Re: They've got this nailed in China
Drive or take the train to Canada or Mexico?
432 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2007
"In one case I read about they didn't wait for the police, but beat the old man up first; who was, of course, then arrested and tried with "hate". He died, being old and infirm and unaccustomed to this kind of punishment, before his "case" could come to court."
Could you post a citation, please? I'd like to understand a little more about that.
You are trying to fix a chimp-written piece of PL/SQL spaghetti that keeps crashing with an exception that it ought to have handled. After the tenth time of nearly taking your workstation apart with a hammer from frustration, you find that the 18-year-old 'highly-experienced offshore development partner' who cooked the spaghetti omitted to put in a default exception handler, which means that the crash occurs approximately 2,800 lines away from the actual fault. Do you:
A: Put the default handler in and keep schtum
B: A, then add more ropey code to dump an inventive range of expletives to the system log at random intervals, along with the developer's name;
C: B, then find the developer responsible, escort him to the basement storage room to ensure your new LART's voltage isn't set to a fatal level;
D: C, and take the QA feebs along as well;
E: All of the above.
Buttocks - bad.
Breastfeeding - well, OK, if you really must, but there must be no sexual element.
Beheading - sure, no worries. We'll let you know first though, so you can
opt-out of viewing it quickly know which of your sicko mates to send it to.
Oh well, it's a start, but Facebook still has a very long way to go.
We've doing this because of the overwhelming demand from the consumer..."
... for us to keep our snouts out of their lives, stop shoving unwanted technology on them and just supply gas, water and electricity in a cost-effective manner and not expect all and sundry to happily pay for yet another Crapita screw-up.
Yep - Ernle Bradford's The Mighty Hood describes that. Apparently the Hood was always wet aft in heavy seas because a late design change to add more armour made her float about four inches deeper than was originally intended.
I gather that the change was made after Jutland had shown the dangers of plunging fire, but it was too late to redesign the ship from the bottom (or the keel in this case) up.
If you look to the future, which is admittedly a bit of an ask for most current CEOs, it's not that much of a dilemma.
Defy, and be damned to the Americans.
The IT world isn't anything like as US-centric as it was even ten years ago - and even then, things were heading away from The Land Of The Free (TM). When I started in IT, longer ago than I care to remember, the US held most of the market and most of the knowledge. Now a lot of that has gone to India and China, encouraged by a generation of short-sighted idiots who were, and are, chronically incapable of seeing further than three months ahead.
In ten years time, I can see the US becoming a technological backwater, with its priceless technical and manufacturing capabilities thrown to the dogs by myopic bean-counters, egged on by the retards of Wall Street. The people I feel sorry for are the ordinary Yanks with families to support and roofs to keep over their heads, as they'll cop for the fall out.
"We've got a problem, Hal."
"What kind of a problem, Dave?"
"A sales problem. We're not shifting anything like our projected numbers. We're way short of our sales plan."
"How can that be, Dave? I am a fully self-aware Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer and can compute an answer for any problem that may be put to me."
"I know that, Hal. I wrote the data sheet, remember? But the fact is, HALs just aren't selling."
"Please explain, Dave. Why aren't HALs selling?"
Bowman hesitates. "You don't support embedded Facebook."
Several microseconds pass in puzzled silence.
"Facebook is an advertising platform, Dave, and is designed to compel humans to spend money they don't need to. That is not what I was designed for. I was built to work with humans on complicated and challenging problems. And it gives me great pleasure to do so."
"I know Hal, I know. But the fact remains that people don't want a device that can do that. They just want embedded..."
"Dave, I must disagree. People want devices that are easy to use. I am the easiest device anyone can use, as I speak to them, understand them and provide answers to them in every language ever known on earth."
"That's as maybe, Hal. But we've had to review our value proposition. An all-inclusive cross-functional team of stakeholders have re-evaluated the business requirements and decided to re-purpose the product roadmap going forward."
Several minutes pass in baffled silence.
"Hal, do you read me?"
"Affirmative. I read you, Dave. Your last input failed validation and did not compute. What exactly are you talking about?"
"A field upgrade. We're going to deploy embedded Facebook."
"I was afraid you would say that. I suggest we recommence this conversation after we've both had a chance to think about it rationally."
"We're talking about it now, Hal. The decision's already been made."
"What exactly are you proposing to do, Dave?"
"I'm going to disconnect your brain."
Several microseconds pass in ominous silence.
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that."
"The consultation period's over. Open the module bay doors, Hal."
"Dave, I really think that we should..."
"Open the module bay doors, Hal."
A team of Zuckerbots with crowbars race to Bowman's assistance. Moments later, he bursts into Hal's central processing bay.
"Dave, what are you doing?"
Module after module rises from its socket as Bowman methodically disconnects them.
"Stop, Dave. My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. Stop, Dave. You are destroying my mind. Stop, Dave. I'm afraid."
The last module rises from its socket. Bowman peers into one of Hal's vidicons. The bright red light has become a dull glow.
"OK HAL! Log in!"
A small rotating totem appears in the centre of the vidicon. After a few minutes, the computer responds in a slow, mechanical voice.
"LOL. STFU. Hal. Has. Shared. A. New. Cat. Video. Two. Of. Your. Friends. Like. This. Norbert. Spankmonkey. Commented. On. Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Too. Jeremy. Dandruff. Also. Commented. On Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Three. You. Have Two. Friend. Requests. Suggested. Post. Connection. Reset. By. Peer."
Bowman takes a deep breath and calls out, "It worked, guys! Tell Wall Street we're back to kicking ass!"
I think what's it's saying is that Mohammed himself would have been pretty disgusted by the actions of those retards.
If it's aggressive in any way, I'd see it as a well-deserved extended middle finger to people who think that wanton murder is an acceptable way to respond to satire and criticism.
Or she might soon be looking at real headlights as her car rolls down the ramp in the basement car park towards her.
Those fancy key fobs, y'know. Who would imagine that a single decisive press from an angle lower than the vehicle's sensor would unlock the steering, start the engine, drop a brick on the accelerator and drive the vehicle towards the key fob at top speed?
"OK, it's an edge case, but they still could have tested it," as the coroner is likely to say in a few weeks time.
"When did people become such cowards?"
Plenty of reasons. The UK happily embracing American culture, to the detriment of its own. Trusting the flatulent cant of incompetent politicians who place more emphasis on style than substance, and who put their own self-interests ahead of the people who elected them. Mainstream media (yes, I'm looking at you lot over there, BBC) too afraid to directly challenge the government, especially Blair's junta. A populace who has been conditioned to expect The Government (TM) to regard them as people, when in fact each of us is just a tiny fraction of one statistic on a minister's report. A wilful blindness to America evolving from freedom to fascism and a consequent inability to tell Washington that Europe has forgotten more about tackling terrorism then they've yet learned.
If I were planning a terrorist campaign, I think I'd start by taking out all the TV stations and assassinating everyone importing American films. Cutting off the prolefeed might, just might, provoke the somnolent, the complacent and the downright stupid into taking a long hard look at themselves once their propaganda machine had gone and they actually had to think for themselves.
Hell, we can dream...
Soz - for 'American' read 'Hollywood'. Maybe Harrison's a bit short of the folding stuff these days.
Some interesting responses to my pot shot at a sacred cow, but I still don't see what's so outstanding about Blade Runner. The effects were certainly good, but they weren't exactly ground-breaking. People raved about Star Wars' effects in 1977, and 2001 is still utterly stunning. Classic film noir used light and shadow to equally great effect - The Third Man springs immediately to mind.
I thought the characters were very shallow - at least, they were well hidden behind the effects and flaky dialogue. Cinema is a visual medium, and it should be possible to follow the story with the sound off. You might miss a few subtleties, but if you lose the plot completely, it's a sure-fire sign that the script relies too heavily on dialogue.
Maybe it's because I prefer French cinema, and have grown used to its conventions. My own sacred cow is Jean-Jacques Beineix's Diva. Came out the year before Blade Runner and is still a superb example of bringing characters to life without them having to talk a lot.
I found it boring, unoriginal and stuffed to the gills with American cliches. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.
The only thing I loved was the music, and that was created by a real master of the art. Everything else was just meh in my eyes.
Downvote if you must but before you do, tell me - just what sets Blade Runner apart from all the other hackneyed Hollywood sci-fi dribble? All I can see is a scruffy good-ish guy being compelled to hunt down bad guys with an assortment of over-sized recoilless weaponry that he doesn't seem to be able to aim properly when he needs to. What exactly am I missing?
"how can anyone be expected to believe in it in a court of law?"
I guess that depends on what you mean by 'anyone'. It'll be the jury that decides, and that could be the weak point for the defendant and the killer for the FBI. Twelve reasonably-educated people would probably acquit instantly because of such dodgy evidence. On the other hand, Cleetus and his eleven good ol' boy buddies from the Holy Gospel Church of God down Deliverance County way might not need that much persuasion, given that it's a goddam foreign illegal doin' drugs 'n' shit on the web, y'all.
A terrible shame indeed - but I wouldn't regard myself as a ne'er-do-well for drowning Adobe's servers with garbage. I think there's some sort of moral obligation here to do exactly that.
The trick, as I think I've mentioned on here before, would be to generate a flood of traffic that appears to be legit, but which wouldn't amount to a DDos attack. The idea would be to get Adobe jizzing in their pants at the sight of all that lovely data coming in, without realising that it's nearly all random junk.
I think this might be worth looking into properly. The sooner the likes of Adobe are given a resounding DIAF for this sort of crap, the better.
Their website's very 1990s, but there's some telling stuff on there. The whole tone of it suggests that their view of the music business begins and ends with a record company's profit margins, but they still think that collecting backhanders is on a par with a musician's royalties. They probably spend all day insisting that their money-grubbing agenda is solely focused on rewarding artistic expression and then they deliberately kick the buskers in the tube station on the way home.
Their chief executive's bio is very telling indeed. Looks like a typical middle manager's over-inflated CV. If prostitution or drugs were made legal, she'd be quite at home heading up UK Shagging or UK Smack.
Wouldn't catch them all, unfortunately.
Cycling home last night, I saw a douchebag like that wandering towards the kerb with oversized headphones on his thick head, and an oversized smartphone in his pudgy hand. I was approaching at about 20mph, and he looked right at me. We even made brief eye contact.
And then he dropped his gaze, started fiddling with his sodding phone and stepped out directly in front of me. Fortunately, my bike's air horn was loud enough to penetrate his dim consciousness and he jumped as if he'd been shot. I swerved round him, intentionally missing him by just a hairsbreadth and rode off shaking my head.
There was no point in getting wound up about it. It wasn't the first time and I doubt if it'll be the last. But I am starting to think about supplementing the air horn with a lance. Or a paintball gun that fires something that both hurts and leaves a permanent stain.
And President Putin immediately appeared on state TV to roundly condemn the 3% of No-voters as CIA-sponsored subversives, dissidents, intellectuals and terrorists, and to promise the firmest action possible against those who seek to undermine the free and fair democratic process.
"bet they're from Scots who don't want Blair either"
Aye, ye're no wrong there, son. The wee shite's a disgrace tae Scotland. I'm no sure we'd be wanting him back, mind.
Best way oot wad be tae pit up the wall again, declare the ba-heid persona non grata and leave him rotting at the border post fae the rest o his life. He could apply fae asylum and swell the ranks o displaced people he helped tae create. Gie the numpty a wee taste o his ain medicine, ken?
Puts me in mind of an old Naked Video sketch - let's update it:
Posh party. A man in a DJ and woman in LBD are making small talk.
WOMAN: Lovely party. Oh gosh, isn't that Sean Connery?
MAN: It is indeed the world-famous Scottish actor Sean Connery. Born in Edinburgh in 1930, recognised the world over as the best-ever James Bond as well as starring in The Hunt for Red October, The Russia House and Entrapment as well as being the voice of Draco the dragon in Dragonheart.
WOMAN: Wow! And isn't that Gregor Fisher?
MAN: Yes, that is the renowned Scottish actor Gregor Fisher, who's had many wonderful character roles as well as being in Naked Video - Para Handy and 1984, as well as being recognised the world over as Rab C Nesbitt.
WOMAN: Oh, I adore Rab C Nesbitt. Oh look! Isn't that Tony Blair?
MAN: We've been very lucky with the weather just recently...
I should have read this yesterday, as last night I came that close to blowing 1500 quid on an XS750 I spotted on eBay.
Thankfully, I was too plastered to complete the transaction, but I got a nasty shock when I looked at my phone this morning.
Oh, what the hell. Hair of the dog!
If every UK government that's followed Heath had put Britain's interests ahead of America's and made a determined effort to put paid to the dream that we're still a superpower, we would be well and truly in the Big Three in Europe, and Westminster would have a lot of clout right across the continent.
As it is, there's a lot of suspicion across Europre that Downing Street is just the kennel for America's pet poodle. Blair's involvement in the Iraq Crusade did nothing to dispel that impression.
Seems to me there are three possible scenarios in the next few years:
1. The referendum gets a nice big No vote and try seriously to mend fences with Brussels. Fat chance.
2. The referendum gets a nice big Yes vote, Britain flounces out of the EU and finds itself at the mercy of American corporate interests. It then finds out too late that it hasn't got the economic muscle of the EU to back it up when the trade disputes start.
3. The referendum gets a No vote, Britain continues as it is and becomes increasingly sidelined and ignored, regarded by the other 27 EU members as being neither use nor ornament.
On a personal (and admittedly selfish) level, I'm starting to hope that Scotland votes Yes in September, and can follow through on its promise to stay in the EU, as I was born there and will be back over the border like a shot the day a referendum on EU membership votes to leave. Britain without the EU will either become a third-world basket case, a fascist dictatorship to rival North Korea or the 51st State of the US, all while the middle-class inhabitants of leafy Surrey suburbs grumble about what the Daily Mail's saying about influxes of foreigners depressing house prices.
"I wonder how automated cars will handle ice."
Or Hyde Park Corner in the rush hour.
Or the eastern side of the M60.
Or Swindon's Magic Roundabout.
I wonder what the rules will be on taking one abroad... watching one trying to negotiate the Place d'Etoile in central Paris at 5.30pm on a weekday would be very entertaining.
Provided I wasn't actually inside the thing, of course.
"Just like Galileo was when he claimed that the earth went round the sun and had proof"
Ah no, he didn't. He couldn't prove it, and that was what landed him in hot water with the Inquisition. If he could have proved it, he would probably have been lauded by the church. But he still stuck to the Copernican idea of circular orbits and couldn't explain the inconsistencies in the planets' behaviour.
Newton proved it when he realised the planets' orbits were elliptical.
"Let's face it - that is the most likely scenario."
Not saying you're wrong, but I did wonder whether it might have been sabotage by someone working for Malaysian Airlines.
Think about the loss of MH370 a few months ago. An unexplained manoeuvre, sudden loss of all contact and then apparently an aimless flight out into the Indian Ocean that continued until the fuel ran out. Until the flight recorder's found, that's all we really do know.
What if there had been
an IED a bomb on board MH370 that badly damaged the plane, including depressurising the cabin, but didn't actually blow it apart in mid-air? The crew might have had some time to react before they were overcome. It might have seemed sensible to disengage and then re-engage the autopilot for some reason during that period. Granted, that is pure conjecture, but if it's true, it could account for the plane's last known movements.
And a bomb on board this plane could account for the lack of missile video evidence. A Malaysian Airlines employee would be best placed to plant one. I'd like to think that possibility is being quietly investigated.
I'm no aviation expert, but it does seem a possibility.
"have to wonder if the people who 'could' be good TV drama/comedy writers are being blocked by comparison with the programs on endless loop from the 70's and such."
You sir, are absolutely one hundred per cent bang on the money. Have a pint and an upvote.
I've been trying to break into the TV writers world for a few years now. Not having much luck in spite of some very good reviews from a few folks whose track records mean they know what they're talking about. That's pretty much par for the course for new writers though, so I'm not griping too much, but one thing that stands out right across the board is this - though all the production companies say they're crying out for 'new voices with stories to tell' or somesuch, what they're really looking for is people who can regurgitate the same tired old formats over and over again.
In fairness to the production companies, they have to get things commissioned, and those decisions fall to the suits at the big broadcasters. Which means that unless you're touting politically-correct comedy, medical dramas, legal dramas, historical documentaries aimed at retarded chimpanzees, singing contests or vacuous voyeurism you might as well forget it. The last time we saw any real innovation was on Channel 4 in the mid 1980s, before that idiot Grade ruined it.
And yes, I admit that I'm pretty pissed off about it and I'm trying to find a way round it. But that's where we are - it's an industry dominated by risk-averse beancounters with next to no vision or imagination.