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Comment A reasonable compromise (Score 2) 314

I'm going to assume that this is a serious question, if slightly fuzzily worded. And that what you want is the best security position that is practical, and still have a computing environment that is useful to you.

So this is going to draw some fire I suspect, but maybe start by reading the PCI DSS Data Security Standard and apply as much as possible of the practical stuff to your environment.

PCI DSS has its issues and its critics and is most definitely not perfect. But it is an attempt by a group comprising of all the major credit and debit card brands to define how to secure a computing environment that is connected to the internet and contains sensitive information.

A lot of it won't be relevant to you. But if you're not trying to achieve compliance, you can throw out the bits you don't need.

Comment The problem is focus (Score 1) 436

Specifically the difference between what the camera has focussed on and what your eye is trying to focus on.

When we look at things In Real Life we look at something close, like our hand, and objects in the background are blurred. Your eye is not focussed on them. If we look out to the middle distance though, our eye quickly re-focusses and things near to us become blurred.

But in a 3D movie this doesn't work. Whether something is in focus or not is decided by whether the CAMERA was focussed at that distance when it was filmed. This is just as true in 3D movies as it is in 2D movies.

Now in a 2D film your eye never changes focus. It's focus is the movie screen. There is the false focus of the camera, but we're used to that. It's one tool (the primary one) the director has for telling us what is significant in the current shot.

In a 3D movie however, apparent distance is changing and your eyes ARE adjusting shot by shot, for parallax at least. But you have to guess what the camera has focussed on, or your eyes are going to strain to focus on objects that will simply never come into focus.

This is why 3D movies are so much more tiring to watch. And one of the reasons why it's not real 3D. And why I'm still suspicious of whether it will ever become the dominant form in the art of cinema.

Interestingly, there is the potential for CGI to make much better 3D movies, for the simple reason that everything can be in focus all the time. I have yet to see a fully CGI movie in 3D I believe.


Comment He knows he'll never have to back this up (Score 3, Interesting) 279

The original Pacific Fibre project failed technically because of lack of funding, but just as much from international politicking. International infrastructure (intrastructure?) attracts these sorts of issues it would seem. The US didn't want China funding it and really didn't want them providing technology.

And of course theres's already speculation the US would take the same attitude to Kim Dotcom's involvement given they are trying to prosecute him for teh internet crimez.

A cynic might see this as a cynical PR move on his part. He offers The People of NZ goodies and the US government takes them away. He gets to look like the good guy again and it ultimately costs him nothing.

Comment Re:Honest Question (Score 4, Insightful) 946

I read once (I think in a post on slashdot a couple of years back) that many hardware manufacturers keep their device drivers proprietary in order to hide the details of the hardware implementation.
And that this is not so much to maintain, "a competitive edge," as to protect themselves from patent lawsuits from their competitors.

So my reference is possibly not the most reliable, but my point is that they might not be hiding stuff just to screw over consumers. There are many other possible reasons.

Comment Keeps me stuck on 10.04 (Score 1) 320

A closely related bug has kept me on on stuck Kubuntu 10.04. If I try to run an external monitor on my latptop with any variant of *ubuntu from 11.x on - or recent versions of Fedora for that matter - it freezes up.

Every time I log on it asks me to upgrade to 12.04 now. I would dearly love to, but it would render my laptop effectively unusable.

Submission + - Weta Workshop creates life-size Half-Life sentry turret for Valve (stuff.co.nz)

nut writes: Weta Workshops, the Wellington, NZ special effects company behind King Kong and Lord of the Rings has built a working sentry Aperture Science Sentry Turret for Valve Software. It does everything except fire live ammunition. Weta would consider making the devices for the public if Valve were prepared to license it — but it won't be cheap. Says director Sir Richard Taylor, "It's little less pricey than a piece of military hardware from the USA Government — and a bit more expensive than a piece from the New Zealand Government."

Submission + - Chips can self assemble themselves using smart fluids (techtripper.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dr. Eric M. Furst of University of Delaware and his postdoctoral researchers are imbued in making scalable forms of technology a reality. The findings of the group of scientists were published on September 17th in the Proceedings of the National Academics of Science (PNAS). The findings are titled ‘Multi-scale kinetics of a field directed colloidal phase transition’. The article elucidates the team’s research on colloids which are microscopic particles, a hundredth in diameter of a human hair. It is illustrated in the article how these microscopic ‘building blocks’ can be instructed to autonomously assemble on their own, into specific structures.

Comment Re:no sleep (Score 1) 283

the slightly scary thing is that you can buy your own ANPR System off the shelf. (I know that geeks can easy create it themselves using motion and some OCR tools - but, imagine selling this to normal people!!

That's not the scary thing. That's the only thing that is at all positive. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. And given that, the most empowering thing you can do for people is to make the same powers of observation available to everybody.

Comment Re:They Didn't Pull This Kind of Muscle (Score 3, Informative) 285

You comment he was waiting for the police, but neglect to mention the fact he was waiting for them with a shotgun in his hands.


Watch the news clip. He states was holding his hands up empty when he entered the room, and the police do not dispute this. There was, according to some reports I have read, a loaded gun in the room.

The fact that you embellished this part of the story makes me suspect that some of your other statements also might be less than the unvarnished truth.

Comment Nobody knows what they are measuring (Score 4, Insightful) 213

People have been trying to measure intelligence for well over a hundred years now, but I have yet to see anybody precisely and fully define exactly what it is they are measuring.

And don't say IQ - the only thing IQ tests measure is the ability to do IQ tests. Read up on their history. There is nothing scientific about their origin.

Comment Speed limits won't matter when doing other stuff (Score 1) 650

If I can sit in my car and work at my laptop, or read, or phone the first client of the day I'll care a lot less about how fast I get there. Much like people today who take the bus or train to work.

Often people speed because they are driving and that' all they are doing. Most of the time they aren't even late, they just like going a bit faster and it's fun. You don't usually tell your taxi driver to put his foot down unless you really are late for that very important meeting.

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