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Comment Re:It ought to be illegal (Score 4, Insightful) 798

Corporations have no honour, and never will. Their sole purpose is to make more money for those who own them, or their shareholders. They know no morality if that will limit profits.

The phone companies have us all by the short and curlies and can do whatever the fuck they want. Up here in Canada they are all essentially the same - they charge too much, for too little and they have a monopoly effectively, with zero real competition. Like the cable companies I am sure they collaborate to keep the prices artificially high.

Comment Re:Lots of Money (Score 1) 404

And for the new Blackberry OS? 79 million subscribers, and the app cupboard is pretty much bare. Write a decent app that performs better than the existing ones (and that seems to be a very low bar from my perusing of their app store on my Playbook) and you could end up with a very successful product in a market that hasn't been tapped.

The weakness of the playbook is its lack of significant apps IMHO. Otherwise it is a *brilliant* little piece of kit.

Comment Re:Did he do it at work or at home? (Score 5, Interesting) 210

I did a few years of tech support for a Real Estate software company. They claimed they had 700,000 US Real Estate agents as customers.
* The software was written in Visual Basic 5, and used an Access Database.
* We suggested that customers limit their list of potential customers to 20,000 so that the database would not have issues as often (it was Access based so it was guaranteed to have at least some issues some of the time). One of the people I talked to wanted to load 1 million names into his database, and tried to do so before calling. He had no forethought to back things up first. It did not go well.
* Real Estate agents as a whole do not understand computers, and seem generally to have little patience for any problem - whether or not they caused it. The conversations got rather heated - a lot. I remember one guy who worked in Beverly Hills, screaming at the top of his lungs that he was losing 100k a hour while he was on the phone with us. My coworker in the cubicle took the call but I could hear it clear as day over top of the call I was taking at the time.
* We had over 60 tech support people crammed into their cubicles. I must say the quality of the Staff and the Tech Support leaders was actually quite high.
* We had a script we were required to follow and which was almost never relevant. This was a major problem since usually we could identify the problem quite quickly, but had to trudge through the routine first until that failed to solve the problem and we could carry on with actually solving the problem.
* A lot of the problem was of course the Sales staff who would lie through their teeth to get a Sale, knowing that Tech Support or Development would have to solve the problem, not them. In general, I hate Sales people as a result of those at this company.
* Our in house tools were written by the company too, and since what they knew was Visual Basic, thats what they wrote them in. Since the database they knew was Access, thats what we used. Every day at noon, for 1 hour, we had to revert to pen and paper because the Access Database for *our* customer base had to be repaired. Then we would madly enter call details in, in between other calls until we got caught up.

It was an "educational" experience, but not one I care to repeat if I can avoid it :P

Comment Re:Should be interesting ... (Score 1) 171

to be fair they had very cheap pricing for a lot of the models. I liked it so I ended up buying the 64gb variety. Its a *very* sleek piece of kit, the OS is very smooth and I have had essentially zero problems with it.
Except, the apps that are available suck goat balls. Thats what they need to focus on improving. The hardware you buy enables you to use the software that you want to run, but if the software is horrid, limited, or not all that well written, who cares?
I hope that when this machine gets upgraded I start to see a lot of software comparable to that my wife has on her IPad, if that happens then I will be overjoyed. In the meantime its mostly a great way to watch movies that is portable :P

Comment Re:I think he's got a case (Score 1) 307

I can't say I understand your 2nd to last point. Coulton got permission to use the lyrics from the copyright owner.
He then WROTE ENTIRELY UNIQUE MUSIC to accompany those lyrics. The music he wrote and recorded is entirely his creation and owes nothing to the original recording made by Sir Mix-a-lot. Its Coulton's musical creation, performed and arranged by him and using the original lyrics with permission, with the addition of a minor change in the lyrics as well.
The folks at Glee, took his music and performed it without permission. They appear to have in fact taken his actual recording and removed his voice, substituting their own performers voices, BUT INCLUDING THE CHANGES HE MADE TO THE LYRICS.
Surely, that is them clearly making 2 violations of his copyright - first to his music, and then to the portion of the lyrics he changed - both without his permission. I don't understand how it can be interpreted differently.

He should immediately file a DMCA takedown notice (although it will do little real good I am sure since FOX has deeper pocketbooks) to at least indicate that he is pursuing his own rights in the matter actively. Then he should find a good lawyer and sue their ass off. If copyright works when a corporation is concerned at their financial loss, then it has to work when an artist is concerned at their financial loss or the law is not functioning fairly at all.

All that said though, FOX will most likely win, they have more money and money is what buys justice in the modern day.

Comment Re:Funny how nobody remembers The Mummy.... (Score 1) 514

Yes there was plenty of Westerners exhibiting massive ignorance, but humanities "bacon" was saved mostly by the characters Rick and Evelyn, and to a lesser degree Jonathan her brother, all of whom are Western.
Sure, there were the mysterious desert warriors led by Ardeth Bey who swoop in to save the day like the proverbial cavalry, but they are not key characters in comparison to Rick or Evelyn. Its still the White folks showing the brown folks how to do things in large part. This was/is very common in a lot of Hollywood movies - which are made apparently with the white audience in mind.

Comment Re:Funny how nobody remembers The Mummy.... (Score 1) 514

In general most Americans will not watch a movie that does not have an American in it. As well of course, most Westerners will not watch or accept a movie plot where we are not seen as superior to the foreigners (who are usually some shade of brown or black). Its stupid, its racist but its also the way things are.

In the Mummy it takes the clever and heroic Westerners to save the bacon of the ignorant middle easterners.

With regards to Start Wars: Lucas obviously borrowed heavily from different cultures to create his Star Wars cultures. I am surprised it took anyone this long to notice it anywhere in the world.

Also the films do have massive racist overtones IMHO. Look at the Trade Representatives in Episode I (I think it is): They look and sound very Japanese, and what do they do - they organize a massive secret attack. They are untrustworthy, bumbling, ineffective and they have massive numbers of very poor quality troops that all look the same. All they had to do was throw big round glasses on the droids to make them more like the WWII propaganda the US put out about the Japanese.

Jar-Jar Binks brings to mind the stereotypes of blacks in the south - at least to me as a Canadian.

Naturally the Empires officer corps look amazingly like WWII German Wehrmacht and Nazi troops in their uniforms - although I give him massive points for the white Stormtrooper armor (perhaps we were supposed to feel some sympathy for them, I always did).

I love the SW movies but they are heavily cliche ridden and fairly biased, if not exactly racist. I think to say otherwise is foolish.

Comment Re:High-tech !? (Score 2) 377

And if they did that, the US would invade Antigua on some trumped up reason and just coincidentally the server farms for that DCMA ignoring service would be hit by hellfire missiles. The US has used its military to back up corporate rights many many times in the past, particularly in the Caribbean, I don't think things have changed all that much, just the media spin required...

Comment Oh thats nothing (Score 4, Informative) 231

If you want to see *really* abusive language and offensive comments concentrated into their purest form, go play an mmoRPG and try *Roleplaying*. Nothing gets the 12 yr old mentality for heaping offensive abuse on other players up more than encountering a roleplayer in a roleplaying game, believe me.
In Dark Age of Camelot we had 3 Roleplaying/PvP servers, with a specific set of rules intended to foster RP behavior. We also had some of the best PvPing in the game going. However, there were regularly people who would create a character on one of these RP servers (there were like 17 other servers they could have chosen instead) *solely* for the purpose of standing in a populated area and heaping abuse on anyone they found. I would say I appealed at least 1 person per play session typically for this sort of behavior. I just don't get it. Its not like I logged into the non-Rp servers to insult them for not choosing to roleplay, that would just be a massive waste of my time if nothing else. I can't imagine being so bored as to have nothing better to do that insult people I will never play with.
Now, I am not gay, but I can easily understand why those who are would group together to form their own community and avoid the abuse they probably get on a regular basis - or at least manage to avoid the typically offensive speech of the gamers around them.
I cannot really imagine wanting to claim a term that would focus that abuse on me though. That seems *to me* to smack of wanting a reason to get outraged and complain about. Still whatever fills your boots I suppose...

However I agree that online gamers are typically highly offensive and ignorant as a baseline behavior. Sure, some rise above that but they are the rarity, the vast, vast majority start at pig-ignorant and dig their way down from there. Admittedly this is mostly true only of RPGs that have a heavy PvP element to them. My wife plays LOTRO and it seems fairly mild, but then PvP there is a minor afterthought really.

Comment Re:Heh... Radical...Islamists...redundant... (Score 1) 564

On becoming a True Scotsman:
* I would suggest a Utilikilt yes, unless you have some Scottish blood in you, in which case you might adopt a standard kilt using the appropriate tartan - keep in mind there are also national tartans, city tartans, and tartans for various professions you might utilize. Also keep in mind that historically speaking the concept of a particular tartan pattern belonging to a particular clan is of course a later invention (probably of British origins). At most I believe we can say that certain tartans came from certain areas of Scotland at best.
The utilikilt seems like a fairly practical garment generally. I have been tempted to buy one.
* Learn Gaelic - its a tough language to learn (particularly the inconsistent spelling, but then if you have learned English already it should be like old home week). Its a very mellifluous language. Make sure you are learning Scottish Gaelic mind you, not Irish. BBC Scotland has entire broadcasts in Scot's Gaelic if you wish to acquire the sounds of it while trying to learn the vocabulary and grammar.
* Buy a practice chanter and start learning how to play the bagpipes. Now, by no means does every Scot know how to play the pipes - or even like them necessarily - but for most people there are a few key things that are associated with a true Scot and playing the pipes is one of them.
* Drink Whiskey - Single malts only, avoid blends.
* Pick an accent and acquire it - I particularly like Billy Connolly's accent myself (Glasgow I believe), but the Highland accents from somewhere like the Isle of Skye or the Hebrides, are very attractive.
* Learn to love football (i.e. Soccer) like your life depends on it.

Comment Re:And in other completely unrelated news (Score 1) 95

Well read this then, and other articles like it:


The changes to the Navigable Waters Protection act (which is almost as old as Canada) have been changed in bill C-45, so that a huge majority of Canadian lakes and Rivers will no longer have environmental protection. Perhaps coincidently, 89% of those lakes and rivers that will STILL have protection under the new changes, are in Conservative Ridings.

"Bill C-45 would mean tens of thousands of lakes and rivers will no longer be covered by the NWPA, leaving protection for just 97 lakes, 62 rivers and the three oceans."

Now who is spreading disinformation? Is it you for denying that anything is wrong?

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