* Posts by Alien8n

832 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

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The ultimate paradox question

On the one hand I didn't enjoy the opening scenes, The Doctor as medieval jester doesn't ring true. But the main storyline was fantastic. The reminder that The Doctor and The Master (Missy) were the oldest of friends as well as comrades in arms before going their separate ways was good, but for me the best bit has to be the ultimate paradox question. Will The Doctor kill the child Davros to prevent the Daleks ever being created, preventing the Time War, or will he save him and hope that in saving him he influences Davros enough that he becomes a force for good instead of evil. Either at this point is a viable option given that it would appear to be The Doctor's abandonment of Davros that turns him evil.

All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

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Re: I would have thought...

His mortgage might be, but has The Wall finally paid off the tax bill?

Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

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Re: U.S. V UK

Seeing some of the stuff they're teaching nowadays you may be right about UK education not being trusted. They still can't teach the correct components that make up a computer (no, that's not the memory, that's the CPU).

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Better cancel my daughter's trip to Disney

We were planning to go to Florida in a couple of years, guess we'd better cancel that trip as she has a homemade clock on her bookcase that she made a few years ago...

Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer

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Virus names

I have the dubious pleasure of having a virus named after me (Trojan/Downloader-MB). Only AVG had seen it at the time but I was able to provide the other AV vendors with a full and detailed description of what it did and how to remove it. Was caught because I was running Sygate firewall at the time and the firewall actually flagged it trying to send home to download the main payload.

Actually have a book on virus writing at home which I've never used.

Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?

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The quality of his writing overall though has been pretty good. But then again Moffat's earlier stuff was also good, his later stuff has been appalling. Saying that the same can be said for most of Moffat's work, the first couple of series of Sherlock were excellent, and then series 3 was a mess. Is it just me or does series 3's Moriarty come across a bit too much like the Master? Then again you could half expect Sherlock to pull out a sonic screwdriver in series 3...

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For the budget they certainly have the best special FX team going. Dr Who's special effects are done by Millennium FX, owned by a guy I went to school with. They aren't your usual "hire a bunch of theatrical make-up artists on the cheap", their credits include the special FX on Saving Private Ryan and From Hell as well as others. Which also ironically puts me only 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon away from anyone working on Doctor Who in the last few years :)

Have to agree about Moffat's writing though, not a patch on his earlier stuff. We need more Neil Gaiman stories...

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Costumes

Quite a few comments regarding the costumes. I seem to remember though that they weren't forced to wear the costumes, they were basically given access to the BBC costume department and told to choose what they believed their Dr Who should wear. After that there were a few "quirks" added, such as the recurring theme of the question mark. Certainly all the recent incarnations chose their own costumes, with Peter Capaldi working very closely with the costume department to design his look.

They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch

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Alien

So the next-gen smart watch should be the Pip-Boy 3000?

Mad Max: High-octane dystopian desert demolition derby

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Re: Re:Console n00bs?

If you buy the retro games pack for the Xbox One you get a load of classic old ZX Spectrum games. Atic Atac is still just as difficult even now... :)

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Re: Re:Console n00bs?

John, should try some of the GOG sales...

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Re: Re:Console n00bs?

For the techies amongst us building is fine, but I would have bought my daughter's new PC if I could have found it at the spec I wanted and cheaper than what it cost to build it. Not an easy thing to do given the MSI Godlike motherboard and GTX 980Ti graphics card. Total overkill for a gaming rig, but this was a custom built rig designed for games development and has to last through college and then University.

What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

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Re: "local ISPs must block not just the offending article but the entire site"

"Why such restraint ? He should've simply banned the Internet, that would have solved all the problems, right ?:

What? And slash Russia's economy? (How much of their GDP is generated by scams and email phishing I wonder?)

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

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The build I've just made (for my daughter's college course of all things) is an MSI Godlike motherboard with the entry level X99 CPU. The beauty of so many of these gaming boards is there's no need to worry about over clocking, it just does it all automatically for you.

NASA dismisses asteroid apocalypse threat

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Don't forget the salted peanuts...

Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

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Re: Bah!

David Brin, the only person I know to write a book containing a masturbating dolphin...

His Uplift War series though is excellent.

China shutters 50 websites for spreading explosion 'rumours'

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Conspiracy theorists

Wish they could silence the conspiracy theorists. I've already seen one story that claims the site was nuked by the US in order to bring China "in line" with US foreign policy. Er no, when you ignite that much ammonium nitrate you do get an explosion that big.

Put it away: Dwarf's 'supermassive' marvel is actually smallest thing boffins have ever seen

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Surely it's also dependant on location? A microscopic black hole forming in the depths of space would eventually evaporate, but what about one forming in the middle of a giant gas cloud? Would it survive long enough in the cloud to grow into something self sustaining?

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

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Re: Here we go again

"warped out of all recognition"

I was wondering what had happened to Slaine...

UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

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Re: The problem with format shifting...

Actually that was from Kerrang, regarding the release of the double CD at HMV on Oxford Street in London. Guns and Roses turned up with a tank to promote the album. As for why I was reading that article, that might be the fact that I went out and bought the album for myself. May still have the magazine at home in a box in the loft...

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FTFY

"I don't think they particularly care, it's unenforceable. What they want is the money from a new tax on recordable media and digital players without having to deal with content creators who expect to be paid for their work"

There you go...

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The problem with format shifting...

The problem with format shifting being illegal is that it's unenforceable. To enforce the law as it stands would be to make criminals of the majority of the population. Ironically back in the 90's the record companies weren't even that bothered if Guns and Roses' release of Use Your Illusion is taken as an example. The record stores actively promoted copying of the album by selling blank tapes alongside the CDs. The idea being you'd by one CD and your mate would buy the other and make copies of each others CD. As for a levy, that was never meant to make up the cost of "lost sales" due to format shifting. That's a false idea anyway, if you're format shifting for personal use there is no lost sale, you've already bought the music. The whole idea of the levy was to cover the costs of "stolen" music, which is an intangible figure plucked out of the air by the music industry. Chances are even if you couldn't download it for free the music industry's sales would still have declined, because a lot of what is downloaded is music that the downloaders would simply have not bought in the first place. And the other argument against the levy is the simple fact it penalises the wrong people. It was argued that the levy should be placed on writable CDs and DVDs, which means the IT industry. I don't know about anyone else but I wouldn't be best pleased if my backup discs for Linux and files were paying for the neighbour's kids downloaded Eminem mp3s.

An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one million miles out

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Re: British Summer Time

Need to compare against several frames, it's possible it's actually just an asteroid on collision course. Look carefully and there's one in pretty much each corner.

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Re: @Doctor Syntax

I saw L7 just last month...

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Re: Sir

Expectations were for a loss in quality from atmospheric and space weather effects, along with quality of sensors on the satellite itself. As it happens they've got lucky and the satellite sensors were at the higher end of the quality spectrum and the sensors and software can handle the atmospheric and space effects quite admirably. If you need an analogy it's a bit like buying a car with a stated mpg of 37 mpg and finding it actually does 37.1 mpg. It's not much, but it's better than expected.

STARS SNUFFED in massive galactic whodunit

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Alien

I just had a thought (it does happen every now and then and sometimes they're coherent). The basis of Dark Matter is to explain how galaxies move due to the constraints of gravity. While I do believe Dark Matter is a valid theory of why galaxies move the way they do we may also be forgetting that gravity does strange things at the extremes. Hawking has made some wondrous insights into how gravity works (or doesn't) at the event horizon and beyond in black holes, but what is less researched is the possibility that gravity may also act differently at the super macro level. I could be completely wrong and our theories for gravity are 100% accurate, but it wasn't that long ago that Newtonian physics was found to be incomplete by Einstein. And all this is before we even consider the effects of multiple dimensions on space and time as we currently know them. It may even turn out that Dark Matter is dark not because it doesn't reflect light, but because it's actually not part of the observable dimensions of our known universe.

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Re: The galaxies are going out, one by one...

If we can find where the dark matter is centred we'll finally locate Gallifrey. Hopefully before the time war wipes out the whole universe...

German police ARREST SQUIRREL for stalking woman

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Re: Are they sure...

Fifty Shades of Grey Squirrel?

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Re: Releasing Grey Squirrels

Send it by Yodel? No wait, it says "humanely"...

ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

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Alien

Re: Alien vs

That's what the acidic blood is for...

Although that makes it a lot harder to create alien/robot cyborgs.

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Alien

Re: Invoking the conspiracy theory argument

I believe the vested interest here is real scientific research based on observational experimentation. My guess is he won't be satisfied until every comet in the solar system is visited and checked for life because of course any one of them could be harbouring alien lifeforms. Saying that, if they all come back negative he'll probably just claim it's a cover up anyway. Personally, while it's possible, I don't hold much hope of life being found on a comet. Europa on the other hand is a very strong contender. But first we need to find that black slab that they buried on the moon...

German army fights underground Nazi war machine hidden in Kiel pensioner's cellar

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Re: Indeed

"I've seen the odd Spitfire or Hurricane in private gardens/grounds too.

Seems the fickle finger of fate foretells that the losers armour has not to be seen?"

We have one flying around our village most weekends. Guy that owns it is the same guy who flew the spitfire in most of the 80's/90's war movies (most famously the scene from Empire of the Sun). He bought an industrial park near where I live because it still had the aircraft hangers from the 2nd world war.

Reddit meltdown: Top chat boards hidden as rebellion breaks out

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Re: Here we go again

"It must be the 90s again - Compuserve is back!"

Reddit's terms and conditions include the soul of your first born child?

Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

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Re: Scottish solution

Germany did invent one, but it wasn't very popular...

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Federal systems

One of the big issues is federal systems don't work except as part of a single country. The EU is the worst case scenario, a federal system with disparate ideologies at local level. It works well in the US (to an extent) as each state is part of the bigger US ideology. It doesn't work in the EU as each country has it's own goals and ideologies and doesn't see itself as part of a bigger "nation". Even the UK's federal system (yes, it is a federal system now) doesn't work, with Scotland and Wales constantly begging for more money from England. For a federal system to succeed it has to be accepted that the money put in by the richer parts (in the EU's case, the richer nations) will by and large be given to the poorer parts. Unfortunately local ideologies are increasingly showing that the EU as a federal system is broken. When Westminster is complaining about how much money should go to Scotland how on earth can anyone expect them to accept that British taxes should be going to Greece and/or Eastern European countries?

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Joke

Re: Technically

Would that be the Greek entry?

BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

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QS 9000

I used to work for an electronics company that had QS 9000 certification (for use in cars) and one of the rules was once you started testing something you had to keep testing it, there was nothing about stopping testing. Which was really stupid when you realise one of the things being tested was the ambient temperature in a tin roofed shed used for storing plastic moulding compound. Yes the compound needed to be kept within a certain temperature range, no there was no chance in hell of ever maintaining that temperature range during summer with the tin roof in direct sunlight.

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

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WASP?

White Anglo Saxon Pterodactyls?

Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

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Renault

My Renault Laguna has a dodgy fob, to lock the car you have to lean in the back seat, hit the central locking switch in the centre console and then exit via the back door. Unlocking is via the passenger door using the emergency key, leaning in and hitting unlock on the central locking switch (the key only unlocks the passenger door, not the other doors). However it does come with an excellent anti-theft device. A Renault badge...

BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

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Caddyshack

Ah, the immortal fake turd...

Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

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Pint

Plan 9 from Outer Space

The original yardstick was actually so bad it became a cult classic and is actually watchable because it's so bad. You could not feed me enough beer in the world to persuade me to watch Battlefield Earth however. Have more beers*, you clearly didn't drink enough if you can still remember watching these films...

* There are beer movies (Transformers, Iron Sky etc) and then there are full alcohol poisoning movies...

Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

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Re: You ignored the best-in-class camera

Having a great camera does not make it a great phone however. I'm reminded of the SE Satio. Probably one of the best cameras ever put into a phone (at the time), however the phone itself was an unusable pile of junk.

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Re: Well my Phone's a Nexus 5 and my Tablet's an iPad Air 2

My tablet choice was entirely based on what streaming capabilities were available at the time. Lovefilm only streamed to the iPad when I bought it so that's what I bought. I wasn't going to buy a generic tablet that couldn't use the one app that I actually wanted. It's a great little gadget to take on holidays, load it up with a couple of films and away you go.

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As an end user I like consistency. Having used both Android and iOS I prefer iOS simply because of it's consistency. With Android I would expect to be able to pick up any phone and know how it works. However my experience is that every update and every OEM has a different UI making a new phone a learning curve each time. This is something mirrored in their respective desktop OSes. OSX has remained relatively consistent over time. Even Windows has been fairly consistent (if you forget about Windows 8). Linux however is the buffet lunch of OSes, with a multitude of flavours. And even after you've chosen your main course it then asks you how you want it presenting with the various incarnations of Gnome and KDE.

Now for a desktop OS I don't mind that choice, I'm geeky enough that I'll dig around inside the UI to find out how it all works. But for a phone? I want stability, knowing that when I pickup an upgrade in 2 years time I'll know exactly where everything is.

Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

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Re: In fact, warning does make sense

"Be suspicious, however, of anyone who claims to be allergic to "all nuts". Because most of the things they'll say they are allergic too aren't actually the same thing at all and it's incredibly unlikely that they are allergic to ALL "nuts"."

This is true, ask anyone what the most common "nut allergy" in the UK is and most will state peanuts. However from memory the most common allergy in the UK is actually to hazel nuts. The other half however seems perfectly fine with pretty much any nuts apart from almonds.

And god help you if your other half is allergic to brazil nuts and you fancy a bit of nookie after polishing off the chocolate coated brazils you got for Xmas.

Strange alien-like life zones found beneath Antarctic glacier

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Re: Masters of existence

I do believe that Lemmy and Keith have discovered the chemical makeup of the fabled fountain of youth by accident. Unfortunately there's no way to tell which exact combination of illegal narcotics and Jack Daniels is the correct one to duplicate their efforts and as many celebrity deaths will attest random experimentation to unlock the secret formula is ill advised.

DRM is NOT THE LAW, I AM THE LAW, says JUDGE DREDD

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First copy...

I remember the first copy I ever read, had a Dan Dare storyline in it from the mid 70's. Not sure why it was in the house. After that the first series I remember reading (and then continuing through to the 90's) started with Block Mania. Since then I collected a few older issues (such as the first Nemesis the Warlock issue) and continued through to the death of Johnny Alpha. Gave up after that (with the occasional issue now and then) as I found the current format to be nowhere near as good as the old format. Might just be me but it doesn't seem to be as good value anymore, each issue now seems thin in comparison to the older issues (never mind the cost of them now) and the story lines don't seem to be as good, with the exception of Dredd and the infrequent classic characters returning.

Did enjoy Nikolai Dante though, so there are some good new characters. I'll probably just pick up the graphic novels when they come out now.

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Re: The really sad thing?

Same here. I lost a load from the 70's and 80's when I moved south. My 90's collection I had to sell due for financial reasons a few years ago. Got a good price though, think I got about £80 a box for them (at least 2 boxes worth)

LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

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Re: Technology for technology's sake

"I learned a lot from the alt.binaries.pictures newsgroups, including the fact that some of them should definitely not be viewed while eating."

Hamsters and duct tape springs to mind...

RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON

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Alien

Re: Front row seat

How many Michael Bay's in a George Lucas? (That's no moon!)

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