1389 posts • joined 10 May 2011
Re: Feminists: they are idiots and to blame!
@Hollerith: Thank you for proving my point about feminists being in denial about human nature. You fail to take into account that even though feminism and its related critical-theory forms of political correctness have been in force in schools now for over 30 years, boys still choose for the most part to play with cars and girls still choose for the most part to play with dolls. Three generations of children now have had the principles of feminism dinned into them from day dot and it hasn't affected their play choices. That's because ten thousand generations of evolution have predisposed each gender for the roles it has been adapted by its environment to carry out. That is as incontestable a fact as the law of gravity, no matter how sanctimoniously you and your kind rant and rave and jump up and down about it.
As to my quoting memes, proving an argument and illustrating a point are two different literary techniques with different purposes. Unlike you, I am not constrained to expressing myself solely within the dictates of critical theory.
"Nothing if you are living in a society where the majority of the whole population is male and white."
Let me fix that for you: "Nothing if you are living in a society in which the majority of people choosing to enter the relevant professions is male and white."
By your logic, there should be equal numbers of men and women in every profession since you're assuming that the whole population is equally distributed across all professions. There's a reason why you see more male programmers and more female child-care workers; that is, that despite the most intense insistence of feminists, gender does in fact predispose people towards different walks of life. Men and women think differently as a result of their gender. Nothing, not the most fanatical political correctness nor the most vehement ranting about stereotypes, can alter this simple psychological fact. That's not to say that women can't be programmers or men can't be childcare workers. It's simply that the majority of them freely choose not to be.
When 50% of people choosing and completing IT courses at universities are female (without imposing artificial gender quotas and turning men away simply because they are men), only then do you have the right to whine if the employment figures don't match the graduation rates.
Your comment reminds me of one of those meme images I saw recently, which had a picture of a stereotypically feminist-looking woman and was captioned something like this:
Top: "Complains that only 21% of programmers are female" - Bottom: "Majored in gender studies and English literature"
Exactly what I was going to say.
"Ipod has detected multiple listeners. Tap here to authorize additional payment of 1 dollar per song within 10 seconds otherwise the second earphone will be muted."
Corporate greed knows no bounds.
Re: I am not in the habit.......
"By the toll of a billion deaths, man has bought his birthright of the Earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his though the Martians were ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain." - H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
An overbearing obsession with hygiene and eliminating germs leads to a weakened immune system...
Re: A slap on the wrist
"...and 30 years in prison, then he might conclude piracy wasn't such a good idea."
Why not just save the cost of imprisonment and publicly burn him at the stake? Then you can use him to set an example to all those other vile, thieving pirating scum. Would that satisfy your thirst for
vengeance justice sufficiently?
Or allowing bastards like Murdoch to monopolise certain popular TV shows so he can force those who want to watch them to pay for top-dollar premium channels that cost the earth just so they can watch one show.
There's one near me, and he's doing very well despite there being a shopping centre with both a Coles and a Foodland within a kilometre of him. Although I do most of my weekly shopping online, I get my fruit and veg from the greengrocer because 1) he's often cheaper than the supermarkets, 2) his produce is a lot fresher and better quality than the supermarkets, 3) if I buy fresh produce online I usually get given whatever crap the onsite shoppers reject, so 4) I can pick out the particular fruit and veggies I want at the greengrocer.
Anyone who shops online and has ordered fruit and veg this way will soon discover that it's not a good way to get fresh produce. Which is why the greengrocer near me is always full of customers.
How long before this gets used on people?
The cops would certainly love it; just point a laser at you and you walk calmly right into a prison cell.
Re: Re science is fun!
"laser targeted cat craze"
Don't overdo that, the little bastards do learn. I did it once too often with my two cats, to the point where they now know exactly what a laser dot is and that it's simply not worth the bother of chasing it. They don't even follow it or look at it any more when I wave it around, instead they simply look at the laser pointer in my hand and then at me, with an expression that clearly says, "What the fuck do you take me for?"
I hope you're right Rik, I really do, and that your kids can find a way to sort the future out for everyone.
I do have other valid reasons for my choices, although this isn't the place to go into them. But suffice to say, the line between despair and realism is a very fine one, as is the line between cowardice and pragmatism.
Re: I am so glad
I wish I was older, and I'm 47. Which means that 1) If I live as long as my grandparents did (all but one made it into their 90s) I have another 40ish years of life on this shithole planet to look forward to, and 2) What this world is going to be like in 20 years doesn't bear thinking about, let alone 40. I shudder to think of the soul-raping "innovations" people like O'Reilly and Smith in this article are going to foist on us in that time.
And even then I probably won't be allowed to die peacefully. Some horror like that depicted in this Youtube video will probably be in place by then and my life and my very memories will be hijacked to serve the greed or our corporate masters.
"What a miserable life our children are going to have."
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely why I've refused to have kids. I saw this sort of thing coming years ago, so it comes as no surprise. I've copped all sorts of flack throughout my life from family, friends and internet contacts alike for this decision, so when I see someone else say something like that I feel that it vindicates my choice.
The future is a horror. I'm just glad no progeny of mine will be slaves to it.
@David 138 Re: Even better idea
"All of the XP machines need replacing anyway."
Do they still work OK? Are they still doing the job your company bought them to do? If they're not failing or packing up, and they can still handle the workload, then why spend money changing them for the mere sake of change?
I assume your company isn't in business to make Microsoft money, your company would be in business to make your shareholders money. That means maximising profit and minimising cost. Throwing money away on replacing perfectly serviceable equipment is not minimising cost.
Of course Microsoft are in business to make money for their shareholders too, but the difference is your company likely isn't implementing a dishonest and deliberately flawed business model with an artificially-imposed end-of-life to drive business. If your company is like mine, it probably implements the more ethical business model of providing service contracts to maintain its existing product base for as long as customers want the products.
Now Microsoft could implement a service contract model - for example, where if you want updates you pay them a fiver a month per machine and they continue maintaining your OS with no other requirements. If they did this for everyone who wanted to stay on XP they could make plenty just doing that. If you don't pay then you don't get updates (but your system should continue working as is without impedance) and you take your risks on the chin.
But instead of offering honest service contracts, what Microsoft have got going is a "pay us something like 200 grand a year plus you have to prove you have a migration process in place" policy. That's tantamount to them reaching into your business and telling you how to run it, and charging you a bloody house's worth per year for the privilege to punish you for it. In my book, that's unethical and immoral, and it damn well should be illegal.
@BlueGreen Re: 94.6 bits
"So for gender I need more than one bit but not *all* of 2 bits' worth of encoding. So it might take 1.5 bits"
Except that in these margin times with all the gender-fluid/gender-diverse options demanded by some ("otherkin/beast male-psyche femme-presenting" etc. etc.) you now need at least 16 bits to store all the possible gender variations people come up with!
Admittedly, your two bits can at least serve for those who are genuinely gender-diverse: unknown/male/female/transgender fits perfectly.
Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)
Never mind laptop screens, I want a bloody desktop monitor capable of more than the bog-stock 1920 x 1080 they've been stuck at for the past decade. Even the 1920 x 1200 ones are getting hard to find and the few that still exist cost the bloody earth. Meanwhile phone and tablet screens are pointlessly increasing resolutions to levels where a scanning electron microscope is required to see a single pixel, while desktop monitors remain as nothing more than ordinary HD TV sets.
Where's my goddamn 4096 x 2560 desktop monitor!
waiting for Apple to start suing all these watchphone makers off the market because they patented the idea of a watchphone even though the idea has been around since Dick Tracy and they have yet to come out with one themselves. No doubt they'll claim they invented it first even though these devices have been available on drop-shipping sites and such for quite some time now.
Bring on the downvotes, fanbois.
"I'm pretty sure calling all black cab drivers bigots is a fairly bigotted position to take."
As soon as I saw words like "racist", "sexist" and "biggot"(sic) being used seriously in that AC's rants my first thought was, "Oh, it's one of those..." and moved on to the next post.
There are many more interesting comments to read on El Reg without my wasting time poring over the inane dribblings of brainwashed hypocrites who probably majored only in gender studies and sociology, and whose politically-correct groupthink functions as a substitute for independent thought.
...Or 30-second sound bites...
Re: The Nancy Chamber of Commerce and Tourism should have paid his fine ...
Why would they do that? That way they incur the cost of his fine and have to pay him for the footage.
Instead, they can now confiscate his footage as the proceeds of criminal activity, therefore he forfeits all rights to it. The government gets to use his footage for nothing, they can even charge the Nancy Chamber of Commerce for the use of it and pocket the profits themselves, AND he has to pay them for the act of obtaining it.
That's how the world works these days. The benefits of copyright and ownership of things are only for our lords and masters, not for the likes of you and me.
What about a kite?
He could just as easily have attached his camera to a kite. and taken some photos, at least then he wouldn't have been fined. Unless flying kites is now illegal. Given the ongoing erosion of basic freedoms and simple pleasures that has characterised this century so far, it sadly wouldn't surprise me.
Re: never mind the enterprise
You won't be allowed to have them. You must store your data in "the cloud" like a good little consumer-robot, where it can be monitored and controlled for your own good, and where you can be constantly milked for money in order to keep access to it, and where your usage can be "monetized", and where it can be "revised" if it is copyrighted, too contentious or politically incorrect.
3-4 TB is the biggest you'll ever be allowed to have, and chances are those won't be available as consumer models for long. Already I've noticed that my local computer shop doesn't stock anything over 2 TB any more; if you want bigger you have to order it in - at a premium, of course. But all their new PC's now come with Windows 8 - and cloud storage by default.
You will comply. You won't be given the choice.
@Eddy Ito Re: As if...
Thanks for that Eddy, your explanation does clear it up for me. In fact, it almost seems obvious in hindsight when you think about it: "As if I could care less! (Yeah, right!)" When considered from the sarcastic context with the "As if" prepended to it, it suddenly makes sense.
Could care less / couldn't care less
I can comprehend the logic behind most American spellings and many of their idioms, but I must say this one has me stumped.
Saying "I could care less about X" seems to completely contradict the intent of the statement. The intent is to say "I don't care about X / the amount of interest I have in X is zero." So saying you could care less implies that you actually do care to at least some extent, because there is a lesser amount of interest you could have in the topic.
Saying "I couldn't care less about X" is the logical form. It states that there is no lesser amount of interest in X you could exhibit, therefore your interest in it is zero. It doesn't contradict the intent of the statement.
Any of our American friends care to enlighten me on what the thinking is with this one?
I've heard that before...
Funny, I seem to remember people saying this sort of thing 20 years ago.
Extraterrestrial life - almost certainly, sooner or later, although to pin it down within 20 years is a bit of a stretch. We'll be doing well to have retrieved samples from Mars in that time frame, let alone explored Europa or Titan or Enceladus or any of the other moons that also might harbour life.
Extraterrestrial intelligence - now that's a big ask. Especially if we expect that intelligence to be broadcasting radio waves. When you consider that only once in 4 billion years has Earth itself produced life capable of this, said life has only been able to broadcast radio for the past 100 years at most, and with the way technology is going, we'll have no need for powerful broadcast radio within the next 100 years. Low-powered wifi links acting as relays seems to be the way we are going in this area, and if this becomes the norm the radio shouts from Earth will soon drop to a whisper - one that is unlikely to be detectable from light-years away even with the most sensitive equipment. So the window of time in which such technology may be in widespread use is likely to be vanishingly small.
Furthermore, the environmental conditions required to produce intelligence are incredibly specific. Anyone who has seen or read Jared Diamond's excellent documentary series Guns, Germs and Steel will realise how specific the combination of geography, climate, ecology, and sociology have to be in order for advanced civilisation and technology to emerge. When you consider the specificity of those conditions, and the resulting tiny time window in the vast sweep of this planet's history, it is easy to see that while life in the universe is probably commonplace, intelligence almost certainly is not.
Even though there are potentially dozens of billions of life-bearing planets in our galaxy alone, which does improve the odds for there being intelligent civilisations at some stage of evolution, the chances are that such civilisations are spread so far apart that by the time the signals from one reach the antennae of another, the sender will have long since ceased to exist, or will have changed beyond anything the receiver might recognise as intelligence.
That's not to say we should stop searching, by any means. But we do need to face the realities of such a search, and citing time frames of 20 years, every 20 years or so, isn't being realistic about it.
Re: Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad
"...generation of british character actors prior to all those currently appearing in GOT"
You do know that the guy who played Dr. Clemens in Alien 3 (Charles Dance) is now better known as Tywin Lannister, right?
Re: If not JJ Abrams, then who else?
Could be worse. They could have given it to Uwe Boll.
Re: Overly Harsh
"I think you meant Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad"
Agreed, 101%. Alien 3 is actually my favourite in the trilogy (the alleged Resurrection doesn't exist in my world, much like the mythical Highlander 2 that didn't get made either.) I liked it because it raised the stakes, and therefore the suspense, to even higher levels than Aliens, by eschewing the hardware and making the protagonists even more expendable than Marines.
In Aliens, Ripley had access to a military arsenal - machine guns, grenade launchers, flame throwers, sharp sticks... the outcome was a foregone conclusion. But in Alien 3, it was down to just the sharp sticks. My favourite line in the entire trilogy is in 3 - Ripley's immortal and beautifully sarcastic, "What about torches? Do we have the capacity to make fire? Most humans have enjoyed that privilege since the Stone Age!" describes the desperate situation perfectly. And don't forget the Big Whammy at the end - that Ripley sacrifices her life to wipe out the last surviving specimen of the Xenomorph brings the story, Wagner-like, full circle.
Re: Guys, this isn't difficult.
That's what I call "art from the heart, as opposed to art for the mart." To me, there is art, and there is advertising. And in my book, the two are mutually exclusive. Yes, I know there are some very creative and brilliantly made adverts out there, but they are not art, because the motive is money, not passion. And there are some really crappy artworks out there, but they are still art, because they are made with passion.
For this reason, I can more admire and enjoy a 4-year-old's crayon stick figure with scrawled grass and wonky flowers, than the most slickly-produced CGI enhanced soft-drink advert. Because the 4-year-old is simply trying to tell a story. The advert is trying to bypass my conscious decision-making mechanisms to make me buy something.
And you're right about Star Wars too. With the original trilogy, Lucas was young and idealistic, and he had a story to tell. With the prequels, he'd been corrupted by the tremendous wealth that success had brought him, and he forgot his roots. And it shows - in some indefinable, ineffable way. All the elements of the original series are there, but because in the prequels the motive was money those elements failed. Comic relief in the original series was provided by R2D2 and C3PO, and we loved them for it. But with Jar Jar Binks it just fell flat; it was too contrived. Nobody saw in the speeder-bike chase in Return of the Jedi, an advert for a video game or the speeder bike toy. But the pod race in Phantom Menace simply screamed "Buy the Playstation Game!" And Luke's "Big NOOOOOO" in Empire Strikes Back sent chills down our spines as we realised he'd rather die than face the fact that Darth Vader was his father. But Anakin's "Big NOOOOOO" became the butt of a slew of internet jokes and memes.
Passion cannot be faked. Like love, it cannot be bought, not for all the money in the world. It has to come from the heart, and it has to be genuine. Not even the artificial, plastic, lollipop, pseudo-happiness espoused by Disney can pull it off. Anyone with a smidgin of humanity in their breast will know it when they see it, and they'll love the artwork for it.
It would appear
that the best defence against phone thieves is to implement an actual, real self-destruct. You know, the kind made of C4 with ball-bearings and bits of broken glass and shit embedded in it.
how much of this animosity is about Windows 8 itself and how much is due to its:
1) de-emphasis on local storage and emphasis on cloud storage, with its ongoing security risks and payments to retain your data.
2) requiring or at least constant nagging to log in to a Live account allowing MS to track your usage of the machine.
3) moving to a "rental" software business model with constant payments and forced updates.
It's not the interface so much as the invasiveness and control of the machine that is the issue for me and most other people I've discussed this with. China aren't stupid. They know what companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple are trying to do, and I suspect they don't like it, any more than I do.
If I pay for a computer, it is mine. End of discussion.
@ tombo Re: breaking news!
"Virtually every article is written by a fanboi or hater of each OS or technology."
So you are here reading El Reg and commenting on their articles because...?
Let me see if I have this right
Telstra want me to pay $210 (or bind myself into a contract, which is probably more in total) for the privilege of allowing passing strangers to use my internet connection, at my cost, in order to save themselves millions of dollars in backhaul costs? Do I have that down correctly? A multibillion dollar corporation wants me to charitably pay and provide a service, for them to save costs, with no benefit to myself?
The sheer face of that simply stuns me. I'd say "fuck off you greedy bastards", but that's too tame. What I'd really like to say would probably exceed even El Reg's generous standards.
Re: ALL THESE WORLDS
Why wasn't this the first post? Come on commentards, you're slacking off here!
Re: A warning, not an incentive
"And especially careful about handing over any intellectual property to the body running the competition."
Intellectual property issues are the reason I refuse to donate to medical-research "charities." It seems wrong to me, that a treatment researched with money people have donated out of altruism, should be restricted by patents held by some greed-driven pharmaceutical corporation and thus be unavailable to the poor.
This is why my stock response to medical (e.g. cancer, dementia etc) research collectors and callers is this: "Sure. I'll give you a thousand dollars right now, if your organisation can give me a legally binding written guarantee that any cure or treatment resulting from your research will be released openly and never be encumbered by patents or intellectual-property claims by any pharmaceutical entity." So far, I haven't had to make good on that deal even once.
Re: The trouble with 'touch' on the desktop...
Touch screens and mouse control are different interfaces that allow different tasks to be performed, and both have validity. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on the intended use-case scenario.
I don't get this "touch is new and mouse is old so touch must replace mouse everywhere" mentality. There's a reason we use handlebars on motorcycles and steering wheels in cars, and not the other way around.
For example, I do a lot of 3D modelling and graphic work as a hobby (and sometimes for work) A couple of years ago I got a Samsung Slate with Windows 7 and installed Blender (3D modelling software) on it. Since the Slate treats touch as a mouse event it was possible to use it thus, but trying to build 3D models in Blender using touch is an exercise in rage and frustration that would drive even Ghandi batshit crazy. Likewise trying to use Gimp or Photoshop with a touch interface. It's like trying to drive a car with a joystick. Forget. It.
Then there's typing up documentation and code for work. You need a keyboard. Not a picture of a keyboard on a screen. You need buttons that move, that are far enough part that my fat fingers don't end up tapping out shit like "SWKECT namw, addtess, phone FROM users WJERE joindate > 20130701".
Mouse gives you precision that touch simply cannot match. Of course you can use a touch pen (the Slate even came with one), but while drawing in Photoshop is nice with a pen, 3D modelling is a different story. Some things just need to be done with a mouse and keyboard.
They might want to rethink this effort
As many large companies have found out, even unsubstantiated rumours about them advertising on the moon, or even from low-orbit platforms, invariably results in such a barrage of rage and hate and threats of mass boycotts that corporations like Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut and McDonalds have had to fork out millions in damage control debunking the rumours. Every time some advertising twonk get the idea of defacing the moon, the reaction is always the same: any company that defaces celestial bodies will never get our business.
Of course, advertising droids are born with short-circuited cerebral regions that render them completely delusional and cause them to think that people actually crave advertising and want more of it, but even they must realise that such an activity would destroy their clients' businesses when they get hit with the fury such proposals inevitably generate.
When I watched Hancock (a movie about an inept superhero) I found the ending amusing for this reason: Hancock had managed to cover the face of the moon with the heart logo of the charity he'd been supporting. It made me laugh because the real-world reaction to something like that would have utterly destroyed said charity and the cause it was supporting by association!
So no company with any experience of this would want to be associated with defacing the moon. Even though Pocari Sweat is only sending up a sealed canister that won't be visible, a quick Google of this subject and a read of the comments on any news article about it will reveal that this is very likely to do them more harm than good. It will be interesting to see if they actually go ahead with the launch next year after seeing the deluge of hate mail they'll get for this. The only thing in their favour is that they aren't a multinational, and so can't be boycotted by an angry world (and whether the Japanese boycott them for it remains to be seen), but should they ever wish to become one, they may well find their progress stymied by a worldwide reputation as "the company that dumped its litter on the Moon!"
Re: At last
"The Micro was slightly before my time, and I never saw one in Australia anyway"
They were here for a while. We had BBC Micros at my high school in Adelaide in 1983/84, although I don't know how much longer they were there after that since I finished school in '84. Those were the days - IT security meant nothing more than there was a lock on the classroom door, and the old *PASSLOOK was the epitome of hacking. Oh the fun we had breaking into the girls' accounts and leaving little love letters and promises to alter their Computer Studies grades up if they'd just accompany us to the school disco!
I can see where the FSF is coming from
but at the same time, they need to consider what Mozilla themselves have said about marginalisation. It's all very well to carry the banner against DRM, but what use is doing so if it means that Firefox's market share shrinks to negligibility as a result? Especially with Google pushing Chrome in everyone's faces without let or surcease. We don't want "I used to use Firefox, but I couldn't watch YouTube on it so I had to switch to Chrome" to be Mozilla's epitaph.
Mozilla are going about resolving a difficult situation as best they can. They do want to fight DRM, but they also have to stay relevant in order to carry on the fight. By simply creating a framework for embedding DRM modules they aren't compromising the browser or even forcing anyone to use DRM. As I've posted elsewhere, I certainly won't be installing any DRM, and if that means there's sites that show me nothing but blank boxes with click-to-dowload-DRM buttons as a result then so be it. At least Mozilla are giving us that option.
It's lookin' good. It's goin' good. We're gettin' great pictures here at NASA Control, Pasadena.
Weeeeeeoooooo, weeeeeoooooo, weeeeeeeoooooo...
Re: They don't want a settlement in cash
"Philips are doing pretty well but aren't really a brand you think of."
That wasn't always the case. Back in the 60s and 70s, and to some extent the early 80s, they were very well known not only for light bulbs, but their TV sets, radios, tape decks and record players. I still remember the TV ads from that era for Philips' home electronics (along with companies like Rank Arena, AWA, Thorn, National and Sharp.)
They just sort of faded away during the 80s, as if they got left behind by the computer revolution. I was surprised at the time to see that Philips never really pushed a home computer of their own amongst the Commodores, Sinclairs, Acorns and Apples of the day, since they struck me as just the kind of company that would cater to that market.
These days they seem to be mainly a component supplier; you can still encounter their brand in electronics hobby shops on items like transistors and ICs.
They have to make fancy youtube movies to keep the public interested so they convince politicians to keep funnelling money into the research that will eventually make your star drive possible.
No pretty pictures = no public interest; no public interest = no money; no money = no research; no research = no star drive. Capiche?
Re: Why does this need two Rovers?
I'd say the reasoning behind this methodology goes something like this:
The first stage, sending out a sample-collecting rover, is a bog-standard Mars mission, something we have experience with now and can carry out with a high degree of confidence. This rover, like Curiosity, would have analytical instruments on board so scientists could examine the samples in situ, so any "inert chunks of sandstone" can be tossed back and anything that looks like it might harbour signs of life or otherwise be of interest added to the cache for return.
But this process might take years before turning up something worth sending back, something that the instruments on board can't resolve - whatever that might be. If we sent an ascent stage with that first rover, that ascent module is going to be sitting on the Martian surface under durance of a hostile environment possibly for years. That's a lot of time for things to go wrong - dust clogging up engines, for example, or getting buried in a sandstorm, or blown over. Also, it's plenty of time for the volatile fuel the ascent stage needs for liftoff to leak and evaporate into the thin Martian atmosphere while it's sitting there.
Doing it this way also allows us to keep an open-ended schedule on the collecting mission. If the rover finds nothing of interest for 5 years, it's not a problem - we just keep looking until we find something worth sending back or the rover fails, whichever comes first. If it turns out to be the latter case, it's still not a wasted mission, because we were still able to do some good science with the rover while it was there.
If the rover has been able to collect some ambiguous samples that merit closer study, sending the ascent stage then means that the ascent vehicle is nice and fresh on arrival, and can make use of updated technology developed since the first rover launch. Which means much better odds for a successful lift-off and retrieval, than with a vehicle using older technology that has been sitting out collecting Martian dust and evaporating its hydrazine for X years.
The reason for a second pickup rover then becomes obvious: the ascent vehicle might have to land kilometres away from the collection rover. Perhaps the rover is in a crater or amongst large rocks which make a clean landing difficult or impossible. Or the rover has dumped a sample cache or three somewhere along its route in order to save power by not having to lug around a bloody great box of rocks on its back.
So having a second vehicle trundle out to the collection rover, or to wherever it's dropped its sample caches, makes sense in that regard. It also allows the second rover to be optimised as a taxi rather than a mobile laboratory. Current "laboratory" rovers have a top speed measured in centimetres per minute, to reduce the risk of tipping over or becoming trapped, and to ensure they don't miss anything of interest. A "taxi" rover could have its path pre-mapped by the first rover to avoid any obstacles and allow the taxi rover to run at a higher speed. This would allow it to perform its specific function much more effectively, since its only task is to pick up a box of rocks and return to the ascent stage.
So on consideration, while this mission might seem unnecessarily complex at first glance, it shows that the engineers and scientists involved have considered these issues and come up with quite an elegant solution.
@Keith Re: While people moan about "Net Neutrality"...
I don't have a problem with paying for someone's hard work.
I have a problem with being spied on and charged every time I want to watch or listen to it. I have a problem with said someone effectively being able to reach into my machine and prevent me from viewing content I've paid for at their whim. I have a problem with said someone locking down my computers so I can't view said content in bed, or in the car.
The way an honest free market works is, I give you money, you give me a copy of what you've made. I agree not to sell or provide other people with copies as that is your right since you made it. But I'm not paying you to treat me like a criminal. I'm not paying you to take control of my computer or other items of my property. I'm not paying you to impose unjust and unreasonable restrictions on how I can use the copy I paid you for.
I will not be allowing DRM on my systems, end of. If that means I don't get to view your content, fine, you've just lost yet another customer. No skin off my nose. I've lived 47 years quite comfortably without whatever you're offering, and I'm sure I'll live for many more without it.
And this is the same government
that wants unrestricted access to my mobile phone's camera, microphone and data, even though they say they'll never actually use it.
No fucking way is any software written by these incompetent government twonks getting anywhere near any computerised device under my control.
Re: "the irreplaceable orbital station"
Of course that would be after said Chinese have conquered America up to the city limits of Washington DC and then inexplicably surrendered.
Re: Fat Freddie's cat
Yes, but remember there's always plenty more where they came from.
@Irongut Re: @Anonymous Coward
I would say the ratio of upvotes to downvotes on Trevor's posts reveal perfectly the extent to which his customers are pissed off.
They'll never beat the spooks
for the same reason they'll never beat the crackers: "What man can make, man can break."
Re: Hard to cope with?
I actually upvoted Don Jefe's post because that's got to be the best example of Poe's Law I have yet witnessed. Read his hysterical rant again if you downvoted it; his claims of the extent of the danger posed by a four foot sea-level rise are so outrageous he has to be pulling your leg. Where the Poe's Law comes in is that yes, there are actually people in this world who really believe this sort of thing; but I sincerely doubt any of them would have the cerebral capacity to read El Reg.
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