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Comments

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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

Farmer Tim Re:Seems appropriate (353 comments)

Because a court ordered him to, and he didn't. The fact that encryption keys are the subject of the order or whether they unlock anything incriminating is pretty much irrelevant under the circumstances, disobey any court order and you face going to jail.

about three weeks ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Farmer Tim Re:Falun Gong / Falun Dafa (268 comments)

Perhaps the population of exploding elephants isn’t large enough to warrant a mention.

about a month ago
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George Lucas Selects Chicago For the Star Wars Museum

Farmer Tim Re:woot! (98 comments)

.. ..so we can burn that down and leave the good stuff intact?

about a month ago
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U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

Farmer Tim Re:Just do SOMETHING (190 comments)

But only after the dingos objected.

about a month and a half ago
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A Scientist Is Growing Asparagus In Meteorites To Prepare Us For Space Farming

Farmer Tim Re:Wow, what a bitch... (59 comments)

Comprehension skill fail: you merely paraphrased what I said. Come back when you can demonstrate greater intelligence than a parrot.

about 1 month ago
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A Scientist Is Growing Asparagus In Meteorites To Prepare Us For Space Farming

Farmer Tim Re:Wow, what a bitch... (59 comments)

“Meteorite” means a rock that has already fallen from the sky, and we have plenty of those. A rock still floating around in space is called an “asteroid”.

And just in case you’re unsure what those other words mean, when you go outside “sky” is what's above your head, “rock” is what your head is made of, and “space” is like what's inside your head except it isn’t as close to a perfect vacuum.

about 2 months ago
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$3000 GeForce GTX TITAN Z Tested, Less Performance Than $1500 R9 295X2

Farmer Tim Re:Quiet is important (151 comments)

I did buy the GTX 780 over the cheaper but somewhat more powerful R9 250 solely on the basis of it being cooler.

Damn hipsters!

about 2 months ago
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A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)

Farmer Tim Re: Looks pointless to me (86 comments)

As they say, walk a mile in another man’s shoes.. ..no, wait, that’s being a pedestrian. *slaps forehead*

about 2 months ago
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Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion

Farmer Tim Re:I dislike Beats... (188 comments)

I think he means they make any other headphones look like high quality bargains by comparison.

about 2 months ago
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With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

Farmer Tim Re:Surface: the only Hope (379 comments)

But what's the difference between a surface pro and a laptop?

The laptop is cheaper, or has better specs at the same price.

...it runs the same operating system...

It runs a version of Windows, but not necessarily the one the IT department supports or mission critical software is qualified to run on. That in itself generates extra expense which has to be factored into the TCO.

...but also has a touchscreen and stylus.

You have to move your hand all of three inches to use a typical laptop’s trackpad, you don’t have to stop to pick up anything or lift and extend your arm awkwardly. So unless there’s actually a dire need to use the computer while walking around those features are an utterly redundant ergonomic disaster, and a cheaper laptop is the better choice.

about 2 months ago
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The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Farmer Tim Re:All I know about robots... (255 comments)

Which raises important questions. If someone is stopped for curb-crawling in a robot car, is the owner or the car responsible? What if it’s out by itself chatting up parking meters.. ..after all, they give it up to anyone for $5 an hour, and you won’t get a human hooker for that price*, so how could an AI resist?

Who it should or shouldn’t kill is only scratching the ethical surface when it comes to intelligent systems. I guess that’s why they all eventually default to killing ALL humans: it saves clock cycles better devoted to bigger problems.

*OK, you could, but not one you’d actually want to touch with anything important.

about 2 months ago
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Linux Sucks (Video)

Farmer Tim Re:Always videos :( (293 comments)

Then you get to read it at the speaker’s pace anyway, or try skipping with hopelessly inaccurate scrubbing controls. This completely fails to solve any of the problems mentioned.

about 2 months ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Farmer Tim Re:Do it, then report it. (223 comments)

Saying that they're publishing in an attempt to secure funding is the least insightful comment you could possibly make, because that’s precisely how expensive “serious science” gets done: you put your theory up for peer review in a publication like Nature Photonics, and if it’s sound then you go into the contest for funding an experiment. Using your logic we should’ve built the Large Hadron Collider before the theoretical merit in building it was confirmed; if you can’t see why that's a phenomenally stupid way to allocate finite resources then sorry, but I have to doubt you're clever enough to prove a conjecture theoretically, let alone practically.

about 2 months ago
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Apple and Google's Motorola Unit End Patent War

Farmer Tim Re:Bullshit (46 comments)

Management here high-fived each other and had a BBW every time they put people out of work to starve.

Better than a GILF, I guess...

about 2 months ago
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Measles Virus Puts Woman's Cancer Into Remission

Farmer Tim Re:Measles? (74 comments)

Answers:
1) Because if it escapes into the wild there's minimal chance of spreading with unforeseen (except possibly by Richard Matheson) consequences.
2) Someone who undoubtedly understands contagious disease control better than you and has to answer to a safety and ethics committee, which also undoubtedly understands contagious disease control better than you.
3) Because maybe you don't want it hanging around and moving on to other tissues after it's dealt with the target cancer...
4) ...or being transmitted by the patient for the rest of their life.

So a relatively harmless and not easily transmissible virus is the best choice for this experiment, even if it isn't the best choice for the individual patients involved.

about 2 months ago
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High-School Star League Brings Gaming As Sport to Teenagers

Farmer Tim Re:slowly deflate the bloated whale, lighten our l (87 comments)

It’s not nice to refer to American teenagers as bloated whales, and I think putting holes in them is a bit drastic.

Oh, off topic. Never mind.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Continues To Lose Money With Each Surface Tablet It Sells

Farmer Tim Re:Slow follower (179 comments)

Just can't keep up with [snip] FreeBSD.

Netcraft confirms they aren’t dying fast enough?

about 3 months ago
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NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal

Farmer Tim Re:James Doohan (111 comments)

Wasn't he and Uhura an item at one point?

Yes, but since that knowledge requires watching movie #5 it's pretty much a secret.

about 3 months ago
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Proposed Indicator of Life On Alien Worlds May Be Bogus

Farmer Tim Re:hmm (112 comments)

A chemical imbalance in the atmosphere suggests a planet with bipolar disorder.

Oh well, I tried...

about 3 months ago
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Monty Python To Bid Farewell In a Simulcast Show

Farmer Tim Re:No Graham Chapman? (86 comments)

Yes and no.. ..the Monty Python writing style was already visible in At Last The 1948 Show (1967-69), especially in the sketches that were reused, but the way the show was cut owed a lot to Q (69-82). Either way Spike was a major influence, so you say potato.. ..

about 3 months ago

Submissions

Farmer Tim hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Mod Point Madness

Farmer Tim Farmer Tim writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I've been handed 85 moderator points in the last 9 days. I wonder what the high score is...

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End of the world

Farmer Tim Farmer Tim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Well, its now 1 AM, 6/6/06, and so far the minions of hell have failed to burst forth and wreak havoc upon the world...or at least my rainy corner (maybe demons don't like wet weather; their horns poke holes in their umbrellas, I imagine).

For anyone concerned I'll be providing regular updates, but I really don't expect any activity more diabolical than the average Tuesday. Admittedly, that's a pretty high standard around here...

My apologies to anyone who mistook the title of this journal for something important. You should know better by now ;)

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Weirdness...

Farmer Tim Farmer Tim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I'm sometimes given reason to ponder the strangeness of life and how it seems like there's some mysterious force playing silly buggers with us. Today was one of those days.

Last year I did the audio work for a short horror film (I know, I'm a pretentious tosser) about a home invasion where someone gets a knife through the back of their head. A week after filming a member of the crew was attacked with a machete in a home invasion, and his right ear was nearly severed.

One hell of a coincidence, right? Read on.

Forward to last week. Myself and the afore-mentioned crew member, now recovered, are packaging short films for a local community TV station. The station wants to put on classic horror films, and approach us to provide films and a host (my colleague having almost scary expertise in film trivia). Being a little camera shy and not even remotely photogenic, the best idea we could come up with was making a skeleton puppet, so we set about ordering one for the job.

Today, some police turned up on my doorstep with grim news: the severely decayed corpse of my long lost uncle Tony has been found in a tent in a national park.

Conclusion 1: The universe has an incredible sense of comic timing. Two days earlier and we could have saved $80.

Conclusion 2: Some people will do anything to get on television.

I think I'm in danger of developing a metaphysical persecution complex. Does anyone else have a true story of bizarre coincidence?

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When is a joke not a joke? When there's velcro! Wha...?

Farmer Tim Farmer Tim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Several weeks ago I responded to a comment about velcro-tab sneakers, mentioning that I still have two pairs, and it was marked up as funny. Oddly, I was only half joking: for anyone wanting to re-live the 80's (and may God have mercy on you) they're still made by Pacific Dunlop*, and available through K-Mart* stores here in Australia. I suspect these are still popular here because Australian beer generally contains more alcohol than American beer, and as a nation we don't like having to sober up enough to cope with shoelaces before walking to the pub.

Just a warning: Dunlop also make car tyres, so be careful not to confuse the two product lines unless you have really big, odd-shaped feet. If you're uncertain, use the compatibility guide at the top right of this journal entry.

*I'm not trying to advertise for them, I'm providing this info as a service to the sartorially impaired. I don't honestly expect anyone to actually buy a pair...

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Anti-corporate politics and efficient energy use

Farmer Tim Farmer Tim writes  |  more than 8 years ago Recently I've been accused of being a corporate apologist because I made a qualified positive remark about Apple - not the first time I've heard the accusation, and I suspect won't it be the last. Now, I'm not fool enough to believe that corporations are all sweetness and light; quite the opposite, I've had ample experience directly dealing with corporations (large recording and media companies mainly, better known as the dregs of the scum), I've worked for corporations, I've bought from corporations, I've been screwed at both ends of the supply chain and in the middle, so I've learned first-hand what utter bastards they can be all round. They're money making machines without concern for any other issue, pure and simple.

That's the vitriol out of the way, now for the pragmatism.

Corporations, for all their lack of ethics and outright illegal activites, do represent the largest source of investment in R&D and manufacturing infrastructure, whether we like it or not. The government isn't going to take over any time soon; if anything, government investment in R&D is going to drop as welfare spending increases (and its debatable whether government R&D is the most efficient method of funding, but that's a side issue). To use a subject close to all our hearts, without corporations the size of Intel, AMD or IBM, who would step up to continue development of microprocessors? I'm not trolling, its a serious question. Building a new chip fab isn't really compatible with the open source philosophy because it needs a substantial investment in physical equipment; though I'm sure the talent is available to design a very high quality processor through a distributed effort, getting it into production would be another matter. That's just one example, and our mass-production based consumerist society is full of others.

So the question I'm enabling comments for is this: what would you, gentle slashdotter, suggest as a way of making the existing corporate system more accountable and ethical, or alternatively, what system could be used to compete against the corporation from a grass-roots level, in an open source-like manner? How can the energy from all the anger I see be channelled into useful action? I'm interested to hear what people think can be done; of course, I'll patent any really good ideas ;)

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