* Posts by idris

13 posts • joined 28 Jul 2010

BT reveals ultra-fast cable blowing plan for homes, biz

idris
Headmaster

"to the premise"?

"Premises" means "property" because back in ancient times it was common to talk about the legal documents used when buying and selling property as if they were the property itself. These documents were full of smallprint and stipulations, or *premises* about the sale of the land. Thus a calling property a "premise" implies that there was only a single clause in the sale documents. Even if it were possible to sell property with a single stipulation, it still wouldn't necessarily mean there was only one building being sold. It might be a whole village.

When talking about property, it's always "premises" even if there is only one building.

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UK.gov to require YOU to opt out of data-sharing plan with drug firms

idris
Pint

@bluenose: "but I am still trying to figure out who it is I go to get the payment "

Presumably, you will receive payment in the form of better healthcare by the enriched NHS that will result from the selling of the data.

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Ten... earphones for mobiles

idris
Angel

Forget you, wires

I have to echo the bluetooth proponents above.

I had a set of Jabra Halos for a year until I eventually squished them in my pocket, but I loved them dearly up until then. I never noticed any signal problems and even this model which was released > 2 years ago possessed a now standard Micro USB charging socket. I never actually ran out of battery, as there was always somewhere to plug them in.

My favourite thing about them was being able to go from sitting to standing without them getting yanked off of my head or out of my ears, which I found to be a regular occurance with wired headphones routed through or around clothing. Feeling like you have to stoop or otherwise alter your posture just to avoid this is annoying, and the first time you try decent bluetooth headphones is a liberating experience. Sound's not bad either.

Next? Those Jaybird Sportsbands look alright...

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Australia to issue passports for males, females and... X

idris
Go

@Connor: this is about intersexed people, not transgendered

Connor, I don't know where you got that statistic from but this is about intersexed people anyway - the article states that this does NOT apply to transgendered people. Those making flippant comments about "oh I'd like to change my birth date" are a bit late to the party - people have been able to legally change their gender for a long time in most countries. This is a different issue.

A quick look on wikipedia reveals that depending on the definition used, the number of intersex births ranges from between around 0.018% to 1.7%. Most people think they have never met an intersexed person because routine "corrective" surgery and hormone therapy has been used for many decades in an attempt to sweep the condition under the carpet. Intersexed people have always existed and western attitudes to sex and gender have been out of step with nature for too long and this is the next step in correcting this.

As for practical problems, this basically comes down to toilets and language. The first is easy enough to solve: allow intersexed people to use disabled toilets (or any toilet) until old-fashioned countries like the UK catch up with forward-looking countries like Sweden where unisex toilets are common.

Secondly, in English, there are already a few neologisms allowing people to avoid the he/his she/her problem, the most popular being zie/hir. It sounds a little clumsy when you first hear it, but if this tiny detail is the only barrier towards recognition of intersexed people then I think we all just need to get over it. Is learning a new pronoun really so much effort that it means intersexed people should instead be goaded into surgery and lifelong hormone therapy, forcing upon them a gender which is discordant to their nature?

Admittedly, we could do with a shorter way of saying "intersexed person".

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TSA to revise nudie scanner software

idris
Go

@AC; Different planes for different Dwaynes

"there isn't a road or rail link from the Americas to any other continent."

Can't they just get a bus to Mexico and fly from there?

I reckon what the U.S. should do is divide all flights into two sets and fly them alternately - one for people who want extra peace of mind and who are happy to be subjected to scanners and pat-downs, and one for those who would rather retain their dignity at the expense of their security (and of course people who aren't bothered could get either plane) Then, passengers could make a choice between being fondled or sharing a plane with potentially armed co-passengers.

But of course, increased dangers in the sky would mean increased dangers on the ground, so the less secure planes would only be permitted to fly over oceans and touchdown at coastal airports where onward journeys could be made by road or rail. These "Freedom Flights" would be fitted with a device that automatically crashes them into the sea if they exhibit signs of having been hijacked, such as if they stray drastically off-course.

This scenario really covers all the bases - security, liberty, prudishness, consumer choice; yet I wonder how long it would be before the Freedom Flights would have to be scrapped owing to so few people wanting to fly them. After all, half of the appeal of taking an anti-TSA stance is that it lets you make a fuss and declare the government a bunch of Nazi paedos, and if you don't even get to enjoy that then why would you ride a bus to the airport and then risk dying in a fire?

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Wake up, Linux hippies: No one 'morally obligated' to give back

idris
Linux

Torvalds's quotation contradicts sensationalist tagline

"Open source selflessness does not exist" vs "I think it's really refreshing to see people working on Linux because they believe they can make the world a better place".

Open source selflessness clearly does exist, but as you suggest, it is unlikely that this is the main driving force behind FOSS.

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Facebook forced to reinstate snogging men pic

idris
Grenade

Polite requests are ignored

"Perhaps if people were more willing to say 'I think you may have done this in error, please reconsider' first rather than ZOMFGWTFBURNMF-ER! "

Have you ever actually tried politely asking a lumbering mammoth organisation to fix a minor problem? Once the members start out-numbering staff by a factor of 250,000, a lone voice politely saying "errr..." is almost impossible to hear. To be heard you need a crowd (or a lawyer).

Politeness went out the window the moment facebook threatened to delete the user's account if they dared to upload this harmless photo again. Being told that an innocent aspect of your life is objectionable is a perfectly valid reason to feel aggrieved.

Making a blog post about the action was reasonable. The public response was proportionate - and crucially, very effective: do you think facebook moderators will make this mistake again?

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James Cameron to amp up Avatar frame rate

idris
Thumb Up

About time

It's ridiculous that x and y resolutions have been going up and up for years but resolution of the t dimension has remained the same for decades.

Because high frame rates remind people of cheap 70s TV broadcasts, there has been an absurd mental block in effect for just as long. If you were to play a 24fps clip to a group of people and then the exact same clip at 60fps to another group and ask them to estimate the film's budget, you'd probably find that the 24fps clip rates higher.

Sometimes people just need to be told that their feelings are wrong.

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Turing Collection saved for the nation

idris
Thumb Up

Nice one, muppet tax

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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Prisoners cannibalise mice for mobile power

idris
Coat

Poor use of police funding

"Prisoners cannibalise mice for mobile power"

Only a mouse can cannibalise a mouse. Ergo, these prisoners are mice. Surely a few cats would be a cheaper way to sort out mouse crime than giving every wayward mouse a comfy cell and a PS3? YCMIU, PCGM, IYLISMWDYGLT, etc.

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Android-powered touchscreen Wi-Fi headphones offered

idris
Stop

(Android handset + jabra halo + liveview) > this

I love my Jabra Halo bluetooth headphones which play music over A2DP from my droid, they're the best.

I've been thinking about chucking a Sony-Ericsson LiveView bluetooth wristwatch into the mix so that I could (potentially) control my music from my wrist, without having to take my phone out of my pocket or hold on to anything.

I think that's a much more elegant solution than putting the whole thing on your head where you can't even see the screen, and when the first android wristwatch phones come out, even better as you wouldn't even need the brick in your pocket.

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Police force more suspects to give up crypto keys

idris
Troll

RE: International Day of Random Data Swapping

'Not all of us are stupid enough to view police officers as "enemies"'

"anyone seriously contemplating wasting police resources in the manner you describe "

I neither said nor implied that police were enemies, nor is there any reason that people swapping random data should waste police time - as doing so is not a crime.

I certainly wouldn't suggest spamming police mailboxes with random data, but if there is an event designed to shine a light into what are currently murky legal waters and raise awareness, you would expect that some attempt be made to inform law enforcement, as well as lawmakers and the wider public.

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idris
Grenade

International Day of Random Data Swapping

Criminalising the possession of random data seems like the next logical step in this.

I think it would therefore be a good exercise and test of our liberties to organise an international random data swap day, where everyone is encouraged to dd if=/dev/urandom of=[an email, USB stick, CD, fax, public speech, QR code, t-shirt] a few blocks of random data and give them to our friends, enemies, strangers, MPs, police officers...

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