* Posts by That Awful Puppy

231 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2009


London's Francis Crick Institute will house 1,250 cancer-fighting boffins

That Awful Puppy

Re: #Fail

Just a bit too much unsharp mask in Photoshop, I'm afraid, rather than a nefarious PC plot.

North Korean operating system is a surveillance state's tour de force

That Awful Puppy

Re: Interesting possibilities for someone wanting to take down the regime

To be ever so slightly pedantic, Yugoslavia started going downhill when in 1980 Tito decided to pop his clogs after a few decades of surprisingly effective state-building, drinking and whoring. Succession planning, alas, wasn't among his priorities.

As US$12bn is wiped off Apple's value in one day, iOS 9, OS X 10.11 and Watch OS 2 dates set

That Awful Puppy

Re: Come out of your bubble

I'm struggling to see how new customers, rather than existing fanbois, could look at something like the Wiley Fox Storm for £200 and then decide to buy the new iPhone for £600.

I can. The GF had a dumbphone for a long while, but then she needed a smartphone for work. As she has the habit of just clicking through everything without even so much as a cursory glance at the text, I figured it'd cost us less to just get her an iPhone. I took my usual hourly rate, multiplied it by the 30-odd or so hours I imagined would be spent removing N dodgy apps and configuration fuck-ups in the first six months, and decided that buying an Android phone, nice though they might be, just wasn't worth it.

So far, she seems very happy with it, although I'm sure she'll manage to break it somehow, as she seems to project a very powerful Electronics Malfunction Field.

Intel doubles its bounty for women and ethnic minorities

That Awful Puppy

"Maybe one of these days you'll actually learn about the lovely genetic anomaly I have. It's spectacularly rare. Not that it would matter to you. Because it's a choice."

You never stated you had one beforehand. As I said in the first line of my comment, there are a few - very few - medical exceptions. If that is the case, I sincerely apologise.

Nice job on the rest of the comment, though. I haven't seen so many toys ejected from a pram with such force since the last fight with my ex.

That Awful Puppy

Being fat is almost entirely a choice, the very few medical exceptions notwithstanding.

I used to weigh 140 kilos. Not quite enough to have my own event horizon, but I did notice a few minor satellites orbiting me. So I took a good hard look at myself, which took a fair amount of time due to my extensive surface area, and decided things need to change.

I started eating less carbs and more protein and fats (whilst keeping an eye on total caloric intake), and did a bit of exercise. My weight is now around 85 kilos, +/- a few. I feel immeasurably better, I look better and I don't sweat nearly as fucking much.

It wasn't easy, but it's a choice, as much as being fat is a choice. It's just a matter of altering your daily habits.

Discriminating against someone based on things they can't control, such as race, sex or the kind of naughty bits that attract you? Shit behaviour.

Discriminating against someone based on things they can control, such as going into politics or choosing to stuff your face day in, day out? Well, it's not nice, but people's choices are a good indicator of what they are like, unlike things they can't control.

Trevor, I enjoy reading your articles, but your comment is just one long list of excuses. Please consider some change, for your health's sake if for nothing else.

Renault Captur: Nobody who knows about cars will buy this

That Awful Puppy

Re: There's a fiat 500 4wd????

4x4 Pandas are the go-to car for doctors, farmers and anyone else who needs a cheap car to get to a godforsaken place in the mountains during winter around here. Gets you on top of every hill in snow and ice, cheap to run, small, and relatively easy to fix.

Are you a fat boy? Get to university now, you penniless slacker

That Awful Puppy

a. Being fat has absolutely no advantage, unless you're stuck on a small boat in the middle of Pacific Ocean. It's absolute shit for you, and I should know, I've been fat for long enough. Furthermore, I'm reasonably sure that obesity-related healthcare costs far outweigh any pension savings, but I will not argue this point as I have no hard data.

Being fat is also not something you're born with* - quite unlike preferring to disappear behind the bike shed with people whose genitals are very much like yours, or having the sort of skin colour that makes Daily Heil readers foam at the mouth. So no, this is not a matter of diversity, it's a matter of people being a burden on society through either ignorance or sheer laziness.

b. Junk food (high in carbs) is in fact, per calorie, a lot cheaper than good food (high in protein and fibre). While we cannot completely change this, the state should at the very least swing the balance in favour of decent food.

When I started my long trek from landwhale to a mere lardarse, my food bills went up by a significant amount, despite eating less calories. Why? Because a decent cut of meat costs a lot more than a bag of crisps and a microwave pizza, calorie-wise.

*except in very very rare cases

That Awful Puppy

As a former lardarse (who is still somewhat portly) - every fat kid should bloody well be whipped into shape as soon as they start getting a bit too squishy around the waist. Feed them protein and fibre, strike carbs from their diet, and have them exercise every day. I might not have liked it when I was a kid, but I sure would have appreciated it later on.

And have every delusional f*cknut who goes on about their poor metabolism and their genetics making them fat publicly tarred. Doubly so if they do it in the media.

Edited to add: And have the bloody EU lower taxes on protein-rich food and increase taxes on carbs.

Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U

That Awful Puppy

Re: Don't fall into those pre-defined roles.@ Fihart

Having worked with a fair few creatives - no, they weren't paid the several million quid. The owners/managers of the ad firm got the vast majority of those, whereas the creatives were likely paid in mouldy peanuts.

Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe

That Awful Puppy

Re: I love it

I never knew I had a twin named Steve.

IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

That Awful Puppy

Re: "..research paper is published nearly every 30 seconds.."

Erm, no.

Most are closely guarded by academic publishers, who are pretty much the most disagreeable sort of parasites, apart from politicians.

Give them an arm, a leg and the defence budget of a small dictatorship, and you can read to your heart's content.

Stanford boffin is first woman to bag 'math Nobel Prize'

That Awful Puppy

To everyone commenting on her appearance and nationality

Be a good medieval relic and FOAD, please.

(I understand f+ckall about the subject matter, but I really didn't expect such /b/tard shite on El Reg.)

YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

That Awful Puppy

Oh good, so it's gonna be just <pop tartlet du jour> and <ageing rock "icon"> from now on.

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

That Awful Puppy

Re: Why the spite and bile at hifi lovers?

Increase the 500 quid to 3000 quid and it's more likely. Good bass reproduction costs a fair deal of money, but yeah. A 3k studio rig (Genelec springs to mind) is hardly likely to be beaten by a 30k audiophile rig.

True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras

That Awful Puppy

Re: Perhaps, one day

I'm sure the equipment list in your signature in photography forums is wonderfully detailed.

That Awful Puppy

Re: The best camera is the one that is in your hand.

Amen to that. While my ego/stupidity wouldn't let me buy a mere G2 and a kit lens, the m4/3 stuff is good enough for almost anything, barring any paid assignments where its lack of dynamic range could hurt me, and it's small enough to have it on me at almost any time.

Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

That Awful Puppy

Re: model a neurone in one supercomputer

>If you feed a computer program with the same inputs, it will always produce the same outputs. A brain is not like that.

But it never *is* the same input. I have very little programming background, and only a limited knowledge of neuroscience, but this is my take on it:

Every input your brain gets causes a reaction, be it positive or negative. The first time you hear a catchy pop song? "Mmm, that's nice." The n-th time you hear that song? "Oh bollocks, not this again."

The first time you eat an olive? "Get this damned thing out of our mouth" The third or so time? "Oh yes. Please do find more of these."

So the first input is never anything like the second one, or the n-th one.

Works the same on the molecular/neurotransmitter level, too, with all sorts of drugs.

If a computer were capable of remembering every fscking time you asked it to calculate a particularly boring Excel spreadsheet, you can bet it would start throwing hissy fits by the tenth time and changing the results by the twentieth. Unless you programmed it so that Excel would be its equivalent of libido, but then again, I'd rather not have a computer that used my invoices spreadsheet as a jazz mag ...

Anonymous and pals gather in support of girl at centre of rape case

That Awful Puppy

Anonymous, despite their less-than-stellar reputation, are rather caring people. They just tend to like the lulz a bit too much.

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

That Awful Puppy

Quite so

My oldish Air (mid-2011) seems to respond a lot faster.

Hands up, who couldn't post to Facebook today? Oh, MILLIONS of you

That Awful Puppy

I'm sure ...

... that the El Reg commentards and the rest of the world will be relieved to hear I just managed to post a status update.

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

That Awful Puppy

Re: Perhaps

>So you're suggesting that your lack of Word skills is actually not a lack of skills at all but instead the computer working against you?

No, I'm suggesting that Word is absolutely fucking useless for page layout.

That Awful Puppy

Re: Perhaps

>Word is designed around 100+ page fully formatted reports at which it excels

Yes, it excels especially at buggering up the whole bloody document if one tries to move a table or, god forbid, a picture, a few pixels to the left. Or right. Or any other direction, by any other amount of pixels, dots or centimetres.

Bad for Bezos: Amazon's German workers threaten pre-Christmas strike

That Awful Puppy

Re: @Trevor

>Give the two possibilities - employers with all the power leading to a Victorian distopia or workers with all the power leading to slower economic growth as people stop become "lazy" and stop killing themselves for the sake of their jobs - I vote "worker power."

I'm a socialist at heart. I really am.

However, I spent the first decade of my life in a 'worker's paradise'. Granted, that's not much. From what I do remember, though, and from the aftermath that followed (which was admittedly a very benign sort of aftermath), I'll tell you this. There has to be a balance between worker power and employer power, otherwise, you end up with an economy that's basically run by the sort of people who inhabit the less reputable corners of Tumblr nowadays - and I'm not talking about the porn bits.

You end up with permanently dissatisfied, nothing-is-ever-my-fault, the-world-is-out-to-get-me tw*ts organising a strike for every single thing, the most productive workers being mobbed for doing *too much*, as it makes everyone else look bad, and so on.

A balance is a must.

That being said, an all-worker-power clusterf*ck is mildly preferable to an all-capitalist-power clusterf*ck we currently live in. But only just.

Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers

That Awful Puppy

Re: orly

As much as I enjoy taking the piss out of Linux on anything that isn't meant for sysadmins, if Valve port the games to Linux anywhere nearly as well as they do on Mac, it's going to be a very good experience.

From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

That Awful Puppy
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Godspeed ...

... to all of them.

Except to the reality TV project. Because you just now it's going to end in punters paying extra to watch shower scenes from beyond the Moon's orbit.

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

That Awful Puppy

I don't care that much for INNOVATION and REVOLUTIONARY

I would very much like it if Apple concentrated on what got me hooked into their ecosystem - building somewhat overpriced computers that work really bloody well and which run an OS that for a reasonably small subset of users is fantastic.

I'm utterly dependent on QuickView*, for instance, to sort through mounds of PDFs and DOCs with cryptic names I get from my clients. A well thought-out user interface on a solid, if perhaps somewhat middling and in some cases definitely overpriced hardware - I can earn money with that.

64-bit mobile processors, fingerprint readers? Not so much.

Disclaimer: I do love my iPhone, but it's a gadget, not a tool.

*yes, yes, I'm sure Ubuntu has something that is vastly superior and works really well, provided you only use it on three filetypes and spend a few days configuring it just right.

New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

That Awful Puppy

Re: Affordability my arse

While I'm unashamedly a Cupertino fanboi and while I do love the not-so-bloody-serious look of the 5C, this line had me spitting coffee all over my shiny MacBook Air.

"Marketeer for "an injection moulded blob of uber-scratchable plastic with a toughened-glass-esque sales spin applied"?"

Well done, sir, and have a beer, you deserve it.

Microsoft, Nokia and the sound of colliding garbage trucks

That Awful Puppy

Re: One unified brand...

"The word is Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language which has no relation to Latin"

True to a certain extent, but considering how long Finnish has been surrounded by Indo-European languages, there are (comparatively) very few words left that are truly Finno-Ugric in origin. That being said, toponyms are usually amongst the last to go, so your point is probably still valid.

Finnish still has the distinction of being the angriest sounding language I've ever heard, apart from Scots.

Sergey Brin's 'test-tube burger' cooked, eaten, declared meat-like

That Awful Puppy

Probably just a vegementalist, with this 'quorn' (I'll admit to being ignorant on this matter, living quite blissfully in a country that is a few years behind every health food fad) being the newest and the greatest of what basically amounts to the proverbial carrot garden in a nunnery - i.e. a poor substitute for something they allegedly don't miss at all.

How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

That Awful Puppy
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Re: That sounds like ...

Good grief, whoever is writing this is brilliant. I'm not even in IT and I find it hilarious. Thank you very much for pointing me in this direction.

Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

That Awful Puppy

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

"The GIMP and Inkscape just isn't catching on despite being around for ages, just as capable"

Go on, pull the other one.

Washout 2012 summer, melty Greenland 'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'

That Awful Puppy

Re: What resources actually are.

Would you mind explaining to the unenlightened among us how exactly are we getting this energy from air?

COLD BALLS OF FLAME light up International Space Station

That Awful Puppy

Love the experiment, but this video is just awful.

Apple said to be 'exploring' 5.7-inch iPhone

That Awful Puppy

Re: Anti-Apple bias

I'll just put a few <twat> tags around my face the next time :/

That Awful Puppy
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Re: Anti-Apple bias

Look, in the past five years or so, I've bought two Apple desktops, two laptops, three iPods and two iPhones. And while I'm very happy with all of them, Apple's practice of patenting every ridiculous bit of their design is becoming quite distasteful to me, and I don't mind El Reg pointing this out.

To me, an anti-Apple bias would be reviewing their products unfairly, and I've never found this to be the case. Taking the piss out of the business practices of an arrogant multinational, albeit one whose products I like, is NOT anti-Apple bias, it's simply telling it like it is.

Waving an Eye-of-Sauron pulsating mock cock? Stop immediately

That Awful Puppy
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Coffee, meet keyboard

The bootnote did it.

NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

That Awful Puppy

Re: You're late to the party

"Americans are accepting restrictions on everyone's freedoms instead of simply rounding up all Muslims in America."

Seriously, how thick exactly does one have to be to spout such nonsense? Do you really expect a round of applause for not locking up/shooting/gassing members of a certain religion?

Next thing you know, Angela Merkel will be on the telly, saying "Well, we haven't done any systematic killing of Jews in a very long time, I think it's time we give ourselves a hand."

Petascale powerhouse cracks important HIV code

That Awful Puppy

>Actually it looks like Ebola is the one to really fear.

>Death is in days, not months or years.

Actually, this is exactly why ebola isn't the one to fear. You see, ebola kills its host far too quickly to spread really efficiently.

Ebola: You get infected in Africa, and you're dead before you even get to the next village, let alone the airport. In most cases, anyway.

HIV: You get infected in Africa, and you die a few years later, and are subclinical (i.e. not showing any signs or symptoms) for much of these years, giving you ample chance to infect everyone you come in all sorts of fun contact with.

From an evolutionary point of view, HIV is much more successful, as it has a larger reservoir of hosts.

As my virology prof explained to us, most viruses tend to attenuate with time - killing your host in particularly gruesome ways is never the parasite's goal, it's living* in the host for as long as possible and spreading to as many other hosts as possible. Therefore, it is entirely possible that in a few hundred years' time, HIV, if it weren't for medicine, would simply cease to be fatal and be more like herpes - a few cold sores every now and then, but mostly just a virus you carry around in your body without suffering any serious harm.

*Viruses aren't really alive, though that is a grey area.

US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

That Awful Puppy

Re: Missing the point: SOLID STATE!

I tend to disagree.

Imagine a laser anti-artillery battery in South Korea. Since its power requirements are likely to be colossal, it would have to be fixed, at least the power source would. Even with North Korea's dismal economic state, artillery is relatively cheap. All they need to do is triangulate the position of the power plant, which is relatively simple, wait for a bit of fog to creep in (not that it would defeat the laser, but it would most definitely impair its function) and launch a barrage with n+1 shells, where n is the number that saturates the defences.

For the cost of a 100 artillery shells, a very expensive piece of equipment would be gone.

Now of course, this doesn't take into account air supremacy, which would very likely make mincemeat from the artillery about 20 seconds after its location was known, and so on.

Not that I disagree with you completely - I believe this truly is a massive development. I just don't consider it to be quite the silver bullet you seem to think it is.

Facebook skins Android with Facebook Home

That Awful Puppy

>For me, a mate IS someone I see/share experiences with.

Maybe as you age you will look back and think.........

Apparently, the ageing bit has already happened, alas.

The mates I refer to I did see and share experiences with, and lots of them, most of which I wouldn't entrust a social network with, it's just that kids and families and jobs tend to mean we don't have so much time to share new ones.

In a sense, it is a very sad situation, sort of the end of an era, and in another sense, well, if we can't see each other so much because of kids and families and jobs, it's not such a bad reason, is it? And if I can use social networks to share my latest musical obsession with them, or a fantastic movie I just saw, well, social networks really aren't such a bad thing, are they?

On the other hand, the amount and intimacy of shit youngsters post on social media is just astonishing. But then again, who am I to judge, being a jaded old fart.

That Awful Puppy

In a sense, I do agree with you. On the other hand, my mates and I are now so deeply embroiled with our everyday lives, we don't really find much time to go out for a beer, and social networks are a decent-ish way of staying in touch. Not the best way, I agree, but better than nothing.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of sheer twattery going on on social networks, but then again, one can easily block said perpetrators of twattery.

Spies in the sky: The leaps and bounds from balloons to spook sats

That Awful Puppy

Re: For those interested:

>Rather helpfully, it turned out that the USAF were a bit crap at excuses and tended to trot out the usual "weather balloon" type platitudes. This led to the belief that there was a monumental cover up of UFO work at Area 51, which handily distracted everyone from what was really going on and suited the CIA down to the ground. It was so useful as misdirection that the CIA made a point of pouring fuel on the fires of the conspiracy nuts at every opportunity.

Of course, that's what THEY want you to believe.

Love in the time of the internet: A personal memoir

That Awful Puppy
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I've met my share of nutters ...

... including one girl, who, after one date (which went by without any physical contact whatsoever) decided that I was the love of her life (I didn't quite reciprocate) and eventually nearly forced me to change my phone number after pestering me with calls night and day.

On the other hand, I've also met quite a few very nice girls - sometimes, things didn't work out, and sometimes, they did.

However, I never found anyone on a dating site as such - mostly, it was just chatrooms and various forums.

Oh, and internet dating is indeed a boon for not particularly attractive folks with the social skills of a demented turtle, such as me. Picking up women in bars or indeed initiating any sort of physical contact is, I'm afraid, very much beyond my abilities.

$195 BEEELLION asteroid approaching Earth

That Awful Puppy

Re: Usefulness?

I think having a relatively vast supply of metal and water in orbit is a very good thing indeed. Send up a ThingWotMakesOtherThings(TM) (or a von Neumann machine, if you want to be really high-brow about it), leave it to work there for a while, refining metal and turning water into delicious hydrogen and even more delicious oxygen, and in a few years' time, you have all we need for a space-based industrial complex and maybe even the beginnings of humanity becoming a true space-faring race.

In my opinion, while 999 of 1000 such companies will go bust, it'll be the one that doesn't that will advance humanity by a significant bit. And I very much look forward to it.

New cunning linguist computer has got ancient tongues licked

That Awful Puppy

Re: Etruscan? Basque?

You're missing the point. This program is not meant to decode the meaning of another language, it's supposed (as far as I can tell, anyway) to simulate the evolution of languages in reverse. This won't work on Basque or Etruscan or other language isolates, because they have no common ancestor, or at least none that is attested.

It can, on the other hand, simulate the common ancestor of, e.g., the English hound and the German Hund, but do so far more rapidly, if less accurately, than humans, basically helping us to develop a phylogenetic tree for all related languages and even tentatively reconstruct words from related languages that are now extinct.

Mmmm, Tocharian.

That Awful Puppy

Re: Tongues untied

There are certain astonishingly accurate and universal laws that govern the changes in pronunciation through time. My flabber was well and truly gasted when I first stumbled upon this concept, but they do seem to work well. Google Grimm's law, and I'm sure you'll be amazed.

McDonalds burger app gives it to you straight from the horse's mouth

That Awful Puppy
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Re: To be honest...

Actually, the by far most popular fast food place in my town specialises in horse burgers. And boy, are they delicious.

Brit robojet ‘Taranis’ set for Oz test flight

That Awful Puppy

Re: Just wondering...

They don't really get along that well with Indonesia, which has a decent-ish air force. Of course there would never be an invasion, but an up-yours air raid isn't completely out of the question.

Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

That Awful Puppy

Re: Oh, come off it

Forgot the link, of course.


That Awful Puppy
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Oh, come off it

>While I do agree with academic journals and articles needing to be more freely available, I also know it always was a very complex situation when it comes to the costs of running these journals and editing them to certain standards.

They don't, really. If you fancy a bit of reading, here's a very good blog post with links to other very good blog posts on this topic.

>Publishers always have been riding the fine line to providing them free to academics without giving them away to the whole world. Complex licensing schemes are in place throughout the educational world, meaning that many academics and students have free access through their library or department already. At least they should have.

The access is only free to the academics and the students. The libraries, on the other hand, pay through the nose, and are pressured to buy access huge bundles of journals they don't really want. All in all, the academic publishing industry is truly a nasty piece of work.