe a tongue print? It's really hard to cut out someone's tongue when they don't want you to. So very slippery...

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Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)

Big John
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Re: Don't mess with Texas?

"I lived in Texas for a few decades and I can attest it's worse than AC describes."

I must say that's impressive. You spent nigh onto half your life in that awful place? It's a wonder you're still sane. To think of all the unsavoury practices you must have witnessed, like church-going, straight lifestyles, and (gulp) voting Republican!!! Gad!

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Big John
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Re: Don't mess with Texas?

Mr. Coward, normally I don't respond to AC's (particularly the trollish kind), but your wail of agonized foaming hatred towards Texas (Austin included) has disturbed me deeply.

I'm not from there, but I've seen it and I can attest that it's not as bad as your diatribe would suggest. Perhaps you should travel to Texas some day. Who knows, a bit of exposure to people with minds of their own (not govt. approved ones like yours), might do you a power of good.

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Careless Whisper? Anonymous messaging app accused of stalking users, blabbing to Feds

Big John
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Paris Hilton

Profit motive

Assuming the Guardian report is correct and Whisper does more than it says on the tin, what's the financial thinking behind it?

Normally a startup creates an app hoping it will take off and make millions, but in this (alleged) case the scam is bound to be uncovered eventually, and almost certainly before it gets really big. So is this just a quick and dirty app designed to uncover "juicy" tidbits for sale to the press, for as long as possible? Is there enough likely ROI for that to be a viable business strategy?

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World govts elect Swiss big cheese as their new ICANN point man

Big John
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Re: Minority Report

"Too many well meaning people who don't realize that all they are doing is weakening the gene pool by dumbing down the requirements. "

And too many of them show up on this board. I've noticed that many here will jump all over a report on government meddling, savagely badmouthing da Man, but if anyone dares to mention the damage done by government coddling, a similar number will hurl downvotes. Tad hypocritical, don't you think?

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Big John
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Minority Report

Schneider told the assembled nations that he will focus on strengthening the existing internet governance bodies and will be open and inclusive, to the point of “supporting and strengthening minorities.”

It's not possible to "strengthen" minorities because they are, well, minorities.

What can be done is to cripple majorities, which I assume Schneider is actually planning to do. It's what control freaks always do, force everyone down to the same level, so it's "fair."

Those poor helpless minority types just can't get a fair shake without someone nice who tilts the playing field in their favour, and they certainly aren't capable of getting ahead on their own. They need HELP, preferably from enlightened-but-guilt-ridden white leftists (or those who wear the mask, anyway).

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Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

Big John
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Re: Just a drop?

"What's that one about the difference between God and Bono being that God doesn't walk down the street thinking he's Bono?"

Show a little sympathy. It ain't easy trying to save the whole friggin' world, y'know.

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US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: US is losing science race

Big John
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Re: who?

"Josephus mentioned him in his Antiquities of the Jews.

Tacitus made reference to the crucifiction of Jesus by Pontius Pilate in his Annals.

Celsus and Lucian of Samosata also wrote about Jesus."

Josephus, Tacitus and Lucian were all born well after 33AD, and so do not represent true historical mentions of Jesus. There was a contemporary Celsus, but I can't find any mentions by him via google. What are your references?

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Big John
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Re: who?

I know, I saw that Jesus thing too. It's a shame that someone who is in the process of exposing a coverup has to also insert something as bone-headed as that. I guess I should have gone with one of the many other articles about it, such as one from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/09/22/does-neil-degrasse-tyson-make-up-stories/

No mention of Jesus in that WaPo piece.

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Big John
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Re: who?

"outside of silly reddit memes why should I know this guy again?"

Well, Wikipedia would rather you not know about all the things he fabricates:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/23/8-absurd-edit-justifications-by-wikipedias-neil-tyson-truthers/

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Foxconn exec on iPhone 6: You're BENDING it WRONG

Big John
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Re: Zen of Apple

If Steve were here, he'd know what to do - invent a new slogan to divert people.

What about "Bend Different"?

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

Big John
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Big Brother

Paid by the hour...

..and they can't be bothered to do proper identity fabrication to catch bad guys. Instead they use a real person's images, endangering that person. This can only happen if the agents involved feel no risk to themselves from doing so. That's the real scandal here; 'law enforcers' now feel free to screw over whomever they like whilst cutting corners in pursuit of their next bonus/pay rise.

And recourse to the courts only results in 'make good' money from the taxpayer's pockets, with the perps escaping the slightest exposure, let alone any actual punishment.

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Holey? COWL! Boffins build boxes to hold sketchy JavaScript libs

Big John
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Re: jQuery

"At the very least, they're guilty of supporting jQuery."

And what's the appropriate punishment? Chain them together? Painfully orient their objects? Extend them? Lock them in their own library and reassign the keys...?

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Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

Big John
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Bias

This guy is claiming systemic discrimination within the kernel community against non-white, non-middle-aged, non-males. That goes a bit beyond merely claiming bad tempers or defense of prerogatives.

I know nothing about the kernel community, just wondering what the truth is.

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Ice probe peers at hidden BOTTOMS of oceans from SPAAACE

Big John
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Re: Ice@Hud Dunlap

I use WU as well, and once casually clicked on their "Climate Change" menu link:

http://www.wunderground.com/climate/

A veritable feast of AGW/ACC wallowing. Tsk.

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Big John
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Mushroom

Re: Volcanos

"Well, 'Volcanic Activity' can be anywhere between Krakatoa-level eruption to a tiny little sulfur fart from between some plates."

I question that. If they can detect sulphurous farts from space, from between plates or whatever, there ought to be a big red X centered on my house.

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Big John
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Re: Ice

"..the fact that a few well-meaning scientists were caught faking data.."

I assume you use the term "well-meaning" in the sense of "correct-thinking," yes? Sooo, apparently if a so-called scientist fakes data (because real data doesn't give the correct results), but their hearts are in the right place, we should all give them a pass? Maybe so. I know I'd be pissed if my data obstinately refused to conform to Known Truth. Heck, I might even be tempted to violate the most basic tenets of science!

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Ice, ice maybe: Evidence of 'Grand Canyon' glacier FOUND ON MARS

Big John
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Boffin

Schrödinger's glacier

"But this theory has proven controversial and unproven."

So its proven to be unproven? Is this one of those glaciers that both existed and didn't exist, until we get a really good look?

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

Big John
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Out to see...

Perhaps a nautical theme:

Portholes

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FBI: Your real SECURITY TERROR? An ANGRY INSIDE MAN

Big John
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Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

"The crime was teaching the youngsters to think for themselves..."

No, the crime was that of instilling anti-democratic attitudes into the youth. Socrates despised the idea of democracy and made no secret of it. Additionally he deliberately provoked the 500 citizen jury, clearly hoping to receive the death penalty, then refused to accept his friends' aid in escaping the execution. He wanted to tar the democrats with his own blood.

The Athenian democracy had just gone thru a hideous and bloody (but short-lived) takeover by oligarchs, and they were in no mood to tolerate someone repeatedly advocating the end of the democracy they had just recovered. Too many had died at the hands of the dictatorship.

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US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

Big John
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Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

"The question is, at what rate will it decelerate..."

An ever increasing rate. Even worse, the rate of increase will increase as well. Also the rate of the rate of increase...

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Facebook's Oculus unveils 360-degree VR head tracking Crescent Bay prototype

Big John
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Re: headphones

"It shouldn't be too difficult, or expensive, to fit a small USB camera to the front and have a small switch that you operate to have 'real external view' fed to the front screen."

Even better, the two views could be superimposed when needed. Considering just how adaptable the brain is, I bet it would be no trick to juggle the perception of that annoying "real" person trying communicate along with one's 3D VR porn at the same time. Worth a try, anyway...

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Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

Big John
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Re: MMMmmhhh

I see that the word "cubicle" has fallen from favor, but the images do show things bearing an alarming resemblance to.. uh.. ..them.

I gather that rounding off the corners changes them from mere cubicles into "micro-architectural office systems." Works for me, altho I would also be okay with "roundacles..."

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Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

Big John
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Re: In God's Name

"Agreed, but the idiocy only really begins when you consider that it is the same God."

It was a lot simpler before monotheism came along. Then, you would have what amounted to two 'teams' with two supporting gods, one per side. The side that won the battle was the side with the stronger god, obviously. The losers didn't have much incentive to stay with the losing god, and often switched to the winner. Why not?

Now, besides the actual battle, there's a bitter struggle over possession of the one and only god, and nobody's happy. The losers can't switch and have to rationalize their loss as a 'test', leading to further battles, and the winners have to demonize the losers as liars who don't really worship the one god correctly, or at all. And the winners know the losers won't be giving up easily, so to be safe the winners have to utterly crush the losers, rather than assimilate them.

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The week in tech news with cracking coverage from Regina Eggbert

Big John
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Linux

Re: Please Continue This.

These fowl jokes are poultry to my ears.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

Big John
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

"You have to remember also that at one time, LA had some of the best bus lines/service in the country."

And before that, they had great streetcar lines, which were killed off by the busses. At least that's the story I heard. That meme even got into a movie, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". Fact is, those LA rail lines had a nickname, "Old Death and Destruction," due to the many people killed in car/train collisions. As for the busses, they are in no position to properly compete, due mainly to the "Buy American" provisions attached to most govt subsidies which prop up nearly all U.S. bus lines.

www.buses.org/files/Report08.pdf

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Big John
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

"Car sharing for profit without a licence is illegal."

And pray tell why is that? Is there a legit reason, or is it just protectionism via corruption? If I want to start a business that lets people reliably share rides and save money while reducing congestion, what purpose is served by being licensed other than to enrich the government? Remember, this isn't like those freelance taxi guys; I would be serving the same people over and over. If my service is lacking, they will stop utilizing my service.

In other words: "I don't need no steenking license!!!"

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Big John
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Facepalm

It wasn't supposed to be this way

So the Enviros (who pretty much run the CA government) have for years been decrying the fact that too many cars in CA have but one passenger. Fair enough. Along comes something that could drastically reduce the problem, but wait! Turns out that same CA government has been earning their pay by outlawing just such a scheme. D'oh!

The obvious fix would be to rescind that law, but it's just so much easier to make new laws, like making it illegal to drive alone (unless you have the right connections of course).

;-/

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DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

Big John
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"Wonder if this would work with roller blades!"

I bet it would, and put paid to that dirty mutt chasing you in the bargain.

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Big John
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Ve haff vays uff making you run fast...

Looks less like battle kit and more like what you would strap onto an enemy. Anyone who has run down a steep hill and lost control will understand what I mean.

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Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

Big John
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Re: Now now...

"Yes, I've been drinking with the odd archaeologist..."

Which one is the odd one?

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Big John
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Headmaster

Now now...

"Archaeologists need to stop making stuff up;"

Let's not be too harsh with archaeologists. Their job consists of digging mouldy crap out of the ground (if they're lucky) and then analyzing that crap to figure out exactly what people were doing thousands of years ago. This task is almost hopeless and all they can really show is a bunch of crap, so they should be forgiven for becoming a bit fanciful with their theories.

Besides, it's entertaining and not very harmful, and there are plenty of rivals who will gladly jump all over them the minute they get out of line.

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LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig

Big John
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Flame

Re: Where, in the middle of nowhere, can one get a cold* one?

"Lager needs to be chilled. As do fizzy drinks. Not beer(s and ales)."

Not in Europe, true. I spent two years in Germany and had my share of warm ones. However, when the desert sun is beating down like a hammer to an anvil and you are between, it's vitally important to reduce your core temp in any way possible. Should you ever be in that situation, you will be eternally grateful that your beer has sweat on it, just like you do.

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Big John
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Re: Where, in the middle of nowhere, can one get a cold* one?

"But, then, if it is daytime, just walk outside into the desert, and the beer will warm up in a hurry."

Ah, but it's a dry heat. My experience has been that an open beer exposed to the AZ/NM desert will typically have a half-life of about 12 seconds, with only a small fraction of the loss attributable to evaporation. Thus heating will have little time to occur.

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Big John
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Mushroom

This is a balloon launch, yes? But no spectators are practical, due to "safety reasons?" Just how dangerous IS this balloon? Is it liable to go off-course and have to be remotely detonated?

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Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

Big John
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Re: and best of all ...

"We need a Register Standard Ant."

That would imply a Register Standard Uncle too!

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PayPal goes crypto-currency with Bitcoin

Big John
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Big Brother

Re: Investing in bitcoin

"You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond."

I fail to see why it needs to respond.

Auric Goldfinger: "This is gold, Mr. Bond. All my life I've been in love with its color... its brilliance, its divine heaviness."

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Big John
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Pirate

Re: "Accepting" Bitcoin

"Paypal isn't accepting bitcoin."

So that being the case, isn't all this really just the Bitcoin boosters offering companies revenue that can be portrayed as "accepted Bitcoins" for the purpose of generating Bitcoin momentum? That would be very helpful if another big cash-out/rip-off is in the works down the road...

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Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers

Big John
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I'm going to catch hell for this...

..but assuming that it isn't a sting, what kind of people would so strongly object to dogs in their car? My evil mind comes up with one group in particular, and that same group is often stereotyped as your typical taxi driver...

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Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites

Big John
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Re: Get it right

"So which American ISP do you work for then? Just out of interest?"

I take it you disagree with the previous post. Do you have some kind of argument that you're holding back? If not, please cease with the pathetic attempts to belittle your intellectual betters, okay?

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Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years

Big John
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Re: >Career Path anyone?

Well, yes TP, doesn't everyone always say exactly what they believe? I assume you believe that most of a US state (and by extension at least half the US) is "batshit bananas." You DO believe that, right?

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Big John
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Re: >Career Path anyone?

"..Austin is also where the people who are not batshit bananas ultra-conservative tend to cluster..."

No, it's where the batshit bananas ultra-leftists tend to cluster, and boy do they ever cluster...

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Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it

Big John
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Paris Hilton

Re: i don't understand

Forbidden, and famous. I would say the second point is more important. It's why so many people pay for celeb rags that have grainy telephoto shots of actresses kissing their boyfriends on yachts a mile out to sea while wearing a swimsuit. I suspect viewing such photos is a way for the small-minded to diminish and degrade those who have what they want, but don't have: looks, money and fame.

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Is there life on Mars? Cloud-gazing Curiosity accused of lacking scientific focus

Big John
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Re: Political mistake

"Plus as you'd expect, the rover drivers want to DRIVE."

Ya-boy. "Screw science, let's GO FOR THE RECORD!!"

Luckily the drivers don't get to set policy (or do they?). Personally I'd be okay with changing the goal to a race for the pole.

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Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers

Big John
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Re: Doing More With Less

"Could we eat pasta instead of meat, and walk or ride horses instead of driving cars, and still have our iPhones and our satellite TV?"

Pasta yes, horses no. The primary result of fast transport on society is that people are now able to live far from where they work. Take away the fast transport in favor of horses, and people will be forced to crowd together in big cities, as was the case previously. But now the population is many times larger, and such hive-cities would not be much fun to live in. Also, horses have to eat and poop, and there would have to be a LOT of horses. We really don't want to go there.

Besides, even if you force people out of their cars, that's just peanuts compared to bulk industrial transport, which cannot convert to muscle power without a huge decline in output, along with a similar huge decline in population, one way or another.

Currently humanity is on a high-tech high wire. If we don't keep all the machines fed and humming, most of us will die very unpleasantly.

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You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

Big John
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Re: Its

"It's not dark, our eyes just cant see the photons coming from every point in the sky"

The cosmic background radiation you mean, but that's just 3K. A rather dark light. Still, technically it's true, the sky is not dark, exactly.

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Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group

Big John
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Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"Unlike you, I don't hate the other side. I just feel sorry for their confusion."

Actually it appears you do hate the "other side." Witness the laundry list of evil intentions you ascribe to to them. How come you left out kicking little puppy dogs? It would have helped me get your drift better.

John O'G, it's strange how you first impute intelligence to the Reg readers, and then go and insult it. Tsk.

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Big John
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Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"Last time I looked at the output of a "non-partisan" group, they'd run three different $700K ad series each attacking different Democratic senators..."

So ALEC is actually partisan, I get it. Just like you are, espousing some case where poor honest Democrats get attacked under color of 'non-partisanship.' Like you could not find endless examples of such behavior from every side, including your beloved Democrats? Sure.

Still, it fits with the article author's own partisanship, using derogatory terms like "climate denier" with apparently no concern or shame whatsoever.

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Just when you thought you were alone in the bath: Hi-res mapping satellite ready for launch

Big John
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Re: What's the point

"I'm struggling to think of uses for this resolution, apart from military ones. "

I use Google Earth very often to track down places where good x-country hiking can be found. Really sharp images will better reveal the condition of road and trail surfaces (or lack of same), vegetation types, and many other little features that could make a difference. I'm looking forward to it!

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Big John
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Re: 30cm?

"On a flip side I wonder about the infamous zoom/enhance technology and if that would allow those sub-30cm full glory members to be visible."

Sure, if seeing humongous pixels is what yer wantin'...

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