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* Posts by Steven Roper

1378 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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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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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@ 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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@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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You're forgetting

that Australian judges all own shares in Apple.

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No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it

Steven Roper
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@ Graham Dawson Re: Product placement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steven Roper
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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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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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Advertisers slam Microsoft over 'Do not track' decision

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

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

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

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

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LOHAN sucks Reg reader's instrument to death

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16-bit integers in FS II on the Amiga

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

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

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

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Google to show China what it's missing

Steven Roper
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And pray tell

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

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

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1930s photos show Greenland glaciers retreating faster than today

Steven Roper
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Trollface

This is interesting

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

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

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

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

A very good post, upvoted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Free Windows 8 desktop app development is dead

Steven Roper
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Stop

Re: Evaluating thumbs down

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

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Steven Roper
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WTF?

Re: Out of their minds

Say what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Agriboffins' site downed by DDoS after GM protest

Steven Roper
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Re: Luddites wanting us to move back to the caves

They do indeed.

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

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

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Self-driving Volvos cover 200km of busy Spanish motorway

Steven Roper
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Re: Worried

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

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

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

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Trekkie wants to build USS Enterprise … in twenty years

Steven Roper
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Re: A journey to Alpha Centauri

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

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

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

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

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

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Steven Roper
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Boffin

A journey to Alpha Centauri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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