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Comment Re:You are so naive (Score 4, Interesting) 177

"I'm getting really sick of this tiresome rant popping up on every single Slashdot story. Government is corrupt. Corporations rule the world. We are all slaves. blah blah blah!

Can't you guys give it a rest?

Why do you always post your rants as AC anyway?"

Sadly, while I might once have agreed with everything you said, I fear that times have changed -- or perhaps it's just that the Net has allowed the truth to be revealed in a way that governments can no longer control.

Everywhere you look these days, there are many and varied examples of government being driven, directed and controlled by industries and those with lots (of money) at stake.

Look at Kim Dotcom for instance -- the MPAA/RIAA may have had plenty of legal justification for some of what they did -- but certainly not all of it and not the way it was done. Hell, the FBI/MPAA/RIAA triad even bullied the New Zealand government in engaging in "unlawful acts" to carry out their dirty deeds.

We've seen the problem of politicians protecting the rich at the cost of the poor grow to become a major problem down in this part of the world (NZL) and it's plainly obvious that the situation is far worse elsewhere.

Bureaucrats (ie: central and local government) spend most of their time simply working to cover it's own ass -- in case things go wrong.

Just look at most of the laws and regulations out there. They're not to improve the safety or to benefit the public nearly so much as they are to ensure that when something goes wrong, some bureaucrat somewhere can say "not my fault, we passed a law/regulation against that and the offender(s) broke those laws/regulations".

Look at gun control for instance...

It's illegal to murder someone with a firearm (or anything else for that matter) -- so the problem of firearms is solved! If someone goes postal or kills innocent pupils/teachers in a rampage -- it's not the fault of any bureaucrat - after all, they've made killing illegal so it's not *their* fault that kids can get their hands on assault rifles so easily.

And they're doing it again with terrorism... they're making just about *everything* illegal -- so when a terrorist does attack and innocent folk are killed, they can turn around and say "not our fault, we made everything illegal -- what more could we do?"

As for drones -- well yes, they're almost certainly going to make them illegal (in the hands of private individuals) too. After all, if there's one thing that bureaucrats *don't* like, it's having their actions spied on by those they're allegedly employed to protect.

Sorry but the "perfect" world never existed and never will.

And look... not posting as an AC! :-o

Comment Re:Remove the obvious structural weaknesses (Score 1) 384

Childs play - I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

You hurt small animals for fun as a kid? You must be some kind of psychopath.

Sooo, how many meters long are the medium-sized animals on your planet? And about the large ones...

I don't think they exist

Comment Who died and made the USA and its allies God? (Score 0) 384

Why the hell should other sovereign nations bow to Western pressure not to develop their weapons?

Surely every country has a right to develop its own technologies if it wishes to. It seems awfully hypocritical of the USA and other nuclear powers to say "no, *you* can't have nukes" to nations that want them.

Now I have no time for Iran or N. Korea - but it's just bitchy for those who have nukes and ICBMs to criticise those who don't but are developing them.

Maybe, if these little renegade states end up with nukes on ICBMs, there'll be a lot more double-sided discussion rather than demands and sanctions. Isn't that what we need to preserve world peace?

Hell, imagine what the world would be like today if Hitler had invented the nuke and said to the USA -- no, sorry, you can't have any -- shortly before turning NYC into a smouldering hole in the ground.

Imagine how long the cold war would have lasted if only Russia had nukes!

It seems to me that MAD is working just fine -- but for it to work, all parties have to have nukes of their own.

The way I see it -- either every nation has a right to nuclear weapons and ICBMs -- or none do.

Comment Eh? (Score 1) 260

What do you mean I can't get a laptop with a Hercules mono graphics card in it?

And who said CGA was "so last century".

Hell, maybe it's time I upgraded.

I noticed that I became much better at playing minesweeper after switching to an NVIDIA card.

Hmmm... I think this morning's earthquakes may have rattled something loose in my head ;-)

Comment Re:800C? (Score 2) 76

If that was the case then what about the incandescent bulbs still found in some old flashlights or even in the "overhead lighting" above your seat?

Do you know how hot that tungsten filament gets when energized?

The total amount of *heat* being used for refreshing your memory chip will be infinitesimal by comparison to the average bulb filament. Remember -- temperature without heat is pretty harmless.

Comment Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (Score 4, Insightful) 105

Hey, I picked up a microUSB 5V wall-wart supply for $9.99 at the local equivalent of Walmart and just used an old Class 4 SD card I had laying about so my $94 Raspberry Pi only cost me $44.99.

Actually I lie -- I had to buy an HDMI cable and I can't find a spare ethernet cable either so I'll have to fork out some more cash.

But come to think of it -- neither my DVD player nor my TV came with an HDMI and my PC didn't come with a network cable so I guess that no matter what you buy, there are always "essential extras" to factor in.

And my Pi didn't come with a mouse or keyboard either -- what's with that?? :D

Comment Too little too late? (Score 4, Informative) 105

I'm wondering if the model A will really have much of a market.

The end of the market that the A might have been useful in may well have been overtaken by the top-end of the M-series ARM processors, especially with companies like STM now pitching boards like the Discovery STM32F4 for $20 or so.

Yes, it's got less RAM, less MIPS and so forth -- but it *is* 100% open and incredibly capable for what it is.

Comment Who wrote that article? (Score 4, Insightful) 74

Is TechWorld for real or is it someone's blog?

"The best overall winner will also be given a tour of Sony’s Welsh in which the Raspberry Pi is manufactured"

Proof-reader sick today?

Actually, I'm not usually so grumpy but that full-page interstitial ad I had to dismiss before I got to the 7-paragraph ultra-lightweight "story" kind of ticked me off.

Piracy

Submission + - The real reason why the MPAA fears piracy (aardvark.co.nz)

NewtonsLaw writes: "I'm pretty sure that everyone reading this will be aware of the movie Iron Sky.

I've been waiting for a long time to watch this movie and finally it has been uploaded to YouTube so I watched it on the weekend.

As the title credits rolled, I rushed off and pre-ordered the BluRay disk of the movie, which isn't due for release here in NZ until December 14th.

I am proof that making your wares available for free can actually promote sales — but only so long as your content is good enough (which Iron Sky certainly is). So, perhaps the reason that the MPAA fears piracy is because it lets people see just how crappy most of their material is *before* they fork over their hard earned cash.

I blogged about this in more detail today"

Comment Governments can do whatever the hell they want (Score 5, Informative) 115

Back in 2003, I built the world's first DIY cruise missile in a garage here in New Zealand.

When the media found out, they approached the government for comment and the Prime MInister of the day (Helen Clark) admitted that in doing this, I had broken no laws.

Well when the US government found out what I'd been doing they were outraged and intense pressure was applied to the NZ government to shut down this low-cost-cruise-missile project.

But how could they do that? -- after all, the PM had admitted I'd broken no laws in doing so.

Well as we all (now) know, governments can do any damned thing they want and if they can't achieve their ends by fair means, they'll use foul ones.

As a result, they "Caponed" me and used the NZ equivalent of the IRS to bankrupt me by coming up with all manner of "assessed" tax liabilities and breaching an agreement I already had in place.

A local TV current affairs program did a piece on my plight:

Part 1
Part 2

and you can see from that, just how governments are able to sidestep or force the courts to do whatever they want -- when there's an agenda involved.

So Kim Dotcom ought to be very careful -- who knows what a savage dog will do when you back it into a corner?

I've written a book about this chapter (and others) of my life but suffice to say I have had some issues with publishers who don't want to get involved in a case where it's obvious that the rulebook gets tossed out the door in favor of covering asses at high levels.

Patents

Submission + - RedHat celebrates AMQP/1.0 release with new patent (uspto.gov) 6

pieterh writes: "One day before the "Advanced Message Queuing Protocol" AMQP/1.0 becomes an OASIS standard, Red Hat secures
patent number 8,301,595, for accessing an LDAP server over AMQP. In January 2008 I provided to the AMQP Working Group, including Red Hat, the Digest-AMQP spec, "a way to integrate WWW servers and LDAP servers over an AMQP network." Here's the GitHub repository. Red Hat's patent 8,301,595 was filed two and a half years later, on June 14, 2010. In 2009 I wrote about another Red Hat patent on AMQP. That time, Red Hat said required patents would be made available royalty-free, but then as now, the patent was not on the standard but of a common use around it."

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