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Comment Its for the car companies (Score 1) 355

Its not for the next generation of drivers, its another vector for monetization for car manufacturers. Just like smart TVs, you are not watching, you are being watched.

The end result will be that your car tells you that you are very low on gas and must fill up immediately. At the same time it sells this information to nearby gas stations who immediately raise their prices. You driving habits will be sold to insurance companies, your destinations to restaurants and motels, etc.

Comment Re:Wow, such BS (Score 1) 100

The South Africans have mismanaged their power supply system to the extent that they now have to operate open-cycle emergency/peaking sets on diesel, continuously. This is very expensive, as you say, and is contributing to the downward economic spiral. Hence the grasping at straws.

Comment Not If, When (Score 1) 127

If carbon emissions were suddenly and miraculously reduced overnight, it would still be too late to reverse the warming trend. So we either need to accept and live with warming, or geoengineer.

The debate has now officially moved on. Please do not rehash the past, or find an excuse to parrot your SJW whinings.

Comment Re:Why are we fighting the government? (Score 4, Interesting) 67

If Teixeira had bankrupted himself in a quixotic attempt to court rein in an out-of-control executive, this would not be news and we would not be discussing it. It would be like "Dog bites postman."

However, Teixeira did prevail. In a functioning system this would not be news. But our system is misfunctional, making this "Postman bites dog" news. We are reading about and discussing it precisely because it is so unusual and contrary to our perverted expectations.

So we are reminded that it is our bounden duty to show solidarity and cut down the establishment.

Oh, and the officials responsible should be paying the costs, personally.

Comment What is SF? (Score 1) 1014

The nub of the story is the definition of SF. Since Jules Verne and HG Wells a certain type of fan has build a clubhouse for like-minded people. They have evolved their own idea of the SF genre. Now fringe genres want in, and are being resisted. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of opinion.

Mine is that just claiming 50 Shades, Noddy, Teletubbies, Dianetics, Marxist Manifesto or The Fountainhead as SF, does not automatically make it so. Because if so, then we would soon see Heinlein fans submitting his works for Feminist awards and wailing when they are inevitably rejected. The SJW are rejected not because of their beliefs, but because they are not SF fans and cannot unilaterally define SF.

We end up with LGBT cake shops being forced to bake confederate flag cakes - is that really what we want?

Comment Janx Spirit? (Score 1) 67

"Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit"

—An ancient Orion mining song

Janx Spirit - almost exclusively referred to as "That Old Janx Spirit" - is an extremely potent alcoholic beverage, and is used heavily in drinking games that are played in the hyperspace ports that serve the madranite mining belts in the star system of Orion Beta.

The game is not unlike the Earth game called Indian Wrestling, and is played like this:

Two contestants sit at either side of a table, with a glass in front of each of them
Between them would be placed a bottle of Janx Spirit.
Each of the two contestants would then concentrate their will on the bottle and attempt to tip it and pour spirit into the glass of his opponent - who would then have to drink it.
The bottle would then be refilled. The game would be played again. And again.
Once you started to lose you would probably keep losing, because one of the effects of Janx Spirit is to depress telepsychic power. As soon as a predetermined quantity had been consumed, the final loser would have to perform a forfeit, which was usually obscenely biological.

Ford Prefect usually played to lose.

Submission + - Oracle's iExpenses Spawns a New Business Model->

Tokolosh writes: Do you have to submit expense reports? What system does your company use?

Apparently Oracle’s iExpenses is poorly designed and loathsome to use. In at least one company an enterprising employee is charging fellow workers a 10% commission for preparing their expense reports.

Lucy Kellaway reports on this phenomenon in the Financial Times, and her own frustration with iExpenses. (

"In the end, after a good deal of swearing, I succeeded — which is more than some of my colleagues manage. One seasoned foreign correspondent, who is more than capable of looking after himself in some of the world’s most dangerous places, is so floored by iExpenses that he has been given a special dispensation to use the old system. The system is so painful, one can only conclude it was deliberately designed that way."

I would like to hear about other experiences with this and rival expense reporting software, and badly designed systems in general.

[Note that the original FT article is paywalled, so I have provided a syndicated alternative.]

Link to Original Source

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso