1207 posts • joined 10 May 2011
I can see my little nephew now
who by 2015 will be old enough to comment on my old-school RC helicopter (not to mention my old-school computer games):
"You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a babies' toy!"
@ J. R. Hartley
"Really does annoy me to see the Amiga airbrushed from history though."
It infuriates me personally. I'd rate this article as almost Orwellian revisionist bullshit because of it. I also recently watched a "documentary" (I use the term very loosely) about how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were the gods and founders of home computing. No mention of Jack Tramiel or Jay Miner or any of the other real founding fathers of home computing, of course. And that so-called "doco" made my gorge rise in exactly the same way this article did, and for the same reason.
Maybe Apple and IBM might have been big in the USA, and in business, but everywhere outside the USA they most definitely were not the machines that brought computing into the home. They were out of most peoples' price range, for starters, and they were primarily business-oriented than family-oriented.
The Commodore 64, more than any other computer was the machine that brought home computing into the mainstream. I grant that in the UK, the ZX Spectrum was also a major player which deserves its credit too, but the C64 was truly global in its reach. Back in the early 80s, IBM PCs and Apples were way too expensive for the average home user - I clearly remember disk drives selling for around 3 grand and complete systems in the 5-digit price range (bear in mind this is Australia, where everything is three times the price charged elsewhere.)
The C64 retailed at $500 when it first came out, and had dropped to $300 within a year. These were prices that your average family could afford, and the huge range of software available for it meant it was usable by the whole family. And perhaps its most important advantage over PCs and Apples of the day was that it could be plugged into the family TV set, obviating the need to buy an expensive (and usually monochrome) monitor and enabling colour computing on the cheap.
The Amiga was itself revolutionary, being far ahead of its time, and with its rival the Atari ST had a profound impact on home computing in the late 80s and early 90s. It was instrumental in bringing the home user up from the 8-bit into the modern 16- and 32- bit world, which was the norm right up until only a few years ago with the advent of 64-bit computing. Yet even the Amiga and Atari were successors, which would not have gained the penetration they did but for the home ground broken by the Commodore 64 - the little computer that could.
But now we have techno-snobs rewriting history, the same arrogant techno-snobbery that dismissed the Amiga and the C64 back in the day simply because they could play games, glorifying Apple and IBM, and not even granting a fucking footnote to the venerable C64. I tend to treat such articles with the same disdain and horror that Winston Smith reserved for stories about the war with
Eurasia Eastasia. Show me an article that tells it how it really happened, and I'll give it a lot more credence.
"all of it fake, all of it substandard quality."
Like the claim that pirated movies and games are inferior quality to the legitimate product, this is in most cases complete and utter bullshit. Just as pirate copies are usually just as good as the originals they were digitally ripped from, plus are better for having the DRM crap stripped out, so too the counterfeit items are often just as good as the real thing.
The reason is that what happens with name-brand fashion items (for example, Nike) is that Nike orders say 20,000 pairs of air-pump shoes from a Chinese factory, and the factory then pulls out a run of 50,000 pairs, ships the ordered 20,000 off to Nike and dumps the remaining 30,000 into street markets from Beijing to Phuket, or into mass drop-shipping websites at a tenth of the price. But the "fake" shoes, produced in exactly the same factory as part of the same run, are obviously identical to the legitimate ones. The only difference is that the IP owner hasn't been paid for them.
I see that China's name hasn't cropped up in the list of countries cooperating on this takedown. That's because a) China doesn't give a fuck about IP and b) stands to lose too much if it cooperated with such an effort. Of course, they make token gestures like arresting the odd street-market DVD pirate, but that's purely placatory; we all know that China's economy relies heavily on ignoring IP and selling masses of stuff at rock-bottom prices.
So the IP owners would gain more respect if they focused on the issue of counterfeiting resulting in Western job losses instead of the tired old "fake items are poorer quality" bullshit. Of course, that means they'd actually have to start re-employing Western workers instead of outsourcing everything to China if they wanted to regain a shred of credibility. At least then they'd have tighter control over production runs at home and could justify the higher prices with higher wages, but I guess having to pay workers a decent wage takes too much from the shareholders' fat wallets.
You pays your money and you takes your choice. Employ Westerners at high wages and save on anti-counterfeiting costs, or outsource to China and pay the difference in IP enforcement. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, really.
Re: What is a "natural right"?
Putting me in Robert Heinlein's shoes is a signal honour, for which I thank you, sir. Have a beer!
What is a "natural right"?
ALL rights are "granted by the state" or not; just ask a North Korean. Whether it's "infringement" or "theft" is ultimately irrelevant, since both are behaviours determined by the state to carry unpleasant consequences if you are caught.
In the end, the Universe grants you only one absolute right: the right of might. If you have the bigger muscles, the bigger spear, the bigger gun, the bigger bomb, the bigger army, you get to make the rules. Of course, the other side of that same right is the ability to evade that might. What we think of as law only exists because people with guns try to force you to obey it, and will use those guns against you if your refusal extends to the point of requiring their use to ensure your obedience. And laws are only able to be broken because people are able to exploit perceptive weaknesses in the people with guns to get away with it.
So in the end, all these arguments about theft and infringement are moot. You have a right to do both - a right granted by either your ability to evade detection or to fight back if you are caught. And, of course, your own sense of right and wrong as well.
John Whitehead gets it
"If you can start early in life getting people accustomed to living in surveillance society then in future it'll be a lot easier to roll these things out to the larger populace."
THIS, a thousand times this. THIS is what it's really all about. Training the kids to get used to living under constant police-state surveillance so it can be pushed on the public later on. This is why this insidious trend needs to be stopped now, by any means necessary. And people like John Whitehead are absolutely essential to this goal.
A $20 donation is on its way to The Rutherford Institute as soon as this comment is posted. And I don't even live in America, but people like Mr. Whitehead need to be encouraged in their endeavours.
I wonder if
Opening your own WiFi to public access makes you a provider and thus exempt to the new law? Simply set up a router with unencrypted WiFi, call it "Steve's Public Hotspot" and voila! Instant immunity to anti-piracy legislation!
Re: He is right.
Absolutely. There should be four versions of Windows for each of the kind of devices you describe. They could be called, respectively:
Windows Phone 8
Windows Surface 8
Windows Desktop 8
Windows Media Center 8
And Microsoft could then do us the huge favour of making them interoperable as well. What a novel idea...!
Re: Another intelligene challenged employer ... and employee
"And the employee should have known about the risks associated with posting politically incorrect opinions in public forums."
Fixed that for you.
@ Lee Dowling, Jaffa Man and others
In regard to the lack of low-blur, high-res zoomed-in images of UFOs:
Guys, I'm as skeptical about UFOs as anyone, but - have you guys ever actually tried focusing a mobile phone or pocket camera on a small flying object at a distance with enough precision to meet this requirement? Especially at a zoom level high enough to positively identify it. It's damn near impossible for anyone who isn't a professional photographer. Maybe a Hollywood-qualified cameraman with a studio-grade dolly camera could pull it off, but your average joe or jill with a mobile phone has Buckley's chance.
A few years ago, my brother and I bought a pair of those cheap RC helicopters that have been coming out of China of late. We flew them in a nearby park on a clear, sunny day with only a light breeze, and I attempted to film them using a $500 7 MP pocket camera with 5X optical zoom lens mounted on a tripod. My brother flew his helicopter, and I tried to film it.
Despite knowing exactly where the helicopter was and what direction it was moving in I could not capture anything other than a shaky pixelated blur even at full zoom - when I was actually able to track or frame the helicopter at all. Even the slight wind added enough random motion to the thing that it was impossible to track it with any real degree of accuracy. And I was using a tripod, remember. Filming an erratically moving distant object at high zoom is an extremely difficult endeavour at best. How much harder is it for someone with a hand held mobile phone trying to film a flying object whose size, trajectory and location isn't even known or predictable, at the same time as they might be freaking out going "WTF is that thing?"
Try it yourselves - have a go at filming passing birds or low-flying planes and see how good your footage is, and how well you can track them. It's not easy, as you'll find out if you give it a go.
If I ever saw clean, sharp, perfectly-tracked zoomed-in footage of a UFO I would call fake for precisely this reason. I'm more likely to give credence to a blurry, shaky video just because that's what anyone trying to film a 'real' UFO zipping about the sky would get.
@ The Big Yin
Absolutely. I have the same attitude as you do there. As I've posted elsewhere, my approach to Facebook is that I post nothing on there that I wouldn't sign on the countertop of a police station in front of an officer.
What I might post in El Reg comments threads, on the other hand...
You care too much about what strangers think of you. I take Aussie pride in being a pig in public.
When I drop my guts in public, I let it roar load and proud. Leaning to one side and lifting a leg during the release clearly identifies me to bystanders as the source as well as giving vastly improved echo and reverb. I do agree with your prognosis, though, that those plastic chairs are absolutely the best sounding boards for amplifying the anal rattle.
Given that this is behaviour one would normally expect of bogan (chav) schoolboys, seeing a 46 year old man (usually wearing office clothes) carrying on like this definitely gets a reaction. It works a treat when you're in a crowded bus or train and need a bit of space...
Re: This is why
Unfortunately you're going to have to put up with the likes of me whether you like it or not, while there's any semblance of freedom left. My ancestors fought and died so that I did not have to be afraid to speak my mind, even if doing so offended some people. Just as they also fought and died for your right to call me a spiteful little prick just because you don't agree with my views.
But you do not have the right to ostracise me from a community or force me into military service just because I don't conform to your specific brand of arrogance and self-righteousness, not to mention your gutlessness in not posting under a trackable ID when you attack me. I put my money where my mouth is. Where's yours?
This is why
I only post on Facebook what I would be prepared to go down the police station and file as a statutory declaration. In fact, Facebook is simply my business page - I never put anything personal like an opinion on there.
I save personal opinions for more anonymous forums like 4chan, Listverse and the comments pages of El Reg, since it's generally illegal to have an opinion that differs from the politically correct norm these days.
Freedom my fucking arse. My brave ancestors fought and died for fucking nothing.
I agree, however...
...there should be a standard for these authenticators so you only buy one and they can be used on mutliple websites. Otherwise, what happens if everyone were to follow your idea as it stands, we'd end up with a thousand little digital dongles on our desks, carry bags and keyrings, and spend ages sorting out which one is supposed to be for which site/service. We need someone like ISO, ICANN or the W3C to define and design a standard two-factor authentication dongle that works everywhere via a set API.
@ Brewster's Angle Grinder
Of course they are. The fact is, nothing created after the formation of the Disney corporation will ever come out of copyright again as long as this vile company exists. And given its virtual monopoly of children's entertainment, it's no longer possible to boycott them or shield your kids from them any more. Disney, unfortunately, are here to stay, and that means the public domain is dead (or at least will never include anything written after the works of Verne or Wells.)
I find China's attitude a refreshing balance
to the culture of rentism that unfortunately has prevailed in the West. The erosion of right of first sale, the mentality of "it's not yours even though you paid for it", the avaricious principles of pay-per-view and pay-per-listen, the inherent idiocy of DRM, the destruction of the public domain, the pathetic squabbles over who is allowed to make rectangular objects, and the ridiculously ever-extending terms of copyright, have reached levels of stupidity that seriously need counteracting, and it's going to take a major power like China to do it.
Vive la difference, I say!
Wow. I'm glad I don't live in your world.
Make them pay for their stupidity, absolutely. Sack them even. But 15 - 20 years in prison for a bit of foolishness? You don't think that's even a teensy bit extreme? What do you advocate for people who write on toilet walls then? Death?
At least now we understand
why HP famously use half a rainforest's worth of cardboard and packing materials to ship a RAM stick. Looks like they had this sort of thing figured out years ago!
Re: I'd upvote all of you above....
I see where you're coming from, because this used to bug me as well, until I thought about it. I can also see a reason why El Reg does that with the voting buttons, and I would actually suggest that they NOT change the way the voting works.
I'm perfectly sure that the coders of the Reg's site are more than capable of using AJAX to make voting seamless and instantaneous, like a Facebook Like button, with no page changes, so it seems to me there's a reason that they haven't.
You said it yourself: "I'd upvote all of you above...if it wasn't for this dated voting system that takes me away from the page." What that really means is that votes, because of the effort required to enter them, have a value that making it quicker and easier to vote would diminish.
What you're missing is that the time and effort required to go through the voting process gives a value to the vote. If someone goes through all that page-refreshing palaver involved with upvoting or downvoting someone's post, it means that they consider your post worth the time and effort involved in doing so. And that gives the vote value and meaning. Which means that when I see 25 upvotes on one of my posts, it means that at least 25 people went to the trouble of reading my post, and agreed with it or liked it to the point where they spent the time and effort of clicking through a cumbersome voting system to express their approval.
It also gives weight to downvotes in the same way: if you have a lot of downvotes, it means you've annoyed that many people to the point that they felt it necessary to go through the voting rigmarole to express their disapproval. This is exactly why people on these forums complain about downvotes - because they know that as a result of the time involved in giving one it has a value that a casual AJAX-driven-one-click-instant dislike does not have. I myself only go to the trouble of downvoting posts if I feel the poster is a complete idiot who has pissed me off enough to go to the bother (and which makes the feeling of downvoting someone that much more satisfying!)
So I'd say to El Reg: Keep the voting system exactly the way it is. It gives value to the votes because of the time and effort required to submit them, in an age when quick'n'easy one-click solutions have become all too common!
Re: I don't know about the whole calander
Actually it looked to me very like a DAZ|Studio / Poser render, in fact the face reminded me a lot of FRAD's models for Victoria 4 sold on Renderosity . I've rendered better pictures than that with Cinema4D!
Definitely Uncanny Valley material there.
Gabon cannot serve as a platform ... used by unscrupulous people
Is that so? Then perhaps, Mr. Bendover Minister, you can explain that to the hordes of 419-scamming scum operating out of your tinpot third-world country and "unscrupulously" ripping off thousands of innocent pensioners. Or is it simply that the dicks of poor pensioners can't penetrate your posterior orifice quite as deeply as Uncle Sam's can?
He's got some work to do to beat human fingers though
My 6-year-old nephew can sort Skittles and Smarties a damn sight faster than that machine does it!
At least you have the option to buy them.
Here in the People's Nanny State Republic of Ausfailia, the government, in its never-ending quest to wrap us all in the cotton wool of paranoid safety, has classed all lasers over 1 mW as controlled firearms, and it's illegal to own, sell or import them into this pathetic fucked-up cuntry (spelling slip intentional).
Just another reason why I recommend against coming to this police state on holiday. Go to China instead. There's more to see, it's more free and you're actually allowed to own lasers there.
Re: My life now has a purpose!
As to who the kids of the future will remember, was Neil Armstrong the first man to fart on the moon, or was it "Buzz" Aldrin - thus earning the latter his nickname?
"...force millions of innocent people to change their passwords."
Which is a GOOD thing, no?
Re: I for one am waiting...
Downvoted for posting a link to a geolocked video. Fail.
I liked Bad Vlad for throwing those feminist pop singers into the gulag. It sent a strong message that the kind of man-hating bullshit prevalent in the West won't be tolerated in Russia. +1000 points.
However he loses that for pushing an internet censorship regime, and more so for using the think of the children excuse, which puts him on the same level as Conroy. -1000 points.
Since I despise censorship about as much as I despise feminism, I guess that puts Bad Vlad back to zero in my book. Which means he's still better than Conroy or Gillard, but I would no longer prefer him as a leader over say Nick Xenophon (who remains my favourite politician!)
Not only that
There's talk of pioneers like Babbage and Flowers but no mention of Ada Lovelace or Alan Turing? WTF El Reg?
Joining El Reg in boycotting Red Bull
I don't drink Red Bull anyway, since the stuff tastes like putrid 10 year old cough medicine, so you can consider me a supporter of the cause Lewis!
@ Captain DaFt
I also like spiders, but living in Australia I'm fairly choosy about what species I allow to cohabit with me. Redbacks and White-tails, for example, die upon detection.
My favourite kind is the Huntsman spider, a common household species in Adelaide. They're definitely in the huge-'n'-hairy category, averaging 3 inches across the legs with a fat bulbous body more than an inch long. They look horrific, but they're completely non-poisonous and harmless (although if you piss them off they can inflict a painful bite). These I'm quite happy to have around the house, since they get rid of the flies and mozzies that are a perennial problem here.
What I most like about Huntsmans is they don't build webs, so they don't clutter up your place with scruffy spider silk wall hangings. Instead, they lie quietly in a corner until a fly or moth or mozzie flies near them, then they teleport themselves to the location of the prey insect, knocking it to the floor, and scoff it down then and there. "Teleport" is the only way to describe the speed with which these spiders jump to snatch prey, and it can be a bit disconcerting to watch, but I have yet to have one land on me - they choose their launch vectors wisely!
Want to see what one looks like? Have a look at this! (WARNING: horrible-huge-'n'-hairy alert!)
I'm with you on that Nick
Regardless of any previous "appearance" of the Pandaren in WC3 (as someone pointed out it was a joke), the jarring transition from a "Lord of the Rings / D&D" style epic fantasy world to a Pokemon / Kung-Fu Panda playground was too much for me. I loved the feeling of immersion, of being transported to another world, because of that "epic otherworld" D&D feeling Azeroth created. Now it feels like a Disney movie.
Which is why I cancelled my account as soon as I got confirmation that an old April Fool's joke from years ago was to become canon. Goodbye WoW. It was awesome while it lasted.
I can't believe nobody has commented on this.
Looking at the picture in the article, it seems to me that the Kindle looks a LOT more like the iPad than the Samsung Galaxy or Slate. Round corners, black, even the same aspect ratio as the iPad.
So why aren't Apple suing Amazon's arses off for billions like they did with Samsung? Surely that Kindle must violate dozens of Apple's rectangular-round-cornered-object patents?
Of course, it couldn't be anything whatsoever to do with the fact that Amazon is also an American company, could it?
Re: "Playboy" magazine, where many science fiction stories appeared.
See? I told you I only read Playboy for the articles!
Can anyone spell
Seriously, doesn't Disney have enough fucking control over popular entertainment without giving them control over yet another iconic franchise? Try finding ANY kids' program that ISN'T owned by them, directly or indirectly. Surely there has to be some kind of anti-monopoly limit to how much of popular culture Disney is allowed to own.
Please. Just please. Does ANYONE have the bollocks and the money to take Disney on over this? I'll donate what I have to the cause.
"In a somewhat novel argument"
"Stoner said because NBN Co would be paying NSW less than the state wanted for access, consumers’ power bills would rise."
Oh look - humans breathe out CO2. Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - a politician farted. Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - Australia has three 'A's in it - Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - that cloud looks like a teddy bear. Power bills have to rise!
This shit is why South Australia has the most expensive electricity in the world. Electricity prices have MORE THAN FUCKING TRIPLED here in the last 5 years. This is corruption, graft and outright fucking theft at the highest levels, and the greedy foreign companies responsible need to be brought to account NOW.
That's why I'm voting for Nick Xenophon - he's pushing for a royal commission into the corruption that has led to this farce.
by then the USA will have become the next 50 provinces of China.
Excuse me, is this yours?
You dropped your icon. I found it on the floor next to where you posted your comment.
LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU
People who deliberately block out political discussion should forfeit the right to vote if they're that disinterested. The last thing I want is uninformed and possibly self-righteous idiots who refuse to acknowledge or discuss important political issues, deciding who gets to make laws governing my life.
You stop reading, you don't comment. Deal?
The gag so old it's new again!
That wasn't a typo James
It was what is known in the trade as a "Freudian slip". A very good example of one too, I might add! ;-)
I maintained, loudly and often on this very forum, several years ago when the Orwell scandal broke, that I would never buy a Kindle and I have never wavered on that since. This story simply vindicates and strengthens my stance.
When my dad, who is an avid bookworm, talked about buying a Kindle, I warned him off and convinced him to buy a Nook instead. I've also convinced more than a dozen other people not to buy Kindles in that time, and will continue to do so.
It might not seem like much, but if each of us do our part in warning others off the Kindle we can really hurt Amazon's sales and send the bastards a strong message that this behaviour will NOT be tolerated. I take pride in the fact that I've already cost them potentially thousands of dollars in lost sales and will continue to cost them thousands more until they get the fucking message.
their electricity bills triple because of it. We'll see how many of them still believe in AGW when they can no longer afford to run their shinies any more.
Re: Malware authors ....
7) All of the above, and take your time about it too.
This thread enticed me to go out to my garage and take stock. Let's see...
2 x Amiga 500s, one with a half-meg expansion board still in it.
1 x 52 MB GVP side-mount hard drive for said Amiga 500.
1 x Amiga 1200, with 68060 racer board and 32 MB of RAM on it.
1 x tower case with 3 320 MB SCSI HDDs in it, to hook up as external storage device to said A1200. Yes, I was the first in my group of friends to have ONE WHOLE GIG of storage space!
4 x plastic disk boxes with dozens of 3 1/2" Amiga floppies in them... Oooh, The Settlers! I loved that game! And Elite Frontier... Damocles... Shadow of the Beast (1 and 2)... Menace... Sidewinder... Blood Money...
2 x boxes of assorted cables and power bricks, none more recent than 1993ish. Centronics leads, RS-232 cables and connectors, SCSI adapters and those super-wide ribbon cables they used; the 5-pin DIN-type leads the C-64 used, Amiga and C64 power bricks...
1 x Commodore 64 C w/ Datel Action Replay 6 and DolphinDOS.
1 x 1541 5 1/4" floppy drive (the ORIGINAL kind with the push-in door) and DolphinDOS.
1 x MPS-803 dot-matrix printer for same, with cartridges
1 x 14400 baud unbranded modem w/ cable
1 x 56k baud Motorola modem w/ cable
Assorted cartridges for said C64 including Hesmon, Epyx Fastload, Cockroach Graphics Pirate and Freeze Machine.
8 x plastic floppy disk boxes with all my old C64 games and crackscene demos on them. Oooh, some old favourites: Bugaboo The Flea, Henry's House, Zaxxon, Wizardry, Elite, Mercenary, subLogic Flight Simulator II...
4 x boxes of old Commodore User, Your Commodore, Ahoy! and Australian Commodore and Amiga Review magazines. And there's that old cover tape with the R1D1 game on it!
Awwwww look... My dear old Sinclair ZX81, my first computer, complete with 16KB Expansion Cartridge of Don't Fucking Sneeze Near It Or It Will Crash. And my beloved old VIC-20, complete with Maths Invaders, Typing Tutor and that tape of crappy BASIC games that came with it... And is that my old Casio PB-100? My god, an old desktop office cassette recorder... wow, this is becoming an archaeological dig here...
Ethernet cables and old wireless mice indeed! Bah! MY garage is a veritable computing museum!
At 32, you are a slip of a lad, but at least you've not far to go now.
When you pass 40 sunshine, then you can finally put your youth behind you and become a miserable old bastard like the rest of us.
Now GET OFFA MY LAWN!
redbacks, funnelwebs, brown snakes, taipans, box jellies and all the rest of our indigenous deadlies don't fucking FLY... (Except possibly for the drop-bears, and even those only travel more-or-less straight downwards out of the trees!)
I voted for Moore
I grant that Connery was certainly the better actor, but to my mind James Bond is, first and formemost, an utter sleaze, a slimeball who worms his way into bed with every woman in the story - and IMO it was Moore who carried the "sleazebag" style off better. He really did come across as utter slime. Connery's suave, sophisticated Bond came off as seeming too "clean-cut" and genteel for what the character was supposed to be, which to my perception jarred with the "slipperiness" I expected from Bond.
As to Craig and Brosnan, they simply came off as common garden "action hero" types and while their performances were enjoyable, there was nothing to distinguish them from other action movies of the time, like Die Hard or the Bourne movies.
It's very simple
Any company caught "evergreening" is put into mandatory receivership, its entire assets are confiscated by the government, and the top line management including the CEO go to prison for 30 years.
That'll make the fucking greedy bastards think twice.
- Updated Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
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- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning