Modern banking is so many levels of abstraction removed from any physical value store, it's even more virtual than bitcoin.
1524 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007
Radio 4 already did a radio play about it.
It is a very depressing play. The main theme seems to be the utter lack of hope. There is no prospect of escape, or a legal out-manouvering. The only times any other characters speak are to state that they are under orders not to converse with the prisoner. Towards the end he manages to give a short monologue to the officer in charge explaining his actions, and for a moment you think he might have won some leniency - but the officer is one of those uber-patriot types, and gets so offended that the moral character of his country has been insulted that he declares Manning a suicide risk and orders that his glasses and clothing be confiscated for his own protection.
In some ways this is actually one of their fairer trials, as there is so much publicity around it. The prosecution hasn't had to resort to some standard-issue dirty tricks often used on lesser criminals. There are a few common ones I know of:
- The overworked public defender: He has half an hour to devote to your case, and he knows that his job depends upon you agreeing to the plea bargin - if he actually gets too many people off, he'll be fired on a pretext for embarassing the department and someone of more flexible morals will take his place.
- Freezing of assets so the defendant can't afford a lawyer. Sure, they may have the money to buy one - but with all their bank accounts frozen, there is no way to pay, and lawyers generally don't work for credit.
- Seizing of all assets that could possibly be related to a crime. Usually applies to either electronic devices of vehicles. Added bonus: Can sell at police auction. That's one reason police in the US love drug prosecutions: If the convicted used a car to drive to a dealing location, then the car has been used in commission of a crime. That means police auction, and money for the department.
The only dirty trick they are using from the civilian world is the pileing-of-the-charges, trying to intimidate the accused with the possibility of severe punishment. In the civilian world it's used to apply pressure for the accused to plead guilty - that's the approach used on Swartz, which instead drove him to suicide. In this case it's being used to make an example - to show any other potential leakers that the government is willing and able to throw the book at them, and they'll be lucky to ever see daylight again.
There's a fair bit of evidence-hiding going on as well - there are claims made by thr prosecution that the leaks have lead to the deaths of some US agents, but as this is all strictly classified stuff they aren't able to say who or how. The judge just has to take their word that the leaks resulted in friendly deaths - and this is a military trial, so the word of the intelligence services is beyond contest.
There is something fiddley to be aware of.
If cardlanes == slotlanes, they fit together easily.
If cardlanes < slotlanes, the card fits in and works, though the slot will have a few lanes wasted.
if cardlanes > slotlands, then *electronically* they work - though the card won't run at full speed. Mechanically, it won't actually fit into the slot. Not until you do some delicate work with a dremel. Once the appropriate (literal) hacking has been done, then you can use it.
They have something of a history of whipping up hysteria. I imagine this happened once or maybe twice, but the IWF is trying to make it seem like some sort of epidemic of child abuse images.
Anonymous Coward: There was a study a while ago that found the most dangerous sites on the internet, malware-wise, were church websites. Even more than porn or piracy. Simply because few churches pay a professional administrator, they just have a volunteer muddle their way through.
Mars's pressure is under a kilopascal. Even breathing pure oxygen, you wouldn't get enough partial pressure to stay alive, much less do any science. So a pressure suit is essential.
It doesn't have to be as thick and durable as a spacesuit though. Less radiation, for a start. One idea is a stretchy-suit, using elastic to remain form-fitting while keeping an internal pressure just high enough to be workable on pure oxygen. That approach would give much more flexibility than the clunky, stiff spacesuit design.
Barbie isn't wearing that though, as her suit is noticeably loose and doesn't seal at hands and feet. The only way barbie might be able to function on that suit would be if some major oxygen-consuming organ was removed to lessen the load...
Humans do not explode in space. NASA tested it with animal models, and there's been one case of accidental depressurisation of a human. He survived. The loss of pressure results in very rapid unconsciousness, but no pop.
True explosive decompression has occured, but not in space. One-to-zero atmosphere just isn't enough. The only incident in which that has happened an accident with a pressurised divers' chamber on the Byford Dolphin drilling rig. That was a drop from nine atmospheres to one.
It was messy.
One diver's lungs exploded with so much force, the *blew his spine out of his body*. Chunks of ex-human were found ten meters away - upwards. That's one impressive way to die.
Left hand: We need to do something to aid political expression in certain repressive regimes, and prevent those governments snooping on dissidents, as social change in those countries is essential for continued peaceful coexistence.
Right hand: We need to set up improved monitoring and tracing systems systems for the internet - it'll be impossible to enforce the law effectively online if anyone can disappear into electronic mist at will, not to mention the potential for money laundering.
I don't think they were communicating at the time.
The second will be cheaper, because it's a CG-heavy movie. A great deal of the data is reuseable - character models, rigging, etc. Remember these aren't your little FPS game models we are dealing with - they use muscle modeling to make sure they move realistically, crazy-high resolution, and surface models that include the effects of pores and sub-surface anatomy. Each one represents weeks of work.
Here's my idea:
That Unobtainium is good stuff. You think Earth is just going to leave alone? No, they are sending back a new ship, and this time going prepared. Not only does it have a real military force, but after the events of the first movie they know not to discount that 'spiritual' rubbish - there is proof that the planet has an interconnected neural network spanning species, and human technology is rather good at interfacing to neural networks now. After all, they can sync brains between a human and an avatar body.
Sully has been living the life of a native for the last ten years, and now fits in as one of their own - his off-world origins almost forgotten. He is happy in this life, but for one flaw: Children. His body is still half-human, and infertile, a condition that adversely affects his relationship with whats-her-name from the first movie - family lines are very important to na'vi, and is inability to sire a future priestess is an insult to the community.
One day Sully jacks into a tree, an is passed a vision by that transcended scientist woman, taken from the memories of a Na'vi from the area: The sky is falling. Great birds, trailing fire, dropped from the clouds. To the distant tribe this is a worrying and incomprehensable event - but Sully recognises the description of a spacecraft in reentry and landing. He knows that the tribe there knows almost nothing of humans - he is the sole Na'vi expert on them. So he and whats-her-name travel to this costal region to learn what is going on, and to defend Pandora if they must.
On arrival they find that the humans have been more sensible this time. Aided by mapping data from the previous operation they have set up in a less tropical region, where the local wildlife is a little less dangerous. Further, they are mining offshore - a costal base serves as a dock, while giant dredgers scoop unobtainium from a seabed deposit. This is promissing: They won't need to expel anyone from their land. What's-her-name expresses hope that maybe coexistence is possible - but Sully is suspicious, and concerned that the deposit will eventually be depleted. Further, there are already signs of water pollution from the toxic refining process. Sully tells whats-her-name the basic base layout.
Further strange activity is noticed too. The animal life is acting strangely. The locals report that the trees are giving them strange visions. Sully investigates this by jacking in himself, and sees strangely familiar things: Human writing, pictures and symbols. Things that have no place on Pandora. Still spying on the Humans, Sully, What's-her-name and one of the locals are caught and taken into the human base. Sully plays dumb, pretending to be a technologically ignorant native so he can try to observe inside - he sees scientific equipment through the windows, computer banks, screens displaying MRI data and networks and a bank of avatar interface tanks on his way to a holding cell before someone notices his extra fingers. This confuses the humans - they see an avatar body, recognise Sully, but say they have none themselves and ask where his tank is. Sully confesses that he no longer needs his human body, but this sounds impossible - he is dismissed as crazy.
Sully escapes - not using his knowledge, for Avatar isn't that type of franchise, but because the three of them are able to cooperate to break out. As they flee, Sully witnesses something even stranger: A dredger dumps its load into a floating barge, before a whale-analog swims up to the surface and starts pushing it towards the human base. This triggers a crisis of faith for the Na'vi: If the animals are aiding humans, that means Enwya is on their side. How could the Na'vi be abandoned by their goddess?
Whats-her-name cannot accept this, and nor can Sully: He has seen what humans do to a world. In a search for answers he attempts to make contact again with dead scientist - but this time when he jacks in, he is bombarded with noise and scattered imagery. Pictures of earth, chemstry, space travel, and through it all the sense of others - sensing him, reacting, chasing him down. Dead Scientist struggles through this chaos, but can only guide him to a key image stronger than the rest: A map.
Sully, whats-her-name and a few escorts are guided to the ocean and swim down where the map says. There they find roots - a tree of souls, made of coral and concealed below the water. The locals say they knew of this place, but it is a most holy site and approached only on the rarest occasions. The humans have found it already: Technology covers the natural formation, with cables running undersea towards the human base. Now he understands.
Humans learned to control an avatar body. Now they no longer need one. They can be the animals. They can be the planet itsself. This time Enwya isn't going to come to their aid - she is too overwhelmed by the humans now hooked up.
Before the team can consider disconnecting the device, an ambush of very hostile wildlife arrives to claw and catch them. The local human defenders. The team escapes, barely - but as they look back they see the place heavily guarded by pandoran crabs.
Now things escalate. The local tribe are first disbelieving, then outraged at this sacrilidge. A war is declared - but Sully knows they cannot win this time. They defeated a mining operation before, but barely, and only with aid they won't have a second time. Now they are up against a full military force. Worse - flying drones are broadcasting a message: Hand over the human and avatar, or face destruction. No more nice hippy humans now: They are in a state of war.
Whats-her-name asks to trust in Enywa. Sully realises this could work - and Dead Scientist tells them how. Enywa is overwhelmed with alien thoughts - mining plans, ore transport routes, the idle background of the operators as they think of home. But that could go both ways. As war is launched (The locals riding into battle on giant mantas), a daring operation is carried out to capture one of the crabs and link Sully to it before the operator can disconnect. Contact established, Sully is able to use their own tech against them - disrupting the control system long enough for a whale to bite through the undersea cables. Even then the battle goes badly, with human weaponry slicing the incoming Na'vi before they can get close - but whats-her-name sees an opening. Flying overhead on her lizardbirdthing she dive-bombs, making an abrupt landing inside the base in the area Sully earlier told her was the environmental room. She doesn't know tech, but she can break things - pulling pipes, smashing controls, stabbing her spear through panels and tearing tanks apart. With the base now flooded with Pandoran air, the humans have no option but to set the auto-destruct and run to their shuttles.
Say is saved, humans defeated, Sully and whats-her-name once again hailed as heroes. Oh, yeah - they find an orphaned na'vi to raise too. Everyone is happy.
Cameron: If you use that, I'll settle for even a tiny 0.1% royalty - that's still a lot of money to me. And I want that gross, not net - I'm not stupid.
I don't understand why any studio would make even the first film. Did they even read the rest of the trilogy? If you tried to film and release those in the US, even toned down, you'd have a mob with torches and pitchforks turn up at the studio.
They were able to almost entirely remove the religious parts from the first story. It left a few problems, like villains that lacked any apparent motivation for their evil deeds, but overall didn't make the plot impossible to follow. That might be possible for most of book two. But by three? The religious aspect *is* the plot. Take it out, and you've nothing left.
Or conclude that Apple is an important US company, Samsung is an important South Korean company, and that the best interests of the country he is supposed to be leading would be best advanced by tilting the scales of justice a little.
As president, his first loyalty is *supposed* to be to the US. Intervening would just be doing his job. Sure, it could be seen as an underhanded subversion of the legal process... but that's basically how the legal process works anyway.
Even ethernet has too much latency for some applications. If you want low-latency, you use infiniband. Costs a fortune though. It's used for cluster interconnects, and I read that some high-speed trading operations are asking for infiniband connections now because 10gig ethernet just has too much latency for them.
The oath doesn't consider what happens when a soldier concludes (justifiably or otherwise) that the US government is not an enemy of the constitution. That's what happened here.
I'm predicting he won't get a 'life' sentence, but will get a fixed-term sentence considerably longer than any human can reasonably expect to live. Probably something like twenty charges, ten years a charge, served consecutively. And he'll be classified a security risk, so he'll spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement. There will be a brief period of outrage, but as time goes on the public and the media will eventually forget about him.
Bitcoin is very hard to regulate. That's the whole point - the currency was designed by libertarian ideologists who dislike all regulation. It runs on maths.
You could catch a few people using bitcoins too openly. But that's all. You can't search for them at the border, there are no companies to subject to regulations.
But there are ways to dodge this too. A CEO might be paid only a token salary, but also enjoy a few extra benefits - a company home (small mansion), a company car (lamborgini), a company jet for those vital business conferences with other managers in Hawaii, company health insurance plan, etc. Plenty of ways to enjoy the wealth without actually legally owning it.
It's the same trick used by many televangalists in the US - they have as much of their property as possible owned by their church (ie, tax-exempt organisation) and just rent their mansion for a $1/yr peppercorn.
1. Fly onto roof.
2. Crawl into place behind chimney/statue/air-con out of sight.
3. Poke camera around concealment.
Flying takes a lot of power. A drone capable of landing and moving to a hiding place nearby could operate for days on battery power, even weeks with a few solar panels and a power-savings mode. Just the thing for a stake-out, monitoring the comings and goings of people at a building. Someone can always collect it for reuse later on.
First, because Apple. It's a status symbol, to a large extent. If you've gotten yourself one of the most expensive phones on the market, you want to flaunt it - not buy a cheap-looking charger.
Secondly, USB charging isn't quite that simple. It is on the iPhone - that's a basic USB power thing. Give it five volts and it'll be happy to draw the 500ma USB permits. The iPad, however, demands a bit more power than that - which means it can't just run off of any charger or USB port, it has to be a device that supports both the high-current mode and the negotiation to tell the iPad it is safe to draw that much. This is why the iPad won't charge normally from the USB ports of most non-Apple devices* or USB power adapters not specifically designed for such devices.
The situation isn't any different on Android tablets. It's a basic law of USB: If you draw more than 500mA without checking the device is ready, you'll either crash the USB controller or trip the polyfuse.
*I understand it will charge but only when in sleep state - there isn't enough power available to run the pad and charge the batteries at once.
I can envision some governments banning the sale of pipes of internal diameter suitable for holding a bullet without too much leakage.
I can also envision gun-printers producing plastic pipes of just the right external diameter to fit inside, and just the right internal for a bullet. Then the strong metal outside prevents explosion. That should work, so long as you don't fire too quickly and melt the plastic part of the barrel.
To be any good, encryption needs to run at the client end. What we really need to see is integration into something like Thunderbird.
Not that it matters. People don't actually email that much any more: The masses just communicate through facebook messages.
That would be Facing Worlds, where you could snipe straight into the enemy spawn area.
spawn-snipe. spawn-snipe. Spawn-snipe.
I wrote a UT2k4 mutator that replaces the sniper rifle with the 'petrifier rifle' - those it hits don't just die, but their corpse is frozen as a statue in mid-death. Makes some nice statue gardens around spawn. It's gameplay purpose is to provide a visual indicator of areas under sniper fire.
"Are you sure about that?? Have you tried moving around a few hundred gigs of data over USB2 any time recently??"
How often does the average person do that? Maybe a couple of times a year to back up the family videos*. The only people who routinly shift such large amounts are pirates and professionals in a few data-heavy fields.
*Hah. The average person doesn't make shif backups anyway.
The PC market matured. There's no more massive expansion, because everyone who needs or wants a PC now has one. There's no more upgrading, because the technology reached the point of 'good enough' around the Core 2 Duo - ancient chip now, but still quite capable not just of office work but playing games too. There will always be some sales for replacements and general economic/population growth, but the big boom is over.
Phones and tablets are advancing fast enough to keep the upgrade demand high - the average life of a phone before replacement is still only a couple of years.
Radio doesn't work very well in fire. Fire is, surprisingly, actually a conductor of electricity. Test it if you want - get a flame and poke multimeter probes into it, measure resistance. Blue flame works better.
You can get voice through, but high-bitrate digital isn't going to be at all reliable.
The core of the internet generally lets any protocol through - that's how it was designed. It's all those NAT/PAT boxes at the edges that are the problem - the ones used on almost every single company network, and every home with more than one connected device. Yet another problem that IPv6 would solve.
It doesn't help that OEMs themselves killed the netbook - from a business perspective, the race-to-the-cheapest just isn't profitable. The margin on netbooks was terrible. Once the 'ultrabook' class came along with much higher prices and thus the possibility of a higher margin, it doesn't take a business genius to realise that every netbook sold is potentially an ultrabook not sold.
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