* Posts by Steven Roper

1859 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

Steven Roper

Re: 'Barter'

These days it would be your taxi driver friend that would be charged for perving or sexual harassment or something if a girl did this. I guess he's lucky he got out of the game before the SJWs took over the government.

Steven Roper

The 'X' in Xmas is actually the Greek letter Chi, which was used universally by early Christians to symbolise Christ, rather than writing out his name out of respect. So writing it as 'Xmas' is actually more respectful to Jesus and has greater antiquity than the more modern 'Christmas'.

So if it's a perceived removal of Christ from Christmas by writing Xmas you're getting your knickers in a knot over, you can chill, because it's just the opposite of what you think. Your precious belief system isn't being challenged by anyone here.

Could this be you? Really Offensive Security Engineer sought by Facebook

This post has been deleted by a moderator

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Steven Roper

Re: I have an idea

Done and done.

Steven Roper

Cease and desist

"You know nothing" is also a valuable protected trademark of HBO and anybody using it without authorisation is infringing on their trademark.

Shakespeare was right all along. We need to kill all the lawyers.

Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

Steven Roper

Re: Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Yep. So much for getting rid of political correctness, which Disney is an absolute exemplar of.

Kotkin: Why Trump won

Steven Roper

Re: To understand what happened...

Never in my 10+ years as a member of this community have I been so sorely tempted to register a thousand sockpuppet accounts just so I could give someone a thousand upvotes. Absolutely spot on.

I've long said that I supported Trump myself, not because I thought he'd be a good President, but simply because him being elected would show that people no longer buy into the Ministry of Truth leftist propaganda machine the mainstream media has become. When he won the election (on Wednesday afternoon Australia time) I actually cried with joy as I danced around my house with my hands making V-signs in the air, even though America's not my country, because against all hope I knew finally that millions of other people were as sick of the sanctimonious, self-righteous hypocritical spouters of political correctness as I was.

You cannot defeat hate with hate. Railing against "toxic masculinity", "white privilege", branding all men as violent predatory thugs, dogpiling children who dress as Polynesians and American Indians for "cultural appropriation", and passing laws turning ordinary, harmless behaviours into hate crimes isn't going to get people onside, it's going to make then angry and fight back. Worse, by hijacking what should have been a noble ideal and turning it into a tool of totalitarian control has undermined - if not outright destroyed - any chance of real equality being achieved, because "equality" has been perverted to mean "special treatment for women and selected minorities while tearing down those evil white males." This bullshit notion of "privilege" is just duckspeak for justifying discrimination and stereotyping of white males while hypocritically claiming the moral high horse against discrimination and stereotypes.

Now I want to see women be able to better themselves, as much as men. I want to see more women designing bridges, playing football and flying space missions. But for that to happen, why is it necessary to constantly harp on about how pathetic, privileged and perverted men are? So what if a man says something sexually suggestive to a woman? Men are jocularly rude and offensive to each other as well. That's a natural part of masculine culture, and to label it as "bigoted", "misogynistic" and "oppressive" is as evil as labelling feminine culture as "weak", "prissy" and "submissive."

And if you paint someone as a villian and a bastard for long enough, even if they're a saint to start with, eventually they will become a villain and a bastard just to get their money's worth. This is why so many men are abusive towards women today, where in the past they never used to be. They've become that way because society expects them to be that way. So now, acceptance of women in male roles is further off than ever, because the ideal of it has been misused as a weapon of hate against men. And that's the real tragedy in all this.

It is the fact that not only white males themselves, but the women who have seen the men they love demonised and attacked at every turn by these hate-spewing, whining PC crybullies, that got Trump elected.

Sadly, reading those sanctimonious articles in the Guardian (and the MSM in general) shows these crybullies are not learning from their mistake. And the longer they fail to see themselves as the outright bigoted hypocrites they are, this conflict is only going to get worse and worse until it explodes across the West in a burst of uncontrollable violence.

Left-wing cyber-hangout blames security breach on pro-Trump trolls

Steven Roper

Re: A new hacking crew?

But... aren't all Trump supporters supposed to be blue-collar uneducated rednecks? How are blue-collar uneducated rednecks supposed to be able to hack into a web server?

Cerber ransomware menace now targeting databases

Steven Roper

Re: Most of these arrive via the Inbox

Tracing and finding them is only part of the equation. The rest of it is coming up with a suitably deterrent punishment. Like publicly skinning them alive one square centimetre at a time over the course of a week or two.

World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Steven Roper

Re: 'things' that attack hospitals

As somebody else suggested, these maggots do have a use to society; they'd make good organ donors.

Teen in the dock on terror apologist charge for naming Wi-Fi network 'Daesh 21'

Steven Roper

Re: What I want to know...

What difference does it make? What if the kid was "full-blooded French" (by which I assume you mean he's a Privileged White Male™) would that change the outcome? The only difference I can see here is that if the kid was Muslim, that would be an excuse for regressive-left virtue-signalling sycophants to play the racism card in his defence - who would say nothing if he turned out to be non-Muslim.

No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Steven Roper

Re: In Other News

"Maybe the word "samsung" means "high quality" in Arabic."

More like "Made of Explodium."

A successor to Mirai? Newly discovered malware aims to create fresh IoT botnet

Steven Roper

Re: Ban Linux from off the Internet

So what alternative would you suggest? Windows? $DEITY help us.

You ARE aware that the vast majority of machines running the backbone of the internet are running Linux, right? If you ban Linux, you pretty much wipe out the entire internet.

Also, the problem here isn't Linux, it's the shoddy security practices associated with the IoT. If you hard-code username: admin / password: password on a device, then it doesn't matter how watertight or hardened your OS code is, if you've used default login credentials. If you change the username and password (if the device will let you) then its security is as good as any other Linux box.

Iceland's Pirate Party wins 10 seats, will need unlikely coalition to rule

Steven Roper

Sounds like a really free country

It's refreshing to see so many different parties in play there. It's a far cry from the hopeless two-party duopoly (e.g. Deomcrat/Republican or Liberal/Labor) that prevails in most western democracies, with either one is as bad as the other and nothing changes regardless of who you vote for. Iceland seems to have got it right by enabling small parties instead of the false-democracy corporate oligarchy we have.

The more I read about Iceland, the more I want to go and live there.

Web devs want to make the Internet of S**t worse. Much worse

Steven Roper

Re: Internet of Shit

The reason we are up in arms about the IoT is because we've had enough life experience to know that every time something is pushed on the public with the zeal and fervour that the IoT is, two things are true:

1. There's a nefarious purpose behind the apparent usefulness, in the case of IoT the level of surveillance and profileing it will enable; and

2. In order to push the thing on the public, the thing it's replacing will be made obsolete and unavailable in order to deny consumers the choice and force the new thing on everyone. In this case that means that soon, "non-smart" devices will become increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible, to obtain.

It is this lack of choice that will inevitably be imposed on us that we are up in arms about. If we could be sure that manufacturers will indefinitely continue to sell "non-smart" light bulbs, toasters, TVs, fridges and cars, we'd likely still reject the idea but if people wanted to use it that's their lookout. But we all know that won't happen. What will happen is that one day, we'll go to the shop to buy a light bulb and only the "smart" ones will be available - and trying to run it without a connection to the net will simply result in it not working, thus forcing us to adopt the invasive tech, or go back to using candles.

It is this forcing of the technology, the inevitable denial of choice, based on repeated past experience of similar things being foisted on the public, that is why so many people here are so fervently opposed to it.

Steven Roper

"Imagine a world where every web site can connect to devices near you – or on you.”

Shudder. When I imagined that, my instinctive response was: There's a small cave up in the hills not far from my parents' place. I'm seriously thinking of taking up permanent residence in it.

Judge allows Apple's faceless Irish head to settle for €45k - report

Steven Roper

<marlonbrando voice="whisper">Where's my money? Huh? You bring me my money soooon, eh? You good boy, I no want' see you get the cement shooz, eh?</marlonbrando>

Is this the worst Blockchain idea you've ever heard?

Steven Roper

Re: No.

A subscription model is a cost effective way for me to keep cycling my music as I stop listening to old songs

I don't stop listening to old songs. I have so much music that it would take me months to listen to it all. I tend to have a nostalgia period where I'll listen to 1980s pop music for a week or two, then get bored of it and switch to listing to my old Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio stuff; then I'll get into Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Kitaro; then it's marching bands, then Wagnerian opera.

From this you can deduce I have a very broad taste in music - pretty much everything from Antonio Vivaldi to Paul Oakenfold is on my list, in fact about the only genres I don't like are rap, hip-hop and dubstep.

but just checking that you paid for all of those rather than pirated, because that sounds like a huge investment.

That's a bit of a question. Did I download music from Napster and torrents? Yes - but only music I knew because I'd already had it in some form or another. During my youth, I spent literally thousands on cassettes, LPs and later, CDs because of my passion for music. In addition, my parents, cousins and siblings had their collections too. When MP3s became ubiquitous and I discovered I could set up a playlist in Winamp and leave it going all day rather than having to choose a new CD or tape every half hour or so, I set about ripping many of these old CDs and tapes to MP3.

When Napster came along, I found it was far quicker just to search for the albums I had in my collection and download them; while CDs can be ripped fairly quickly, it takes a lot longer to rip LPs and cassettes and the quality is not always as good. But I tended to download only what I already had somewhere on an LP, tape or CD.

Some would still call that piracy. I don't. I just call it format-shifting. Pay once, play forever, that's what I said.

In some cases I have downloaded torrented music either on someone's recommendation or out of curiosity. But if I like it, I invariably make a point of buying a CD because I want an original in my collection. And if I don't, then it gets deleted. Case in point: Paul Oakenfold. A friend introduced me to his brand of trance/techno by giving me an MP3 of his album Tranceport; I liked it so much that over the next few years I ended up hunting down and buying his entire discography - several hundred dollars worth of sales he (or more accurately his label) wouldn't have made but for the fact I pirated Tranceport in the first place.

Aside from that, my music downloads are either YouTube rips, which I also don't consider to be piracy, since it's available legally for free anyway, or from CC indie artists distributing through MySpace, Free Music Archive and such places.

Steven Roper


Buy once, play forever - that's the ONLY model I wil accept. Once they have you on pay-per-play hook for 0.1p, it won't be long before the beancounters will start hiking the price every month or so to milk ever more money out of you. Zero tolerance of this is the only way to prevent that from happening.

Fortunately I now have mp3s or flacs of every single piece of music of every composer or band I ever liked, and since all modern mass-produced music is now generic three-chord pap with autotune I don't need any more. Most of the new stuff I download now is from indie bands who release their stuff under CC licences, who are far more original and talented than the mass-market crap produced by the music cartels. So at least I'm a dead market if they do go to pay-per-play. In the words of Hagar the Horrible, "I've got mine!"

Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

Steven Roper

What boots it that the public won't stand for it when intrusive IoT fridges designed to pack up after 3 years are the only kind you can buy? The free-market argument of capitalism has failed because there is now a cartel of massive suppliers, who collude in establishing control of the marketplace.

So, you need a fridge. And you can choose from Smasung, LG, Hisense, Westinghouse, or Fisher & Paykel. All of who make basically the same fridge with the same limitations and the same IoT spying ability.

What do you do? Your options are to buy one of these smart fridges or give up on refrigerated food - which I can tell you from youthful experience comes down to eating out of cans. You can bitch and moan and say you won't stand for it but you still had to buy one and the company still made their money.

Suppose an upstart startup decides to exploit the market for "non-smart" fridges, assuming there is one: while Reg readers seem to be universally opposed to this whole IoT shit, the great unwashed don't give a fuck. They're already spewing every detail of their lives out on Facebook anyway, so why would they care about IoT privacy? But, suppose this startup decides there is a privacy-conscious market after all and starts making fridges to cater to it. The big manufacturers, as soon as they see their intrusive surveillance-capitalism model threatened, simply contact all the big box stores and tell them that if they stock this startup's non-smart fridges they'll lose their supplier discounts. Bam - said startup now has no way to sell fridges, short of online, which is going to restrict their market since most people still like to browse a big-box store for large whitegoods and major appliances.

So if these bastards want to get into your home, how do you stop them? In an earlier post I mentioned a cottage industry springing up to strip out the smart stuff from these things aftermarket - but I can see that becoming a sketchy underground setup like console modchips, that soon would get shut down by an army of corporate lawyers. When was the last time you saw a modchip provider for the latest consoles? It wouldn't be long before "de-smarting" shops would suffer the same fate.

Steven Roper

It's insidious

There's this very invasive framework mentality in play, quite Orwellian in nature, that there are psople who want to get inside our homes, inside our heads, strip us down to the source code and analyse us from every possible angle. While that sounds like the essence of paranoia, there are many reasons why people would want to do this.

The primary one of course, is marketing and advertising. The original purpose of advertising was simply to let people know a product exists, what problems it solves, and where to buy it. The whole concept of trade developed around this process:

1. I have a problem and I need something to fix it (e.g. an apple to assauge my hunger, a hammer to nail this plank to patch my house, a shirt to keep me warm, whatever)

2. You have what I need.

3. What do you want in exchange for that item?

But since then there's been a gradual but ineluctable evolution away from this purpose, towards one of making us want to buy the product, and that superseding all other considerations. The usefulness of the product, its ability to solve a problem which is the reason we'd normally buy it in the first place, is losing relevance. All the companies care about is selling more product, regardless of its usefulness or any point of trade, Their sole objective has become to extract money from our wallets.

To that end, an entire science has sprung up around figuring out exactly what makes people tick for the express purpose of manipulating that process to their own gain, regardless of our loss. But control first requires understanding. So inevitably this leads to, the more we know abut someone, the more we can predict and therefore influence their decisions; the more we can influence their decisions, the easier it becomes to extract more money from them.

The IoT is the manifestation of this principle. There is no valid, consumer-oriented purpose in connecting a light bulb, a kettle, a toaster, a washing machine, to the internet. There is no problem that it solves to make the trade worthwhile. The only purpose of all this connectivity is to inject more observation points into our homes and our lives in order to better predict and thereby influence our behaviour.

So these bastards can all fuck off and die. I will never embrace this technology because it brings me no advantage whatsover, but it puts me at a distinct disadvantage to whoever wants to find ways to milk me for more money, while giving me nothing of value in exchange.

And if it becomes impossible to buy a lightbulb that works without this connectivity, I will go back to using candles. Actually, I can foresee an entire cottage industry springing up around this: Buy a smart device because you can't buy anything else, then take it down to Bodgy Bob's Mods and have him rip out its innards leaving only the basic mechanical function active. A fridge has a cooling element powered by a compressor and regulated by a thermostat. It can't be too hard to rip out all the electronics and leave just the thermostat-compressor loop active. Same with any other device. You just have to be prepared to chuck your warranty out the window. But considering the high turnover the planned obsolescence this article clearly refers to will cause, warraties aren't worth anything anymore anyway.

A robot kitchen? Whatever. Are you stupid enough to fall for this?

Steven Roper

Re: Just trying to work out


That's a generous assessment, if my experience of such restaurants is anything to go by. I recall the one time I spent $50 at one of these places, and was served 3 evenly-spaced peas, a carefully sculpted quarter of a potato, a teaspoon of spinach and a rump steak that might have been cut from the hindquarters of a fieldmouse, with a perfectly Spirographed drizzle of sauce, precisely centred on a huge, dazzlingly white plate the size of a semitrailer hubcap.

Which necessitated a further $10 trip to the local fish and chippery afterwards for something resembling an actual meal, instead of something you'd expect to see hanging on the wall in an art gallery.

Soylent bars farting recall

Steven Roper

Looks to me

Like Soylent have been sourcing their ingredients from the same supplier Haribo uses for their colonoscopy-friendly gummy bears...

Time to crack down on sales of dragon's gold - securobods

Steven Roper

Paysafe cards is one way of doing it

Another laundering technique I've seen used is going to the local casino, buying a stack of ships, having a bit of a tipple on the tables, and then cashing the remaining chips back out and getting a receipt identifying the money as a casino win. You can clean small amounts less than $10k this way.

An even safer method is to bypass the casino and clean it through the poker machines in pubs instead. Nobody looks twice at someone pumping a few grand through the pokies in most pubs around my town.

One guy I knew many years ago ran a pizza shop for several years, and apparently sold a lot more pizzas than were actually going out the door; the majority of his profits were coming from something a little greener than pizzas. He only got caught because an audit showed the number of pizzas sold couldn't be accounted for against the relatively small amounts of ingredients he was buying: I think it worked out something like a tablespoon's worth of dough per 12" pizza!

It was a pity since if you knew the guy well enough, for a small extra fee he was quite happy to add some home-grown ingredients to your pizza that most definitely weren't on the menu, which made his pizzas a lot more enjoyable to eat than your average ones!

Internet of Things botnets: You ain’t seen nothing yet

Steven Roper

"If the cheese hasn't gone green and fury"

But green furry mould-raddled cheese is the tastiest kind. If it's not on the brink of evolving intelligence it's just not worth eating!

Actually, yes, Samsung, you do have to pay Apple $120m

Steven Roper

May we live in interesting times

With those kind of losses to Apple, plus the loss of sales by T-Mobile and AT&T pulling the made-of-explodium Note 7, Samsung may soon be finding the milk of US sales becoming unpalatably sour.

If Samsung - a major source of Korea's trade income - can make more in China than the US, Korea could viably look at chucking the towel in on their ties to the US, like the Philippines has just done, and ink up a new trade deal with China. In that event there would be nothing stopping China from deposing the increasingly-irritant Kim regime and helping Korea re-unify under the manufacturing prosperity of the RoK in a new Sino-Korean alliance. And with the Philippines kicking the US troops off its turf, they also could well be on the brink of working out a deal with China themselves.

With the Philippines and Korea onside, with Japan in a cultural and economic freefall due to its exploding epidemic of herbivore men and collapsing population, and the US about to plunge into Civil War 2.0 following the coming election, China would be able to push its Nine-Dash Line halfway across the Pacific without much opposition.

It's certainly starting to look more and more like the American Empire's days are numbered. I'm not sure whether to be gratified or terrified at the possibility...

US govt straight up accuses Russia of hacking prez election

Steven Roper

"One impediment to global discussion is that the word "liberal" (sometimes "Liberal") means different things is different places."

It certainly does. I live in Australia, where we differentiate between "small-l liberals" and the Liberal-with-a-capital-L Party (and by extension the Lib/Nat Coalition) who are anything but. This is why I used the rather clumsy contstruction "progressive/liberal/leftist" to describe the group I'm referring to. I generally use the moniker "SJW" since most people now know exactly what mindset that's referring to, but I'd already used it in the post and wanted another way of putting it.

Of course, SJWs themselves decry and belittle the use of the term, and claim that it's just an accusation used to shut down debate and stifle rational thought, which is ironic because that's exactly what those people do themselves with their incessant use of -ist, -phobic and related buzzwords like intersectional, microaggressive, privilege and so on. These words are simply shorthand for pseudosocial concepts most people are already familiar with and have been disputed ad nauseam - as is the term "SJW" to describe anyone who uses such words to rationalise discrimination and stereotyping against some groups in society while opposing it against others, and hypocritically calling that discrimination "equality."

Steven Roper

It's not so much the Reg, they seem to be as reasonable with their moderation as ever, but there does seem to be a small army of SJWs among the commentards who vigorously downvote any pro-Trump/anti-Clinton commentary, as well as any commentary critical of progressive/liberal/leftist ideology in general. Most of them seemed to turn up around about the time Page and Worstall left, although a few have been here for longer. You'll likely see them all dogpile your post as well as this post with downvotes just for pointing them out.

Anyway, have an upvote.

Steven Roper

Re: Evil Russians doing evil ...

Iceland looks like the best option given the way the world seems to be going,

Internet of pills plan calls for drugs to tell you when to take them

Steven Roper

Re: The applications are infinite!

"E-Ink on my pet's food & water bowls to remind me to refill them!"

Now there's a pointless idea if ever there was one! My two cats already let me know when their food and water bowls need refilling, far more effectively than any app ever could short of equipping mobile phones with protractable claws...

It's executive whack-a-mole at Big Data replicator WANdisco

Steven Roper

Game of Thrones

with Dave Richards in the role of Cersei Lannister...

Device-as-a-Service to make life simple? Nope

Steven Roper

No bloody way

[Anything]-as-a-Service is simply code for rentism, a.k.a "We want to keep you paying over and over for the same thing you used to buy once." No thank you. I'll stick with the tried-and-trusted, old-as-civilisation "I give you one thing once (money) and you give me one thing once (product) business model, thanks.

18 seconds that blacked out South Australia

Steven Roper

Re: That table actually tells us why Turnbull is right

"Do you think that 2 wind farms that are 100Km apart would switch off within 0.05 of a second of each other because they independently judged the wind speed too strong?"

Your analysis is certainly a possibility.

But there is also this one: I was monitoring the weather on the Himawari-8 satellite feed before the power went down. That storm front was huge: easily two thousand kilometres long, north to south. So it's also feasible that the wind farm shutdowns were directed from a central C&C in advance of the predicted high winds along that entire frontage.

Steven Roper

That table actually tells us why Turnbull is right

What I'm seeing from looking at that timeline table and your previous comment about the Victorian interconnector spiking to 860 MW when it was rated for 600 is a very definite correlation between wind turbine output and the overload.

The timeline shows that 123 MW dropped from the Mid-North wind farms 7 seconds prior, then 1 second prior Hornsdale dropped by 86 MW and Snowtown dropped 106 MW.

So, by 1 second before the blackout, the renewable energy system had dropped 315 MW from the grid. So that's 315 MW the grid now had to make up by drawing on the one remaining interconnector. Since this interconnector could only sustain 600 MW, and shut down because it tried to draw 860 MW, had the wind farms been able to maintain supply the draw in the internconnector would have been 860 - 315 = 545 MW, which is within the interconnector's tolerance.

Ergo, the inability of the renewable energy system to operate in the severe conditions was a directly contributing factor to the outage. The power went out because there was no generation system in place to supply base load when the wind farms shut down, so the shortfall was drawn over the interconnector, which shut down in response. This means while the 275 kV lines going down meant the main interconnector was the only remaining backup, had the wind farms been able to continue operating that interconnector would not have overloaded.

Finally, your article is full of ad-hominem attacks on Turnbull and Xenophon and just comes across as the kind of dogmatic shaming tactics characteristic of ideologues in general. Hurling words like "stupid", "silly", "dopey", "idiot-in-search-of-a-village" isn't a valid argument, it's an appeal to emotion. It doesn't add credibility to your position.

Granted, renewable energy might not have been the entire cause of the failure, but excessive reliance on it was a contributing factor, and if we ignore that possibility then this is going to occur again. I'm not saying renewable power is rubbish, in fact it is a step in the right direction. I'm just saying, we have to acknowledge that it does have flaws and put in place systems to compensate for those flaws, and blind ideological adherence to Green dogma and abusive dismissal of anyone who dares to question it isn't going to help anyone.

Google's Chrome cloaks Pirate Bay in red screen of malware death

Steven Roper

They need to be careful with this

If Google starts using malware warnings to block access to piracy-related sites at the behest of the copyright mafia, regardless of whether such sites actually transmit malware or not, then they'll create a situation in which people start clicking past and ignoring these warnings in general, because the warnings then become a political tool and not a genuine threat indicator. The implications of encouraging this behaviour are obvious.

Trust the cloud, we’re getting the hang of securing it, says Unisys security chief

Steven Roper

As I've said before, "cloud" simply means "storing my data on someone else's computer." Which gives them unfettered access to it, and/or allows them to hold to ransom my access to it, no matter what snake oil they use to try to disguise these two facts. There are NO other reasons for wanting to store my data on their systems.

My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

Steven Roper

Re: What is 'Smart'?

For me at least "Smart" has become a euphemism for "constantly monitors your behaviour and phones home about it for profiling and monetisation." Perhaps "Connected" or the even more descriptive "Telemetrised" devices might be a more approrpiate term.

OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Steven Roper

Re: Slartibartfast Hovercraft

It does raise the question of how the Star Trek computers were able to figure out when you were talking to them and when you were just talking to other people, since people didn't use the trigger word "Computer!" all the time.

I think the computer needs to be able to use other cues than just a trigger word. One thing that comes to mind is that when most people use their phones, they hold them in front of their chests, below their faces, to see the screen. So the phone's front-facing camera could match the face and eyes of the person to determine that they are looking at the phone, as well as using the phone's positioning sensor to determine that it's being held in a particular position, before responding to whatever the person is saying. These cues could be enough to be a trigger on their own, without the need for a trigger word - in much the same way that when Picard would say, "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot," it was likely the fact that he was standing in front of the replicator facing it, that set it off.

And before Apple or anyone else go trying to patent this technique, I hereby posit this post as proof of prior art.

CloudFlare shows Tor users the way out of CAPTCHA hell

Steven Roper

About bloody time

It's not only Tor users that are afflicted with this scourge - VPN users get hit with it as well. Given that in Australia VPN use is practically mandatory thanks to Brandis' snoop laws, Cloudflare's fucking captchas have made surfing the internet a trip through hell.

I got to the point where, every time I faced one, I would deliberately spend at least 5 minutes reporting one after another as having no valid solution, just for the fun of screwing with their system. After my complaints to Cloudflare went unanswered, I found that posting this act as a suggestion on 4chan seemed to popularise this kind of attack. I wonder if the resultant mess this would have made of their captcha system being flooded with false invalidity reports had an effect on their decision to find another solution!

Can Facebook influence an election result?

Steven Roper

Re: "If Facebook can control millions of votes [...], is that still democracy?"

"People who get their news through Facebook are less likely to have an interest in politics and are likely to be easily swayed one way or the other."

Says the person who has obviously never used Facebook...!

Once, I used to use it so I could keep in touch with my family, since they all used to use it. The main reason I stopped using it was because of the never-ending stream of political diahorrea everyone kept pouring out on there. I'd a thousand times rather be treated to a constant flow of cats, babies, dinners, and Like-and-OMG spam than the torrent of political garbage, fights and arguments that I got treated to.

My family has always been very loving and close-knit. Facebook was the only thing in existence that raised the possibility of threatening that closeness.

Never. Again.

Steven Roper

Re: Do the math(s)

"The young vote to the left. That's hardly a new concept."

I seem to recall reading a quote along these lines, which went something like this:

"Show me someone under 30 who is a conservative, and I'll show you a person with no heart. But show me someone over 30 who is a liberal, and I'll show you a person with no brains."

Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Steven Roper

Re: Civil disobedience?

Civil disobedience? Armed insurrection is starting to look the the best option.

Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Steven Roper

"You're mugging yourself then. ...meritocracy_is_bad_it_leads_to_massive_entrenched_inequality.html"

Ok, let's rock.

If I understand that article correctly, its argument is based on equating establishing equality with the provision of charity. I fail to see how the end result of that is "mugging myself." Not only that, I find this whole premise problematic - to borrow one of your lot's buzzwords - on several fronts.

First of all, equality of opportunity is not equality of outcome. I believe in equality of opportunity; the principle that every one deserves a fair go, and a helping hand on an individual basis if they're struggling, but how they use that to help themselves or not is up to them. On the other hand, equality of outcome is not only unjust in increasing the burden on those who do help themselves, it is patronising and demeaning to the very "minorities" you are claiming to support, because by giving them a "leg up" based on their putative lack of privilege, you are saying they aren't capable of making the grade on their own. It's like setting quotas for women in STEM overriding the required qualifications: doing that is tantamount to stating that women aren't as smart as men, so the entry requirements for them should be lowered so the poor dumb bimboes can get in and make up the numbers. If that in itself isn't sexism and misogyny, what is?

And before you try to call out that last argument as a strawman, consider this: If a specific number of positions have to be set aside in a given field for women and/or blacks, and the entry requirements do remain constant, if the number of female or black applicants is less than the number of places set aside for them, one of three possible things has to happen: 1) those places remain vacant (unlikely because that's a waste of institute resources); 2) those places are filled by whites and/or males (which denies the quota altogether); and 3) women and blacks whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements are now considered for those places (vis a vis my original argument.)

Second, the article talks about the fact that we help blind people and amputees because they need help, despite their lack of "merit" in seeing or walking. But this is false equivalence. Being blind or crippled is a genuine setback, and organisations exist to provide the assistance these people need to participate in society - organisations I'm more than happy to support, I might add. But being female or black or gay isn't such an impediment; to imply that it is, is to engage in the very sexism and racism you people claim so desperately to want eliminated. If you want people to treat everyone as human beings, you first need to stop telegraphing the arbitrary labels and differences you use to separate everyone into "victim" and "oppressor" groups.

Third, all this PC puff about gender and race privilege and inequality is really a divide-and-conquer distraction implemented by the ruling classes to keep everyone from focusing on the only real cause of privilege: wealth and class. People don't give you favours and preferential treatment because you're white and/or male; they give them to you because you're rich and powerful. A wealthy and powerful black woman like Oprah Winfrey or Whoopi Goldberg packs a damn sight more privilege than the drunken white male derro sitting sacked-out in the gutter. The main reason all this gender/race politics has been accelerated in recent years, probably has much to do with popular uprisings like the Occupy movement coming very close to exposing the massive and ever-increasing wealth gap dividing our society. That's your privilege, right there. Notice how the Occupy movement started out being about the "99% and the 1%", before it became inundated by feminists, gay rights activists, black rights protestors, and the like, which shattered it? Perfect divide and conquer.

So what you people don't realise when you push this gender/race privilege stuff is that you're playing right into the hands of the ruling class, distracting and disunifying the masses from addressing wealth inequality, which affects everyone regardless of gender or race.

Finally, let's get back to why my employing people on merit isn't mugging myself: I'm not running a charity. I support certain charities, yes, but my business isn't one, and as it stands, can't afford to be one. I'm not in the business of virtue-signalling for diversity, I'm in the business of developing web applications, publishing and marketing solutions for small to medium enterprises. Employing Aboriginal genderqueer women with no training or experience doesn't make my business any money; employing human beings, of whatever "kind," capable of maintaining web applications and designing brochures and books does. Then I can use some of that money to help out people who need help.

Mugging myself would be employing a load of deadweight for appearances and quotas over people who can actually do the jobs I need done.

Steven Roper

"Come to think of it, it should make for a lovely, Monty Python-alike sketch getting a few of those types together.."

Go onto Youtube and look up "trigglypuff" if you haven't seen it already. You've got a university lecture hall with a moderate feminist, a right-leaning gay man, a rabid SJW in the audience and a bunch of MRAs all in one place. Don't forget the popcorn!

Steven Roper

"Using the expression "SJW" pretty much signals "I'm a dick" IME."

As does using words that end in "-ist" and "-phobic" followed by "bigot" to describe anyone who doesn't share one's mindset, in mine.

Steven Roper

"If you're going to stress your differences"

As an employer, I'm not interested in your sexual or ethnic differences. I'm not employing you because you're white or black or female or genderqueer, I'm employing you because I want someone who can read and write PHP, Perl, Python, Java and Javascript, or someone who can use Photoshop, InDesign, Scribus or Gimp. Where your ancestry originates or how you use your bedgear simply isn't germaine to these requirements.

In fact, if you go to lengths to indicate your differences, I'm less likely to consider you, not because of racism or sexism or homophobia, but because your pointing out these differences suggests to me that you're a special snowflake, who plays the victim card when things don't go your way and are likely to cause problems within my team the moment someone slips up in their speech to the slightest degree. I don't need my cohesive and cheerful team constantly tiptoeing on eggshells wondering if an "outdated" word or "microaggressive" look is going to cost them their job.

On the other hand, if your CV simply illustrates your skill set and what your worth is to my team then you'll get an interview, and if you turn out on the day to be an Aboriginal or woman or whatever it won't affect my decision to employ you one bit - if your skills are the best out of the applicants and you come across as fairly easygoing and relatable to my team, you'll get the job, end of.

Finally, if I see gender studies or sociology on your CV, it goes straight in the bin and you don't even get a phone call, much less an interview. People who study these subjects are almost universally SJWs, and the worst ones are the white males out to virtue-signal their support for political correctness. I don't need toxic gender/race politics destabilising my team and destroying my productivity, thank you very much.

User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Steven Roper

"Year 7? Is that upper-sixth, or some reference to the 'new money' classifications?"

It's been the standard system in Australia since before I was in school back in the 70s, and still is. Here it's R(Reception) and Years 1 - 7 are primary school, 8 - 13 (used to be 12 or "matriculation" in my day) are high school. In my day the primary school years were called "Grades" as in "Grade 1", "Grade 2" etc, whereas high school it was "Year 8" or "1st Year", "Year 9" or "2nd Year", and so on. I think this last distinction has been discontinued these days, however, so it's just "Year X" now.

Larger R-13 schools often subdivide into Junior, Middle and Senior schools, where R-5 is Junior, 6-9 is Middle, and 10-13 is Senior.

Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Steven Roper

Re: Oh Gawd

"El Reg linking to itself 18 years ago. I feel old."

They also keep every comment you ever posted, even rejected ones (although only you and presumably the Reg admins can read those.) It can be quite an eye-opener to click a page near the end of the list and read stuff you posted a decade ago and had long since forgotten. Some of it will bring back fond memories of the good old days.

Just also be prepared that at some point you're going to facepalm and groan, "What the hell was I on when I posted that!?!"

Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Steven Roper

Re: No it isn't

"A man persistently staring in a way that makes a woman (or a man or a child) feel unsafe and targeted"

And how is that decided exactly? What constitutes "persistently staring?" 2 seconds? 5? 10? Looking once? Twice? Ten times? Looking anywhere between chin and feet? Is there a difference between how long, and where, an attractive young guy is allowed to look and a creepy old guy is allowed to look?

When you define crimes based on people's feelings and emotional responses instead of concrete specific acts you create a situation in which anyone could be found to have broken the law simply because someone else didn't like the look of them. That is not, by any stretch, a free society.

Steven Roper

"when you make eye contact with someone it really freaks them out "

Be careful doing that if you're male and the "someone" is female. It's now a hate crime in some UK jurisdictions.

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