This strikes me as a good idea. The religiousites and the would-be censors can now fuck off to their safenet, and any attempt to regulate the realnet could be countered with the statement "if it bothers you, fuck off to the safenet"
227 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Feb 2007
"The technical difficulties will never go away either no matter what level of technology is applied."
Shome Mishtake Shurely?
A fuel-efficient VTOL 'hands-off' system would clearly work. It could even be publicly owned (as in the 'automated taxi' idea above). We can't build one at the moment, but are you really saying we never could?
I guess the point is that the buoyancy of a submersible in fresh water will be much less than that in salt water, making it less difficult to go down but more difficult to get back up again.
@Den: way to take people's comments too seriously, dude :)
Paris, because I'd love to plumb her depths.
Do you have to be an 'out of control eco-nazi' to think that the 4th most densely populated country in the world could perhaps be...y'know...a bit less densely populated. They DID talk about a sustained 0.25% pa decline - hardly a catastropic reduction. At that rate it would take a century to get down to 46 million, and nearer 2 centuries to get down to their target population size.
Paris, cos this is a shagging thread.
I found the BBC six o'clock news coverage of this issue hilariously breathless and credulous. Brown's fear-mongering was swallowed wholly uncritically and regurgitated as shock-horror sensationalism. Both Brown and the BBC have this much in common - they both like to moralise. Brown should keep his nose out of my private life and get on with running the country. I can manage my own food budget thank you, until and unless he re-introduces ration cards. Which wouldn't surprise me. Somebody should eat the fuckwit. Great article, btw.
To be honest, I'm as big a privacy advocate as anybody, but for some reason Streetview doesn't really worry me. I'm no more worried than making an unplanned appearance on Streetview than I would be about walking past a street-based bit of TV reportage or being in the crowd at a sporting event. Maybe it's just the geek in me outweighing the bolshy bastard for once.
I like to put my WinXPPro taskbar to the side of the desktop, as I have a 2-monitor system. Why does it regularly reset to the default 'bottom' configuration after a reboot? Also, when I set the language bar to not be displayed, after a reboot it returns. Any solutions?
What?? Might as well get some useful info while she's here!
Does this mean there'll be a subtle natural selection towards games set in a modern-day environment where contemporary ads are appropriate? Can we expect to say goodbye to sf, fantasy or historical genre games in favour of gritty urban dramas?
Adverts break the suspension of disbelief. It's not like media companies have a great track-record of being subtle about product placement as it is. Unsubtle product-placement always ruins a movie.
We are talking neither about terrorists or bad guys of any sort. We are talking about suspects, who have yet to be proved guilty of anything, and indeed may actually NOT be guily of anything. The division of rights is based on 'suspicion', which is about as far from a liberal approach as it's possible to get, and a really fucking awful precedent.
Isn't there an irony in Sky (part of the Murdoch mediocracy) developing a show whose theme revolves around the individual rebelling against challenging the man? Wouldn't the appropriate response be "In the spirit of Rog Blake, I'll stick with Freeview"?
Mine's the one with the leather shoulderpads.
I got Vista with a laptop I bought in the Jan sales. Hated it on sight, not so much for its bloat but for the random pauses and the fact that any disk ops just took forever. Also, the constant flood of dialogs between me asking to do something and it doing it were a pain. Update would NOT work, despite several hours on the intertubes tring to fix the problem. Even manually applied updates failed to install, much less auto-updates, giving error numbers neither Microsoft nor anybody else has seemingly ever heard of. So when I finally got hold of the manual SP1, and THAT failed to install correctly, I knew there as no prospect of Vista ever getting any better for me, so I scrubbed it and put on XP. My laptop immediately sprang to life, and my only regret is I didn't do it sooner. Vista is a piece of shit.
I spend far more on live gigs than on recorded music. I did before filesharing took off, and still do now. I went to the trouble of checking my diary for 2007 and checking my CD rack - number of gigs attended 23, number of CDs bought direct from the artist at gigs 13, number of CDs bought via a retailer 2. That's never going to change. Tickets for a live gig go between £10-£30, CDs at gigs are usually around a tenner, throw in a couple of t-shirts. Why the fuck are artists worrying about those 2 CDs I got from Amazon which they probably only make a few pennies on anyway?
In any case, I thought we'd established a clear (and positive) correlation between an individual's inclination to fileshare and their inclination to spend money on music? Aren't filesharers the biggest purchasers? So what's the problem? Either filesharing is pushing music buying, or at the very worst filesharing is not impacting buying. At the end of the day, nobody can actually establish that filesharing is doing any harm. For all Bragg or any fucker else knows, it's actually driving sales. Tell me I'm wrong, but show me the figures if you do.
When did it become received wisdom that an 'artist' can do a job once and make money off it for the rest of his natural? Somebody pointed out that classical musicians work for a living. I'd add folk musicians to that too - Bragg should know this, he's performed with enough of them in his time. They don't expect a big enough audience to get by on CD sales, so they treate it as both an art-form and a regular paying job. The good ones thrive. The bad ones aren't being propped up by studio money, and have to go back to the army.
If you can't perform live, you're not an artist. If you can't do it well enough and often enough to make a living at it, then you're not a musician. Bragg's never going to starve because he can shove his guitar and amp in the back of the Mondeo and go do some gigs. In fact, you might argue that's his reason for being on the planet.
"So how do you compete with free stuff?"
Ask bottled-water manufacturers. Ask printers of the bible. Ask the owners of any web-site that makes money but doesn't charge for what it does.
Content as a commodity is worth exactly what people are prepared to pay for it, no more, no less. There's no supply-and-demand at play.
I've made the point before: folk and jazz musicians make handy professional livings despite having minuscule sales. My favourite band make more money than I do as an IT professional just by gigging. They don't expect to make enough money to retire on from one album (though they do make them and sell them direct, thus keeping what profit is there for themselves), because they know their market isn't big enough, so they treat it like a job and put the hours in. They'll probably retire about the same time as me, only with more money. And they LOVE performing, whereas I only tolerate IT, so what's wrong with that business model?
One wonders how, if somebody provides a screenshot of my IP seemingly involved in a swarm downloading the latest movie, they:
1/. Can establish that the screenshot is not simply a fake. Any idiot can photoshop.
2/. Can establish that just because the file is called "Movie X" that that is in fact what the file contains. I can download files called "Shrek 3" all day if I like, so long as they do not contain the movie.
3/. That I am not perfectly entitled to download said file.
4/. That the owner of the IP address in question is actually has sole use of that IP address.
The casus belli is weak, very weak.
Do they think that 15-year-old Johnny is going to BUY the software if they can't pirate it? With what? He's 15 ffs!
So if he can't pirate Windows and Photoshop, basically he's going to grow up not knowing how to use Windows or Photoshop, and is therefore very unlikely to buy it when he finally does get a job. In fact, he's unlikely to get a job that involves using Windows or Photoshop.
They should be handing the frigging stuff out at the school gates. Knobs.
"The fact is in Britain you can't earn a living from live music."
This is fantasy. How does he think the folk music scene has managed all these years? Folk music CD sales are miniscule - and CDs are very much seen as a nice supplement to one's income once the artist has garnered sufficient reputation to generate sales. But they're not the mainstay of how artists make a living.
Good folk musicians make a handy living doing live gigs, despite charging about half the ticket price of a contemporary band. What they can never do is get fabulously wealthy. And they have to be good to make good money. The problem with rock/pop is that artists expect to get rich being average, and at some time being able to retire and live off their royalties. Folk musicians know they have to put the graft in and work. I've seen folk artists travel 200 miles to do a gig to 40 people at under a tenner a ticket and STILL make money. Classical musicians seem to make a handy living performing live.
Music isn't like football. Musicians don't have to retire at 35. They should expect to keep working for their living, the same as the people who pay for their music. The idea that you can't do that playing live is nonsense - live is the modus operandi of most forms of music.
On the plus side: I get 20Mb reliably, the 3Gb limit only applies through peak times. There's no torrent throttling that I can see. It's not failed on me yet (going on for a year now). And nobody has complained about my downloading habits. The cost is comparable to BT.
On the minus side: Technical help? Forget it.
What, he posts something in the week before Christmas, and he's surprised it took a couple of weeks to be delivered?
My missus had a card posted in Feb 07, and it was delivered along with the christmas cards in December. Must have fallen behind something. See, if I was designing a post-sorting room, I'd definitely design-in a lack of things for things to fall behind.
So 15% of illegal downloads are done by students. But not all students live on campus. I couldn't begin to guess what the percentage is who do, but let's say for the sake of argument it's 33%. So if that's correct, then only 5% of illegal downloads are in fact the problem of college campuses. Hardly a large enough of a percentage to justify the draconian targeting of campuses throughout America and the force majeur of federal legislation.
Even if campus downloading were wiped out tomorrow, it still would hardly make a dent. What's 5%? A year's growth in file-sharing?
I just brought a new laptop that came with Vista Home (and a licence). It was so shoddy I wiped it and put XP on, for which I don't have a licence. Technically, I'm pirating, but what exactly have MS lost? I paid for one licence, I'm using one instance of their OS. It's not my fault that Vista sucks ass.
In the end, it's pretty much a zero-sum game (not quite, maybe, but mostly). There's only so much that businesses and individual users will spend on licences. If the price gets too high they'll do without or find cheaper alternatives. MS, Adobe et al rely on a tendency to want to standardize (that is, wanting to have everybody using the same software and the same file formats) to prop up their businesses. But if the cost gets too high, that tendency won't stop individuals and businesses from finding other methods. Conversion software for file formats isn't generally hard to write, even when the 'owners' of the file-formats aren't being cooperative (I speak from personal experience).
On another point, another cost to companies if licensing is strictly enforced is the cost of training (which could amount to several times the cost of the actual licence). How many companies can actually afford to train ALL their employees in Office, or Photoshop or whatever? That's the logical consequence if new users don't have access to cheap ways to self-train.
I worked in the games industry years ago, and I remember when expensive dev-kits for consoles came along (including the cartridge bays which you needed). These couldn't be circumvented. So all that happened is we had to train everybody. Whereas for PC games we could rely on newbies having done quite a lot of self-training, they COULDN'T self-train on the consoles, so our dev costs sky-rocketted. Many industries are founded on self-starting 'creatives' - does the BSA really want to throttle that?
I chose Paris Hilton because even she is capable of more incite into how the creative industries work than this article shows.