* Posts by james4765

17 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Aug 2008

Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe


There's a reason for it.

At least on the slimier side of things, it's because of lechers / pervs. Not as common as it used to be, though.

Genetics and technology make Columbus Day a fraud


Columbus day is really falling out of favor on this side of the pond

At least among my generation and younger, it's seen as gauche. Celebrating a slaver and mass murderer just seems... wrong somehow.

It was part of the mythology of Western European-descended primacy in this country that caused us to celebrate him, and given that the historical record is falling apart, there is very little reason to have a full Federal and bank holiday in honor of this... fine specimen of humanity.

Jupiter spacecraft mounted atop bloody big rocket


Not enough around, really.

The breeder reactors to make that nasty crap are mothballed now, and working with Plutonium is one of the scariest things in the world. It also decays rather quickly, and it's not something you just keep sitting around...

RTGs are also rather inefficient, but could be made with 1960s technology. We've got better solar cells, that don't involve the potential of spraying several kilos of REALLY toxic metal in the upper atmosphere if things go bang.

Next 15in, 17in MacBook Pros to be MacBook Air skinny


Let's wait and see on this, but...

I have a feeling this might be true - and they'll be removing everything that makes it a 'Pro' system.

Given that I'm already on the long-term migration path off OSX after the hideous blunder of Final Cut Pro X, I'm left feeling that I have no horse in this race. Looks like my last Mac laptop will be coming soon, and just strapped to the old Aja IO that FCP X made obsolete, for doing standard definition field recording.

I loved what Apple was doing in the 2008-2010 era, but they're going too far in the "lock 'em down" direction for me to feel comfortable. Not supporting Blu-Ray playback was the first sign...

Apple's new Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'


Editors are cranky old farts...

And I am one of them. There are some glaring issues (No DVD Studio? Really?!) but anyone who starts a commercial editing project on software that was just released is a HUGE idiot. I'm looking forward to the upgrade (holding off until 10.6.8 comes out like the recent tech bulletin recommended) but all my current projects are in FCP 7, and will stay there. I have some toy projects I will be doing in FCP X as soon as I get it, but anyone who is doing for-pay work on brand new software... I feel for their clients, and hope to steal them away.

If this was Adobe, or Avid, or Joe's Software Haus, there wouldn't be one tenth the butthurt about the software. But everyone is primed to kvetch about Apple. We'll likely see an entire software ecology built up around the new release, addressing shortcomings and adding features. Calling it a failure the day it was released is.. very typical of people who complain about Apple.

It'd be like calling the iPhone a failure because it didn't have copy-paste. Oh, wait, they added that.

Germans completely humourless: Official


Humor is tough to translate

I grew up on BBC comedy here in the US, and it put me a little out of sync with the rest of my countrymen. Jokes that don't quite make sense (except to other people who smuggled Benny Hill VHS tapes past their parents, etc) were my stock in trade in school.

German wit definitely exists, but the subtle cues that give away "I'm f**king with you" are one of the hardest parts of a language to translate. We reduced my German teacher to tears of laughter by translating a few scenes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail to intentionally bad German for language week in high school, though.

MythBusters: Savage and Hyneman detonate truthiness

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Already did the exploding CD a few seasons ago

They had to clamp the sucker in a 15,000 RPM motor to do it - the sight of a slab of ballistics gel with shards of exploded CD-ROM sticking out of it is one of my favorite things they've ever done.

Acer launches server biz in the US

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Acer has done Unix servers for a long time

Recently retired an Acer Altos running SCO OpenServer 5. Pentium Pro processor in it, and the thing was shipped specifically for OpenServer. So, they've been doing servers in the US for a very long time.

This box actually came from the POS vendor - it had the vendor's nameplate beside the Acer plate. Still worked when we retired the machine (and the location).

Acer's lowball parts are crap, like any lowball parts. Their servers seem to be made of sterner stuff...

Fort Wayne officials refuse to slap Harry Baals on public building

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Heh, there's a town in Virginia

called Licking Hole. Seriously. We also have a Bumpass.

Gotta love this place.

Raygun dreadnought project reports 'remarkable breakthrough'


One thing to remember about shiny defense

No mirror in existence can handle 100 megawatts for long. In order to protect yourself, it would have to be a 100% reflective surface. A 99.9% reflective surface would still absorb 100KW of energy, which would do the melty thing on pretty much any material in existence.

Plus, the best lab-quality first surface mirrors are around 99.5% reflective. That would net you 500KW of heat energy being unloaded on your missile.

HP lands $2.5bn NASA IT support deal

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Oh, Good.

I have friends who work at NASA, and the fail is strong with Lockheed-Martin. EDS isn't much better, having done a mediocre job at barely managing the US Navy's network, but they are better.

18 month hardware refresh cycles. Desktop techs working in labs that don't understand science. Reclassifying the computers running experiments as "lab equipment" so they don't have to put a smart card reader in and log out of the computer as soon as you walk away, among other secure-but-WTF?! measures from the paranoids in the security department.

I'm so glad I work in private industry...

US man slips into perv scanner-busting undies

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A lot of us Americans of Scots heritage are celebrating it now

A fair number of my friends are flying in kilts. And letting the TSA find out if they're going regimental...

Garage worker prangs £200k Ferrari

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Had it happen to me - as a mechanic

Took a customer's truck for a test drive after putting a clutch in it. Hit the brakes, and started skidding - the tires were completely bald. Stuffed the truck into a parked car.

Turns out, it mysteriously had the insurance canceled on it the day before. And because of the braindead local laws, I was liable. And since I was in school at the time, that meant my parents' insurance took the hit. My parents never let me live that down.

I can see a wreck happening on a test drive - it's embarrassing as all hell, and does your reputation no good. However, that's what company insurance is made for...

GeoCities demolished

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Oh thank god

I feel a disturbance in the Force. As if millions of crappy websites cried out all at once, and fell silent.

Good riddance.

Inside the world's greatest TV remote

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You haven't spent much time in doctors' waiting rooms then

I would have killed for this waiting for drug tests in the middle of the day. Stuck watching daytime soaps. For an hour and a half.

I bought one for my mother when it first came out - she had great fun with it :)

After all, here in the Southern US, it's normally Fox News. And I can't stand blithering idiots.

You did what? The trials of supporting remote users


Tales from the other side

Company I used to work at is still running Windows 95 on all their desktops. A few years ago, some of the machines had corrupted the antivirus installs, and I called to get a disk to re-install. Now, I was a fleet mechanic, but was well on my way into transitioning to a unix admin, and had more than enough of a clue to do this simple task. It turned out the software required access to a central FTP server to pull updates, so I called the hell desk.

Me: "I'd like to get the user name and password for the antivirus update server, so the software can pull updates."

Helpdesk: "We don't have an FTP server."

Me: "Actually, you do, I found the server IP for the update server on one of the installs that is still working. All I need is the access to do antivirus updates."

...time passes, and no progress is made...

Helpdesk: "I'm sorry, I can't give you the password. You might hack the server."

Me (after completely losing all sanity) "Motherf___er, I do not need a f___ing read-only FTP password to hack your g_dd__m server!"

Things went downhill from there.

I got written up, but it was worth it...

BOFH: Burying the hatchet

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lol @ Jim Is Troll

Jim has been trolling the Computerworld Shark Tank forums for a while - guess he found a new soapbox to gnaw and drool on.

Thumbs up for trolling people who really should have known better...