Get your terminology right!
"If labeling them 'trolls' or calling them 'cancers' gets the job done," he said, "I'm all for it."
Patent trolls are scumbags, but they're still 'trolls'. It's the patent lawyers who are the 'cancers' of our society.
1392 posts • joined 10 May 2011
"If labeling them 'trolls' or calling them 'cancers' gets the job done," he said, "I'm all for it."
Patent trolls are scumbags, but they're still 'trolls'. It's the patent lawyers who are the 'cancers' of our society.
I see the accusation of "strawman" is starting to be overused in these forums. In your case, it is an erroneous accusation: invoking worst case scenario is NOT a strawman argument since that scenario can occur and should be addressed. A strawman is where you describe a specific case in which the argumentative condition is so ludicrous as to destroy the credibility of the argument, which relates back to reductio ad absurdum.
In this case, defining the worst case scenario as being downwind of a volcano or containing toxic emissions from a hot spring is a valid comparison, since both of these conditions do regularly occur on this planet and represent grave hazards to living organisms exposed to them. That's not the bottom line you want defined as the limits imposed on pollution.
Here in Australia we don't have deer, at least not in the wild. What we have instead are kangaroos and wombats. Kangaroos are about the same mass as deer (at least the big grey plains ones are) but, unlike deer, they tend to stand upright, like people. Which means that when you hit them at speed, they are much more likely to bounce over the bonnet and smash through your windscreen than simply mangling your radiator and front end, with obviously deadly consequences.
And wombats are just evil. About the size of a stocky fox terrier, they look deceptively small and vulnerable, but they have the structural solidity of a large house brick. If you hit one, it will rip out your sump, gearbox, tailshaft and/or diff, and walk away without a scratch, leaving you with a written-off car and a very long walk home!
Part of the problem as well with clearing vegetation, is that we have a huge number of tree-hugging greenie do-gooders in this country who kick up stinking blue murder every time even one tree gets cut down, let alone clearing a 200m exclusion zone.
Never mind that there might be a billion other trees just like it, or that peoples' lives and property might be at stake; according to these hippy fuckwads, not a single tree must be allowed to fall, for any reason whatsoever. In fact, more trees must be planted, preferably at any hilltop lookout with a view, because to these idiots, more trees are more important than anyone actually being able to enjoy a view of the countryside - or even the night sky.
...365.256 days is only true if you're measuring the sidereal year (fixed star to fixed star). And it's 365.256363004 as of epoch J2000.0 to be precise... a ten-millionth of a second's accuracy is still a measurable period of time after all! And what about the tropical (equinox to equinox) year of 365.24219 days, or the anomalistic (aphelion to aphelion, or more generally any apsis to apsis) year of 365.259636 days? Which "year" are we referring to exactly?
No wonder Pen-y-gors can't remember! ;-)
I know, right? I mean, steering wheels and accelerator/brake pedals are just so 1890s aren't they?
Car manufacturers should get with the program and build cars that you steer by sliding your finger left and right, and accelerate and brake by sliding your finger up and down, on a touch-sensitive pad hidden conveniently out of sight under the dashboard. Then you can control the car with just ONE FINGER leaving your other hand and both legs free for more important things than driving!
So much more efficient and innovative than the ancient and antiquated steering wheel and pedal crap, no?
And don't even get me started on that goddamned stone-age circular design shit we're STILL using for wheels...
Given that, to me, NomNomNom appeared to be taking the piss out of young-earth creationists, I would surmise that those who downvoted him/her:
1) Were born without sarcasm detection mechanisms; or
2) Possess a sense of humour incapable of comprehending much beyond knock-knock jokes; or
3) Are themselves young-earth creationists who don't appreciate people taking the piss...
I personally found NomNomNom's post sufficiently amusing to bring a smile to my face, although it's admittedly not exactly side-splitting material. Doesn't justify a downvote in my book though!
This is the right idea, but the problem is these people are running on a timer and if you haven't come back after 30 seconds, they'll hang up and move on to the next one. While many people doing this to them does add up, I have a more fun, time-wasting and effective method.
I take calls on my computer hands-free so I can keep working while someone is on the phone. Now these telemarketers speak from a script, which means that they say predictable things at predictable intervals. Based on this principle, I've created an MP3 file which runs something like this:
"Oh I see...[5 second delay]...Uh huh...[2 seconds]...Really?...[4 seconds]...I sorry, I missed that, say again?...[6 seconds]...Sounds interesting..." etc. etc.
As soon as I cop a telemarketer, charity/political caller, or whatever, I simply switch the phone input to this MP3 and cut the output sound off so I can't hear it, and return to whatever I was doing. My phone software has an icon in the systray that indicates when the person hangs up, and also records the length of time of the call.
It's quite entertaining seeing how long my MP3 can keep the caller on the line before they realise they are talking to a recorded message. Most seem to figure it out and hang up after two or three minutes, but I've seen at least one run over 15 minutes before he caught on!
The fun is in tweaking the MP3 so my responses are statistically more likely to time with the pauses in the telemarketer's pitch, thus keeping them convinced they're talking to a real person for that much longer. This is a much more satisfactory wastage of their time than simply putting the phone down, since I've had very few hang up in less than the 30 seconds they give you waiting for you to come back.
One thing to keep in mind if you try this, though - make sure your sound file DOES NOT have you saying "yes" or "I agree" or anything like that, or it just might be taken as an agreement to whatever they're pushing and lumber you with something you don't want!
So that'll be HAM mode as on my old Amiga 500 then...
What Anonymous wants, in essence, is the right to take down my websites, destroy my business and my livelihood resulting in me having to lay off my staff, whose own livelihoods are then ruined, with absolutely no recourse for myself to prosecute those responsible.
And all on the say-so of some shitbrained little internet vigilante who might mistake my business for some other arsehole's scam, with no trial, no evidence, just hearsay on some Twitter feed?
You can fuck that idea off right bloody now.
This is exactly why judges, magistrates, and those selected for jury service, should not be allowed to own shares in private or public companies.
A. Coward, may I point you to a particularly apposite line in Star Wars: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers!"
It is clear and evident that harsh punishments, like those inflicted on Jammie Thomas et. al, have done nothing to deter piracy. Hadopi laws, such as have been enacted in France and New Zealand, have done nothing to deter piracy. History clearly shows us that oppression and tyranny of the sort you are advocating merely results in resistance, underground networks, and the inevitable undermining and collapse of the empire that has instituted it. Your belief that human nature can be cowed into submission by threat of force and punishment would be sad if it were not so fucking pathetic.
So please piss off, grow yourself a few brain cells, learn a few things about human nature and elementary psychology, and if and when you are capable of understanding the concept of human beings existing as something more than programmable robots, you might find that some of us humans might actually give ear to your rantings.
Until then, enjoy your downvotes.
More ammo for me to strike fear into the hearts of the few die-hards I haven't yet been able to convert to Firefox or Opera from using IE.
With this one I can be more subtle in my conversion attack: I can simply say "Look, just make sure you close all other IE windows and tabs before using your bank because of [the issue in this article]", instead of the more sledge-hammerish "Why are you still using that insecure and user-unfriendly pile of shite!?!"
(Also, I don't want to just preach Firefox, but I don't encourage using Chrome because of Google's spying and malware-like distribution methods, nor Safari because... well, it's Apple. Which pretty much leaves Firefox and Opera as my only reasonable mainstream choices. So I recommend to a user to try both and run with the one they prefer.)
You've already decided the man's guilty. You know, "men" like you make me sick.
Look, I know our politicians suck. I know they're in the pockets of amoral and corrupt corporations, I know our governments are liars and crooks, I know the greedy bankers etc. etc. etc. I share your anger and your pain.
But just stop and take a look at what NK's leadership actually is compared to ours before you start proclaiming that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Answer me this: If you're going to be bitten, would you rather be bitten by a dog, or by a viper?
And with China's space program moving apace we have some healthy competition up there at last...
Agreed. It would be a nice case of poetic justice if someone from ReVuln fell victim to an exploit that some other profiteer decided to sell to the lads from Lagos, and had their identity stolen, their credit cards maxed and their life ruined.
I've seen what identity theft does to someone's life, and I can only say that anyone who discovers such a vulnerability and fails to report it should be charged as an accessory, in the same way that (in Australia at least) someone who becomes aware that a child is being abused and fails to report it is charged as an accessory.
I'm also adamantly against the death penalty, but I must say that identity theft sorely tempts me to make an exception to that principle.
If the game playing behaviour satisfies the criteria of addiction, then yes, it is addictive. One of my sister's friends is a registered nurse and we had a conversation about addictive behaviours at a party recently. From what I can remember off the top of my head, the criteria of addiction she talked about ran something like this:
1. Impact on Daily Life: Does the subject's behaviour in relation to use of the addicting substance (in this case gaming) have an adverse impact on the subject's interactions with others, their work, or ability to perform basic living tasks?
2. Time / Resource Effects: Does the subject spend significant amounts of time and/or resources in obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of, the addicting substance?
3. Deceptive / Concealing Behaviours: Does the subject: a) attempt to conceal evidence of their use of the addicting substance from others; b) deceive or prevaricate when questioned about the extent of their use of the addicting substance; c) deceive or prevaricate when questioned about the means by which they source the addicting substance?
4. Deprivation / Withdrawal: Does deprivation of the addicting substance produce withdrawal symptoms in the subject, such as physiological distress, moodiness, uncharacteristic introversion, tantrums, or other inappropriate behaviours?
5. Self-Awareness of Addictive Behaviour: Has the subject made unsuccessful attempts to discontinue or limit use of the addicting substance, or expressed a desire to discontinue or limit such use?
I think there's more, but those are the essential points. The more "yes" answers there are to these questions, the more likely the person is to be suffering from an addiction. 3 or more "yes" answers apparently indicates that the person should seek professional help. So if someone's gaming habit is producing the above behaviours in them, I would call that an addiction.
Bear in mind this was from a party conversation, so you should do your own research to confirm this.
because Uranus / arse jokes are such old and obvious cliches that they've passed beyond boredom, let alone funny...
Why pay ripoff prices when you can easily make your own planetary Christmas tree ornaments as a fun project for the whole family?
Go here: http://eo.nso.edu/node/26
All you need is some polystyrene/plastic balls (I suppose you can use existing ornaments if you can't source these), some string, and the Waldseemüller maps on that page, designed to be printed out and wrapped onto a sphere. It provides complete instructions on how to make your own planetary tree ornaments.
Let me guess:
When this gang is caught, I've got 20 bucks that says the man's sentence will be longer or more severe than any of the womens', even if he isn't the ringleader. I've got another 20 bucks that says at least one of the women will get off without a prison term, but the man won't.
"Mum, Dad - If ANYONE rings you up asking about your computer, wanting to access your computer, or saying there's something wrong, don't listen to them, just immediately hang up. No matter who they say they are, Microsoft, your bank, the government, the police - doesn't matter. If it's about your computer, it's a scam. Just hang up. Same if you get any emails saying the same thing. Just delete them, even if they look official, even if they claim to be from your bank or the police."
That's all the training needed to solve that problem. It works as well for staff as for retired parents.
Incidentally, the other lesson I imparted to my parents was, "Mum, Dad - don't click on any links or open any attachments in emails, even ones from your friends. If you don't know who sent the email, just delete it. If you know who sent the email, ring them up first and ask if they sent you an email with such and such on it. If they say yes they did, then and only then can you click it or open the attachment. If they say no they didn't, phone me immediately and keep the email aside until I can look at it."
I've caught out several malware infections of my parents' friends with this method. It works out well for me too; while I don't charge my parents or their friends for the IT services I provide for them, it does ensure a good supply of nice single-malt Scotches for me come Christmas!
I call this "the 15,000 dollar lesson", because back in the 90s I failed to back up vital customer and invoice records, as well as essential work files, for a souvenir business I was a partner in. A hard drive failure one day obliterated the lot. Hundreds of postcard images (used in things like keyrings, fridge magnets etc) were lost, as well as our transaction, client and invoice records. Total costs resulting from the loss: 15 grand.
That was definitely a hand-burning experience. Backing up is not optional. I've never let it happen again since. I have the feeling, neither will this doctor.
"...the mere mention of crApple or an iProduct creates the same level of revulsion in me that walking on dog shit does..."
An upvote and Reg Literary Merit award to you, sir, for the most effective and truthful use of the words "Apple", "iProduct" and "dog shit" in one sentence. Well done!
As a long-time resident of Australia, I must respectfully disagree. You forgot Australia's deadliest critter.
"Top-three are drop-bears, horses and cattle..."
Remember, drop-bears kill more Australians than any other creature here. Too many people make light of this grave threat and forget to wear upturned forks in their hats for protection.
"Ironically, 999 used the second longest trip of all, just when you would want it fast."
Back in the 1970s, when I was a lad, rotary-dial phones were commonplace, and our family emigrated from England to Australia, one of the things that really bugged me as a 7 year old was why they made the emergency numbers the longest ones to dial.
This came up because Mum and Dad had taught my sister and I how to call for emergency and what to say if they weren't home. So Dad had taught me in England to dial 999 and to say my name, address and what was wrong.
Australia's is even worse - 000 is the emergency number here. So when we'd arrived here and Dad explained that the emergency number was now 000, I asked him, "Dad, if I have to ring these numbers fast because I'm in trouble, why do they make them the longest numbers to dial? Shouldn't they make it 111 so you can ring it faster?"
Dad, of course, didn't know. He guessed it was to stop people from dialling it by accident, but that didn't make sense to me, since dialling 111 on a rotary phone was just as deliberate an act as dialling 000, and not something you were likely to do "by accident."
These days with keypads everywhere of course it no longer matters, but I never did find out the answer!
There is. It begins thus:
Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
It goes on a whole lot from there, talking about freedom from slavery, oppression, injustice and war, and equal representation before the law, among other key points of liberty and jurisprudence.
Unfortunately the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights seems to be so much toilet paper these days. I can't think of even one country whose government actually abides by it.
I suspect, Richard, that had the company gynopomorphised (is that a cromulent word?) the robot as "she", that you might not have found it as "irritating". After all, is "she" not the pronoun that has been used for seagoing vessels since time immemorial?
That one piqued my interest.
Google Translate didn't produce anything for "triffid" when I tried (I assume its inability to do so is why you're asking!).
So I asked a Chinese colleague (who also happens to be a sci-fi buff) and she gave me 三個根 for triffid. Plugging that into Google Translate produces "three root" so I suppose that's as close as you're going to get!
How was that second photograph, the one of Curiosity showing the scoops from nearby the rover, taken? Who or what is holding the camera? Is there a second robot with a camera following Curiosity around taking pictures of it, or have NASA contracted with some Martian cameraman to take pictures? Inquiring minds want to know.
...and tell thieves not to steal, and rapists not to rape, and killers not to kill. Unfortunately, the real world has a propensity to ignore the proprieties. So people should still be prepared to defend themselves, be educated about the dangers of weak passwords, and the consequences of the potential identity theft that can result. That's not victim blaming, it's victim empowerment. Because identity theft is catastrophic and life-changing.
I've spoken with someone it's happened to, and having your identity stolen destroys your life. This person lost his job, faced charges including extortion, money laundering, attempting to import illegal weapons among others, which took him years to be acquitted of; he had to sell his house to pay the court and lawyer costs, and had to move cities because of the offences he'd been charged with. All because someone cracked an account and stole his credit card details and contact info.
It happens. So it's important that people be aware of the issues and take reasonable steps to protect themselves. It's just common sense.
I don't have a problem with the humour, and yes, I agree with you the situation is funny on its face. What I'm having a whinge about is the double standard that, if the genders were reversed, people wouldn't find it funny. Those double standards have made my own life hard on more than one occasion, why is why I get my dander up when I see it played out. Please don't think I'm a miserable PC arsehole (believe me I hate PC as much as anyone can), and I did smile when I read the article, but I couldn't let it pass without comment.
May I ask if you would be laughing so much if it was a woman pressing charges of rape because her boyfriend grabbed her head and rammed his tool down her throat during fellatio? Gotta love these double standards, eh?
Go onto Google Images and look up "mouth rape gif" with SafeSearch off. If you find those pictures funny, then you can laugh at this article. Otherwise, stop and think about what you're laughing at.
Yeah. I thought so.
Way back in 1974, when I was a wee lad, my family emigrated from England to Australia aboard the good ship SS Britanis. (In fact, we were among the last of the so-called 10-pound-Poms before the Australian government scrapped the program.)
One of the things I clearly remember from that voyage was seeing a long, low, line along the horizon that looked exactly like a distant littoral. Since we were in the middle of the South Atlantic at the time, about 3 days out of Cape Town, Dad asked one of the crew what island it might be, way out here. The crewman replied that it wasn't land, but a low-lying cloud bank (actually a squall line), and that such formations had in the past been mistaken for land. It was not uncommon, he explained, for old charts to indicate land, or sometimes just shoals and reefs, to warn unwary captains of this (nonexistent) hazard to shipping. It certainly looked amazingly land-like, as when you're far out to sea a distant hazed-out coastline forms exactly the same long, flat shape.
So in my experience, more than likely that's exactly what Sandy island was. It would explain why someone thought there was an island there even though the water is over a kilometre deep at that point. It would also explain the apparent size, as cloud banks can easily reach dozens of kilometres in length.
Stellarium is good, but I prefer Celestia myself. If I want to look at Venus and Saturn from an Earth-centric perspective, I need only go outside of an evening, as much as look it up on Stellarium. But if I then want to actually fly to Venus or Saturn and explore them in detail, Celestia is the way to go! (It also has very nice models of the ISS, Hubble, Cassini and Voyager for you to travel to / with.)
Not to mention its usefulness in checking out all the known exoplanets as well...
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!"
"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.
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.
Putting me in Robert Heinlein's shoes is a signal honour, for which I thank you, sir. Have a beer!
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.
"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.
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!
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...!
"And the employee should have known about the risks associated with posting politically incorrect opinions in public forums."
Fixed that for you.
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.
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...
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?
...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.
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.)