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Comment Re:Zero Incentive for Success Equals Certain Failu (Score 1) 116

Some of the fault can be laid squarely at whoever wrote the original contract. One of the contracts in the UK that's currently just starting to make the press is notable because the consultants managing the process (why would you let a consultant manage the process?! Consultants *consult*, dummy! Not a dig at consultants, but the fool who handed over control of the entire process to a third party...) are being paid 10% of the procurement cost of the contract as a bonus.

Yes, you read that right, they're effectively being *told* to buy the most expensive thing possible, with somebody else's money. And, as an added bonus, the system they've chosen (at an estimated 5 times the cost of one of the losers - whom they didn't actually permit to bid) will require months of (paid, of course) work from the consultants concerned to get it to work. I'm in the wrong line of work, really I am...


PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

Comment Re:Not really the new Jack Bauer (Score 1) 339

Have you considered how effective this could be if a certain cult that prefers attack to defence (or, indeed, anyone with anything to hide) can figure out how to work this to their advantage. If this keeps up I'm thinking it won't be too long before prying too deeply into some cults results in accusations of kitten-stomping or worse, because if you're busy cleaning the graffitti from your front door you won't be pursuing the cult in question.

Comment Re:I can think of a few (Score 1) 496

Because to even get at my wired network you need to break into the premises, that's why.

Also, 54Mb/s (or whatever the standard's up to this week) isn't too great when it's shared between 40 people. With wired, they get 1Gb/s. Each. (Yes I know, up to the limits of the server they're connecting to, factoring in that you can't get 100% utilisation ove the link, etc, etc, etc)


Comment Re:i worked at the world trade center until 9/11/0 (Score 1) 898

If security are telling you to get out, fair enough. But if I'm on a tube train with already-mentioned guy speaking a language I don't understand, and the two SWAT (SO13, in my neck of the woods) officers with him don't bat an eyelid, why on earth would I?

The plane was under escort. Unless you assume the escort was compromised as well (in which case, just who do you trust?) that tells you that the big plane will be handled one way or another.

Comment Re:i worked at the world trade center until 9/11/0 (Score 1) 898

I really am not denigrating new yorkers here, but I must confess that I do not understand the reaction.

This isn't intended as a smug comment, so please do forgive me if it sounds so.

I understand that low flying planes are scary, particularly in the circumstances, but I'm not sure what's expected to be achieved by panic and evacuation. If the plane is close enough to be a threat I sincerely doubt that heading to the lifts is going to save the day. If it's not close enough to be a threat, the F-16s will handle it should it look like becoming one. Either way, action is either needless or pointless.

And, before anybody tells me I have no idea what it's like, etc, etc, etc - I work in London, and on the day of the tube bombings was sat in my offices, right above a train station. My boss was out of the country and asked if I was going to evacuate, so I explained that anything that hadn't gone off by 11am probably wasn't going to, and got back on with work.

Comment Re:Cheating AI (Score 1) 378

Ever tried sending out a battleship in CivII unprotected by an Aegis cruiser? Won't last long if your opponent has cruise missiles. I actually cheated myself once and turned on god mode, to see quite how the AI tagged me with every single one of his cruise missiles (precisely enough to sink the ship, of course). No hostiles within visual range, not even a lurking submarine.

On a related note, if every city bar one has protection from nukes, and that city's deep inside your empire (so that the AI has had no chance to spy the city and get this information) guess what? nuke the city, paratroopers in, instant fifth column. It was around this time that I stopped playing nice with the AI.

Input Devices

Submission + - Scientists Discover Genitalia Arms Race in Ducks

GuyMannDude writes: From the you-go-girl department, Scientists are reporting that some female ducks and geese have evolved complex genitalia to thwart unwelcome mating attempts. The study details how vaginas of some duck species have evolved to feature complex structures designed to reduce the chances of forced impregnation. Male genitalia have evolved similarly to tip the odds in their favor, resulting in a sort of evolutionary "arms race" in which control over reproduction alternates between the sexes.

Submission + - Top 15 most controversial Microsoft quotes ever

coondoggie writes: "In the pantheon of controversial Microsoft comments CEO Steve Ballmer's quote this week about the Apple iPod: "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item," ranks right up there. But Between Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates that comment would be hard pressed to crack the Top 15 all-time most controversial or even colorful things the two of them have uttered in the past oh, 20 years or so. Who could forget: 1. Ballmer lambasting technology stock valuations, including those of his own company: "There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy." 2. Ballmer on those pesky iPods and Google. "My children — in many dimensions they're as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I've got my kids brainwashed: You don't use Google, and you don't use an iPod." 3. More on Google of course, by Ballmer: "Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards. " 6"

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