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Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 70 70

I sort of like all my wrinkles. Which is just, um, weird. My girlfriend freaks out about hers. I catch sight of mine in a mirror and it just makes me laugh, which causes her to lecture me about not making the laugh lines worse (which just makes it harder not to laugh).

"One man's wrinkles are another man's laughter lines."

It's probably not worth the effort of trying the line on your girlfriend. She's going to kill you for mentioning them anyway, though you might get a slightly quicker and less agonising death. Which might be a small gain.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

If the BBC opened up all their content online and then instead of using geoblocking, used geotargetted ads

There are minor outlets of the BBC that use adverts - they were annoying me in Turkey a couple of weeks ago - but the BBC as a corporation doe not do broadcast advertising. They do have appropriate infrastructure for trailers and internal advertising of next weeks Downton Pigs or Vetbum Abbey, which is probably coordinated with the advertising breaks on their affiliates international broadcasting. But for their core market, the BBC does not do adverts. That's why their more recent programming has included a 10-minute segment in at the end of each hour of programme time with things like "making of Dances with Whales" or "Being Eaten By Cats - camaeraman's diary" : it provides chunks of programming that can be detached from the editorial stream (maybe broadcast later) and frees up 10 minutes of screen time per hour for soap adverts.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

None of the broadcasters in the world is set up on the basis of serving the globe, not even "giants" like NBC, CBS, ABC, or the BBC.


And the interesting thing is with there being about 4 markets in the world (China - about a billion ; India, potential of a billion ; Europe at a half-billion ; North America, a third of a billion) then the broadcaster that doesn't get into those markets soon is not going to survive against it's global competitors. Particularly the ones that broadcast in common languages - Mandarin and English.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

The (mobile) consumer does through his/her connection fees.

The only thing that changes for (say) BBC is that they chuck out or switch off their Geo-IP management servers at their gateway. Where the data goes to after that isn't their concern. That's the point about IP being an unbiased transmission protocol.

Comment Re: Blocked (Score 1) 132 132

If it was published by a German publisher - or a publisher operating from a German address - does that bring it under GEMA's authority?

(I don't know the answer. I raise the point to illustrate the complexity of the problem, and to show what problems the EU is about removing.

Comment Re:What a shitty summary (Score 1) 70 70

It was just a joke bro .. who would be insulted by it?

Someone who is worried about their slowly deteriorating sight and has their worst fears raised by this deliberately crude joke.

OP might wish to spend a few hours trying to navigate the world without vision - or with severely degraded vision. In fact, it's an experiment that almost anyone who isn't already severely visually impaired would benefit from. It's the old "walking a mile in another man's shoes" thing.

Try it one day. If you don't hate and fear the experience, then you're very unusual.

BTW, did you know that there's an STD that has a 35 year symptom-free incubation period. You could have caught it from the person (or farm animal) that you lost your virginity to.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 70 70

I've only worn glasses since I was thirty. Two years ago I had to get a second pair for distanc

I hate to tell you this, but you're well within the normal range of variation. Sorry to break the news to you.

You will die ; maybe not because of this medical issue, but you will die.

Incidentally, I'm following the same progress of eye disease, within about 25%. I'm going to die too.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 70 70

had cataract surgery May '14. BIG mistake. My vision wasn't that bad, and now I have to put on reading glasses to read anything: computers, books, my phone, differentiating between Euro coins, whatever. Total PITA.

I've been wearing glasses for about as long (within a year). If my (opthalmic) optician told me that I had a cataract and that I needed surgery, I'd be starting from the expectation that I was going to lose the lens in one or both eyes, and that would drastically affect my vision, and my visual flexibility ("accommodation" is the technical term, IIRC), because, well, you lose the lens from the affected eye. Most of the focussing power of the eye comes from the air-cornea refraction, it is true, but even so you need the adjustment from the lens to accommodate changes of focus.

Fortunately, I've no indications of cataracts forming yet. I'm slowly getting used to needing to carry a pair of single-vision glasses and a pair of bi-focals for use in the office. But most days I don't bother.

Submission + - EU may become a single digital market of 500 million people.

RockDoctor writes: The Guardian is reporting that the EU is becoming increasingly vociferous in it's opposition to "geo-blocking" — the practice of making media services available in some areas but not in others.

“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channel of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU,”

That adds up to a block of nearly 500 million first-world media consumers. They don't necessarily all speak the same language, but English is probably the most commonly understood single language. And the important thing for American media companies to remember is that they're not American in thought, taste or outlook.

Comment Re:I thought that too but.... (Score 1) 82 82

another application I could envision would be amateur prospecting. But smartphones know your location, so same problem.

So? The smart phone will report it's location at the time that you analyse your specimen. Which will probably be in the hotel/ motel that you go to when you get back to something resembling civilisation.

You think that you'll have a mobile phone signal out in the field at your prospect? Damned all chance of that, because mobile phone companies don't put transmission towers where they don't have customers, and if there are any significant numbers of people in an area then it has probably been gone over already by mineral prospectors.

I'm an amateur mountaineer and professional geologist. I don't normally have signal on my mobile when I'm out on the hill. Likewise when I do onshore jobs in the deserts of Arabia or the tundra of Russia. And when I'm 100km out at sea, again, no signal.

Look at this map ; get out into unpopulated areas and you've got little chance of getting a signal. If you're in a populated area, then it's almost certainly already been prospected.

Comment Re:Genesis! (Score 1) 153 153

The controversy isn't about the fossil ; it's about the origin of the fossil.

The lithology of the encasing rock and age of the specimen (the report I had didn't go into details ; I'd assume micropalaeontology - it usually is) suggests that the specimen came from the Crato formation of Brazil. But Brazil has had a blanket ban on export of fossils since the 1940s. So, how did the fossil get to appear in a small museum in southern Germany? (By coincidence, I've actually been to that museum.)

Comment Re:Genesis! (Score 1) 153 153

and probably this is not a snake but a specimen from some extinct group.

One of the specific characteristics that they use to deduce that this is more closely related to modern snakes than to an other group is that the body (between the pelvic and pectoral girdles) is considerably elongated compared to other vertebrates. This lengthening is achieved by increasing the number of vertebrae and ribs, not by lengthening the vertebrae (which is the strategy that giraffes use, for example). There is also a hint (though it is admittedly unclear and the specimen isn't well enough preserved to tell) that the ventral surface of the body (i.e. the belly) has a single scale running across the full width.

Snake-y enough for you?

Comment Re:Need to carbon date this article... (Score 1) 108 108

Along with the complication of modern organisms living on abnormally low-14C carbon sources. Organisms living on oil/ tar seeps ; organisms living on carbonates and sulphates from salt domes.

A known type of problem, which is why raw radiocarbon dates need careful interpretation to get back to absolute dates.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.