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* Posts by Steven Roper

1207 posts • joined 10 May 2011

British Gas bets you'll pay £150 for heating remote control

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

Re: Beware

And this was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the article, although with a different rationale.

Once again, the REAL reason behind all this remote control, is about taking control of your home, your devices and your life away from you and putting it into the hands of Big Business, while making it seem like a benefit to you.

Not only can British Gas or whatever company runs your setup now turn it on and off as they like, they also know exactly when you or someone in your house turns it on or off. Like the "smart meters" for electricity supply, it's one more piece of control over, and information about, your doings that they can use to profile you and draw conclusions about who you are and what you like.

I'm reminded of a passage in Orwell's 1984; something along the lines of the electric power being cut off during daylight hours "as part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week", and how Winston and Julia have a conversation about how the lights in Winston's flat are cut off at 11:30 pm, while it was 11 pm at Julia's hostel. On this, I can see the greenies and other AGW fanatics pushing for a mandatory Earth Hour or something - once these remote-control systems are ubiquitous, they'll push for everyone's lighting and heating to be cut off at certain times to "save the planet" or some similar bullshit.

And of course the government would be all in favour of doing something like this - though not to save the planet, but simply because, as Orwell so eloquently put it, one man asserts power over another by making him suffer. This endless ongoing deprivation and centralisation of control of our own lives is purely towards this end: We can take it all away if you do something we don't like.

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Finding the Twitter psychopath ratio

Steven Roper
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Re: I'm a sample of one ...

For me the problem isn't the "social" aspect. Like you, I have no problem with phones and email and other forms of communication, and I'm willing to embrace change and innovative new methods of communication as long as said methods don't require me to give up valuable information to those who have no business having access to it.

And that's the problem with social networking. With sites like Facebook and Twitter you're giving all that information to a third party - the company running the SN site. With emails and phone calls, it's just between you and the other party (unless you're being wiretapped or intercepted, but that's another story), and you have an expectation of privacy.

I don't want Facebook or Twitter or Google or any other SN to know who my customers are, because they'll advertise my competitors to them. I don't want them to know how much money my company is making, or what our business dealings are. It's none of their goddamn business.

With email and phone, it's just between you and the customer / supplier / contractor / whatever. Yet I just can't believe the sheer number of people who just don't give a shit about this anymore, and want to, and for me to, pour out everything about me, my company and my life to good old Uncle Zuck. Fuck that.

Call me a Luddite if you will, but I was raised with the idea that business transactions are private matters that other companies beside the one you're dealing with have no business getting involved in.

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UK judge hands Samsung win for being 'not as cool' as iPad

Steven Roper
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Go

Re: effectively claiming ownership of the ENTIRE CONCEPT of such a device

That's exactly what Apple want to do. If the corporate justice system gave them everything they wanted, Apple would ensure that they were the only source of any form of computing device on the planet. It's nothing to do with innovation and everything to do with absolute, megalomaniacal control of the information industry and all the information processed thereby. It's why they invented the "walled garden". It's why they invented the concept of remotely installing and deleting information on a device that you've paid for and thought you owned. Apple don't want anyone to own anything except themselves.

That's why I have zero tolerance for them and their fanboi supporters.

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Reg hack attempts gutsiest expenses claim EVER

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

@Evil Auditor re: Jealous?

Only, I'd imagine, in the same way you'd be jealous of a burglar who broke into your house and pinched your (or your wife's) jewellery.

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Mad fan-fitted mouse keeps mitts moisture-free

Steven Roper
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Coat

And women don't wank?

It's not really biologically possible. Women "shick", I think the term is...!

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Apple users get pricier hotel options from Orbitz

Steven Roper
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Go

That's how it's fucking done!

Show those retarded fanbois that their choice of product and support for Apple costs them money.

At our office, I do something similar: When I'm quoting jobs for customers, if I see the customer has a iPhone, iPod or iPad, I quietly apply my secret "Apple tax" to the quote, increasing it by anywhere between 10% - 30% over and above what a non-Apple user would pay. So far I've made our company more than 20 grand by ripping off Apple-using customers this way. It's just one more way we can strike back at the idiots that fund Apple's war on innovation by buying their products.

So I'm pleased to see others engaging in this kind of price differentiation. The more widespread the practice, the more people will get the message and start looking at alternatives to Apple.

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ITU denies plans for global internet power-grab

Steven Roper
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Re: ACTA didn't go as expected, then ...

Exactly. This was the first thing that went through my mind - this is about "intellectual property." A closed conference, with access only to privileged organisations, and no public-interest representation. Sound familiar?

My first thought there was that the "privileged organisations" would of course be the likes of the RIAA, MPAA, IFPI, BPI, BREIN and the other copyright pigopolists whose DRM-pushing, region-locking, pay-per-use agenda would be on top of the pile.

Sigh. Let the protesting begin... yet again...

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TPG hit with AUD$2m fine

Steven Roper
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Stop

You're forgetting

that Australian judges all own shares in Apple.

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No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it

Steven Roper
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@ Graham Dawson Re: Product placement

My personal favourite piece of product placement is in Total Recall, when Richter and his goons are tracking down Arnie through the subway, on the Johnnycab and into the abandoned factory. Arnie has a bug in his head which broadcasts his location, and the portable tracking monitor used by Richter's sidekick to follow it is very clearly made by Casio.

I always thought that was a funny piece of product placement, as if Casio wanted be known for making Big-Brotherish spying and tracking gadgets at a time when they were more famous for watches, calculators and portable synthesisers. That such a gadget was ostensibly made and marketed by a mass-market consumer-electronics company like Casio, instead of a defence contractor for example, suggested to me that the use of such devices was widespread in the era depicted in the movie, and I imagined that there might be hundreds of people in the crowds walking around with Casio spy-bugs up their noses.

Which leads me to the humourous aspect of this particular piece of product placment: that Casio was depicted as the manufacturer of tracking gadgets of such utter cheap-crappiness that they could be defeated by simply wrapping a wet towel around your head!

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Are you a hot BABE in heels and a short skirt? SCIENCE is for YOU

Steven Roper
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You're right, and I agree with you, but...

...you're forgetting the War on Men that this sort of thing is designed to be a part of.

Consider the screaming outrage if somebody published a video called "Teaching: It's a Guy Thing". Ooooh boy! Yet in most Western countries, men are significantly underrepresented in the teaching industry. But letting all those nasty perverted paedophile men near children is always a Bad Idea, right? I know because a few years ago in Australia there was a campaign (albeit an extremely brief one) to get more men into teaching roles, and the feminists went absolutely apeshit. Needless to say the campaign was hastily and quietly shelved.

So when looking at these things, always remember that if it has any benefit for men, it's evil and must be prevented. Only if it's of benefit to women (or non-white ethnicities, but that's a whole other story) is it publicly acceptable.

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Top US Senator to Apple, Google: 'Curb your spy planes'

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: ?

D'oh Jesus. Way to miss the fucking point!

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Steven Roper
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FAIL

Re: ?

Excuse me, sir. I have discovered some pictures of you sunbathing naked with a woman who is clearly not your wife. In order for me not to bring this matter to the attention of your wife, please enclose a wire transfer or cash money order for $US 10,000.00 (TEN THOUSAND US DOLLARS) with your response to this communication...

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Can't watch Flash vids in Firefox? It's not just you

Steven Roper
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Pirate

@Elmer Phud

No, more likely he's a pirate, because the officially licensed paid-for version of Photoshop would, in the grand tradition of treating one's customers as criminals, likely be so encumbered with DRM, product activation and usage enforcement measures, as to be practically unusable. Contrast that with the cracked and pirated version, which has no DRM or phone-home crap, and is eminently faster, more efficient, stable, reliable and less bloated as a result.

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Mad Apple patent: Cloneware to convince trackers you don't like porn

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

And Apple have got a bloody nerve

going on about Big Brother when they ruined the whole IT world with their invention of the walled garden, we-tell-you-what-you-can-put-on-your-device mentality, and their whole fucking control-freak behaviour.

But it fits their dictatorial aspect I suppose, to be seen "doing something" about Big Brother, maybe they think that intelligent people (as opposed to their fanboi pets) won't see them for what they really are.

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CAPTCHA-busting villains branch out from spam into ID theft

Steven Roper
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Stop

Yes it is a bad thing

Encouraging Sharia law to deal with cybercrooks is definitely a case of curing the disease by killing the patient.

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'Zombie bullets' fly off US shelves after wave of undead attacks

Steven Roper
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Go

Did nobody spot this?

“I mean, I’ve heard of guys who buy it just because they think the packaging is cool and they set it on their cube and they don’t even own a gun,”...

I mean, what kind of workplace (other than a gun shop!) would allow you to display a box of LIVE FUCKING AMMUNITION around the office? Jesus, the 'Elf 'n' Safety mob would have a fucking field day, not to mention the cops hauling your arse down the station for endangering the public or enabling terrorism or something.

But then, I live in the Nanny-State Commonwealth of Ausfailia, where we have many people similar to the pathetic hand-wringing AC @ 11th June 2012 16:05 above, and where such behaviour would indeed create a major scandal. I'm guessing in American offices you can stack boxes of bullets 20 deep beside the coffee machine and nobody would bat an eye...

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Facebook changes data-use policy despite 87% poll opposition

Steven Roper
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Stop

Re: Since when does the product have a say?

Actually, having done design work for supermarkets in my dim and distant past, I can tell you that the product - or at least the product manufacturer - does indeed have a say.

For example, if a supermarket wants to stock Heinz baked beans, then they put in an order to Heinz or their appointed distributor for a wholesale consignment of cans of beans. A representative from Heinz then comes out to the supermarket and discusses with the management team concerning the most appropriate display and presentation for the product.

The Heinz rep will want to know in which aisle the beans are to be placed, how the cans are to be stacked (e.g. placed with a certain side of the label facing out, cans to be stacked so many high, etc) and also organise the positioning of any product-specific display stands, gondolas, promotional posters,and so on. Only when both the supermarket management and the Heinz rep are in agreement on product presentation and display will Heinz then ship the first consignment to that supermarket.

If you've ever stood at the cigarette / service counter of a supermarket, you may have noticed a clipboard on the counter with sign-in/sign-out sheets for the representatives of various product manufacturers. These reps visit the supermarket regularly to ensure their product is being displayed as per agreed specifications, check that the product hasn't been tampered with, all units are still within use-by date, and to provide updated promotional materials. So the manufacturer has a definite say in how the product is presented and sold in the supermarket.

To return to the Facebook analogy, then, the user is NOT the product. The product is the user's personal data, which is what Facebook sells to advertisers; the user in this case is the product manufacturer. And just as Heinz et. al. have the right to say how their product is to be presented and sold by supermarkets, I claim the right to a say in how my product - the data I provide - is presented and sold by Facebook.

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Flexible Willow glass displays thin and curvy gadget future

Steven Roper
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Stop

Re: question

iPhones won't have roll-out screens because fortunately Samsung beat Apple to the flexible-screen patent, and given Apple's recent patent megalomania, I don't think Samsung are likely to share. Which IMO serves Apple right.

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Advertisers slam Microsoft over 'Do not track' decision

Steven Roper
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Use of "Lawful" in this context - a clarification

"Lawful" in this context (its Dungeons & Dragons meaning, that is) doesn't necessarily mean "acting in accordance with the law". A "Lawful" entity - as opposed to a "Chaotic" one - is simply an entity that follows a set of principles or code of honour, not necessarily the same ones as the laws of the land.

For example, a Thief steals from people, thus breaking the law, but obeys the rules and principles of the Guild of Thieves, thereby being a Lawful character even while being a criminal. This is why you can have "Lawful-Good" and "Lawful-Evil".

By contrast, a Chaotic character acts impulsively, without recourse to a guiding code or set of principles, whereby you might have the bumbling, clumsy-but-means-well cleric (Chaotic-Good) or the rampaging, destroying demon (Chaotic Evil).

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LOHAN sucks Reg reader's instrument to death

Steven Roper
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16-bit integers in FS II on the Amiga

That reminds me of a similar exploit in Elite: Frontier on the Amiga. That game used unsigned 16-bit integers to compute interstellar distances with each increment representing 1/100th of a light year. This meant that if you set your hyperdrive to jump to a system exactly 655.36 (or a multiple thereof) light years away, the jump would take zero time and apply zero "wear" on your hyperdrive, allowing you to use it for much longer without having to pay for "maintenance".

I remember my friend and I then wrote a program in Blitz Basic on the Amiga to compute Pythagorean jump coordinates for all the major systems in Elite: Frontier. For example, if you wanted to jump from Lave to Facece, our program would find you a system as close to (but not less than) 655.36 light years away from both Lave and Facece as possible, allowing you to hop between the two systems in virtually zero time and with no wear on your hyperdrive.

As a result, we were able to get from the Eagle starter ship all the way up to a fully-equipped Panther Clipper with a Large Particle Accelerator in less than 3 in-game months!

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Google to show China what it's missing

Steven Roper
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Stop

And pray tell

If not the main oligarchy of Labour and Conservative / Labor and Liberal / Republican and Democrat, who would you have people vote for? The Greens, who would have us all heading back to the caves as hunter-gatherers? The BNP / Australia First / National Front, who would hang anyone with non-white ancestry? Or one of the many single-issue parties like the Sex Party or the Pirate Party, who would focus on their single point of interest to the detriment of the rest of the structure of civilisation?

People aren't sheep. They just don't have anyone worthwhile to vote for. If a party came along and offered a balanced perspective whereby the needs and well-being of the public is respected as opposed to the crony corporatism we are burdened with today, we'd be onto a winner. But sadly, there is nobody like that - in any country.

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1930s photos show Greenland glaciers retreating faster than today

Steven Roper
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Trollface

This is interesting

"Other scientists have said recently that late-20th-century temperature rises in the Arctic may result largely from clean-air legislation intended to deal with acid rain: some have even gone so far as to suggest that rapid coal- and diesel-fuelled industrialisation in China is serving to prevent further warming right now."

So, as I see it, AGW is happening because we've stopped pumping shit into the atmosphere? Now that's AGW I can believe in. Let's bring back the old mile-per-gallon big-block V8s and get those factory chimneys belching!

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Publishing barons: Free speech a 'cloak for tawdry theft'

Steven Roper
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@Ben Tasker Re: They don't have fundamental rights

A very good post, upvoted.

You mention pricing as a problem, and while for some it is, I don't see it as being the major cause of infringement. The major problem is, first and foremost, geolocation, region-locking and restricted regional releases, and secondly, the problems caused for legitimate customers by DRM primarily designed to enforce the same restrictions.

This restriction-by-region is the biggest piece of two-faced hypocrisy on the part of Big Media in history. They extol the advantages of globalisation when it lets them outsource jobs to third-world countries for cheap labour, putting millions of people out of work and wrecking the Western economy, but they don't want Johnny Public to enjoy the same benefits - such as being able to buy media cheaply from a third-world country or from the first country it's released in - and that is what region-locking is all about. It's OK for them, but not OK for us.

So this region-locking and geolocation bullshit has to stop. Big media has to be forced to understand that if they want to take they have to give as well. The internet has enabled globalisation for the whole world, and the unfair and idiotic notion of release by country no longer has any validity as a business model.

For example, I recently read a report that Australians are the biggest pirates of the popular fantasy series Game of Thrones. The reason is 1) it's only shown on Foxtel here, and Foxtel, the greedy bastards, exploit it by only making it available if you buy their most expensive plan - around $60 a month. But more importantly, 2) they only release each episode a week after its initial airdate.

This precludes Australians from all the online discussion in Facebook, forums and blogs that takes place after each episode airs. And that is the single major reason cited by people as to why they pirate the show. Not cost so much as location restricted release. Huge numbers said they would be willing to pay to get each episode if they could get it as soon as it aired, but they can't. So people can't talk about the show with their overseas friends online because of the idiocy of regional restrictions.

Once the industry wakes up to the fact that people outright refuse to be shafted by this hypocritical region-locking crap and accepts that simultaneous worldwide releases are the only way they're going to make any money from their work, the sooner the piracy problem will be reduced to insignificance and the sooner we can all move on from this stupid copyright war.

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Free Windows 8 desktop app development is dead

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Evaluating thumbs down

Lockwood didn't seem to me to be whining about being thumbed down, they were merely curious about what the reasoning behind being thumbed down might be. Which to me is a fair thing to ask - if someone goes to the trouble of composing and posting a comment and people downvote it, what's wrong with wanting to know why? If they made an error, at least point out what the error is so the person can correct their knowledge.

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Steven Roper
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WTF?

Re: Out of their minds

Say what?

"75% of all computers sold in recent years have been laptops, not desktops! "

Do you have a source for that statistic? Or, more likely, did you just pull that number out of your arse?

"...weirdoes out there still using desktops with mice would have us believe."

Erm... if only weirdoes are still using desktops with mice, then every single company we do business with at work, and the vast majority of of our customers, and my parents and friends, and their friends, in fact just about every single person I know must be a weirdo. Strange that.

I have a tablet PC and a laptop, and most people I've encountered have laptops, some have tablets, but all of them use these devices in addition to using desktop computers.

The keyboard/mouse combo is far from dead, Sean. In fact, it'll likely be around for many years to come, simply because it's the optimal way to interface with a computer. In pretty much the same way as the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal combo has been around now for coming up on a century, because it's the optimal way to control a car.

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Agriboffins' site downed by DDoS after GM protest

Steven Roper
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Thumb Up

Re: Luddites wanting us to move back to the caves

They do indeed.

See this El Reg report on the WWF's latest efforts if you want proof.

These tree-hugging idiots won't be happy until the whole human race has reverted to the chimpanzee stage.

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Self-driving Volvos cover 200km of busy Spanish motorway

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Worried

The most stupid thing about all this is the mass media hysteria that will ensue the moment something does go wrong with a computer driven car.

A meatsack driver crashing a car and killing someone is such a commonplace occurrence that it might - just might - be mentioned in a Page 35 police news boxout in the local rag.

The first time a computer driver crashes a car and kills someone, it'll be international front-page news on every two-bit rag from the Daily Fail to the New Jerk Times. Then there'll be the inevitable rants for this evil, destructive technology to be banned and restricted into uselessness, even though it will probably have killed less than a hundredth of the people that meatsack drivers kill every day.

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Trekkie wants to build USS Enterprise … in twenty years

Steven Roper
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Re: A journey to Alpha Centauri

Sean Ellis & Chemist: You probably have the right of it; I thought the energy requirement I'd computed seemed rather low, since I'd originally considered that the actual energy required would be a sizeable fraction of the Sun's entire output for several weeks' worth. I must have dropped a zero or three somewhere...

Unfortunately I didn't have time to check the figures and revise my calculations though, since I posted my original comment while at work, so I'll go with your revisions and agree that it's a Reg-unit fuckton of energy required to achieve this kind of acceleration!

As to a drive mechanism, the sort of thing I had in mind is what I call a RAP - Relativistic Accelerated Particle - drive. I imagine something along the lines of some kind of synchrotron based around a few hundred thousand tons of microscopic black hole, at which you fire ionised hydrogen nuclei (eg protons) almost tangentially to the black hole's event horizon. This would accelerate said protons to very close to the speed of light.

At such speeds, relativistic mass dilation comes into play, to the point where you could potentially increase the effective mass of a proton all the way up to a few kilograms. Then you fire said proton out the back, generating several kilograms of Newtonian thrust for the price of 1 proton. With such a system, an Olympic swimming pools' worth of hydrogen (perhaps stored as water or ammonia) would give you potentially years of 1G continuous thrust.

(BTW I hereby claim this post as prior art on this drive system to prevent some greedy bastard patenting it in future!)

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Steven Roper
Silver badge
Boffin

A journey to Alpha Centauri

at an acceleration of 1G would not take nine years.

As I've posted elsewhere in these forums, I worked out what would be involved relativistically in making such a journey, and came up with some fascinating concepts.

First, if you accelerate continuously at 1G (9.8 m/s/s), you will approach c in 354.3 days - 10 days shy of 1 year. Let's call it a year for ease of calculation.

So it will take you a year to get up to c and another year to slow down, meaning that the minimum Earth time for your journey will be at least 2 years.

So a journey to Alpha Centauri would, by our clocks, take about 6 years - 1 year to get up to speed, 4 years to cover the distance, an another year to slow back down at Alpha Centauri. (I know, I'm not factoring in the distance covered during acceleration / deceleration, but let's keep it simple!)

For the crew of the ship, however, the journey would take only slightly more than 2 years - because if they get close enough to c, that 4-year near-light-speed trip will be relativistically time-dilated down to almost nothing. At 0.999999c, 4 years goes by in a few minutes.

This holds true regardless of the objective length of the journey. A trip to Tau Ceti would take around 13 years by our clocks - 1 year speed-up, 11 year travel time, 1 year slow down. But for the crew of the ship, it would still only take 2 years, if you could get the ship close enough to c that that 11 years passes in a few minutes by relativistic time dilation.

The practical upshot of this is that for an interstellar voyage of any length - be it to Alpha Centauri or the far side of the Virgo-Coma Supercluster - the voyage, to the ship's crew, will always be slightly more than two years. Granted, for the latter journey, the Sun will have expanded to a red giant and gutted the Earth by the time they get back; but for them it will still have been only a 4-year cruise.

This is technically achievable with today's technology, with one small problem: accelerating a decently-sized ship at 1G for a whole year (and back down again) is going to suck a whole lot of energy. 1G comes out to about 10J/kg/s, so if we assume a GVM of 10,000 t for the ship, that's 10,000,000 kg x 30612245 s * 10J = 3,061.2 Terajoules of energy, and that's not accounting for the relativity-dilated mass of the ship near the speed of light.

As a comparison, the Earth receives 17,000 Terajoules of energy from the Sun every second, so while the energy requirement for the ship is large, it's not insurmountable. Once we master fusion or even anti-matter-matter reactions, we're on our way to the stars.

Just don't expect anyone you know to still be alive by the time you get back if you take a jaunt to anywhere further than Arcturus!

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World+Dog to demand ever larger tablet-phones

Steven Roper
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Go

Reminds me

of that episode of Corner Gas where Brent and Davis are having penis wars over who has the smallest phone. They keep buying smaller and smaller phones to outdo each other, until Wanda mocks them by calling them "small-phone", at which point Brent and Davis start toting 90s-style housebrick phones instead.

Brent Butt was a prophet. First the phones got smaller, now they're getting bigger again...

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SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

Steven Roper
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Devil

Re: Great but oversold?

"The biggest achievement of SpaceX is in doing what they've done at a low cost. That's the advantage of a private enterprise over a government programme. It's also the future of space development."

The only problem with that approach is that it starts with SpaceX and ends with Weyland-Yutani.

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The most dangerous job in America: Keeping iPhones connected

Steven Roper
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FAIL

Re: @Uncle Bernie

"And THIS attitude, folks, is why I detest racists and bigots."

Excuse me? Detesting Apple fanbois is racist now? How to undermine a cause over trivia!

There ought to be a Godwin's law for the word "racist".

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Steven Roper
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Mushroom

@Uncle Bernie

"As an iPhone user, I have to say I do not give a shit. They are lucky they are working."

And THIS attitude, folks, is why I detest Apple and its fanbois and refuse to allow them or their products on my property.

I hope your iPhone's batteries explode and blow your bollocks off, then I won't give a shit.

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Volvo claims V40 is first car with an airbag for pedestrians

Steven Roper
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Flame

Re: How much?

"To the point where I've now read that owners are buying parts to disable the pedestrian safety features."

And I'd like to see anyone who does that and subsequently kills someone, charged with murder - not manslaughter - because such an act is a deliberate and pre-meditated action intended to take a life in order to save the selfish bastard behind the wheel a bit of money.

Minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years, too. Is that worth saving a couple of grand to you?

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Ouch! Facebook slumps below IPO value on day 2

Steven Roper
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Re: Once upon a time...

Yeah, but that particular investment did eventually pay off as I recall, albeit only after a stiff climb and a few life-threatening situations endured by the investor.

Investing in Facebook on the other hand...

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Call of Duty hacker behind bars after college burglary

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

And when he gets out in 18 months or less

He can just nick over to Costa Rica where an untouchable fat bank account is waiting for him.

This is where you need an international vigilante squad to go over there and take him out the moment he shows up there.

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Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Have a look

at mark 63's post above. He wants Wikipedia to have advertising, and refuses to donate because they don't.

If that isn't trolling, I don't know what is.

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Compare The Market can't touch web filth extension - simples

Steven Roper
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That's exactly why

.com is considered by many to be the only TLD that matters.

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Steven Roper
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Facepalm

El Reg, we need an Ignore button

that removes the specified user's posts from our comments feeds.

Please. Now.

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Child support IT fail: Deadbeat mums 'n' dads off the hook

Steven Roper
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Boffin

I noticed

'the commission had discovered that the opening arrears balances on these cases had not been entered onto the clerical database'

and

'a number of cases managed using the clerical database, had "not been maintained accurately in respect of the maintenance due"'

So, that's a data entry problem, not a design issue. It always annoys me when programmers are given the flack for system failures when it's the fault of the client for not inputting the data correctly in the first place, an issue I and my team have to deal with on an almost daily basis. Does nobody understand GIGO* any more?

*A principle of information processing established way back in the dim depths of the 20th century, meaning Garbage In, Garbage Out.

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Mobile fee dodgers will get away with enough cash to bail out Greece

Steven Roper
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Yes, I noticed the ITAR bit too

And I must say, it can't be all that effective, since trying to contain information in today's world is a bit like pissing in a colander, and in any event sanctioned countries (Iran comes to mind) would simply hoist a big fat middle finger to any attempts by the US to prevent them from developing their own strong encryption, even if they could contain what's already been developed.

I personally think ITAR restrictions would be the least part of the problem discussed in the article. The US is delusional if it thinks it controls the flow of information to such a degree. But then they are home to organisations like Apple and the RIAA, to name just two aspects of such controlling mentality, so I could be overestimating them.

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Roman roads get the web maps treatment

Steven Roper
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These scholars are crazy...

...by Toutatis!

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'Catastrophic' Avira antivirus update bricks Windows PCs

Steven Roper
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Re: Instincts

I used to to have Avira AntiVir on my system a few years ago, back when I was playing World of Warcraft.

Then the fucking thing minimised WoW, while I was tanking in an instance thus causing a group wipe, merely to show me a fucking ADVERT to try to get me to "upgrade" to the paid version.

Needless to say, it was immediately uninstalled, and subsequently no Avira product has gone anywhere near any computer under my control since. Behaviour like that is as bad as the malware it purports to protect against.

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Why GM slammed the brakes on its $10m Facebook ads

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: As a test, if you're an adblock+ user...

Just did that, because I've been using AdBlock+ for years, and I haven't looked at the Internet without it for quite some time. Your post made me think I'd have a look, so I checked out El Reg, Demonoid, Listverse, Mental Floss, W3Schools, YouTube and Facebook with it switched off and...

...Holy Mother of God...

...AdBlock+ is back on now, and will be staying that way for the foreseeable future.

D'oh icon because mfw I saw those sites with ads.

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Steven Roper
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Re: The clever analysts...

...As anyone who has ever worked in a shopping mall can tell you firsthand!

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Gates' Corbis busted again for fraud

Steven Roper
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Question:

Does anyone know if America actually has a final, ultimate court, beyond which it is not possible to appeal (like Australia's High Court), or can you simply continue appealing ad infinitum or until the party with the least money runs out of steam?

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Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!

Steven Roper
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Strange people fallen from the nut tree

Definitely. I've been saying for years that these eco-fascist bastards (WWF, Greenpeace, PETA etc) won't be happy until they've got us all living in caves. And a lot of people around me told me (with varying degrees of politeness) that I might be exaggerating just a bit.

Well, this is the ultimate vindication!

I'll be showing this report around the office to all the green-loving idiots who actually gave money to these wankers on their last donation drive. Hopefully the total donation from our company next time will be a big fat ZERO.

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GPS rival Beidou will cover Asia Pac by end of the year

Steven Roper
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Headmaster

You say Beidou, I say Baidu

And I managed to pronounce both as "Buy-doo". Can someone please enlighten me how these two names might be pronounced differently?

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Game goes titsup in Australia

Steven Roper
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Re: Titsup?

From where I'm sitting, looks to me like you're the one that's hanging upside down mate!

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Grab your L-plates, flying cars of sci-fi dreams have landed

Steven Roper
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Boffin

@ Michael Shaw

Sorry, I am right. You said it yourself: the lift <-> weight part of that formula is exactly what I'm talking about. The weight is the downward acceleration of 9.8 m/s/s imparted by gravity; the lift is the 9.8 m/s/s upward acceleration imparted by whatever means the aircraft is using to generate it, be that means air pressure along a wing surface, the displacement of a column of air by a rotor, the counterpressure of a jet engine, or the Newtonian thrust of a rocket.

A glider with zero forward velocity will fall out of the sky like a lead weight until it gains enough momentum to allow its wing surface to generate the equivalent lift required to counter the weight acceleration of gravity. However the craft does it, that 9.8 m/s/s downward acceleration has to be countered. That's basic high-school physics.

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