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Comment: ST:TNG (Score 1) 476

by spaceyhackerlady (#48908911) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

Star Trek: The Next Generation was generally well-done, with interesting charcerters and only a few clunker episodes.

I found Deep Space 9 an interesting concept let down by unimaginative writing.

I found Voyager unwatchable. Janeway came across as an affirmative action bureaucrat. A Captain is a monarch, not a bureaucrat. Patrick Stewart had played Shakespearean kings, and played Picard the same way. It worked. What Janeway needed was a good desk.

Sliders was a really interesting premise that ran out of steam. The same story every week. Yawn.

The X Files also started out well and also ran out of steam, descending in to torture porn.

Didn't watch any of the others, so no comment.


Comment: Terminology, please! (Score 2) 388

There is strong encryption, and there is unbreakable encryption. They are not necessarily the same thing.

Strong encryption is theoretically breakable, but it is not computationally feasible to do so. What is computationally feasible changes with time. Look at how key-length standards for RSA have changed, for example.

One-time pad encryption, on the other hand, is not breakable. It doesn't matter how much computer power you throw at it: if you don't have the key, you can't read the message.


Comment: If they don't work... (Score 1) 464

If progressives don't work, don't use them. They're not for everybody.

I bit the bullet last time I got new glasses and got progressives. My requirement was well-defined: I'm near-sighted, wear glasses when I need them (driving, flying) but with age I was experiencing eyestrain trying to read charts during flights, particularly at night. At first I found I was moving my head around a lot to find the sweet spot, but now that I've figured that out, I'm fine.

I don't use glasses for computer stuff. Set the monitor distance and resolution right, and wipe the nose prints off every now and then. :-)


Comment: Whose problem is this, anyway? (Score 1) 349

The airlines exploit their customers with stupidly complicated fare structures and somebody finds a way for customers to exploit the airlines. This is a problem?

You don't need computers or web sites for this. Some years ago I moved from B.C. to Ontario. The travel agent (yes, it was a few years ago...) sold me a round-trip ticket from Vancouver to Toronto at a fraction of the cost of a one-way ticket. I didn't use the return leg. Is Air Canada going to sue me?


Comment: Re:I can see them too... (Score 1) 104

I live in Antigua, 17N, we just did a star gazing night out and all the stars mentioned in the article are quite visible.

I've observed from Costa Rica, at 10 degrees north, and the bulk of the southern hemisphere goodies are indeed observable. By a pleasant coincidence, the prime observing season for the Centaurus/Carina Milky Way (February to April) coincides with the dry season in much of the country. The Large Magellanic Cloud, however, is down in the murk from Costa Rica. The Small Magellanic Cloud and 47 Tucanae are worse. If you want to really observe the Magellanic Clouds you need a southern hemisphere location.

Many equatorial telescope mounts don't like being in the tropics either. I've played with the leg lengths on my G-11, and once tried putting a fork mount (an old 8" Celestron SCT) together backwards, in effect aligning it for -10 degrees south instead of 10 degrees north. It almost worked...


Comment: Been there, done that (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Heading south is a very good thing for astronomers to do. It's like visiting another planet: lots of new stars and stuff, and the familiar constellations are all upside down.

I've observed from Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands. My first view of the Eta Carinae region was from St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne. My first view of the Magellanic Clouds was from a highway rest area just south of Echuca, Victoria. One night at a motel in Forbes, NSW, I needed the bathroom in the wee hours and padded out to have a look. I knew the Sagittarius Milky Way would be out at that time of the night, but I couldn't find it at first. It was directly overhead.

Of course I went to Parkes. A nerd's gotta do what a nerd's gotta do. :-)

I'm watching Top Gear in Patagonia, and while Argentina has better scenery, Australia has better weather. And much better roads.


Comment: Positives and negatives (Score 1) 286

by spaceyhackerlady (#48677505) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

I feel here are positives and negatives to being older.

The positive is a depth of experience. An inherent patience to work through problems, looking for the right answer. My boss can - and does - tell me "Laura, figure out XYZ and see if we can use it in our company." This will keep me busy for extended periods.

While it's not strictly age-related, I find many "younger" companies have views on work/life balance that are incompatible with my own. I do not eat, live and breathe my work. When I go on vacation I go, and make damned sure I'm out of cellphone coverage when I do.

Also, many "younger" companies have messages I do not believe in. A prime example is local media darlings HootSuite. Since I don't buy the problem, I can't be part of its "solution".


Comment: A big boat! (Score 3, Interesting) 116

by spaceyhackerlady (#48618335) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

I live in a port city and see lots of ships, but I'm not sure this baby could even enter the harbour here.

It's far bigger than what the Panama Canal can handle (maximum 290 meters long), as well as the Saint Lawrence Seaway (225 meters). The Panama Canal was designed for the largest ships of the day, RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic.


Comment: Home grown is the best (Score 3, Interesting) 189

by spaceyhackerlady (#48470675) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

My sister used to raise her own turkeys. Up close they looked like something from a paleontology textbook, but they were still good-natured, very curious creatures. They would always come up to you and inspect you, talking all the time. Maybe they were just demanding food. Dunno.

They ate good stuff, they had a big enough pen that they could run around to their heart's content, they were basically happy turkeys. And it showed: they had a wonderful flavour and a nice texture.


Comment: Swedish stuff and Canadian stuff (Score 1) 642

by spaceyhackerlady (#48402817) Attached to: Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

I remember a few years ago seeing the 1960s Canadian TV series Wojeck, and it carried a viewer discretion warning that the standards for personal and professional relationships had changed since the program was produced. There was a certain element of "like, duh!", but somebody had thought about it, and I had no problem with it.

Fast forward to the present day. I'm watching Swedish sci-fi show Äcta Människor ("Real Humans" in English). It quietly avoids any gratuitous sex or violence, but there is lots of non-gratuitous sex and violence, as integral parts of the plot. Like all Scandinavian shows it has interesting female characters who do in fact talk to each other about something other than men. That's the sort of culture they want, it's one I admire, and I'm cool with it.


The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius