* Posts by Aculeo

15 posts • joined 27 Jan 2010

Earth's first all Klingon opera debuts

Aculeo
Coat

When Geeks Disagree

Actually I believe Kling was originally intended to be the name of the world, until someone on the TOS writing staff pointed out that it'd sound really silly. In fact, I'm not sure whether there wasn't an on-screen reference to Kling as the Klingon capital at one stage, because once it was agreed that, yes, it did indeed sound silly, the homeworld just became 'the Klingon Homeworld' until someone decided to call it Qo'noS. The solitary reference to 'Kling', I believe, was retconned to refer to the capital district on the said planet.

As for Klinzhai, I'm fairly sure it refers to the written language of the Klingons, not to the people or the planet. Or it may just be the lettering system. Anyone got Marc Okrand's address?

Also coat.

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Sussex police try new tactic to relieve snappers of pics

Aculeo

Prejudice

"No, but the point surely is that an experience of the police behaving unreasonably diminishes respect for them and rather prejudices one against them?"

No, the point *I* was making was that you're condemning Sussex police for an incident in which, by your own account, they did absolutely nothing wrong - nor even slightly contentious. In fact, by that same account, they were actually very reasonable with you. They *could* have found reason to demand you take a breath test. They *could* have picked fault with your car. They didn't. They just spoke to you briefly, took your word for it, and let you go on your way.

I'd recommend that if you're determined to propagandise against the police, you find a better story to do it with.

"My own personal experiences of recent years have been extremely negative"

Yes, it shows. And rightly or wrongly, if you begin every contact with an open display of the mistrust you advocate, you're going to have a lot more negative experiences, I'm sure.

"a friend of mine -- a retired VERY senior civil servant"

Your friend's status as you perceive it isn't really relevant. If you want to complain on his behalf about that incident, I'd suggest you complain about the busybody who reported him, and the media and public who're quite happy to promote the current abject hysteria about paedophiles lurking in every shadow. Police do nothing, they're condemned for not investigating suspicions. Police investigate suspicions, they're condemned for interfering with the right of a retired VERY senior civil servant.

Police are best regarded as individual human beings, and each assessed on their merits, or lack thereof. Prejudice is just an excuse not to bother thinking.

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UK.gov slams Facebook over Moat fan clubs

Aculeo

Cops

dave 81 said: "...the cop killing Moat ... contempt of cop ... ear shot of a cop ... more contempt of cop ... a cop killing psycho ..."

And I've even heard younger police officers referring to themselves as 'cops'. Welcome to Britain, the fifty-first state.

Yes, I know: I'm being pedantic. One term's just the same as another, right? Except that it's not, because the words are accompanied by beliefs and expectations (as also shown by your use of the term "serve and protect").

Incidentally, Section 5 of the Public Order Act (there is no Public Disorder Act as far as I know, although it would have been a more sensible name) is intended to deal with behaviour in public which is likely to cause offence or distress. It's nothing to do with 'contempt of cop'; although if you are being mouthy and abusive in the street you could easily fall foul.

As far as the 'crusade against motorists and bikers" goes, I'm a motorist, and can't help but fail to notice this crusade of yours. If there was one, some of it might be directed towards the motorists who speed up and down this road each day with a total disregard for public safety; or the boy racers riding around at night in their chavved-up Vauxhall Novas with exhausts designed to produce the maximum possible volume of flatulence; or the bikers who treat windy country lanes like their own personal Manx TT, without any concern whatsoever for the lives of other road users. Or the fleet of 4x4s that turn up twice a day and almost completely clog half a mile of road outside the local school so the Little Darlings don't have to walk a centimetre more than they absolutely have to. Or even the idiots on the motorway who seem to think 70mph is a friendly suggestion. Or don't bother paying their road tax. Or...

Well, it'd just be nice to see some evidence of this supposed 'crusade' from time to time. Did you get a speeding ticket, by any chance?

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Aculeo

Moat and "Freedom of Speech"

First off, I have no particular feelings about Moat. I'm not sure I can honestly say I feel sympathy for him, except possibly in the most general sense that he's dead when he didn't have to be. But in terms of sympathy with his position or his actions, I have none. Absolutely none whatsoever. His supposed mental health issues (and I say 'supposed' only because I know nothing at all about him except what the media are feeding me) mean that it's difficult to argue that "he deserved it", as I've seen some people saying. I think the only way I can really view it is in the most clinical sense: he made himself a threat and the threat is now eliminated.

The question of whether the police were at fault is moot. I can't know what happened, and I can't second-guess what could have happened. Nor can the media, but of course that doesn't stop them. Moat is dead, so if we allow him to shoulder the full responsibility for what he did (as would be my first instinct), then the media have no-one left to demonise. Therefore, there must be blame to be apportioned somewhere else. The media have an agenda, and that agenda is to make money. News and balanced reporting will always, but always, take at least second place behind this.

As to these attention-seekers on Facebook, if they want to idolise this sorry individual then that's up to them. One point I would make, though, amidst all the ranting about "free speech", is that it's important to understand the difference between the civil right to free speech, which means you can say what you like about what you like without being censored or locked up; and the concession granted us by the owners of private, corporate forums to say what they agree to let us say on those forums.

There is no intrinsic right to freedom of speech when you're using a privately owned medium. If El Reg, for example, wanted to ban a certain point of view from its forums, it would be perfectly within its rights to do so, because those forums are private. We do not have a civic right to freedom of expression here; nor do users of Facebook. It's a little like the common assumption that the public have a right to enter a shop. You don't: the shop extends an open invitation, but if the staff decide they don't like you, that invitation can be withdrawn.

Facebook were not ordered to remove the group. If they had been, and had been forced under law to comply, then I'd be worried. They were asked; they refused. Had they been asked, and *agreed* to comply, then there would be no free speech issue: it is the company's site, and users operate under the company's rules.

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Aculeo

Excuses

"and his girlfriend DID run off with the policeman who got him locked up in the first place"

So what?

"... so there's a bit of sympathy due."

Don't be ridiculous, of course there isn't. If everyone who'd ever been hurt by a loved one or mistreated by The System took it as reason to go out killing, there'd be no-one left standing.

"Actually, if you had serious issues already this could pretty easily push you towards shooting people."

If you'd said "he had mental health issues", then I could've gone with the idea that some sympathy was due. Not enough to think society isn't safer without him, but some, at least. But no: you're trying to suggest that being upset because of an old relationship somehow excuses murder and attempted murder. It doesn't. It never will.

"It's not like he woke up one morning and started shooting every person he saw. Pretty sure he didn't shoot kids, the elderly or disabled people"

That's ridiculous as well. That's no more than the weirdly discriminatory reasoning that drives every instance of "think of the children": the notion that adult lives are somehow intrinsically less valuable than those of children. That he didn't go out shooting kids doesn't make the shooting he did do suddenly okay.

"just people who he considered to have wronged him and the police (who as a group he thought had wronged him)"

Loads of people have wronged me. Could I count on your support if I decided to deal with it in the same deluded and/or cowardly manner?

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Child protection campaigners claim hollow victory over Facebook

Aculeo

Polygraph Testing?

Interesting. I wasn't aware that any British authority (beyond the daytime TV squawk shows that sadly have such authority in too many people's lives) had accepted that there is any scientific basis behind the use of a polygraph as a 'lie detector'... And I don't know of another purpose for the machines that the said authorities would be interested in.

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'It's as though I've got Jonathan Ive's personal tool in my...'

Aculeo

Liking, Not Converting

I like Apple's products. I've never had any particular objection to the thingummies and doodads themselves. I don't know anything about Jobs beyond the way he's represented in Publications That Love Apple or in Publications That Despise Apple. I do know that the Mac was/is a great system - I just use the PC (I mean.PC other than the Mac*) out of habit, and the fact that there're quite a few more games for Windows than for Mac. That and the fact that the Mac always seemed to be more focused on graphics and DTP at the time.

What does put me off Apple kit now is, to be honest, the unremitting hype. Sure, there was some of that in the old days, but it does seem to be far more feverish and fervent than it used to be. Until it all calms down and people start to come back to Earth I figure it's just best to stay out of it all.

(* They are PCs, in every way that makes a PC a PC. I just observe the convention of pretending otherwise.)

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Pakistan set to ban more web blasphemy

Aculeo

In two minds on this one

@Fatman: As far as I can tell, over there in the former colonies you've got rid of religion *officially* in government by virtue of the relevant amendment.. That said, it still sounds as though religion has, if anything, a greater influence there than here, where bishops still sit in the House of Lords.

That said, as a religious person myself, albeit not a 'Person of the Book', I do get to experience the generalised contempt that policies and decisions like this tend to elicit from people who don't want to bother distinguishing one set of beliefs from another.

I have to agree with C. P. Cosgrove that it's not helpful to mock a deeply held belief, although I know this is a contentious point with those who think religion must be mocked precisely to disprove that principle. There again, it's a strong principle of mine that my religious rules - such as they are - are my concern, and conversely that other people's aren't.

I have to support the Draw Mohammed campaign, because it's necessary to demonstrate one's freedom from rules that don't apply when - and only when - someone tries to apply them wrongly. But when in Rome, they say - and if the government of Pakistan choose to implement a dubious ban, then it's for Pakistanis to overturn it if they wish.

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iPhone 4: Perfect for everyone, except humans

Aculeo

Such passion...

...over something as fundamentally nothingy as a screen protector. Can you people relax and take a deep breath? Some people like to use screen protectors because they find them of some value. Others don't see the value so don't.

Either way, I for one think I can cope. Buy em, don't buy em: if you're happily running an iPhone or anything vaguely like it, the price of screen protectors is nothing. even in the worst case, where they don't do a deal of good, they're hardly expensive enough to constitute FUD.

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Vauxhall Ampera extended range e-car

Aculeo
Thumb Down

Still out of my reach

"a bit expencive but maby not with the cost of petrol and the savings you coudl make and maby the £5000 rebate"

Unfortunately before I can make those savings and get the benefit of reduced fuel costs - and I don't deny I probably *would* save on those things - I have to be able to afford the inital outlay. Even with the possible rebate, it's still prohibitive. Perhaps it's only to be expected that new technologies are expensive - they are with computers, phones, everything else. It just seems that the electric car market isn't going to really take off until they stop marketing them as status symbols and expensive toys, and bring them into the range of Average Jo/e.

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Aculeo
Unhappy

Pricing

"Nothing was said about pricing, though the cost to the consumer will depend on whether the new government honours the Brown government's pledge of a £5000 rebate on e-cars."

I doubt it. I expect the price to be somewhere in the region of forty-seven bazillion pounds, like every other e-car that does more than about 4mph.

Gods forbid we should be actively *encouraging* people off their oil addiction: make it as expensive as humanly possible, I say.

If one was prone to conspiracy theories, or banal political statements, one might suppose it was something to do with the number of powerful people making lots and lots of money out of the oil industry.

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Google vanishes Android apps from citizen phones

Aculeo

Lesser of Two Evils

Until recently I was pretty cagey about Google. Actually, I'm still pretty cagey about Google. But I admit I was lured by the shiny smartphones, and in a contest between Google and Apple, I decided I'd sooner put up with ads and be free to do what I please than be controlled at every end and turn; so I went with Android.

Does this story make me regret that decision? Certainly not.

"But unlike Google, to our knowledge Jobs has never pulled his 'kill switch' lever."

Which presumably makes their overall tyrannical approach to marketing okay now?

It must be difficult for the Reg when there's a direct opposition between Google and Apple and they're forced to decide which is the lesser of two evils. And that word 'evil' doesn't half get used a lot in articles and comments round here, doesn't it? Between the Reg and the Daily Mail using it for everything and everybody they're somewhat distrustful of, you have to wonder if the word has any real meaning left any more.

I'm not overly happy about what's been done, though I think I'd have to agree with Pablo: the system should certainly ask permission before it uninstalls anything. If it explained and asked me, I'd probably agree - I haven't found many apps* yet that I can't live without - but we know Google, and we know they don't like to ask permission in case people say no. I'm not sure if Google's sneakiness in that respect is worse than Apple's entirely overt attitude that an iPhone is still their property so they have the right to do what they like with it.

That said, I'd probably have to disagree with Shannon Jacobs: if an application is found to be dangerous I think an immediate execution is probably the only way to go, as long as it's either my decision or the company asks me permission to do it.

---

* I'm not sure if the term 'app' is Apple's trademarked property yet.

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Huge new airships for US Army: designed in Blighty

Aculeo

I must admit...

... I'd quite like one. It looks like it could be the aerial equivalent of living on a narrowboat. I'm a bit put off by the requirement for constant dynamic lift, but I guess a large, lazy, drifting circle would be fine. I presume it'll have an autopilot? Radar? Some sort of TCAS widget?

Where do I sign?

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.XXX to get ICANN nod

Aculeo

@ Graham Marsden

"businesses like mine have to decide whether we should go for the .xxx version of our domain *as well as* the other ones we already have resulting in extra costs and possible censorship of our domain and loss of customers"

Lost you a bit here. Costs, yes - understand that. But your choice to go for the .xxx *as well as* your existing domains means your domain will be censored? The .xxx edition, yes, but surely in that case you'll have the others *as well*?

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Teen attacks father in Fifa 2009 fight

Aculeo
Thumb Down

What's the background?

There's more to this story than just a game. In fact, reading the article I'm not all that sure the game's relevant at all.

Even so, I don't think that those who Fear The Tech (I'm looking at you, Vaz) will be particularly reassured by the argument as it's presented here, since they'll presumably just see this as proof that, look, games *do* cause violence - even the supposedly non-violent ones!

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