667 posts • joined Thursday 28th June 2007 02:22 GMT
"Australia's best-loved brand"
Brand (n) - blistered burn mark, scorched into unwilling flesh, often denoting that the wearer's soul belongs to the diabolic hell-spawn that is Telstra.
That said, their mobile coverage is pretty good, and it's not expensive if you have more than two kids to gift to His Almighty Majestic Goat-Headed Beast With 10,00 Indian-accented Mouths.
Did someone forget to tell DARPA that economics IS a zero-sum game?
I remember in year 5 when we did 'compound interest' we all excitedly worked out that if we put $1 in a bank account, in only 2,147 years we would all be very wealthy.
I know DARPA play the long game, but really, didn't they realise THHGTTG is fiction?
Not really, IRRC it was the 11th or 12th Keyhole / Crystal, so it must have been pretty much surplus / spare change by then. Anyone remember 'Keyhole' before Google bought it? It was called that for a reason...
A shame that all that superb technology was spent on paranoia and pork barreling. Imagine the astronomy with 12 Hubble-class telescopes! Orbital multi-element interferometry with a base-line the size of LEO? Yes please! We would have discovered plenty of planets by now, and picked up chlorophyll spectrum from a couple as well; probably a would have found a few GSVs too.
Ah well, at least we got Saddam's WMDs and stopped all those terrorists! Oh, wait....
It would be a short trip at least....
"I claim this space station for the people of [china|north_korea|iran|ghana|belgium]"
"hey what's that hissing noise? w h y c a n ' t I b r e a t h e ....."
It is controlled from the ground, after all.
Been reading Stephen Baxter, eh?
Is it just me, or has the past 12 years or so been straight out of a Stephen Baxter novel? A couple come to mind: Titan (obviously, but we won't get the last-chance Shuttle-to-Titan), Evolution, Coalescent (the story of the Fall of the Roman Empire through Regina's eyes is spooky).
I remember having the same feeling of dread when the Concorde was grounded, especially as the 'faults' everyone crowed about were only due to a slack-arsed yokel contractor doing a near-enough-is-good-enough job on a completely different plane, and the different airline did the 'lalalala it wasn't US it was our third-party contractors, your honour' dance.
If humanity couldn't be arsed to get something as downright simple as a conventional airliner working properly, let alone an SST (yes, looking at you A380, B787) there seems to be little hope for space.
Yes, religion & superstition are back. Hedonism is cool. Violence now seems to be everywhere - not the fault of video games / comics / the latest moral panic - but the fault of lack of education, ignorance and just plain arseholism. Oh, with a good bit of my god is better than yours biffo thrown in.
Playing Fallout 3 seems more and more like practice rather than entertainment; Stephen Baxter reads like a prophet rather than entertaining fiction.
I've been reading Iain Banks lately, so I was sort of hoping The Culture might drop by; my guess is that T.S. Eliot's 'bang / whimper' is going to be a long, drawn-out wail.
FAIL - because homo sapiens sapiens has become homo baka moroniens
Oh, no you don't!
Correct corporate procedure in this case is to recall all shipped tablets and crush them with a bulldozer. If we can't make a profit out of them, NOBODY WILL! is a corporate mantra.
cf. Beechcraft Starship for more details.
Still it is astonishing to see such a big, allegedly well informed company go so horrifically off the rails. The phrase "couldn't lose money quicker if they simply shovelled it out the window" comes to mind.
"...which offers similar services"
What, a crappy cobbled-together mishmash of components that doesn't work properly and requires UAC to be switched off under Win7 64bit to even work?
"capability that could reach any location on the planet within a few minutes."
They just aren't sure which location.
You would think that with 100% loss results after two tests that you might think in this day & age that DARPA would have a clue as to what is going wrong, or that the design is a bit stuffed.
Oh, sorry, I forgot, it's DARPA.
More like DERPA
I'm sorry I'll read that again....
I read that as 'put a sock ON it'.
yes, the grey dust-coat and the fetchingly-endowed waitress wearing the dirndl. (cue yacketysax)
Stuff the movies...
try the members enclosure at Randwick Racecourse any given Saturday!
The queue of 'fillies' waiting to get into the gents to 'powder their nose' is amazing to behold. Especially as a lot of the 'fillies' are daughters of politicians, business moguls, police, "prominent racing identities" (as we call criminals 'round here)....
Same old same old - one law for the ubermensch, one law for the rest of us....
Patent infringement notice.
Dear CEO of Operating Systems Solutions,
My lawyers (Rabid, Snarling & Nasty) have advised me to inform you that you are in breach of a number of patents I hold.
The Patents are:
#278943234/1876 - Method for using oxygen in a respiration system
#2348231992/1123 - Method for using muscular power to move lungs to induce breathing
#8823149253/223 - Method for using Adenosine-5'-triphosphate for intracellular energy transfer.
You are hereby required to CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY from using these technologies, or face substantial fines and licencing costs.
Yours with Deep Anger & Resentment.
Celebrate your wacky belief in fairies by littering!
...which would be normally considered an utterly daft statement, but as soon as you say it about a major religion such as Catholicism...
"oooh, steady on; they have a right to express their beliefs..."
Sure they do. Just like I have a right to express my beliefs that they are a bunch of deluded fools who think religion gives them a right to litter.
Sod off religious loonies: Go home, your paradigm is on fire.
" set in a dystopian 22nd century. Organised crime has infiltrated all business and politics."
Funny, that sounds more like the early 21st Century to me.
Syndicate was one of the truly great games - it always made me think of Bladerunner's aesthetic.
Corrupt cops? NSW, Australia?
What on earth gave them the idea that Australia, especially NSW is full of corrupt cops? Oh, hang on....
Thank you for reminding me of this brilliant level, I love games that have a nice little laugh at the real world around them.
(Far Cry 2, anyone?)
I might have missed something, but...
...since when has buying a Geiger counter a sign of TUUUURSM?
"He also acquired a Geiger counter from the US."
Mind you, I've been trying to find a geiger counter (for legitimate architectural purposes, I'll have you know - trolling local 'nuclear free zone' councils with smoke detectors and antique glassware) and they are either hilariously expensive or unobtainium. Seems like they are on the TUUUURSM watchlist.
I'm sure NASA are aghast!
Because NASA plans to dump it in the ocean in 2016!
Mind you, from the same site... "The US government is liable for any damage caused by the US segment during ISS reentry and they are required by law to at least have a plan for a controlled reentry."
Poppycock. NASA never admitted any fault or liability for spreading Skylab over most of Western Australia.
If we don't keep throwing away perfectly usable space tech, how else are US presidents going to maintain their pork-barrel projects? They cant keep building useless manned stealth fighters forever! Oh, wait....
@ "the shuttle is 30- to 40-year-old technology "
I think the Soyuz is older by about 5 years or so, and it seems pretty reliable!
Also, 747s in fact 95% of airliners are 30-40 year old tech, heck so is your car for that matter. I still see my first car - a 1980 Datsun Sunny - kicking around, and it is still going strong. Uses less petrol than a modern SUV too, and hasn't required significant production of metals or plastics over that time as well!
'Its old' is NOT a valid reason for throwing something away!
right words, wrong order.
WE will go the way of the Neanderthal BECAUSE of the Accountant.
There, fixed it.
That's no moon, that's....
here, let me fix that for you
Mine is the one with the plaid.
I believe what you intended to say was:
'Mine is the one in plaid'
For your reference:
PLAIT - n,v - 'to plait' - to weave fibers together into a larger strand, 'a plait' - a strand of such woven fibres. AS IN: "I used to pin Margaret Tortarella's plaits to the desktop with drawing pins. Her plaits were very long; it must have taken her ages to plait them."
PLAID - n - cross-hatched striped pattern similar to a Scottish tartan; plaid is composed of arbitrary (usually horridly contrasting) colours not representing any Scottish clan. AS IN: "I notice plaid is back in fashion on the fairways this year"
The NSW parliament is hamstrung by the festering boil that is Fred Nile.
Fred is a delusional chap (he believes a magic sky-fairy talks to him daily) who makes Rupert the Walnut look pretty good.
He is also probably the most rabid raving right wing nutcase you could ever wish for - his ideas of democracy make George W. Bush look like the worlds greatest left-wing statesman.
Suffice to say that we won't see sensible ratings in this country until Fred goes to meet his make-believe maker, or the sea turns to yogurt.
Abode, please hurry up and FOAD
"Our half-arsed software doesn't work properly on your new system, despite the fact that we had the beta for ages and are a major partner who didn't do our homework properly. Again. Waaaaaaah! It's all THEIR fault! Waaaaaaaah! Dog ate my homework!"
Do us all a big favour, Adobe, and hire the business consultants Nokia has been using.
We weren't born yesterday...
Sorry, but how the fuck do you get into a Parliamentary Committee with a can of shaving foam? Don't they have security gates you have to go through - in Australia we have them in pretty much every important government building from local courts up. Surely a Parliamentary committee would have some form of security?
And if they did have some security, one would assume they didn't frisk down a certain 80-year old walnut-faced ocker? Or didn't frisk down someone in his entourage?
Because you would never engineer a stunt like this to garner public sympathy at a critical moment, would you?
That would be like, oh, I don't know, bribing police, or hacking crime victims phones, or interfering with democratic process by using your influence over a wide range of media. It would certainly display a high level of cynicism and disdain for any authority other than your own. Which you buy; because you are every, very wealthy.
Burt Rutan retiring?
First the Shuttles, now Burt?
He is one of my personal heroes, I rate him as highly as Sir David Attenborough; both are at the top of my 'I'd like to have a beer or 6 with them' list.
A highlight for me was hearing him speak at Oshkosh in '96; about the design philosophy behind the 'Boomerang', and a few tantalizing back-of-the-envelope sketches for what became SS1.
I can't imagine Burt sitting around on the back porch drinking beer; I CAN imagine him sitting around on the back porch, drinking beer and still sketching out brilliant designs.
Designers never retire; the creative spark never dies.
Thanks for all the cool planes Burt, and have a great retirement!
I think those graphs
absolutely PROVE it!
Google+ didn't significantly erode FBs userbase after, what, one week; therefore it is a total F41LUREZ!!!111!!!eleventy!!!111!!
Personally I prefer it to FB, I'm not getting 20 invitations to stupid flash games every hour, and it seems to be entirely ad-free (although that might be Adblock doing a good job)
"The Gillard government needs to tax landlords who refuse to install solar panels on rented properties to solve this problem. Make it cost the landlords more money to not have solar panels than to put them on all rented properties. Then we'll see some fair distribution of the carbon tax and its flow-on effects."
Ah, yes, it will do all of that, but it will also draw votes away from the Labor party.
Let's not forget that the MOST important thing here is NOT tax, NOT the environment, NOT carbon emissions, NOT global [cooling|warming|climate change|climate stays the same];
the most important thing is VOTES VOTES VOTES.
Never forget that when dealing with any democracy, especially Australia.
BTW, lovely to see some decent debate here on el Reg!
Too bloody right! Minimum upkeep standards NOW!
" Whats more, most are so broke from their two mortgages that they can't afford to fix anything else."
Yeah, but they can claim EVERY BLOODY CENT THEY SPEND ON UPKEEP OFF THEIR TAX!
Sorry, I had to shout that bit, because it's the thing that every bloody landlord I've ever had seems too not be aware of.
ANY landlord (especially in Sydney) that whines about how poor they are can cry me a fucking river, and spend a couple of months in one of their fellow rich bastards properties, paying enormous rents and see how they like it.
Face it; if you own property in Sydney YOU ARE RICH make no mistake about it, "mortage stress" or not.
Isn't the whole point...
that "global warming / global cooling / climate change" is NOT actually the real issue?
The real, serious, and tangentially deadly effect is that global weather stands a good chance of becoming MORE chaotic than it already is.
The global agricultural industry relies on mostly accurate long-range weather forecasting; if that becomes more difficult to achieve, then agriculture becomes a riskier business. Thus; less investment, lower yields; oh dear the neighbouring country has just invaded us because "we get all their rain".
Higher highs, lower lows, rain falling where it shouldn't: what happens when the Indian monsoon falls out to sea instead of inland? Oh bugger, a nuclear armed country of 1.2 billion people suddenly goes unstable.. and hungry.
It's not global warming, global cooling or climate change that worries me, it's human adaptability to unpredictable change. History has shown us that by and large 'human adaptability' is usually military in nature and involves a lot of people having their rights revoked. That's K-I-L-L-E-D 'revoked'.
Give those hackers a beer or 19...
"the on button is in space and there is no way to reach it! "
TFC to the designer of that little piece of brilliance; maybe it was 'stylistically and artistically correct' to put an on/off switch with no failsafe somewhere slightly inaccessible... I'm sure Apple would!
Yay for the hackers who are always the ones to fix problems in the end!
Beer! And plenty of it!
Failing to learn from previous hoaxes?
Not "Manganese Nodules" again!
That's 'Manganese' spelled R-U-S-S-I-A-N S-U-B.
I can remember picture books from my youth in the mid 70's that had fantastic illustrations of sea-bed mining of all those nodules; shame it all just turned out to be a shaggy dog story from the CIA.
I seem to recall you can also get gold from seawater in theory, too.
Perhaps spend the money on an asteroid mining mission, and find a nice juicy metallic asteroid that will supply us for a couple of centuries? Probably has a better chance of returning a profit; and might not totally fuck up a large patch of ocean, as I am sure this mining would.
did anyone notice?
...that the pic shows Australian coins in the machine?
I have no idea about civilized nations, but here in Australia ATMs are very frequent targets for ram-raids with bulldozers. Last year in Sydney there were about 2 a week (with police in the dark - they couldn't track ATMs stolen by bulldozer?)
Some say it is because of the ready availability of explosive charges due to our extensive dig-the-country-up-and-sell-it, er, mining operations; others say it was the banks themselves during the GFC, as a giant insurance scam. Either way, a gold-dispensing ATM would be a juicy target down here, especially with the sudden massive rise in "exchange that gold you 'inherited' for CASH!" booths in just about every shopping centre...
BOFH vs The Terminator?
I'll put £50 on the BOFH, thanks!
Great read, and I have also experienced time getting all wibblywobbly in the presence of alcohol and romance, and the excruciating wait for the next installment of BOFH.
When is he going to get a redhead Scot as an assistant, or is that where Ms.Bee is going?
Makes me want to go there even more.
All that money and development...
...and they send it with the nuclear equivalent of a couple of dry AA cells.
What a waste of time, effort & money.
If (and it's a big if) the designed-by-committee clusterfuck of a landing system works, the rover is destined to get bogged 50m from touchdown in fine sand (bigger? heavier? Who thought that would be a good idea on a sandy planet?). If not that, it will run out of atom-juice 2m short of a potentially paradigm & cilivization - changing discovery, something like an alien freeway marker post, the demolition notice for Earth, or just a friendly nanotech cornucopia device with a big easy-to-understand button marked 'switch on to solve your planet's problems'.
I guess at least when we finally get to Mars (unlikely, given the oncoming Dark Ages) we won't find it trashed by SUVs like most places here on Earth.
My that was a large spoonful of pessimism I had in my coffee this morning!