* Posts by Steven Roper

1853 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Chinese unleash autonomous airborne taxi

Steven Roper
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Re: Blade Runner

Introducing the new EHang 184! It slices, dices, juliennes, juices! It cuts, minces and slashes in a thousand different ways to make short work of any fruits, vegetables, meat, pedestrians or cyclists you throw at it! See those high-speed whirling stainless-steel blades whizz, chop and slice their way through the toughest muscle, bone and sinew!

But wait - that's not all! If you order your new EHang 184 within 24 hours, you also get this super-strong blade sharpener AND a complete spare set of high-quality stainless-steel replacement blades worth $5000, completely free of charge! You won't find a deal like this anywhere in shops, so don't delay - order today!

Phone our toll-free number now on 1300-SLA-SHER and get yours fast while stocks last!

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Jenkins issues code of conduct to keep rowdy automation fans in line

Steven Roper
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Re: "Sexualised language"

It means you're not allowed to make "fork" and "dongle" innuendoes or utter any similar form of political incorrectness, lest you offend the delicate little feelings of some hypersensitive feminist.

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

Steven Roper
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Never mind the replicants

Where's my artificial owl!?

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Steven Roper
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@ David 132 Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

"I don't think they will suddenly switch existing copies of Windows 10 to pay-as-you-go."

Yes. Your analysis is cogent. It won't be an abrupt "pay or die" transition, but it will certainly follow the boiling-frog principle, charging nickel-and-dime for this or that "extra feature", slowly but inevitably leading up to a full-on monthly ransom.

The other side of the coin I suspect will be that if you don't pay, your computer may not be locked down, but you will be constantly nagged to "upgrade to premium", your computer will be ransacked for useful information to sell to advertisers and LEAs, and you'll be endlessly bombarded with unblockable ads on the desktop as well as in every application you use. Want to get rid of the ads and spying? Pay up, picknose!

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Steven Roper
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Paying for Windows 10 after July

I don't think most people are fully appreciating the ramifications of what this really means.

With all the concerns about slurping and spying, people aren't paying as much attention to the Ransom-as-a-Service rentism business model Microsoft have adopted. And they seem to be adopting it universally.

Now if you have to pay a monthly ransom to continue using Office 365, Visual Studio or even Solitaire, I'd put money on the "no longer free after July" really meaning, "You'll have to pay a monthly ransom just to continue using Windows" as well. It won't be a once-off cost. Microsoft have figured out billing people monthly is a far more lucrative model.

All the signs are there. The forced upgrades with no way to back out or revert; the upgrade becoming 'mandatory' this year; the monthly charges being levied on applications like Office; the "free for a limited time" gig.

Once everyone is forced onto Windows 10, Microsoft will have us all by the bollocks. That's when the shit will really hit the fan, and people wake up to the reality of Microsoft's true meaning of "no longer free after July."

Pay your monthly ransom or lose access to your computer entirely.

That's where this is going. I'd bet a year's income on it.

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BoMed: Oz weather bureau network struggles to its feed

Steven Roper
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The feed from the Himawari-8 satellite is still down as of posting this comment though. It's showing the image from 5:10 AM CAST still, it normally updates every 10 minutes.

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Tell us what's wrong with the DMCA, says US Copyright office

Steven Roper
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Yes, a thousand times this.

I would add to the false/incorrect clause another stipulation that the demonstrable misapplication of the DCMA as a tool of social or political censorship should be likewise punished. Such as the commonplace abuse of the DMCA by a certain quasi-religious organisation founded by a mediocre 20th-century science fiction author may attest.

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Foetuses offered vaginal music streaming service

Steven Roper
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Re: Hmm...

Interesting that the above commenters' babies reacted negatively to music, because according to my mother, when I was a foetus way back there in the dim and distant 60s, she found that putting a particular piece of music on the record player would actually quieten me when I was restless in the womb. Of course, that was with ordinary (60s-era) loudspeakers, not headphones pressed against her belly - or anywhere else... ;)

The piece in question is the Scene from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" - which has been my all-time favourite piece of music since as far back as I can remember, and it still makes my blood fizz when I listen to it today. According to my mother I loved it before I was even born!

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Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

Steven Roper
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I have a compromise deal for you Americans

In the interests of ensuring the consistency of the "-ium" suffix for metals, we'll agree to start spelling sulphur with an f if you guys will agree to spell and pronounce the second i in aluminium!

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Dick limps towards inglorious end: Gadget retailer on the brink

Steven Roper
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Re: Oztralia

Don't be so parochial. The Register has evolved into an international news site, for all that it is based in the UK. Show some interest in what happens outside your borders... you're starting to sound like an American! ;)

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Steven Roper
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It's a sad end

for a childhood icon, although it has seemed inevitable ever since they dropped the hobbyist market and became just another phone/consumer electronics shop.

As a boy in the 70s and early 80s before I got into computers, I was into electronics. Tricky Dicky (as DSE was called by hobbyists then) was the go-to store whenever you needed hobbyist gear - from discrete components to common CMOS/TTL ICs to PCB etching fluid to soldering irons. I still fondly remember riding my bike all the way into town instead of the local shopping mall because of DSE selling transistors at 14 cents each when Tandy Electronics were ripping people off $1.95 for a two-pack, and because DSE was about the only place in my city to get the latest issue of ETI magazine. And of course his Fun Way into Electronics kits were what I cut my teeth on - digital counters, sound effect generators (remember the old SN76477 chip?), light chasers and even a digital bike speedometer.

So in a way it's sad to see them finally disappear from the scene. But in reality the essence of what they were had disappeared many years ago, when they transitioned from the hobbyist market to the consumer electronics market. When the hobbyist section gradually shrank from being most of the store to a small corner down the back was the death knell for the Tricky Dicky I used to know and love as a kid, and that was a long time ago.

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2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

Steven Roper
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Re: "ignited the PC revolution"

@Pompous Git - Oh yes, I do remember the Sorceror; your mention of it brought back a memory of seeing an advert on TV for it. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 (with 1K of RAM, 544 bytes available for user memory!) which I got for my 16th birthday. Needless to say, I got upgraded the following Christmas to a VIC-20.

@JeffyPooh - yep, they sure do go back. Although there was none of the open hostility displayed by today's warring fanboi crowds; back then it was more just a friendly rivalry. Incidentally the C64 used the 6510, not the 6502 - that was the VIC-20 that used the earlier processor. :)

@AC re: Dick Smith Wizard: It might have been spelt "Wizzard" actually, it was so long ago I can't be sure. It was a pretty basic system that only briefly saw the light of day before being overshadowed by the likes of Sinclair, Tandy and Commodore.

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Steven Roper
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Re: "ignited the PC revolution"

I don't know about America, but Apple certainly did NOT "ignite the computer revolution" here in Australia, and according to the contacts my coding crew had throughout Europe in the 80s, they didn't do much in Europe either.

The company that "ignited the computer revolution" in Australia and much of Europe was Commodore, first with the C64 and later with the Amiga. In the UK it was Sinclair with the ZX Spectrum, but even that didn't see a lot of action against the C64 on the Continent - or Down Under.

There were many brands of computers in the late 70s and early 80s - besides Commodore's VIC-20, C64, C128 and Amiga series, there were Tandy TRS-80s (or Trash-80s as we called them!) Amstrad CPC, Dick Smith Wizard, Microbee, Honeywell, Texas Instruments TI99/4A, BBC Micro, Dragon and Acorn as well as the Apple II, which was really just another one in the crowd. None were compatible with any other, and none had particular market dominance.

Here in Australia the BBC Micro became cemented in schools in the early 80s, although its comparatively high price put it out of reach of most households. The Apple was simply too expensive for most households or even schools, although I did see a few in the local uni alongside the Commodore PETs in the physics department.

But it was the C64 that took home computing by storm. Affordable, widely available, powerful and with a massive software base, it had blown all of its competitors away by the mid-80s. Even after the Amiga and Atari ST ushered in the 16-bit era, the venerable C64 was to keep a place in the home computer market for nearly another decade before giving way to the Windows 95/Intel boom.

Apple were, and up until the release of the iPad and iPhone had always been, a niche market. They had the graphic design and typesetting industry sewn up, but wielded little influence outside of that arena. It was the iPad and iPhone that brought them into the mainstream; prior to that, they were definitely a minority platform, and while they may have been among the first to bring out a home computer, they certainly did not have the reach to claim they "ignited the computer revolution!"

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Forget anonymity, we can remember you wholesale with machine intel, hackers warned

Steven Roper
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"If you swear that you are the only programmer you know who insists on arranging your braces that way, you either haven't programmed very much, or you don't know very many programmers."

Your second guess is the correct one. I've been programming since 1983, when I started with first CBM BASIC and then 6510 assembler on the Commodore 64, and went on from there. But it's not a particularly sociable lifestyle, and I'm not a particularly sociable man, so I only know a dozen or so programmers.

But whenever I see code on the internet, whether it's stackoverflow, git or SF, it nearly always has opening curly braces following the conditional rather than on the next line. So I'm sure I can be forgiven for thinking I'm alone in this convention!

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Steven Roper
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I do indent my code, but I hate the convention that has the opening curly brace on the same line as the conditional that spawns it, such as:

if (condition == test) {

....doCondition();

....etc...

}

I always indent my code with the opening and closing braces lined up and on their own lines. It makes code blocks easier to spot as well as spacing everything out for easier legibility, like this:

if (condition == test)

{

....doCondition();

....etc...

}

This way bracket highlighting at the cursor makes both braces instantly spottable at the left, rather than having to hunt across lines of code to find the opening curly brace!

Of course this also wouldn't survive compilation, but anyone seeing my source would peg me as its author since I swear I'm the only programmer I know who insists on arranging my braces this way!

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Cache-astrophic: Why Valve's Steam store spewed players' private profiles to strangers

Steven Roper
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Re: Good idea.

WE definitely seem to be going backwards in a lot of ways. First there's the cloud/rentism mentality that harks back to the master/slave dumb-terminal-to-mainframe systems of the 60s and 70s, then there's the loss of multitasking/windowing in favour of "fullscreen apps" like it was in the 8-bit era, now we have games that take an hour to get going.

Brings back fond memories of playing tape games on the C64 in the early 80s before they invented fastloaders. Want a game of River Raid or Pitfall 2? Pop the tape in the datasette, type "LOAD", press play on tape, and go have dinner while it loads. Once you've eaten and done the dishes, it's ready to play.

Of course River Raid and Pitfall 2 loaded in around 10 minutes or so - rather faster than the hour or so it takes some of today's games.

I think IT technology peaked sometime around 2010-ish. We've been regressing ever since!

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Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

Steven Roper
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The one big mistake

a lot of science-fiction of the 20th century made was the idea that we would or could perfect any kind of anti-gravity in the near future.

All the devices we thought would become commonplace in the new millennium - personal jetpacks, flying cars, hoverboards, the floating camera drones in Babylon 5 - are all predicated on the idea of flying with very little expenditure of energy.

Earth's gravity at the surface pulls us downwards with a constant acceleration equivalent to a car doing 0-100 kph (0-60 mph) in 2.8 seconds. Only the most powerful high-end sports cars can achieve anything approaching that. Any device intended to fly must effectively match that acceleration upward merely to hover, let alone gain altitude. And it must maintain that acceleration even when put under load - such as a human being riding the thing. However you colour it, it takes a lot of energy to impart that kind of acceleration to anything much heavier than a tennis ball.

As to anti-gravity, how do we invent such a thing when we don't really know even what gravity is? Perhaps once we develop a quantum theory of gravity, and/or reconcile the equations of general relativity and quantum mechanics involving it, we might be able to do something in that direction. But we're years, even decades, away from solving those problems, and until we do, we can't even think about inventing any kind of anti-gravity device.

And even if and when we do, it will still require enough energy to counteract that 0-100 kph in 2.8 s to float. Any kind of transportation capable of enabling a human being to soar through the air like a bird for hours while running off a mobile phone battery isn't going to happen, now or in the future.

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You ain't nothing but a porn dog, prying all the time: Cyber-hound sniffs out hard drives for cops

Steven Roper
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Re: Sounds Expensive

I can perhaps explain your downvotes Chris. It's clear to me you are likely a parent and your first thought is the well-being of your kids, so you might have missed another more dangerous aspect to your statement.

You see, every time a government wants to introduce some invasive new police powers, freedom-eroding legislation or privacy-destroying technology, they usually try to justify its introduction against the wishes of the people by one of two highly emotive rationalisations: preventing terrorism, or protecting children from paedophiles. The corollary, of course, is that once it is in place it is then used for everything but.

The reason behind such justification is of course to create the false dichotomy of being against the new invasive measure means one must be a supporter of terrorists or paedophiles. It is used to silence, by fear of guilt by accusation, any reasoned opposition to the new measure and force it into place.

Unfortunately, because of its effectiveness, this rationalisation has now been so heavily abused by so many politicians, so many times, for so long, that many people now experience a reflex opposition whenever they see it used. Your first comment could easily have been interpreted as exactly this kind of rationalisation, triggering this defensive reflex, even if that's not what you intended, and that's why it was downvoted.

In your second comment, you reacted by implying that anyone who downvoted you might be a closet paedophile - another tactic used by police-statists to sow fear and silence any opposition. This is why your second comment received even more downvotes than the first.

I understand that you are rightly concerned about your childrens' safety. But consider this: what is the safety of your children worth, if they have no freedom to live, because their rights have been eroded away by unscrupulous powermongers using fear for their safety as a lever to consolidate power?

Those who downvoted you aren't closet paedophiles. They are reasonable human beings who are rightly very concerned about how politicians are playing on our fears of terrorists and paedophiles to destroy our most basic civil liberties.

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No, drone owners – all our base are belong to US, thunders military

Steven Roper
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Re: This is not going well

Well, if you're going to rubbish rights and freedoms in the name of safety, let's make one small modification to your nanny rant:

"There's a lot of US citizens that are pretty sure they're experts about their "rights" and their "freedoms". And it's very likely that over one million "cars" have already been sold in the USA to date. Probably crossed that number months ago. Just playing the averages here, it's a pretty safe bet there are a lot of these things in the hands of unskilled operators. Don't even have to have malicious intent for accidents to happen here."

That one small change does put a different slant on things, doesn't it? So I hope you don't drive, because my safety is more important than your "rights" and "freedoms."

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EU reforms could pave way for smells and noises to be trade-mark protected – expert

Steven Roper
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Re: Serious question

"All except Cage's "4:33"."

Actually Cage was very canny with copyrighting that.

From Wikipedia:

The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. (emphasis mine)

In other words, in copyrighting "4:33 ", Cage has effectively copyrighted any and all possible sounds that take less than that time to complete; since it requires no instruments and can be performed anywhere, and the content is the ambient noise of the performance location, it must by definition include any possible noise in all possible performance venues - including all other copyrighted audio works in perpetuity.

I'd love to see the IP lawyers go dog's breakfast on this one. Maybe it would create a legal black hole into which they would all disappear, allowing the sun to come out and flowers to bloom and this world transform into an altogether happier place!

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Steven Roper
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Only on el Reg (@Ledswinger)

Oi! Knock it off you bastard, my shipment of spare keyboards hasn't arrived yet!

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Steven Roper
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Re: What use is this?

"Would it not be simpler to find the twat who came up with this idea and punch them in the face until our fists bleed?"

Given that there would be a very long queue of people lining up for that privilege I would recommend each person in line be allowed only one punch each, albeit they are allowed to give it their best shot. That way the most possible people get a go before the fucker's head caves in. I want my turn!

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Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

Steven Roper
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Re: Deliberately vague

"This is just the period of the process when she pretends that ordinary voters have a stake in this."

She never mentions ordinary voters in her quoted statement. Ordinary voters don't figure in her reasoning, which makes it clear that they simply don't matter to her. She knows she's on the Democrat end of a two-party oligarchy masquerading as a democracy, so the only voter danger she has to concern herself with is ensuring said voters don't go for Trump - which doesn't seem like a hard ask. It's not like the voters have any other choice that has any chance of gaining power.

So the only stakeholders she can see in this discussion are the TLAs and Silicon Valley - the likes of you and I don't enter into it. She made that clear when she said, "...something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they're not adversaries."

Us little people being adversaries to the big boys in that equation? Not even a blip. And she's not even trying to hide the fact.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

Steven Roper
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Re: Am I the only one ...

No, you're not the only one. My brother's other half not only hasn't seen any of the SW movies, she adamantly refuses to watch them.

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Steven Roper
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Re: Moan

"I'd believe it they replaced the Emperor with Rupert Murdoch..."

That would completely destroy the films' credibility. The Emperor isn't nearly that evil.

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Drunk? Need a slash? Avoid walls in Hackney

Steven Roper
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Exactly. Angle of incidence = angle of reflection. I've known that since I was a kid, to the point where I always piss into a urinal at an angle to ensure no splashbacks. I do the same if I have to use a wall, so this stuff won't bother me.

One of the joys of being male is that the world is your urinal!

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

Steven Roper
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"We all know that sensible posts get downvoted, just see this posting to confirm that."

If a sensible comment of yours has been downvoted, you might want to go to your comment history and check your other recent comments for downvotes. You might be the target of a Downvote Avenger!TM

With the rise of the Facebook Like generation I've noticed some people here engage in Downvote Revenge - I don't know what other term to use for it. Basically, something you post pisses someone off so much, they feel it necessary to assuage their anger by clicking to your post history and systematically downvoting all of your posts in sequence regardless of content, just to rack up your downvote count.

I've had it happen to me in the past; I noticed on one post a while back I got a downvote and a snarky response, and then a day later I suddenly had a single downvote on all several dozen or so posts previous to it. I can only surmise that one person had taken a dislike to me and wanted to show me what-for.

I consider that an achievement, akin to being able to punch someone in the face through the monitor. The more posts they take the trouble to go back and downvote, the more I know I've gotten under their skin and the more I enjoy the schadenfreude.

So go back and have a look at your post history. You never know; you might have scored!

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Steven Roper
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Someone seriously needs to put a gun to Nadella's head and say,

"What part of the word NO do you not understand motherfucker!!!"

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Steven Roper
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Dear Mother Nature

A VEI 8+ level super-eruption at the Yellowstone caldera sometime in the next 11 months would do the world a huge favour if you could manage it, thanks.

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Facebook arrives at commonsense 'real names' policy

Steven Roper
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"Seriously brah, you need to keep up with this stuff because being more progressive gets you more puss."

Eh, what? Given the tendency of modern progressivism to oppose sexual objectification, I would have thought "being more progressive" and "wanting more pussy" were mutually exclusive conditions!

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Steven Roper
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One little error

"... telling users that it knew what was best for them: an approach that started to annoy its larger product base and even drew the attention of the authorities."

FTFY.

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Who needs CCTV? Get a terrifying slowpoke hoverdrone cam

Steven Roper
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Re: Out o'curiosity ...

"CCTV has rarely been instrumental in directly PREVENTING a crime in progress..."

So what are you advocating instead? Some kind of Minority Report-style "pre-crime" system based on profiling and analytics to stop the crime before it starts?

There's a balance between freedom and enforcement. You're right in that CCTV cameras in and of themselves do little to prevent crime. Perhaps they have a deterrent effect on some people, perhaps resulting in a reduction of crime. Certainly they are useful in helping bring criminals to justice and that's better than letting them get away scot-free for want of evidence.

But when police forces start arresting people based on profiled analyses and statistical likelihoods instead of done deeds, you've thrown anything remotely resembling freedom under a bus.

Unfortunately living in a free society carries with it the risk of becoming a victim of crime. And before you ask, yes, I have been a victim of crime - I've had my home burgled, I've been assaulted and mugged and robbed at knifepoint at times in my life. But I'm still not willing to trade my freedom for the possibility of that never happening again.

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

Steven Roper
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Re: The biggest threat facing America today is political correctness

"Sheer nonsense."

Wow. Just... wow. You must have really taxed your brain cell coming up with such an erudite and informed rebuttal to my argument.

A more brilliant example of stuffing one's fingers into one's ears and shouting LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU would be extremely hard to find!

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Steven Roper
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Re: Impressive.

People dismissing others' warnings of history repeating itself by calling Godwin's Law is exactly how the next Hitler will come to power.

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Steven Roper
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Re: The biggest threat facing America today is political correctness

Actually I would say that's one of the very few things he got right.

Now I think this guy is as big an idiot as anyone else here; but when he says things like this it makes him a lot more dangerous because he's touching a very real nerve - one you have just very pointedly tried to deny the existence of.

Political correctness is the idea that people can be forced, manipulated or shamed into believing and adhering to a specific political ideology or doctrine. In itself it has nothing to do with leftist or rightist thinking; it is merely the idea that the way people think can be directed to serve a social or political agenda, under threat of punishment for non-compliance. But in order for this to work the directing hand must be concealed. For PC to be effective it must first deny or conceal its existence.

To most people, PC is associated most strongly with leftist politics because it is demonstrably the left - feminists, anti-racists, social-justice and identity politics crowd - who have primarily resorted to it in order to establish their ideology. Your use of the previously-mentioned denial tactics in dismissing the concept of PC as "outdated" (other common lines of attack include opposition to it being "unenlightened", "bigoted", "moronic" etc) illustrates this principle perfectly.

People aren't opposed to it because they are misogynistic neo-nazi white-supremacist redneck bigots. They're opposed to it because most people don't like being dictated to, told how to think, and what they can and can't say, even if the goal is a valid one. Nor do they like hypocrisy or double standards, the idea that discrimination is wrong in some areas but perfectly acceptable in others.

Most people will, if asked, uphold the belief that women and men, gays and heteros, blacks and orientals and whites, alike should be free to pursue their hopes and dreams. But the idea that all white hetero males are privileged and must therefore be somehow punished or excluded on the basis of some imagined "oppression", coupled with the use of PC (including the attempted concealment of such use) to normalise the idea, is what is driving much of the backlash against the leftist ideology.

Saying that because most privileged people are white males therefore all white males must be privileged, is akin to saying that since most boy-buggerers are gay therefore all gays must be boy-buggerers. It's an outright fallacy. Privilege is the result of wealth, nothing else. A white male on the dole is no more or less privileged than a black female on the dole. But a wealthy black woman like Oprah Winfrey is a hell of a lot more privileged than that white male sacked-out drunk sleeping it off on the local park bench, to the same degree that Trump himself is a hell of a lot more privileged than the young black girl forced into domestic servitude.

It is the natural human opposition to this dictatorial, manipulative and deceptive practice of the ideological left that is driving the majority of opposition to it. And when idiots like Trump start saying things like "political correctness is a major problem" he's going to garner a lot of support from people who are simply looking for a regime that doesn't start from the premise that all white males should pay for the mistakes of the wealthy.

Which, of course, only makes things even worse, since Trump's primary ideology is to make all of humanity other than the wealthy pay for the mistakes of the wealthy.

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Microsoft offers Linux certification. Do not adjust your set. This is not an error

Steven Roper
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Ah, I must have missed that bit. Thanks for pointing that out, I stand corrected.

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Steven Roper
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25% of the machines connecting to Microsoft's cloud are running Linux? Windows 10 has pissed off that many people already? This is a good sign.

Now, if Nadella is smart enough to recognise this, maybe he's smart enough to realise that people don't want the Windows 10 ransom and spyware. But I'm not holding my breath.

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'Personalised BBC' can algorithmically pander to your prejudices

Steven Roper
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I like the sound of this... I think?

Part of me is appalled at the potential for privacy invasion and the profiling and analytics that will go along with it, including the inevitable carefully-tailored advertising designed to bypass my conscious decision-making processes. After all, I've made no bones about how much I hate being tracked and profiled.

But this also has promise. Being able to mess around with my content means I could strip out all the feminism, misandry and political correctness that has been seeping into popular entertainment of late. I can tune my shows so the male characters aren't all portrayed as perverts, morons or manginas, depict couples that aren't always either gay or interracial, get rid of the anti-racist, anti-sexist preaching, and the self-entitled bitchiness that seems to be de rigeur in so many of today's shows and movies.

Pandering to my prejudices? Oh yes, please. Anything to shut the agenda-pushing SJW brigade out of my life. They'll hate this. With a passion.

Hmmm... Why do I suddenly have the sneaking suspicion if this takes off it'll get canned all of a sudden, or certain options to change certain things will be removed so the PC army can still shove their agenda in everyone's faces? Given the media's propensity for PC and the increasing unpopularity of the PC movement, I can't see this passing unscathed the moment they wake up to the fact that the very people they're trying to preach to and reprogram, are suddenly able to exclude them.

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Hacked Japanese space probe sends back first pictures of Venus

Steven Roper
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Re: periapsis, apoapsis muddle....

In light of this discussion I here submit my proposed list of apo-/peri- suffixes for major solar system bodies. Some are gleaned from science fiction works, KSP, known scientific terms and some I just derived based on an imprecise algorithm of prefixing apo- and peri- to possessive tenses of Greek deities:

aphelion / perihelion: Sun (General scientific term)

apohermion / perihermion: Mercury (My guess: Mercury = Hermes)

apocytherion / pericytherion: Venus (See comments above: Cytherian = Venusian)

apogee / perigee: Earth (General scientific term)

apolune / perilune: Moon (Used in the Apollo program)

apoareon / periareon: Mars (My guess: Ares = Mars)

apojove / perijove: Jupiter (Arthur C. Clarke used this in 2010)

apochrone / perichrone: Saturn (My guess: Chronos = Saturn)

apourane / periourane: Uranus (My guess: Ouranos = Uranus)

aposeidion / periposeidion: Neptune (My guess: Poseidon = Neptune)

apodemetrion / peridemetrion: Ceres (My guess: Demeter = Ceres)

apohadeon / perihadeon: Pluto (My guess: Hades = Pluto*)

apastron / periastrion: orbit of any star other than the Sun (Brian Aldiss used this in his Helliconia trilogy)

apoapsis / periapsis: orbit of any object without specificity (this article and KSP)

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*The recent New Horizons encounter with Pluto didn't involve orbiting that body, so technically the terms apohadeon and perihadeon don't apply. At least, I never saw them or any similar apo-/peri- term used by the New Horizons team.

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Steven Roper
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Re: Lost in translation?

That they've managed to achieve planetary orbit at all solely on auxiliary thrusters is a testament to the ingenuity of the scientists involved. I'd say they'll likely try to circularise the orbit if they have enough fuel left, possibly combined with aerobraking at the periapsis (where the orbital velocity would be highest.) Circularising the orbit with such a high apoapsis would raise the periapsis well beyond atmospheric range once completed.

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National Crime Agency: Your kid could be a nasty interwebs hacker

Steven Roper
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Re: "aimed at educating the parents of 12-15 year old boys"

"I notice noone brings out the "ingrained sexism" card when it's aimed at men."

Doesn't surprise me though. Since the exodus of Page and Worstall, and the increasingly Mailesque tenor of many of the articles, coupled with the upvote/downvote ratios on gender/identity politics-related comments, I rather suspect the SJW army is gradually making inroads on our beloved El Reg.

It was inevitable I suppose, those buggers will leave no stone unturned when it comes to proselytising their one true faith of equality for all except white males. And teenage boys seem to be a particularly favoured target by police, media, educational institutions and just about everyone else.

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Linknet shuttering, blames NBN rollout

Steven Roper
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Fixed wireless may be the answer

There are a number of small ISPs, such as NuSkope, Uniti and Skymesh, that are willing to build out towers in small country towns. NuSkope in particular specifically state that they're happy to do a build-out for as few as 5-8 connections. From their site:

We only require five to eight names on a list for us to start considering the site. ... Our latest example is the small town of Stockport with 15 houses, 40+ kilometres from Adelaide; their only alternate options were a slow and expensive satellite service… or no Internet at all.

So the good folks of Mullumbimby only need to jump on Whirlpool and start asking around. There are plenty of options available for remote regions these days.

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Internet's root servers take hit in DDoS attack

Steven Roper
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Re: Or, possibly,

I can think of a few more:

Luddites that hate the way the internet has changed the world and want to destroy it in an attempt to "bring the world back the way it was";

Religious fanatics trying to find ways to bring about the apocalypse;

Anti-NWO activists who see the internet as an illuminati tool to bring about the one world government and want to fight off the alien reptiloid invasion;

Anti-corporation or Anti-American groups who see the internet as a means by which America and/or its big corporations are trying to dominate the world and want to prevent them;

Crime syndicates testing a system whereby they can hold the world to ransom for billions of dollars;

Military/intelligence forces testing means of shutting the internet down in the event of world war or martial law;

A disaffected group of anti-social basement-dwelling hackers who hate the world and just want to see it burn.

I can't think of any others off-hand but given the things I've read online, all of the above are distinct possibilities!

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Dropbox tells Mailbox and Carousel users to get their affairs in order

Steven Roper
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Re: Yet another reason to never trust Cloud Services

Which is exactly why I love it when this happens. The more it happens, the more people will get burnt by cloud storage and the more they'll shy away from it. Which in turn will render it a passing fad rather than a long-term IT trend.

Hopefully the ransom-rentism model pervading the IT world will go the same way, once people realise that paying for your software over and over is akin to buying a book from the bookstore and having to pay the store a monthly fee to keep it. In any other industry this would be considered extortion. In IT however it seems to be par for the course.

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Pirate Bay domain suspended thanks to controversial verification system

Steven Roper
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The entire domain registration system is borked

One of the dangers of using domain admin or anonymising services is that legally, the domain is owned by the entity whose details appear in the Whois entry. So technically, the anonymising service owns the domain and if they get bought out the purchasing entity could technically claim your domain and you would have no rights to it, since you aren't listed as the owner.

For this reason all our domain names are held via our own company contact. However, phoning the number we use for domain registrations will simply get you a recorded message with no further contact options. Since every spamming fuckwit on the planet scrapes the Whois listings, we registered a separate number which we don't use, because otherwise it just rings constantly with telemarketers, spammers, scammers and scumbags. So it's really a waste of time and money requiring a phone number, when the vast majority of them would either lead to pointless recorded messages like ours, be left off-hook, or constantly busy with spam calls and can't be reached anyway.

As to clicking on links in emails, this is something I simply don't do, unless I've specifically requested the email (e.g. for a lost password reset/recovery.) Any email claiming to be from our domain registrar asking us to verify our contact details would simply go straight into the spam bin, along with the thousands of other fake domain-renewal notices, account-verification scams, and similar-domain cybersquatter offers we get every day.

However we've never had a domain suspended for lack of verification so I assume the fact that we pay for them out of our company account is sufficient verification for our registrar.

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Australia's smut-shocked senators seek net censorship (again)

Steven Roper
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At this point

the question of an internet filter is rapidly becoming irrelevant. With the metadata retention scheme now in place, and the copyright enforcement regime to force everyone to pay Murdoch's outrageous prices to watch Game of Thrones now active, I, and just about everyone I know is now using VPN services ubiquitously. Mine is always on - my ISP now sees nothing but an endless stream of encrypted data between my house and PIA's VPN servers.

Needless to say this will also bypass any blocks the government puts in place. I fought against the internet filter some years ago knowing that the government would try again and again until they got one through. The response all over the country has been a mass sign-up to VPN services.

As a result an internet filter no longer matters. They've already lost control of the internet population here.

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Goodbye, Hello Barbie: Wireless toy dogged by POODLE SSL hole

Steven Roper
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Re: Could be worse...

If not it's only a matter of time.

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Per-core licences coming to Windows Server and System Center 2016

Steven Roper
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There's a difference between making money and ripping people off. This is an example of the latter.

Money is a medium of exchange representing value added through labour. It doesn't cost Microsoft any more labour to make a copy of Windows run on an 8-core machine than it does to make one that runs on a 4-core machine. Therefore this licencing scheme is charging extra money for no additional work. That, in my book,is ripping people off.

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Steven Roper
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The sheer greed and exploitation of these fuckers has to be seen to be believed. What the fuck are they going to come up with next? Per-transistor licences for anything connected to the net? Per-brain-cell licences for reading books?

The sooner the American corporate empire collapses under the sheer weight of its own greed and exploitative ingenuity, the better off the world will be.

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Google fends off EFF's claims kids probed by Chromebook software

Steven Roper
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"Our goal is to ensure teachers and students everywhere have access to powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use tools for teaching, learning, and working together," said Jonathan Rochelle

And you're doing all this out of sheer altruistic love for humanity and the goodness of your hearts of course.

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