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Comment: Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (Score 1) 385

by ratbag (#46161585) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

But no sensible sysadmin would go to a pirate site to get firmware updates, so I really would fault someone doing that. If there's no reliable source of checksums available without a contract, how on earth would we ever trust the pirated updates?

Comment: Re:Ten Commandments are "overtly Christian"? (Score 3, Interesting) 1251

The monument is overtly Christian - note the book illustrated top-left:

Also note the voting record and recorded religion of the guy whose family funded it and who introduced the bill permitting it in the first place:

So the intent seems to be overtly Christian, even if the Ten Commandments are shared by many religions.

Comment: Re:Headline (Score 0) 338

by ratbag (#44562633) Attached to: Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

Ok, we get it, you don't like Slashdot.

From the patent:

For example, upon analysis of the text, it may be determined that the origin of the text is from a Shakespearean play. A setting or location of Century England may then be determined by the context analysis module 316

amongst other references to the Bard.

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

because non-SI units are the most commonly accepted units in the US, it is logical to use those units to communicate.

And US scientists and engineers never communicate with colleagues, competitors or customers from (most of) the rest of the world who have embraced the future (circa 1795-1975)?

Can you see why a previous comment about "everyone different than me" tickles me?

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

No, not a magic bullet, but a self-consistent, extensible, logical, location-independent basis for straightforward communication. Conversion of units doesn't scare me, it just seems a splendidly archaic and sometimes error-prone way to spend time. A quick trite example: without knowing where your interlocutor lives or works or chooses to base their unit system on, tell me how much liquid is in the gallon container next to my desk?

"Everyone different from me" is amusing, maybe even ironic, though I don't know where you hail from so I can't be sure.

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1, Interesting) 385

Personally I think that part of the problem is the non-metric units that are still in use. By accepting that it is in any way sensible to use them, you've already given up on the logical, elegant approach to quantification. You've made it more likely that people resort to the "football fields" etc.

Comment: Re:Sad, but inevitable. (Score 1) 137

by ratbag (#44005317) Attached to: Kodak Ends Production of Acetate Base For Photographic Film

With regard to the long exposures, I've found digital makes one aspect of the process much, much better, and that's the oldest argument in favour of digital in general: experimentation is quick and cheap. I've started using Lee's Big Stopper recently and I'm pleased I can chuck away (without developing) 97% of my early work with it!

Comment: Re:HUD (Score 1) 375

by ratbag (#43270853) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek To Ban Google Glass On the Road

1. Traffic monitoring built in to my chosen GPS enables changes to route after setting off.

2. Even without automatic traffic updates, I can see problems ahead, turn off the current route and let the GPS pick up the pieces.

3. If I've got a long route memorised (in a hypothetical world without GPS), but somehow forget a turning I will have to backtrack or find signs to the next "waypoint" in my mind. If I'm in another country, or well outside my usual area of travel, that's a non-trivial task.

4. "Safety" camera information is available from the GPS, along with stuff like petrol stations, car parks, etc..

5. Why shouldn't I use GPS? Just because people have done things for about a century doesn't mean we can't embrace progress. I can still read a map quite nicely, thanks and still use one for planning longer walks or driving tours etc. But I would not willingly sacrifice my car's GPS for day-to-day driving.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.