1198 posts • joined 10 May 2011
@Bill Neal re: Climatology and Scientology
To me, the two are the same thing in essence. This professor's sanctimonious attitude in wanting to "cure" those who don't drink the Kool-Aid is typical of this mentality: if you don't believe in body thetans - or human-induced climate change - you must be sick and need help.
I personally find that professor's attitude extremely offensive, and it does nothing to sway me towards the ranks of the faithful; in fact, it makes me want to become even more staunch in my viewpoint: Is the climate is changing? Yes, but it's been changing continuously since the Earth was formed 4 1/2 billion years ago. Are humans causing the climate to change? I very much doubt it. The size of us and all our machinery compared to the size of the Earth is so insignificant, one might as well say that a flea can kill an elephant, as to say that we have a measurable effect on an entire planet's climate.
Re: Highlander 2
I also ended up voting for Highlander 2. I was torn between that and Phantom Menace, but then I realised I've actually watched PM more than once, and there were the occasional parts of it I enjoyed, whereas I saw H2 only once and it will never disgrace my eyeballs and ears again.
I realised the main reason I wanted to vote for PM was my anti-feminist ideology lashing out at the misandrist aspect of Anakin not having a father ("who needs mere men when you have midichlorians?") So I put aside my political judgements and decided that H2 was in fact the viler pile of shite.
My reasoning is actually because of one scene on Highlander where Connor asks Ramirez, "How did it happen for God's sake?", to which Ramirez replies, "Why does the sun come up? Or are the stars just holes in the curtain of night? Who knows?" And that sets just the right tone for the mystery behind the immortals' existence, a mystery that does not need further explanation.
Then Highlander 2 tries to get all "realistic" and makes them into aliens from the planet Zeist. Quite beside the dismal name, it completely destroys the mystery that is supposed to be behind the immortals. I detested Indiana Jones 4 for the same reason: you aren't supposed to know what the nature or cause of the power in the Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones, or the Holy Grail is. That's the mystery. So when they "explained" the crystal skulls as belonging to "aliens" it completely ruined the mystique for me.
This is why I voted for Highlander 2 as the worst movie ever. Some things just don't need logical explanations. Or half-arsed attempts at them.
It's all moot anyway
since the highest resolution monitor I've been able to find is 2048 x 1536 and they started at about 5 grand (Australian). Sub-1000 dollars gets you 1920 x 1200 at best, and it's been like that for a while now.
I recently went looking for a monitor to upgrade and what I found was this: the 2048 x 1536 was a 22" LED job and that was the biggest (in fact the only) screen I could find at that resolution. I found loads of monitors up to 24" with 1920 x 1200, but oddly enough the bigger monitors (26" and 28") only sported 1920 x 1080, or 1080p. I could not, after 3 hours of searching, find a monitor bigger than 24" that had any higher resolution than that.
So unless the LCD/LED manufacturers suddenly and dramatically increase the resolution of their screens, having the ability to display 4k x 2k will simply be a waste since nobody will have a monitor (much less a telly) that can support it.
My first thought on reading that article
was that the climate change believers would be having apoplexies and screaming about Andrew being a biased denier and so forth. Andrew, you're a brave man.
Getting the popcorn now, ready to watch the faithful start frothing at the mouth and speaking in tongues...
Re: The other thing about red dwarfs
Valid points, Michael, but when I said "hard radiation" it wasn't the UV I was thinking of - it was the gamma that is a result of all thermonuclear reactions. A red dwarf is still, at its heart, a massive thermonuclear reactor, albeit a smaller one, and it still chucks out a sizeable amount of gamma in the process.
Whether that's enough to irradiate a planet beyond the capacity to support life is a function of how much less gamma the star is producing than the Sun versus the increased exposure due to the reduced orbital distance (the inverse square law applying here), and the strength of the planet's magnetic field (if any).
Since to the best of my knowledge planetary magnetic fields are a product of the planet's rotation affecting its roiling interior, I would imagine the vast majority of planets that are tidally locked would, due to the slow rotation, not have much of a magnetic field at all. We have an example in our very own solar system; of the four rocky planets, only Earth has an appreciable magnetic field. And without a magnetic field to deflect and absorb that radiation, there's no way a planet is going to be able to support life.
That said, it would be interesting to see what the result of a planet having a large moon (like Earth) in such a proximal orbit to a red dwarf would be. The moon has a far greater tidal effect on the Earth than the Sun because of its proximity over the mass difference, so would a planet with a large moon orbiting a red dwarf still be tidally locked to the star, or to the moon? Or would the clash of tidal forces result in the planet still having an appreciable rotation?
Since I'm not an astrophysicist, the answer to that is beyond my puny maths, but it would be interesting to hear the take of someone with more knowledge on this, since I haven't heard it mentioned in discussions of planets in close orbits of red dwarfs.
The other thing about red dwarfs
is that, being so small and dim compared to the Sun, the habitable zone is so close to the star that 1) any planets are being bathed in hard radiation and 2) are highly likely to be tidally locked, so one hemisphere is in permanent daylight and the other in permanent night. We already have an example of this in Gliese 581g.
Whether life can evolve or even be sustained under such conditions is a question even our grandchildren may not be able to answer.
Because a site that you've set NoScript to allow might one day be compromised. It has happened before and will again.
Don't get me wrong, I swear by AdBlock and NoScript. But they aren't the be-all-and-end-all of malware protection, they work as an outer pre-emptive blocking layer, while your antivirus/anti-spyware suites are your inner lines of defence for when shit gets past them.
Most definitely it would need tweaking, since a lot of sites these days fetch data from CDNs that aren't part of the primary domain. For example, Youtube won't play videos unless you allow ytimg.com as well as youtube.com.
You and I might not have a problem with this, but from personal experience I know Johnny Sixpack has issues with it. When I installed Firefox with Adblock and NoScript on my parents' machines, I had to help them quite a bit while they were training NoScript to allow the various CDN domains these sites use.
Seems like your utopian dictatorship sounds about on par with my own. How about we join forces and impose our collective will on this fucked-up planet? ;D
And so I see
the ubiquitous Rule 34 is in force again!
You know what's more ironic? Someone arguing fallaciously from the position that atheism is a belief in the same way that religion is. I've seen around the internet, the truism that "Atheism is a religion in the same sense that 'off' is a TV channel."
Atheism isn't a religion, and it isn't a belief. It's merely the absence of them. It has no rituals, no doctrines, no holy texts, no creed, and no deities. And a worldwide absence of religious belief would be a substantial improvement to all on this benighted planet, yes?
Seconded on "Knowing"
I cite that film as the archetypal example of "Seen the trailer? You've now seen all the good bits so don't bother with the rest."
The trailer touts it as an end-of-the world thriller, but in reality it's an hour and a half of Cage and his son puzzling over some numbers on a piece of paper, followed by 3, count them, 3 minutes of actual world-busting special effects, and then - that fucking ending with them dancing off on that paradise planet? Oh please.
At least that other better-films-in-my-toilet-bowl stinker 2012 had enough sequences of cities falling to bits and tsunamis flooding over mountains, to gratify my innate desire to see the world destroyed, throughout the movie instead of the first/last five minutes as is usual with disaster movies.
Re: My top 3
I beg to differ on Sucker Punch - I thought it was quite impressive, given it's a sexploitation movie. I especially liked the plot twist at the end where (trying to avoid spoilers here) the heroine is not the girl you think. The cinematography wasn't bad either; a bit film noir for my taste but appropriate for the movie's setting and context.
Battlefield Earth I fully agree with you on, that's two hours of my life I'll never get back; in fact it was so bad I won't even watch any movie with John Travolta in it any more.
Never saw The Avengers so can't comment on that one.
But my vote for worst movie ever is Hawk The Slayer, a vomitously cheesy C-grade swords-and-sorcery fantasy flick from the early 80s that looks like it was made by a bunch of schoolkids. Everything about it was a paragon of how not to make a movie: hammy bad acting (it had Jack Palance in it so you can imagine what the acting was like), a plot so contrived it made George Bush look guileless, backyard-grade special effects, creatures that made Kermit the Frog look lifelike, and wildly inappropriate disco music in a swords and sorcery setting. What I can't believe is that my brother and I actually watched it about 20 or so times when we were kids!
And exactly why
are you leaving a 2-year-old unsupervised in a parked car? Where I live (Adelaide, Australia), doing that generally results in Family and Youth Services removing your kids from your custody and charging you with neglect.
Given, part of the problem in Adelaide is that on our hotter days the inside of a car can top 65 Celsius which can (and has) kill(ed) a kid left inside within minutes, which is why we specifically have that law against leaving kids in cars; but one would imagine common sense would tell anyone to take their kids with them when they leave the car for any length of time.
"Copyright on his works expired in 2010"
For now. Until Disney get copyright terms extended again to protect the Rat, then Sir Arthur's work goes right back into copyright for the next 500 years.
And human nature being what it is
the first thing I thought of was how this could be abused.
"by activating its production, they were able to make the rejected flies act satisfied and curtail their drinking; and by suppressing it, sexually satisfied flies would behave as if they were deprived and drink more."
So all we have to do to make the slaves happy and contented even though their deprived lives are utter shit, is to pump them full of this neuropeptide and BAM - instant happiness! And the anti-drinking, anti-drug, anti-fun Daily Mail crowd will love it: an instant cure for anything "addictive" like alcohol, tobacco, dope and and other drugs, and a way to make everyone instantly receptive to their PC worldview.
Happiness is mandatory, citizen.
@ Hud Dunlap
"My problem is why someone involved in human trafficking is getting such light sentences?"
That had me stunned too. This guy was charged with kidnapping and underage sex slavery and he only got four years? I'd wager that anybody who actually paid for sex with one of his underage sex slaves would be doing 15-20 and life on the SOR, yet this guy abducts and enslaves multiple kids for that purpose and only does four?
It raises the question: Who the fuck was he paying off?
Well, this is what we get
for building our major manufacturing centres on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Concentrating all our civilisation's most essential technology fabrication plants in the planet's most geologically unstable region was bound to have consequences sooner or later.
Australia and Russia both have much more suitable areas for this. Both the Pilbara and Mongolian Siberia, repsectively, are geologically stable locations with no volcanoes and only rarely minor earth tremors, an almost complete absence of rain (so no flooding), distant from oceanic shorelines (so no tsunamis or hurricanes), free of vegetation (so no fires) and level ground for easy construction and transportation. In addition, these areas are useless for cultivation and so utilising them does not subtract from available food producing land. Finally, both areas, being devoid of rain and cloud, would make perfect sites for massive solar power stations to drive the fabrication plants and the necessary air-conditioning for the area's workers.
So relocating our tech-fab facilities to either location would do much to remove the disaster-induced issues we face today.
Let me get this straight
If I am to understand what the news services want from the news aggregators' and Google's perspective:
1. I link to your site.
2. You want me to pay to link to your site.
3. I remove my link to your site because I don't want to pay to advertise your site.
4. You bitch at me because I removed my link to your site.
5.In other words, you want to force me to link to your site AND pay for it?
PCs aren't going anywhere
any more than cars are.
Cars have been around for the thick end of a century, and aside from changes in appearance and engine efficiency, are pretty much the same sort of thing now as they were back then. The first cars were "horseless carriages" that looked like boxes on wheels, compared to the streamlined vehicles of today. But cars still have 4 wheels, an internal combustion engine, a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, and a windscreen, the function of which haven't changed for a century.
The WIMP (windows icons mouse pointer) interface is as much the standard for driving a computer as the steering wheel and brake + accelerator pedals are for driving a car. Despite the advent of touchscreens, many processes are still better performed with a keyboard and mouse. Anyone who has tried typing an article or constructing a 3D model on a fondleslab will understand this.
Fondleslabs will end up becoming an adjunct to PCs, but won't be replacing them any time soon, if ever.
Your Give-A-Monkeys-o-meter obviously deflected enough to make you want to post a comment about it!
In case you didn't know, Turtle is El Reg's resident serial downvote collector, who I think is trying to set some kind of record. Just give him his downvote and move on and he'll be happy.
For my part, I say Turtle is actually Gene Simmons and I claim my 5 quid!
I was going to say
What's with the happy clappy music? It sounded like the sort of thing people would sit around holding hands and singing during Scientology love-ins or something!
what happens in the future, when everyone's been using cloud storage for years and privately owned hard drives are just a fading memory, and one of these cloud companies decides to shut down in this manner?
All your data gets lost because you've nowhere to put it?
What this illustrates is just one of the perils of relying on cloud storage with no onsite backup.
Re: How much bandwidth on a Palantiri network?
Loads - more even than fibre, in fact - but unfortunately all the Palantiri connections seem to have been routed solely to the cloud server in Mordor. Attempts to retrieve data stored on this cloud seem to result only in a video of a giant flaming eye and a cryptic "I see you" message.
So as a means of communicating data directly between other Palantir locations the cat5 is actually an interim solution until the IT bods over there can get the Palantiri reconnected correctly.
One question, AC
Why do you assume everyone who hates Apple, loves Google?
I personally hate both. Yes, I hate Apple more than Google, but only in the sense that Mt Everest is higher than K2. I'm personally working towards getting completely out of the IT industry because I'm sick of what these two corporations have done to it. Clouds, walled gardens, software installations restricted to app stores, closed silos, insidious privacy invasion, remote control of our devices, endless patent wars - they've turned what was once an engaging and stimulating field into a mountain-sized steaming pile of shit.
I hope they will
Maybe Anonymous will succeed where the police forces of a dozen nations have failed. I hope Anon will dox these malware-pushing bastards and then proceed to make their lives, and hopefully those of their families as well, such an utter living hell that they'll wish the police had got to them instead.
Re: BEING OF SIMPLE MIND
It will change our lives for the worse, by pushing more "cloud" mentality (aka the "WE control and can delete and modify your data as we see fit, and/or bill you every time you access your own files" mentality) rather than proper onsite data storage solutions. See, this "donation" gets well publicised and allows the cloud-pushing companies behind it to say "See, cloud storage really works, these scientists are making good use of it, etc, etc".
But once everything is in the "cloud", Orwell's slogan, "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past" will become fully realisable by those whose interest it is to do so.
Visa and Mastercard are "publicly held" corporations? Oh, yeah right, they're publicly accountable - to those wealthy enough to own enough shares in them to influence board decisions. Is that your idea of democracy? Having to own huge amounts of shares in order to have a say in anything that affects your livelihood and freedom?
Spare me your "democracy", Captain, it looks a whole lot like a plutocratic dictatorship from here.
Re: If it Ain't Broke....
I can see a hint of the old "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" in there, Bob.
Bitcoin is needed because right now unaccountable corporations Mastercard and Visa control who is able to trade. You may recall the recent fracas with Wikileaks and how MC and Visa refused to process payments for them.
This is wrong on every level possible. Why the hell do these unelected and unaccountable corporations have the right to decide which free organisations can exist or not?
Also, both Mastercard and Visa have lately been making noises about selling your transaction history to third-party advertisers. You better hope you haven't used your credit card on any sketchy porn sites recently, because your purchase history is about to become effectively public knowledge.
So Bitcoin has a VERY valid place and purpose. It allows organistions like Wikileaks to exist despite the evil machinations of MC and Visa, it provides a confidentiality blanket for purchases we'd rather weren't general knowledge, and ensures freedom of trade between human beings.
"I would like to see how many don't sign up to sites like Facebook because of the privacy issues."
Unfortunately the article points out a dismal statistic:
From the article: "From the 2,277 people sampled, 93 per cent had a Facebook account"
So it looks like 93% of the population (of the US at least) is using Facebook. Seems like not too many worried about their privacy there. No wonder government agencies are beginning to make public services require it. No wonder courts are starting to make rulings about it. And nothing in the world of IT scares me more. Except perhaps Apple, but that's a whole different story...
I'm not surprised
In star formation, supergiant stars like Rigel and Deneb are rare but massive, then as you go down the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (W to O to B to A to F to G to K to M) the star types become more common as mass/size/brightness decreases. Blue B-type stars like Rigel are less common than G-stars like the Sun; stars like the Sun are less common than M-type red dwarfs like Wolf 359 or Proxima Centauri.
The numbers increase exponentially, too: for every Rigel there's a thousand Suns, but a million Proxima Centauris.
So it follows that if smaller = a LOT more common, then it's logical that free-formed planet-sized bodies should outnumber stars, even red dwarfs, by thousands to one.
By this hypothesis, many, if not most of these planets are quite likely to have formed independently of any star system, rather than having been expelled from one in the early stages of it's formation. This is borne out by the sheer number of them alluded to in the article; if they all came from star systems, there would be thousands of planets per star, which is not feasible.
Without nearby stars to blow off their atmospheres with stellar wind during their formation, these planets are also likely to have immense, nebulous atmospheres tens or even hundreds of thousands of kilometres deep, such that their outer surfaces may be far less distinguishable than even Jupiter or Saturn's. A photo of such a world would be an intriguing sight indeed.
I was going to say...
.here I was hoping China would turn out to be the last best hope of freedom from the tyranny of intellectual property rapidly descending about this benighted planet, even to the point of my being prepared to sacrifice freedom of speech in exchange for freedom from patents, but no, they seem to be falling into the same IP trap as the west. What a shame.
@ David W.
"Where do people get this stuff, anyway? Is the urge to be outraged so strong that the smallest shreds of common sense are puffed away in the breeze?"
I can't speak for others, but I personally hold that the purpose of patents has become corrupted, that now they are being registered purely defensively for the express purpose of suing anybody who happens to invent something later that uses it. Patents are now stifling innovation and crushing out the small inventor. I myself have come up with a number of ideas for products which I can't make because some fucking greedy megacorp somewhere has a patent on the shape of a spring or something.
So I oppose the whole patent stupidity with a vengeance. What started out as a means to protect the little guy from exploitation has been turned about to suppress creativity and innovation in the name of greed. So any straw at which I can clutch, including nebulous claims of "prior art" must be brought to bear if we are ever to have a hope of defeating this madness.
I remember when fullerenes were discovered
back in the 80s, and the word "fullerene" quickly came into general use then, in all the papers of the time. But somewhere in the late 90s the full name, buckminsterfullerene, came back. I'd assumed there had probably been some kind of intellectual property lawsuit from Buckminster Fuller's estate or something over the use of the word "fullerene" , since I can't think of anything else that would push people from using a shorter term to a longer polysyllabic one.
Your artist should be spoken to
Since the star in that picture is a very Sun-like G-class yellow, and a B-class star as referred to in the article is actually supposed to be blue. Remember your high-school astronomy - Wow! Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now Sweetie!
Posting in an epic thread
since Andrew has actually enabled comments in an article using the word "freetard"...well done sir!
It's actually good to see an MP that actually understands the stupidity of today's copyright laws. Downloading is not theft, it's copyright violation, and saying so does not make anyone a "freetard", Andrew, which is mere ad-hominem name-calling and does nothing to validate your point of view.
I believe the correct cry is
"Whatever the record companies are currently doing is legal"
Only because the fuckers bought and paid for the laws that make it so. That doesn't make what they do right. I could theoretically get away with murdering babies with pickaxes if I had enough money to pay off enough politicians to pass a law making it legal to murder babies with pickaxes. Doesn't make it a good thing to do though!
Only 2 billion?
Proview should shoot the wad and demand 2 HUNDRED billion, and do the world the favour of bankrupting the fruity bastards!
Re: Speaking as a graphic designer with 30+ years' experience...
Hey, don't knock the ol' teal and purple! That horrendous colour scheme is what got my company a major contract with our state government!
Actually, I care, and I'm sure quite a few other people do also, who'd rather not have to hold in our vomit while forced to look at some hideously deformed collagen and botox monstrosity with miniskirted tree-trunk legs and varicose veins like the Amazon river system trying desperately to recapture its youth, down at the local shopping mall!
Maybe they've managed to build the much-anticipated Heisenberg Compensator?
This looks shopped
I can tell from the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.
may be saints for now but they'll be shedding their halos to join the evil Apple empire with the release of Windows 8 - which has all the invasive remote control and walled garden of iOS. In the coming years, if you want your computer to actually be yours, and not subject to remote control by megalomaniac corporations, your only choice will be Linux - if there's anything left of it after Microsoft black-ban any motherboard manufacturer that puts unlockable UEFI on their boards.
The future of IT looks very bleak, and it all started with Apple and that fucking megalomaniac despot Jobs, may his soul rot in hell for all eternity.
Which is exactly
why he doesn't turn on comments for IP related articles. Andrew has a very pro-IP viewpoint and he is well aware that the majority of the readership doesn't share his opinion. He calls everyone who doesn't adore the principles of DRM and consumption control "freetards" but lacks the courage to allow any public debate of his statements.
Likewise, some of the mod team here also seem to be fairly protective of Andrew, since about half my posts that are critical of him don't get published. I give this post a 50/50 chance of making it past the mods, depending on which one approves/disapproves it...
Interesting post. However, a couple of things I should point out:
1) Alpha Centauri is due south, not north. It's one of the pointers to the Southern Cross, and as such it's within 30 degrees of the south celestial pole. (It's circumpolar from where I live in Adelaide, Australia)
2) Mounting a bloody great fuck-off railgun launcher through the guts of Ceres and launching multi-hundred-ton spacecraft from it at multiples of earth gravities will, by virtue of Newton's 3rd Law, undoubtedly do wonderful and interesting things to the orbit of said asteroid. If you orient the launch vectors appropriately, you could even start it on a collision course with Earth, which, considering Ceres is comparable in size to Texas, would go a long way towards doing the Universe the favour of removing the human race from it! ;)
It's been known for years
albeit without the specifics listed in the article, that the continents would one day merge into what the scientists have long been calling "Pangaea Ultima".
http://www.scotese.com/earth.htm, look at the links for Future World, Future +100, and Future +250 - this site places Pangaea Ultima at around 250m.y. from now.
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