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Comment: Re:Oh bullshit! (Score 1, Troll) 297

by GrahamCox (#49123491) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine
Goodness knows why this has been modded up as insightful. There is no analogy between guns and flowers, and FedEx are not concerned with the identity of the recipient, so adding in the false conflation of "gay man" and "gun loving" is your invention. I fully applaud FedEx's stance - the one thing the USA does not need any more of is guns. Besides, Cody Wilson is a grade-A twat.

Comment: Design (Score 2) 138

by GrahamCox (#49053041) Attached to: Apple Hiring Automotive Experts
I see terrible design all the time - washing machines, TVs, PVRs and of course cars. It's getting worse - the rush to put a touch screen in every Holden (GM's Australian arm) and execrable crap like BMWs iDrive and Ford's whateveritscalled convoluted garbage. It needs taking by the scruff of the neck and kicking into touch, and if anyone is in a position to do it, it's Apple. While their approach is not perfect, it's usually somewhat better than most alternatives. When I hit yet another irritating and apparently arbitrary snag point in the software system of my PVR for example, I often wish Apple would make one just to show them where they've gone wrong (it's a Topfield if you're interested). As long as they make their in-car system solid and secure along with sensible usability (hint: for a car that means NOT a touch screen) they'll have a winner on their hands. As of the 2015 model year, the only way is up.

Comment: Or do something to eliminate journeys? (Score 5, Interesting) 481

by GrahamCox (#48985035) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation
Does the report suggest any ways to eliminate journeys? I expect not. That's the problem - they assume that journeys are always necessary, and increasingly so. How about putting in place policies that incentivise people to live near their workplaces, don't have to drive to go to a shopping mall, reduce the need for long-distance business travel, etc. Not only would that improve "traffic", but actually make people's lives easier and better as a bonus. Worth a thought, eh?

Comment: Bill Gates the futurologist? (Score 1) 458

by GrahamCox (#48948553) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft
FTS: "Bill Gates said in an interview that he "couldn't imagine a situation..."

That's all you need to read. Bill Gates has a terrible track record of imagining anything. >640k memory, the Internet, Apple's recovery, etc, etc. Just because he was once a very successful moneymaker despite his inability to predict things should mean you stop asking him to predict things.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 1) 293

by GrahamCox (#48935605) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One
45 years, easily the longest continuous run of any aircraft model anywhere ever

Well, there's the B-52 which has been in service far longer than that. Also made by Boeing, and like the proverbial favourite axe, has had its handle and head replaced several times. So your statement is hyperbole, though the point is taken. B-52s may end up being in service for 100 years - that would be pretty cool actually.

Comment: How hard is it...? (Score 3, Informative) 190

by GrahamCox (#48657041) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM
How hard is it for people to learn this ultra-simple rule. Sorry to be the grammar nazi, but every time I see this it drives my parser up the wall.

all on it's own.


It's completely automated

Correct. "it's" is a contraction of "it is".

a tiny chip holding up it's little metal finger

Aaaarrrgghh!!!! Doesn't make sense: "...holding up it is little metal finger".

And to address the article itself, who even needs cat litter and all that nastiness in a house? Just let your damn cat out! They will never, ever soil in the house given a choice.

Comment: Re:Yes this is Terrible. (Score 2) 191

by GrahamCox (#48612509) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case
It wasn't Apple being totalitarian, it was the music industry in general. All Real had to do to make their stuff work on the iPod was to remove ALL DRM. However, had they done that, they'd have been the ones in the dock at the behest of the RIAA, et. al. Eventually Apple's power and market dominance gave them enough clout to tell the music industry where to stick their DRM. And yes, that sounds "totalitarian", but actually, it was the consumer who benefited.

Seems to me that people just like to use the existence of the meritless case to push and reinforce their own anti-Apple views. Such views may have some validity, but to use this particular case and the history behind it to push them is ridiculous. We consumers enjoy DRM-free music today because of Apple, make no mistake. Do you really think Real (or Amazon, or whoever) would have managed the same thing if Apple hadn't? Nope - we'd still have crappy DRM-encrusted music from the industry or would be using the hit-and-miss GNUTella method.

Remember that any industry-backed music download service had to compete with free (albeit free with strings attached, in the form of terrible rips, mislabelled files and malware). Apple pulled it off, and they deserved to win this.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 2) 161

by GrahamCox (#48592419) Attached to: Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors
If a shitty 3rd party device can't use iTunes, then the consumer may fault Apple for their bad experience

Way back when iTunes was just a reskinned SoundJam, it supported an architecture for supporting arbitrary devices, alongside the visualizer API. The visualizers are still supported and even got some improvements a few years ago, but the device support was dumped very early on, version 3.0 perhaps.

I know this because I wanted to make a plug-in for iTunes that supported one of the early cassette player adapter devices (forget the name, but it was a solid-state music player in a cassette form factor that would work in a standard deck). I got it roughly working just as iTunes got revved and the device API was scotched. It was annoying but as a hobby project not something I was expecting to build a business on. Asking around Apple devs, even then (this was before the iTunes store launched) the consensus was that iTunes was only going to support the iPod from then on, no 3rd party devices, and for precisely the reason stated. The anti-competitive nature wasn't really expressed, and at that time the Mac and the iPod were extremely minority players in the marketplace so it wasn't really seen as anti-competitive. By the time the iPod and the iTunes store started to become huge, everyone had forgotten that iTunes had ever supported a devices plug-in API.

Comment: Chess (Score 3, Insightful) 171

by GrahamCox (#48560443) Attached to: Preferred Type of Game?
I voted "board" because of chess. Chess has a reputation as being the game of choice for nerds, sociopaths and elitists, but the more I get into it, the more I realise it has immense depth, and by analogy teaches a lot about all sorts of useful skills for life - planning, tactics, keeping a cool head when things look tough, thinking out the consequences of your actions, doing things in a logical order and deferring the big rewards and not settling for the short-term gain. It's life distilled into a remarkably elegant model.

Comment: America, you stink. (Score 4, Insightful) 772

by GrahamCox (#48559439) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
As a Brit living in Australia, two of the world's most ardent allies of the USA , I say this: America, you stink. When a friend tells you you stink you'd better wise up and do something about it. Your actions are CAUSING the terrorism that you are seeking so vainly to suppress. The more you oppress, the more people turn against you. I know you have a bit of a thick skull and your thinking processes are limited (as a country, we understand you have trouble walking and chewing gum, but that's OK, intellectual disability we can accept and sympathise with - we are similarly afflicted, truth be told). It's the actions we have a problem with. But now even your friends and allies can see the terrorists' point of view, and have done for some time. Wake up, fix your stupid foreign policies and you know, maybe THAT will sort out terrorism. It's win-win.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 772

by GrahamCox (#48559361) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
You haven't read the report have you? It's brutal alright, with plenty of lasting effects. In any case, it's beside the point. What so-called "civilised" nation sanctions such things, in the 21st century? This is utterly shameful and there's no excuse. America cannot claim the moral high-ground or any respect until it stops acting this way.

Comment: They'll be what they want to be (Score 2) 584

by GrahamCox (#48520385) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
My daughter's 8, and she's quite into science, particularly chemistry. Also reading, particularly Neil Gaiman and inevitably J.K Rowling. She hates the colour pink, and her favourite show on TV is Mythbusters. We didn't do anything to make her "turn out" this way, other than possibly the fact that we discouraged toys that required batteries when she was young, and not forcing stereotyped toys on her, though had she ever shown an interest in Barbie, etc we would not have insisted that she shouldn't have them.

My worry (or one of my many worries) as she is on the threshold of puberty is that she'll be a bit too geeky and that will invite bullying and so on. Ad that in turn will turn her away from her natural interests just to fit in with her friends. All you can do is encourage them to be themselves and be proud of not being part of the crowd.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson