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Comment Re:Easy to defeat... (Score 1) 62

Incorporate software in the drones to keep them at 0.7miles and above, while still doing what they need to do.

To put this in perspective, that's just over 1km high, which is over twice the height of the Empire State Building, and comfortably above the 830m height of the world's current tallest building, the Burj Kalifa.

Even if you've got a drone that has that sort of range- which is going to be at the upper limit or beyond most consumer drones at present anyway- you're not going to get close enough to view anything of note in worthwhile detail in the vast majority of situations.

Comment Re:Relax... (Score 1) 187

Nah, by now the foreign countries realize [etc]

"By now"? Everything- and I do mean absolutely everything- you said above should have been obvious to any individual paying the remotest bit of attention long *before* he was elected.

The only "surprise" is that he didn't fulfil the (much) more-in-hope-than-expectation belief some people had that this might not be the case when he became president. That- contrary to the evidence- someone who had made it through his entire life to the age of 70 while still acting like a spoilt 8-year-old bully, who was clearly unsuited to the position (and who probably hadn't expected to get as far as he did when he first announced he was running) might suddenly grow out of all that. Yeah, right.

I don't know whether he's too "dim" in the conventional sense to know whether he's being played, or- more likely- it's down to his pathological narcissism. It was obvious long before the election that his behaviour towards anyone was a directly tied to how much flattery was applied. He'd roll over and let anyone who transparently flattered him tickle his belly (e.g. the Putin lovefest), while anyone remotely critical (e.g. fellow Americans) was attacked with the lowest and cheapest insults. It's also obvious that someone so susceptible to manipulation in a position of power is a threat to world security.

Comment I'm in the 42% I guess (Score 1) 183

I find myself largely immune to the hustle and bustle of our open office plan. While most require noise-canceling headphones in order to get anything accomplished, it actually energizes me more than inhibits me.

As someone who went to middle school in one of the Open Classroom schools of the 1970s which had not yet moved to completely physical partitions between rooms, I hypothesize this may have a lot to do with it. I was trained for 4+ years on how to operate with many noise distractions.

Comment Re:Almost sounds like my kids (Score 1) 301

My children are in the same boat; however, they do NOT like commercials or the inability to pick and choose what they're going to watch at whatever moment.

When we travel we now take our Roku w/us b/c even with PBS, they're annoyed by the reality of traditional TV telling its viewers what they're going to watch and when.

Comment Re:Do me a favour (Score 1) 135

Spez (reddit co-founder and CEO) commented on Digg recently. Digg's 'upgrade' to a tile format alienated the entire user base. It was the best thing that happened to Reddit.

Interesting; sounds like I got that one about right then..!

Can't judge Digg's 2010 redesign personally- I'd long stopped using it by then, and AFAICT it's been redesigned (again) from scratch since- but it does sound like they were one of the first sites to go with the tiled interface that became so common in the following years. Which makes it ironic if it drove many of its users to Reddit, since that's been criticised for a (supposedly) confusing and unforgiving text interface that at first glance looks more like Digg did originally. (Albeit with nesting which- IIRC- Digg's lack of annoyed me).

That said, Reddit nowadays is probably even more important than Digg was. What I find interesting about Digg is how completely a site that was once genuinely quite significant (#) has disappeared. I mean, MySpace is the archetypal "fallen from grace" social media website... but people still remember it as that. Digg isn't just all but dead today, its existence has been very quickly- and almost completely- forgotten, which is in some ways an even bigger fall.

(#) Unlike, say, Second Life which a lot of media types obsessed over out of proportion to its actual usage... at least until it became clear that it wasn't- and never would be- anything more than a niche site for oddballs while everyone else was getting into Twitter and Facebook.

Comment Re:Do me a favour (Score 3, Insightful) 135

I remember back when reddit was supposed to be the "new slashdot."

Are you sure it was Reddit they were talking about? From what I remember- and commented on in this post from 2008 (i.e. when this was still recent history)- it was Digg that was getting all the hype and being spoken of as- essentially- an improved, next-generation Slashdot.

Digg's disastrous and rapid decline into near complete irrelevance several years back (#) have pushed it off the radar to such an extent it's easy to forget it existed at all, let alone the fact that it enjoyed several years of major popularity and had been a poster boy for "Web 2.0" in its early days.

Having checked its Wikipedia article, Reddit has been around almost as long as Digg (mid-2005 vs. late-2004). That doesn't surprise me that much- if I think about it, it's a site I'd been vaguely aware of for quite a long time. But it definitely seems that its current level of prominence is only something that's been attained in the past few years (i.e. post-Digg)- which would tie in with what I'd heard, that a lot of former Digg users moved to Reddit.

Anyway, this isn't a defence of Digg, just an attempt to ensure it's not inadvertently written out of history- for good or for bad.

As my linked post above makes clear, even in its early days I grew quickly disillusioned and watched it go downhill before my very eyes. And in hindsight, Digg- or its users- were some of the first to really highlight what would become many of the negative aspects of social media unleashed on the public at large that we know today. Such as the (then-hyped) "wisdom of crowds" descending into mob mentality, attention grabbing stories, manipulation and suppression, etc.

Digg arrived around the time the Internet was moving away from being seen as something for geeks and esoteric types, even past its late-90s/early-00s "cool kids" fad-dom and was becoming something that pretty much everyone used. If it was ever meant to be something akin to "Slashdot on steroids"- and I'm not sure that it was- it quickly way beyond that into a much larger and more general-interest audience with discussions and submissions covering much wider fields of interest; basically a forerunner of where Reddit is today. By the time it over-confidently misjudged its footing and went careering over the cliff edge, Digg was- AFAICT- far, far larger than Slashdot had ever been.

It's possible that when it originally launched in 2005 that Reddit might have been compared to Slashdot- or equally possible that you're back-projecting its latter success onto what people said about Digg! However, by the time Reddit (essentially) took over from Digg a few years back, both had gone far enough beyond Slashdot in terms of scale and audience that it didn't make sense to compare them.

That's not a criticism of Slashdot; it's a specialist, geek-oriented site, and always was. That was just less obvious in the days when most people on the Internet *were* geek types. I don't know what its traffic's like these days, but if it seems less prominent than it used to be, that's as likely because what was once a fairly tall building in the days when the Internet was geeky remains the same size, but is now dwarfed by skyscrapers surrounding it, i.e. sites used by the type of people (i.e. the vast majority of the public) who weren't on the Internet 20 years ago!

(#) Apparently precipitated by a major and disastrous redesign circa 2010, on top of growing competition from other sites and social media

Comment Re:Dead Pixel normal in 2017 (Score 1) 241

This is something I keep bringing up when people start comparing "ripoff Britain" prices with those in the US.

Firstly, people always forget that sales tax (i.e. the US counterpart to VAT) isn't routinely included in prices there, not least because it varies from state to state anyway AFAICT.

But yeah, there's also the fact that sellers in the US can get away with ridiculousness that wouldn't be allowed in the UK. Like- IIRC- 90 day typical warranty on some consoles like the PlayStation (I forget which generation that was), and I've even heard of some new laptops coming with a 30 day warranty.

At present, UK and EU regulations would likely see any attempt at something like that. (Contrary to what some people think, EU regulations *don't* give you an automatic six year warranty, but as far as I'm aware, for something it would be reasonable to expect to last *far* longer than 30 days, they wouldn't get away with that. IANAL, YMMV).

We'll see how long that lasts after the UK is dragged out of the EU by the same hard right Tory and UKIP sympathisers that want a trade deal with the US- one in which you know the larger US will be in a position to dictate the terms such as "harmonisation" with their godawful consumer standards- something I don't expect the aforementioned mock-Little Englanders to resist since they're mostly in favour of a low-rent, race-to-the-bottom free market economy anyway (#)- but that's another kettle of fish.

(#) You actually believed that "£350m extra for the NHS" claim from the same party- UKIP- whose members have openly opposed the NHS in the past? The same claim that UKIP themselves stopped pretending was anything other than BS as soon as they'd won the vote? You utter gullible f***wits.

Comment Re: Well no fuckin shit (Score 1) 154

Political dynamics (organization dynamics) can cause ideas to by killed.

Indeed- I can think of a maor example. Political dynamics and those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo have been noted by more than one person as the reason that- despite employing countless talented people in their research division- Microsoft rarely seemed to be able to translate this into actually releasing anything truly innovative and well developed enough to succeed.

This post I made a few years back references this in more detail.

Comment Re:This Means Very Little. (Score 0) 179

Uber relied on positive belief, the Ponzi effect, to keep the spice flowing.

"Ponzi effect"? What exactly is that meant to be?

Perhaps you're confusing it with some barely-remembered explanation of a "Ponzi scheme"? Yes, a Ponzi scheme does require confidence to be maintained in the fake investment, but that's not the entirely nor even the core aspect of the concept. Even as an analogy or metaphor, I don't see how one could describe Uber as a Ponzi scheme.

Unfortunately, this half-baked intellectualism- and the vaguely overblown "walks the path to the dark side"- distracts from the fact that the basic argument (i.e. that Uber *are* somewhat reliant on positive belief) is likely quite plausible.

Comment Coincidences of the Strange and Unexpected (Score 2) 142

The only actor to be killed by an Alien, Predator, and Terminator!

Yes- having just seen the clip, it appears to have been one of the other guys, not Paxton's blue-haired punk.

And what makes this strange is that I hadn't looked up the clip on YouTube. Nope. What's strange is that it was through pure luck in having just caught a scheduled transmission of "The Terminator" at *exactly* the point that scene was showing on TV.

Don't believe me? I'd read the article summary mentioning his role as the blue-haired punk and- out of curiosity- did a Google Image search for ' "Bill Paxton" Terminator' to get a look at the character. (I knew Paxton had died earlier today, but I hadn't remembered he'd played that character in The Terminator until I read that).

Literally a minute or two later, having moved away to do something else, I happened to look at the TV behind me that I hadn't really paid attention to in several hours.

Some guy with no clothes on was looking out over a city... oh, hang on, I remember this, it's that bit in the original Terminator film isn't it? Right about the time that the Terminator goes up to the punks and steals their clothes. Lo and behold, the next thing on-screen is the scene with Paxton as a blue-haired punk!

What makes this odd is that it wasn't even a news report into his death- as I said, it was an entirely unrelated and pre-scheduled (#) showing of the Terminator that through pure luck I just happened to have caught at exactly the right point.

Bear in mind that I definitely hadn't left the TV on Channel 5 for any particular reason- probably got bored after flicking through the channels- and I hadn't known at all that they were going to be showing The Terminator that night.

(#) I assume it had nothing to do with Paxton's death since printed listings from yesterday morning include it. If they'd wanted to give him a tribute, I assume they'd have gone for a film in which he had a bigger role anyway.

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The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. Seek simplicity and distrust it. -- Whitehead.