15 posts • joined 30 May 2007
That headline should read
... who gave the early internet a porpoise ...
In two hundred years time...
... music historians will look back at the brief period around the turn of the 21st Century when it was possible for musicians to make a living from people paying to listen to pre-recorded music, and how when technology allowed the music media itself to be essentially costless, the music industry that had been built up around this model desperately tried to defend the business model rather than dealing with the fact the model was irreparably broken.
By that point it will be taken for granted that musicians make their money from live performances, and that making recordings of their music available for free is just common-sense marketing unless it is for commercial gain, in which case a fee would be due either on a per-play basis or by a fixed fee for unlimited usage.
The payment per listener per play on Radio 1 is £0.000005940594059 (£60/10,100,000). It makes the streaming services payment per listener per play of c.£0.00x positively generous.
Low Hanging Fruit
I love the "Journalists and readers around here may disapprove of the company, but rivals appreciate Apple's ability to successfully enter a market it wasn't previously associated with and make it it own."
The tribalism is funny. Wow, Apple do what every company wants to do a little bit better. Name me a company that would not want the levels of user satisfaction, future purchase intentions, update cycle (as in when a user will want to replace an existing device that still works) profitability etc. that Apple have.
Oh, side note; what do you call Samsung's R&D department? Apple. Anyway, low hanging fruit aside...
Plenty of failure to get the point in these comments. Yes, Apple have a record of entering a market and then owning it. iPad is example two; example one was the iPhone where as far as profitability goes, you wonder why everyone else bothers. Yes mobile market share is low, but that wasn't their primary objective, eh? They want money. Shock, horror.
Anyone who thinks that Apple do not release a product having a fairly precise idea what the next version will be, and what features it will have that will make people who purchased the first version want to buy it (even if that means artificially excluding features from a release) is silly, and anyone who doesn't think this makes sound commercial sense should not run a company.
And more often than not they get it right.
So, the Apple TV with a screen will have a high quality panel, probably with two or three size options. It will not have a lot of hardware bells and whistles other than being really easy to use and integration into AppleSpace. It will run iOS. There will be a remote control, almost certainly the standard Apple Remote. But this will not be used a lot as you will be able to say 'TV, BBC1' or whatever, and it will change the channel.
You will also be able to adjust volume, mute, call up programme guides, play anything in your iTunes library (which may become iMedia if Apple can buy or bully the name away from other users), and if it does have a HDD or can record to external devices, set recordings too. The Siri-esque user interface will allow you to tell it to "always record Top Gear on BBC2 on Sunday", or "alwats record Eastenders on BBC1 on weekdays", etc. And agreement pending, you will be able to have uTV.
Want to see Big Bang Theory, House and NCIS as they come out? No problem. Also want to get Goode Tijd, Slecht Tijd and re-runs of Bantjer? Great. C4 or BBC if you live anywhere with a decent internet connection? Of course. And you'll pay for it, and maybe get rid of another paid for service that gives you lots of stuff you don't want.
Oh, and you will be able to use some form of pointing device as a mouse for its baked in web browser, as well as an Apple Wireless keyboard or equivalent Bluetoothery.
It will also have Apple touch (not screen, user experience) feel and industrial design all over it.
As for price, I think it will be the cost of an equivalent size screen from a main manufacturer plus $500 of Apple specialness.
And it will sell. mainly because complexity of remotes has reached a point where they are universally shite. If you don't find remotes complex, I bet there is one person in your household or family who does.
And if we engage stereotype mode for a moment, the keeper of the household budget will spring $1,000 on a new TV that is easy to use and pretty before they spring $500 on something else.
And new Apple gear is better than old other gear, so many an Applephobe will drink from the Cidercup....
PS; not a Fanboi, have an iPhone but everything else is Windows... but I know good business sense when I see it.
Diving and gymnastics the same?
Whether it's a good idea to expose 14 year-olds to Olympic competiton is one thing. But to compare the physical requirements of diving to gymnastics is apples and oranges.
Yeah, they're both fruit but not the same.
Gymnastics imposes strain on the body that can distort it whilst it is still growing. Someone who does gymnastics (or ballet) at competitive/professional levels as an adolescent will probably carry the physical effects of it for life. Diving doesn't impose nearly the same levels of stress.
People in their mid-twenties can compete easily with teenagers in diving; being young is not a huge advantage. Teenage gymnasts are more flexible and supple and by their mid-twenties a gymnast's career is normally over.
The two factors (advantage + physical damage) that differentiate teenage gymnasts from teenage divers make any claim both should have an under-16 ban ill-informed.
Sea level and hovering
Altitude is relative, not absolute, so YES, obviously there would (hopefully) be 'near' sea level altitude absolute altitude, but temperature would make relative altitude vary.
The F-35 doesn't have swivelling outlets for main engines as per Harrier. Instead the main engine can be vectored down at the back and the lift-fan at the front provides counter-balancing up-thrust.
If it over-shot it's still hovering (with forward velocity) and can go-around or maybe to some extent back-up.
Being at high speed on an attempted landing is only necessary if your airplane can STALL as then you can fly away and go-around
Dutch public transport rocks
I travel 2 hours each day from the south of the Netherlands to Amsterdam, and back. 126km a day. It costs €87 or 67 quid per week, and for that I can travel free all the time anywhere on Dutch public transport.
In four months I have been delayed by between 1/2 an hour or a little over an hour less than 5 times, and I get a refund of €6 each time I am delayed by half an hour, or €12 for over an hour.
Beat that. In terms of reliability, cost and convenience the Dutch have one of the best public transport systems going.
Door to door time is about equal to driiving but it is cheaper than the cost of petrol (far cheaper if you include parking costs) and you can't read a book, sleep or have breakfast in a traffic jam, not even the daily 'car park' traffic jams round Utrecht and on the drag into Amsterdam.
Inside Amsterdam it might be a little different, but you can spit across Amsterdam and it's flat as a super-model chest, so you can cycle on ubiquitous cycle lanes that are safe and convenient, or be lazy, and take longer. Even then it takes half an hour to get to most places most day, top whack.
Any one complaining really doesn't know what public transport in other cities is like.
As you can spit across Amsterdam
Don't believe the hype, educate the women...
To put things into perspective, there are far more gay Muslims, far more feminist Muslims, far more Muslims opposed to Sharia Law in place of secular law, than there are extreme fundamentalist willing to engage in violence.
Christians often fail to stand up and clearly condemn extreme Christian fundies, such as those who try and outlaw the teaching of evolution in schools, or those who engage in violent action against abortion clinics, or those sects which use cultic tactics to control their followers.
Moderate Muslims often fail in the same way; they fail to clearly condemn their co-religionists who go beyond the pale.
As Islam is a couple of hundred years behind the 'Christian' west in its maturation process, to a certain extent this is not surprising.
If anyone is getting their knickers in too tight a wad, think about this;
If you gave your Victorian great, great great, grandfather a mobile phone and a pair of Nikes, would he agree that beating his wife was bad, that women should work, vote and be educated, and that blasphemy was not a crime?
Sociologically many Muslims come from a soceities where they have Victorian values. Technological fripparies do not change this.
Just as women gained power and rights due to encreasing economic empowerment in the West, so too will the process happen in the Muslim world.
Only increasing economic activity of women in society can drive those countries into fully developed status, and they all want to be developed countries. Under Islam, women have a right to keep their own money - far more so than in Victorian England.
Will educated women put up with the same societal oppression? Nope, just like Western women with an education didn't.
The roots for the death of fundamentalism are already well-watered. The best thing we could do is give away free scholarships to online universities to women in the Middle East; far more cost effective than war.
But taking such a pragmatic approach reduces the control our politicians have over us using the rhetoric of fear, so we are saturated with less reassuring perspectives.
... also, if IQ was such a great survival mechanism (as is blithly assumed) then more creatures would have it to the extent we do.
Many creatures with the intelligence of fudge survive in harsh conditions.
Our intelligence is far more likely to be a result of sexual selection than 'vanilla' natural selection involvoing envionmental factors. So is the size and shape of the human male penis.
Yup, female proto-humans liked those characteristics in mates that lead to the rise of intelligence as we know it, and also tended to choose males with large fleshy penises (as distinct from the skinny things with bones in them that chimps have (for example).
Science says size matters, sorry guys... :-P
Lies, damn lies, and IQ tests...
Having read through some of the links provided I have the following comments;
1/ Pending a transcript of the interview with Watson claims on either side are just that, claims. I suspect it is a combination of a/ someone who is undoubtedly smart as mustard but has a documented record of having the social skills of a hyena (he didn't see anything wrong with shafting Franklin and he likely is as socially inept when it comes to predicting the response of 'normal' people to his comments) and b/ a journalist $hitting their pants with delight at getting such a 'usable' quote.
2/ IQ Test measure what they measure; men are better at spatial skills and non-verbal, and if an IQ test doesn't measure verbal reasoning or "sock location" (god knows what the scientific term is but women are adapted to recall the location of resources (gatherers) whilst men are adapted at throwing things at moving objects (hunters)) and/or give it equal rating then women WILL test lower in an IQ test. Make an IQ test that is 'biased' towards female adaptions and men end up looking stupider than women.
3/ Average 'African Black' IQ scores tested using a test developed by western Europeans (even if they live in the USA) are not indicative of genetic potential. The ability of an average Mbutu tribes person to take a test like that is considerably lower than someone with Mbutu parents who was raised from birth in Chipping Sodbury and sent to the local Primary and then Grammar school.
4/ Average scores for 'underclasses' (Aborigines, 'American Blacks' (check the demographics and do some research into the average quality and duration of education of black American kids compared to white ones before you disagree with me) who statistically suffer disadvantage compared to the 'white norm' are not indicative of genetic potential.
To sum up, if you can stick 100 each of San (Kalahari Bushmen), Mbutu (Congo Pygmies), Aboriginal, First Nation (American 'Indians') and Maori neonates in 'Western European' households, be they located in Europe or the USA, and give them an identical upbringing to the statistical norm for white people and _still_ get a difference in IQ scores, you will have proved something.
Until then it is all statistical chatter or incomplete analysis of results. The test is taken to be meaningful, when it is only meaningful in very limited contexts.
Deception is a classic tool of the Creationist/ID movement
Worm turns says; "The sort of intolerance Dawkins preaches as his articles of faith should be unacceptable in a enlightened society. He is constantly attacking religon in a way which, if directed at say black people, would see him up on inciting racial hatred charges."
Black people are black because they are black and it doesn't change one thing about their competence or reliability. Fundamental religionists who interpret a book as literally true and the word of god, or those who mask similar beliefs in a speciously non-religious unbranded wrapper do do because they choose to ignore facts which disagree with presuppositions they have made, and thus should not be relied upon as competent or reliable in academic areas.
I personally find them changing the title significant; it went from being presented as a neutral examination of the issue to one where the partiality and presumption of guilt on the part of non-Creationists and ID-ers is implicit.
If a black person was persuaded to take part in a documentary called "Crossroads: race and education" and it was then marketed with the name "Whites Expelled, the inherent racism of positive discrimination", they'd feel like they had been conned by unscrupulous, unprofessional and dishonest people.
Dawkins probably feels exactly the same way; he wears his colours on his sleeves, no one opposed to evolutionary theory with him can claim they are unaware of his absolute opposition to their stance if they engaged in debate or were interviewed by him.
To excuse this behaviour is to shrug ones shoulders at journalistic dishonesty and ignore the well documented links between old-style Creationism and the ID movement; I provide the URL for the Wiki, an example quote, and the actual document URL.
"reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions"
If you feel ID is non-religious you have fallen for the strategy of the religious people who created the trojan horse that ID is.
If you have any religious belief and excuse this deception you are a hypocrite
Luther Blissett says "I hope that before they showered and dried Dawkins they got to ask him if he'd found the fossil evidence yet; whether he was still looking for it; or whether he now considered it a matter of faith that one day (perhaps in the End Time?) it would be found, and so the creationists should then think that darwinism is correct.
Given that darwinists have had about 150 years of looking to find it (or not, as the case may be), it will truly be a Rapture should it turn up.
There's no monopoly on religion."
Nor is their on education, and if you had any in the field of evolutionary biology you would realise you are just repeating massive lies when you state there is no fossil evidence. What's your excuse for not informing yourself of the facts before sounding off?
The whining of ID-ers (or is the term ID-ots?) and Creationists about not being accepted by the scientific mainstream is understandable; they want to be taken seriously. The fact they are not taken seriously by the scientific mainstream is equally understandable.
Anyone who meets the standards of peer-review can get published in science journals. ID-ers and Creationists make much of the fact they are not, but it is their fault. If they proved their speculation and hypothesising to any extent they'd be publishable.
At this time it is like someone with a chicken under one arm complaining about not being allowed to enter the duck under one arm club.
ID and Creationism are not taken seriously by scientists as there is no proof of the beliefs they express.
In any case, ID is a self-refuting hypothesis; stating that complex design needs a designer just creates the requirement for a designer designer, and that can only be dealt with by fallacious 'special pleading' or extraordinary claims with no evidence to back them up.
A kind person on this thread has provided an illustration of exactly what represents a major danger for the world today;
"No Christian believes that "post fall" snakes can talk. They do however believe that the world/universe was very different "pre fall" and that yes serpents could talk."
Despite no hard evidence to differentiate it's level of 'truth' from any other religion they assume that Christianity is 'The Truth', AND they assume the interpretation THEY make is the only correct one and that any Christian must share it.
This attitude is arrogant and ignorant in equal measure; when taken to extremes it is what drives wars between religions and violence even within religions.
It isn't religious belief that is a danger.
It is a lack of comprehension on the part of some believers as to what the difference between secular fact and religious belief is, and the lack of tolerance for conflicting beliefs that some religious people have,
Think about it, sheeeesh...
"Anyway, how well is GPS going to work in or under the body of a car?"
Damn, bang goes the in-car GPS sector. LOL
Many English people grew up in cities that occasionally had bombs go off in them as part of the IRA's campaign, so the fact that the terrorists explicitly cite Islam as their motivator (instead of Roman Catholicism being the differentiator) is not that interesting as the justification of murderous bastards is seldom interesting.
If you look at the murder rates for Europe and the USA, and compare c. 300 million Americans with 12,658 murders to c.300 million Europeans with c. 5,000 murders (Source; nationmaster.com), it is clear that terrorists in Europe would have to kill twice as many people as were killed in 9/11 every year to make Europe as violent and dangerous a place as America.
Those two facts go a long way to explain attitudes.
The fact the last two terrorist attempts in the UK have been laughable just adds bemusement or amusement to indifference.
I know one shouldn't, but the idea of a guy getting himself severely burned whilst trying to kill people and then spending the rest of his life in jail is rather droll. Instead of the virgins he faces the knowledge no women COULD ever find him attractive again, not that it matters as he'll never be alone with one ever again...
Freedom and perversion
First of all, in most of Europe and the USA one can write about being sexually attracted to people under age, even to the extent of writing fictional stories.
No matter how gross we all might find it, it is legitimate freedom of speech and 'artistic expression'.
Second; a paedophile (I think the 'erotica' can be taken as read) is soley or mainly attracted to pre-pubescents. No one is going to argue that that is nasty.
A hebephile or ephebophile is attracted soley or mainly to adolescents. As the Western ideal of beauty is of a girl at the edge of womanhood (please refer to most fashion magazines and pornography to bear this out), we live in a bizzare culture. I think very few men could claim they do not suffer from ephebophiliac tendencies to some extent, and those that do I'd like to see walk past a Secondary School at home time with one of those gizmos that record where you are looking...
Paedophiles are the new witches. Little thought is given to the many paedophiles who never molest; it's far easier to think of them as ugly monsters on the fringe of society. The probability that as least as many fight such attractions succesfully as give in is too disturbing to delve into for most people. If you're freinds with a mental-health professional, you get interelsting insights.
Unlike other attractions or paraphilias that can have an outlet with a partner, a paedophile cannot ever have a consensual partner, as children cannot give informed consent.
So, people with no legal outlet, many of whom never offend, many who avoid ever admitting it to anyone because this would effectively destroy ther lives...
... in a society where we obsess about youth and force many women into ill-heath we are so obsessed with the image of the skinny adolescent as the acme of beauty.
Quite frankly I think paedophles are better being allowed into the open without a witchhunt, to hopefully deal with their problem and avoid harming a child, than being forced underground even further.
In the Netherlands it's not towels the Germans are famous for...
... it's their habit of digging trenches on the beaches. I shit you not. Many Germans holiday in the Netherlands, on the North Sea coast. Quite why people holiday on this wind-blown stretch of North European beach with icy water (and Dutch "food"), I don't know, but the Germans are famous for excavating like the 3rd Armoured Infantry are going to be making a landing, to get out of the wind.
That, and the 'ik wil mijn fiets terug' thing ('I want my bike back', from WWII when the Germans confiscated every bike they could in the Netherlands) are the mainstays of Dutch humour, which tells you all you need to know about Dutch humour...
Yes, of course it is a stereotype; like this one. French guy of my acquaintance as a brother who runs a camp site in the South of France (imagine the following in an 'Ello 'ello french accent) says; "when ze Germans come, zey spend much mon-eh in zee shop, give much mon-eh to zair chil-ren to spend in zee shop.... mhy brother sezs "come in come in ve have rhoom". Ze British... zey do not spend as murch, or give zair chil-ren as murch, but still my brother sezs "come in we have rhoom". The Dutch... zey bring sacks of potatoes and sauzeges in a tin, chocolate sprinkles, flat meat, nasty bread, even zair own beer; zey buy no-ting in ze shop except a Dutch newspaper each day and give zir chil-ren virtually nothing... he does not want those EuroGypsies and their steenking caravans, so my brother he says "very zorry, no room".
I've known groups of Dutch people arrange a 'Dutch Day' on campsites, and co-ordinate the delivery of dozens of boxes of frozen Dutch snacks (like Bitterballen and frikandel) to be deep-fried for the party; some mad Cloggie driving flat-out 1,000km to Narbonne in a Volvo full of ice-boxes. Bizarre.
As for the 'Brits do it too', yes, but that's evolution. I remember family holidays as a child when nothing could match the awful efficiency of the German Towelkrieg, not even the terrible fact that the Germans were normally there for three weeks to our two. Over the years the Brits have simply raised their game and got organised, but it's not natural behaviour, it's survival. ;-)
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