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Comment Better way:Very UnCivil Disobedience (Score 4, Interesting) 137

Google the names of senior executives at MTA and have conversations than slander their sexual habits, lack personal honesty, cruelty to animals and studying at a Bible University. Pepper your speech with copious profanity in multiple languages, making the task of humans who listen to this crap more onerous.
Feel free to have such conversations, even if you are alone, which at the least will get you a seat to yourself.

I ask you not to advocate any act of violence against anyone in this, but you can be creative. You and your (imaginary) friend can talk of how your coven of Devil Worshippers plan to put a curse on named senior execs at the bus company. ...or have loud conversations about how you're going to hold noisy messy protests outside the homes of named executives.

The poor sods who have to monitor this will have to pass the 'threats' up the management chain. Enough false positives will make them reconsider their approach.

Comment HSBC are worse (Score 4, Informative) 345

I have had serious problems with the aggressively incompetent HSBC 'fraud' detection.

The 'best' was when they claimed the reason they had (again) blocked my card was that a whole batch of cards had been compromised and it wasn't just my card.

Sadly for the liar at HSBC was I'm a tech journalist, so I immediately contacted their PR department who denied any knowledge of the breach.

It was just made up to make me go away.

Comment It nearly makes sense (Score 3, Interesting) 634

I entirely believe you can fill one "relevant" course with 50% women, what does that prove ?

It proves there is some demand, not that there is a horde of women desperate to learn how to drill wells in the 3rd world. ...maybe there is, but there is no evidence for it.

I'm a science grad, I like this "evidence" thing.

There are a good number of people studying the Klingon language, yet I rather suspect that if every university offered such a course the places would not be filled.
This is the same logic, "I've got a course that we get people to take, therefore it can scale"

Of course I don't *know* that the demand for Klingon is relatively small, *because I require evidence* before I know anything.

The whole idea of relevance strikes me as deeply patronising, the idea that women shouldn't concern themselves with men's issues, like money and innovation, but should be some sort of carer, either wiping things up if from a poor parental background or doing a PhD in caring for 3rd worlders if she has richer parents.

Comment NASA PR treated as fact (Score 1) 160

The 10 year horizon offers no step change in our space exploration to discover life.
We certainly won't visit the gas giant moons that seem promising within a decade, NASA can't send humans to Mars within a decade, SETI continues good but unrewarded work, we have no new physics to peer more closely at extrasolar planets and even if we did, NASA can't build *anything* new in less than a decade.

So you basically have to ask, "will today's tech with a slight upgrade do something basically different in the next decade ?"

Maybe, but probably not.

NASA exists only to distribute pork according to the demands of incumbent politicians.

What we have here is in no useful way different from the Disney Hype for the next Star Wars film.
Indeed I expect more surprises from SW7 than from NASA in the next decade, which is bloody sad.

Comment Re:The man in the high castle (Score 1) 175

Wasn't making that comparison, indeed Hitler had much little personal for most of his time, even when the war started. Also of course he fought for country in WWI doing a very dangerous role, got decorated. Obama never served, GW Bush's daddy got him the job of defending Florida from North Vietnam, Clinton dodged the war altogether, Reagan never saw action, etc.

McCain did do serious military service, yet in free and fair elections the American people rejected him for President.

I mention this because of the sheer number of films where the US President is portrayed as a cross between a Captain America and Batman., Independence day, White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen, Air Force One et al.

Yet the reality is that US Presidents cower in corners.

Comment The man in the high castle (Score 5, Funny) 175

As a loyal citizen o Her Britannic Majesty, I ind this whole thing hilarious.

You need a castle mate.
All this bollocks about fences "looking like a prison" is failure of imagination on a galactic scale.
For centuries people from less happy lands have crossed our silver sea to raise the hand of war against out kings and queens but their knavish tricks have been frustrated by our castles.

They are so aesthetically pleasing that millions of tourists flock to them, The Tower of London has no moat but would remain fast against any plausible attack. We use it to store the Crown Jewels.

If your Mr. Obama would care to contact Her Majesty then I'm sure she would supply the plans as a gift, I have her address if you need it.

Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Queen of Canada,Queen of Australia,Lord of Man,Overlord of Sark Defender of the Faith
Buckingham Palace
London
SW1A 1AA

Comment Britain is an alternative universe (Score 0) 199

Imagine a world where conservatives saw a genetic treatment and passed legistlation to allow it.
Imagine a world where they listened politely to the faith groups, but listened more intently to doctors and sufferers from a horrible disease.
Imagine that the leader of the conservatives went to one of the top 10 universities on the planet because he was smart, not because his dad gave them money.

Imagine that the leader of said party had been required to understand the difference between backwards E and upside down A as part of his course which included Goedel's incompletness theorem.

Imagine (and I'm getting silly now) that the leader of this conservative party pledged that under his leadership spending on socialised medicine would increase in real terms. Imagine further that his own children used the sociliased medial system.

Then on this planet, the leader of the conservatives pushed through laws in the teeth of faith group opposition to allow gay people to get married, because he believes in marriage and has a firm conviction that its benefits should be open to all.

Imagine a political leader who will leave officer *poorer* than when he started ?

This strange planet is called "Britain", David Cameron is the leader of the *Conservative* party.

Comment The senator is right (Score 3, Insightful) 413

He does politics for a living and has succeeded in a competitive domain, we should listen.

The issue is that Gerrymandered seats are safer, the elected official *is* communicating with voters, but the electorate he must worry most about is his own party in the primaries.

If you have a seat that is safe for one party then you get elected by activists of that party, not voters in general which leads to people getting elected from both parties who would never win on their own merits if they had to "communicate" with a more representative portion of the electorate.

They don't get re-elected by doing a good job, they get it by convincing activist members of their own party that they "represented our values".

They don't get fired by screwing up, but because some faction of their own party, be it unions, Tea party, some religious or ethnic group don't like them or because they sleep with someone that causes a fuss.

So the surprise is not that elected official are less than the best, the surprise is that they know such advanced maths as "some numbers are bigger than others" and that grasp foreign politics well enough to know that the Queen of England isn't a New York bar.

Comment It's a stupid test (Score 5, Interesting) 642

Imagine that we believe that "two women talking about something other than men" was a good test, we'd therefore lose:

Colonel Samantha Carter, PhD Physicist, intergalactic heroine, smarter than God. Can program, fly fighter jets & alien spaceships, shoot and do things that they don't bother to explain because they are simply beyond us poor males to understand. So that's Stargate gone.

Lt Uhura: Dr Martin Luther King who *some people* see as quite into rights loudly praised her character, but I can't recall her talking to women much, except maybe some of the aliens might have been female, so that's Star Trek gone.

ST in it's various forms look remarkably feminist (usually) women commanded warships in ST long before the US Navy let them, they are engineers, scientists, doctors and of course inexplicable nexus of unknown forces.

Ripley from Alien, Aliens, Alien3, Return of the Alien, The Alien strikes back, Alien Resuscitation. Smart, hard, no bimbo, the Aliens are apparently female, she kills them, conversation with them is rare. The men are a) weak, b) stupid, c) dishonest, d) weak, stupid and dishonest

X-Files : Scully is smart and hardly ever talks to women.

Agents of SHIELD: Loads of women programming, analysing and occasionally shooting at people. The inter-female dialog is rare.

Babylon 5: Strong women, being heads of security, scientists, highly cultured aliens.

Torchwood : Strong female lead, again almost no inter-female dialog.

Under the Dome : The main character is a strong woman, all the weak bad people are men

Terminator 1,2,3, Sarah Connor : Oh look ! what a surprise a strong woman in a world of defective men

I've not yet seen Interstellar, but let me guess, the women in it are smart and honest and whoever is screwing things up is a man ?

I can't be the only person who's noticed that in many SciFi and action films a dumb American male is accompanied by a highly educated woman who actually understands what is going on, whilst he shoots at it.

Submission + - Dr.Who to teach kids to code (theregister.co.uk)

DCFC writes: The BBC is releasing a game to help ten 8-11 year olds get into coding. Based on Dr.Who, it alternates between standard platform game and programming puzzles that introduce the ideas of sequence, loops, if..then, variables and a touch of event driven programming...and you get to program a Dalek to make him more powerful, apparently the BBC thinks upgrading psychopathic racist death machines is a good idea.

Comment Where is version 2 and 3 ? (Score 3, Interesting) 205

If you can explain it in ways they can understand then its probably not worth much and if you do explain it they can share it with others.
You're really lucky you have an algo where they can see the effect, leave it like that.

They want a cash flow over time, which means:

1: Patent protection

2: A version 2,3,4,5, read up on Dolby Studios, they started decades ago doing the same thing but for hissy audio tape, still going N versions later on totally different media.

3: Get the word "mobile" in this. VCs are obsessed with mobile currently, I assume this will make phone pictures better ?

4: They want an exit strategy, is this going to be sold to join people's patent armouries or a firm they can float ?

5. Have you talked to Google, this sound like just what they might want for YouTube and to stop others getting it.

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