1378 posts • joined 10 May 2011
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?
Re: Chinese rockets
Doesn't look like a bigger apostrophe to me, looks pretty normal-sized actually.
Das ist ein Lebensmittelladen Apostroph, obwohl.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Re: If you intend to read the report and avoid buying from the best tax avoiders, vote me down
I would, for one.
"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.
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.
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.
Re: What I'd Like.
Post that info on 4chan.
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.
Re: Too many moving parts...
Are you admitting to being so amazingly primitive that you think digital watches are a pretty neat idea?
Re: What I don't get...
"Are Sweden saying that because you are Swedish we want you to abide by Swedish law, even in other countries?"
Depending on your country of origin, you may find certain of your country's laws do apply to you even if you are out of the country.
A well-known example is Australia's underage-sex laws, which apply to Australian citizens overseas. In Australia, the age of consent is 16 (except in Queensland where it's 18 and South Australia where it's 17). If an Australian citizen enters another country where the age of consent is lower (for example Estonia where the age is 14) and has sex with someone who under Australian law is underage, even if doing so is legal in the country in which the sexual encounter occurs, the person will be arrested and charged with molesting a minor upon their return to Australia. This was introduced to combat "child-sex tourism" where dirty old buggers would go to places like the Philippines for the express purpose of having sex with kids.
Similar overseas-enforced laws apply to money laundering and bribing officials - so if you're visiting some third-world country where bribing the police to facilitate passing checkpoints is de rigeur, if detected you will be arrested and charged with bribing a government official upon your return to Australia, regardless of whether doing so is legal or even expected in the country concerned. More than one unsuspecting Australian tourist travelling in African or South American countries has come a cropper because of this.
I think you'll find similar laws apply to US and UK citizens as well, although I'm not sure about Sweden.
Since you voluntarily accepted the "responsibilities" of being a fucking scumbag by choosing to work for these sorts of companies, how well do you sleep at night knowing your "responsibilities" are killing innocent people?
Sleep tight, scumbag. Sleep lightly.
I think you mean
"Good luck with that!"
Re: Not even really a nurse
"If she wears the 1960s Star Trek female uniform - that IS worth it. Am I right, guys?"
Oh, absolutely. There was a period of 60s-70s-80s sci-fi shows where such outfits were standard issue for female characters - Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica (original), Logan's Run (both movie and TV series), and the first season of Star Trek: TNG come to mind.
For me, those little miniskirts or shifts are the hottest outfit a woman can wear - they turn me on way more than things like hot pants, daisy dukes, bikinis, g-strings or even nudity!
Unfortunately women's lib turned into feminism, and the admiration of the female form, which in the 60s and 70s was seen as "empowering", was transmuted into "objectification" or whatever the PC crowd call natural human desires these days.
You can observe this transformation in Star Trek: TNG - in Season 1, you see loads of the female characters walking around in those iconic Trek minis, but somewhere in Season 2, they were replaced by businesslike long slacks. And in every sci-fi show since, they've invariably dressed women in baggy, sexless clothing for the most part, with only the occasional "sexy outfit" for a specific character once in a blue moon.
A notable exception was Cleopatra 2525, but in that they used thigh straps and fishnets and punk makeup, which merely made the women look more like cheap whores than sexy godesses. And the complete lack of characterisation made it more a porno in a sci-fi setting than anything resembling actual sci-fi. It felt almost like it was done to spite fans of the old sci-fi shows rather than pander to them.
This was made even worse with the "U.S.-militarization" of sci-fi, starting with Stargate and reaching its head in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Military-style uniforms became the order of the day, and it seems that portraying female characters in an even slightly sexy context has become declasse. These days a sexy outfit means putting the woman in baggy pants and a tank top or singlet revealing her (gasp!) bare shoulders! But Heaven forbid displaying a decent length of leg or anything else for that matter.
I wonder if we'll ever see the like of those old Star Trek/Buck Rogers outfits again?
Re: Happens all the time...
If I heard a female friend laughing about stringing guys along with the intention of milking free drinks or a meal, she wouldn't be a friend of mine for very long.
The few female friends I do have are friends because they are decent people who respect others, thus they earn my respect.
Re: pretending she’s a nurse?
Also, given that nurses are medically trained experts with a comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy, they would naturally know exactly where all the "g-spots" are...
"This computer should NOT be used to surf the web or do anything but tweet, which definitely overestimates the IT resources available to most news outlets in the digital age."
If you can't afford even one cheap $50 second-hand PC with nothing more than an OS and browser, set up exclusively for Twitter/Facebook use, you can't afford to run a bloody news outlet, mate.
Re: Surely this is all recorded
If that were true, then the Wayback machine would itself be the first website in existence, no?
Remember, a time machine cannot travel back before the time it was created and all that...
Re: Last all week?
Remember the old childrens' nursery rhyme?
Pease porridge hot
Pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
What Lester has cooked up here is essentially "pease porridge". It doesn't go off as long as you keep it on the slow boil at least some of the time. It might start getting a bit manky after nine days, but it would still be edible if not palatable!
Re: Evil Robots
"Meantime, we need to change our laws such that any information obtained in violation of reasonable expectations of privacy is not usable."
I agree with your post in principle, and absolutely support your views concerning privacy, but to play devil's advocate in relation to this quote, would you still say that if a man who raped your daughter walked away scot-free on a technicality because the video catching him in the act was declared inadmissible due to "surveillance without judicial oversight?"
Many lambast the courts and justice system for just this kind of scenario; a criminal walking free because of legal technicalities is exactly the kind of thing that gets normally reasonable people screaming about judges slapping wrists and howling for lynch mobs and vigilante justice.
The internet combined with cheap plentiful digital cameras and the kind of data aggregation provided by companies like Google, has opened a Pandora's box full of very frightening possibilities. At what point do our freedoms and rights of privacy trump the ability of the justice system to put thugs behind bars? At what point does the ability of the justice system to impose the rule of law trump our rights and freedoms?
Now any regulars on this forum who have seen my posts know my stance on the importance of freedom and privacy and my often vitriolic defence of them. I absolutely agree with the points you made in your post, yet the issues I've raised here must also be addressed if we are to have any hope of actually retaining the freedom and privacy we both value so highly.
I don't pretend to have a solution. But whatever solution we come up with must somehow encompass accountability and responsibility as well as freedom and privacy.
Re: Can someone do the same thing to the "Ask Toolbar" Please!!!!!?????
You think that's bad?
I came across a download the other day whose installer had checkboxes for "Please install SomeSpywareToolbar" and "Make my default homepage SomeSpamSearchSite" - and the checkboxes were ticked and greyed out so you couldn't untick them. I mean, WTF? Why even bother to put checkboxes there at all?
Needless to say, the install was aborted at that point, the originating site added to my blacklist, and my search for a tool to do the job I needed continued.
Re: Separation of church and state
You could say that.
Please forgive me. It's Monday morning here, and my sleep-in yesterday was rudely interrupted by some unwelcome peddlers of "the good news", so religion is pretty high on my hate-list at the moment!
Separation of church and state
should extend as far as: If you profess belief in any organised religion, you cannot stand for or be elected to public office or called to the bar. It has been made clear many, many times throughout history that those who believe in invisible men in the sky are not competent to direct the affairs of civilisation.
Bugger "freedom of religion." It should be "freedom from religion." Along with the already-recognised freedoms from want, war, oppression and fear, at least three of which have religion as a primary cause.
I mean, imagine if people went around claiming "freedom of oppression" or "freedom of war?" It would be a fucking joke.
Re: Love it.
"I don't care what the naysayers, pessimists, Luddites or anyone else who poo-poos this device say, I want one."
As do I. The potential of this technology to enhance our lives is incredible. It's exactly the kind of sci-fi invention I used to fantasise about as a kid. I would love to have the ability to record every moment of my life and be able to use it as a marvellous adjunct to my all-too-fallible memory.
However, I want to do so on my own terms. Those terms include retaining control of the imagery and recordings and experiences taken with the device. I, and I alone, get to choose who sees what, and what is done with it. I cannot and will not tolerate having some faceless American corporation, or equally faceless police-state bureaucracy, constantly looking over my shoulder, narrowly analysing and studying my every act, for the express purpose of exploiting and manipulating me into buying things, or of controlling my life and behaviour for their benefit.
So as it stands, Google Glass is not for me, and will never be unless and until I can guarantee that I, only I, have access to and control of the data that it creates. Hacking the device is a great start towards this end, I grant, and it opens a world of possibilities. But I'll want to be sure before I let that shit anywhere near me.
I'm not a Luddite, so much as I subscribe to the now seemingly-outdated notion that my life is my own, and that my experiences and memories belong to me. I do not consider this notion to be unreasonable.
This is the same scumbag behaviour
used back in the 90s by Unisys with gif and Fraunhofer with mp3:
1. Patent an algorithm, protocol or format.
2. Let it leak into the wider world and let people start using it.
3. Wait in the shadows until the entire world has adopted it as a standard.
4. Suddenly leap out of the shadows and claim "oh BTW, we own that so all you people we've been letting use it for free now have to pay up or else"
This practice is deceptive, immoral and should be made illegal. Patents should be treated the same as trademarks; if you don't defend them right from the get-go, you lose them.
I hope the greedy bastards that do this shit die in a fucking fire.
Re: All one needs to do is coat the balloon in Cavorite.
Of which an essential ingredient was helium if I remember the story aright!
Re: Deceased Navigation?
It's been called "dead reckoning" for as long as I can remember and quite some time before that. I recall reading about pilots using it in VFR, about offsetting the nose of the aircraft from the destination to compensate for crosswinds, in a book about aircraft I had as a kid back in the 70s. And Melville also uses the term in Moby Dick, when he describes in some detail the "log and line" method of navigating: You heave a log tied to a line overboard and count how long the ship takes to sail past it. Melville's protagonist even points out how this method is unreliable and inaccurate compared to the quadrant, which Ahab had destroyed during one of his psychotic episodes the day before.
So "dead reckoning" goes back close to a couple of centuries at least.
Ha ha ha, my first computer was also a ZX81, given to me for my 16th birthday in 1982. Except that in my case, in the struggle of computers vs. girls, computers won...!
No, you need to shoot yourself
Are you really happy that your kids are working 60+ hours a week for a pittance while the CEO of the company they work for waxes fat and rich on their labours, because this Thatcher whose boots you lick destroyed all the hard-fought rights of workers to decent pay and working conditions?
I also remember the 70s: a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, a 38-hour week, and only Dad had to work to pay the house off (Mum started working in the 80s so they could get their 25 year mortgage down to 10.) You try and find that lifestyle anywhere now, thanks to people like you supporting Thatcher and her ilk.
Re: Did you really need the political commentary?
I also make the effort to read articles and comments by those whose politics I don't share; there's no point in trying to argue with someone if you don't understand why they think the way they do, or you'll just end up crossing wires and neither of you will get anywhere. As a result, my political stance encompasses elements of of both leftist and rightist thinking. You need some kind of minimum standard of living and welfare for those who need assistance to maintain it, but you also need some leeway for business to be able to grow and survive in a competitive world. So it's important to understand both sides of the issues.
My biggest problem though, comes when dealing with those whose political views involve the use of words like "racist", "sexist", "misogynist", "homophobic", "xenophobic", "heteronormative", and "(white/male) privilege" - which generally leaves me wanting to blow their sanctimonious heads off. I find it ironic that the worst offenders in that camp are often white and/or male themselves. Methinks they doth protest too much?
Re: @Triggerfish "Music" is the problem
I also have to agree with Vladimir on this one.
I have a very broad taste in music: glancing through my collection, I have folders for classical (Baroque such as Handel, Vivaldi and Bach; Romantic such as Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms; Bohemian such as Tchaikovsky and Sibelius), opera (ranging from Rossini and Verdi to Wagner), movie soundtracks (such as Mancini, Williams, Goldsmith, Horner and Zimmer), pop chart music from 50s to pretty much present day, 70s and 80s hair metal (from Hendrix and Deep Purple through Sabbath and Dio up to Metallica and G'n'R), emo metal (Evanescence, Nightwish), synth (Jarre, Vangelis, Eno), ambient (Kitaro, Genest, Enya etc), easy listening (Yanni, J. Galway), 8-bit c64 chip/SID tunes (Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Jeroen Tel), techno/trance (Oakenfold, Kai Tracid, DJ Tiesto etc), traditional folk tunes (from Europe, Middle East, Asia and Native American like Konalien and Eddy Omonte) and even military marches (Sousa and co, played by the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards bands, mostly.)
My music collection contains works by all these and more, and I cycle through pretty much all of it regularly.
So you can see from that lot that I have a much wider taste in music than most people. But I agree with Vladimir that rap is not music. I've tried to listen to it, I really have - I'm always eager for different music, as my wide range above shows. But it just does nothing for me. It doesn't engage my soul the way all those other genres do. Listening to some homeboy rhythmically ranting over boom-tisha-boom-erk-erk-erk, about gettin' down with ma homies, killin' da pigs, and smackin' ma muthafukkin bitch up yo muthafukka yo, isn't what I call music. Not even remotely.
I don't have a problem with mp3
if they're encoded at a decent bitrate (>= 256 kbps).
I'm 46, so I know my hearing probably isn't quite what it was in my yoof, but aside from a bit of tinnitus in a silent room I can hear even quiet sounds distinctly enough, and a hearing test last year put my frequency range on the order of 17 Hz - 18.2 kHz. Not much wrong with my ears mate.
Despite this, I honestly cannot hear any difference between a CD, a FLAC and a 256 kbps mp3 on my stereo system*. So anything higher (e.g. 320 kbps) is simply a waste of space. I can hear some high-end aliasing noise in 128 kbps mp3s, especially if the piece is classical or movie soundtrack instrumental, and I can just about pick it with a 192 kbps mp3. So I encode classical and instrumental music at 320 kbps just to be sure, and rock and pop at 256, and it all sounds sweet to me.
So unless you FLAC afficionados have ears like fruit bats, I just don't get this "mp3 sounds lousy" thing. Yes, a 32, 64 or 96 kbps mp3 sounds like shit (96 is the bottom end of tolerability if there's no other alternative), but anything 256 or over is indistinguishable from uncompressed to my ears.
*Technics SU-Z780 Class A amp circa 1986, 80W rms per channel, still sounds as sweet as the day I got it, and 2 custom built 140W rms speaker boxes of same vintage with two 16" woofers, 4 midrange drivers, 2 tweeters, 1 piezo super-tweeter and bass reflex duct per box, connected with oxygen-free copper monster cable.
is an example of exactly the kind of social engineering, public control and psychological manipulation I've posted about elsewhere that makes any kind of revolution or stand for freedom impossible in the modern age.
Those "Pirate parties" you dismiss with such glibness are people standing up for your freedom, privacy and civil rights. Your dismissing them as elements of the lunatic fringe, which is evident from the tone of your post, plays right into the hands of Big Business and Big Government and those who are constantly trying to take our liberties and rights away from us. That makes you as corrupt as they are.
I for one am right behind their efforts, not just because of the rights abuses DRM enables but because, by virtue of Bob being the same person as Mallory in the DRM Alice-Bob-Mallory cryptographic scenario, DRM is snake oil.
But you just keep cranking that propaganda handle, sunshine. Maybe some of your fellow sheep will even start to believe you after a while.
...Oh, I just noticed it's you, David W. Suprise sur-fucking-prise!
@ Harvey Trowell
"...having to prod the keypad after all you nose-picking buttscratchers have had a crack at it."
You reminded me of a study some uni students did in my town a few years ago. They took samples from ATM keypads around the city and did some forensic testing. Among the substances they found on the keypads were traces of:
Saliva and nasal mucus (there's your nosepickers);
Human, cat, dog, bird and rodent urine and faeces (there's your buttscratchers);
Coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks;
Assorted sauces, meat and vegetable food products in various states of decay;
Human skin (natch), blood and internal organ tissue(!?);
About the same quantity and species of bacteria per square cm as found on an average public toilet seat;
And I've saved the best for last: They found traces of human, BULL and PIG SEMEN on the keypads. Somewhere in my city, there are pig and cow fuckers going around using our ATMs (probably farmers having done artificial insemination, but I can't speak for their hygiene!) As to the human semen, the less said the better...
Mine's the one with the disposable surgical gloves in the pocket.
If they measured Australian boradband speeds
while Game of Thrones was airing, they would definitely get a skewed reading. They should wait until after the season finished and then do their measurements, they'd get a more accurate result!
content=" ANFO,avoid detection,blast,bomb,contact cell,destroy,detcord,detonation velocity,diesel,disaster,FBI,Federal Reserve Bank,fertilizer,hexamine,Interpol,kill,Nitropril,Obama,police,RDX,truck,unmarked,Wall Street,White House"
That should do it.
"Or anything ... that denies the target a chance to fight back at their attacker..."
Ah yes, the old principles of honour and fair fighting in warfare. In days of old when knights were bold and all that.
There's a song from around 1979 you should listen to (if you haven't heard it already) by Chris DeBurgh, called "Crusader." Especially listen to the last verse, which is a reprise of the first with a few significant changes. It's just as relevant today as it was in the post-Vietnam era it was written to satirise. It still brings a lump into my throat when I listen to it.
What I want to know is
1. Will it be subject to "remote control" by Mozilla, in the same way that Android, iOS and Windows 8 all are by their respective vendors?
2. Will it "phone home" to Mozilla about everything I do, and build profiles on my surfing and usage habits to sell to advertisers and other exploitative scum?
3. Will it trap me in a walled garden where the only software I can install is that approved by Mozilla?
4. Will it require me to sign in to an online account in order to use my device?
5. Will it force me to use cloud storage over my own local storage?
6. Will it allow Mozilla to reach into my device and delete or modify apps and content a la Amazon / Google?
7. Will I be required to sign away my most basic human rights of property ownership in order to be able to use the device?
8. Will Mozilla require a free-for-all copyright licence to use any content I create with the device as they see fit without credit or renumeration to myself?
If the answer to all 8 of these questions is "No", then I'm definitely interested. Mozilla, you have a chance to give the middle finger to every fucking greedy corporation on this planet who seem to have forgotten what the words "freedom", "privacy" and "personal ownership" mean. Please don't fuck it up by joining them.
illustrates the extent to which corporate greed and government powerlust have perverted technology than the comments in this forum.
This is a tech site. Its readers are technically minded people; geeks, nerds, wizards, hackers, IT professionals. These are the sort of people who in the past have always eagerly embraced new technologies and looked forward to the future of computing technology; a future of immersive alternative realities, the world's information at our fingertips, artificial intelligences to augment our senses and brains and make us into superhuman demigods.
Instead, our responses now have become focused solely on how the ruling elite will use this technology to enslave, monitor and control everyone. The first thing we think of when new technologies are discussed is no longer the benefits it will bring, the advances it will provide, or the problems it will solve. Now it is all about how corporations will use it to pry into our hearts and minds, the better to manipulate us into
buying paying for their permission to use their products; how governments will use it to keep us under constant surveillance to further their absolute control and regulation of every minutia of our lives.
Where did we lose it? Why have we let things come to this pass? We have allowed evil, greedy and corrupt people to dominate our society, our businesses, and our governments; we have allowed them to turn every tool we created against us, and all that remains now is that the future is a horror.
"...and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week."
Except that even Orwell couldn't have imagined the extent of this horror.
Re: Erm.... Anon because one or more Feds might be reading this.
Erm... if "the Feds" wanted to find out who you are, they'd contact their UK counterparts who would then serve El Reg with a warrant, and El Reg's staff would hand over your email, account details and the IP addresses you've posted from for the last few years without a second's argument. Sir yes sir.
Anonymous Coward only serves as protection from other Reg commentards, it's about as effective as wet paper armour as a defence against police or governments!
Those of you
commenting that if YouTube is protected by safe-harbour then so are Pirate Bay or Megaupload, are forgetting one important detail: You Tube is owned by a large multinational corporation with billions of dollars to chuck at lawyers, while Pirate Bay and Megaupload were set up by little guys with fuck all. You lot are aware that there's one law for corporations and their upper echelons and another for us little people, and that justice is only a commodity for sale to the highest bidder, right?
Re: So which are these larger companies?
Well, aside from Exxon Mobil, there's Royal Dutch Shell, Walmart, Sinopec Group, BP, China National Petroleum Corp., Saudi Aramco, Vitol, State Grid Corp. of China, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Toyota, Total, Volkswagen Group, Japan Post Holdings, Samsung, Glencore, and Gazprom, all of which are bigger than Apple in terms of revenue.
See Apple down there at number 19?
Most of these corporations also have their fingers in a lot more pies than Apple, which is why you won't see their share values going up and down like a two-bob watch.
Re: Let it go.
Fondleslabs, like commentards, Bulgarian airbags, the milliWales and the speed of sheep in a vacuum, is part of El Reg's lexicon and community culture. If these things annoy you, perhaps you might find Ars Technica more to your liking? It's right over there. --->
Re: Research Bad News & Laboratory Products
If people are ignorant and cynical it's because they're sick of snake oil salesmen promising the moon wrapped in cellophane and then never delivering. People aren't born cynical, they get that way because talk is cheap and bullshit is common.
My cynicism switch is triggered by people talking about inventions that improve on current technologies by orders of magnitude, like this article - that's when I start rubbing my beard and saying things like "oh yeah, sure..." because my life experience has taught me, repeatedly, that big talk goes with hot air.
For me the two biggest causes of this syndrome are data storage devices, and portable energy sources. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen articles about researchers inventing umpteen-petabyte-in-a-matchbox holographic crystal storage devices but, years later, the largest hard drive I can buy is STILL only 4 TB. I'm not expecting to see anything much bigger than a dozen TB at most come to market in the next 5 years - if it does I'll eat my own socks and post the video on YouTube.
I have the same attitude to battery promises as well. I don't know how many times I've read articles about the next big thing that will revolutionise battery technology only for it to vanish in a puff of vapourware and never mentioned again.
That's the crux of the problem and the cause of the cynicism: a single article like this appears in the likes of El Reg and Ars Technica and then is never mentioned again. No follow-up articles, no progress reports, no "this time last year we reported on...", nothing. That's why people get cynical.
And the reason that these things only ever appear once is that a lot of these "inventions" are the products of graduate students doing something for their thesis or paper in order to obtain that degree or other certificate that they hope will get them a nice cushy job in a corner office somewhere. Once they have the piece of paper and the cushy job, the invention joins the millions of other inventions buried in the archives of some university library and is never looked at again. Once the students graduate, their university projects usually come to an abrupt end - and the fabulous invention we've been promised evaporates in a puff of library dust.
So if this cynicism is crushing researchers' spirits, maybe those researchers should consider the benefits of keeping the public updated on the course of their research. If I saw even one article mentioning progress on a technology that was reported a year or so ago - even just once a year would suffice, because I understand that it can take a few years to bring a prototype to market - just keeping people updated on the development progress would go a long way toward assuring us that this wasn't just another student's graduation ticket to be buried in an archive box once they've got their bit of paper.
Until then, I'll just keep rubbing my beard and saying, "yeah, sure mate..."
Given the way those particular years have seen political correctness replace common sense and fear replace freedoms, I couldn't be happier if the last 12 years had never happened TBH!
- Review Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. How about... oh, your battery died
- Review + Vid iPhone 6 Plus: What a waste of gorgeous fat pixel density
- +Comment EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
- Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia
- Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst