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Bitcoin Mining Reward About To Halve

Wizard Drongo Re:Austrian economics (600 comments)

There are services that will do this for you (ie. allow you to buy from Amazon using 'coin.) Admittedly, you're then beholden to that third-party who actually does the buying in your stead, rather than direct with Amazon, but nonetheless, without changing bitcoin into another currency, you can buy stuff on Amazon, and eBay, and a number of other sites, not to mention the ton of smaller, but no-less-useful sites that allow you to trade directly using Bitcoin...

about 2 years ago

'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election

Wizard Drongo From one elected representative to another... (220 comments)

Well done, and congratulations to her. Disgusting scare tactics and gutter politics are offensive, and it's good to see positivity win for a change.

about 2 years ago

Apple Hides Samsung Apology So It Can't Be Seen Without Scrolling

Wizard Drongo Re:Shameful behaviour (743 comments)

I agree he's a total fucking idiot (sorry OP, but you are, and I'll explain why in a minute), but he's nowhere near as stupid as some of the people on /.

The US Govt. will happily go up against a UK Judge. With ease. They'd do it in a heartbeat, and have on numerous occasions. But here's the key: only when it was in their interests.

Apple and Samsung right now are having a legal dick-waving competition. Eventually either Apple or Samsung will lose, or they'll both realise it's self-defeating and it will end. Either way, no interest for the US government in it. Even if Samsung were to win big in this multi-national legal fight, Apple would still be fine. They've not done anything bad enough to mean breakup or to stop them selling products like the iPad (Most i can see happening is a forced revision to remove feature X), and if it comes to a fine, Apple have a massive cash surplus on hand.
So there's no "protect US jobs/company" motive here. The US Govt. has been historically VERY wary of large companies getting all "we're bigger than government", which Apple is showing every sign of. If anything, they'd wade on in to HELP this Judge, potentially in the form of some sort of legal-judge cross-recognition treaty with the UK (ie. if you lose a patent case in the UK, sucks to be you,we'll help them enforce it here), if it got bad enough.

But they would NEVER help Apple in a trial like this, against the UK Judge...

about 2 years ago

Building the Ultimate Safe House

Wizard Drongo Re:Live forever or die trying (289 comments)

And *my* point was that not everywhere is in America; I said mid-western USA since I'm guessing the east coast and even california etc. have records going back at least 200 years. But I live in Scotland. I know what the weather was like, in broad terms, 1000 years ago. There are battle accounts of a nearby battlefield between the Gaels and the Norse, proclaiming how it was extraordinarily cold for the time of year, as it was May and there was still a bitter frost.

Not everywhere is in the US, not everywhere thinks 100 years is a long time.

Where I am, aside from a lot of rain which brings with it a minor flooding element (but actually, not major, just a case of bad drainage), the climate/geophysics are very stable here. No earthquakes over a 2 on the richter scale, no volcanoes for 1000 miles, no tornadoes recorded of more than F-0, we have an occasional bad winter but it rarely blizzards (at least where I am), and rarely (once every 10 years or so) drops below -10C, so it's liveable. And that's stable over the last millenia or so. Sure, temperatures took a dive during the so-called mini-ice age in the 1600's to 1800's, and the recovery from that has often been used as evidence of climate change. Not sure it is, but it's interesting Loch Lomond used to freeze every winter, enough that you could drive a car on it in the 1960's, and has not even froze over since the late 80's, so clearly some change happening...
That aside, we're pretty stable, and I can see that going back at least 1000 years.

about 2 years ago

Building the Ultimate Safe House

Wizard Drongo Re:Live forever or die trying (289 comments)

Only a century of weather? Huh?

OK, so I can't tell you average mean temperatures etc. going way back, but any sizeable storm or notable weather event (river that never freezes freezing due to really bad winter etc.) is recorded where I live going back at least until the 1600's, and before that, there are records containing reference to freak occurrences, so I know that volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes & tornadoes are quite rare here (ie. less than once per few hundred years, with the exception of the hurricanes, they're about once every 50 years)...

Not everywhere is midwest USA where westerners have only known it for a hundred + years...

about 2 years ago

Vast Bulk of BitCoins Are Hoarded, Not Used

Wizard Drongo Re:Gridlocked with No Way to Prime the Pump (438 comments)

That's simply not true. I can pay for ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, with bitcoins. Just because I have to exchange them for another currency to do *some* things with them, does not mean that they are inherently valueless. All fiat currencies are entirely fictional; bitcoin is at least backed by something, ie. that they cannot be created without energy expenditure (not to mention time).

Fact is, to me, here in Scotland, the US Dollar is an entirely useless currency. Very few, if any, retailers will take it. It's value is nothing, excepting that I can go into a bureau de change, and exchange it for "real" money (currently Pounds Sterling).
Hate Bitcoin all you like, and no one is forcing you to use it, but the fact remains that it has and holds a value. Currently about $11, although it depends.

There are of course a large number of things you can spend your Bitcoins on without exchanging currency. You can buy goods and services across the world, in both physical retail as well as online (although online is massively more popular to date). Everything from server hosting to lasers, from solid gold to somewhere to live.

And that's just the retail channel. Independent sellers and buyers, (i.e., just normal people selling to other normal people, friends etc.) are increasingly using 'coin because there's no PayPal delay, no chance of seizure because of [insert crazy Government excuse this week] or links with [terrorists]/[paedophiles]/[communists]/[Anonymous]/[Wikileaks] etc. and above all, no fees.

about 2 years ago

Australians Receive SMS Death Threats

Wizard Drongo Re:Seems a very muted response (192 comments)

I think what he meant was that English law and Australian law share a lot of similarities because Aus law is based on the English law; indeed a lot of the Acts are the same, because they predate the split. Hence a lot of Australian courts will take english court decisions into mind, as "non-binding precedence"; indeed, even US courts have been known to do this from time to time.
Hence the ruling in an English court that a twitter update can be regarded i the same way as any other written document, could be used in an Aus. court as a "well here's what they did" precedence. Obviously, assuming Aus. has no such law or similar precedent in their own legal history.

about 2 years ago

Mosquitos Have Little Trouble Flying in the Rain

Wizard Drongo Re:Figures. (186 comments)

No he didn't.
Lawyers clearly are not alive, since they possess no soul. They are the undead.

more than 2 years ago

How Online Black Markets Work

Wizard Drongo Re:Sounds like... (98 comments)

Well it would have been a bit more in-depth, but after the first few deliveries of premium 'shrooms and acid drops, he kinda lost focus...

more than 2 years ago

Gaming Clichés That Need To Die

Wizard Drongo Re:So... (416 comments)

So you've got Natalie Portman showing up to your house, in a bikini, and you want to play video games?

Jeeze, I thought i was nerdy. Damn the video game!

more than 2 years ago

Geologists Say UK Shale Deposits Hold Vast Energy Reserves

Wizard Drongo Re:Where is this? (241 comments)

I wouldn't normally respond to such nonsense, but it irks me that someone else might read this and not know the truth:

1) Alex Salmond was democratically elected by the people of Scotland. How's that Cameron working out for you?

2) HBOS is made up of Bank of Scotland (in Scotland, strangely), and Halifax Building Society (almost all in England). BoS was very profitable, one of the last great retail banks. Halifax on the other hand was massively in debt, toxic nasty debt from overextending mortgages to anyone and everyone. This is why HBOS was bought "outright" by the Lloyds Group (under HM Govt. orders), instead of breaking it up into BoS and Halifax - it would have become clear that the debt was an English one and not a Scottish one, despite the Scottish name. If Scotland had been independent, under international law, we'd have had to account for the assets in Scotland, and their debts; this would have been very little, since Halifax was never that popular in Scotland, and BoS was running a profit. England would have been saddled with massive debts.

3) RBS, bit different, since it was still a Scottish bank. However, again, most of the debt was another part of the company, in this case the Dutch investment group ABN Amro. A lot of the debt was serviced by the Netherlands government, but yah, RBS would have had to be bailed out by Scotland. Fair enough, we'd have the credit rating to support it if we were independent.

I don't mind the notion that Scotland should pay her way after independence, nor do I think we'd have a problem doing so. I do mind the idea that England somehow subsidises Scotland, given that even the somewhat-biased UK Govt. figures (google "GERS 2011") show that Scotland pays more tax per capita than the English do, and on top of that has been running a surplus for several years. Scotland has 8.4% of the UK population, and yet pays 9.4% of the tax, and is responsible for over 10% of the UK's GDP. And all of that is NOT including all the North Sea oil & gas revenues that will become Scotland's post independence. Nor does it account for any taxes raised in Scotland by companies registered in England (such as most banks, shops etc.) , a good example being Tesco's which brings in staggering quantities of money in Scotland, but pays it's tax from London, and so it not accounted for in Scottish figures. Post-independence that will obviously change, so really, when the economic figures are in, Scotland will be a lot richer and better off without having to subsidise London.

about 2 years ago

Hypersonic Test Aircraft Peeled Apart After 3 Minutes of Sustained Mach 20 Speed

Wizard Drongo Re:Hmmm.... (191 comments)

I guess dipping it in liquid plastic, or just wrapping a really big roll of clingfilm around it wouldn't really cut it?

more than 2 years ago

NASA Looking For Ideas To Explore Mars

Wizard Drongo Re:Advanced manufacturing no human lives (176 comments)

This has to be one of the most insightful comments I've seen on Slashdot in years. Ever since the "web" became popular, /. has become somewhat less nerdy as more and more "normal" folks polluted it with their crap.
Thanks for reminding me what /. used to be like, "back in the day" (and me a 6-digiter as well! I bow before my betters!).

Now, in order of importance;

1) Sorry I don't have any mod privs. left. Used them up yesterday, otherwise I'd have made this +5 and not commented.
2) Submit this to NASA as part of the consultation. Tart it up a bit if you like, but seriously, this is EXACTLY what NASA need to be looking at. We need to get off this rock, sooner or later, but until we do, we need to leverage the tech we have on *this* planet, and use the space-race as a seed for doing better on Earth as well as getting to Mars etc. You are dead on the money here, and probably the only way of getting any extra money from the pork-barrel of government is by saying "we're developing this widget that'll be super useful for Mars. But it'd also be GREAT on Earth for ImportantThing26.
So please, submit your post. You never know, it might inspire someone over there to do something

more than 2 years ago

Siri To Power Mercedes-Benz Car Systems

Wizard Drongo Re:Oh No (193 comments)

Where exactly do I send the invoice for a new Apple keyboard? My one, as a result of the cherry cola I've just had to wipe from it, no longer appears to recognise the letter that comes after y in the alphabet.

more than 2 years ago

President By Day, High-Tech Headhunter By Night

Wizard Drongo Re:Old is gold? (494 comments)

AhhhI guess it's at this point I should shamefully declare that whilst I did *skim* the summary, I didn't in fact, RTFA.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

And you're right, iOS programming is the very fluffiest layer of tech, usually (there are some worthwhile examples of pushing the art, and in a lot of cases, it's just conventional software dev., no different to windows or mac dev, but yeah, there is a lot of "iFart" apps).
So what you're saying about getting into hardware dev. is true, especially at the component level; you can't just do a start-up there, unless you're good pals with some serious VC folks.
But I still say it's wrong to say a guy in his experience cannot do worthwhile work via the startup mechanism. The hobbyist market is really just starting to get going now; it's a "makers" world now. Look at Adafruit for a good example. They don't make their own silicon - hell, their chips are very low-level ataMega's and the like that power the Arduino. But they are making serious coin, selling hardware kits to hobbyists who want to build their own DeathBot or Twitter-connected sandwich-maker or a twitter-connected deathbot that makes sandwiches etc.
Takes some serious EE know-how todo what they're developing; the kits are simple, but the design is certainly not, because they've taken a once-complex thing and made it accessible.
I'm not suggesting the OP starts the new intel, or for that matter, the new Adafruit. But his experience and skills are not solely limited to chip design; his wealth of knowledge is likely centred around Getting Shit Done. Once you know how to do that, you can skill-up what you need on the practical side a great deal (esp. if you hire suitably qualified neckbeards of a similar age)

more than 2 years ago

President By Day, High-Tech Headhunter By Night

Wizard Drongo Re:Old is gold? (494 comments)

Heh, if you need any graphics doing for your consulting, I'm very reasonable! (web, print etc. so websites, business cards, company stationary, logos, brochures etc.)

True what you say though. I've only been doing graphics professionally for 3-4 years now, yet even after that little time, I know myself I have experience that would have been invaluable when I started up. Running your own company is damned hard work, far harder than I perhaps anticipated when I started it, but the experience that brings is very very valuable. The things I would have done differently are palpable.

My point being, in only 4 short years I've amassed a wealth of experience in what I'd have done differently, and I'm by no means saying "I know it all now" - nothing could be further from the truth. I perhaps am beginning to understand the sheer breadth of that which I do not know. Ergo, what would I be like in 40 years time, with all that knowledge and experience. And consequently, how much more worth is all that experience. I can only imagine that anyone who has been in a business that long is truly worth every penny they get, and more besides.

more than 2 years ago

President By Day, High-Tech Headhunter By Night

Wizard Drongo Re:Old is gold? (494 comments)

I'm a cocky, stupid 28 year old who's only outta college for 3-4 years, and have started my own graphics company doing icons, graphics etc. for iOS, Android & generic software devs - here's my 2cents for you:

If you know a load of GOOD programmers, all like you, and all seemingly unable to get jobs because you've hit middle age (and people had better get used to 40 & 50y/os in the workplace; time I hit 50 retirement will likely be 70-75), do a start-up. There is still shittons of cash in iOS for instance; you get a good app out, not a hit game that's the proverbial one-in-a-million, but a good, solid app, with a real use, and a target audience more specific than "own's an iPhone", you can get some serious coin in. If nothing else, you'll be doing something which looks good on your CV the next time you DO find a company willing to hire more experienced workers - you get to say "I don't like doing nothing, and it was a chance to add to my skills". Show's initiative.

Just my whipper-snapper tuppence...

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Pushes For Gay Marriage In Washington State

Wizard Drongo Re:I get so tired of this..... (678 comments)

Well, societal norms and expectations do have *some* input into how the law should run in these situations. By and large (at least, here in Scotland), polygamy & polyandry are quite rare - and we don't ban people from living together/having multi-person sexual relationships. A civil union is a recognition by the state that 90% or so of the nation will at some point form a mostly-monogomous relationship with a single other person, often for the purpose (although not explicitly or exclusively) of raising children, and that the State should help out with recognition of this with a legal union.
That said, I'm not opposed to legalised polygamy/polyandry, provided there are sufficient safeguards to avoid abuse, both of partners (as often seen in religious groups where it's *always* a man and many wives, no the reverse etc.), and of the institution itself (it's supposed to be for forming social unions - some would abuse the right to envelop large numbers of people into one union, for tax/money laundering etc. purposes). Provided those safeguards are in place, I cannot argue against it, if the people so desire it.

As for forcing religious groups to live by their creed, no, not touching that with a 10 foot pole! If you want to believe in a Magic Sky Wizard, or a whole collection of them for that matter (I do - I'm a pagan), great, happy for you, if it brings you peace, helps you live your life, gets you towards nirvana, whatever. None of my business though, and none of the state's, unless you make it our business by doing something unpleasant (obnoxious proselytising, abuse of children or family members, restricting the rights of others etc.). Otherwise, believe what you like, and we'll not bother you, if you don't bother us. Seems fairly simple, really.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Pushes For Gay Marriage In Washington State

Wizard Drongo Re:I get so tired of this..... (678 comments)

No, it's about equal-status.
In the UK, we have "gay marriage" in all but name; civil partnerships. It confers all the (very limited) financial benefits of marriage, but is only for "teh gayz".

Our tax-code is pretty non-involved when it comes to marriage. If you'e living with someone as a partner, that's the limit - doesn't matter if you're married, civil-unioned, or anything.

Yet, oddly (if you follow the "financial" argument), the gay community is still pushing for equal-marriage. Here in Scotland we're having a big fight over it, with the Catholic Church (amongst others) arguing it's wrong, and the equal-rights groups saying it's about damned time, and the normal, rational people being somewhere in the middle, but broadly in favour of it (since it's not about money, and just about equality, most people come down on the side of equality, not sky-wizrd voodoo).
It's all about being treated equally, as a fair and equal member of society. I actually think that the State should have no role in marriage at all - you can make a permanent union (and break them with due solemnity) but what you call it is entirely up to you and your own personal Sky Wizard. No state involvement at all in that side of things.
Of course, this would be painted as the deliberate destruction of marriage (even though, actually, we'd be going back to an age-old situation where marriage is a matter for the church, nothing to do with the state at all) to please the evil homosexual liberal satanists or whatever.
TL:DR summary: dont expect reason from irrational people like the religious right. It'll just make your head hurt.

more than 2 years ago

Internet Explorer Users Have Low Risk Intelligence

Wizard Drongo Re:Please no... (264 comments)

Yeah, I hear that.

One of my fiancé's (she went back to college to retrain as a graphics artist) classmates is a lovely woman, same age range as my other half, mid thirties. Not stupid by any means, intelligent enough, really amazing painter. Doesn't know what a web-browser is. Or why IE is a bad one. Or that there are other ones out there.

Once you tell her it a couple of times, and explain it in a way she can understand, she's fine, but no-one has done that for a lot of things we take for granted as "basic", so when we move on to more advanced topics, she has no frame of reference to base it on, and cannot understand.
The key in these situations is to determine if the person is either stupid, or uneducated. If they are merely uneducated, they can be taught, as long as you do so in a manner they can relate to.
If they're stupid, give up, life's too short.

more than 2 years ago



Objective- J & Cappuccino Released!

Wizard Drongo Wizard Drongo writes  |  about 6 years ago

Wizard Drongo (712526) writes "280 North, who earlier this year released 280 Slides, a revolutionary new type of web-app written in Objective-J using the Cappuccino framework (both of which they also wrote) have today made good on their promise to open-source the language and framework. From their about page:

"Cappuccino is an open source application framework for developing applications that look and feel like the desktop software users are familiar with. Cappuccino was implemented using a new programming language called Objective-J, which is modelled after Objective-C and built entirely on top of JavaScript. Programs written in Objective-J are interpreted in the client, so no compilation or plugins are required. Objective-J is released alongside Cappuccino in this project and under the LGPL."

You can download the framework, tools, documentation and more on their website."


Wizard Drongo Wizard Drongo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Wizard Drongo writes "So, as part of my degree, I've got to write an essay in the field of computer ethics. It can't be too narrow a subject, but likewise it can't be too broad either. The field is so vast that I'm stuck for choice. DRM or ID cards? Fingerprinting schoolkids or open source vs. propriety? What would you write if this was your essay?"


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