42 posts • joined 21 Apr 2011
Re: Point of Order
Bright Light! Bright Light!
By rough calcualtions, if it was at the same distance as Alpha Centauri or Sirius (4-8 ly) it would be brighter than the full moon. If it was 300 ly away it would be still be visible during the day.
Once upon a time...
...Cats were worshipped as gods.
They have never let humans forget this.
Re: Bird massacres
"Does it run Windows or Android? (I'm assuming not iOS because Apple won't let anyone else put their OS in another device.)"
A beta version of Android 4.4 - Kit-Kat. What else could it be?
Re: Noise pollution - Pubs & hearing CRTs
That description fits me to a T, although nowadays my hearing cuts out at about 16kHz, so I probably couldn't hear the CRTs even if there were any about the office. Refresh rates that co-workers were happy with bugged me. In a a job I once had that had hot desking I used to go around the computers after work and reset the refresh rates to 80/85Hz.
Re: NSA is doing it wrong...
You know, the odd thing is that I could swear I've read SF stories along those lines in the past few years.
Of course, unlike the Cleve Cartmill affair, the magazines these days wouldn't be able to tell us if one of the TLAs had come a'knocking.
Within the margin of error?
I went to the netmarketshare site and looked at the trend for Aug '11 to July '13. This is the fifth occasion that XP has shown an increase in any given month over that period of time, set against a general decline in its market share from 52% to 37%. From this I conclude that even though the sample population is large - 160m unique IPs? - there is still going to be month-to-month variation, possibly up to 1 percentage point.
Re: Innapriarte reaction
"Couldn't they [drones] be automatically linked to facebook/twitter so these terrorists are taken out automatically without risk to the police?"
Oddly enough, Charles Stross mentions this idea in his latest blog entry. Interesting discussion in the comments there too.
Re: "buy a pigeon"
The third problem is making sure they stay bought
Re: Accusation should not equal guilt
"I know what my preference would be, even if I could only afford a public defender"
Yeah, I know what mine would be too - Aussie, Canada and New Zealand all have better legal aid systems than the US. The NZ judges seem to be doing a pretty good job in keeping the prosecution honest in the Dotcom case too.
"TSA breaks guitars"
There could be a youtube hit in it - but only if you never want to fly anywhere ever again.
Does it matter?
Since most editing takes place within the paras etc, does it really make a difference? No knowledge of mark-up language was needed for that. It will probably even out to the current level. Probably. Over a sufficiently large sample. On average. I guess.
Oh, OK, it will be a bl**dy disaster!
Re: Woman who gives up,
Because an engineer sees society as an immensly complex machine with a myriad of interacting feedback mechanisms which require adjusting from time to time?
Could you do black background and (dark) red text? That's what astronomy software does to protect your night vision. I find Cool Reader's white on black dims pretty well - so much so that if I don't reset it I can't see the text in daylight.
Re: The eBook Problem
It isn't the retailer, its the publisher that is the problem here. It would be great to have a bundled deal available.
For a number of years SF publisher Baen Books have included a CD with some hardcover releases with DRM-free e-editions of the book, previous books in the series, other works by the author and other bonus material.
Of course Baen were also the first publisher to encourage their authors to make one or more of their books available online for free as a 'taster'.
I think we have to add Robert Heinlein to the mix, with the linear accelerator described in "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", which delivered payloads to earth.
Re: If TPB dies
JDX @ 18:52 wrote:
"Weren't there some stats in the news recently suggesting sales HAD increased due to strict anti-piracy laws? I forget the details, maybe someone can recall..."
It was to do with the closure of Megaupload last year. Allegedly sales & rentals rose 4-10%.
I seem to recall reports before Megaupload closed to the effect that internet traffic to/from file lockers exceeded torrent traffic. If so, then shutting down all the torrent sites - not just the flag carrier TBP - will likely increase sales by no more than 10% again.
Re: I don't even use TPB...
Buy her a cheap no-name chinese DVD player. They are often region free, and if not, have easily findable codes for setting them up all-region via the remote. Many major brand players do too.
Nice article. And now, the Saturn Five explained in 'Basic English', with blueprint.
The 2012-released AM3+ motherboard I bought last month has one.
Film Studio Cheapskates
What is also interesting is that not one single notice has been issued by the film bodies because they refuse to pay the NZ$25 (US$20/£13) per time processing fee.
Perhaps that shows more clearly how much damage the film/TV industry *really* thinks that torrenting is doing in NZ?
Re: They can have "Space Marine"
"Space Cowboyy"? Where's Bat Durston when you need him?
Flames - cos there's a rocket ship.
Re: Paper and Future-proof
Your arguments are more applicable against the Amazon model than ebooks generally: When you buy an ebook from Amazon you don't own it. What you have is a license to use it for a while. Per their conditions of use Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders at their sole discretion. And, as you say, they are encrypted. Can you imagine if every physical book you owned had its own different lock and key, like church bibles in the days before the printing press? How long before you lost some of the keys, or forgot which belonged to which?
Still, physical books are subject to loss by fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, silverfish, pulp degrading, etc. Insurance might replace your books after a disaster, but they won't be the same editions, and some may not be available at all, even after a long hunt through the online & physical second hand stores. How many copies from a print run of, say, 50,000 are left after 40 or 100 years? It isn't quite in the "yesterday's news, tomorrow's chip paper" category, but not a great percentage.
With other publishers and retailers (e.g. Baen Books and the recently departed Fictionwise.com) you get the book in a choice of formats and *no* DRM. Epub is an open format - basically an xml file in a zip wrapper. A backup of your ebooks can be kept in many locations - on your home PC, on a usb stick at your office, on some cloud service, whatever you want.
Being dropped in a hot bath won't necessarily destroy a book, but it won't do it much good and will show permanent damage even after drying. I have found that a ziplock bag solves the ereader-in-bath problem.
I like my tablet, and keep many books and magazines on it, with the selection changing every few months as the mood takes me. I also still spend far too much money on physical books, both new and second hand. Both have their place.
And as for the paperless office? I've been hearing businesses talk about it for the past 25 years and am still waiting. At least most books published and paper made in Europe, North America and Australasia comes from renewable resources - forest plantations rather than old growth forest.
"An abacus? We had to do our calculations with rings of giant stones, and it took the machine 31,557,600 seconds for one clock cycle!"
I thought it was 31,556,925 and a half seconds.
Or was that the mark II?
Under the microscope
Current organics - I don't hold any hope of seeing any. Never have,
Finding some half-billion year old micro-fossils would be a cool enough discovery for me.
Re: EE 'Doc' Smith? Larry Niven?
"The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve."
That extra inch apparently means a width of 5.3 inches - about a third to half an inch wider than the various 7" Android tablets.
The 7" Androids fit snugly in the inside pocket of all of my jackets - be they casual, leather, suit or even tails. The extra centimeter makes the the mini-iPad too wide to fit in most of them, and therefore of no use to me, even if I was going to consider it otherwise.
Founder Effect/Self-selection Bias?
"...a detailed model of the network of roads and waterways that could have spread the disease from village to village..."
"...a computer simulation of the telephone calls that could have occurred during the terrorist attacks..."
Not a model of all the roads, paths & waterways that exist in the area, just the ones they think the disease could have travelled along? And not a record of calls etc that really happened, but ones that they've made up that they think might be like the ones that might have happened?
If you don't like these standards we have others
Typical of Microsoft - our websites only work properly if you use our browser.
That is precisely the conservative point of view.
Rural areas don't deserve the additional infrastructure because it isn't worthwhile.
Unless some duke/earl/internet billionaire is in a given area, in which case exceptions will be found.
Too much padding?
How can they manage to turn a 300 page novel into films running six to eight hours?
(Anyone want to bet that any of the three parts will run less than two hours?)
My favourite Jackson film is "Forgotten Silver", followed by "Meet The Feebles".
Re: Clarke's Stations: Not Manned
I liked George O Smith's "Venus Equilateral" series, and reread it earlier this year. It is a great example of a SF writer extrapolating from the best knowledge of the time. It is also an example of how unforseen and perhaps unforseeable discoveries and advances invalidate the basic assumptions that the story is built on.
I must see if there are any interviews with Smith, who died in 1981, comparing VE with how space communication actually played out.
A novel idea
Actually running a trial and evaluating its cost and effectiveness at the end, rather than just passing untested three-strikes legislation at the behest of US interests. Wish they'd done that here in NZ.
As a quick rule of thumb...
Take a standard CD case and see if it'll go in the pocket. For most of my inside jacket pockets the answer is 'yes'.
No card slot = No go
My Nook Color works quite nicely on Cyanogen, I'm sure the Tablet will do even better once a stable release comes out, which probably won't be too long.
Re. 'rediculous' glare - that's what the brightness control was invented for!
When is a tablet not a tablet?
"Seven-inch models represented just 2 per cent of volume tablet sales"
Unless you factor the Nook Color's sales into the numbers.
Why was it the NC counted as an e-reader, so was excluded from any 'tablet' sales figures, but the Kindle Fire is deemed a tablet? Both are crippled and restricted to the insides of their walled gardens in much the same way unless rooted/hacked. Personally, I think excluding the NC has skewed both reports and perceptions of the market over the past 12 months.
Ditto in my location. They 'upgraded the customer experience' a couple of months ago and removed all the components etc. For what, more TVs and a Kindle display?
First appearance - is normally the day after arrest/charge. Next appearance 14 or 21 days later to enter a plea. How much longer it goes on after that depends on if he pleads guilty or wants to fight it out.
Agreed. I made the mistake of 'upgraging' to ver3 once. What a great leap backwards. Ver2 mostly does what I need, and is very handy for foing full text sarches - if only it would read inside .rar files.
I was offended that it was lame and unfunny
Both Saatchi & Saatchi and Telecom must have been smoking something if they thought this ad was gong to fly. They should have gone the opposite direction - something about rooting for the team, perhaps?
Strike out the first two places
There was some serious vote rigging going on.
The next five places look much more interesting and realistic.
My vote went to Enders Game. Done CGI-anime style - like Appleseed & Vexille - it would look great, you don't have to age up the characters (or not much), and can use decent voice talent to get better performances than any child will deliver.
Foundation might work as a mini series, since it pretty episodic, but I don't think would work as a film.
Any royalties for authors though?
The USA, unlike the civilized world, does not have any public lending right.
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