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Comment: Blame it on the media (Score 1) 514

by Snospar (#48938511) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

The media are meant to act as one of the bridges between the scientific communities and the general public but it's an area where they fall well short of the mark.

This reminds me of the study that was done, asking a group of people how well the media reported on their specific subject of knowledge. Most agreed that the media rarely got things right either by omitting essential information (e.g. "dumbing down") or making incorrect assumptions or correlations. The interesting thing is that the same group of people were happy to accept that the media reported accurately on fields outside their own subject around 90% of the time. Think about those two things for a minute, makes sense that we know more detail about our own subject, but why would we trust a source of information, for things we don't know, that we consider inaccurate for things we do.

Comment: The Truman Show (Score 1) 246

by Snospar (#48357661) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

I thought Mars One was linked to some sort of reality TV show where the entire mission would be filmed and broadcast like "Big Brother" in space.

I also assumed that they could make such a show without ever leaving Earth - but the gormless participants wouldn't need to know that (until much later). Once you've gone through the X-Factor style selection process to see who is most (un)suitable for a trip to Mars you then send them off to a training facility and from there you start to control the contestants access to outside media.

By the time "the launch window" comes around you could easily have them (and hell, us as well, the viewing public) convinced that they are onboard a genuine Mars mission rocket heading into space... much easier to achieve - and cheaper and safer - if it's all in a studio.

Comment: Re:There is a problem... (Score 1) 176

by Snospar (#46637161) Attached to: The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs
How I hate that phrase "You're so lucky to have such well behaved children!", there's no luck involved it's hard work being a good parent. GPP is even worse: "blessed with an angel of a child"... utter nonsense. Teach your children early on that there are rules and standards they need to follow - encourage with rewards and praise, discourage with simple punishments (time on the "naughty step" or temporary loss of TV or cherished toy). All this hard work will pay off and your children will grow up to be well rounded, polite adults.

Comment: Re:is the USB 'bug' fixed, at this point? (Score 1) 77

Totally off-topic but I had to reply, you're about the fifth person this week I've seen that stores computer components "in the loft".
Here in Scotland, anything I store in the loft has to be mold, damp and mildew proof - and computer components definitely wouldn't fare well up there. It's not that we have a damp house, on the contrary it's a modern ventilated timber frame with a secure (non-leaking) roof... it's simply that it rains/snows/hails/sleets here a lot so we only get truly dry a couple of months a year.

Comment: Re:Invest (Score 2) 127

by Snospar (#43810721) Attached to: BT Runs an 800Gbps Channel On Old Fiber
This is BT investing in the network and it's a smart investment too. By upgrading the boxes on the end of the old fibre they've shown they can breath new life into it - something which was in doubt when the previous technology ran into problems. These boxes and associated optics are not cheap but it's much better to be spending money there than on a new programme to dig up the roads.

Comment: Re:Forced convergence is all the rage. (Score 2) 107

I mostly agree with you and yes, it is depressing but I think there is another reason pushing people onto these locked down devices and it's simply that Microsoft still haven't worked out how to protect their systems from malware & viruses. Now before everyone jumps in and says this isn't just a MS problem, malware attacks 3rd party software too - I know that and I'll gladly put Java and Adobe in the same sin bin.

Let's say that Average Joe buys a nice shiny Windows laptop for $2000 - it's his machine, he can install whatever software he likes and there's no lock down right? But even on day one there is crapware installed by the laptop vendor that has started to slow his machine down (preinstalled AV "trials", desktop gadgets, Troubleshooting "assistants" and of course add-on toolbars). Now lets move on 6 months, the shiny laptop that was pretty fast on day one is now crawling - he's probably got a virus or some other malware by this stage (possibly because his OS updates didn't force 3rd party updates) and to combat this he's now got 2 or 3 always active anti-virus/anti-malware scanners running. It's possible he's also got malware masquerading as Antivirus running too and all these applications are fighting with the system and each other for resources.

But look over there, someone with a crappy netbook isn't having these problems because it's running Linux, or there's someone else with an Apple iThing (which they religiously keep updated and haven't been hit by any unfortunate 0-day exploits) and finally there's someone with a Chromebook who again have no need for multiple AV programs.

I hate that people opt for locked down systems over Linux but I think I hate more being called out to try and fix the crappy mess that Windows has left someone with when they mistakenly clicked that dodgy link on the web.

"A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a perfectly good kitten." -- Doug Larson