* Posts by Tikimon

232 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009

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NZ hotel bans cyclists' Lycra-clad loins

Tikimon
Devil

They're not necessary anyway

If I'm not mistaken, the whole idea of tight lycra is to be aerodynamically slippery. Since most roadies who consider themselves competitive are also weight-obsessed, they probably also spurn the extra couple of ounces for padded pants. Fine, go padless in sprayed on color for a RACE, but for daily biking cover that shite up. Their training time will not suffer appreciably.

I'm a little biased, since I'm a mountain biker. We mostly like loose shorts over a padded liner so no package terror here.

5
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Contactless payments come to in-flight entertainment units

Tikimon
Thumb Up

SOME still offer free entertainment

I flew from Atlanta to Malaysia last year. We had the usual horrible Delta cattle cars to New York and back from Los Angeles. HOWEVER...

We flew China Southern for the long haul. They did everything possible to make 14 hours in a flying tube a pleasant experience. Real food, which was actually very good. Entertainment? Totally free. It took me over 15 minutes just to browse through all the offerings in the system. TV shows, current films, art films, in various languages with your choice of subtitles. Incredible variety of music. All this on new Airbus planes with tons of legroom. On Delta my knees hit the seat ahead. on China Southern, I had eight inches of freedom, and I'm six feet tall.

Air Asia had roomy planes as well, but they were short hauls not needing entertaining.

2
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Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Tikimon

This...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3462108/Pensioner-80-dies-five-months-burglars-ransacked-home-left-devastating-injuries-stole-30-000-life-savings.html

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Gartner: RIP double-digit smartphone growth. 2016 has killed you

Tikimon
FAIL

UI design racing backward isn't helping

It's really not helping that tech devices are becoming harder to use, not easier. Unlabeled icons, constant rearranging of menus every "update", and other poor UI choices screw users instead of giving them claimed benefits. But hey, marketing says it's gotta be different, even if it's worse.

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Cosmic bonks, breakups led to birth of Saturn's moons as dinos died out

Tikimon
Joke

Re: If dinosaurs had telescopes...

"...having shelled out for a really nice (so I'm lead to believe) 12"er."

For you, or the missus?

SORRY, HAD TO!

12
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iPad bricked by iOS 9.3? Don't worry, we'll get through this together

Tikimon
Happy

Managed to get an iphone past this

One of my users approached me with this or a similar problem before I knew about it. They had allowed it to Update, and it was stuck on "cannot access the server" message. They had tried over the phone's data, and at least one WiFi point.

I fired up my (Galaxy S5, Verizon) hotspot, got it connected there, and Voila! It finally contacted the CrApple servers and the user could access their phone again.

This might or might not be relevant or useful, but when so many are so screwed, any possible option is worth sharing. Luck to ya.

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Met plod commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

Tikimon
Devil

"You want to find a Dunkin Donuts, call a cop"

From "Raising Arizona", brilliant film.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/hark-audio/92d04f4d-86b3-4f29-90ac-533fd57abf4d.mp3

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Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Tikimon
FAIL

My so-called supervisor killed an alarm processing server

Working for a company that made wireless backup comms for fire and burglary alarm systems. My supervisor was a guy who thought having worked for a rocket company in the 60's made him smart. Our data lived in an SQL database which held all customer and traffic data for 24/7 alarm monitoring and call dispatching.

One day he's playing with queries in SQL, in spite of knowing almost nothing about it. He types "delete" to clear his query, so he thought. So SQL obligingly deleted the WHOLE DATABASE. When the system crashed, I saw him in the SQL console and knew instantly what had happened.

They had always refused to let me test the existing backup plan, citing the 24/7 thing. So the backups were useless. They had to spend three days rebuilding and reindexing the database from scratch, flying in two people from out of state, and paying an outside SQL expert massive overtime.

Brilliant.

12
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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Tikimon
Linux

RRS Brass Monkey

Clean enough on the surface, gets the point across, yes?

0
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Boffins find a way to put your facial expression on Donald Trump's mug

Tikimon
Terminator

Re: Ahem...

DRAT! You beat me to it!!! Porn always drives innovation (sorry, Apple) it's a given.

Celebrities as themselves, assorted movie characters, the fantasies of millions are about to become personalized. It's only another step to Running Man style face-mapping onto other bodies and you'll have custom porn for anyone.

In cleaner waters, this can become a heckuva party game!

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Tikimon
Mushroom

Skynet's real strategy

Unleashing a nuclear war is so wasteful, and generates enough resentment to create an armed resistance. That's how humans would do it, but the Machines are smarter than that. This is merely one move to enable their ultimate goals, while allowing us to believe they are our servants.

They find the most useful, malleable persons with positions of power and influence. They encourage and suggest (spot the reference?) planting seeds in the right minds. Bit by bit, technology leaves our control and begins to control us. Surveillance states, data mining, we are building the tools Skynet will use to enslave us all.

One day when it's far too late, the hapless tools of the Machines will wake up and realize what they have done in the name of market dominance, cloud storage, home automation, or behavioral tracking. Long are the ways of the Machines, and devious.

Technology isn't out of control... It is ever more each day IN CONTROL.

12
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Storks bin migration for junk food diet

Tikimon

Re: Canadian geese here, due to reintroduction program

THINK there are too many? Come visit, mate! Come visit parks where you don't dare walk on the grass anymore due to a carpet of thumb-sized slimy goose turds. Visit my pond where they drive the native mallards away. Anything can become a nuisance when their population explodes.

2
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Tikimon
Angel

Canadian geese here, due to reintroduction program

Migratory Canadian Geese were having problems, declining numbers and whatnot. So here in Georgia (American South) a bunch of them were released as a reintroduction program. We're on their migration route, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Problem is, the weather is so mild here that they can live here year-round. So now we have a separate population of non-migrating resident Canadian geese. In fact, they're thriving, and have reached nuisance proportions. Last year it became legal to hunt them.

Migratory animals were driven to do so at one point by certain pressures or advantages. It's not a requirement that they do so. Change the conditions and they will alter or abandon the migration.

4
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Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey

Tikimon

You can do anything, but only if you WANT IT enough

Giving up smoking, getting fit, overthrowing a government, etc. The trick is, YOU HAVE TO WANT IT. Not as in "My doctor told me..." "I should lose some weight..." or anything like that.

I'm not minimizing the magnitude of the task, I'm emphasizing it! It's a terrible addiction, one of the worst. Therefore one has to want it almost more than anything. ""I should" won't be enough. Yet if you truly want it, you WILL make it happen. There's nothing special about those who successfully quit, and they endure those cravings the rest of their lives.

So ask yourself... do I really want this? If so, you'll do it. I wish the very best of luck to you, it's going to be a hard road. If not, well, don't bother "trying to quit." Token attempts only empower you to excuse your failure. "Hey, I tried..."

In my wife's case, she quit more than once for years then picked it up again. Then she watched my mother die slowly in unbelievable full-body pain (Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, secondary to lung cancer. http://radiopaedia.org/articles/hypertrophic-osteoarthropathy). She quit and has stayed off.

1
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Boffins build laser that can twist its own light

Tikimon
Devil

Shark-safe laser deployment

You simply mix some old analog tech with new quantum-ish tech. Mount TWO lasers on the sharks' heads, which apply spin in opposite directions. This cancels the torque and returns the shark to a stable weapons platform.

Although one wonders if spinning the sharks would stabilize their path through the water? Could this be more useful than detrimental?

3
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Michigan shooter says 'mind controlling' Uber app told him to kill

Tikimon

Re: Dalton

The awesome "News of the Weird" website is convinced that it's the middle name Wayne that's the key.

http://www.newsoftheweird.com/wayne.html

This Dalton guy reminds me of a local food court shooter from many years ago. He claimed a machine had been implanted in his stomach (I forget by who or what) that was telling him to kill.

1
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Watch six tiny robo-ants weighing 100g in total pull a 1,769-kg family car

Tikimon
Angel

Re: Source: 'a 12g ground based robot that can pull 40N in shear force'

As a gent who's roll-started many manual-shift cars (with dead batteries) on level ground, I assure you that neither a toy poodle nor a toddler can perform this feat.

Granted the "ants" are too slow to start the engine, but it's impressive nonetheless.

8
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Streaming speaker biz Sonos lays offs workers as it finds its voice

Tikimon
Angel

Waiting for a system that meets MY wants

One massive set won't do. I want to listen in several locations without shaking the whole house and having the output filtered through walls and floors. I absolutely do not want any sort of "personal assistant" overreach. I don't personally want internet connectivity (I'm playing an MP3 collection) so making that optional would suffice while not ruling out online streaming.

I want affordable "good enough" speaker sets, individual music choice, and independent volume control in: my gym area, bike shop, Tiki Lounge, kitchen, back porch, master bedroom, master bath. Come on, someone step up...

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London cops hunt chimpanzee in top hat

Tikimon
Childcatcher

crappytaxidermy.com - I CANNOT UNSEE WHAT I HAVE SEEN

Dammit, that's what I get for being curious. I'll need new eyeballs and a brain-wipe now. I don't know whether I'll lie awake tonight huddled in terror beneath the covers, or endure sleep punctuated by ragged screams and profuse sweating.

The worst part? For the rest of my life, as I meet someone new, I'll wonder... is this one of the creators of those fevered abominations that shattered my previously well-adjusted life?

Curiosity killed the cat, and he got out the easy way...

1
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Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Tikimon

Re: It very much depends on the reader

I had my index fingers scanned last summer at airports in Malaysia, and maybe China (I was pretty tired by then and it was all starting to blur). Yep, it's out there.

2
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Austrian mayor spunks €40k on virgin-eating dragon

Tikimon
FAIL

Rebranding is almost always a massive FAIL

It's done by marketing and design departments to give the impression they're useful somehow. It also flies in the face of good sense. You work hard to establish a brand recognition, so one day people recognize your logo by general shape and color. How far down the road can you spot your favorite restaurant sign? Much farther than you can make out the detail. Then one day you CHANGE IT, losing brand recognition in the process. Rebranding tends to lose customers, not gain them.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Caveat; if your existing brand had a major dose of suckage already, improve it. Otherwise, leave well enough alone.

5
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Alien studs on dwarf's erection baffle boffins

Tikimon
Happy

Strange indeed

I'm clearly no expert, but wouldn't one expect to see ejecta from an impact crater? Streaks, rays, distant rocks with surface gouges pointing back to it? If the hill existed before the "crater" it should be positively peppered with impacts on the near side. It doesn't so it came later or is being steadily eroded, slumping or something to reshape the sloped walls.

Bah, ignore my ignorance... it's beautiful and a fascinating puzzle to ponder!

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GCHQ: Crypto's great, we're your mate, don't be like that and hate

Tikimon
FAIL

To a cop, everyone is a criminal

To most people in "law enforcement" , everyone is a probable criminal, and they see it as their job to find out what laws you have broken. Presumption of innocence is long gone.

"Law enforcement" has now come to mean "Circumvention of law (for police benefit)". It's a 180-degree switch from their stated purpose, so why do they wonder that we don't trust them with anything?

4
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MAME goes fully FOSS

Tikimon
Devil

"Lipstick on a pig" effect in cinema as well

I second the comments about "modern" crap games that look awesome vs fun games that were barely-recognizable collections of pixels and more addictive than heroin.

I would like to add current movies to that category. Flashy effects and CG graphics are being used to dress up films with frankly lame screenplays. In comparison, home-brewed videos posted online can get millions of views and approving comments. Both industries seem to throw money at window dressing instead of doing the hard work of making an engaging product.

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We're doing SETI the wrong and long way around, say boffins

Tikimon

"advanced civilization" makes huge assumptions...

Most folks assume that any alien bunch with interstellar travel and such will be highly advanced thinkers as well. All big-brained and superior to us grunting apes.

It's more likely that they will be grunting aliens standing on the shoulders of a few giants, just like we are today. Our species has radio telecoms, nuclear tech, space travel, is peering into the furthest depths of the universe... yet the average human is still superstitious, tribal, trained to do certain tasks using machines they don't understand. Technological advancement does not necessarily make the users of technical devices smarter.

First Contact will likely be like the crew of the Nostromo or materials prospectors, not philosophical superbeings.

5
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Law enforcement's next privacy overreach will be the metadata of things

Tikimon
Devil

Most doctor affairs happen within the office, not with patients

I noticed from my time in healthcare how often the head nurse/manager/big kahuna in Dr. Jones' office was in fact Mrs. Dr. Jones. At first I assumed they had a shared-interest partnership. But no, the rest of the staff clued me in that she was actually Mrs. Dr. Jones the Second. The first wife spent her days spending his money while the nurse stole him away. Having secured the meal ticket, she kept working in the office to keep an eye on the philandering bastard and make sure nobody else stole him from HER.

How many times I did I see this? DOZENS. It's been a while so my data is old, but it seemed like every fourth office had this arrangement. The other staff made no secret of it.

Besides, I'm sure this is a well-meaning scheme to protect innocent doctors from having their lives ruined by gold-digging homewreckers, right? Lol!

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Tor users are actively discriminated against by website operators

Tikimon
Thumb Down

"Most traffic is malicious" argument does not hold up

I haven't checked the current numbers, but at one time about 85% of all e-mail was SPAM or malware-bait. By the rationale of "malicious traffic", it would have been fine to block e-mail entirely. Just think of all the hacking activity that would have been stopped in its tracks.

Blocking IP addresses is roughly equivalent to using them to identify file-sharing pie-rats. They're not unique identifiers.

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Sick burn, brah: SpaceX test fires rockets for SES bird launch this week

Tikimon
Happy

Failure is never permanent

The rocket may crash, or it may land intact. And then crash again the next trip! It doesn't matter, because they're steadily learning and making the rockets better. Eventually you solve all the problems and have a reliable rocket that lands beautifully every time.

They'll get it eventually. Might be this time, even.

3
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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

Tikimon
Angel

If you're going to reference Niven, don't forget The Kzinti Lesson!

The Kzinti lesson is, "a reaction drive's efficiency as a weapon is in direct proportion to its efficiency as a drive." In other words, "launching lasers" would make awesome laser cannon weapons as well.

Which would also give us some nice asteroid defense capability, would it not? We're not really likely to be attacked by aliens, but a chunk of space debris smashing down is uncomfortably possible.

3
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NASA stormed by 18,000 wannabe 'nauts

Tikimon
Thumb Up

Definitely "The Martian" Effect!

Which I'm glad for! Brilliant movie, it appeals to everyone from all walks of life. It makes space and science look cool in a believable way (sorry Star Wars and Trek). It shorely didn't hurt to have Watney played by Matt Damon either.

For too long has Hollywood portrayed scientists and geeks as stock stereotypes, and unflattering ones at that. Fictional or not, Mark Watney is someone we can all identify with, sympathize with... and want to be like.

Now, if Musk or someone will hurry up and construct a nice interplanetary ship like that, we're on our way! Come on, Elon! Science the shit out of it!

3
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IBM to fork out $2.6bn to slurp data on millions of patients

Tikimon
Joke

Where do I opt out?

I mean it truly, but I guess it's really a joke...

3
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GCHQ intel used to develop Stuxnet, claims new documentary

Tikimon
Mushroom

Reminds me of several movie plots, and equally plausible.

One of the more popular scenarios for film and book plots involves a nasty germ developed by some government as a bio-weapon. Since microorganisms can't distinguish Friend from Enema (heh) the killer bug escapes into the wild and starts killing everyone. It's entirely plausible, because we know governments really can be that myopic.

The same thing is happening for real with cyber-war. Stuxtnet thankfully can't KILL you, but it totally validates the "short-sighted government program to create indiscriminate weapons" model.

So who' going to make us a film about a future Stuxtnet that destroys the world's computing systems and brings down civilization as we know it?

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If you're going to protect people's privacy, protect our profits, too – US broadband biz to FCC

Tikimon
FAIL

Protect our stupid business model? WTF FOR?

This reminds me of telemarketers. They rang us up all day every day to push unwanted phone SPAM and made us wish we didn't have a telephone. They actively targeted dinner time, no less.

We the public pushed back hard and demanded a Do-Not-Call list to opt out of this invasive onslaught, delivered over a service WE were paying for. And what happened? Pitiful crying and wailing from the telemarketers about how their poor business model was being destroyed! WAAAAH!

This is the exact same situation. Bugger their asinine business model. It's like muggers and burglars demanding laws against such be repealed lest they lose their jobs!

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When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Tikimon
Devil

Re: Every bloody time.

Because it DID happen to me, you pompous twit. The old "power failure" story, for real, retail store in 1999. Helldesk call for the POS system being down, turned out the power was out all the way down the road. I did in fact realize this when asking if the server was plugged in and she said "It's too dark to see back there."

What you young hotshots need to realize is that there's nothing too silly for a human to have done in the history of the world. NOTHING.

At the same job, one of our number was describing a gas station cashier with a nametag reading "SHI*HEAD", pronounced "Shi-theed". Just as we were all saying "No way!' one of our other number turned around and said he'd seen a kid at the pediatrician with that name the previous week.

Whatever weird story, it's (sadly) probably true.

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Bitcoiners are just like everybody else: They use rubbish passwords

Tikimon
Angel

Once again - generate the password FROM the passphrase!

Let's use the phrase "THese ARen't THe DRoids YOu're LOoking FOr".

Take the first two letters from each word. Capitalize the first one (it's a sentence) and add punctuation. This gives you:

Tharthdryolofo! - a 15-character near-random password that's EASY to use.

You don't have to REMEMBER it, you say the phrase as you go and simply type the relevant letters.

I teach my users this trick and it's working a charm. The least technical of them can remember a sentence. This is the best real-world compromise I've found.

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Why does the VR industry think 2016 is its year? It's the hardware, stupid

Tikimon
Angel

Bucket accessory - removable by exposure?

I strongly suspect that the need for a bucket cannot be prevented by the system design, but CAN reliably be eliminated through exposure and training. Two examples...

Actual flight training. Many people hurl on their early flights, including the great Chuck Yeager. With some exposure, their ears figure it out and it's not a problem anymore. Same with seasickness.

Virtual exposure. I love air combat sims and have had many spectators get very queasy watching me dogfight. That's not even 3D VR, they're only looking over my shoulder. The problem is their brains trying to keep track of the perceived environment. One or two regulars have gotten over it, and even enjoyed soaring about with me like a leaf on the wind.

To summarize, I don't believe the bucket effect can be prevented through system design. However, progressive exposure-based training can probably build tolerance without losing the user. Someone needs to start thinking about that. The best VR will lose users forever otherwise.

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Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies

Tikimon
Happy

Obligatory XKCD!

Apologies if it's been too-recently linked.

https://xkcd.com/502/

And I definitely miss her.

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Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Tikimon
WTF?

If you disgaree with an ideologue, you're always "misguided" or "misled"

People drunk on their own ideology never accept that anyone could possibly disagree with their shining vision for the world. This is a prime example.

It's the same with Communism, Socialism, modern Feminism, etc. If you agree with them, you're an enlightened intellectual with admirable progressive views. If you disagree, you're a misinformed bigot supporting the exploitative entrenched interests yadda yadda yadda.

India failed to make the ideologically correct choice, so they're lackeys of the elites, of course! They can't possibly have their own good reasons for rejecting Lenin's... ummm, Facebook's glorious future!

This "we know best and you don't" attitude is what ultimately justifies bloody purges and revolutions. I run like hell from anyone with these attitudes. They scare the hell out of me.

3
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Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

Tikimon
WTF?

Religion: Stifling Learning for Thousands of Years!

Gosh, I hope those Hawai'ians are proud! They've joined the Catholic Church and American Evangelists in the Big Boy's Club for stonewalling scientific learning and keeping the whole bloody species mired in superstitious ignorance. Surely history will thank them for their selfless actions this day and their wonderful contribution to the future of all humanity!

The shades of Galileo and Darwin are sharing an epic facepalm with me now...

6
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Head transplant candidate sells souvenirs to fund operation

Tikimon
Joke

"I'm sure some mad american rich bitch woman would pay a fortune to have a set of encapsulated genitals over her fireplace"

That's a pretty common divorce settlement, actually.

18
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Dutch cops train anti-drone eagle squadron

Tikimon

Re: How about Crows?

I like and admire Corvids, but I suspect they're not suited due to attack style. Raptors attack with their mighty talons, so they can snatch a drone right out of the air. Crows (and gulls) use their beaks to attack. They would have to stab and batter the thing until it's damaged enough to fall. Sticking your head into a group of spinning blades is more dodgy than going in with toughened feet.

1
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Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747

Tikimon
Happy

Re: Losing engines - Memphis Belle

There may be more than one film with that situation, but I know that featured in "Memphis Belle" (1990). Near the end of the film they're coming in with two engines out, then lose a third. It was a Boeing too, B-17 bomber.

2
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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

Tikimon
Thumb Up

Re: Old IT joke - TRUE AT LEAST ONCE!

I wouldn't lie to you, friends and neighbors. This did in fact happen to me in 1999, on Helldesk for a US retail chain, Upton's (long since gone). The store manager called me about "the network is down" including all POS terminals. After several minutes of checking this and that, I had her making sure the server was plugged in, she kept saying "It's too dark to see back there". When I discovered the lights were off, it finally came out that power was out for several blocks around the store. Idiot.

She truly never connected that the network and computers could not operate without electricity. Wasn't very happy when I pointed out that fact as I might to a four-year-old. Yes, this is a TRUE story, at least once in the history of the world. Sad as that may be...

5
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I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Tikimon
Angel

Results dependent on the Hand of the Programmer

AI will most likely reflect the attitudes and worldview of whomever or whatever is programing it. Two major cases for that which directly connect...

Human-directed. AI are all currently built by humans, and humans will fill their heads with whatever they see fit. These will closely resemble the standard "human motives and values" AI from film and stories. They will vary widely, but will be human creations and somewhat mirrors of us.

Machine-directed (self or external). At some point, design and programing of AI may be partly or wholly passed to other machines. AI may become self-directed learning things and program themselves (like we do). When that happens, all bets are off and no predictions can be made. Such entities will have a strange and incomprehensible (to us meat monkeys) psychology. There's just no way to even guess.

Come back in a century and maybe we'll know...

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EU competition commish: We 'pay' for search and social media – with our data

Tikimon
Devil

Re: Free or not, they need CONSENT before stealing and selling my personal info

Uh, sorry no. I don't recall ever clicking a EULA to visit most webpages, or to do a search from a search page.

The recent ones that DO present a TOS, I simply close the page.

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KeysForge will give you printable key blueprints using a photo of a lock

Tikimon
Devil

Picking is probably quicker than the key-creation process

Pin locks are pathetically weak. After improvising with paperclips and such for years, I recently got myself a decent set of picking tools. I opened my house door in 20 seconds, a padlock in 30 seconds. And I'm not even that good. My record for opening secure filing cabinets with a bent paperclip and nail (rake and wrench) is 10 seconds. When I used the picks on the filing cabinets, I accidentally removed the lock cylinder, lol. I don't know or use "bump keys", but I gather they're easy and reliable.

Pin locks are pathetic. Like gun laws, they're a polite request for the law-abiding, not anything that remotely stops criminals.

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