welcome to britain
did you pack your bags yourself? are you carrying any liquids? are those your own fingers?
117 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
world reels as bankers fail to live up to promises! mock horror alert outs financial institutions as not as secure as advertised! users remain ignorant of risks and happily pay for continued incompetence of authority!
new tv program idea: big banker. 10 individuals are hand picked from britain's top 10 financial institutions and are forced to spend 10 weeks locked together in a house. they are set a series of group tasks aimed at developing an effective counter fraud strategy and bringing their respective institutions' privacy policies up to scratch. if, at the end of ten weeks they have failed to determine any effective policy or look like they give a shit, they all get shot by the cast of The Wire.
As any nerd knoe, Linux is a far better experience eventually, but it still requires a little bit of undre-teh-hud-knowlij to make it work just so. And many users rely on proprietary stuff to keep them working - I am talking to Flash and MP3 codecs, in particular.
What I don't understand is why the community want Linux to blow up. Sure, Windows sucks, but why do Linux geeks actually care? Who would support it, if it did? All of us geeks would suddenly find all our spare time taken up looking after our mates' computers... we do enough of that, already! At least with the current situation you can blame other peoples' computer fails on their shitty O/S and walk away from it.
Where does that leave the community? As ever, plugging away, gradually eating market share. Awareness will come, but it has to build organically. As more people use open source (and they are, gradually), more people will be available to support it. We shouldn't pump scarce resources into advertising campaigns for a mass market product when the support infrastructure isn't available.
Having said that, my father now runs Ubuntu on his old desktop. After a few lessons, he is perfectly capable of browsing the web and updating his Creative Zen playlists and he certainly appreciates the processor cycles freed from the dread beast Norton AV.
the way to do it is to not count charge taken from the grid. you should only count the electricity generated by the petrol engine used to charge the vehicle's battery. otherwise, you could clearly go as far as you wanted on no gallons of fuel at all, simply by getting to a power point before your battery goes flat.
people seem to forget that electricity from the grid is not necessarily cheaper or greener. in fact, it is probably much less efficient than that generated by an optimally tuned petrol engine running at its most efficient speed. gcse physics says that v = ir and there's some serious resistance on those hundreds of miles of copper wires going from the power station to your house, meaning that the current you receive is only a fraction of that which is generated, unlike in your car where you'll get almost all of it. the maths is not difficult but it is inconvenient for people with an agenda to push... that is why i doubt the EPA's methodology takes any of this into account because it will obviously make business look bad.
sorry to be such a party pooper but there is so much 'green' bullshit out there that simply doesn't stand up to even basic thought experiment and i fscking hate it.
WHY? Missing the point so, so badly.
Basic mathematics will show you that a battery like this, with both motors running at full pelt will keep your oversized chunk of wheeled metal speeding along for a grand total of just over 4 minutes. Seriously - no-one will ever use the electric option on this vehicle because it is useless. Not a fucking clue.
"This story is rubbish. We are satisfied the personal data on the chip cannot be changed or modified and there is no evidence this has happened"
Uh huh. Just the kind of responsible attitude I've come to expect from government. When they do find the inevitable bugs they will be supressed, denied and eventually legislated against. We-know-best-lets-put-our-heads-in-the-sand bullcrap.
Depends what parser you use! When I'm writing Perl I use XML::LibXML... a module which is nothing but a set of binder functions to a pre-compiled library written in C. Therefore, Perl/Python apps will indeed be vulnerable if you use libxml/libxml2.
Who knows what the M$ position is?
I find Linda Bowman's remarks rather fatuous - she clearly implies that she would rather all UK citizens have a permanent DNA record, to punish and bring to justice any crime, however minor, immediately. When will people like her realise that for a society to progress toward the ideal of true freedom (viz, its ability to function harmoniously and autonomously, with minimal governmental/judicial intervention), individuals must be given the ability to make informed decisions without the threat of immediate forensic reprimand, should they mess up?
If the spectre of judicial punishment hangs over every facet of a persons' life (which it will, given the sort of DNA database state both she and Ms Smith are proposing), the individual's need for a decision process will be removed by default and the only options are to either never break the law or go to straight to jail. People so ready to abdicate their free will to the better judgement of the state forget that the law is no absolute but is, in reality, a set of guidelines by which people are encouraged to do the right thing, as opposed to being subject to immediate justice should they wander outside of it. One's free will is the last bastion of the individual and should be nurtured and coveted, not gaily frittered away.
The most worrying consequence of this digital, push-button interpretation of the law is that many individuals will never learn how to make their own, informed adult decisions. Ms Smith may propose a carrot and stick approach to regulation of society but in this case, she has very much placed all the emphasis on the stick. I am afraid this kind of legislation is very much a case of two steps backward on the road toward a world of the informed, individualistic, liberated free thinking of which all human beings are capable.
What concerns me here is the replacement of common sense and common trust with a formalised, cariacturised version of the same. Will such a registration guarantee the safety of a child? Necessarily not: there are no guarantees for anything in this world. Furthermore, this legislation provides adults with the excuse not to think about with whom they leave their children (thereby potentially and paradoxically exposing their child to greater danger) and will, by default, hinder development of genuine relationships between children and any adults they may meet - certainly impacting a childs' ability to form trusting relationships as adults. Maybe even with, for instance, their own partners. Not good.
Moreover, it is a well known fact that the majority of child abuse happens within the family home - so this law will at best prevent only a small minority of cases whilst requiring obscene amounts of bureaucracy and inconveniencing millions: childminders, teachers, nurses, doctors, sports coaches, community group leaders... family friends? Who is not immune? The logical extension of this insanity will require parents to obtain a CRB check before they may legally start planning a family.
First it was the Spinning Jenny, then it was wireless radio, then it was condoms, now it is the Internet. What next will They blame for The Downfall Of Humanity?
What the faithful never seem to grasp is that science is not an alternative religion: it is a fundamentally different philosophy, altogether. Whereas science is a bottom up concept which seeks to explain our universe by repeatable experiment, changing its rules to fit observable reality, religion is top down, seeking to explain our whole world with one grand thought. When new information is discovered, science adapts its principles to accomodate that information. On the other hand, anything that doesn't fit the proscribed religious doctrine - that which claimed to have all the answers from the word go - must necessarily discard new information as anomolous. Thus all religions claiming Knowledge of Eternal Truth must eventually reach the point where more information has been discarded than accepted. This difference in outlook is what enables science to adapt, but religion inevitably grinds to a halt as its relevancy decreases linearly and its redunancy becomes increasingly obvious.
Therefore, it is not surprising The Church rails against technology; as science discovers more about how the world works on an empirical level, religion can only recontextualise itself into progressively more etheric regions of thought, as yet untouched by the cold light of experimental data. In this current climate where data is accumulated at an exponential rate, the Bish should stick to that at which he is best - providing comfort to those afeared of the vaguaries of the afterlife (at least until we get some hard fact - surely not too long in coming). In this increasingly real world he is clearly out of his depth.
Yeah, of course that is the way it *should* be done. But I can imagine the conversation:
Dev: So, boss, how should I do this? I can write this system with a one-way hash to provide road users with the privacy or I can use a shared key encrypt.
Boss: Which works best?
Dev: Well, they will all work the same for our intents and purposes. But a one way hash provides the best protection for drivers and keeps us in line with the DPA. Also...
Boss: Which is the fastest for us to implement?
Dev: Ummm no difference, really.
Boss: Best be on the safe side. Remember who's paying our wages: they might want that data.
Dev: But the tax payer already knows what his number plate is.
Boss: Who said anything about the tax payer? Hop!
IDLE COMPARISON #1
windmills are unreliable, complicated, unpredictable, inefficient, an eyesore and it is difficult to store the energy they make for when you actually need it (flywheels, megacapacitors and reservoirs should not be considered as they actually make an already inefficient system even more so!)
approx flow rate = 250 * 10^6 cubic metres/sec. gcse physics calculations tell me that to shift 250 million cubic metres (250 billion kilos) of water per second would require about 800 gigawatts. that's 10 times more power than the uk currently produces in total, with output of all power sources combined. plus, it won't look bad on a hillside.
the gulf stream as a power source would be vast, reliable, and capable of actually making a difference to emissions targets, unlike wind. there are technologies already available that could take advantage of at least some of this massive latent energy source and we should do what we can to take advantage of this, as it's on our freaking doorstep. instead, the government want to invest hundreds of millions building thousands of inefficient windmills on top of the gulf stream, instead of putting turbines in it. even if we only managed to harness 1% of the gulf stream's available energy, it would still beat the shit out of wind power.
government is full of jerks.
All they have to do is develop a time machine within the next 6 years and we can travel to 2015 BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Then suddenly, the future will resolve into a symbolically complete solution of itself and wink out of existence as we become caught in a non-terminating causal reality/unreality Mobius/Spielberg probability loop. THANKS DARPA!!!
Suggestions to any executive bankers reading:
1) Don't use Windows for ATMs
2) Don't use Windows for office desktops
3) Don't use Windows for anything, actually
4) Don't use Mifare chips on your cards
5) Don't you think it's time to ditch DES?
6) And to Smile: buy a proper fucking Verisign certificate and sort out your fucking website you fucking fucknutted fuckwits!
Hope this helps.
Lots of love,
Johnson said: "These cards will benefit young people who, on average, have to prove their age more than twice as often as adults and I want to make that process simple and secure.”
Am I right in understanding that Mr. Johnson is proposing that one benefit of introducing ID cards and the respective database is that young people's alcohol and tobacco purchasing experiences at the corner shop on Friday night will run a little more smoothly? Is that how low this issue has sunk? Presumably these will be the same corner shops at which the same government have refused to ban The Mosquito device. Does he not know of the pre-existant and fully legally accepted identification scheme for young people, called PASS? I bet he does. But I guess this is a less than optimal solution for uk.gov as it does not require finger prints or a biometric scan for such a card to be issued.
So, the government's castigation of young people continues apace. You are a liar, Mr. Johson, and grasping at straws. You are utterly pathetic.
The education of business and government in matters of security seems emininently sensible and appears to be the first governmental stance on information systems security about which I may feel quietly optimistic. The emphasis on the devolved responsibility of the individual is particularly excellent. However, I feel the desirability of this department will depend entirely on the following caveats:
1) Any modification to civil liberties and personal privacy rights resulting from threat investigation are balanced directyly and objectively against risk (as opposed to force of political will, ho, ho, ho. See Great Firewall of Australia),
2) The operation remains a civilian concern and open to public scrutiny,
3) The department employ people that actually understand the technologies involved and what may or may not be achieved: their manifesto implies they are fighting people that very definitely do understand these things. This particular point is of paramount importance.
As a final note, I am moderately surprised to learn that they're distancing themselves from toeing the f*ing terrorist line. Which is nice.
So, this dude's studio recorded directly onto his laptop? Or maybe the engineer wiped the recordings from the studio's disks as soon as they'd finished the session? Uh, no. This is a stupid story about stupid people doing stupid things, and an interesting cross reference may be found here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17366-how-celebrities-stay-famous-regardless-of-talent.html
The irony is of course, that by commenting on this I am perpetuating some vainglorious loser's stint in the public glare. Bye, now.
A positive message indeed, but I thought the point of being in business was to provide a product people need in return for money as opposed to providing a product nobody needs and paying them to take it.
I guess it just proves that Adam Smith and I know f*ck all about modern business.
Had a set of machines called:
And some others. I can't even be sure this list is accurate, but the point is that the manager had them all changed when he found out they were all objects that had been found up someone's arse.
"After all the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality," Richardson said.
Uhhhm. Is there suddenly a new fashion for nicknaming bizpterprenuers with contractions? First we had Suralun, now we have Richardson. What next? Dunnatyne? Pakenna? Simowell?
Since all the little indie shops got smacked out of town by Fopp (may their business continue to rot in hell), the only places I now buy records is at gigs. I will pay for the ticket and often buy CDs/LPs at the gig as a souvenir. The majority of performers I go to see these days do not have records in the shops, anyway and exist outside of what one might call the traditional record industry. Their careers have been built on sharing their ideas and music on Myspace, Facebook and other social networking media (in which I include P2P), with friends, acquaintances and fans resultantly organising their gigs for them - all, crucially, without the use of agents. Promoters deal direct with the band. I buy records at these gigs because I know I am supporting a tradesman that has a product I want and that all that money is going to them, direct. It's the buy local ethic and, in the context of art makes absolute sense: art is a personal, not a mass commodity! (in case anyone is wondering: Coldplay do NOT count as art)
The argument that the economists make is good: the Internet has indeed given more artists a chance, those who do have appeal but maybe not the right sound/ideas/image to make it within the confines of the traditional record industry infrastructure (viz homogenised mass market). This is not just a good thing, this is a great thing! Diversity is where it's at... a mirror to life itself. Conformity, the opposite of this, is the means by which majors consolidate talent into the smallest possible package to sell to the largest possible number of consumers: check out MTV, the "voice of youth" or whatever the fuck it is, for proof. It's a very simple ROI arrangement with meeja executives and absolutely fuck all to do with art or human expression. It is sterile, plastic, cheap to reproduce. Non-expression. Culturally void. Industrial, generic and anti-creative.
I do wonder whether the steep increase in rate of albums/movies produced in the last 3 years is due to majors desperately searching for the next big thing before their game blows out for good. If it ever does (their model definitely will), I think no-one will mourn the death of EMI or BMG. Compare the number of useful careers these people have cut short to the number of artists they have actually made successful. It is an undeniable fact that majors been ripping off the public and the real creatives for years - remember the excitement in the 90s when the news reported that whole CDs could be pressed for about 20p each, but the RRP was about 50% higher than a 12"? These undeserving dominant few are being knocked from their ivory pedestals by those same musicians and fans that they have been dicking for 100 years. I think it's great poetic justice and not before time. Fuck 'em all and good riddance. If you still have any doubts about where your money actually goes when you buy major, I suggest reading "The Problem with Music" by Steve Albini, freely available online.
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