545 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007
'If a respected scientist over the age of forty explains at length why something is impossible, there is a good chance of it happening within twenty years. If a substantial number of scientists under the age of forty are working on that same thing, it's practically certain.'
Arthur C.Clarke 'Profiles of the Future' 1957 (paraphrased)
'Assailant = dirty rotten b******d who had the gaul to attack...'
Please tell me that the Gaul was Obelix
Re: More talk about less talk.
'As it stands now, the way the US is controlling the net doesn't seem so bad.'
Indeed. I really can't understand why people don't trust the US to run things fairly and impartially. Whatever was that Snowden fellow going on about, anyway?
a thought ...
If they made a version with a screen on right and left eyes, could they tweak it to get full 3-D?
Re: Collective Delusion.
'To put it very simply: an atheist denies the existence of any gods, a monotheist says there is only one, a polytheist goes for one or more'.
You left out henotheists ...
'... helps [the] user to know how to use and download iTunes”
Actually, if done properly, this would not be a bad app.
Maybe iTunes has improved its interface since I scrubbed it from my computer a few years back. But I remember the iTunes interface on the PC as a counter-intuitive POS which made it as hard as possible to do even the simplest functions, presumably in the hope you'd end up buying something out of sheer frustration.
'In Sydney just the other month the victim was arrested and taken for questioning, as well as having all his electronic devices taken and searched. That is UTTERLY unwarranted (yes).'
Um .. did you read the article? According to the report, the hoax message was apparently sent through the victim's computer which he claimed was hacked.
So if someone owns the computer from which a swatting attempt is successfully made, and then claims in defence that the computer was hacked, then I'd suggest that the police were acting reasonably and responsibly in checking the computer and questioning the owner.
Here's the link again - http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teenager-arrested-over-hostage-drama-says-he-is-a-victim-of-swatting-hoax-20140604-39hyo.html
If amazon ever gets its wish that 35% goes to the author, this will indeed be a revolution. Many publishers offer royalties of between 4% and 12% of sales. And sales to things like book clubs can net the author less than 10p per book sold.
The author can get some of this eased by having an agent fighting on his behalf, but then the agent takes anything from 10-15% of the author's profits as well. Writing is like acting - the few who make it big do very well, but at present most writers would make a better living flipping burgers.
'Just ask the Chinese how to block properly!'
Or the Australians. They're trying hard to catch up, as other stories on the site show.
Re: Self service checkouts
This isn't just a problem at self-service. On occasion I've tried to buy a bottle of alcohol with a head-scarfed till attendant at the supermarket. This is followed by an annoying wait until the store can find an Unbeliever who will actually handle the bottle.
Goes back to Alistair's comment about dealing with non-native customer service ...
Re: On the whole
"I've met tons of people with degree's, they all think they are smart"
Oh, my word. Where to start?
Re: The heat is on?
'Yet the five warmest years on record have taken place in the last fifteen years.'
If so how does this square with average temperatures not increasing in the same period? That's what it says in the story. To keep the average, doesn't this mean that the other years must have been significantly colder?
Re: A Physicist and a Chemist
'The crux here is drawing conclusions from data, and the scientists are probably better at this than a creative writer or history student.'
Why a history student rather than a historian? Drawing conclusions from data is exactly what a historian does.
Or did you think it was just about memorizing dates?
Who was it that said 'The US and the UK are two countries divided by a common language'?
Having frequently visited the US, it's my experience that most Brits get into trouble at the border by thinking that Americans are Britons with a funny accent.
Brits rather like a bit of non-conformity, Americans hate it. At the border, the trick is to put yourself in a readily-recognizeable category and conform to it. So for example, if you're going to Nevada, don't bring skin-diving gear, even if you have a good reason.
Don't joke. It's not that the border officials don't have a sense of humour, they don't have a British sense of humour. In their minds, they are under-paid and under-valued. If you seem to be making fun of them, it will not end well.
Finally, don't judge all border officials by those at big-city entry points. If you saw some of the crap that they have to put up with, you'd also lose your sense of humour fast.
'There is actually an extensive, ongoing, developed monitoring of a specific known threat.'
There may be. The problem is that if I'm going to give up my liberties in exchange for protection against a threat that for 'security reasons' no-one can tell me about, then I need to have a great deal of trust in the people I'm giving up those liberties to.
The British governmental system falls laughably below that standard, so if it's all right with you, I'll opt for open government and take my chances.
Don't blame Blair ...
We elected him. And the reason we as a nation go along with the government stripping away our liberties one by one is, to put it tactfully, because we're a generation of lily-livered cowards.
There was a time when we accepted that the IRA would exploit the benefits of living in a free society to perpetrate acts of terror. We didn't think that the answer was to stop living in a free society. Today ...
Ah well, at least they haven't banned coffee yet.
Re: Spaaaaaaaaaace is big. Really big.
Space is not big. Space is a place for things to be big in.
Re: FIRST AGAINST THE WALL
Lack of coffee excuses much - but 'virii'? That's going a bit too far.
The word is 'viruses'. For the same reason that you call Mr and Mrs Jones 'the Joneses' and not 'the Joneii' (which actually sounds rather cool, but still).
It's not a Latin plural, because 'virus' in Latin is an uncountable noun and does not have a plural. So it's merely a perversion of the language that makes you sound precious and affected rather than geeky. Please, I beg you, give it up.
So Apple objects to inscribing words describing female genitals on an iPhone, yet has an entire ad campaign based around a song that originally described male genitals?
(So what did you think 'Gigantic' described? - the next line 'a big, big love' is another clue)
Re: Old stopgap measures never die
See the 'temporary emergency measure' of raising money by income tax. Imposed to help HMG raise money in 1799.
Another of Britannia's contributions to a grateful world.
Space saver ...
Up the transparency a bit, and you've got a window by day, and a TV by night ...
Re: If only...
"keep their attorney's busy"
Remember, every time you use an apostrophe to make a plural, somewhere a little puppy dies.
Unless Microsoft's attorney has a 'busy' (which I imagine to be a small grey toupee) and he's going to hand it over to someone to keep for a bit.
coffee is your friend
Stop. Have a cup of coffee.
When working through a tech problem one tends to get tied in knots - I want to do X to solve Y, but X isn't working, so we need W to fix X. So you start with someone who has an email problem, and midway through, the task has become teaching that someone to use the DOS prompt. That's the moment.
Stop. Have a cup of coffee.
It actually saves time, because while on the phone you are using half your mental energy to prevent yourself from crawling down the phone line and strangling the person on the other end. While in a state of caffine-induced calm you often come up with a new approach.
Also, quite often the problem resolves itself over the coffee break. That's when the 'client' realizes he hasn't turned the monitor on, or is using the mouse from the computer beside his own. Or whatever process was hanging has finally finished or given up.
In the same way, when something goes dramatically wrong with my own system, experience has shown that the best approach is a.gather information on the problem. b. coffee break c. attempt solutions.
Re: BBC R4
Um .. an Areophile perhaps? If we're using a Greek suffix we might as well be consistent. Like 'selene-' for moon and helio- for sun.
And an honorable mention for Total Recall (the original version and book NOT the ghastly re-make.)
Voice calls? sooo 20th century
Recently I saw a presentation for a new phone (I forget which) in which the ability to make and receive voice calls was not even mentioned.
And a good idea too. I don't like strangers walking up to me in the street and selling me stuff. Why the hell should I let them do it in my living room? With IM and email, you can filter out the spammers and crooks much more easily. With friends and family you have a clear record of who said what, and you have time to think it over when you need to pick your words carefully.
Particularly with strangers, voice conversations should be like face-to-face meetings. Something you set up beforehand.
Um ... I don't think you move your head. You move your hand, and the phone works out what your POV is from the relative angles of phone screen and face.
I see GW2 was left off the list. Is this because it featured the kingdom of Orr which has left malign artifacts all over the game environment?
(cf Reviewer's name ...)
sledgehammer meet nut
Apart from the fact that a growing number of computers don't run anything capable of handling Microsoft's document-flavour-of-the-week, in the vast majority of cases, Word adds unnecessary complexity to basic text.
I'd guess 95% of all docs written in this overblown monster of a program can and should be written on wordpad. The number of projects actually needing Word are about the same as those needing specialist graphic or CAD.
I find HTML-Kit292 best for examining docx(tm) and extracting information (such as my next dentist appointment). Open Office handles all the other perversions of the document format that Microsoft has invented over the years.
Okay looking up Luke 11.9&10 gives us
'Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.'
Spookily relevant to tapping data channels ...
Well, I went to Oxford. There certainly was the rich-kid party crowd. But they were a small minority of students. Most kids - including most rich kids - were there to get an education, and despite the media's impression, the way you get a good degree in Oxbridge is by working sodding hard.
So while the party bunch did their thing, I (and I suspect most students) was only vaguely aware of their existence. Why some people would want to break into that crowd is beyond me. Perhaps because they were sluts?
Except all that link tells you is that the song exists. Try this one
If they're so easily compromised, perhaps the acronym for these Point Of Sale terminals should be changed for a different computing acronym that fortunately uses the same letters.
Self-driving cars have been a fact of life for decades.
They're the cars that are left to drive themselves while the person behind the wheel texts, snoozes, turns round to talk to the kids in the back seat or digs under the dashboard for that elusive CD.
'At 0.2% (linear) the glaciers disappear in 500 years'
Here's Mark Twain on that line of thought.
'In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod.
And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
- Life on the Mississippi
I regularly eat for less than £1 per day. Groceries come from my wife's side of the household budget, so I basically eat for free in exchange for paying the rent.
If freebies don't count, you'd better give that bone back to the butcher.
Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!
"Next week we explain how Mexico discriminated against Texans, and why the Alamo was justified."
I'll look forward to that. As I understand it, Mexico objected to Texans using slaves which was illegal in Mexico at that time, and Texas was part of Mexico. This led to the Alamo thing.
However, I do not have the advantage of having been educated in the USA so I'm sure someone there will explain it to me properly.
er ... wot?
'When the earth wandered into the path of a comet.'
'Wander' means to move randomly, aimlessly and without purpose. I kind of got the impression the earth followed a set route around the sun every year. If it were to digress from, for example to visit Mercury or Neptune, asteroids would be the least of our problems.
(and yes, I know the solar system is proceeding through the galaxy too, but that's a different issue)
'That’s what you get in First Class with First Great Western ... I’d love to see the greasy state of a knackered e-reader hanging off its loosened hinges as it falls out of a broken armrest in the glorious near-future of Italian railways.'
Um ... if near-past Italian railways are anything to go by, you'll do a lot better travelling in Italian steerage than British first class. I've always found Italian rail to be clean, comfortable and (when the union isn't on strike) punctual.
While I've travelled on worse in Zimbabwe, the trains were at least clean. For grimy, slovenly trains with staff who appear to genuinely hate their customers, I've not yet found worse than dear old Blighty. So chin up old boy. You're pretty close to the bottom of the barrel already.
Jeven Grant 20 was sentenced to a young offenders' institution.
Sorry, but age 20 means you are old enough to vote, drink alcohol, get married and join the army. It should also mean you are old enough to do time in the Big House.
A lass named Maura Fussell
Had a husband locked in a cell
Wearing nothing but skin
She tried to get in
It's something Virginians do well.
Re: Unless they're from the lucky sperm club they've got negative wealth
' And where has progress got us? Half the world doesn't have anything to eat and the other half are obese and want to obliterate their neighbour. '
Actually, that is indeed progress. A few centuries back almost no-one in the world had enough to eat and obesity was restricted to the few that did. You probably won't starve or freeze to death next winter. For many - even in Britain - that was a very real worry just a few generations back.
Re: Who sued who?
Dogged remarked ' Fuck gender-specific toys.'
Indeed. There's an industry based on people doing just that.
(BTW; it's 'Who sued whom?' Just sayin')
Re: Viruses and malware
Of course I don't browse the net as admin. That would be silly. I browse the net as root.
Didn't someone once say ...
...it was about 'government of the people by the people for the people'?
Given that the USA has moved pretty far from that, shouldn't those pinko commie sentiments be redacted, and history revised to show that Abe Lincoln really said 'If you have nothing to hide you have noting to fear.'
Ah yes, I vaguely remember shaving. Something that happened between puberty and leaving school. Then I grew a beard and have kept it ever since.
I'm often bewildered by why men shave. Is it to attract women by looking more like them? It can't be because they enjoy spending time and money removing facial hair. And why do some men religiously remove the hair from their faces, but panic when it goes from the top of their heads?
Being bald with a neat(ish) grey beard, in the morning I run a wet flannel over the top of my head, and a brush through the beard, and I'm groomed for the day. Simples.
Re: This is rather sad
'If you know a bit of astronomy you'll also know that most of the major stars have Arabic names. All catalogued by Muslim scholars when most of Europe was throwing rocks at Romans.'
I'll give you Aledbaran. On the other hand, Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, Bootes, Betelgeuse, Antares, Canis Major, Sirius, Ursa Major and Minor, Rigel, Upsilon Andromedae, and Zeta Orionis are Greek or Latin. And Polaris too.
'A lot of minor stars' have Arabic names perhaps. But the major ones were cataloged by the classical Greeks and Romans.I may not know much astronomy, but I can catch the whiff of hyperbole.
Any EU data network that includes Britain will automatically be plugged into the US spy system via the 5 Eyes agreement.
To be cynical, I'd paraphrase Angela as saying 'How dare the US spy on our citizens? We can do that for ourselves!'
Over the last decade the cold, dead hand of government has been slowly closing over the internet. This is just another brick in the wall.
The basic assumption here is that this block is to protect the kids.
Well, 'the kids' have had pretty much unrestricted access to porn for almost 20 years now. Can anyone point to a definitive study that shows harm being done? Given that a wave of debauchery has failed to sweep the nation, I think we can safely assume this is not about protecting the kids, but about the government taking control of what we see and hear.
Oh, and BTW
If your password can't be cracked in less than a million tries it SHOULD be secure.
If a site allows more than one login attempt every five seconds per account or a total of more than ten failed login attempts on that account, then the person who set up that website should be fired with extreme prejudice.
Pointy-haired Boss: My password box just shows asterisks
Dogbert: So make your password six asterisks
Pointy-Haired Boss: I hope I can remember that ...
There's the problem in a nutshell
- 'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
- Crawling from the Wreckage THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models
- Pics Facebook's Oculus unveils 360-degree VR head tracking Crescent Bay prototype
- Bargain basement iPhone shoppers BEWARE! eBay exposes users to phishing vuln
- Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst