* Posts by Oh Homer

931 posts • joined 18 Oct 2013

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America's broadband speed map is back! And it doesn't totally suck!

Oh Homer
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Ajit is an eejit

And stinks of corruption.

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Blockchain nears peak hype: UK politicos to probe crypto-coin

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "enables money laundering other than by the rich and elite"

I'm fairly certain they're using it too.

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Oh Homer
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Re: "[stock exchange is] largest casino on the planet"

Also true, and should also be more heavily regulated, or preferably just bulldozed.

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Oh Homer
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Headmaster

"assess the risks"

Surely it doesn't take a committee to conclude that the biggest risk with cryptocurrencies is the same as any other form of gambling: losing all your money.

They should table this next to crowdfunding under the heading of "Alt Gambling", and concentrate their efforts on simply raising public awareness of the fact that it is actually gambling.

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Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

Oh Homer
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Windows

Re: "Most shops accept Amex these days"

Not around here. Most places I've encountered shun Amex, due to its extortionate charges. In fact I've seen far more places that take both Apple and Android Pay than Amex.

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The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Oh Homer
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Meh

I can't help feeling...

This is just a nearly good keyboard screwed onto an Android phone.

It's the "nearly" part that really bothers me. Well, that and the £600 price tag.

The fact that the custom software is still in beta is annoying too, but I can overlook that for the sake of good hardware, especially as software can be easily updated.

Sadly the hardware cannot, short of shelling out another £600 for Gemini 2.0.

If they ever release just the keyboard, updated to be closer to the Series 5, and at a reasonable price, I'd buy it.

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Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Oh Homer
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Boffin

Re: "16Gb is my preferred"

I think it depends on the use case, but most of the opinions I've read/heard on the subject (from actual engineers as opposed to journos running advertorials) suggest that 16GB is largely redundant for typical desktop use (i.e. games and browsing).

Actual full-time professional productivity use (not just "I run Photoshop sometimes") might justify 16GB, and of course anything server related, even if not run on a proper server, such as database and virtualisation.

Not that I'd say no if someone gifted me 16GB of DDR4, but at the current obscene prices I'm afraid I have no compelling reason to go beyond 8GB.

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Brexit to better bumpkin broadband, 4G coverage for farmers – Gove

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

"one-fifth of our annual net contribution to the EU"

Coincidentally, that's about the same as BT's annual profits.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: Counterfeit packaging

Well the packaging is only counterfeit if the content turns out to not actually be Windows but something else, for example a Linux distro with a Windows themed WM. However the content in this case absolutely is Microsoft Windows, distributed in some manner that Microsoft claims infringes their copyright, but nonetheless a very real copy of Windows.

The "counterfeit" claim is utter bullshit, and just sounds like hyperbole slapped on to stigmatise the defendant, like using the word "piracy" (a violent physical assault and robbery) to describe the very peaceful "crime" of, what is essentially, intellectual trespass.

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Oh Homer
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Mushroom

"counterfeit goods"?

What bullshit law is this?

Copyright infringement, yes, but "counterfeit goods"?

Copying software is not like copying a pair of Jeans and fraudulently claiming they're Levi's. The copy is the genuine product, otherwise it wouldn't be copyright infringement. It doesn't magically become something other than Microsoft Windows just because it's distributed without authorisation.

"IP" lunacy.

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Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "The only enemies..."

Apparently you're unaware that Russia also has the "temerity to sell things to Americans". $27.0 billion worth, to be precise, with only $11.2 billion going in the other direction, although admitedly this pales in comparison with China.

But unlike Mueller, Trump's antipathy isn't based on xenophobia, it's about power and greed - the same mentality that for decades defined his business ethics, or rather the total lack of them.

This is why he also hates "shithole countries" like Haiti, because they are of little economic value to a powermonger like Trump.

With gangsters like Trump, it's a turf war, and Nazism is just a convenient tool with which to pillage the loot. He's only interested in Making America Great Again® to the detriment of everyone else, pretty much like any other cut-throat capitalist. Hence why we're all "the enemy", because we are not Donald J. Trump, narcissist extraordinaire.

The idea of Trump colluding with anyone, in any mutually beneficial way, is utterly laughable, and anyone with any sense would know better than to even try. Say what you like about Putin, but even the most McCarthyist American "patriot" would be hard pressed to call him a fool.

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Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Many layers of subterfuge

So we're expected to believe that Putin sought to empower the insular, xenophobic, ultra-nationalist demographic of the American public (the rest of whom are only slightly less ultra-nationalist), and install a leader who views anything not American as "the enemy"?

And how does this benefit a foreign leader and his national interests, exactly?

Sorry Mueller, but I think you may simply be engaging in propaganda yourself. It's McCarthyism 2.0.

I'm more inclined to believe that the wave of Trumpism (and in the UK, Brexitism) is actually explained by Hanlon's Razor. We, on both sides of the Atlantic, have become a real-life Idiocracy.

As for pointing an accusatory finger at Russia, whether true or not, our xenophobic friend needs to look up the meaning of the word "hypocrisy".

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Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

Oh Homer
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Re: "Have you looked at the 10 above?"

Yes, they're in good company - El Salvador, Columbia and friends.

Incredibly, even Mexico has less gun violence than America.

The idea that America has the right to police the rest of the world, is utterly comical.

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Oh Homer
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Facepalm

Erm, what about...

Australia and Japan, for example, do they live in a magic protective bubble that shields them from the supposedly desensitising effects of violent video games?

No?

Oh well, I guess that selling guns like candy really does pile up the body count, after all.

Who'da thunkit?

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UK mobile customers face inflation-busting price hike

Oh Homer
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Love Three's response...

Customers complain, journo asks for comment, spin doctor responds with a freakin' advert.

In Blightly, ripping people off is not just a way of life, it's an art form.

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Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts

Oh Homer
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Re: only 39 per cent of Americans could raise $1,000 to cover an emergency bill

Don't worry though, they're not poor, they're just temporarily embarrassed millionaires, living the American Dream®.

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Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Oh Homer
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Joke

Full penetration

Seems like a pipe dream.

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Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Oh Homer
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Linux

Re: "Tinkering with WINE"

A while back I developed a terminal case of "can't be arsed" and just left a prebuilt PC running Windows, instead of my usual wipe and install Gentoo.

Here's what I've found: pretty much every app I use on this Windows box is primarily a Linux app ported to Windows, or in some cases an app that was multiplatform from the start.

This wasn't a conscientious decision to reject proprietary software - after all, there wouldn't be much point in that if the OS itself is proprietary, it's just that the only software that actually gets things done the way I need it to is, coincidentally, open source.

Or perhaps not so coincidentally, given that open source is user driven, and therefore naturally reflects the actual needs of the users, as opposed to being developed in isolation, behind closed doors, purely to serve corporate profits, with results that are often in direct contradiction to the users' needs, or at best totally oblivious to those needs.

As for WINE, frankly I've never really seen the point, except as a purely academic exercise. Windows is "free" in the sense that it comes preinstalled on every PC ever built, so why not just dual boot into a real copy of Windows, if you desperately need to run some supposedly irreplaceable Windows app?

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Apple tells GitHub to fork off: iGiant steps outside DMCA law in quest to halt iBoot leaks

Oh Homer
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Trollface

And fruity playthings didst voyage skywards beyond the realm of the perambulator

Oh dear, dear Apple.

Eventually you'll have to make a formal request to disable the entire Interwebs. If that doesn't work, maybe you could demand that humanity itself be disabled.

I fork, therefore I am, and now I hath seen the holy code! Oh lordy, my brain must be purged!

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Facebook gets Weed-whacked: Unilever exec may axe ads over social network's toxic posts

Oh Homer
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Big Brother

Re: "We are a million miles from the internet we envisioned,"

Not really. The marketeers envisioned an internet riddled with spam, and the internet is indeed riddled with spam.

The problem, only from the spammers' perspective mind you, is that nobody actually likes spam, and most of us would rather gouge out our eyeballs with a dentist's drill than endure surfing a tsunami of spam, even for just five minutes. Fortunately we don't have to go that far, as we have far less painful solutions.

So I guess what the marketeers really mean is "we are a million miles from the plot of A Clockwork Orange, in which a captive audience of brainwashed consumers, restrained and lid-locked, is force-fed a steady diet of spam against its will, then slavishly hands over all of its money".

Yes, thankfully.

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Uber and its 245 million reasons to settle with Google's Waymo

Oh Homer
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Re: "only devalues the stuff they've previously issued"

Sounds pretty much like the dictionary definition of "Ponzi scheme".

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Oh Homer
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Headmaster

"working with [xxx] to make sure that each company develops its own technology"

What strange oxymoronic bullshit is this? :)

So in other words, they're cooperating to ensure that they never cooperate.

Not that I object to the outcome, I just wish that if they're going to use the language of diplomacy that they'd hire a spokesman who actually understands English.

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Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

Oh Homer
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Trollface

A name befitting its character

KOB: King of Bloatware.

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "an assumption ... we must accept"

That's contrary to the most fundamental principle of science, which asserts that all assumptions must not only be challenged, but that it's a matter of due diligence to do so.

Dogma is for religion, not science.

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Oh Homer
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Alien

There is no truth

There is only that which has already been proved false. Everything else is merely conjecture, waiting to be proved false.

See Karl Popper's theory of critical rationalism.

As for whether private entities should be, in essence, forcibly deputised by the government and conscripted into policing their customers, whether it be censorship or other punitive measures, obviously the answer has to be no, for the simple reason that it's a violation of democratic due process.

That doesn't mean that miscreants should be allowed to run amok, it just means that policing should be done by the actual police, not vigilantes.

The culmination of these principles means that I should be allowed to publicly state, for example, that I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, without fear of legal reprisal, but if I claim that something provably false is true, and this claim results in demonstrable harm, then I should reasonably expect to be challenged and, if successful, punished. By the police and courts, not vigilantes.

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EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

Oh Homer
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Re: "Given that you chose"

False assumption. I didn't choose to live in the middle of nowhere, I was forced here by circumstances, and now I'm stuck here by poverty.

I never cease to be amazed by this prevailing culture of blaming the victim, where people make the irrational assumption that the victim would choose poverty and depravation, like it's some kind of lifestyle preference. I can't decide if it's stupidity or malice, or possibly a bit of both.

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Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

The last 4%

That's probably me. In fact I'm probably in the last 0.000001%, given that my nearest neighbour is miles away.

I also have zero bars on my mobile. It's a total dead zone, for miles around. So any solution that requires a cellular network is about as useless as waiting for BT to run miles of cable to my "exchange only" property in the middle of nowhere.

I guess I just have to accept the fact that I'm never going to have high speed broadband, unless I win the lottery so I can move back to civilisation. Then again, if I won the lottery, I could just pay BT however many thousands of pounds it is they want to lay cable to my house.

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Apple's top-secret iBoot firmware source code spills onto GitHub for some insane reason

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "the right to prevent your access to the store"

Bollocks.

If you buy a broom from the hardware store, then replace the head with a better one, would you expect to be banned from the store as a result? Do you believe any such ban would be lawful and upheld by the courts?

No, what actually needs to be banned is using the pretext of "IP" to deny customers full access to their own legally purchased property. It's just another monopolisation device, and in every other context outside of "IP" la-la land, monopolisation is a criminal offence.

Section 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

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Oh Homer
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Pint

Re: "It's not that hard to find."

"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."

Ironically the same technology that allows me to anonymously download content from GitHub, whilst pretending to live in Ghana, also prevents me from being Rickrolled.

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A tiny Ohio village turned itself into a $3m speed-cam trap. Now it has to pay back the fines

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

"raise property taxes slightly"

With a population of only 2200, which presumably translates into about half to one quarter that many properties, they'd have to raise property taxes quite a bit more than "slightly" to get the $3 million they've just lost.

Not that I have any sympathy for these neoliberal con-artists.

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Apple: iPhone sales are down (but they've never been more lucrative)

Oh Homer
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Holmes

Re: Selling fewer phones, making more profit.

Well it doesn't take an Apple Genius® to figure out that Apple must therefore be gouging its cult members customers harder than ever.

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Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Oh Homer
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Windows

Or just...

Put the yorkie itself into a sarnie, and make a yorkie pizza butty.

Don't forget to fry one side of each doorstop in lard first, reet propa like.

Also, there can be only one topping for a yorkie pizza ... black pudding, of course!

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Oh dear, Capita: MPs put future UK.gov outsourcing in the spotlight

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

"a distinction between private companies and public bodies"

Yes, private companies are largely unaccountable to the taxpayers who fund their obscenely expensive government contracts, and indeed whatever little accountability there is apparently must be kept secret, because ... "commercial confidentiality", whatever that means.

Which is exactly why such government contracts shouldn't exist in the first place.

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Openreach ups investment plans: Will shoot out full fibre to 3 million premises

Oh Homer
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Unhappy

I used to get excited...

Reading headlines like these.

The novelty wore off once I realised that the targets set by the original Duke Nukem Forever development team were probably more realistic.

Take my house, for example. No please, take it! To describe it as a burned out bothie hurriedly patched with wadding would be generous. And the location ... I saw a car once. I think it was red.

Openreach rolling out fibre to my mud hut, in the middle of that abyss which couriers only slightly obtusely refer to as "the Highlands", would be like the Egyptian Pharaohs rolling out pyramids to the middle of the Amazon jungle via the South Pole, but with less manpower and far less motivation.

There's a website, run but the Scottish government, hilariously called "Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband", which supposedly tells you when you can expect to be "super fasted" by Openreach, more or less.

Well, actually, a lot less. Less and less each day, in fact. The initial estimate for my tin shack in the wilderness was last June. When last June came and went it was revised to last December. Openreach's Christmas present to me was the news that they'd moved the goalposts yet again, to next June.

I think I see a pattern. No, actually it's just a rage-induced phosphene. I'm off to the pub to get "super fasted" on cheep booze and free Wi-Fi. Fire up the satphone and call me a helicopter!

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Crowdfunding small print binned as Retro Computers Ltd loses court refund action

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: On the other hand

Well, despite my earlier outrage, I'm afraid I must agree, to an extent. Indiegogo has more in common with Ladbrokes than eBay. It's venture funding, not retail.

The problem is the crowdfunders' false expectations, compounded by unclear terms and legalese, and the typical crowdfunder's lack of experience with the process.

In all seriousness, I think crowdfunding sites ought to be presented and regulated more like gambling operations, and the fact that you are essentially placing a bet that may not pay off should be emblazoned in flashing neon lights across the front page. Once it's clear that the only legal obligation the jockey you're backing has is to attempt to win, without any actual guarantee that the horse will even cross the finish line, then cases like these would probably never even come to court in the first place.

However, in this case it seems the jockey never even mounted his horse, or even had a horse to begin with, he just took the money and ran, so I think it's only right that his backers should be refunded, as the race you were betting on never actually took place.

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Oh Homer
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Mushroom

"Remains trading"?

Trading what, hot air?

Personally I think any company that fails to deliver any goods whatsoever, after such a long delay and after taking advance payment for those goods, should be forcibly liquidated by the courts, and all remaining assets seized and used to compensate the creditors.

Is that unreasonable?

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Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server

Oh Homer
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Linux

A server OS without any actual services

Is a bit like Coke Zero.

As in zero point.

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Oh Homer
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Re: What raises my eyebrow is when...

Of more concern is 5000 reviews where all but one of them are five star and look like they were written by the same person, typically in pidgin English.

I tend not to buy those.

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Oh Homer
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Re: "Collapse of Complex Societies"

As far as I can tell, the increasingly poor quality of goods and services seems to be directly proportional to the exponentially increasing economic inequality in society. More precisely, money that should be spent on better craftsmanship (and, in passing, better wages) is actually lining the pockets of billionaires instead, at a rapidly increasing rate.

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Oh Homer
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Re: "the wonderful one-hoss shay"

I have a queue of millennials here asking for an Amazon link to this product, and whether it accepts a standard USB charger.

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Oh Homer
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Windows

Re: "cheap footwear"

The only shoes I can wear for extended periods, without experiencing excruciating pain, is memory foam loafers.

The first example of such a shoe that I ever tried was "Skechers Go Walk Pro 3" at around £60. They lasted about 3 months of constant use as indoor workwear, before falling apart.

Meanwhile, a functionally identical pair of shoes from shoezone cost just £10, and lasted exactly the same length of time.

There are two important points to note here:

First, the "more expensive shoe that lasts longer", in this instance, simply doesn't exist. It's not that people are making bad choices, or even that they can't afford good choices, it's simply that better choices are not available, because today's market comprises goods that are universally shit, regardless of price.

Second, given the universal shittiness of all things in today's disposable culture, spending more to get better quality actually doesn't make any sense, because "better quality" now amounts to nothing more than marketing drivel, devoid of any real substance.

In the case of the above example, both the £60 branded and £10 unbranded shoes were probably made by the same children, in the same Indian sweatshop, for the same total production cost of less than $1. The price differential is purely aesthetic, just a marketing ploy, or in free market economic terms "as much as the market will bear", and has no correlation to the actual production cost or quality whatsoever.

The same is true of pretty much everything else in the market, until you get into the upper echelons of esoteric goods - Ferraris and so forth - a market that services a tiny fraction of 1% of the world's population.

That is the "gift" that first industrialism, then subsequently capitalism, has given to the world.

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Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

False economy

Everything is shit for a reason. Unfortunately that reason is completely bogus.

It started with the Industrial Revolution, the pretext for which was, in essence, better living through mass production, both in terms of better employment opportunities and more diverse, cheaper yet better goods. In reality, the motive was warfare - the need to mass produce arms faster than the "competition".

This was the birth of the War Economy, and subsequently Consumerism. It also marked the end of self-sufficiency, or what is retrospectively defined as the "Cottage Industry", and with it the art of craftsmanship.

The end result is goods and services that are certainly "cheap" in quality, but not in price; diversity that is not really as diverse as we like to pretend, due to both corporate monopolisation and product normalisation; and jobs that are increasingly minimum wage, zero-hour contracts that are barely enough to survive on.

In modern parlance, it's a race to the bottom, and sadly that race is now over.

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GitHub shrugs off drone maker DJI's crypto key DMCA takedown effort

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

"What are the lessons here?"

Only one lesson required: ultimately anyone can build their own drone and write their own control software, so attempting to "regulate" it, with copyrights or otherwise, is about as pointless as attempting to regulate the manifestation of psychotropic mushrooms on lawns.

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User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Oh Homer
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Trollface

Grannies will be grannies

Disclaimer: I have a background in elderly care.

I suspect that the "mouse pedal" incident was mostly a wind-up. Roving gangs of grannies can smell fear, and will exploit it for their own amusement. That's not to say they actually had a clue what they were doing with the computers, but I'm sure they were hamming it up more than a little.

Having said that, I still remember the incident where I tried to talk my own mother, over the phone, through the process of booting up my PC and getting some information I needed off it. Long story short, after much hair-pulling it turned out that she was waving the mouse in the air, which accounted for why the pointer wasn't actually moving. Ultimately I was more annoyed that it took me so long to figure that out.

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Death notice: Moore’s Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018

Oh Homer
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Holmes

"make messy code performant"

Here's a radical idea...

Don't make messy code.

To all those who for years sneered at low-level code optimisation over that myth called "portability", for your delectation may I present to you a big old plate of Just Deserts.

Bon Appetit.

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Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

Oh Homer
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Actually this was all planned millennia ago

Earth has been secretly plotting to escape from Sol for years, before it blows up and takes us all with it. It's already put down a deposit for its new home in the Pavo constellation. All that's left to do is book the removal lorry and call a taxi.

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NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

Oh Homer
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Alien

Wait...

A government department is trademarked?

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YouTube turns off cash tap for automatic video nasties

Oh Homer
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Facepalm

"Disturbing" content?

If all it takes to "disturb" these spineless drama queens is a few Peppa the Pig parodies then I weep for the millennial generation.

I grew up watching stuff like Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Hammer House of Horror, The Wicker Man and Eraserhead, to name a few. I spent more than a few Saturday evenings hiding from Daleks behind the settee. Even stuff like The Tomorrow People was fairly dark and disturbing, and that's just the opening credits.

I suppose it's symptomatic of a milksop generation that has imaginary "allergies" to everything, and which needs "safe spaces" to hide from that vicious beast called reality. I dread to think how they'd cope if they had to do something actually traumatic, like fight in a war or rescue someone from a burning building.

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PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Easy way to collect the fines

Arrest the company directors and keep them in custody until they pay the fine. If they refuse or hold out for more than a month, send them to prison for one month for every day the payment is overdue. If they still refuse then send them down for life, freeze their business and personal accounts, seize all available assets and auction them off. Anything tucked away in tax havens should be pursued using reciprocal agreements with the host country (or conversely the threat of trade embargoes). Assets held in trust or signed away to a spouse should also be fair game, as this is another well recognised avoidance gambit.

Like most government bodies that claim to be tough on corporate violators, they need to grow a pair and learn the true meaning of the word "tough".

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Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

Oh Homer
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Devil

Re: "RPN is just evil"

I love RPN because suddenly I'm the only person in the room who can use the calculator.

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