* Posts by Steven Roper

1389 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

Steven Roper
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Re: Admirable corporations

There is actually a corporation that I do like, if not admire, and that's Advanced Micro Devices, more commonly known in geek circles as AMD. Their pro-hacker (in the true sense of the word) philosophy, keeping their CPUs overclockable and offering replacements if you send back your blown-up ones for them to study, is indicative of a company whose main interest is the science and engineering behind their product, rather than mere profit. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't in it for the money - they have to be, by law - but they do put a priority on advancing the technology over gaining simple market volume (or snatching their patent toys out of everyone's reach like some companies I can think of). This makes AMD a geek amongst corporations!

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Steven Roper
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Mushroom

Balance

You can't simply stop warfare by telling people not to work on munitions - World War II illustrates this perfectly. If you doubt it, consider this: some of the scientists working on the Manhattan Project considered the possibility that an uncontrolled nuclear explosion in the open might contaminate the Earth's atmosphere and eradicate all life on Earth. Despite this possibility, they went ahead and tested it anyway, and hang the consequences. If these "boffins" were prepared to risk the destruction of all life on Earth in their pursuit of more effective weaponry, what makes anyone think that the prospect of a mere dystopian horror future is any kind of discouragement?

However, things balance out. People like the Rosenbergs, who were executed as traitors for providing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets, actually did humanity a great service by ensuring that others besides the trigger-happy USA had the Bomb, and thus vastly reduced the possibility of nuclear war through the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction. If the Americans had remained the only ones with nuclear weapons, with no other country having any effective countermeasures, I'd bet 10 years' pay Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have only been the first of many nuclear targets; Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East would in all likelihood be glowing glass wastelands by now if the USA believed it could deploy nuclear weapons without fear of like retaliation.

With robotic weaponry, a balance will also be struck. Countermeasures will be devised the moment these things start to become a problem for anyone with the ability to develop such countermeasures. Iran has already shown us that this is possible, with the drone they downed and captured and which the USA so ardently denied was anything consequential.

Those with a need to protect themselves against such devices will certainly do so, and the solutions will invariably be much simpler than the robotic systems themselves. I picture radio jamming devices, which cut off the drones from their controllers; laser pointers to blind or damage the cameras mounted on them; microwave beam emitters to fry the circuitry controlling them (didn't a bunch of boffins just recently demonstrate a powerful room-temperature maser? That has some potential...!)

Remember, it is easier to destroy than to create; a principle which in this case works against the complicated systems of robotic ordnance.

I am reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's solution to orbiting weapons satellites; he said the best way to get rid of them would be to simply launch a rocket with a payload of ordinary sand, to be dumped into the path of the satellites. The high relative velocities of satellite and sand grains means that as soon as the satellite hits the sand it would be shredded like a tomato in a sandblaster.

And I am reminded of a Commodore 64 cracking crew I was in contact with back in the 80s; a well-known game house had spent thousands of dollars and more than six months developing a DRM system to prevent copying of their games; this cracking crew broke it in less than 10 minutes for no cost. That's months of work and thousands of dollars rendered useless in minutes!

So I'm certain that the more these robotic weapons are developed, the quicker people will develop countermeasures. And those countermeasures will be something cheaper and more readily available than the robots they are intended to fuck over. Instead of pleading with engineers not to work on robotic weapons, which is an exercise in futility, get other engineers to develop ways of counteracting them. I'll be interested to see what creative anti-robot measures people come up with.

For what man can make, man can break.

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Greens launch anti-TPP Internationale

Steven Roper
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Re: Who listens to the Greens?

Enough tree-hugging voters to give the bastards balance of power in the Senate, forcing the Gillard goverment to adopt the highly unpopular carbon tax, which has resulted in Australians paying the most expensive fucking electricity bills in the world. If you think pandering to the AGW believers is worth $500 - $800 a quarter, you'd realise just who listens to the fuckers.

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Don't download that app: US presidential candidates will STALK you with it

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

Which highlights the most important issue here

that being, your privacy is only as good as the least privacy-concerned person you are in contact with.

I loathe Facebook with a vengeance, and only joined at the insistence of my family and out of a need to observe and control what information was placed there about me; I went to great lengths to minimise the information about myself that was put on there. However, thanks to my Facebook-loving mother, bless her heart, they know almost as much about my private life, interests, hobbies, job and contact network as she does.

This is invasiveness of a scale even Orwell could never have imagined. A 1984 analogy would perhaps be people voluntarily demanding portable telescreens so Big Brother could watch them even on community hikes, and personal microphones that broadcast even a whisper from you to all in the vicinity.

If you know anyone who is on Facebook, or uses the sorts of apps mentioned in the article, you may as well have gone to the police yourself and voluntarily told them your whole life story. But hey, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, right?

When even my own family - the people I love most in the world and would gladly die for - are effectively made into informants, without even realising it, by the fundamental invasiveness of social networking, the future is a horror to make the worst imaginings of Orwell, Huxley and Bradbury seem like libertarian paradises in comparison.

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Watch out, PC disk drive floggers: Cloud will rust up those spinners

Steven Roper
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It's really very heartening

to see the Reg readership so united in their views on all this "cloud" bullshit. The article reminded me very much of those cloud-pushing marketing twonks who occasionally drift into our office and get sent packing by myself or my team as soon as we find out what they're here for. I went to a lot of effort last year to convince the board that moving our IT to "the cloud" would be a big mistake and I did such a good job (judging by the caustic claims of "incompetence" I got from one cloud-humping Reg commenter when I posted about this back then) of convincing them, that there's no way our company is going to be outsourcing our data storage or IT for years to come.

I'm against cloud storage as the sole means of retaining information for the same reasons as quoted by others here - control of my data, availability of data, transfer speed, cost, etc. But another major reason, which I haven't seen mentioned yet, in relation to storing media - movies, music, ebooks and so on - is Orwellian historical revisionism.

We live in an age of political correctness. Books such as those written by Enid Blyton, for example, have often been bowdlerised beyond recognition by self-righteous do-gooders bent on protecting our kids from the political incorrectness of our past. If all movies, music and books were to be hosted in the "cloud" and streamed to us as we require them, not only does that then enable the "pay-per-view/listen/read" scam model so beloved of the copyright lobby, it makes it vilely easy to "revise" said works to suit the political correctness of the day.

I know, for example, that the episodes of Buck Rogers (a "sexploitation" show of the sort today's feminists really loathe) that I have on my hard drive will always be the same ones I watched and loved as a teenager, not some future bowdlerised "let's cover all those miniskirted women with CGI-overlaid baggy clothing" version cooked up by the man-hater lobby. And they will always be there, unchanged, for me to watch whenever the mood takes me.

It is for this reason that I don't want to see media streaming from the cloud become the norm, either. If there's 10,000 copies of Enid Blyton's Golliwog books floating around, it's going to be that much harder for the PC revisionists to rid the historical record of them than it would be if there was just one centralised copy streamed by everyone who wanted to read them.

The cloud would make the Ministry of Truth's job that much easier if we succumbed to storing all our media on it.

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Exposing China's vast underground economy

Steven Roper
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Alien

You're slipping, AMFM

Those posts were almost understandable English. None of your usual "NEUKlearer XXXX CyberIntellAIgent" CryptoSpeak™ that always used to bring a smile to my face. I want the old AMFM back!

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Beck's open-source challenge to freetards: play it yourself!

Steven Roper
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Re: ...as, indeed, is Orlowski.

Hey, don't complain! Andrew used the word "freetard" in an article about copyright and enabled the comments!

You see, Andrew? Now that didn't hurt so much, did it? ;)

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RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

Steven Roper
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RIP Harry

He was one of my favourite authors - I've read the Deathworld and To The Stars trilogies more times than I can count, and since a child I have maintained that both would make some blockbuster movie series, if only Hollywood would get off their endless Batman- and Spiderman-remaking arseholes and make some proper fucking sci-fi. I'd even be happy if Syfy and the crowd behind the Children of Dune mini-series got together and did the movies instead.

I just wish someone would do it, because Deathworld particularly is just screaming for the silver screen treatment. I'd like to see, say, Christian Bale as Jason dinAlt, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Kerk Pyrrus, and Jessica Alba as Meta.

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Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 MORE

Steven Roper
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Re: Saudi...

Actually, most of the maths and science that we credit the Muslim nations for, they pinched from India before passing it on to Europe.

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Steven Roper
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@ Trevor Pott

Excellent post, Trevor, and sentiments I absolutely support. I also admire the measured and rational manner of your response to JDX, since what I felt like saying to him in response to his idiotic comment would not have passed moderation. Well said.

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Australian Police want in-house social network

Steven Roper
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Re: I'm not sure but I don't think people are that stupid ;-)

Yes. They are.

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Boffins create 100,000 DPI image

Steven Roper
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Re: .but what would be the point?

More like easy concealment...

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Australia on path to social media regulation

Steven Roper
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Re: Because banning black jokes...

It's worse than that. Enforcing anti-racist values by law casts the racists themselves as victims of oppression by virtue of removing their right to express themselves. I've observed people starting to express support for racist groups in unprecedented numbers, not because they're particularly racist in themselves, but because they're sick of the political correctness lobby constantly telling them how they're allowed to think and feel about their fellow human beings. And the moment you start legislating thought processes and emotions, which is what the PC lobby want to do, you make yourselves as bad as the racists you are trying to impede.

Not only that, but in my own life I have on a number of occasions encountered discrimination on the basis of my sex and my race and there's been nothing I can do about it. Why? Because I am a member of that ultimate source of all of society's ills - the ubiquitous, overpowered, evil and perverted white male. The PC lobby isn't about equal opportunity and fair treatment for all so much as it has become about a War on White Men.

No doubt the PC zealots (the worst of whom are often themselves wealthy white men seeking to reduce the perceived competition) will get stuck into me at this point, but the facts will bear me out - the lack of any existence in Australia and elsewhere of facilities to assist white men as specifically as there are facilities to assist women, aboriginals and non-white people, is all the evidence required to establish the pervasiveness of this systematic reverse discrimination.

I am reminded of that passage in Orwell's 1984 where Winston cries, "I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt to the bone." This is because for him, the values of purity, goodness and virtue have been misappropriated to serve the agenda of his oppressors. Which is exactly what the PC lobby has done - they've turned the virtue of accepting people on their own merits into a weapon of hatred against white males.

I don't want to support racists, or sexists, of any stripe. I absolutely believe that freedom is founded upon treating everyone equally. I just as absolutely believe that civilisation can only achieve its full potential if every member of civilisation has the opportunity to realise their full potential. To discriminate on the basis of factors that have no bearing on ability is to waste resources, skills, and intelligence. But what the PC lobby is doing by discriminating against me on the basis of those same factors is forcing me into the same argumentative camp as those goose-stepping idiots whose wasteful, discriminatory values I equally despise, just to be able to assert my own dignity and rights as a human being.

Stop blaming white men for everything that's wrong with the world. Give us the EQUAL opportunity you give to everyone else, eliminate the evil of "affirmative action" and "hate speech" laws, and implement instead educational programs and assistance for those who are having trouble adopting the new ideals instead of merely punishing them. Then you won't be making underdogs and victims of the racists and sexists. You won't be reducing the essential values of civilised behaviour to hypocritical Orwellian false virtues. And the problems you are trying to eliminate will solve themselves by the simple nature of their inefficiency and the basic desire of every human being for freedom and self-determination.

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Google, PayPal, banks, mobile networks in pay-by-bonk peace summit

Steven Roper
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Not for me either

As Google Wallet is involved it looks like I will be avoiding whatever payment system eventuates.

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Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Steven Roper
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In that case

I believe "Windows Mehfronishcalistenpholilugielingishoforalliskoriancratoononinkyzarfolombalieralisimologicalasticallywerndrifochaleeshonurmuriocostalentarielindrexificentablotsarafendialcoronistrealholistolacktrelliantoralliemungocatanchelsoristelorracenatarrioluridumintro" isn't taken yet, as it's 256 characters long, so they might be able to use that. And since it starts with "Me" and ends in "tro" they could always then shorten it to "Me-tro" and claim it's just an abbreviation...

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Google pays just $22.5m to FTC over Safari tracking blunder

Steven Roper
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Erm...

The legal system is so fucked up in most Western countries that if you did spray a trespasser on your property with a hose, they probably could sue you for damages and they'd most likely win. Not that the trespasser would get any of the winnings of course; the only reason these kinds of ridiculous lawsuits ever succeed is so the judge and his good mates, the lawyers, can rip even more money out of yet another member of the public - in this case you, as the target of the lawsuit.

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Iran’s ‘domestic Internet’ schedule slips

Steven Roper
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FAIL

@Goat Jam

Do you consider armed thugs kicking your door in and dragging you off to be executed for uttering the words, "I don't believe in Allah anymore", to be a valid way of life?

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Woz: Cloud computing trend is 'horrendous'

Steven Roper
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Re: Oh bollocks Woz

Except that small business are more at risk from competitors. I part-own (and run the IT systems for) a small (< 20 staff) software development and publishing firm and there are dozens of other businesses in our region alone in the same field. They've poached customers from us (and we from them!) but the one thing in common between all of us is that we source most of our business from online searches and social networking - the same services that are now offering "cloud storage" as well.

By storing all our information in the cloud, all of our competing businesses are effectively giving control of our data to a few big companies who may very well have a vested interest in seeing one of our firms succeed at the expense of the others. Maybe some high-flying Google executive's son owns one, and so dear old Dad can use Google's access to all that data stored in their cloud "service" to give said son an advantage. Or maybe Google want to move in on our turf and put all the competition out of business. There are many possible scenarios where the consolidation of masses of SME information could be abused, and at some point in the future, almost certainly will be.

Not only that, but as others have wisely posted, when you store everything on the cloud, you effectively give up ownership of your data. If someone else misuses the cloud service you're using and the copyright mafia / homeland security / whatever decide to shut it down, an SME would be just as fucked, if not more so, as a big company that was stupid enough to rely on the same service. Megaupload anyone?

Most of my contemporaries in competing SMEs are as skeptical about the cloud as I am, for these and other reasons. I know full well that managing a round dozen of desktops and an assortment of notebooks, tablets and smartphones clustered around a homegrown server is nothing like managing the massive IT infrastructure of a big company; in fact it's nothing that a halfway competent sysadmin can't handle between cups of coffee. So for SMEs, hiring one grease monkey to look after your small tin (as opposed to big iron!) is more than worth the cost, when you consider the risks and potential costs of exposing, and losing, all your data to the cloud.

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Olympic athletes compete in RAYGUN SHOOTING for the first time

Steven Roper
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Light sabres

Not as clumsy or random as a... laser pistol...

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Anonymous declares war after French firm trademarks its logo

Steven Roper
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Re: They're logo?

"It's a man in suit with no head sitting in front of a globe."

Exactly. And I'd really, really love to see the artist who originally created that image, sue the arse off these greedy, exploitative bastards for infringing HIS copyright. I will donate gladly to any fund that said artist wants to set up to fund the defence of his IP.

But what really amazes me is that it was the French, and not the Americans, that came up with the idea of trademarking the Anonymous logo... it's the sort of thing I wouldn't have put past the good old US of A!

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Hobbyist builds working assault rifle using 3D printer

Steven Roper
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Re: Damn

Once replicators are truly perfected, everyone will be out of a job. But in a world where you can just replicate everything you need, there'll be no need for jobs. Or money. Or any of that related bullshit that makes our present civilisation so unbearable... speed the day!

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AIIA takes the ‘Australian’ out of price-gouge concerns

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

What this is REALLY about

is bald two-faced, double-standard, fuck-you hypocrisy on the part of every business that rips off Australian consumers with differential pricing. Their boardroom mentality, stripped of all the bullshit, is simply this:

"WE want the benefits of globalisation so WE can pay less for cheap labour by outsourcing to third-world countries. YOU lowlife, consumer plebs, however, are not entitled to the same benefits, so YOU will pay full price regardless." One rule for us, and another for them. In. Your. Face.

My response is simply to buy most of my stuff directly from Chinese drop-shipping sites like Chinavasion or TMart instead. They sell more stuff than Amazon at third-world prices to anywhere in the world, from clothing and shoes to office stationery to CDs and DVDs to electronics, and with no middleman markups.

I will not buy anything from these hypocritical thieving bastards. If they can benefit from globalisation, I can as well.

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Girls tricked by STEAMY message: Webcam spyware student jailed

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: I'd be a lot less ambivalent about feminism

You're ambivalent about feminism, Aaron? You could have fooled me, since I had you pegged as one of the more devotedly misandrist male feminists on here some time ago. So how's that anti-male crusade going? Gotten any more of the competition jailed yet?

You should club up with David W. and Oolons on these forums, since they seem to hate males about as much as you do!

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Iranian nuke plants rocked in midnight 'heavy metal blast'

Steven Roper
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@ Fibbles and AC re "Sheeple"

Over multiple forums over the last couple of years, I've observed that those who most vociferously condemn the use of the word "sheeple" are the ones most often guilty of exactly what the word is intended to disparage.

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Darth Vader is a pansy

Steven Roper
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WTF?

Re: Disagree

Look, I know The Black Hole is no Citizen Kane, but do you really expect anyone on this forum to seriously believe you, or anyone else with more than two discrete brain cells, capable of sitting through Battlefield Earth even once, let alone a dozen times, regardless of how bad any other movie might be?

I don't think so, sunshine!

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Steven Roper
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MrT Re: white cars

My friend has an interesting theory on white cars, having owned quite a few different coloured ones in his time.

He maintains that white cars have the best "police invisibility" - that is, cops pull over white cars noticeably less often than cars of any other colour, with red being the "cop magnet" colour most likely to be pulled over. His experiences in 25 years of driving seem to bear him out on this: in the 4 years he was driving his red Datsun 1200, he was pulled over 12 times; in the same period driving his white Ford Falcon, he was pulled over only once.

Not only that, he also diligently takes note every time he sees someone else pulled over, and he says he sees less white cars pulled over than any other colour, despite white being one of the more common car colours on the road where we live.

Since he's a bit of a risk-taker and a leadfoot, his driving style is more likely than most to attract the notice of the local constabulary regardless of the car he's in, so he puts it down to the colour of the car as being the major determinant of police attention!

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Japanese publisher, staff arrested over backup software offer

Steven Roper
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Devil

Ah, I see

the MAFIAA have bought themselves some Japanese politicians, then.

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WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

Steven Roper
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@ boltar re: religion becoming an ethnicity

When did religion become an ethnicity? I must have missed that memo.

Look up the word "Jew" sometime. You might find it quite enlightening.

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Anonymous vows to wipe web clean of child abuse scum

Steven Roper
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FAIL

Oolons and David W.

Thank you for demonstrating my point about men being the most bigoted feminists. How quick you both were to spring to the defence of a noxious movement whose incessant attacks on men have caused the male suicide rate to rise to more than FOUR TIMES that of women. But I guess that's less competition for you two, right?

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Steven Roper
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Re: Mmm...

"When it's a story about a 14 year old boy being involved with his 25/30 yr old teacher it's mostly comments like `lucky fucker` but when it's the other way around it's `peel his skin and burn him alive`"

That's because of 30+ years of toxic insititutionalised feminism brainwashing the public to believe that all men are filthy paedophile rapists and all women are innocent little victims who can do no wrong. I might point out in passing that many of the most bigoted feminists have themselves been men (usually with an agenda), while some of the most staunch opposition to feminism and misandry has come from women.

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Google plants rainbow flag in anti-gay countries

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

@ the politically correct gay AC

How dare you tell me or anyone else what I'm allowed to like or not! IF I wanted to not like homosexuals, that would be my goddamn right, and not you nor anyone else has any right to tell me how I'm allowed to feel about it.

Now, that said, I personally don't give two shits about where you stick your prick, as long as it isn't into me, little kids, or anyone else who doesn't want it, and I don't have any problems with someone being gay, straight, asexual or whatever suits you. Knock yourself out.

But I DO have a very big fucking problem with politically correct do-gooders telling me what I'm allowed to think or how I'm allowed to feel, or even what I'm allowed to say in conversation. And I'm fucking sick of it.

Look, if some arse insults you for being gay, either ignore them or insult them back for being a self-righteous dick. Give back as good as you get. But if someone physically attacks you for it, either fight back or run, then call the police, as you would in any physical attack situation. Most people sooner or later run into some form of violence - be it a mugging, a bar fight, a road-rage attack, whatever - and there are laws and procedures to deal with such events.

But if someone doesn't feel comfortable with homosexuality or whatever, perhaps even to the point of needing to cope with that discomfort by making homophobic jokes - as long as they don't attack you personally - that's their fucking RIGHT of free speech and their RIGHT of freedom of thought to feel that way.

See, I have no problem with you defending yourself in a confrontation with an anti-gay idiot, just as I have no problem with you or anyone else being gay. But stop trying to force me and other people to love you for it. All you achieve with that is to make loads of people despise you for being a censorious, humourless, dictatorial arsehole, and that just makes it worse for other gays who simply want get on with their lives and don't feel the need to preach to everyone about it, or tell them what they're allowed to think and feel in regard to it.

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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

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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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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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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

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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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Thumb Up

@ 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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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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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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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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