* Posts by Big John

440 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

Page:

Why are all the visual special effects studios going bust?

Big John
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: there's plenty of people willing to see ads

"So marketers keep fooling themselves, and people who pay for marketing keep fooling themselves, although I expect the clever and self-aware ones know just how pointless and ineffectual the vast majority of advertising really is. Still they all believe they're 'fooling the public'. They aren't: we just don't care enough to disabuse them of their ingrained idiocy and mental blindness."

If only that were so, then the ad biz would wither away and we would all live in bliss anon. Alas, it's not true; The advertising industry isn't a bunch of hucksters, at least as far as the paying clients are concerned. Those clients want to see increased sales in return for their ad bucks, and if they don't, they will switch agencies in a heartbeat.

Nothing in our culture is more highly scrutinized than the results of a given ad campaign. Nothing.

It's true that a majority of ads don't produce revenue, but a goodly percentage do, and that's what counts. And now we have targeted ads courtesy of Google et al, so all those 'impressions' being pushed into your brain are much less pointless than before. That's progress, ain't it?

3
0

Unicode wonks are bringing home the BACON, as an emoji

Big John
Bronze badge
Flame

Flame Bait

The Unicode Consortium may have a wonderful set of criteria for inclusion of particular emojis to the list, but that won't save them from a lot of acerbic carping. And don't get me started!

1
0

SAVE THE PLANKTON: So much more than whale food

Big John
Bronze badge

Old...news?

> This was already known when I was in primary school...

Pretty much all the facts in this article are of that type, since the entire article may be summed up as "We cruised the Seas for three years having fun and doing a lot of ocean research along the way."

2
0

Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: hmm

I am too. I don't even own a TV and consider the mass culture to be pretty debased, but I prefer not to view most of the people around me as unworthy. I'm sorry that it's that way for you. I bet if you tried, you could find something noble in almost everyone you meet.

1
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: hmm

I pray you are not so unfortunate as to be within the borders of the USA, and need not expose yourself to those rude Usaian bumpkins. Unthinkable!

0
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: equivalent

It's not collusion, it's culture.

At first, cars were dangerous but useful, and treated that way. Then people got used to them. Still, they contained only the Controls.

Then came the Radio. People absolutely ADORED them, and happily ignored the very rare crash attributable to knob fiddling. It was just an acceptable price for the gift of music while travelling.

The point is that people got used to a risk/reward trade-off with radios, and that carries over to any device that seems to be 'part of the car.'

Cell phones and texting are seen as a personal thing, and so not 'covered' by virtue of proper installation.

4
4

Australia forces UberX drivers to become tax collectors

Big John
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Here comes the drill...

So businesses with less than AU$75,000 turnover are spared the big hassle and cost of the GST, but the little ride-share guys who might do AU$5,000 a year will just have to get used to being bent over by the Aussie Govt.

Good! How DARE the People attempt to get around the clammy hand of Bureaucracy in this way? Share THIS, you peons!

3
15

FTC to scavengers: Radio Shack corpse doesn't include customer data

Big John
Bronze badge
Pirate

Be warned...

...that promises from any commercial entity about your personal info being "safe with us" lasts only as long as that entity. After bankruptcy, the data is merely handled with care.

2
0

Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: re: reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

"Non-sequitur" does not mean "random," it means "unrelated to what came before."

17
0

Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Analog Security

I agree. A lot of people have rather loose definitions of Meum and Tuum (mine and yours). Forcing them to actually break thru a security device means they can't even attempt to justify the taking later as some sort of accident. Knowing this, they are largely dissuaded, when in the absence of the lock they might easily rationalize the taking and do it.

Also, most of them aren't very brave and won't risk anything beyond a quick grab.

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge
Meh

Analog Security

Given that the geek who owns this device will probably be looking at the locker door from the inside, it will be rather difficult to access the lock dial.

FWIW, there's a fine guide to key lock picking: MIT Lock Guide. If Samy can duplicate THAT feat with a small gadget, then it gets really serious.

8
5

CSI GALAXY: Cause of death = STRANGULATION

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: 'Ere - he says he's not dead!

Your cells don't stop dividing just because you're an adult. Very roughly there are 37 trillion (million million) cells in adults, and according to Wikipedia, "Between 50 and 70 billion cells die each day due to apoptosis in the average human adult."

37000000000000 / 60000000000 = 616 days.

So except for nerve cells, most of your body is less than two years old in terms of new cell division. That's a major reason why we keep changing as we age, alas.

6
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Not dead yet

Maybe star formation is stopped, but most stars are small and have very loooooong lives, often much longer than the current age of the universe.

So those galaxies aren't dead, they're just resting.

1
1

Time to get your babble on: Microsoft opens Skype Translator Preview to all comers

Big John
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: "I vant to fondle your buttocks...'

"My hovercraft is full of eels." - Monty Python

8
0

Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

Big John
Bronze badge
Windows

Re: Solution looking for a problem

I certainly would not want MY toilet history splashed all over the web!

4
0

Rand Paul: I'll filibuster the hell outta the Patriot Act, fellow Americans

Big John
Bronze badge

Okay, has YOUR government publically sworn not to spy on other countries or citizens thereof?

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: And the nominees are...

Bernie is Hillary's trained monkey. He's practically on strings. Compared to him, she isn't quite so dreadful, and she can now quash all talk of 'coronations' later on by saying Bernie gave her a really tough fight. Meanwhile he's going really really easy on the 'attacks' he's essaying against her.

A tough fight indeed.

0
1
Big John
Bronze badge

And the nominees are...

> "And on the horizon, a Bush/Clinton presidential race..."

Somebody has been watching NBC again. My money says that neither of those two will get the nomination. Jeb has no support outside of his paid supporters and the old guard east coast Reps, and Hill is irrelevant to the typical voter, plus she has a very ugly record of service. Ain't gonna happen, regardless of how much money they have.

2
0

Elon Musk: I'm neither a samurai nor a bastard

Big John
Bronze badge

No problem

"Besides those specific accusations, however, Musk doesn't seem to have much of a problem with the new book..."

So the rest of the book contains no more vicious slurs? Only the one about him tormenting employees, just because he can? Were I him, I wouldn't care much about the rest either.

2
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

If you're suggesting that looking into the eyes of ones food causes remorse in most people, please disabuse youself of the notion. It's not guilt, it's gross-out.

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

Weren't the anchovies bad enough? Those EYES...!!!

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Family of four

Not really. In terms of meat production, smaller is more efficient.

Besides, a lot of Andean families keep guinea pigs as 'pets' around the house for the kids to play with, and then happily eat them when they're ripe, just like piglets in other areas. Llamas take too much room to make a good pet.

And there's a lot more too:

"...in the Andes guinea pigs are considered a great delicacy, are important in folk-medical diagnosis, and are regularly sacrificed to the gods." Source.

Sacrificed using a teeny-weeny knife, no doubt.

0
0

Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

Big John
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Weak forever or strong tomorrow?

"Passing people using a motor is no reason to feel smug."

Oh yes it is!

5
0

SpaceX Dragon crew capsule in 'CHUTE ABORT drama – don't panic, no one died

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Slight oops

They did say "just offshore" and it did land just offshore. Launch seemed okay to me.

What I noticed was the long classy silence after splashdown, letting the pictures do the talking. Nice.

It is a shame tho, that the good old "escape tower" is gone, alas...

2
0

French MPs say Oui to Le Charteur des Snoopeurs

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Heads on spikes

Ha ha. Have you seen the mob lately? Here in the West, you can't get good mob material anymore. Don't be fooled by the recent Baltimore riots; Police were pulled back by the city, leaving rioters free to riot. Any mob can look good with the cops chained on the sidelines. Get the rioters in a real strenuous environment and watch the disaffection happen in real time.

5
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Cryptocrime

So I can never go to Paris? (sob)

0
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Cryptocrime

Ah, but those things are soon to be made evidence of criminal intent.

Problem solved!

8
0

High school students' record-setting pulsar STUMPS BOFFINS

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: a question about inertia...

The angular momentum of two neutron stars would not be negligible, no. Normally this is cast off via magnetic coupling to the surrounding gases, but tidal interaction would be occuring as well. Hmmm...

1
0

Quantum CPU upstart D-Wave drills into physics simulations to boost vital magnetic shielding

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: millikelvin not absolute zero

I wasn't aware that room temperature involved any numbers, vague or otherwise. I believe it has to do with comfort, and there's nothing vague about MY comfort.

0
0
Big John
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: millikelvin not absolute zero

I can see why "30,000 times colder" would be sexier than "About 293K below room temperature". And the best part is that it's totally correct!

2
0

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: "Mean old government won't let us screw the system"

The argument is that these carriers are not like the ones in Canada and Europe, but are de facto monopolies. It's said that they achieved monopoly status via bought and paid for local laws.

The proffered solution seeks to massively alter the way things are done in an attempt to "restore fairness". Would it not make more sense to go after these local laws which are the root of the problem? Why the need for big government controls to come settling over the web? Controls which will never relinquish their grip once established?

0
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: the Amazing Randi

I'm not anonymous, and I second everything Anonymous said to you.

(Full disclosure: I'm physically joined at the hip with both Koch brothers, and yes, it does make things difficult.)

0
0

ROBOT telescope discovers ENORMOUS planetary neighbours

Big John
Bronze badge

If you squint...

"As the planets are invisible to the naked eye..."

As is their parent star, at magnitude 7, not to mention giant Neptune in our own solar system.

2
0

SpaceX in MONEY RING shot, no spare juice for tail backdown this time

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Watched the launch...

Around ten years ago I was resting late one evening on a west facing porch in Arizona. I became aware of odd lighted squiggles far off over the western horizon, above the already-setted sun. I'd seen this before, when Vandenburg on the west coast does launches.

As I watched, a bright point began to lift up above the low squiggles, trailing below what started to look a lot like a cowled figure, with the point of light as a head. It was the exhaust cone from the four main engines, stretching itself out in straight lines below the rocket.

As the point rose higher the ghostly cowl below it was shifting, becoming more symetrical as the rocket leaned strongly to the west, directly away from me and at least 300 miles away. Now the four symetrical lobes of the exhaust were very plain and the point occupied the centre.

It had almost stopped rising, when suddenly the light went out, and the sun-lit exhaust cones all seemed to scroll away from the point, going outward fast, and were gone in a second.

What was strange is that the vision of the cowled figure was so compelling that even while knowing exactly what was going on, I still became unsettled.

5
0

Astroboffins mine data in pursuit of lonely, homeless RUNAWAY GALAXIES

Big John
Bronze badge

Cosmic dandruff

Our clusters are shedding!

1
0

SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Time to develop a good exit strategy

> "Planets are just too dangerous to live on."

Okay, imagine we colonize the entire solar system with habitats, and then we get into one of those pesky civil war things. They do happen. I guarantee there won't be much life among the ruins afterwards. At least on a planet the life support system would remain partially functional under all but the most extreme circumstances.

4
1

That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Data vs Physical?

Only one problem, no one gets punished. So there's no disincentive to try it again and again. Until the criminals who pull this crap get jail time it will continue to be used, on the off-chance that it might not be discovered.

That's the real problem with the US, no culpability for the faceless bureaucrats who break laws. Even if they lose in court, all that happens is a fine, which gets passed along to the taxpayer.

20
0

High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Did the copper shout

Obviously his conduct wasn't grounded in reality.

2
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Personally I have a great capacity for this stuff. Kind of charges me up.

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Lucky Man

"Police usually shoot the perp rather than risk a crease on their uniform from a physical confrontation."

Says the one sitting safe at home who doesn't have to face down the enraged lunatic. No chance YOU will ever risk dying as have so many cops who tried to be nice and not shoot.

Stay safe.

5
2

Digital killed the radio star: Norway names FM switchoff date

Big John
Bronze badge

"That saving will amount to NOK 200 million – around US$25.5 million – which the ministry hopes will go back into content production instead."

Puh-lease. We all know where those savings will go. NEW TAXES!

3
3

KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: hes got money and he is going to spend it

Just so it's clear, the booster returns the surface about 200 miles from the launch point, not at the launch point itself. That would be perfect for Vandenburg on the west coast with all that desert inland to the east, but then they would have to launch over substantial populations and any little mishaps on the way up would risk visiting fiery death to civilians on the ground.

Not sure where they could safely launch and come down on land, to be honest. Probably not in the US.

2
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Palm Pilot

And if it crashed anyway, Elon could say "Talk to the hand."

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge

> ...I suspect the hot air balloon needed to hold up that rocket would be prohibitavely HUUUGE.

Correct. Therefore we go even further outside the box.

I envision a landing that goes about the same as now, except that the booster is halted about 30 meters off the deck instead of right on the deck. Then a giant (and well-padded) mechanical hand swoops in and grabs the booster, lowering it to the deck safe and sound.

If the aim or level is a bit off, no problem, the hand can compensate. As for engineering, well, the booster is mostly empty and not too heavy to contemplate holding up with a giant hand (or two). Of course it might get crushed a bit in the middle, but if it saves the engines...

1
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: SpaceX Booster Recovery Saga

> ..in order for SpaceX to be profitable, they need to do it consistently.

No, they only need to recover some of the boosters, not all of them. Each booster they save has a big impact on mission profitability. And I'd guess the launches will be making a little profit even with NO recovered boosters.

10
0
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: hes got money and he is going to spend it

> By the way, that last attempt wouldn't have been successful on land, either.

What makes you so sure? The big hurdles are: near-zero vertical and horizontal speed during touchdown on a very small target. Remove one of those difficulties and perhaps the landing might have succeeded.

2
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: hes got money and he is going to spend it

If it was coming down on land, then they could concentrate on killing the lateral velocity and mostly ignore the exact placement. Sure would be a lot simpler with a great big field as a target.

3
1

Colombian hacker who spied on gov-rebel peace talks jailed for 10 years

Big John
Bronze badge

The Fear of Nothing

Why can't you have it both ways? C'mon, you know you want to!

0
1
Big John
Bronze badge

Re: More than meets the eye

One more thing. You might want to actually read the Fox News report on Uribe in your list above. It doesn't denounce or charge Uribe like your marxist sources do. Indeed, the report points out how politically-motivated the charges really are.

Just thought you ought to know. ;-)

1
7

Gwyneth Paltrow flubs $29 food stamp dare, swallows pride instead

Big John
Bronze badge

Re: Right! (@Big John)

I'm sorry, did I strike a nerve?

And BTW, I'm 55 now and I freelance on Odesk to pay my bills. It's amazing what jobs you can get if you're willing to actually work.

What age are you? 14?

4
15

Page:

Forums