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* Posts by Steven Roper

1375 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Big Data in creepy hook-up with big-game whales

Steven Roper
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Re: Games additication

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.

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Boffins spot 7 ALIEN WORLDS right in our galactic backyard

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

That would be

because Uranus / arse jokes are such old and obvious cliches that they've passed beyond boredom, let alone funny...

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Steven Roper
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Go

Make your own!

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.

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Girl gang targets Microsoft's Seattle stores for $5,000 theft spree

Steven Roper
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Paris Hilton

6 women and a man?

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.

Any takers?

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Russian ransomware strikes Queensland doctor

Steven Roper
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Training your staff properly

"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!

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Steven Roper
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The burned hand does indeed teach

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.

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This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

Steven Roper
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@ Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

"...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!

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Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps

Steven Roper
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Stop

"Top-three are horses, then cattle, then dogs."

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.

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New York invites designers to invent Future of Phone Booths

Steven Roper
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Re: @Nuke: (was: @Jake - @AC 07:19 (was: Phone booth?))

"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!

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Iran draws veil over lolcats, launches local YouTube knock-off

Steven Roper
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Re: "There should be a universal declaration of freedoms for all the peoples of Earth."

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.

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Long-distance robot makes landfall in Oz

Steven Roper
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irritatingly anthropomorphised... as “he”

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?

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China plans astro-farms on Mars

Steven Roper
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Re: Mandarin for triffid

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!

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Curiosity finds organics on Mars, but possibly not of Mars

Steven Roper
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Stop

Hang on a minute

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.

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Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

Steven Roper
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Stop

Re: This is victim blaming!

...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.

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Girlfriend 'tried to MURDER ME with her AMPLE BREASTS'

Steven Roper
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Re: All those who think this is funny

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.

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Steven Roper
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Flame

All those who think this is funny

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.

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Sandy Island does exist - on a 1908 chart

Steven Roper
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It might have been a cloud formation

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.

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Venus EXPOSED in predawn threesome with Saturn and Mercury

Steven Roper
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Pint

Re: Go on....credit Stellarium for the pic!

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...

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At LAST: The BRAIN-CONTROLLED helicopter

Steven Roper
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Thumb Up

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!"

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The early days of PCs as seen through DEAD TREES

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

@ 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.

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US & EU celebrate 'Cyber Monday' by seizing 132 websites

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

"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.

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Web users: We've got NO IDEA if we're stealing content or not

Steven Roper
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Pint

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!

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Steven Roper
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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.

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Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

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.

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YARR! Library Wi-Fi PIRATES can't be touched by Queen's men!

Steven Roper
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Pirate

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!

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Design guru: Windows 8 is 'a monster' and 'a tortured soul'

Steven Roper
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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...!

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Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

Steven Roper
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Stop

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.

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Mystery robot-bringing UFOs sighted by Indian troops on Tibet border

Steven Roper
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Stop

@ 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.

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Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

Steven Roper
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@ 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...

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Fart-buster underpants selling well among Japanese salarymen

Steven Roper
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Trollface

@ symbol_soup

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...

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Man, 19, cuffed after burning Remembrance poppy pic is Facebooked

Steven Roper
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Flame

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?

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Steven Roper
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Mushroom

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.

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Blizzard blasts 'frivolous' security lawsuit

Steven Roper
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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.

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UK's planned copyright landgrab will spark US litigation 'firestorm'

Steven Roper
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@ 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.)

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China's IP boss says West distorts piracy problem

Steven Roper
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Pirate

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!

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Walmart workers filmed playing iPad frisbee

Steven Roper
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WTF?

Re: punishment?

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?

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Steven Roper
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Holmes

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!

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Astroboffins spot smiley face on Mercury

Steven Roper
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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!

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Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Steven Roper
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Go

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.

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Kim Dotcom's new Mega site barred by Gabon

Steven Roper
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Flame

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?

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Who needs flying cars when we can robotically sort Skittles?

Steven Roper
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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!

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El Reg acquires wildly dangerous laser cannon (with lightsabre option)

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

Re: Lovely.

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.

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Martian atmosphere pristine, totally free of fart gas, reports Curiosity

Steven Roper
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Coat

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?

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Bonfire Night sets internet AFLAME: Anons claim PayPal, Symantec

Steven Roper
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Go

Re: IDIOTS

"...force millions of innocent people to change their passwords."

Which is a GOOD thing, no?

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UK iPad Mini FRENZY: Queues stretch SEVERAL FEET from till

Steven Roper
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FAIL

Re: I for one am waiting...

Downvoted for posting a link to a geolocked video. Fail.

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Russia launches internet blacklist to protect the kiddies

Steven Roper
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Devil

A pity

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!)

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A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Not only that

There's talk of pioneers like Babbage and Flowers but no mention of Ada Lovelace or Alan Turing? WTF El Reg?

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Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

Steven Roper
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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!

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MULTICOLOURED TARANTULAS found UP TREES in Brazil

Steven Roper
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Thumb Up

@ 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!)

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria review

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

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.

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