129 posts • joined Monday 4th March 2013 21:37 GMT
It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future
I wish we wouldn't get the obligatory Heinlein guff, but I guess it can't be helped on this forum. Is it likely? Ask yourself, would you really want to go to war with someone who controlled pretty much all supplies and spare parts and manufacturing capacity? As well as gravity, and advanced medical stuff? Women, booze, good food? Not the least that everyone in space would have family and friends on Earth.
My guess: if you had money, you'd sic your lawyers, lobbyists & PR flacks on Earth govs instead. Works for corporations now, doesn't it?
Big drawback of not having private property: not being able to borrow against your assets. I think this is much more likely to be the sticking point - this stuff is capital-intensive, so in order to launch it banks and investors will need convincing. That's less easy to achieve than coming to an agreement with your neighbor not to steal your stuff.
This guy says it much better than me:
Only makes sense - the financing of spice expeditions to the East Indies was pretty much what triggered the birth of corporations after all.
IMHO, the need to ensure efficient development, will bring motivated nation-states on board to back property rights against the UN. Plus, nation states have had mixed results wrt space. GPS and science sats have done well, but other stuff has generally failed to bring great returns. Non-state actors have done rather better with telecoms and sensing services. And it is interesting how much faster space tech is involving now that the Musks, Falcons and Dragons are about.
>NASA estimated the cost at around $10B
and that doesn't sound low to you, considering the ISS has cost about $150B to date?
>USB 3 which is 10x faster and has been out since 2008
And, after checking Wikipedia @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro, I happily confirm my mid-2011 17" MacBookPro is still using USB 2.0 on all ports. Though it did ship with a shiny Thunderbolt.
* I otherwise rather like that laptop. YMMV.
Let's hope it's more malleable than Stannis.
Re: I Confess
Nothing worse in programmer land than a feature than gets you 80% of the way there and then leaves you hanging on the remainder. By then you've based your estimates on the promised productivity :(
how I turned my back on Studio...
This would be at least a decade back, forgive the fuzziness of the details. Version xyz of Studio was supposed to wrap database access to tables.
i.e. "if you have a table X than insert.X is just a slight configuration away"
At least one IT journal reviewer (might have been Dr. Dobbs) praised how great it was.
I hadn't worked on Studio for years, so I figured I'd kick the tires. Took a simple database edit example and ended up with what looks like a semi-workable solution in C#. Not what I wanted, but close. To tweak, I figured I'd look at the generated code.
A mess. A horrible mess. Auto-incremented variable names that bore no relationship to the table names, confusing spaghetti, no hooks to adjust anything in user code, horrible formatting. No way I could adjust it as my requirements changed, it was a one-shot deal. Hey, I've rolled my own code generation tools, often. A blindfolded monkey on a bender would have done a better job than Studio.
I bailed right then and never looked back to MS's tools. Well, actually, that's untrue, I worked with SSIS 2005 for 3 months and its generated XML-based code made the above abomination look like pure limpid poetry.
Years later, I asked someone who did work on Studio what I had done wrong wrt to the table wrapper generation. His answer "Dude, no one uses that feature".
If you got to automate, make sure it actually works under the hood. Otherwise, simplify manual coding. Much as VB6 or Cobol would not be my first choice, I appreciate that you can use a simple text editor to get your work done. If C# allows that, cool.
>Foreign aid would be a great start
Let's take an interesting lil snippet of how useless foreign aid can be...
The US funded the Afghanistan resistance from 80-89. Cheaply at first (starting w Lee Enfield WWI rifles, acquired 2nd hand, untracelable to CIA involvement). Ending with hundreds of millions of dollars of aid & Stingers. Russkies got kicked out, 89.
90? collapse of US aid, which went from Defense/CIA to State Dept (foreign aid). It just wasn't acceptable to the taxpayer to fund reconstruction for 50M$, though rebel-arming was A-OK at 10x the cost.
90-95? Gradual collapse of Afghanistan government. Warlords. Siege of Kabul.
95? Talibans scholar-warriors from Pakistan are welcomed by the general Afghan population.
How much have we spent there since? Just because we couldn't be arsed to support the peace for people who were major contributors to collapsing the USSR?
So, foreign aid as first victim, _all_ the time? Easy soundbite. The numbers are not that high anyway, not difficult to check if you can be bothered. Esp not if you take into account funding that is tied to be spent on the donor country's own goods & services.
Doesn't mean there aren't tons of stupid aid programs that dont work spent on folks & countries that don't deserve it. Just spend the money on the ones that do.
Aww, US budget cuts could be simple ;-)
Like in pretty much any advanced Western economy.
Start by trimming farm support, especially the kind that is volume-based and where the biggest farming concerns get the most money, not the romanticized mom & pop farms.
Trouble is, rural voters are exactly the kinda salt-of-the-earth, no-nonsense, independent-of-Washington, folks that are the bulk of the Tea Party balance-the-budget-at-all-cost cohorts.
So, their pork's the last spot you can expect Federal subsidies to be trimmed.
Just like Sarah Palin proudly represented Alaska, a state where Federal & State largesse cuts every resident a nice big fat check every year.
Or just like the US is still pushing corn-based Ethanol as a bio-fuel, because it allows congressmen to deliver pork to their constituents, not because of any value whatsoever in climate change mitigation.
>When will MS learn to use a decent server OS and not a scaled up single user, single microprocessor OS.
Yeah, I always get blank stares from Windows users when I explain that Unix cut its teeth on university servers where everyone was trying to hack into everyone else's accounts.
(disclaimer: speaking, perhaps naively, as a dev, not a sysadmin)
However, I don't get the sense that Windows Server itself is the issue with all these Azure failures. The underlying OS may or may not be able to support "the cloud".
Rather, Microsoft as a cloud vendor, not an OS vendor, just does not seem to have the right mindset to _manage_ a cloud. They always seem to be stumbling into single-point-of-failure management component snafus.
Amazon has had a few of those in the last few years, but MS seems to just have more of these failures and be less good at learning from them.
i.e. MS would probably still screw up Azure if it was riding on top of Linux rather than Windows ;-)
> I'd like to see another satirical sci-fi Verhoeven film
If you don't mind an older (1985), medieval, Verhoeven film, I nominate Flesh & Blood. I don't know if satyrical is exactly the term, but it's subversive enough ;-)
Basic Instinct aside, Verhoeven, like Besson, didn't work at his full potential in Hollywood. Based on Black Book, I'd say he's back in form in Holland.
Re: I can hear the SQUEEEE from XKCD from here,
>Liter of dry air, room temperature air at sea level weighed once
Phew you were asking for a lot. I asked Wolfram Alpha CO2 emissions per capita, Canada. No luck.
They do have C02 emissions, Canada. And population, Canada.
Bridging the 2 concepts, not so much.
Good luck with your quest, Stephen.
Re: Title is too long
>Paedophilia will never be defeated until it is treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal issue.
Respectfully partially disagree, depending on the specifics.
Your statement is usually applied to drug consumption, and I agree with it. But drug use does not automatically victimize others, barring usually minor property crimes, which can be addressed on their own "merits" by the criminal system.
Real-life pedophilia by definition involves a child as a victim and the crime is extremely serious in nature. It deserves the full force of the law.
If you were referring to someone who only looks at images or videos, then, yes, we should first aim to cure or curb their mental dysfunction. Recidivists, providers, chat room pervs and all sorts of other considerations would warrant prison sentences however. And even a viewer should be limited in the interactions they can have with children.
i.e. The fact that the perpetrator victimized, or intended to victimize, someone directly should escalate the issue from mental health to criminal justice.
Someone should be able to walk into a police station, show a bunch of kiddy porn on their laptop, and ask for help. If that's all they did, they should not go to jail and we in fact should find ways to encourage that with partial amnesties.
As far as the Google/Bing changes go - all for it, if done correctly. It might keep someone with a compulsion to look for this material clean if they can't get easy access. And it will make life slightly harder for the active sickos. Not least, having to use unusual channels to search should require more organization between pervs, making it easier to roll up a bunch of them when there is an investigation.
This write-up doesn't say it, but others do:
The malware "disguises" itself by files like "foobar.pdf.exe" and giving itself the PDF filetype icon.
Windows, being Windows, and trying not to overwhelm our dear little heads with trivial information, comes with "hide extensions for known filetypes" checked on (one of the first things I undo on a new install).
So to Joe Average, they are clicking on a PDF, not an EXE.
Keep in mind, over the last 5 or 6 years, MS's "security" has been crying wolf ALL the time wrt to files. With regards to anything, really.
For example, I can't even open my own Word files in an email at work without being nagged to death by Windows. Heck, I can't even _edit_ my own .cmd files in Notepad without a warning. So many users will dismiss whatever warning it does throw.
So, yeah, maybe if Linux desktops had 80% penetration then someone might have cobbled more attack vector together and malware wouldn't "Windows only". And, as a Mac user, I figure we are overdue for a real nasty - Apple's security record is patchy, but BSD saves their bacon most days.
But this particular flavor of fubar has Redmond's signature all over it. Not least, the lack of execute permissions on Windows files and the delegation of that responsibility to the user.
be careful what you wish for...
A certain ERP vendor's documentation, just on the subject of SOA architecture, is about 1.5K pages long, in 5 manuals of 200-500 pages each.
Each chapter starts with the obligatory
The XXX delivered in your <vendor Name> system allows you to flexibly blah blah blah your business processes blah blah
In the most common use case scenario, activating delivered SOA messages between 2 systems involves clicking on checkboxes in about 3 specific screens in each system to activate sub-components. And checking user security settings. Failures in establishing an initial connection with their SOA messages are usually directly caused by failing to do the above.
2000 pages to get there??? Without "how to get started with" doc?
Name & shame.
The following leads me to nominate the otherwise excellent Sublime Text editor.
I paid good bucks for it and this is what they have to say about their doc:
>The Sublime Text 2 Documentation is currently a work in progress. General. Sublime Text Unofficial Documentation is an excellent resource
Seriously, get a clue and write up something yourself. At $70 a pop, not asking too much, is it?
p.s. yes, yes, I still have ambitions to learn VIM. forgive me, I am a recovering KEdit junkie.
I got my PS3 as a BluRay player back in 2007, because it was, and still probably is, one of the better players to deal with all the BluRay disc version issues.
Later on I found that there were some, not many, PS3 games that I wasn't allergic to.
Graphics are nice, but not the end-all of games. YMMV, but, in my opinion, consoles don't FPS, strategy or wargames very well. RPGs or Portal Wombat clones can be top-notch however.
I also got into Netflix on the PS3. My Samsung TV does Netflix now, but that TV model has _lots_ of users complaining about flakey wifi connectivity. It's dropped mine several times already, but I've managed to get it to reconnect so far (never quite sure how, or what upsets it in the first place). Great TV otherwise.
I don't get cable, just internet, so I like the idea of having the PS3 as a fallback.
Having a console that does NO multimedia is a big red flag to me. Because I trust a console's media support capability way more than a TV's firmware.
It's fine if Sony provides this as later add-ons, I won't upgrade till there are <20$ games available on the PS4 anyway.
The one thing they are welcome to ditch is web browsing. Unless... they come up with a nifty web controller.
>Mine's a Nokia 520 in a nasty shade of red.
Have a beer on me for having a sense of humor about your gear.
Not dissing your choice, which is not mine, just nice to see someone not take it so seriously :-)
Re: SoaG JLV
>When I was trying to point out the virtues of monogamy to my son... let him watch the clever horror of "Fatal Attraction" He still can't eat rabbit even now but then he was only ten at the time.
Matty, you're even dumber than usual here. Hard to believe, but true ;-)
Traumatize a kid to achieve what? I don't aim to have my daughter (or son) be a slut, but I'd rather have either kick a few tires before getting settled. Buddy of mine's brother married the bitch from hell, mostly because she was his first and he dinna know any better.
Then again, I really don't think we'd have anything to say over a beer. Or coffee, if you're a teetotaler.
Dumb a** caricature of right wing stupidity. Just as annoying as the left wing version.
Re: Why on Earth...?
Steve, as someone believing sufficiently in the likelihood of human-generated climate change to alter my own consumption patterns quite a bit:
You are not helping. Not one bit.
Not catching flies with vinegar, you know. In fact, folks like you make it all the easier to pass off climate change as the fantasy of a bunch of nutcase greens wanting everyone to wear hairshirts.
Claiming that AGW scientist have only gotten $1B in a decade is disingenuous. I'm sure you can find at least that much $ floating around in AGW-oriented satellite missions.
Which is as it should be. Climate change is likely to turn out to be a real problem. But don't claim that climate change science isn't well-funded. It is. What's lacking is democratic will in many countries and unwillingness in even more individuals to curb their own CO2 emissions.
That's a public relation problem, not a science problem.
"...the time you must spend creating new accounts so you can childishly downvote other people's posts..."
Your foaming at the mouth ain't helping one bit ;-)
Me? Not dogmatic. If Matt Bryant's "science" is ever proven right (hah!), am a-gonna buy mahself a vintage H1 Hummer.
Disney & Lucas. Or just Disney?
So not caring about this series.
Still, just in case, here's a wish list to Disney:
Could we have a color palette that is different from the first Halo's, this time? Surely your CGI team can do that?
A plot that holds steady for more than 15 seconds. And that could challenge a 2nd grader.
No more than 58% of the screen time should look like a GoPro moron on acid filming Jackass VI while riding a rollercoaster.
Can the Stormtroopers hit & kill someone? Anyone.
Hey, it's the fight of good vs evil at galactic scale. Can you make it grim, not kiddy-funny? PG, not G-. Empire Strikes Back, not Return of the Jedi w its tacky Ewoks (TM)?
Can you ditch Lucas?
Failing all that, which I am confident you will do, can you please f*ck it up epicly enough so that it becomes even more entertainingly funny to mock without even having to see it? So that not even Roy would be caught dead wearing your overpriced merchandised T-shirts? Can you create another icon of ridicule a la Jar Jar?
Sweet-looking and the price seems right - some questions
Background: have an iPhone 4 which is getting a bit old. Been thinking of seeing what's on the other side of the fence (almost got a Z10 and may get one yet - they are _cheap_ 2nd hand).
I buy my phones direct to avoid contracts. Crucially, I don't get a data plan, I figure mooching wifi is good enough where I live. And, on principle, I refuse to pay the data fees Canadian carriers rob us with.
On the iPhone I eventually found some good offline maps (PocketEarth) and I know how the phone behaves in general w.o. data plans. iPhone w.o. data is a bit in the doldrums, but I know what to expect.
I don't expect Android to be much worse than iOS without data, but... this is a Google phone. And Google pretty much is the always-connected poster child. Oh, and can I cajole it into playing FLAC sound files natively?
So... any gotchas about forking out for a Nexus without getting data? Will the phone be easy to live with on Wifi-only? Should I cyanogenmod it instead?
crap & worn out.
Glad you are non-demanding customer. High end phones are easily $6-700, out of pocket. I don't know that many pieces of kit where people think it is perfectly OK to throw that kind of $ in the thrash after 2 yrs.
I buy them direct to avoid contracts with mandatory data package gouging. Sure, it _looks_ cheaper if you get it subsidized...
My only real beef with my 2.5 yr old phone is the battery. That, and the fact that its latest OS iteration is a bit tight on it.
Paris - because your comment is like something she'd say.
>Pretty certain that cracked screens are the single most common issue with smartphones.
Amen to that.
Seems like it's the same thing as with iPhones. If you crack the outer glass the problem is that it and the LCD screen are one component. The fix is to replace the glass and the LCD screen. Which doesn't come cheap, but usually drops to <$80 if you shop around repair shops and if your shiny is not the latest & greatest.
So, not quite a new phone.
This coupling of component is annoying, for sure, but I suspect part of it is that touchscreen glass is not quite as simple a piece of kit as it looks.
Inquiring minds want to know...
>I want you to know that I killed our 1 year old cat, thinking it was pissing on my computer each night
Assuming it's a joke, but couldn't he first have tried closing the laptop keyboard at night, just to test out his theory?
Apple TV... meh
Not sure what that TV would be like, but I have a sneaky feeling there'd be all sorts of limitations about where you can source your media. Apple will _really_ struggle to convince me that their TV would not lock my media purchases onto their platform.
I do have a fair bit of Apple kit. The phone and tablet are locked down, true but apps are, mostly, cheap. And it always played MP3s (looking at you, Sony).
The laptop is actually pretty happy about accepting all sorts of open source stuff, via Ports. So, overall, the program ecosystem is open enough for me (yes, you can disagree, just stating _my_ preferences).
Media-wise, not so good:
No BluRay when it came out - St. Jobs has decreed iTunes HD is the way. iTunes doesn't do mp3. Who knows what format a movie is in if I buy it from Apple?
Most of my media is ol fahioned DVD, CD and BluRay, but if I bought media from iTunes I'd be locked in.
Buying movies and music does not come cheap. And, unlike my intentions for computer programs, I certainly hope my movies will play 20 years from now. Who knows if Apple will still be around by then? Probably, but no guarantee I'll want to use their gear by then.
re. Tablets will always be a casual games ghetto
Hmmm. To each his own.
I have a PS3 and an unused Wii. I also had an Xbox gen 1.
My background is hardcore wargames, strategy and FPS or RPG. Much prefer turn-based over real-time in most strategy/wargames. Past games: early Civs, Steel Panthers, pretty much the entire Total War series, Barbarossa, Quake. Most of these were on PCs.
There are excellent games on consoles (I mostly like RPGs). But they do not really correspond much to what I like on PC games. Tablets have a better chance to evolve in that direction.
The problem as I see it is the limited way a console allows you control things quickly. You can run, turn and hit action keys very well.
You can't really aim quickly like you would with a mouse pointer, nor can you navigate complex menus to check/activate items, or group select units. Forget the complex commands you can have with keyboards. So there are whole categories of games which drop out of consoles, though there are other categories that are best on consoles.
Btw, a similar problem happens when people try to use a TV/console to surf the web. It sucks, because of the controls.
Civ on a tablet (iPad in this case, but it could be a Samsung) is much less dumbed-down than Civ on a PS3. Battle Academy is a fairly challenging turn-based wargame. Total War is stripped down, but not an easy game to beat.
The price of tablet games IS casual, sure. And there are plenty of stupid games on tablets (Unhappy Volatiles comes to mind). But tablets come closer to delivering a mouse/keyboard combo's fine-grained UI than a console's controller or a WII/Kinect. For the games I like, that's an edge.
Just because it ain't got fast graphics doesn't mean you can't code a clever game. Quite the contrary in fact - too many classic games are mangled when the focus is only on graphics.
- Jim, what are you doing?
- I'm testing Google Search in IE before our Windows 8.1 go-live, boss.
- What? You know that it is expressly forbidden, article 422.31 sub-paragraph c to use anything but Bing here? Or anything but approved Microsoft (TM) services and technology.
- But, boss, lots of users use Google...
- I don't want to hear this. You know what happened to Elsa when she took an iPod to work? Wanna look for a job elsewhere? Get your act together and test MSN, Bing, Azure, Zune and Silverlight, as I asked you to last week.
None of this dallying around on useless stuff. No one in Management is gonna care if Google breaks.
Re: It encrypts .doc, .dwg etc
>A version control system is a piece of piss to deploy.
Is a version control system really the tech to use for a binary files, such as docs and xls?
I seem to recall git gets binaries, but doesn't something like subversion just store an entire binary file every time there is a change? unlike text files?
Honest question icon needed.
@BTrower Your arguments, while seductive, are just plain wrong.
No, you are dodging the question. The US constitution which you drag in (odd, since you are Canadian), has little to do with Tim Berners Lee's position or how to remunerate inventors and authors.
Thalidomide, even less and it is a totally specious argument.
You make some valid points that there are _lots_ of blood-sucking patents, copyrights, lawyers & all. Most software patents are pretty pointless and do not create any benefits for anyone. I am with you on that.
How would you set it up so that a normal author or inventor gets remunerated for their work if anyone can copy it?
Not talking about JK Rowlings needing to be worth $100M here.
Say Jane Schmoe author is writing a book. Possibly a brilliant book. How does she make a living in your worldview?
Hey, I know I'd be better off if I could read her book for free. And I know " *all of us*" would benefit too.
But if _she_ has no way to benefit from her work she likely won't be writing that book.
And I think we'd be poorer for that.
It's an option
and it can be used for good or bad. OK, let's stick to neutral and bad.
Taking Netflix or other media companies. They aren't obligated to provide their contents for free. Nor to rely on us being honest and not pirating. I totally, totally, get that a $150m blockbuster movie is not "information that wants to be free". Established artists and media workers, surprisingly, do want to earn a living.
On the other hand, I don't buy music over the internet because I like to be able to run it as darn well please, once I have bought it. And that includes (Apple), not being saddled with a proprietary codec only usable on some manufacturer's devices.
I subscribe to Netflix, which I consider a much better deal than the $40/month I'd have to pony up for basic cable. If they want to rent me stream-based access and want to rely on some form of protection to ensure they are not pirated, what's the big deal? I haven't bought the film, just rented it. If for some reason I don't like their systems I will not buy from them.
Some media offerings may not have a realistic business model without copy protection. Or, just as importantly, those companies may perceive that they need DRM before they offer those services. iTunes was hard enough for the music studios to swallow, even with the DRM it came with at the beginning.
If the DRM does turn out to be too onerous (which would not surprise me), I will not buy those products. But it's my choice then not to buy DRM-locked products, and I don't see how not having DRM technology available at all on the browser will necessarily increase my options.
If you don't like your browsers coming with DRM capability, install non-DRM browsers, knowing you won't be able to get some services. I will support you in your right to exercise that option. But don't pretend you have a right to choose for me by blocking my options. Choice is where it is at.
In a way, how different is this from Steam/Valve coming to Linux? Obviously you won't playing the latest Diablo unless you pony up some cash and convince Steam's servers that you are bona fide.
Re: The historical accident of little-endian
>Oh well, it could have been worse. We might have been using Roman numerals still, with no zero, if it hadn't been for the Arabs.
Well then, "intro to unit testing" blogs would all have the obligatory conversion to Arab numbers ;-)
Re: Good advice except that it's impossible
>How are you supposed to remember all these passwords?
You don't. You re-use the same dumb, easily remembered and typed, password for the 50 dumb sites that are just registration-happy. If it doesn't have your CC# number and real email or some relevant s**t, why are you bothering with security on it? Do make a supreme effort and avoid 12345 tho ;-)
Then, on the other 10-20 sites that matter (CC# for example), you use secure passwords, all different from each other, and put them into a password manager. Of course, you never re-use passwords anywhere where it would matter. You memorize your password mgr password and maybe some other key passwords.
Facebook? Pretty useless, but a hit to your reputation if racist propaganda appears posted under your name. So you give it a big-boy password. Ditto LinkedIn. Not the Reg.
When the passwords get hacked on one of the 50 trivial sites, you can run off and change them, if you want, on the others. I know my Reg pwd remained the same after the PS3 hack.
OMG, is that a bottle of _water_ in his hand???
Re: Maybe I'm just too old a fart and remember things that should've been forgotten...
>but "competition" and "[MS] doing well" just don't mix
Upvoted you cuz I dislike MS and I remember the 90s all too well, but...
MS is bad for competition when it has a dominant position or is in danger of getting one. No danger of that happening here.
It's better not to have a two horse race with Sammy & Apple. You all mostly have opinions about Apple and Apple is in the premium, spendthrift if you prefer, end of the market. There is no telling what exactly Sammy would be tempted to do if it were the only big player in the mass market.
At minimum, a decent Nokia showing on budget smartphones will tend to drive prices down for the other two. Potentially, the same impact MS has on the database market - not great, but cheap, drives Oracle price down.
And, possibly, some of what Redmond is up to will include some innovations. Haven't used WinPhone, don't plan to, but the tiles sounded innovative (in principle). And that Nokia camera tech is nifty too, tho it could have been done on Android Nokias. They employ a lot people and are dumping Ballmer - something's bound to bubble up.
The only big loser from MS being around is Blackberry, which is too bad. I just missed buying a Z10.
Re: Win8 is a bloated piece of shit.
So... anything your royal highness is not using is a piece of shit, basically? No explanations necessary?
Oh, do grow up.
I realize cutting out tard comments like yours would cut Reg traffic by 30% but I sure wouldna miss them.
The reason fanbois get no respect is precisely because they act like you.
Inquiring minds want to know...
This is US-only, right?
Privacy expectations - differences between gmail and non-gmail users
I think Google's point is partially quite valid - I signed up to gmail fully knowing that I'd get ads on it. I don't look at ads, so it's a freebie to me. Even if I did, it'd still be my choice. I value the quality of service, functionality, as well as my expectations that they will not go out of business and that I can change ISPs and conserve my address.
Re my expectations of privacy, they are actually a fair bit higher here. I know exactly what Google does their scans, they serve me ads. What _I_ care about is that they don't pass on the info to third parties who will spam me some more. I can see very little incentive for them to do so, precisely because their business model IS to serve me ads. If they were a pay-for-service with no ads, I'd have to trust them not to try to make an extra $, a very different thing.
(NSA is an entirely different subject in this context and I blame our govs here).
However, when JaneHottieDoe@hotmail.com sends me a torrid email (I wish), I understand that she did NOT sign up for gmail and its privacy clauses.
Compromise: how about gmail does not serve ads when a recipient or emitter is not @gmail? That way, I don't get saddled with the privacy expectations of the class action participants. And gmail users are free to decide on their own, like adults. A difficult concept.
Oh, and keep the spam filtering regardless, of course. Again, must be careful not to throw out babies with bathwater here.
speaking of clever search engines... what's Wolfram Alpha up to these days?
how come Wolfram Alpha still doesn't get fairly obvious queries like "co2 emission per capita canada"
This gets me the Canada-wide emissions, not per capita. In fact, it specifically drops "per capita", which seems like an obvious qualifier on by-country quantities.
Is Wolfram still hoping to deliver its goal of context-aware quantitative information? Dead in water?
Re: Slightly fruity comparison
Not to mention that, by definition, something that is emitting a lot because it has a short half-life, has... a short half-life.
Though a lot of people who worry about nuclear power miss that bit, it hasn't escaped military thinking about area denial and/or alternatives to blowing stuff up - if it emits a lot, it decays quickly and will shortly only be dangerous to people remaining in the area for a long time.
Having said, Fukushima has shown us that we need to be way more clever about deploying active-safety reactors near densely populated areas. I read somewhere that the main reason our nuke plants kinda look & feel the same is because they were scaled-up version of the ones first put into subs.
It's high time more effort is put into designing and producing plants that CANNOT sustain a reaction when not receiving active power and control, rather than ones that tend to overheat. Not sure about selling the idea to Joe Public however, Fukushima was by most metrics a big fail, not least rendering uninhabitable a goodly stretch of coastline on one of the most densely populated countries around.
Re: Cuban Missile Crisis
The bit that never fails to annoy me is how Kennedy is presented as a great president. He was worse than Bush, IMHO. Though smarter, but that's not a high bar.
A Democrat, he campaigned Nixon in 1960 on a "missile gap" in which had the USSR being significantly ahead of the US. Which he knew wasn't true because he was on the Foreign Relations Committee. Certainly, in 1962, he knew he could push USSR to the brink in Cuba, after he had done put his missiles in Turkey.
Only reason he could push them to the brink is there WAS a missile gap, just the other way around, with the USA being far ahead.
Cuban Missile Crisis - Kennedy.
Bay of Pigs, that's Kennedy.
Then, Vietnam's road to war is basically started by Kennedy, with advisors coming in, though combat units were only in from 1965.
Great guy? Camelot? Hah!
I am not saying anything good about the USSR - they were EVIL. Nor am I necessarily very anti-US. But Kennedy was the most incendiary president during the Cold War and he almost triggered nuclear war because of Cubans removing their tinpot US-supported dictator. We should remember him for that too, not just his good looks and tolerance of the Civil Rights movement.
Re: I was in the right place at the right moment
No offense to Obama but his was a low in Nobel awards. Why award a _new_ pres this award???
For not being Bush, I guess. There is significant value in that, true, but not a Nobel. 8 yrs on, the only way his legacy will justify it is if he forces Israel to negotiate in good faith & brings peace to Palestine. & Israel.
Wanna lay odds?
I know, I know...
>The Americans had a war barely noticed by the civilian population, were never in danger and ended it with an atomic weapon.
Yanks are all a*holes in Reg land. Never do wells. ;-)
Mayhap a little thinkin o gulags, Ukraine 30s starvation & the like is in order. Not all suffering was inflicted by outsiders. That Solziehnytsin dude (I had an easier time reading his books than spelling his name).
The US coulda sat out the Western front after Pearl Harbor. Heck, Japan did.
Big reason Russia bled so much is Dieppe showed the West exactly how much could go wrong & how little be achieved invading Western Europe. 43 was too early to Normandy. & maybe too much effort wasted bombing German cities too, which the UK partook in as well.
With all apologies to the very real sacrifices by Russians.
Petrov, we owe him, big. Had it been real, he woulda been shot & doomed his countrymen. A real man to do that.
Re: You never flew a fighter, did you?
>Actual pilots can still dodge AI controlled missiles - why? Maybe one day AI will become enough sophisticated to be able to fight by themselves - and make all the decisions an actual pilot does.
LDS, your arguments are largely correct. But, in what I quoted, you are making the exact same point I think many of us are thinking. Sure, the drones wouldn't win, today.
But, the military does get it wrong, too. Not just your Nam cannons, but also the F106, F104, Avro Arrow (I am Canadian) and the whole interceptor series in the mid 60s. The Tornado and F111 as fighters. The B1. Mig-25. Combat doctrine is often revised when it meets an enemy.
I think that military planners entering into current jet fighter programs that automatically assume you will still be correct 20, 30 years from now are not hedging their bets. Wouldn't matter much if those programs were cheap and delivered today. But those planes are late, thus reducing their window of applicability.
And they are very, very, expensive, lessening our budgetary flexibility to adapt down the line.
A smart enemy may pull off a significant late mover advantage by leapfrogging our technology. It happens. Just ask Nokia and RIM, for example. Or the ships at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
Two deaths* caused by outdated OS
I almost bought a Z10, definitely sorry to see this happen.
Nokia and RIM relied far too long on milking their existing OS, without doing much about modernizing them. Interesting how you can make the most $ money even as you are sliding into irrelevance.
Part of it was the advent of touchscreens, yes. But another part was that 10 yrs ago a phone was just a phone and its OS was a very specialized bit of kit, with only vague kinship to desktop/server operating systems and a sedate pace of evolution. So the vendor could concentrate on hardware, mostly. Those were the days.
The OS pace has gone up and apps are also a big selling point. To get apps out, you need a productive stack for developers to work it. J2ME just didn't cut it, I guess.
Compare iOS and Android's changes over the last few years with BB OS 7 and system 60 over the preceding 10.
*Two deaths and a near-zombie: MS also slept at the wheel with Win mobile 6.5 and before. They've got money and they have strong incentives to make Windows work on mobiles, so I wouldn't count them out. But if their cash pile had ONLY been the size of Nokia and Rim, it'd be another story.
Re: And the first step towards Skynet has been taken...
good question. I think not.
First, that would be a big and hefty saline tank, adding substantial weight. Second, you can probably kiss a good deal of instrument/control tactile sensitivity if the pilot is in a wetsuit and the instruments need to be waterproof.
(educated guess below. programmer, not aeronautical eng)
Most important though - the acceleration forces would remain substantially the same. If you are pulling 10g downward in a dry cockpit, you'd still be @ 10g sitting in a tank doing the same maneuver. It's not about keeping your skin/body from crushing into a chair that's a problem - the tank might help there - it's about managing your blood flow. So what's sitting outside your skin doesn't matter much, your blood is still pulled around @ 10g. A pressure suit applies pressure to constrain the blood flow, different thing.
Re: Don't see the problem here
Totally agree with you - it makes it difficult, not impossible. But it doesn't have to. Anything that makes the result of a theft less valuable has potential deterrence value.
A $600 new phone is already gonna be discounted heavily when offered to the local pawnshop - "Honest guv, it's me granma's and she just passed away".
A $600 bricked phone may just not be worth stealing, most of the time.
To quote one of the more "clever" commenters hereabouts:
"All that's then required is a way of faking Apple's server's acknowledgements for login traffic running on a WLAN and you'd be able to change out the user name the phone's registered to"
If our local crackheads and muggers were that competent, then they'd have another line of work. Duh!
ARM chips mean we'll be able to BootCamp into WinRT!
Hmmm, seriously, it is nice to have the option to run Windows 7 on my laptop and I can't see how well that would survive an ARM migration.
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