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Comment Furthermore, Saudi Arabia must be destroyed (Score 2, Interesting) 270

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) 112

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.

Comment The search for yield (Score 4, Interesting) 940

Blame the Fed for ZIRP, causing the investor class to pile into property.

As soon as central banks around the world start raising interest rates again and they start returning to normal, people hunting returns will head back to conventional investments, and that'll take the heat out of the property market.

I, for one, am keeping my powder dry. Typically, when people start talking about bubbles in a given market or asset class, you know its days are numbered. Also, when property markets crash, they tend to go from being overvalued to being undervalued fairly rapidly, since the dumb money panics and sells up to try to beat the stampede out the door.

Another interesting phenomenon: last time when all this happened back in 2008 with fraudsters writing sub-prime loans, the market merely had to stop expanding to start crashing. We may find that as soon as Something Bad happens, and enough people start going into arrears, and the cowboys running many of these investment operations can't meet their obligations -- then *boom* -- game over.

AIUI, some of the bigger, smarter players have seen the writing on the wall for quite a while...

Comment How mobile billing worked (back in the day) (Score 1) 35

Mobile telcos have been doing this for years (at least a decade). But let me tell you right now, it's NOWHERE near as bad as it's being made out. Simply because the requirements to get on deck were so onerous, only a few people would bother with it at all.

For webmasters who would like to figure out how to serve/bill stuff to users on mobile websites, you've got to have some way of passing some kind of UID for the user connecting. For magazine/media sites trying to actually run a business, being able to serve stuff to users with the ability and inclination to pay for content was pretty important.

Back in the day before the iPhone (and I believe this was more common in the US than elsewhere), users on web-capable phones issued by carriers would start their browsers, and land on the carrier's home page or "home deck" (think WAP). I remember getting "on deck" (linked off the website at a carrier), was a massive pain in the arse, because you'd have to make sure the website work on their top 10 devices (a nuisance, because Netfront (and the phones it ran on) was a bigger piece of shit than Netscape 4 and IE6 combined), and then after all was said and done, you'd have to give the cellco a huge cut of any revenue you generated.

(Note that I'm limiting the discussion to websites linked off the cellco's front page; not 'off deck' stuff, like those old magazine ads flogging rubbish ringtones off premium rate phone numbers. That's a different story and the billing works a bit differently.)

Naturally, once you managed to get 'on deck', you'd get access to the cellco's billing infrastructure, which'd let you sell subscriptions and flog pay-per-event stuff like wallpapers and ringtones (which, back in the day, a rubbish poly ringtone costing £2.99, was HUGELY lucrative if you sold a few, and made SMSs seem like good value). But only after you managed to make it on deck (otherwise there's no traffic, and thus, no revenue). And then you still had to deal with a completely, utterly different billing interface for each carrier (some using transparent proxies, some using redirects, some using web services, etc). And of course, the dubious pleasure of dealing with the cockheads at the telcos themselves.

Naturally, to keep this going, the cellco would only flip the big switch to pass through your phone number to that particular website in very specific circumstances (like, a tiny number of very well known websites owned by very well-known companies (like Disney)). It's a whitelist -- and a small one. Hardly the scale of threat being implied by the lede.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan