Feeds

* Posts by Steven Roper

1207 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Firefox OS mobilises HTML5, without the added Steve Jobs

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Stop

It will catch on, simply because right now it's the only mobile OS that doesn't invade your privacy, give some faceless corporation complete control of your device, and profile your entire private life for profit.

Anyone who's rightly concerned about the invasive and overbearing control companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple maintain over your device, will look at FirefoxOS and immediately realise it's the only option, if actually owning your own device (rather than "paying to borrow" it from a corporation) matters to you.

Want a device you can distribute any app for without it having to be "approved" by a walled-garden software vendor? Firefox OS.

Want a device you don't have to "sign in" on an online account to use so the OS vendor can monitor your every action? Firefox OS.

Want a device you can install an app on without worrying that the OS vendor can "pull the plug" and remove it from your device whether you want it or not? Firefox OS.

Want a device where you decide the permissions and access an app is allowed to have, not the app distributor - so no more "weather apps" that needlessly require access to your contact list? Firefox OS.

Want a device you can save your own data securely and locally on, instead of trusting your most personal and confidential data to some PRISM-infested cloud storage? Firefox OS.

Oh yeah, I think it'll "catch on"!

10
1

Firefox OS starting small but thinking big says Mozilla CTO

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Ticks the right boxes so far

Having gone over the privacy policy for Firefox OS, it certainly doesn't look nearly as invasive as Android or Windows 8.

One thing I really like is the ability to use the OS without having to "sign in" to an online account, thereby assuring that the OS isn't "phoning home" about everything I do. This is a disturbing trend I've seen of late from all the major OS vendors, so it's gratifying to see Mozilla isn't jumping on the "we want to monitor everything you do" bandwagon.

The Do Not Track integration is a good point as well, and I really hope that this will also entail more effective granular control of permissions for apps than is afforded on Android, e.g. a weather app wants access to my contact list despite a weather app having no need to do so, but if I refuse the permission I can't use the app. I'm hoping Firefox OS won't allow this bullshit "forced permission" policy.

So I'm definitely interested at this stage, I've got an el cheapo Android tablet on the way from China which I'll be using as a testbed for Firefox OS when it arrives, and we'll see where it goes from there.

9
0

Unix luminary among seven missing at sea

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: I do not like this, it better not be a trend

You forgot Dennis C. Ritchie, the inventor of C, in that list.

But you're right about being worried over this death watch. Bill Gates better watch out, he might be next!

2
0

Facebook slurped phone numbers says Norton

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Kakaotalk

"...that they could be endangering relatives who have restraining orders against one or more people in my contact list...."

This, a thousand times this. All you "but I have nothing to hide, so why should I be worried" morons should take careful note of exactly this kind of issue. This sort of thing is why privacy is vitally important, and it is just one example of why the tired old "nothing to hide, nothing to fear' argument is invalid.

19
0

Yahoo! announces last hurrah of ancient AltaVista search

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Devil

@theodore

Not so much people who just 'click on things', as 'people who install so-called free software that also asks to install half-a-dozen toolbars and spyware bundled with the installer.'

Somebody wants to convert a video file to play on their phone, so they google 'convert xvid to mp4', download the first program that pops up, click Next Next Next, and hey presto, they've plastered the Ask Toolbar all over their system and their default browser is now Google Chrome. Cue phone call to ol' Steve to 'come and fix my computer because my internet is broken' yet again...

That's where most of that toolbar shit comes from.

7
0

Our week with Soylent: Don't chuck out your vintage food quite yet

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Go

Re: Soylent Green!

I'd say give them a raise. Using the name "Soylent", with all its loaded connotations, has given them more free media publicity, viral awareness, and public discussion than they could have gotten in a decade of multi-million dollar astroturfing for a less memorably-named product. Without the "Soylent" moniker, it would have been just another tasteless meal-replacement shake among the thousands of similar diet products out there.

As one example, I wonder how much it would cost to hire Team Register to carry out a week-long, 24/7, sponsored trial and review of a dietary product, with all the related articles appertaining, like the one they've just done for Soylent for free? I imagine it would be in the tens of thousands of dollars, minimum, for a sponsored effort of this scale.

And that's just The Register. The cost to plaster it all over all the other news sites, forums and mass-media I've seen it discussed on would run into the multiple millions. Instead, they've garnered massive worldwide free publicity, just by using a name from a famous dystopian story.

Makes me think Samsung should market their new gesture-recognising OLED TVs as "telescreens", or perhaps Monsanto should promote their next GM crop plants as "triffids"!

0
0

Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Perhaps

If you are using curtains on your windows and you don't have excessively light-sensitive skin, maybe you have something to hide? It's a two way street.

0
1

I, for one, welcome our GIANT TITANIUM INSECT OVERLORDS

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Terrific

Well, given that in Australia we have cockroaches the size of mobile phones and spiders as big as rats I wouldn't have thought any scaling was necessary either way...

0
0

Julian Assange: Google's just an arm of US government

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: No, but seriously ...

"People have the right to their own thoughts, except where they are considered mentally ill (ie thinking the 'wrong' thoughts) and treated against their will."

At no point should any thought, no matter how evil, perverted, delusional or twisted, be a reason for depriving a person of liberty. That way lies the concept of 'thoughtcrime' and we all know where that leads.

If I want to think about ways of inventing grey goo to wipe out all life on Earth because I believe all human beings including myself are greedy scum who deserve to die, that's my prerogative to think that as a free man. Nobody has the right to imprison or "treat" me for simply thinking or imagining this scenario. My simply thinking evil thoughts poses no threat to anyone.

If, however, I were to start applying this thought process to action by actually trying to develop said grey goo, funding its development, or recruiting people to assist me in its development, then it becomes a problem warranting opposing action. That's because my evil thoughts are now being translated to evil acts, which do pose a threat to others.

By definition, any 'rights' you have are of necessity limited by the 'rights' of others. The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to be treated the same as any other human being in regard to the law, from which all other rights evolve. Freedom of speech does not include the right to take away another's freedom of speech (this is why I hate political correctness.) Freedom of assembly does not include the right to take away other people's right to assemble. Freedom from hunger does not give you the right to inflict it on others. And so on.

But freedom of thought is an uncontestable absolute, indeed it is the only uncontestable absolute, because of all things in this world it exists only in your own head, belongs only to you, and affects nobody else, as long as it remains but a thought.

0
0

Swedish watchdog: Google's chocolate cloud? Nej, not private

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Closed Source Software == security risk of espionage (confidentiality violation)

"When there flows no money, how would the decisionmaker have their bathroom renovated and the next yacht tour paid for ?"

Why not ask companies like Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical that question? They seem to be doing ok. Granted, Canonical's business model might be a bit on the nose for many of its users at the moment, but the company doesn't seem to be suffering too much for it.

There are ways of making money with open source. If there weren't, how long do you think it would continue to exist?

1
1

New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Any rope is the problem

Well, the next step up from that is what Star Trek euphemistically referred to as "turbolifts".

Once you replace the old Otis rope-and-counterweight system with a rail-based one (even if it's only a rack-and-pinion type rail drive rather than a maglev) it becomes possible to construct points and sidings by which lifts can be shunted and routed around each other. This would save on shaft space by allowing multiple lifts to occupy the same track while still having the possibility of passing each other by swapping rails at the points as needed.

Of course the downside of any rail-driven lift system is power consumption, because you now have to have an engine on the lift car itself driving the car against gravity. This is why the rope-and-counterweight system was invented in the first place - the counterweight means that the only force that has to be overcome is the inertia of the lift car, counterweight and rope - only the difference between the car and counterweight has to be hauled against gravity. (Note that Earth's gravity counts for quite a lot of power; it's the equivalent of going from 0 - 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, continuously.)

With modern technology, however, the power consumption increase inherent in using a rack-and-pinion driven lift could be offset by using the same regenerative braking system used in electric cars. A lift could generate energy on the way down, by using its gravitational downward motion to charge a battery via its motor-generators. This energy can then be re-used for the upward trip; the entropic loss can easily be made up via a live rail and hot shoe system delivering extra power to the lift. I'd be interested to see what the difference in power use for such a system would be compared to the traditional rope-and-counterweight system. Any engineers care to comment?

With a system like this, there'd be no theoretical limit to the height of the shaft either, other than whatever structural compression limits might obtain on the materials used to construct the shaft and the building itself.

16
0

NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: 'Grow a pair!'

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

Re: It's true

"I hope that Snowden suffers a very long, painful ending."

And I hope that you (and all like you) find yourself on the pointy end of a false positive real soon. You deserve it.

16
0

NSA: We COULD track you by your phone ... if we WANTED to

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: e911

" 'Location Services On' and '911 Emergency Only'"

I think you meant: 'Location Services On' and '911 Emergency / Security Agency Monitoring Only'

FTFY!

1
0

Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: ...and what's worse...

And what's more, that tells me that we CAN blame the average American for their country's warlike foreign policy and aggression. That 75% that supports the US military, supports the millions of deaths that have occurred as they bomb other countries to further their own interests. The blood of every murdered family, every slaughtered child, is on those supporters' hands as much as any soldier's.

1
2

#Facebook: Now all your hashtags ARE BELONG TO US, Twitter

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Court proceedings?

Except that Twitter is an actual technology company, not just a law firm like Apple.

0
0

Boffins develop 'practically free' sulphur-powered batteries

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: You spell it sulphur, I spell it ...

When I hear an American pronounce aluminium as AL-oo-MIN-ee-um instead of a-LOOM-in-um as well as spelling it correctly, then I'll start spelling the name of Element 16 as sulfur instead of sulphur.

I'm still spelling it sulphur so far...

0
0
Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: excellent

My thoughts exactly too.

It's not battery companies or oil companies buying and burying patents, it's a university student's fabricated project to get their bit of paper.

This is another bunch of graduate students bigging up some bullshit for their theses so they can get their degrees. Once they have those they'll go on to their cushy desk jobs, the battery plans will disappear into an archive box in the university library's basement, and shit will go on as always.

This has happened so often it's completely destroyed the credibility of the university system as far as I'm concerned. This is why, when I'm hiring and an applicant presents me with a university degree, I just toss it straight back at them. I'm not interested in pieces of paper that tell me you can bullshit a professor, I want to see what you can do. Can't show me? Thanks for coming, good luck in your future endeavours.

0
0

Jailed LulzSec hacker Cleary coughs to child porn images, will be freed soon

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Under UK Law

" he should have gotten rid of the images immediately if he didn't know what they were when downloading them"

The problem there is that when they seize your computer on suspicion of kiddy porn, they do forensic recovery on the hard drive. So if you do suddenly spot that what you thought was an episode of Game of Thrones turns out to be a masked rar of naked children, go "oh shit!" and delete it, you'll likely get done for tampering with evidence and impeding a police investigation for the act of doing so.

The sad fact is, the moment that shit ends up on your computer, intentionally or not, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

10
2
Steven Roper
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

Define "kiddy porn".

Because thanks to knee-jerking witch-burners like you, "kiddy porn" could be anything from an innocent photo of one's infant daughter playing in the bath, to a drawing of two stick figures, one larger than the other, standing too close together for comfort with a line in the wrong place.

15
4

Wanna be a ROBOT OVERLORD? Boffins pave way with mind-controlled cursor

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Wow, Michael Chrichton was a prophet.

Way back in the 70s, I read a book by Chrichton titled The Terminal Man, which describes exactly this scenario. In Chrichton's story, a man, Harold Benson, suffering from what was then called temporal-lobe epilepsy is fitted with a computer controlled implant designed to trigger his pleasure centres in order to arrest the onset of epileptic seizures - exactly as described in this article.

In the book, although the implant is designed to trigger only when it detects a seizure, Benson quickly works out how to deliberately induce seizures in order to experience the burst of pleasure the implant generates. As a result of the continuous seizure state, he enters a psychotic mindset in which he believes machines have taken over the world, that everyone around him is now a machine, and embarks on a horrifically murderous rampage to free the world of his perceived machine dominance.

It's incredibly spooky to see how a novel that grabbed my imagination back in the 70s is actually coming true. The Terminal Man now joins 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact in my library of sci-fi futures whose time I'm now living in. Makes me feel like a time traveller!

1
0

You've seen the Large Hadron Collider. Now comes the HUGE Hadron Collider

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Is that the best site?

Agreed, building a massive precision instrument like this right on the Ring of Fire is just plain asking for it. But we've sited all our electronics manufacturing in the same disaster area, so why not go the whole hog like the geniuses we are?

My personal preference to site something like this would be Siberia or the Australian outback. Somewhere there's no tectonic activity at all and the thing can sit nice and stably on top of a big fat granitic continental craton that isn't going anywhere.

2
0

Thanks, NSA: Amazon sales of Orwell's 1984 rise 9,500%

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Orwell vs Huxley

The famous comic depicting Neil Postman's comparison between Orwell and Huxley ("The possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right") can be found here.

The poster on that blog makes a salient point about both Orwell and Huxley being right. Huxley focused more on the social aspects of a dystopia, while Orwell focused more on the political aspects, and that there are elements of both in our own society.

Huxley did not dwell on the idea of the populace being kept under mass surveillance. His postulated means of controlling the populace lay in eugenics rather than enforcement; vis-a-vis the "Deltas", genetically engineered babies with only a limited capacity of intelligence and none at all for resistance or independence. But for us, eugenics is taboo, and we emphasise education and achievement - in Huxley's terms, we are trying to create a society of all Alphas, which Huxley stated could not work. Hence the need for Orwellian surveillance such as PRISM and its ilk, the better to keep the "Party members" in check.

On the other hand, while we cannot ethically engage in Bokanovsky's Process, we can dumb down the education system to ensure that the proles don't become too intelligent. The pervasion of political correctness and critical theory into public schools is part of this mechanism - to instill the process of orthodox thinking into the children and to ostracise and punish those who commit "thoughtcrime" - that is, who don't adhere to the dictates of political correctness. In this, the education process has become largely Orwellian, in that today's schools have much in common with Orwell's "Spies" and "Youth League" children's organisations. One can even see the likeness of radical feminism in Orwell's "Junior Anti-Sex League" and "Artsem".

Yet there is also a Huxleyan element; Huxley depicted schools that emphasised fun over learning, and forcibly induced children who sought to go their own way back into group activities. At no time were children punished in Huxley's version, they were simply psychologically pressured into compliance. Our schools also feature this element of psychological engagement and de-emphasis on punishment, and thus it can be seen that the education system, like society, embodies both Orwellian and Huxleyan concepts.

In the end, both Orwell and Huxley were right, insofar as Orwell correctly predicted invasive surveillance via technology, and the use of "goodthinkful" (aka politically correct) indoctrination processes to ensure political obedience, while Huxley correctly predicted the trivialisation and commodification of entertainment and human endeavour to ensure social compliance.

45
0

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Pricing FAIL

"have you forgotten where Australia is? a darn sight closer to where they make the PS4 that we are ;)"

Yes, but you're forgetting the wasteful stupidity of corporate logistics. Most likely they'll ship the consoles from China all the way across the Pacific to sit in a warehouse in Los Angeles for some US wronk to sign off on, then ship them all the way back across the Pacific to us, resulting in them being transported the equivalent of a lap of the equator.

8
0

Fear the Embarrassing Bodies webcam

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: House!

After careful consideration and buzzword elimination, here's what I translated out of that sentence:

The people who maintain the cables and poles should be a separate bunch to the ones who sell services delivered over those cables and poles. The ownership of the cables and poles should be retained by the government, while the service delivery should be provided by private enterprise. This way a balance can be maintained between government control of the wires and the ability of the free market to make a buck.

0
0

Yes, maybe we should keep hackers in the clink for YEARS, mulls EU

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Ya think?

How about 20 years for sanctimonious Dudley Do-rights who sit on their moral high horses pronouncing judgements from on high against anyone who dares to engage in independent thought, or express any kind of dissent against the established order?

10
1

How Doctor Who landed at Sydney's Vivid festival

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Techies

Funny you mention that about the electricians and cablers and so forth.

Last time I went to the cinema, as we were walking from the car park to the cinema, I suddenly noticed that the huge building it was housed in was built out of bricks. Not pre-stressed rendered concrete slabs or sheets of galvabond that many large buildings are constructed of these days, but actual bricks. Hundreds of thousands of them.

And I thought, some brickie had to lay all those. Each brick was individually placed and the mortar trowelled over it ready for the next one. I found myself wondering about the men who had put that wall together, how long it must have taken them, and the sense of achievement they must have felt when it was finally completed and they all stood back and looked it over and said, "bloody good job of work, that!" And I wondered how many of the thousands of people who daily walked past that massive edifice of human endeavour had given it a moment's thought.

So here's a beer for all the tradies and techies who do the grunt-work of making civilisation happen all around us, and who we never notice. Bloody good job of work lads!

3
0

We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: How to end up on a watch list:

Haha, I salt my websites and emails with a similar list, except that my personal list of spook-catching keywords currently consists of:

"ANFO, avoid detection, blast, bomb, brisance, contact cell, destroy, Detcord, detonation velocity, diesel, disaster, explode, FBI, Federal Reserve Bank, fertilizer, fuel, hexamine, infiltrate, Interpol, kill, Nitropril, Obama, police, RDX, truck, unmarked, Wall Street, White House"

I do change some of the words from time to time, just to keep the spook-bots hopping. Chucking in a few explosive brand names like "Nitropril" and "Detcord" seems to elicit more interest than simply having loaded keywords like "bomb" and "explode", judging by the rate at which various crawlers return to my sites as I update the keyword lists.

I'm still waiting for my 5 AM door-kicking, however!

0
0

Now you can use your phone instead of your wallet at the ATM, too

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Go

Not wrong El Reg!

That video has got to be the fastest round of Bullshit Bingo I've ever played, and I've seen some doozies at various meetings and presentations.

BULLSHIT!

0
0

US chief spook: Look, we only want to spy on 6.66 BEELLLION of you

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: As I was saying

My thoughts exactly.

Luckily I've managed to keep my company completely out of the cloud for now and the foreseeable future, for exactly this kind of reason. I'm hoping this debacle will seriously damage cloud adoption amongst other SMEs as well, because we all need to vote with our feet on all this bullshit taking control of our software and data away from us.

0
0

Google accused of hypocrisy over Glass ban at shareholder shindig

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

@ The_Regulator

Mass-media-brainwashed fuckwits like you are why we have no freedoms left.

It would be poetic justice to see you falsely accused of paedophilia yourself sometime soon, because bastards like you more than anyone else deserve to take your own medicine.

8
3

YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Welp

Those old 8-bit games are a fuck sight more fun to play than the 3D eye-candy shite that passes for video games these days anyway!

Case in point: I was playing Bubble Bobble on an Amiga emulator with my mate a few weeks ago, and I'd forgotten how much fun it was. There's something "delicious" about all those 16-colour cartoon candies that modern realistic games can't match. The gameplay is focused on fun rather than immersion, and I didn't realise how much I'd missed that kind of gameplay until we sat down and whiled away a few evenings with it!

11
2

No FTTH under alternative Oz NBN plan, says Oppn. leader

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Pint

Nice writing Richard...

"And thus does knee-jerk opportunism take the potting clay of policy and of it, craft the very image of the village idiot."

I'm sure Shakespeare himself would be proud of that line!

5
0

Websites to 'close' for China's 'Internet maintenance day'

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Not very clever

Or in other words, China's government has yet to learn what is meant by the term "Streisand Effect"!

3
0

Who did Apple LIE TO: Australia or America?

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Like - what is it with the Aussey market?

No we don't, because Apple have sued all the other choices off the shelves.

2
0

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Joke

Re: There is potentially a difference.

"cos sooner or later someone will pick up a stone and off we all go again."

And as soon as someone so much as picks up a stone on a field of conflict you charge them with war crimes. Simples!

0
0

Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Steven Roper
Silver badge
FAIL

So by that argument, if I don't want to steer my car via a sidewise slider or reach down the back of the driver's seat to change gear, I'm a luddite? I have some news for you sunshine... Newer is not always Better.

16
1
Steven Roper
Silver badge
Stop

@John P re trying windows 8 before damning it

If I told you that the next version of the OS you'd be using had a C64-style command-line-only interface with no mouse support, no icons, maximum resolution 320 x 200 and only 16 preset colours on screen, you wouldn't need to try it to know that it doesn't do what you want. You know the specs required to accomplish the tasks you need to do and how you want to do them, and you know that a Commodore 64 doesn't have the specs required.

Now, my specs are that much of the work I do involves having multiple applications open at once, spread across multiple monitors, and with some applications working in the background while I get on with something else. For example, I might have Cinema 4D rendering a 3D image in the background while downloading a texture pack from the Web in Firefox at the same time as I'm post-processing a rendered image in Photoshop.

So when I read articles about how Windows 8 only supports full-screen apps and that apps that aren't at the front are put into a "suspended mode", that tells me that Windows 8 doesn't do what I want. It tells me that if I switch Cinema 4D to the back to do something else while it renders, the rendering stops. It tells me that when Firefox is switched to the back downloading stops. It tells me that multitasking is no longer available.

When I read reviews stating that the new TIFKAM interface is going to be a walled garden where only Microsoft-approved apps can be installed, that tells me I can no longer use open-source apps like Celestia or Notepad++ unless the developers of those apps get approval from Microsoft, which probably costs money they can't afford. It tells me I no longer have the choice of what software to install.

When I read blogs about how Windows 8 requires you to sign in to an online account, or, if you don't, constantly nags you to do so, and I see Microsoft publishing usage metrics that could only be obtained by the most intrusive and invasive monitoring of peoples' computer usage, that tells me that Microsoft can potentially monitor and reach into everything I do on my computer, whether I want them to or not. It tells me my computer is no longer my own property.

So when I read all of these things, I don't need to use it to know that it doesn't do what I want or need. Now I know that you can get past the TIFKAM to the desktop and it should work with multitasking and no need to sign in etc, but it is very clear that the desktop is a legacy mode designed to wean people off to the new restrictive paradigms, and it's likely that Windows 9 or 10 will ultimately be TIFKAM-only. I do not want to be "weaned". I do not want to lose the multitasking functionality and privacy I've grown to use and enjoy. So I do not want to even start down that path, because when you give them an inch they take a mile. I do not need to use Windows 8 to know that I do not want to use it.

As the old saying goes, a wise man learns from his neighbours' mistakes, a fool but by his own.

35
3

Now beaming live from Pyongyang: NORKSCASTS!

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea..

"Can you give examples of where technology development (not copying) has done at least fairly well away from capitalist systems?"

Erm... pretty much the entire space programme? Bearing in mind that most of America's space program was built on Nazi technology which they appropriated from the likes of von Braun after the war. Also that in spite of the Americans benefiting from von Braun's genius, the Soviets were still the first to launch a satellite and the first to put a man in space - and if von Braun and his people had gone to them instead of America, they would have been the first on the moon as well.

6
2

Oz opposition says to stop hackers first stop refugee boats

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

Re: nothing like old fashioned racism

I downvoted you because of your cry of racism - a cry used all too often to silence debate on what has become a serious issue.

First off, you should know that while Australia is big, it's also inhospitable. That vast tract of land you see spanning half the southern hemisphere is fucking desert. We might be the size of the continental US, but we have only a tenth of the fresh water, so we can support only a tenth of the population. Consequently, our government has a responsibility to ensure that population growth doesn't get out of hand. And our current growth is being maintained by immigration as it is.

The problem with "boat people" is that they arrive here with no credentials, no passports or any means of identification. They are not vaccinated, and may be carrying a host of diseases which we are very lucky not to have in Australia. We have no malaria, no rabies, no polio, no yellow fever, all of which these illegal arrivals have been found carrying. We also have a vast and diverse range of unique animal and plant species, found nowhere else in the world, which are extremely vulnerable to imported diseases and invasive species that are carried in on the boats. Our strict quarantine and vaccination laws are in place for a very good reason.

Without identification, how do we know they aren't criminals or terrorists fleeing justice, or Islamist nutjobs like the bastards that murder people in broad daylight on your city streets? We need to be able to check their backgrounds, establish identity, and prevent such violent thugs from entering our country and ruining the very way of life that everyone wants to come here for. Of course not all boat people are terrorists or disease carriers, but we need to be able to confirm this for each one. Once we can confirm it, we let them in, no problem.

It takes time, effort and money to complete background checks on these refugees, to make sure that they can support themselves in Australia, and to make sure they are vaccinated and not carrying any disease. But they're flooding in faster than we can complete these processes, so what are we to supposed to do? Just let them all in willy-nilly and hope the bad ones don't start murdering people in the streets and infecting our kids with malaria and polio? The only thing we can do is keep them somewhere while we sort them out and get them through as best we can.

I'm sorry if these facts offend your delicate liberal sensitivities, but we have a fucking right to protect ourselves, our kids, our wildlife and our way of life from murdering fanatical thugs, deadly tropical diseases and invasive feral species.

4
2

OKPay suspends payment processing to all Bitcoin exchanges

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Bitcoin is a reaction

to the immoral and unaccountable duopoly on online payments held by Visa and Mastercard. These two companies, who operate beyond any public accountability, get to decide who can make a living on the Internet or not. When they played their ace with Wikileaks, the world woke up to this fact and started looking for alternatives. On top of this, there then appeared the spectre of these companies wanting to sell account holders' purchase histories to advertisers, which brought payment tracking to the fore.

Bitcoin offered a way around these problems. With Bitcoin, anyone can get paid, whether the banking powerbrokers like it or not. With Bitcoin, you can keep your purchase history to yourself. And it is this that the big payment processors don't like - the loss of control, and the loss of access to market data.

Governments and LEAs would be less concerned because in the end, you still have to convert Bitcoins back into "real money" to realise its value. At which point your local revenue service or LEA can tap you on the shoulder and ask "Excuse me, where did you get all this money from?". They can hit you for tax on it as soon as you do so. And simply saying "I converted it from Bitcoins" won't cut it - you still need to have an audit trail. If you claim to have "mined" the Bitcoins, you might need to show you have the computing infrastructure to do this. If government agencies really want to dig, they can find out where the money ultimately came from if they really want to. Their only interest is enforcing taxation and money-laundering laws. It is the payment processors who are really being hurt by Bitcoin, and they thus have an incentive to lobby governments to do something about it.

So you can bet that it is more companies like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal behind this anti-Bitcoin push than any government tax department or LEA.

9
4

May threatens ban on 'hate-inciting' radicals, even if they don't promote violence

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Pro-Freedom

Hitler was elected by voters in a democracy. And it's happening all over again now. There are no moderates any more; on the one hand you have the liberal left and the political correctness horde enforcing feminism and multiculturalism and denying any voice to anyone who dares to question these agendas; on the other hand you have neo-nazi white-supremacists like the UKIP and National Front variants who would exterminate anyone whose skin shade is darker than #c89680 and happily reduce the entire Middle East to a radioactive wasteland.

It is in exactly this climate that hate and intolerance flourish, from both sides. Even more so when that hate and intolerance is denied and concealed by its adherents, and this is happening on both the left and the right. May's proposal here is an example of leftist (PC) intolerance, as this proposal is clearly targeted at groups like the EDL; the attacks on Muslims and the vandalism of mosques are an example of rightist intolerance. I read in the news that during the EDL protests in London yesterday that there was also a protest by UAR, and that police had to keep the two groups apart by force - or they would likely have torn each other to pieces. Literally.

There are voices in the wilderness crying out for moderation. I saw an article in the Guardian yesterday about how a mosque in York decided to greet EDL protestors with tea and biscuits, and an impromptu game of football. After a bit of initial shouting and posturing, the two sides met and had a good chat about who they were and what they were about. Turned out the Muslims hated the betrayal of their religion by the extremist nutters claiming to murder in the name of Islam, and the EDL people felt that political correctness was denying them a voice and the right to debate. And when they understood each other they got along wonderfully and had a game of football.

But sadly this isn't common enough. The politically correct left will no doubt claim that this is what they want, but they are twisting it to promote their agenda of discrimination against whites and males in the name of "equality". The white supremacist right will no doubt claim this is what they want, but they are twisting it to promote their agenda of cultural isolation of whites from all others.

But in the end, what most people really want is a balance: a place where they can be with their own kind, and a place where they can come together. This is why people of a given culture tend to conglomerate in the same area. They want to be with their own kind, with those who live the way they do and speak their language. This is not hate, it is not discrimination, it is a perfectly natural human desire. And there can be multicultural hubs, where different cultures can meet and mingle. But the extremists on both sides will not allow this. The leftists want multiculturalism everywhere, no exceptions, and the rightists want multiculturalism nowhere, no exceptions.

And when extremism flourishes and moderation fails, it is the extremists that are voted into power. The lessons of history are very clear on this point, as is the bloodshed and oppression that will inevitably follow.

8
0

China's 'human flesh search' hunts down teen vandal

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Anonymous vs Human Search Engine

...FINISH HIM!

4
0

Forget the word 'cyberwar' says Marcus Ranum

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: @Pete2

"Because 'victory' could just as well mean successfully defending yourself against an oppressor."

Thereby enabling the current ruler to continue imposing his will on the people who fought for him, instead of the would-be conqueror's will. The term "oppressor" is highly subjective, the more so the higher up the social ladder you look. War is, and has always been, about who gets to be boss. For the common serfs, who simply want to live their lives, till their fields, ply their trades and watch their football, war is an unwanted menace because for the most part they don't care who is boss so long as they can live their lives, till their fields...etc.

It reminds me of an Aesop's fable I read as a kid: A farmer had his horse hitched to the plough and was tilling the soil ready for planting, when he saw some enemy soldiers running across the field, shouting and waving swords. In a panic, he unhitched the horse, mounted, and told him to gallop for his life. But the horse refused to budge. "Tell me," he said, "if the enemy takes over this farm, do you think he would make me plough twice as long, or carry a double load?" "I shouldn't think so," answered the farmer. The horse then replied, "Then what matters it to me what master I work for, so long as I only have to bear my normal burden?"

I won't include the "moral" because in this case it's pretty self-explanatory.

0
0

Better Place electric car outfit goes titsup

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Go

Re: Marketing

Actually the name 'Better Place' suggested to me something like those dollar-dazzler, spend-a-penny $1 shitshops punting cheap-crap Chinese plastic household gewgaws and shonky tools that fall apart the moment you take them out of the packaging. One only ever buys this junk from these places once and swears never again. Which is not an image that would have encouraged me to buy a car from them!

0
0

The BOFH is BACK: And it's cloudy with a 90% chance of beatings

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: peeves

"5) a pretty woman who regularly shows up to the door and requests IT equipment (mice, keyboards, etc) and who knows that she can get away with it"

That's actually my number one peeve. So I operate on the principle that, since merely looking at a woman the wrong way constitutes "sexual harassment", then so does attempting to use femininity to elicit special favours.

As a result, a "pretty woman" (i.e. flirty manner, provocatively dressed etc) is less likely to get anything out of me than one who presents and conducts herself in a professional manner.

0
0

Open wide, Google: Here comes an advertising antitrust probe

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Joke

And bite the pillow

'cause I'm goin' in dry!

1
1

Brit spooks bugged Edward VIII's phones, records reveal

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Booze!

This reminded me of my favourite Churchill quote, attributed to him in a conversation with Lady Astor, who had accused him of being drunk:

"Madam, I am indeed drunk. And you are ugly. But in the morning, I will be sober."

2
0

Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked

Steven Roper
Silver badge
Flame

Re: "Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked"

Agreed 100%.

As far as I'm concerned, if any of the people named in these files comes to any harm, the script kiddies (I refuse to grace these fuckwits with the term "hacker") responsible should be charged as accessories after the fact. So if any of the named people are killed, then these little bastards should go down as accessories to murder, in addition to any penalties imposed for computer misuse.

5
0

Fairphone goes on sale to all

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Not quite.

Except that, thanks to good intentions going too far the other way, it's now par for the course to arrest a man for "walking while white" and "looking in a woman's general direction." Not to mention that the adherents of political correctness completely lack any sense of humour in any event.

4
3
Steven Roper
Silver badge
WTF?

What's politically correct about using materials that weren't produced using slave/forced labour (which is what I understand "conflict free" to mean)?

Political correctness is AFAIK about oversensitive do-gooders getting offended at every stupid little comment where no offence was intended, ruining careers and lives for expressing non-inclusive ideas, seeing racism, misogyny and homophobia around every corner, and biasing social services against white males on the fallacious and hypocritical stereotype that all white males are privileged - none of which have anything to do with not using slave labour in one's products.

5
3