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Comment PDFs (Score 1) 508

I could see a 13" tablet being a really nice way to read and annotate PDFs. Tried this with a 7" Nexus, and the small size combined with the funny aspect ration never really cut it for printable material.

Not that I would fork over for an iPad -- the fact that Apple are doing one means that there will be a decent Android equivalent in fairly short order for a hundred quid less.

Comment As a paying user.. (Score 4, Insightful) 141

... I'd feel a bit better about it, if they actually fixed some of the long-standing rough edges, like the completely-broken built-in compiler behaviour (something that Eclipse, despite being free and generally Old and Busted), and severe lag even on powerful machines, seeing as they're now asking for more money for the same product.

They promised this years ago, and it still hasn't happened. If I'm paying (and now, paying continuously), I'd expect them to lift their game.

Want my money? Give me software that works better than the free alternative.

Comment Biological controls (Score 3, Informative) 106

Allegedly they considered building robots, because the crown-of-thorns' natural enemy, the giant triton were nearly harvested to death, only eat one starfish a week, and only reproduce slowly in their natural environment.

Technology aside, if a 20 kg carnivorous snail isn't cool, I'm not sure what is.

Wonder if anybody has considered coming up with ways to efficiently breed these guys? I think they'd make awesome pets.

Comment Re:Hmmm (Score 2) 474

Upvote parent. Underrated.

My own bugbear, is prima-donna lead developers who can spin enough bullshit to con the managers into letting them goof off on company time. We had a cluster of these hyperactive bozos at my last gig who thought it would be fun to crank out shoddy rewrites of GridGain, Mongo and SpotFire, because they wanted to waste company resources fucking about reinventing (badly!!!) existing free off-the-shelf products. FML.

Comment Furthermore, Saudi Arabia must be destroyed (Score 2, Interesting) 399

Besides my own personal interest in fusion, what really excites me, is the chance to finally destroy Saudi Arabia. These worthless Bedouin brigands do and contribute nothing besides sitting on top of their Allah-given oil (which they can't extract without Western technology anyway), yet they attack, bully and undermine the world at every opportunity.

Fusion won't ever be "too cheap to meter". However, it scales limitlessly, unlike just about every other energy source out there. And this is excellent news for Western civilization, which currently faces real constraints on how much energy it can generate and consume (renewables aren't dense; fossil fuels are unsustainable and ruin the environment; fission nuclear is dirty and dangerous, etc).

When fusion power plants are finally in production and being scaled up, we will no longer be forced to tolerate these barbarians. At this point, we should cut the savages off without so much as a cent or a trinket.

Comment Looking on the bright side... (Score 1) 113

As a VM subscriber, I don't see this as such a bad thing...

Virgin Media are going to have so many people hammering on these home routers, that any security holes are going to get discovered and made public before long. And if they refuse to fix, and then some shithead comes and does something illegal on my router, then I can just say to the police "these things have public unfixed security holes, don't look at me!".

So I'll bet that any security issues won't be a problem for long. Virgin, being the publicity/marketing whores they are, won't risk the bad publicity if they can manage it.

Comment Re:I just have to laugh at the irony ! (Score 1) 104

It's reasonable to assume that similar mindsets and similar motivations will lead to similar outcomes. I expect the Chinese to be absolutely no different, and in many ways, far worse.

From my dealings with Mainland Chinese, there is no word in their language for "finesse". And they are greedy and vulgar beyond belief

Africa has a chip of their shoulder about the white devil and his imperialist ways? They've seen NOTHING yet. But hey -- some people deserve to learn the hard way. Hope I live long enough to see it.

Probably the only thing we'll always outclass the Chinese in, is that we (the West) are extremely good at organised violence, having fought each other to a stalemate for milenia (unlike the Chinese). Thankfully for much of the world, we nowadays exercise an enormous amount of restraint. During the British Raj, they smashed the world to pieces, because the Brits were stone cold killers.

Comment Re:Advice for youth (Score -1) 585

An observation: the higher up you go, the higher the penalty for fucking up. Salespeople are a dime a dozen here, despite being obscenely well paid.

Anyway, I think we're moving into a world where we need to start embracing insecurity and adapt our culture to take more calculated risks, e.g. start our own businesses. The flip side of that, is that we're all going to be on less money, so there's also the need to learn how to do more with less. Not everybody needs three cars and a 2400 sq ft house.

Comment Smashing idea (Score 3, Insightful) 140

Calling these things 'unsinkable aircraft carriers' shows just what a daft idea this is, militarily.

In a no-holds-barred fight, they have a HUGE bullseye painted on them, and will be easy to take out. The general idea of naval power is to project power, and being able to hide this capability in plain sight in a huge ocean is what makes a movable aircraft carrier a better idea. You wouldn't use one of these to fight an actual war.

Fixed fortifications are monuments to human stupidity. I could see this being like the Maginot Line or the Atlantic Wall.t

The only reason why they would do this, is so that they can call it sovereign territory, and to game international border rules to their own benefit.

Comment Re:Sad Day (Score 2) 152

When I was in college and was completely skint, I picked up a Sparc IPC with a horrid 8-bit CG3 framebuffer for a song, and that got me through two years of college.

Debian hamm sucked quite a bit less than SunOS, apart from the terrible quality of the CG3 driver in Xfree, which would lock the entire machine up solid after about 30 minutes of use... sure-as-shit haven't missed that...

Comment Outdated (Score 1) 312

These days, 'racism' is about culture, not "race" in the sense of skin pigmentation or skull shape. We know anyway, that "race", technically speaking, is meaningless in humans.

It could be said that appearance (okay, 'race') is a really crappy proxy for culture, and people choose to discriminate and abuse others on the basis of culture.

By way of example, hardworking, moral, aspirational Hindus and Sikhs are well-liked where I live. Yet, their genetically identical south-Asian radical Muslim kin are despised and shunned, and are dirt-poor as a result. Discriminating against somebody on the basis of a dubious socially-conditioned trait like adherence to conservative Islam (say) would be impossible to do through genetic data alone.

As it were, the worst-behaved and most aggressive people I come across at street-level would be people who wear sleeveless puff jackets, have beards, shave the sides of their heads, drive BMWs, don't bathe, and show no respect to whites or women. Dress and behaviour -- not genetics.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky