1378 posts • joined 10 May 2011
Joining El Reg in boycotting Red Bull
I don't drink Red Bull anyway, since the stuff tastes like putrid 10 year old cough medicine, so you can consider me a supporter of the cause Lewis!
@ Captain DaFt
I also like spiders, but living in Australia I'm fairly choosy about what species I allow to cohabit with me. Redbacks and White-tails, for example, die upon detection.
My favourite kind is the Huntsman spider, a common household species in Adelaide. They're definitely in the huge-'n'-hairy category, averaging 3 inches across the legs with a fat bulbous body more than an inch long. They look horrific, but they're completely non-poisonous and harmless (although if you piss them off they can inflict a painful bite). These I'm quite happy to have around the house, since they get rid of the flies and mozzies that are a perennial problem here.
What I most like about Huntsmans is they don't build webs, so they don't clutter up your place with scruffy spider silk wall hangings. Instead, they lie quietly in a corner until a fly or moth or mozzie flies near them, then they teleport themselves to the location of the prey insect, knocking it to the floor, and scoff it down then and there. "Teleport" is the only way to describe the speed with which these spiders jump to snatch prey, and it can be a bit disconcerting to watch, but I have yet to have one land on me - they choose their launch vectors wisely!
Want to see what one looks like? Have a look at this! (WARNING: horrible-huge-'n'-hairy alert!)
I'm with you on that Nick
Regardless of any previous "appearance" of the Pandaren in WC3 (as someone pointed out it was a joke), the jarring transition from a "Lord of the Rings / D&D" style epic fantasy world to a Pokemon / Kung-Fu Panda playground was too much for me. I loved the feeling of immersion, of being transported to another world, because of that "epic otherworld" D&D feeling Azeroth created. Now it feels like a Disney movie.
Which is why I cancelled my account as soon as I got confirmation that an old April Fool's joke from years ago was to become canon. Goodbye WoW. It was awesome while it lasted.
I can't believe nobody has commented on this.
Looking at the picture in the article, it seems to me that the Kindle looks a LOT more like the iPad than the Samsung Galaxy or Slate. Round corners, black, even the same aspect ratio as the iPad.
So why aren't Apple suing Amazon's arses off for billions like they did with Samsung? Surely that Kindle must violate dozens of Apple's rectangular-round-cornered-object patents?
Of course, it couldn't be anything whatsoever to do with the fact that Amazon is also an American company, could it?
Re: "Playboy" magazine, where many science fiction stories appeared.
See? I told you I only read Playboy for the articles!
Can anyone spell
Seriously, doesn't Disney have enough fucking control over popular entertainment without giving them control over yet another iconic franchise? Try finding ANY kids' program that ISN'T owned by them, directly or indirectly. Surely there has to be some kind of anti-monopoly limit to how much of popular culture Disney is allowed to own.
Please. Just please. Does ANYONE have the bollocks and the money to take Disney on over this? I'll donate what I have to the cause.
"In a somewhat novel argument"
"Stoner said because NBN Co would be paying NSW less than the state wanted for access, consumers’ power bills would rise."
Oh look - humans breathe out CO2. Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - a politician farted. Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - Australia has three 'A's in it - Power bills have to rise!
Oh look - that cloud looks like a teddy bear. Power bills have to rise!
This shit is why South Australia has the most expensive electricity in the world. Electricity prices have MORE THAN FUCKING TRIPLED here in the last 5 years. This is corruption, graft and outright fucking theft at the highest levels, and the greedy foreign companies responsible need to be brought to account NOW.
That's why I'm voting for Nick Xenophon - he's pushing for a royal commission into the corruption that has led to this farce.
by then the USA will have become the next 50 provinces of China.
Excuse me, is this yours?
You dropped your icon. I found it on the floor next to where you posted your comment.
LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU
People who deliberately block out political discussion should forfeit the right to vote if they're that disinterested. The last thing I want is uninformed and possibly self-righteous idiots who refuse to acknowledge or discuss important political issues, deciding who gets to make laws governing my life.
You stop reading, you don't comment. Deal?
The gag so old it's new again!
That wasn't a typo James
It was what is known in the trade as a "Freudian slip". A very good example of one too, I might add! ;-)
I maintained, loudly and often on this very forum, several years ago when the Orwell scandal broke, that I would never buy a Kindle and I have never wavered on that since. This story simply vindicates and strengthens my stance.
When my dad, who is an avid bookworm, talked about buying a Kindle, I warned him off and convinced him to buy a Nook instead. I've also convinced more than a dozen other people not to buy Kindles in that time, and will continue to do so.
It might not seem like much, but if each of us do our part in warning others off the Kindle we can really hurt Amazon's sales and send the bastards a strong message that this behaviour will NOT be tolerated. I take pride in the fact that I've already cost them potentially thousands of dollars in lost sales and will continue to cost them thousands more until they get the fucking message.
their electricity bills triple because of it. We'll see how many of them still believe in AGW when they can no longer afford to run their shinies any more.
Re: Malware authors ....
7) All of the above, and take your time about it too.
This thread enticed me to go out to my garage and take stock. Let's see...
2 x Amiga 500s, one with a half-meg expansion board still in it.
1 x 52 MB GVP side-mount hard drive for said Amiga 500.
1 x Amiga 1200, with 68060 racer board and 32 MB of RAM on it.
1 x tower case with 3 320 MB SCSI HDDs in it, to hook up as external storage device to said A1200. Yes, I was the first in my group of friends to have ONE WHOLE GIG of storage space!
4 x plastic disk boxes with dozens of 3 1/2" Amiga floppies in them... Oooh, The Settlers! I loved that game! And Elite Frontier... Damocles... Shadow of the Beast (1 and 2)... Menace... Sidewinder... Blood Money...
2 x boxes of assorted cables and power bricks, none more recent than 1993ish. Centronics leads, RS-232 cables and connectors, SCSI adapters and those super-wide ribbon cables they used; the 5-pin DIN-type leads the C-64 used, Amiga and C64 power bricks...
1 x Commodore 64 C w/ Datel Action Replay 6 and DolphinDOS.
1 x 1541 5 1/4" floppy drive (the ORIGINAL kind with the push-in door) and DolphinDOS.
1 x MPS-803 dot-matrix printer for same, with cartridges
1 x 14400 baud unbranded modem w/ cable
1 x 56k baud Motorola modem w/ cable
Assorted cartridges for said C64 including Hesmon, Epyx Fastload, Cockroach Graphics Pirate and Freeze Machine.
8 x plastic floppy disk boxes with all my old C64 games and crackscene demos on them. Oooh, some old favourites: Bugaboo The Flea, Henry's House, Zaxxon, Wizardry, Elite, Mercenary, subLogic Flight Simulator II...
4 x boxes of old Commodore User, Your Commodore, Ahoy! and Australian Commodore and Amiga Review magazines. And there's that old cover tape with the R1D1 game on it!
Awwwww look... My dear old Sinclair ZX81, my first computer, complete with 16KB Expansion Cartridge of Don't Fucking Sneeze Near It Or It Will Crash. And my beloved old VIC-20, complete with Maths Invaders, Typing Tutor and that tape of crappy BASIC games that came with it... And is that my old Casio PB-100? My god, an old desktop office cassette recorder... wow, this is becoming an archaeological dig here...
Ethernet cables and old wireless mice indeed! Bah! MY garage is a veritable computing museum!
At 32, you are a slip of a lad, but at least you've not far to go now.
When you pass 40 sunshine, then you can finally put your youth behind you and become a miserable old bastard like the rest of us.
Now GET OFFA MY LAWN!
redbacks, funnelwebs, brown snakes, taipans, box jellies and all the rest of our indigenous deadlies don't fucking FLY... (Except possibly for the drop-bears, and even those only travel more-or-less straight downwards out of the trees!)
I voted for Moore
I grant that Connery was certainly the better actor, but to my mind James Bond is, first and formemost, an utter sleaze, a slimeball who worms his way into bed with every woman in the story - and IMO it was Moore who carried the "sleazebag" style off better. He really did come across as utter slime. Connery's suave, sophisticated Bond came off as seeming too "clean-cut" and genteel for what the character was supposed to be, which to my perception jarred with the "slipperiness" I expected from Bond.
As to Craig and Brosnan, they simply came off as common garden "action hero" types and while their performances were enjoyable, there was nothing to distinguish them from other action movies of the time, like Die Hard or the Bourne movies.
It's very simple
Any company caught "evergreening" is put into mandatory receivership, its entire assets are confiscated by the government, and the top line management including the CEO go to prison for 30 years.
That'll make the fucking greedy bastards think twice.
In my book
Hugo Drax was no villain. To me he was a hero and a martyr, who sadly failed in a noble endeavour. If I had his money and resources, I'd certainly do exactly what he tried to do - wipe the human plague off the face of the planet and replace them with a selected few - namely, non-religious people with at least a semi-decent education who aren't concerned with telling everyone else how to live their lives.
Only I wouldn't do it with mere poison gas from orbiting probes - there's NO substance toxic enough that a handful of bar-fridge-sized probes' worth would wipe out every last human on the planet (yes, I know about botulinum toxin, and no, those probes would not be an effective method of spreading it sufficiently.) My preferred technique would perhaps be a weaponised disease with the fatality rate of ebola and the contagiousness of the common cold, since most other forms of destruction (like my erstwhile favourite, grey goo) would wipe out all other life as well.
I 'm surprised Elliot Carver didn't get more votes - after all, he's the only one obviously based on a real-life villain, namely Rupert Murdoch. Now there's an evil megalomaniac despot if ever there was one.
Lack of media coverage of Gillard's feminist character assassination of Abbott?
What. The. Fuck.
Every fucking major news outlet carried the story front page for three days straight. You'd think Abbott was an evil woman-hating psychopath from the way she carried on. And these feminazis still aren't satisfied? What do they want, to burn him at the stake?
I'll be voting for Abbot now on fucking principle.
The reason malware won't work
on Windows 8 has nothing to do with "improved security" More likely it's everything to do with Microsoft taking us back to the 80s by removing multitasking - so the malware can't run in the background while you use another app. You know, the same reason why nobody was able to create a working virus on the Commodore 64 - because it could only do one thing at a time.
Well, Microsoft did write CBM BASIC V2. Maybe they're trying to get back to their roots. However I, and most of the rest of the computing world, have since moved on.
Re: Automatic recognition and targetting?
Don't shave off your beard! Try trimming it into different styles over time instead.
One thing I've found is that my beard (which I've had for more than 15 years) seems to fuck up Facebook's face-recognition software. This is because my beard keeps changing shape, altering the shape of my face as perceived by such software. As it grows, it "puffs out" around my lower cheeks and jowls, making my jawline look more square than when I trim it back. I also vary the style - sometimes I go for a professorial look, sometimes squaring the cheek line, sometimes letting it blow out to a "full bikie beard" look.
And when my mother posts photos of me on Facebook (she's a prolific Facebooker and has posted dozens of photos of me on there) it almost never auto-tags me (but it does my sister, mother and father, who doesn't have a beard) because in every new photo, my beard is a different shape to the last time.
I've noticed it mis-tags my brother as well, most likely because he also has a beard and varies his between muttonchops and goatee, among other styles. The one occasion I recall Facebook successfully auto-tagging me after Mum uploaded a new photo was when I had kept the exact same beard style for several months, with Mum uploading multiple photos of me in that time. After that I changed my style again, and for the next photo Mum uploaded it did not "recognise" me.
But if you shave off your beard, you'll give the software a chance to recognise the actual shape of your face, after which you won't be able to change it again (resculpting your jaw is a LOT harder than resculpting a beard!) and it could give the system a baseline. I don't know if that would affect the software's ability to recognise you if you grew the beard back at a later date, since I've had my beard continuously since the mid 90s and thus haven't tested it for this effect.
So keep your beard, but change the style every few weeks. Let it grow, trim it back, crop it to a goatee, grow it to a "professor" look, and so on. I've found this works a treat for fucking up Facebook's auto-recognition software and I can assume this'll hold true for police/surveillance software as well.
I wonder how long it'll be before the Western police states realise that face-recognition software can be thwarted this way, and start banning beards as being "unlawful disguises"?
Think about it a second
Mr. Ian M. Hurt.
I. M. Hurt. You, know, like I. M. Stupid or I. P. Freely?
that copyright is only for Big Business, not the plebs like you or me. Contrast the efforts by Big Media to remove right of first sale doctrine (currently under way in the USA) and establish century-long copyright term extensions, with the efforts by the same Big Media companies to strip copyright protections for photographers, so Big News networks can legally rip off their pictures as "orphan works" simply because somebody posted them on a website somewhere without credit.
Copyright isn't for us slaves, only for the masters. So "copyrighting" our movements wouldn't work. The only law is, you will give, give, give and they will take, take, take.
Re: Remember when Google first appeared...
I certainly remember what Google once was, and I agree with you that what it has become does not compare favourably.
Give DuckDuckGo a try. I've found it's quite similar to what Google used to be like back in the Altavista/Yahoo days, with loads of useful geek gadgets added on if you click over to their "goodies" page.
Re: Ten downvoters with no sense of irony, it would seem.
If you were being ironic, perhaps you did too good a job. Look up "Poe's Law" sometime, it'll explain your downvotes quite effectively.
Been a while since I last played WoW
My brother and I used to be avid players for quite a few years there. We canceled our accounts earlier this year when Blizzard decided to take the game from Lord of the Rings-esque epic fantasy to fucking Kung-Fu Panda.
On Star Trek Online and LOTR Online (our current MMOs of choice), we've seen quite a few players, many of whom, like us, defected from WoW, are now calling it "the MMO that lost its way." I wonder how many people bought the MoP expansion compared to say Wrath or Cataclysm. I'd be willing to bet the numbers are down on the previous two expansions.
Shame really. I have many fond memories of WoW, before the hipster idiots destroyed it by demanding all that pathetic panda shit.
America is now officially at the "Nero fiddling as Rome burns" stage, and their empire is falling to the "Goths" (aka China and India). Won't be long now, once America's Rome has been sacked the rest of the world will be free of their greedy shit once again.
I'm looking forward to seeing the USA become the next Somalia. Their comeuppance has been far too long in the offing.
You know you can change your downvote to an upvote simply by hitting the thumbs-up, right?
I remember Dick Smith back in the 70s when it was actually owned by Dick Smith - general-purpose transistors 14c, resistors 5c, capacitors 10c - 90c depending on type and size, 555 timers 50c, 7400-series TTL ICs around 70c or so - all well within range of a kid's pocket money back then. I was a regular customer until I got into computers instead of electronics, around 1982/3, and my weekly trip into town to restock my components drawers was the high point of my week. Tandy Electronics was closer, but a damn sight more expensive (I remember Tandy selling resistors in 2-packs for $1.95 and 2 transistors for $2.95 - in the 70s!)
Last time I was in a DSE was a couple of years ago, and as I recall it had degenerated to little more than a mobile phone shop that also happened to sell cameras and RC toys. A long and sad fall from the treasured electronics enthusiast store I remembered from my youth.
Re: Not if you power it off completely
I wouldn't be surprised if they end up putting a capacitor in there to keep the damn thing running on minimum for a couple of hours even if you remove the battery. Law enforcement and spook agencies at the very least would love to have such a feature in smartphones. Couple that with Australia's and UK's data retention laws and you have a cornucopia of Big Brotherish delights for them to drool over.
Mind you, given the propensity of the Facebook-and-Twitter mob to pour out their private lives to all and sundry this'll probably be welcomed by them, making it a standard for everyone whether we like it or not.
Re: What I found interesting
Even if it does, simply have it that the patent period begins from the time of grant rather than the time of application. So that wouldn't be a problem then, would it?
What I found interesting
is the assertion that it takes 20 years for a new product to become commercialised. Isn't the usual term of a patent about that long? Whilst keeping in mind that correlation != causation, I wonder to what degree the monopolistic control by one company of a technology by patent, holds back the good ideas of other companies or inventors for that period - because the inventors or other companies can't afford or don't want to be encumbered by restrictive license agreements.
If ever an argument could be made for open source vs patent control of everything this could very well be it. If the reason that technology waits 20 years is even partly a result of waiting for patents to expire, then surely that is an argument for the patent system being a suppressor of innovation, rather than a promoter of it?
I'm not saying do away with patents altogether, but maybe reducing the maximum term to something more reasonable (say 5 - 8 years at max) would help things along a bit.
Re: I remember when...
There's just one problem with DNA: Evolution - which means the "error correction" you refer to has a way of completely altering the data over multiple generations.
See, if I consider my DNA as information handed down to me by my father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, and so on back to the Cretaceous, for example, then we find that the DNA is describing something along the lines of a cynodont, which is a rather different creature to a human being. It certainly isn't the same information by any stretch, despite said cynodont being my own direct-line male ancestor. (Although I find the idea of calling a tiny ratlike creature "great-great-something granddad" rather amusing myself!)
Life isn't a good preserver of information. It seems to me the ancients got it right the first time around - carving things in stone seems to be the way to go!
what effect does this discovery have upon omega? Are we still heading for the Big Rip in 50-odd billion years' time or are we now facing down the Big Crunch?
Well, speaking as a hater
I'll give my side of the story.
As anyone who has seen my comments in the article threads can attest, I express an almost pathological hatred for all things Apple. I've been more than slightly acerbic in my opinions of "fanbois" and positively rabid about the doings of the company itself. I've copped my share of downvotes for some of my more irrational rants, but I have my reasons for doing so.
Firstly, I am very passionate about computers. They've been my life since I was 16 years old and got my first Sinclair ZX81 back in 1982. I was part of the Commodore 64 and Amiga demo scene and I've built my career as well as my hobbies on computers. I have no S.O., no kids, because the lifestyle choices I have made centred around computer technology more than people. That's my nature, that the passion most men give to their wives and children, I give to what I do and what I create with computers.
In all this time, I've grown up and lived with a culture of relative openness in computers. I've become used to the concept that a computer I've bought and paid for is mine, to do with as I please. And part of that is writing programs and sharing them with people. The feeling I get when I see someone using my software and knowing how it impacts their lives is awesome. Even more awesome is when I see someone expand on my idea or program, and they show me their improvements. That's been the way I've worked since the old demo swap-meets and copy-parties of the Commodore 64 days.
As you can see, these things matter to me. A lot. I've lived my life around them, and I have strong feelings about them.
So when a company like Apple starts locking down everything in sight, and by showing other companies that users are willing and even eager to have control of their own computers snatched away from them , those companies follow suit. You mention people going on about walled gardens and I can understand your frustration with the repetition, but for those like myself whose mentality was founded on building a greater whole on shared ideas this mentality is utterly repellent.
It's not only the app-store lock-in, it's things like the ability to reach in and delete software from your computer - a trend started by Apple, and quickly followed by the likes of Amazon, Google, and now Microsoft as well. It's all this corporate control-freak mentality that I didn't really see before Apple brought out the iPad. Yes, Microsoft was the tyrant du jour of the pre-Apple era, but even they didn't impose restrictions on the distribution of software - until Apple did it. And add to that the endless ridiculous lawsuits, where it's getting to the point where I'm almost afraid to continue programming in case I tread on someone's IP toes. I feel that I'm being told I'm not allowed to use my brain for what I do best because some corporation owns some vague general concept behind what I've come up with myself. And Apple, with their sue-everyone-for-making rectangles mentality, have come to exemplify this kind of control.
And I'm sorry, but that really, really, pisses me off. When I feel afraid to develop new ideas because "sorry, Apple/Google/whoever have the patent on that already", that makes me want to throw things and scream. But polite society understandably does not allow me to do these things, because the expectation is that we stop throwing tantrums somewhere around the second or third year of life.
So I vent. I let off steam. I rant and rave on a forum, to a bunch of people I don't really know and have never met. I do so knowing that some of them share in my anger, and knowing that others are angry about the same things I am is strangely comforting and soothing. I do so knowing that still others will be angered, offended or even amused by my rantings, and we'll let off at each other until you'd be terrified to leave us all alone in a room together. Yet if we all met down the pub, I really believe nary a harsh word would pass.
You see, at the end of the day, it's Internet rantings. And I believe that's why a lot of us do it. It's what psychologists call a coping mechanism - a means of anger management, a way of letting out pent-up frustration with the way the world is, in a manner that is essentially harmless, because only a fool takes everything you read in these forums (or indeed on the entire internet) seriously.
To my way of thinking, it's far better to explode all over a Reg comments thread with pathetic curses against "retarded fanboi sheeple", than to act like a complete ass in real life. That is why I sometimes carry on the way that I do, and I think it is a sentiment shared, if not always fully understood, amongst other commenters.
Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...
You can't argue with them bill.
It's like a religion. You can posit all the science under the sun, but the followers of Mother Earth have their faith and don't set much store in mere evidence.
Steam sounds great at first go, but isn't water vapour supposed to be a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide? And don't you have enough fog in the UK already without adding to it?
You got that right mate
There I was all nice and smug thinking we'd finally won the war to get Microsoft in line with the W3C with Internet Explorer, and the stupid bastards take us right back to square fucking one!
Re: Can you put an web bookmark on your home screen?
Not sure if I'm reading you correctly there, so correct me if I'm on the wrong track - but you've been able to put internet shortcuts on the desktop since at least Windows 95...
I wonder what the DOCTYPE will be
for HTML 5.1?
Since the absurdly generic and uninformative !DOCTYPE HTML has been assigned to indicate HTML 5 (with the convoluted DTD DOCTYPEs relegated to earlier versions), will we finally see the version number and ONLY the version number set as the doctype parameter, i.e. !DOCTYPE HTML 5.1?
I suppose they do appreciate a little bacon with their keratin!
Ah yes, Germany
Where the patent judges all come from Texas.
Re: Shocking safety precautions
If you were really a chemist, you'd know about the Ledenfrost effect and that being the reason why you NEVER wear gloves or other clothing that can trap the liquid next to your skin when handling cryogenic liquids.
The ponytail research
is actually quite useful from a 3d modelling perspective.
As one of my hobbies is the use of 3D modelling software (notably DAZ Studio and Cinema 4D) to model and create *ahem* erotic imagery, making my virtual temptresses look and move as realistically as possible is paramount. A couple of my "girls" have ponytails, which will no doubt benefit from these Ig Nobel winners' good work!
Re: So TPB ends...
That is the most spectacular combination of strawman and reductio ad absurdum that I have ever seen.
I'm not even going to dignify that with a rebuttal.
No, you can't
The flip side of your draconian judgement is that people end up terrified to take photographs at all just in case somebody happens to be in the shot and sues under your preferred legal system, which stops just shy of having them executed for it.
Privacy is a vital component of freedom (I value mine immensely), but unfortunately of late it's being used as a weapon to erode the very freedom it's supposed to preserve.
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