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* Posts by Steven Roper

1365 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Forget the word 'cyberwar' says Marcus Ranum

Steven Roper
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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.

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Better Place electric car outfit goes titsup

Steven Roper
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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!

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

Steven Roper
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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.

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Open wide, Google: Here comes an advertising antitrust probe

Steven Roper
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Joke

And bite the pillow

'cause I'm goin' in dry!

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Brit spooks bugged Edward VIII's phones, records reveal

Steven Roper
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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."

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Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked

Steven Roper
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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.

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Fairphone goes on sale to all

Steven Roper
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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.

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Steven Roper
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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.

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More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: Wait, something's missing here...

Eadon isn't here precisely because this topic is about Windows 8. He has nothing to gain by posting here, because his modus operandi as a troll isn't to rant about Windows 8, it's to derail forum threads that have nothing to do with Windows 8 with utterly irrelevant rants about Windows 8.

His objective is to get everyone posting about what a wanker he is and how sick they are of his irrelevant posts and thus obliterate the topic of discussion with anti-Eadon flaming. That's what trolling is all about, and that's exactly what he is. If he posted here, his posts would simply be lost in the general anti-Windows 8 noise, so his trolling here would be a waste of time.

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New 4TB drive spaffs half a telly season into your eyes AT ONCE

Steven Roper
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Stop

Re: the rustling of small leaves.

If you people are going to honour Eadon with a Reg unit, may I suggest using the Eadon as a measure of irrelevancy rather than sound volume. After all, his posts are a lot more infamous for being irrelevant to the thread than being actually noisy...!

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Space dogs and Dragons: A brief history of reentry tech

Steven Roper
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Re: It comes down to which way you want to do things...

"A modern sedan car is fiendishly complicated compared to a Ford Model T but as long as the technology is reliable (enough), I'll take the modern car any day..."

That's fine if you're commuting in the city, or country driving in English farmland, because you can just call the RAA or AA or whoever handles emergency vehicle callouts in your country.

However, I live in Australia, where distances between major cities run into four digits. And those four-digit distances encompass some of the nastiest areas on the planet - searing temperatures, baking sun, no shelter, no water (or in flood season far too much of it), poisonous beasties, and so on.

In such circumstances I'd personally prefer the Model T (or simple equivalent) because if it breaks down you can get it going again - at least to the next town - with the elastic from your undies and a bit of fencing wire. As opposed to your you-beaut modern sedan, which will simply sit there and refuse to go the moment its computer gets upset about a scratched EFI cowling or something, and which will require some hideously expensive and needlessly complicated part imported from the other side of the planet to fix. Which in this country makes that sedan a potential deathtrap on wheels.

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

Steven Roper
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Re: Is May 21st the new April 1st?

"Twisted viral marketing" is probably the right one here.

Kudos to you for putting the concept so simply BTW; it beats my effort to explain the principle via references to Jungian perversion and enantiodromia in my post higher up this forum!

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Steven Roper
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It might sound silly but it's got me curious to try it. Calling themselves Soylent has a certain enantiodromic genius to it; the perverse (in the Jungian sense) aspect of human nature being what it is, I can see it being quite successful.

I tend to identify with old Sol (Edward Robinson) from the Soylent Green movie because I'll be around his age in the year that it was set. And the world probably will be like that then. One particularly poignant scene has Sol reminiscing when he sees the "real beef" that Thorn has brought round to eat. I can see myself living that same scene, once the vegie-fanatics have gotten meat banned on the grounds of agricultural efficiency and saving the environment, and the world population passes 12 billion so most people are eating glop anyway.

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Startup hires 'cyborg' Mann for Google Glass–killer project

Steven Roper
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Go

I might be interested

IF:

1) There's no tracking, spying, monitoring or profiling of my movements, actions or data the device records by any company or government agency;

2) I have the option to direct remote storage and output to a server under my control, not just a nebulous "cloud" owned by Amazon or Google or whoever;

3) I have complete control over who gets to access what data from this device;

4) I don't have to sign away my rights, privacy or allow any third party unrestricted use of the intellectual property in any images/audio/video or other data the device creates;

5) I am not bombarded with advertising and marketing as part of the experience.

I am willing to pay more for the device in exchange for these points, because I don't expect to get something for nothing and I'm not willing to trade my privacy or personal control for "free" or "cheaper" hardware and services.

If Meta can meet and respect these expectations, I for one would definitely go for this over Google's offering. They have the potential to capture a huge market here, from all the people who are more concerned about the Google than the Glass, without considering the people who want the extra immersion and functionality Glass does not provide.

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Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills

Steven Roper
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Re: A bit too convenient

"I don't like the idea of a NFC system without pins being able to dip into my bank accounts / credit card accounts."

Which is why I have two bank accounts. One is my savings account, into which all income and payments to myself are deposited, and to which no cards are linked. The other is my spending account, to which my Mastercard debit card (I refuse to have a credit card) and ATM card are linked.

The spending account runs on empty most of the time. If I need to buy something online, or go out shopping, I first log on to my bank and transfer the required amount of money from the savings account to the spending account.

This not only reduces my potential losses from fraud and skimming, it also protects me from impulse purchasing, since there's only ever enough money in the spending account to buy what I originally wanted in the first place.

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Steven Roper
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It's no good drilling out or microwaving or otherwise destroying electronic components on credit cards. The card issuers have already cottoned on to this practice.

Last year, my local supermarket introduced PINless chip-based payments in addition to the old magnetic swipe. My card, issued by my bank, had both magnetic stripe and chip. Since I didn't like the idea of payments being able to be taken from my card without a PIN or other authentication, I fried the chip.

Then I found that the smartcard terminals wouldn't accept the card from a magnetic swipe. Apparently my card was "pipped" or "tagged" as having a chip, and the terminal wouldn't accept the magnetic swipe since it preferred to use the chip. Result: I had to explain to my bank that the card had been damaged, and wait for two weeks while they sent me a new card.

So you simply don't have the choice. If your card comes with a chip, and the terminal is equipped to read a chip, that's what you WILL use, like it or lump it. Obviously the magnetic swipe is only there for legacy terminals without chip capability.

So now I just use cash when I go shopping.

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Don't Panic! Google FCC filing reveals mystery media device

Steven Roper
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Re: Maybe

"It will allow you to stream high quality, original Hollywood movies, for a reasonable price, available anywhere in the world at the same time."

No, it will come with a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation GPP that will explain, in appropriately dulcet tones, that while it would normally be delighted to provide such a service for you, it regretfully advises that copyright law prevents it from providing said service in your country, apologises for the inconvenience, and provides you with a substitute that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Hollywood movie you were looking for.

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Petshop iPad fanboi charged with filming up young model's skirt

Steven Roper
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Joke

Re: The Rouge Republic of California

"Some days I have to wonder who is more repressed: the Taliban or Americans."

Oh, that's easy. Americans of course.

Under Americans, both women and men are repressed: women by the patriarchy, men by feminism.

Under the Taliban, only women are repressed.

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Steven Roper
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Re: It's alright according to Eadon

Oh Christ. Eadon doesn't even need to post in order to start derailing threads...

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They WANT to EAT YOUR COMPUTER - welcome your ANT overlords

Steven Roper
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FAIL

Re: Windows 8 computers are safe

Aaaaaaand so...

Eadon has, yet again, successfully derailed the first page of a comments thread, pushing all other relevant comments down, by trolling all of you fucking morons into responding to him. One post, and you've all been sucked in and rendered the entire thread worthless with your ranting at him.

Yes, I know this post contributes to the derailment, but if anyone wanting to respond to this has even one fucking brain cell, this post will remain the last one in the chain.

My respect for the El Reg community is dropping fast, decrementing every time I see you idiots giving Eadon exactly what he wants.

Successful troll is successful.

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Microsoft conceals job ad in Bing homepage

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: http://bit.ly/ZZayNx+

That was the bit that got my hackles up right away. A bit.ly URL-shortener link claiming to be a Microsoft job ad?

Yeah, right. Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells. There's a reason I've blocked all those sketchy URL shorteners at the firewall; something to do with I don't want to spend my days picking 0-day trojans out of the office PCs.

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MIT takes battery-powered robot cheetah for a gallop

Steven Roper
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Joke

Re: Why legs.

"However the reason it [the wheel] hasn't evolved as a means of movement..."

Yes it has. Haven't you ever come across hoop snakes?

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Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

Steven Roper
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Re: unique audiovisual experience?

RTFA.

It doesn't say Nintendo want a cut of the revenue, it states that they want all of the revenue.

Considering that the 'creative work' also includes commentary by the player (which is copyrighted to that player), then the player is entitled to keep at least some of the revenue for their efforts. I'm sure that if Nintendo hadn't been such greedy fucking bastards and asked for a percentage on those grounds rather than trying to guts the whole fucking lot there wouldn't have been nearly the hostility there is now.

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Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS

Steven Roper
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Re: Excuse me, sir...

Downvoted for playing the race card because someone doesn't like Obama's policies.

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Google research chief: 'Emergent artificial intelligence? Hogwash!'

Steven Roper
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"So how did intelligence emerge in humans?"

Define "intelligence".

Is it the ability to learn from and thus react to certain stimuli? In that case pretty much the entire animal kingdom could be classed as intelligent.

Is is the ability to communicate with other members of one's own species? Still most of the animal kingdom there. Communicate complex and abstract concepts? Now we're narrowing it down a bit, but we've still got primates and cetaceans to account for.

Permanently record information such that other members of one's species can retrieve it even after the individual originator of the information has died? Ah, now we might be talking Homo sapiens. Reading, writing, drawing and painting allow us to transcend death by passing on our knowledge to our successors. Wait a minute - ants can also do this with smell trails. Ant smell trails inform other ants not only of a path to food, but also what kind of food it is, how far it is and how much of it there is. And it persists long enough for other ants to make use of it even if you kill the ants that originally made it. So that's out, too.

Control and manipulate one's environment to benefit one's species and/or oneself? Yes, humans can do this, but it's just a question of extent; a termite mound with it's moisture, ventilation and light control mechanisms is just one example of another species doing this. So that doesn't uniquely define human intelligence either.

Self-awareness? Nope - dogs, dolphins, chimpanzees, orangutans and many other creatures have also clearly demonstrated a sense of identity, being able to recognise themselves in mirrors and behaving in ways that indicate the presence of self-awareness in a group context.

In the end, one is forced to the conclusion that intelligence didn't "emerge" spontaneously, so much is it has always been present in some degree as a function of life. Likewise, computer intelligence won't just "emerge", it's present now, has been since the invention of the pocket calculator, and will continue to develop, grow and change. Intelligence isn't a "yes/no" equation, it is a continuum of behaviour that has no effectively determinable thresholds.

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Mobile tech destroys the case for the HS2 £multi-beellion train set

Steven Roper
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"With the copper wire running above the tracks..."

Which will last all of 5 minutes before being nicked by copper thieves.

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British LulzSec hackers hear jail doors slam shut for years

Steven Roper
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Re: Whoops ! @AC 15:02

"Ohh how wotton of me to have a little joke at someone else's misfortune."

Ok, no problem mate, just make sure you laugh just as hard the next time someone cracks a joke about hide and seek champion of the year when some girl's violated corpse is found in a ditch with a broom handle shoved up her twat.

It's not the humour that's the problem, it's the double standards in applying it.

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My god, what's that STENCH belching from your iPhone?

Steven Roper
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Devil

Re: Chaos

My first thought as well.

The first time some wanker stinks out my train carriage with one of these things, they're going to be eating it.

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Steve JOBS finally DEFEATS the PC - from BEYOND THE GRAVE

Steven Roper
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Re: Colour me shocked

" I wouldn't put any money into makers of keyboards and mice, that's for sure..."

Really? Have you tried coding a 100,000 line application on a tablet with a touch screen keyboard lately?

It may well be that mice might disappear as touch screens become more prevalent, but I think the humble keyboard will be around for a while yet.

A good compromise from my perspective as a programmer, 3D modeller and graphic designer, who uses multiple monitors, would be a dual fondleslab workstation with two 24" slabs (the size of my monitors) with one sitting where the keyboard normally sits, at a 45 degree angle like an art desk, and one up in front acting as a monitor. In 3D modelling mode, the art-desk slab would be the tri-view modelling interface, and the monitor slab would be the render display; in programming mode, the desk slab would become a nice big keyboard and the monitor slab would be the IDE, and so forth.

That sort of thing I could work with, perhaps. But I don't see anything like that happening soon. And trying to do what I do with a desktop, on a pissy little 7" - 10" fondleslab, ain't gonna happen.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

Steven Roper
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Joke

Re: Quality

You praised Lewis Page. He has a certain notoriety in this community, usually involving his daring to question anthropogenic climate change, so you most likely got downvoted by our resident treehugging climate-change zealots who didn't appreciate you complimenting their oil-company-bought-and-paid-for nemesis.

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Oi, Google! Stop LIBELLING us Germans, fix your autocomplete

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: "Google has been ordered"

It's not Eadon derailing threads, it's you (and now me) doing the derailing by posting responses to it, and cluttering up the comments section with same...

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VTOL hybrid flying car promises the skies

Steven Roper
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Go

Re: Waddya mean 4 years late?

And another show from over 20 years ago promised to be able to hover-convert my old car for just $39,999.99 by 2015 but since that's less than 2 years away I can't see it happening either...

Besides, I don't have one cent shy of 40 grand burning a hole in my pocket so never mind the flying cars, I want my fracking hoverboard!

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'LulzSec leader's' victim named: tiny Oz council

Steven Roper
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This is why I get my news from El Reg

"Since we try to avoid jumping ahead of the court process, we have kept our traps shut."

Rupert Murdoch and son, take note. This behaviour is what is known in the trade as "media integrity", and it is an example you would do well to follow.

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Star Trek: The original computer game

Steven Roper
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Re: Such is my blind hatred for everything TREK...

And nothing of value was lost. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

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Steven Roper
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Re: And just think...

Actually Paramount have been fairly open with fan-created content relating to Star Trek. As long as you don't sell it or do pornographic or offensive shit with it, they've been quite supportive of their fan base. If the fans put in enough effort, the Star Trek mob even get behind them on their independent projects - just look at The New Voyages and Phase II, both fan-made amateur spinoffs which ended up getting the backing of George Takei and Walter Koenig among other Star Trek notables. And there's the thousands of fansites and tons of fanart and fanfic out there that Paramount has always encouraged and never had a problem with.

Now if Star Trek was owned by Disney on the other hand...

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Google Glass eye-cam to turn us all into right little winkers

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: Isn't this a geek site?

"...mounting it in something else (like the toe of some shoes/boots) should do the trick...."

Except that the first thing women look at when passing or assessing you is your shoes. For some arcane reason known only to the feminine mind, shoes maketh the man - or the woman. This is exactly why so many would-be toe-cam upskirters get busted.

Besides, if you want titty shots, your best bet would be a cam hidden in a baseball cap or other hat (Australian slouch hats are perfect for this! ;) ). Women rarely focus on the top of a man's head and the camera angle looking down from there is optimal for snapping cleavage!

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Steven Roper
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Re: This is not a Google Glasses problem

It's not the cameras or people taking pictures of me in public places that I have a problem with. I accept that in any public place I may be photographed at any time and that goes with the territory. In fact I get very shitty with people who tell me I can't take pictures in a public place.

What I have a problem with is the face-recognition software Google and Facebook use behind the cameras. I have no say in the matter. My dear mother has plastered photos of me all over Facebook, including ones taken in my childhood that she's scanned in and posted, and so against my will and without my consent, Facebook has a complete record of my face from childhood to present day and can potentially recognise me every time I pass a camera connected to it.

With Google Glass, and Facebook/Google having that kind of information on people posted by third parties, every time I pass someone wearing these things, Google/Facebook's face recognition software kicks in and their system knows exactly where I am at that time. They can profile my movements and habits even without me posting anything of my own volition.

No, I have no problem with cameras and using them certainly shouldn't be made illegal. But use of face-recognition software without the express written consent of the person whose face is being analysed definitely should be.

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Google Chrome slips web fix to addicts suffering net withdrawal

Steven Roper
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Meh

You mean

like Firefox's offline mode, where you can view cached pages but, unlike Chrome, throws up a warning bar letting you know that you're viewing from cache?

How innovative.

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Suspected Chinese NASA spy smuggled smut not state secrets

Steven Roper
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Headmaster

Re: Chinese rockets

Doesn't look like a bigger apostrophe to me, looks pretty normal-sized actually.

Das ist ein Lebensmittelladen Apostroph, obwohl.

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10-day stubble: Men's 'socio-sexual attributes' at their best

Steven Roper
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Re: Beards are Best

I've had my beard since the mid-90s, ever since I overheard a feminist co-worker say she thought beards were a disgusting symbol of patriarchal oppression. So I grew it out to spite her and by extension all feminists and I've kept it ever since. So yeah, I suppose you could call mine a machine gun for my face!

I do keep it fairly short though, around 1 cm, because it gets annoying if I let it get too big. I end up chewing on my moustache and constantly twisting my chin hair with my fingers after a couple of weeks of no trim. Also, the part on my jawline either side of my chin seems to grow twice as thick and fast as anywhere else on my face, eventually resulting in the appearance of my chin looking wider than my forehead, which as you can imagine just looks daft. So I trim around once a week, which is a lot better than having to shave every day.

In my middle age, parts of it have gone grey, while the sideburns are vivid ginger, and the rest of it black. I've been compared to skunks and tortoiseshell cats more than once because of it!

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Steven Roper
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Beer belly sicking out from under a t-shirt with can of lager in hand, definitely a nono.

Beer belly filling out an Armani suit with glass of Chateau d'Yquem in hand, not so much of a problem.

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Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Eadon's really got you people balls-out fired-up hasn't he? Every time one of you idiots rants about him, he scores. He must be laughing his arse off about how he's rustled the Reg community's jimmies to the extent he has.

Well done, Eadon! You have my admiration sir. You've achieved in a few months what I've failed to pull in 7 years of trolling El Reg!

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Tech giants reject tax dodge name and shame plan

Steven Roper
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Re: withdraw from doing business in Australia

"It's about time we banned our politico's from owning shares or having any ties with commerce. "

I've been saying this for years. It should be constitutional law in every democracy: if you own shares in any company, you cannot stand for public office or be called to the bar (I also hold that for people who believe in religions as well, but that's another story). Sell your shares first (publicly at market value, NOT to family members etc either!), then you can stand for election or be appointed to the judiciary.

The blatant conflict of interest in being a member of the legislature or judiciary and owning shares in companies is so obvious, the fact that it's legal at all should be considered evidence of egregious corruption.

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Steven Roper
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Re: If you intend to read the report and avoid buying from the best tax avoiders, vote me down

I would, for one.

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Japan's XP migration solution: Remove network cable

Steven Roper
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"Ethernet ports will apparently be taped up in case users forget that their machine is no longer allowed to reach a network."

Only taped up? Fat lot of good that'll do, as if that'll do anything to stop the office idiots ripping the tape off and plugging in cables.

They should do to the Ethernet ports what I do to the USB ports on the office machines to stop people from plugging (malware-infested) USB sticks into them - fill the fucking things with superglue.

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NASA boffins: Space 'scope JUST missed dead Cold War spy sat

Steven Roper
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Iglethal puts the case very well, but to add my two bits I'll couch my comparison in car terms:

Suppose your large chunks of metal with a mass of several tons travelling at relative velocities of over a hundred miles an hour, were coming within 3 millimetres of each other? You wouldn't feel that was a bit of a close shave? That's the car equivalent of these satellites passing within 200 m of each other at orbital velocities.

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Steven Roper
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Re: Solar sail? Ion drive?

How about a bottle rocket?

Just mount a pressurised canister of fluid (since water would likely freeze in orbit you might want to use ammonia or LN2 or some such) on the thing, with a valve you can crack to let some of the liquid out. Good old Sir Isaac takes care of the rest - no flammable liquids or barely-controlled explosions involved.

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Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: What I'd Like.

Post that info on 4chan.

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Fraudster gets ten years after selling fake 'ionic charge' bomb detectors

Steven Roper
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The 10 year sentence was the maximum term the judge could hand down. I've no doubt that if he could have put the fucker away for life he would have.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your POV) the law prescribes maximum penalties which judges cannot exceed, however much they'd like to. So 10 years was as much as this guy could be put away for.

I wouldn't be surprised though, to see extradition proceedings initiated by Iraq and other countries once his release date approaches, though. Not to mention he's seriously pissed off some military forces who aren't exactly noted for their forbearance and mercy. I think 10 years of chokey will be the least of his troubles.

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