1198 posts • joined 10 May 2011
@ 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.
In my book
Hugo Drax was no villain. To me he was a hero and a martyr, who sadly failed in a noble endeavour. If I had his money and resources, I'd certainly do exactly what he tried to do - wipe the human plague off the face of the planet and replace them with a selected few - namely, non-religious people with at least a semi-decent education who aren't concerned with telling everyone else how to live their lives.
Only I wouldn't do it with mere poison gas from orbiting probes - there's NO substance toxic enough that a handful of bar-fridge-sized probes' worth would wipe out every last human on the planet (yes, I know about botulinum toxin, and no, those probes would not be an effective method of spreading it sufficiently.) My preferred technique would perhaps be a weaponised disease with the fatality rate of ebola and the contagiousness of the common cold, since most other forms of destruction (like my erstwhile favourite, grey goo) would wipe out all other life as well.
I 'm surprised Elliot Carver didn't get more votes - after all, he's the only one obviously based on a real-life villain, namely Rupert Murdoch. Now there's an evil megalomaniac despot if ever there was one.
Lack of media coverage of Gillard's feminist character assassination of Abbott?
What. The. Fuck.
Every fucking major news outlet carried the story front page for three days straight. You'd think Abbott was an evil woman-hating psychopath from the way she carried on. And these feminazis still aren't satisfied? What do they want, to burn him at the stake?
I'll be voting for Abbot now on fucking principle.
The reason malware won't work
on Windows 8 has nothing to do with "improved security" More likely it's everything to do with Microsoft taking us back to the 80s by removing multitasking - so the malware can't run in the background while you use another app. You know, the same reason why nobody was able to create a working virus on the Commodore 64 - because it could only do one thing at a time.
Well, Microsoft did write CBM BASIC V2. Maybe they're trying to get back to their roots. However I, and most of the rest of the computing world, have since moved on.
Re: Automatic recognition and targetting?
Don't shave off your beard! Try trimming it into different styles over time instead.
One thing I've found is that my beard (which I've had for more than 15 years) seems to fuck up Facebook's face-recognition software. This is because my beard keeps changing shape, altering the shape of my face as perceived by such software. As it grows, it "puffs out" around my lower cheeks and jowls, making my jawline look more square than when I trim it back. I also vary the style - sometimes I go for a professorial look, sometimes squaring the cheek line, sometimes letting it blow out to a "full bikie beard" look.
And when my mother posts photos of me on Facebook (she's a prolific Facebooker and has posted dozens of photos of me on there) it almost never auto-tags me (but it does my sister, mother and father, who doesn't have a beard) because in every new photo, my beard is a different shape to the last time.
I've noticed it mis-tags my brother as well, most likely because he also has a beard and varies his between muttonchops and goatee, among other styles. The one occasion I recall Facebook successfully auto-tagging me after Mum uploaded a new photo was when I had kept the exact same beard style for several months, with Mum uploading multiple photos of me in that time. After that I changed my style again, and for the next photo Mum uploaded it did not "recognise" me.
But if you shave off your beard, you'll give the software a chance to recognise the actual shape of your face, after which you won't be able to change it again (resculpting your jaw is a LOT harder than resculpting a beard!) and it could give the system a baseline. I don't know if that would affect the software's ability to recognise you if you grew the beard back at a later date, since I've had my beard continuously since the mid 90s and thus haven't tested it for this effect.
So keep your beard, but change the style every few weeks. Let it grow, trim it back, crop it to a goatee, grow it to a "professor" look, and so on. I've found this works a treat for fucking up Facebook's auto-recognition software and I can assume this'll hold true for police/surveillance software as well.
I wonder how long it'll be before the Western police states realise that face-recognition software can be thwarted this way, and start banning beards as being "unlawful disguises"?
Think about it a second
Mr. Ian M. Hurt.
I. M. Hurt. You, know, like I. M. Stupid or I. P. Freely?
that copyright is only for Big Business, not the plebs like you or me. Contrast the efforts by Big Media to remove right of first sale doctrine (currently under way in the USA) and establish century-long copyright term extensions, with the efforts by the same Big Media companies to strip copyright protections for photographers, so Big News networks can legally rip off their pictures as "orphan works" simply because somebody posted them on a website somewhere without credit.
Copyright isn't for us slaves, only for the masters. So "copyrighting" our movements wouldn't work. The only law is, you will give, give, give and they will take, take, take.
Re: Remember when Google first appeared...
I certainly remember what Google once was, and I agree with you that what it has become does not compare favourably.
Give DuckDuckGo a try. I've found it's quite similar to what Google used to be like back in the Altavista/Yahoo days, with loads of useful geek gadgets added on if you click over to their "goodies" page.
Re: Ten downvoters with no sense of irony, it would seem.
If you were being ironic, perhaps you did too good a job. Look up "Poe's Law" sometime, it'll explain your downvotes quite effectively.
Been a while since I last played WoW
My brother and I used to be avid players for quite a few years there. We canceled our accounts earlier this year when Blizzard decided to take the game from Lord of the Rings-esque epic fantasy to fucking Kung-Fu Panda.
On Star Trek Online and LOTR Online (our current MMOs of choice), we've seen quite a few players, many of whom, like us, defected from WoW, are now calling it "the MMO that lost its way." I wonder how many people bought the MoP expansion compared to say Wrath or Cataclysm. I'd be willing to bet the numbers are down on the previous two expansions.
Shame really. I have many fond memories of WoW, before the hipster idiots destroyed it by demanding all that pathetic panda shit.
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