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Comments

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UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

MrSteveSD Clueless BBC Video (490 comments)

In slow motion you can see that the bullet barely travels any distance at all. - Quote from the video

What we in fact see is that the object that "barely travels any distance at all" is the spent shell casing. This is completely fine as the aim is not to magically embed the spent shell casing into the target. That is what the projectile part is for. The projectile is likely to have whizzed off as expected, albeit not with great accuracy.

As for the general usefulness of plastic firearms, even if they can only fire a few shots, there are clear advantages.
1. You can obtain a firearm without it being registered to you or exposing yourself to criminal firearms dealers/police sting operations.
2. They are less detectable.
3. You can melt and/or burn the murder weapon with ease.

The tone of the video is a bit odd. It's comes across like a video trying to convince kids not to play with fireworks. It's not as if we all have loads of ammunition laying about here in the UK just waiting for a 3D Printed gun to come along so we can finally have some fun. Making something that can fire a bullet (at least here in the UK) is not the main obstacle to a working firearm. The main obstacle here is obtaining the ammunition.

about 2 months ago
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Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

MrSteveSD Special Treatment For Journalists (664 comments)

I had a friend who was violently mugged here in the UK, and the police weren't even interested in taking a statement. They just told him to go to the hospital if he felt dizzy (the robbers hit him over the head).

When a UK journalist gets mugged though, he gets star treatment

about 3 months ago
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Russia Today: Vladimir Putin's Weapon In 'The War of Images'

MrSteveSD Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (254 comments)

I could point out that the BBC is really just Britain's Russia Today, and go into details why, but it would be a distraction from the more fundamental issue.

Most news organisations operate in the same non-objective way whether they are government controlled or completely commercial. They report more favourably on their host country (and allies) than on enemies. For example, the BBC will report on Iranian police violence against protesters very harshly. It will be implied that the police violence is extreme and unwarranted and the unarmed and peaceful nature of the protesters will be emphasised (with protester violence even being ignored). In contrast, the same kind of violence perpetrated by UK police will be reported very differently. It will either be under-reported ("Police scuffled with protesters") or the focus will be on protester violence.

All you have to do to see this for yourself is do a search and replace on country/city names in articles. Suddenly that article damning Russia for the Seige of Grozny will be an article damning the US for the Seige of Fallujah. You will notice that sentences like "What right does the US have to order the citizens to leave." are quite jarring and do not seem like the kind of thing the news would normally say in this situation. This is your clue that something is very wrong with mainstream media reporting.

about a year ago
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According To YouGov Poll, Snowden Support Declining Among Americans

MrSteveSD Re:Maybe (658 comments)

My simple response to the inevitable demonisation of Snowden is this...

Forget the mail-man. Read the letter.

1 year,21 days
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Ask Slashdot: Will the NSA Controversy Drive People To Use Privacy Software?

MrSteveSD Average Joe today, "Mover and Shaker" tomorrow (393 comments)

The thing is, yes, the NSA et al are not interested in the average Joe as long as he remains an average Joe. But if that average Joe suddenly emerges as a "threat", by organising some big Occupy movement etc, they will already have all the private dirt on him they need to discredit him if necessary. This is why the average Joe should care, even if he doesn't. It's about the future, not just the present.

1 year,22 days
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Sexism Still a Problem At E3

MrSteveSD Re:This is bullshit. (737 comments)

The vast majority of industry trade shows look quite professional. A small minority of industries that attract people with developmental problems (automobiles, guns, and games) don't.

I can't speak for the "vast majority" of trade shows, but many of the energy industry shows I've been to have had "booth babes". It is quite a common tactic (not the only one, but common nonetheless). It's about catching your eye. This can been done with brightly coloured displays, animated signs, movement etc, but with a large male patronage, attractive women seems to be effective.

If we are going to damn some companies for being so "stupid" or exploitative that they require beautiful women to attract men to their products, then perhaps we should also damn them for using other cheap tricks like bright colours, flashing signs etc.

Is it really wrong for attractive women or men to exploit their good looks for commercial gain? How about a man exploiting his natural physical strength for financial gain? Is it really so much better to be exploited for your brain than for your body? Being exploited for your brain can be very demeaning indeed. If I could earn good money standing around smiling at a trade show, I'd certainly consider it. Perhaps I'd feel exploited, I don't know, but I've certainly felt exploited in software development jobs I've had.

about a year ago
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Ethernet Turns 40

MrSteveSD Unbreakable BNC Connections (159 comments)

Those BNCs were pretty tough connectors. When I first got an IT job, the network consisted of two 486s connected via a BNC cable dangled over the carpet across the room. A clumsy co-worker tripped over it and both machines flew off the desks, hit each other in mid air like conkers and crashed onto the floor. The BNC cable and connectors were completely undamaged though.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To (or How NOT To) Train Your Job Replacement?

MrSteveSD Re:Work Ethic Propaganda (292 comments)

Well the ideas about being ethical etc are often applied to regular jobs, and I thought it was worth talking about that. Increasingly though companies are employing people on contract so the line between a regular worker and a contractor becomes blurred.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To (or How NOT To) Train Your Job Replacement?

MrSteveSD Work Ethic Propaganda (292 comments)

If you're taking any other approach, namely one that will force your client to remain attached to you I'd have to question your ethics, motive, and ability because what you're doing is creating a dependence on you that is borderline blackmail (if that's something you're doing).

Why is it that employees are supposed to work hard, be as professional as possible, take pride in their work, be ethical etc? All these virtuous practices are things that largely benefit the employer. It's effectively work ethic propaganda that has been drilled into the population.

In contrast employers work you as hard as possible for as little reward as possible (often including unpaid overtime which is effectively theft of your time) then dump you for a cheaper college graduate at the first opportunity. Employers do not adopt a strategy that benefits the employee as much as possible, they adopt a strategy that benefits them as much as possible. Why then shouldn't employees be just as ruthless, conniving and unethical as employers?

"Virtuous" work ethics have been drilled into successive populations over the aeons by those who directly benefit from them, i.e. the powerful. Don't fall for them.

about a year ago
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The Science of Hugo Chavez's Long Term Embalming

MrSteveSD Re:Preserved To Show Who Took over $100 Billion... (215 comments)

How can the people support or oppose Chavez's policies if they don't even know what he's doing?

Well if they watched the privately owned media in Venezuela, they will certainly have no idea what he was doing. The hugely powerful privately owned media spent most of the time writing stories about how he is insane or a criminal. It was the private media that took an active part in the coup attempt against Chavez in 2002. There was plenty of incredibly critical coverage of Chavez in Venezuela, make no mistake about that.

about a year ago
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Duke Nukem 3D Code Review

MrSteveSD Re:Oh, you're going to get an F on that one for su (128 comments)

At my old job I was once writing a while loop and decided to use "i" as the name of a counter variable I was incrementing. After a while I noticed that I had not declared the i and was perplexed as to why there was no compile error. Then to my horror I discovered that someone was using a global variable named "i".

about a year and a half ago
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Why JavaScript Is the New Perl

MrSteveSD Re:I don't.. (453 comments)

The weird scope rules and lack of proper object/class support drive me up the wall when working on projects with ~40,000 lines of code.

HAXE has has classes, static typing and all the things you probably want. Then you can just transpile it into javascript (among other languages). There are other efforts along similar lines. Increasingly it seems, due to it's unsuitability for large projects, Javascript is being treated as a sort of assembly language you compile to as a last step.

about a year and a half ago
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Julian Assange: "Online Totalitarianism Is Near, Entire Nations Are Intercepted"

MrSteveSD Re:I am not defending the USA (325 comments)

certainly nowhere near as much as what their strangely negative reputation in the U.S. would lead you to believe

There was a lot of propaganda against Al Jazeera but it really was just nonsense. The US and Allies had grown used to their own media's kid-gloves reporting on their military adventures and were absolutely incensed that a news outlet would question their motives and/or pay too much attention to their victims. Al Jazeera has really been a breath of fresh air in the world of news media. They cover issues that are simply ignored by other outlets and have become one of my primary news sources.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel

MrSteveSD Re:Patriot Missile Propaganda All Over Again? (377 comments)

Due to their wild inaccuracy, a lot of these rockets land in the middle of nowhere anyway. Would you really even know if a rocket was intercepted successfully or whether the Iron Dome missile just exploded nearby to one? Are there journalists monitoring every single Iron Dome launch and somehow accurately verifying a success/fail for each missile?

I'm not saying Iron Dome isn't successful, but given that targeting missiles is very difficult and we are relying on official IDF sources, there should be much more scepticism about the system's effectiveness.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel

MrSteveSD Patriot Missile Propaganda All Over Again? (377 comments)

Some people here may not be old enough to remember all the propaganda about the Patriot anti-Missile system's effectiveness during the first Gulf War. The media/public were fed total lies. Patriot turned out not to be very effective at all. Given that Israeli officials are currently the only information source for Iron Dome's amazing 90% success rate, surely we should be highly sceptical. Instead all I have seen in the media are endless uncritical articles about how amazing Iron Dome is.

about a year and a half ago
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Israeli Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous

MrSteveSD Re:Israel has nuclear weapons. (569 comments)

All they need to do acknowledge that Israel is a legitimate nation. But you know, Hamas won't do that.

By continuously building settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law, Israel refuses to even recognise basic Palestinian land rights. Yet we expect Palestinians to recognise Israel?

about a year and a half ago
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Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

MrSteveSD Re:Accuracy (861 comments)

I would like nothing better than for the Palestinians to have a normal economy

The Palestinians would like that too, but Israel will not allow it. This all goes far beyond firing rockets at each other. Israel really believes that all the Palestinian land should belong to them, which is why there are so many settlements in the West Bank (in violation of international law). Israel has always viewed the Palestinians as a demographic threat, which is why they never allowed Palestinian refugees to return.

One way to help ease the whole situation in Gaza would have been to allow in a peacekeeping force, but Israel will not allow it. Their excuse in the past has been that a peace-keeping force would "interfere with Israeli security measures". The truth is that a peacekeeping force would remove many of the excuses the Israeli government has for blockading Gaza and preventing it growing economically.

So yes, Hamas are terrorists, but Israel behaves no better and they have their own agenda.

about a year and a half ago
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My relationship to military service:

MrSteveSD NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia (525 comments)

There were many potential war crimes committed by NATO in Yugoslavia. The problem is that the US/NATO usually manage to scupper any possible investigation by pressuring the organisations involved. After the bombing of Serbia, Carla Del Ponte (Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia), was asked by a journalist whether she was prepared to press charged against NATO for alleged war crimes, she said.

"If I am not willing to do that, I am not in the right place. I must give up my mission"

This was met by a furious response from the US. Some days later her office release the following statement.

"NATO is not under investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY. There is no formal inquiry into the actions of NATO during the conflict in Kosovo"

This is why the US/NATO can get away with bombing TV stations full of civilians, or laying siege to a city and then raising it to the ground (Fallujah) etc. They know they wield enough power to halt any possible investigations of their crimes. They effectively have a license to kill.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Makes Direct X 11.1 a Windows 8 Exclusive

MrSteveSD We will still need General Purpose Computers (553 comments)

The problem with this idea of PCs disappearing is that we will still need general purpose computers with large screens and input devices that are comfortable to use for many hours at a time. Are you going to develop a website on your mobile phone, or your games console? Even if you use a tablet, it would be like sitting at work all day staring at a 10 inch monitor. Tiny monitors are not good for productivity at all. Also, touch screens are not good for entering large amounts of text, a task which is quite common.

Perhaps though, you will be able to plug your tablet into a bigger screen on your desk, and also plug a nice keyboard into the tablet. Also a mouse would be nice. Then you realise that you are basically reconstructing a PC. Welcome to the post PC future that still actually needs PCs.

about a year and a half ago
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Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

MrSteveSD Re:I see what you did there... (401 comments)

the Beeb decided that the overwheling evidence of climate change and global warming rendered dissenting views not only null, but dangerous

The BBC needs to be more accountable. They should only be exempt from FOI requests when it comes to protecting journalistic sources, nothing else. Also, they need to be more accountable when it comes to their articles. We should be able to comment on any article, not just the non-controversial ones.

However, the scientific consensus is that global warming is occurring and that we are contributing to it. So I would expect the BBC to go with the scientific consensus just as it does with other areas of science. I would not expect a BBC cosmology programme to devote 50% of its time to the steady-state theory just to counterbalance the big bang theory.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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BBC Interviews Apple vs Samsung Jury Foreman

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  about 2 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC has published a long interview with Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung case. He still seems to be sticking to a rather confused definition of what constitutes prior art.

I showed the jurors that the two methods in software were not the same, nor could they be interchangeable because the hardware that was involved between the old processor and the new processor — you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work."
Link to Original Source

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EU Copyright Extention

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MrSteveSD writes "The copyright on sound recordings by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other famous bands was due to expire in the next few years. However, the EU Council has now scuttled any such hopes. The copyright term has been extended from 50 to 70 years with ageing rockers expressing their delight."
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UK Government Issues D-Notices to UK Media over Wi

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "According to the WikiLeaks twitter feed, the UK Government has issued D-Notice's to the UK Press asking to be briefed on any WikiLeaks stories. Exactly what effect this will have is not certain. WikiLeaks may have agreements with some UK news outlets to keep stories quiet until the official WikiLeaks release. In the face of these D-Notice's, will those agreements still be honoured? Additionally these D Notices have historically been used as gagging orders. Will the UK government try to gag the UK media and does such an action make any sense in the internet age?"
Link to Original Source
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The Problem of Trojan Installs

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "Recently I updated my FireFox Flash plug-in in what was advertised as an important security update. The next day I notice that McAfee Security Scan has miraculously installed itself onto my system. Further investigation revealed that the Flash update had indeed installed the McAfee product and that Adobe and McAfee had formed a partnership. No doubt there was some pre-checked "Install McAfee Security Scan" checkbox that I missed. It's annoying enough when a piece of software installs some other completely unrelated software like this, but when a security update patch does it, it's unforgivable.

A while back I had a similar experience with an ATI driver installing a game demo. Another pre-checked checkbox I must have missed. This seems to be a growing phenomenon. Have you experienced similar "trojan installs" during security updates?"
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Times threatens legal action over email copyright

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  about 6 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The media watch group Media Lens has been threatened with legal action over publishing an email sent by the Times chief foreign commentator, Bronwen Maddox. The Times are claiming it is a breach of copyright. If you indicated in an email to a journalist that you intended to quote from their reply, would that change anything legally? Should you even have to make such an indication when writing to a journalist in their official capacity and what does this mean for efforts to hold the media to account over their news coverage?"
Link to Original Source
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BPI Responds to Criticism

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The British Phonographic Institute (BPI) has responded to criticism by Bill Thomson over it's collusion with Virgin Media in targeting UK file sharers. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor personally wrote to the BBC to set things straight and asserts that 'it's Mr Thompson, rather than music companies, who is stuck in the past'. Of course, Virgin Media customers who do download Music and TV legally often find their connections being turned down to unusable speeds due to Virgin's aggressive throttling policy."
Link to Original Source
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UK Local Councils Spy on Emails and Calls

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The Daily Mail is reporting that local councils have been using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on peoples phone and email records. Reasons given for the surveillance include checking for evidence of people storing petrol without permission and investigating unburied animal carcasses. The surveillance was uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act. The scope of the RIPA act is staggering. It would be simpler to list who isn't allowed to access your phone and email records. Aside from political action, what can be done technologically to combat this threat? Use Skype rather than the normal telephone?"
Link to Original Source
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UK downloaders Face Ban

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC are reporting on government plans to force service providers to cut off users who 'illegally' download music and films. The government is proposing a '3 Strikes' rule where users will first be warned by email, then have their accounts suspended, then have their contracts terminated. This will ultimately push the cost of enforcing copyrights onto the public. Do we even have an Electronic Frontier Foundation in the UK? I'm suddenly in the mood to make a rather generous donation."
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Chinese "Steath Submarine" surprises US Na

MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "A Chinese Song Class submarine has managed to surface close enough to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk to launch torpedoes. How the sub managed to slip past all of the defences is not yet known. Were the Chinese military trying to embarrass the US? Was it a mistake? Or is it simply a case of one of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk crew ordering a takeaway?"
Link to Original Source
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MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "I've been visiting http://www.ericblumrich.com/ for several years. It's sort of an anti-Bush site with videos and fun animations, but it covers all sorts of things. Today I visited and there is a Department Of Homeland Security logo and a notice saying the site has (possibly) violated the Patriot act. I don't know if it's a joke or if it's real. You decide... Is this happening a lot in the US?"
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MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC is reporting that China has tested an anti-satellite weapon against one of it's own weather satellites. In the past China has called for an international treaty against the weaponization of space, but these calls were rejected by the US, which continues to pursue its own space weapons programme. It is also worth noting that both the US and Russia already posses anti-satellite weaponry."
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MrSteveSD MrSteveSD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrSteveSD (801820) writes "According to the BBC , German officials have seized Sandisk's MP3 players at the IFA show in Berlin. The Italian company Sisvel claims that Sandisk has refused to pay licence fees for the MP3 codec. Sisvel President Roberto Dini has said that Sandisk could get an edge over competitors by not paying the fees. How much are proprietary format licensing fees pushing up the cost of consumer goods?"

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