1013 posts • joined Tuesday 10th May 2011 15:00 GMT
Actually, if you'd *really* read the book
You'd also know that the Martians only cry "Ulla" when they're dying; when they're in full health and striding around smashing down pine trees and heat-raying everything else, they cry "Aloo"!
If there is life on Mars
then as far as that life is concerned, then certainly our intellects are vast and cool and unsympathetic - especially the moment somebody figures out how to make money from it!
One James Cameron pointed that out quite spectacularly, if a bit Smurfily, a couple of years ago, I believe.
And this is why "cloud" services suck. they can be taken away, or turned off, without warning. This sort of thing is exactly why my company won't touch public cloud services.
I would have called it *toxic* waste
Marmite, Promite, Vegemite and other similar "black goop" spreads have got to be the foulest-tasting concoctions known to mankind. If I'd seen a spill of that gunk like that, I'd have recommended isolating the spill zone and evacuating the surrounding 5 kilometres!
Asking for permission, 21st century style
"It is a condition of entry to this shopping centre that you permit tracking of your movements via your mobile phone signal. Enabling tracking constitutes your voluntary grant of permission to monitor, record and monetise your location. Refusal to do so may result in you being asked to leave the premises."
You know, the same way an Android weather app requires access to your Web history and contacts list as a condition of use, even though it has no need of this information to function as a weather app.
If you're talking about the scene
where the killer chases Bond onto the jib of a dock crane and across rooftops and so on, it's perfectly believable. Google "parkour" if you don't think there's people that can do that shit IRL!
"Run and owned by someone else"
is why my company won't touch public cloud computing with a 90 foot pole. We already have a remotely-accessible server onsite and two offsite backups where the sales and other field staff can get to their data while on the road / at home / wherever.
If we follow the sheep and start using public cloud facilities, how long would it be before the cloud provider or some other agency a) lost, deleted or tampered with the data; b) sold it to competitors; c) failed to implement security measures to prevent hacking or industrial espionage?
This endless push, push, push, to get our data out under control of other companies is really getting very tiresome. There are NO benefits a public cloud provides that can't be met by a private cloud setup, and a whole lot of things that can go wrong.
About the Star Furies...
I heard, back in the 90s, that JPL had actually asked JMS if they could use the Star Fury design as the basis of an actual orbital maneuvering unit prototype, and he told them, yes they could, but only on the proviso that they officially called it a Star Fury. I don't know if they ever went ahead with it or not, or even if it was just an urban myth, but I found it interesting at the time.
E.T. Phone Home!
Sounds to me like the telemetry transponder has been modified by a stranded alien to broadcast a 'rescue me!' message to his home planet, and that's why we can't decipher it. Maybe we can use this as a Rosetta stone so we can decipher E.T. Speak!
It's all very well
to quote 19th-century moral platitudes, but it helps to bear in mind that if the Insects in the dust didn't overbreed so much, there'd be enough leaves for all of them.
Well, I for one
don't miss the 3rd degree burns you get when an incandescent bulb blows and you have to change it right away. I don't miss the bi-monthly light-bulb bill or clambering on chairs to change light bulbs multiple times a year. And I sure as hell don't miss the solid boost the damn things were giving to my leccy bills.
Sorry, but I don't miss the old tungsten-argon bulbs at all. I'm more than happy with CFLs and LEDs and whatever else the lighting industry turns up, as long as it doesn't burn my fingers off when I change it, blow every couple of months and cost me a bomb to run.
I think the author meant
an 1100 lumen *equivalent to a 75W incandescent bulb* light.
So which is it?
You've got Malta twice - on one hand you say they're 0.0 and on the other you say they're at 0.8. So, can you drive with alcohol in your blood there or not?
I ask because I was considering Malta as one of several possible future homes once Australia has completed its final descent into the police-state pit. Perhaps Malta is following the same path. Is there *any* country left whose politicos actually support freedom and human rights?
DNS delegation can take a while
to propagate around all the world's ISPs. Typical transition times following a nameserver change can range from an hour to up to 72 hours, depending on the time you redelegate the domain, how often each ISP polls the various NICs for DNS changes, and where you are in the world relative to the domain's host and nameservers. So it's not surprising that in some areas at least, the old sites still remain "intact" - try again tomorrow and see if that's still the case.
In layman's terms: If you change a domain name to point to a different site, the change takes a while to be recognised around the world.
It seems they forgot
that Apple can't be done for infringing anyone's patents because it has the patent on patenting things, and therefore has the sole right to sue other businesses for patent infringement.
Maybe he has his panties in a twist because Microsoft are using their patent to develop a monitoring system that would make George Orwell blush to SELL to other sociopathic corporations.
The mere fact that they're in the process of inventing such an evil system is enough. Once it exists, they'll sell it to other corporations until everyone is forced to work in this hideous Orwellian nightmare.
Or maybe it's just a reflex response: Patents = Bad and Must Be Opposed!
I'll add that my trust is not given without the person seeking it damn well EARNING it. If any company I work for wants me to trust them then they'll give me a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, without quibbling about it, and without endlessly trying to get as much as they can while giving as little as possible. There's no way I'll EVER trust any employer who tries to force my trust while treating me like a slave, no matter what technology they try to bring to bear on it.
Thank you, Richard
I've noticed that Orlowski has been on yet another one of his ranting self-righteous comment-disabled copyright crusades lately so it's nice to read a more balanced viewpoint and a have a chance to contribute to the discussion.
The major problems I see with copyright is 1) the obscene length of copyright terms (thanks to Disney's efforts to preserve their control of the Rat) and 2) the greedy excesses of DRM and now cloud services to try to milk even more money out of the punters.
Copyright, at best, doesn't need to exceed the original 14 years provided by the Statute of Anne. If your work hasn't made anything within 14 years of publication it's never going to - give it up already. At the present rate, the extreme and ever-increasing length of copyright simply means a shrinking public domain. Not to mention the exponentially increasing chance that some poor artist will get financially raped because his song inadvertently contains the same sequence of 4 notes as something published 80 years ago, that's still in copyright, even though nobody alive today has heard of it.
Disney particularly need to be called to account for this. Their endless lobbying for ever-increasing copyright terms needs to be silenced, hard, and now. An education campaign needs to be mounted showing the public that the corporation behind all those cutesy-poo kids' cartoons is a rapacious and greedy monster hell-bent on curtailing freedom of expression in the name of copyright. Not to mention their virtual monopoly on children's entertainment - you try raising kids these days without them seeing anything owned by Disney. It's impossible. And governments seriously need to address this, because it gives this unelected and unaccountable corporation inordinate control over how the next generation thinks.
With DRM, while iTunes has dropped DRM from its repertoire, there is still much work to be done. The entire concept of DRM needs to be done away with, since all it does is destroy the quality of the legitimate product. You'd think that after 30 years of failed copy-protection attempts that they'd learned their lesson, but it seems not. The reality is, as long as DRM exists then pirated copies will always be better quality and more convenient for the paying customer. The following image perhaps illustrates this principle more clearly:
Not only DRM, but this whole business of making parts of DVD/BRs "unskippable" stinks of the whole "corporate remote-control" mentality that has been pervading IT generally of late. It's reaching into our homes and basically acting as a remote control of our appliances.
In the end, copyright has ceased to be about protecting artists and instead has become just another tool in the arsenal of those who seek to restrict our freedom and monitor and control every aspect of our lives. And it is this, what copyright has morphed into, not the idea of protecting artists' incomes, that has people hating copyright. It's no longer a tool of expression, it has become a tool of oppression.
Re: what animal would I be?
I've been asked this a few times in my careers, both in interviews and in company psych tests, and I have a single stock answer, that generally really throws people. If I could be any animal, what animal would I be?
The look on people's faces when I say this cannot be described in mere words. When they ask me why I would want to be a cockroach, I also have my answer prepared:
Cockroaches *survive*. That is what they do, and it is what they are best at. They are an ancient species; they have survived through multiple extinction events, including the Permian/Triassic and Cretaceous/Tertiary, and they survive despite anything bigger than them preying on them, and they would survive the worst Man can do to them, including nuclear warfare. And I like to think of myself as a survivor, someone who can hang on despite whatever is thrown at me.
That answer has floored more than one interviewer. And I'm pretty sure it's played a role in getting me a few jobs, too.
I was interested in this, right up until I saw this in their T & Cs:
"Video content created with the Muvizu application has a Muvizu watermark, which must be retained wherever you choose to publish such content."
No thanks. I hate watermarks splashed all over video. I guess that's why it's "free".
Re: What's the big deal?
Well, when Apple has sued every other electronics-manufacturing company out of existence for illegally using Apple's patents on the tendency of electrons to carry energy through conductive materials, the only choice you'll have is to buy a Jesus phone (or other Apple product) or go back to living in caves. That's kind of a big deal as far as I'm concerned.
I still use
BC and AD when such references are required. The reason is because, although I am not a Christian, the year is 2011 years after the *putative* birth of Christ. What else is it supposed to be 2011 years after? I maintain that if people don't want to use the Christian calendar, then instead of burying such use under a mantle of political correctness such the BCE/CE bullshit, that they adopt another calendar altogether.
My vote is for a calendar with the year 0 being the birth year of Nicholaus Copernicus - the first scientist to challenge the Church's Earth-centric universe, thus starting the rise of science in the face of religion. Since Copernicus was born in 1473 AD, that would make this the year 538 ANC, so dates would then be listed as BNC/ANC. Something like that, I'd rather use than a religious calendar thinly veiled in political correctness.
@ Jim 40
Excuse me? YOU come onto MY site when you type my site's URL into your browser (or click a search result leading to it, and then I PAY for the bandwidth you use accessing it. Since when, and how, do I come onto your internet? YOU make the choice to come to my site. If you don't like the way it's set up, then you can go somewhere else. So go now, please, and shut the door behind you.
You're forgetting cultural idoms
Does the Spanish word "tornillo" meaning "screw" carry the same idiomatic sexual double-entendre that it does in English? As in "to screw" meaning to have sex with, or does "tornillo" merely refer to a spirally-threaded fastening device in Spanish idiom?
Automatic translation of languages often fails because of this effect of cultural idioms and double-entendres that may exist in one language but not another.
By way of analogy, how would you feel if I came to your house and started telling you how your furniture should be arranged and how your home entertainment system should be set up? You'd rightly tell me to fuck off in no short order.
Portal pages like iGoogle aren't for everybody. But I'm curious to know: what do you do if you want to know the weather forecast, the time in New York, or how many $US the pound is worth today?
Not what I meant
"plenty, but if they were procured illegally then they are fair game. who cares where the info comes from."
Agreed on that point, but that wasn't the point I was making. How many *innocent* people had assets confiscated and themselves stigmatised because of vindictive ex-spouses etc filing false reports was my main point.
Did the police actually check the provenance of complaints and obtain other evidence that the gains were ill-gotten before kicking in doors and walking out with someone's stuff? Given the way the UK seems to work these days, somehow I doubt it.
The reason I still use Google
is because of the iGoogle web page gadgets. My iGoogle home page has, on three tabs: a dictionary/thesaurus, currency converter, metric <-> imperial converter, world sunlight map, ISS/Hubble position map, torrent search, weather gadget, street map gadget centred on my home, Wikipedia search, world time clocks for 9 cities, several webcams in my home city so I can see what the conditions are like in town before going there, and a number of news gadgets (why don't you have an iGoogle gadget El Reg?)
Unless Bing or Yahoo can provide that kind of customisable functionality, I'm not even remotely interested. I shouldn't need to go scouting around the web to find out the weather, time, currency, unit conversions and other stuff that I can find out from a convenient gadget on my home page.
And I wonder
how many of the confiscated assets belonged to the victims of vindictive ex-spouses, rivals and spiteful enemies...
You're not missing any facts
It's called feminism* and its all about all women being innocent of any wrongdoing and thus getting away with murder, with all men being criminals for being born with a penis and thus lose their jobs for merely looking at a woman the wrong way. Been pretty much the legal and social standard for about the last 3 decades, actually.
(*Note: feminism != female)
The only reason
Chrome has overtaken Firefox is because of Google's malware-like tactics of embedding it in every goddamned free application installer. Miss those vital checkboxes, which are ticked by default, and BAM - your new default browser is Chrome. If Mozilla sank to the same level, no doubt Firefox would overtake it again. However, the Mozilla guys have more honesty and integrity than that.
I've lost count of the number of times I've had to scrape Chrome out of friends', relatives' and customers' computers because they installed something without looking out for that sneaky Chrome hijack first.
While I would love to agree with you on principle if nothing else, I hold that if I were the only thing in actual existence, then my control over my existence would be absolute. Which means I wouldn't be working a day job, in fact I wouldn't even get out of bed, because everything would just be done for me as and when I wished by a harem of hot virgins.
Since, however, that is not the case, and I have to do some things and will be punished if I do others, I have to accept that something, regardless of what form it takes as opposed to my perception of it, exists outside of myself and beyond my control. That something, I call "the Universe".
TL;DR If nothing exists outside yourself why can't you control what you experience?
There's just one small problem...
Legalising drugs, and even prostitution, won't cause these criminals to simply evaporate into thin air. They'll simply diversify into other areas - protection racketeering, numbers, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, loan sharking, slavery, gun-running - the list is endless.
While I support legalisation of marijuana for general purchase, and other drugs available on prescription, it isn't a solution to rid the world of the crime cartels. The only way to do that is to understand and then rectify the social conditions that enable and empower them. But that would mean reducing poverty and wealth redistribution, so it isn't going to happen.
HP? Top of the green list? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Are we talking about the same company here, HP as in Hewlett-Packard, the company that ships single memory sticks in 5 concentric washing machine boxes with half a ton of shredded newspaper and polystyrene beans and enough copper staples to run a 220 kV line from London to Glasgow? And they're now on top of Greenpeace's treehugger list?
I somehow find that difficult to believe... even creationism seems a more likely proposition than this!
Well then, Tom 38,
don't. Take your eleventy billion dollars and invest it on the stock exchange. Meanwhile, somebody else with money and a bit more vision beyond the ability to see only as far as his own hip pocket will invest in inventing cold fusion instead.
And in a century's time, whose name will be getting taught to kids in history class as the man who freed civilisation from the shackles of the fossil fuel industry? As opposed to Tom 38 who would have merely replaced one hydraulic despotism with another?
Given America's woeful status
I'd wager that the first person on Mars will be Chinese. Or possibly Indian.
America had their chance back in the 70s and they blew it.
they'll just take up two fucking parking spaces by parking across them at an angle like the fat bastard in the Volvo at my local shopping centre the other day.
I seriously wanted to do this to the arsewipe: http://xkcd.com/562/
...that the question of another attack from Mars causes universal concern. Is our planet safe, or is this time of peace merely a reprieve? It may be that across the immensity of space, they have learned their lessons, and even now await their opportunity. Perhaps the future belongs not to us, but to the Martians.
It's lookin' good, it's goin' good, right?
Porn sites are no more a source of malware than any other site
The last time I detected a malware infection from a porn site was back in 2002. Porn sites, contrary to the propaganda spewed out by feminists and sex-haters, don't distribute malware any more than any other site. It's the same thing as the copyright lobby claiming pirated movies and music give you malware - it's bullshit designed to discourage people from accessing it.
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- Analysis Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works
- Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month