Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Xest Re:Doubleplusgood! (82 comments)

"How does one obscure data to the point where you can't identify the user, but still have meaningful data? Haven't we heard this all before?"

Easily, if all you want is to figure out things like "How long does it take a user to find the application they want in the Start Menu" then all you're doing is timing from the moment they click start, to the time they click a start menu option. You don't need to know who the user is, or even what IP the data was submitted from and when you have a lot of this data it's trivial to tell if the mean time users take to find an application has increased or decreased after you made a change in an update, or after they changed a configuration setting.

If all you're doing is getting metrics on millions of users as to how they use things like this then it's trivial to keep it anonymised and non-identifying. I don't care how long it takes John Smith from Outer Mongolia specifically to find Microsoft Word in his Start Menu - I don't need to take information about who he is, where he lives or any such thing, I just want to know how long on average it takes a sample of users to do so for example.

Though of course, this isn't to say that I trust Microsoft to do just this, I don't for one moment imagine they'll be able to resist the urge to keep the data anonymous and/or only collect data that is non-identifying, but that doesn't change the fact that it's trivial to come up with useful metrics they may choose to gather without it being identifiable - what they're claiming is certainly possible, realistic, and even helpful to them (and arguably users too if they get a better product out of it) but whether they'll stick to what they're claiming or not? that's what's troubling here.

18 minutes ago
top

My toy collection is ...

Xest Re:Early Star Wars LEGO (195 comments)

FWIW I've been less impressed by recent UCS sets (apart from R2D2 which is a fantastic display piece). The best Star Wars set in recent years and that which will have most resale value IMO is the Ewok Village - it's an absolutely brilliant set despite not strictly being UCS.

3 hours ago
top

Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

Xest Re:I would like to see a return... (120 comments)

Yep, they'd never follow through with the bluff anyway. If the UK government called say, Amazon's bluff, and said we're forcing you to pay this tax so go ahead, leave the country if you want and Amazon left then that'd create a massive void in which a competitor for Amazon could start up in the UK and use it as a launchpad to challenge Amazon elsewhere in the world.

It is genuinely a ridiculous argument that they'd leave if they had to pay intended corporation tax, especially in a country like the UK - no major company is going to forfeit a market like that over a 21% corporation tax rate, it's just still way too profitable to ignore and way too risky to leave open to a competitor that would gladly fill the void and gain a foothold.

It's even more ridiculous in the context of companies like Starbucks who face heavy competition in the UK from companies like Costa and Cafe Nero - these guys could take over Starbucks' premises and hire all their staff within no time so you wouldn't even really see anything more than a very very short term hit in terms of job losses in many cases. As we've seen during the recession as a result of bankruptcies, you can take over another companies stores post-Administration and rebrand them and get their staff working for you in their old premises within a matter of only as little as a week or two in many cases.

Companies aren't simply going to turn away and say "We can only make £100 million in profit if we pay corporation tax, instead of £120 million, it's just not worth it" if they were given an ultimatum between paying corporation tax and leaving the UK market altogether. They might well sulk, but millions in profit is millions in profit and you don't say no to that- especially when all your competitors are at the exact same disadvantage.

yesterday
top

Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

Xest Re:City of London Police (288 comments)

Just Google Maps City of London then zoom out a little for perspective and you'll see how ridiculously small it actually is.

yesterday
top

Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

Xest Re:Police?? (288 comments)

They're funded by the tax payer, corporate lobbying is not part of their mandate. Thus, the only capacity in which they should be doing this is a personal capacity, and not whilst making any use of the City of London Police name, facilities, or anything else.

But what's particularly offensive about the City of London police's anti-piracy efforts is that they spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources outside their square mile chasing it in other parts of the UK which are not their jurisdiction. This is even more concerning when you recognise that there are countless criminals undealt with in their square mile who have had far more damaging impacts on the global economy from libor riggers, to illegal use of investment funds, through to high class pickpockets raiding the bags of the rich in the area's restaurants and bars.

None of which would be a problem, if it weren't for the fact that when I asked if my local police force could priorities these City of London criminals who have done far more economic damage and send some of their officers to the City of London to deal with it just as the City of London sends their officers up here for economic crimes, I was eventually, after 3 months, told that the City of London police would prioritise these issues themselves and would not support our officers in doing so in their jurisdiction.

The real question should be why is anyone letting the City of London police operate outside their area of jurisdiction when they wont let anyone deal with the far bigger, far more damaging criminals in theirs.

yesterday
top

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Xest Re:think globally (203 comments)

You're blaming everyone else for your country's woes, but it ignores the fact there are other countries, including some of your neighbours that have turned things around. You seem set on the idea that everything that's been told to you by your media/government is correct and that everyone else is at fault and Argentina is just one of the world's victims- why is Argentina one of the world's victims? Chile turned itself around after Pinochet incredibly well, Brazil is now one of the top 10 global economies. You have success on both sides of you, and yes you have nations less successful next to you too, but you and they might want to consider how others have succeeded whilst your countries have failed.

Worse, Argentina was actually on the up until Kirchner decided to resort to the most vile form of politics there is - nationalism. She started roaring off about the Malvinas again, started nationalising foreign firms, and started refusing to service debts and you tell yourself this is okay because the other guys were just as corrupt, but it's not - it's the sign of a politician who is out of ideas, out of her depth, and desperate.

Your country can and will change, just like your successful neighbours have, the question of when is entirely down to when you decide to start finding decent political leadership.

As an aside you asked the question, what is the point in higher bonds if you can be ordered to pay them anyway? - I can answer this, you're being ordered to pay them by a judge, but you don't have to, the alternative is default, and if there's a chance you'll default then the bonds have to be higher to cover that risk. If Argentina declares itself default and bankrupt then it can opt not to pay, but then the price of bonds will increase even more - it's the choice your country has to make, either give up borrowing from elsewhere and default, or continue to want to participate in the world bond market and pay what you legally owe no matter how high and unfair that might be. Risk comes with a cost, and if you're a risk you must accept that cost or patiently work hard to stop being a risk.

4 days ago
top

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Xest Re:think globally (203 comments)

I'm not mixing anything up, on one hand your saying you don't have control over your government including currency controls and on the other you're asking people to send money in. You don't seem to realise that the former creates much greater risk for those doing the latter.

I'm not blaming you for the actions of your government and I do sympathize with how it effects people like you but my point stands that it's not the fault of others that they won't take the risk your asking them too either - it's wholly on your government.

You say they only borrowed 80 million, but here's the thing, why did they borrow it in the first place with such ludicrous terms? However your government may wish to spin it you simply cannot take money under some terms and then suggest you should have the right to renege later on without there being consequences.

As for stealing foreign assets in taking about things like nationalisation of Spanish oil forms without proper compensation - if you do this stealing billions of assets off people then why are you surprised that a judge wold take a hard line in holding you to your agreements elsewhere? You can't run a country by taking money and assets and not living up to your on obligations. If you do then you'll be seen as a risk and people like you won't be able to get startup funding from investors that they're asking for.

about a week ago
top

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Xest Re:think globally (203 comments)

No unlike you I understand economics. It doesn't matter who is or isn't responsible for your country's situation, the fact remains that you have no control over it and your government is not improving the situation. Whether you like it or not that makes lending to your country an extremely risky proposition and if professional investors with the wealth of information they have available feel that your nations credit worthiness is junk then individuals with less knowledge of the risk should be protected from that too. If you want start up funding then move to a country with financial stability where it's safe for investors to invest, don't bitch at others for not setting up in a place where it's far too risky to do so.

This is a fact of living somewhere with poor financial management, that's defaulting on debt repeatedly, and has been stealing foreign assets. I know it's not your fault, but it's not Kikckstarters either so you can't blame them for not being willing to face the risks your country has created for itself. You may have a good idea, you may have good financial management, but whilst your government could tank your investors money over night it's not fair to ask them to take such a massive risk.

about a week ago
top

Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Xest Re:What a Waste of Fossil Fuels (200 comments)

I guess it depends whose doing the calling. Sure a child minded simpleton who believes the whole world is black and white might call it hypocrisy, but most intelligent minded people with an understanding of how the world actually works call it what it is more reasonably defined as- pragmatism.

Again, you're free to try and offer counterexamples, but you won't find any because whether it's Stallman having to use a computer with a proprietary BIOS to push his FOSS philosophy because he's sometimes had little other choice or Ayn Rand accepting social security when it was her only option to survive. Sometimes reality leaves you a choice - compromise, or give up. Anyone who gets anywhere in life with their goals selects for compromise, no one has achieved anything by giving up.

Even Ghandi's principle of non violent opposition had to take a back seat once Hitler's tanks started rolling and the Japanese got ever closer.

about a week ago
top

Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Xest Re:What a Waste of Fossil Fuels (200 comments)

I backtrack, it turns out you really are just far too child-like to understand the discussion at hand.

about a week ago
top

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Xest Re:think globally (203 comments)

I had some sympathy for your point until I saw your homepage is an Argentinian domain name.

Do you really think it's smart for Kickstarter to setup in a country that's defaulting on a national level and whose currency is so volatile as a result?

This story is about Kickstarter trying to reduce the chance of financial loss to backers, if ever there was a way to do the opposite and instead further increase the chance of loss then setting up in a country with the financial instability of Argentina would be it.

about a week ago
top

Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Xest Re:What a Waste of Fossil Fuels (200 comments)

Sometimes to get your point across you have to temporarily sacrifice your principles short term for a massive improvement in gain long term.

An environmentalist burning 1 barrel of oil in fuel to do the necessary travelling to raise awareness of and put a stop to thousands of barrels of oil in spillage in a part of the Niger Delta isn't ironic, it's a net gain in their cause to the tune of thousands of barrels of oil no longer being spilt and the rational thing to do.

I'd like to think it's just that you're not grown up enough to understand that sometimes short term pain is worth the long term gain or something, but let's be honest, when people like you make such facetious arguments what you're really saying is "I disagree with the point these people are making so I'm going to suggest they should be silenced by insisting that they do something that wouldn't advance their cause in the slightest".

These points of determining merit and relative gain of an action are a necessary evil of furthering any cause, whether you're a staunchly right wing NRA member that accepts that the worst criminals should be banned from having guns to protect the principle of well meaning people to continue to be able to have them to defend themselves, or whether you're a left leaning flower loving hippy that blows a barrel of oil to go and buy an electric car and some solar panels or a wind turbine that means you'll never have to use any more oil in your vehicle ever again - whatever portion of the spectrum you sit on, compromising your underlying morals for a greater long term gain is a fact of life and there's nothing ironic about it.

I doubt there's a person on this earth that's ever achieved their political goals without at some point having to sacrifice their principles to at least some degree.

about a week ago
top

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Xest Re:Not a problem... (325 comments)

Thousands of people isn't exactly a worthwhile population though is it? We're not talking about a few thousand people, we're talking about finding room for another 4 or 5 billion.

"That still makes it a dumb comment since your example was of colony-based insects who are notoriously colony-focused. They are far more racist than humans, viciously competing with even with their close kin in other colonies."

Oh dear, you realised you made a stupid comment and are one of those folks that would rather talk nonsense than back down? starting to declare species with colonies as racist? what kind of crack are you smoking? it must royally mess you up as it's apparently obliterated your ability to partake in a sensible adult conversation.

The fact that you've extended to such absurdities tells me one thing - you realise you had no idea what you were on about, felt the need to vomit out your opinion anyway, and have now resorted not only to reframing the discussion but to also talking complete and utter nonsense. The only sane conclusion therefore is that you know full well my points were valid, and that you were stupid to try and argue against them with arguments that are completely and utterly stupid and nonsensical.

So I shall walk away knowing that you had nothing worthwhile to challenge my points with, the absurdity you've descended to is perfectly ample evidence of that.

about a week ago
top

Scotland Votes No To Independence

Xest Re:The over-65's swung it for No (474 comments)

Well the 16 and 17 grouping voted 72% for yes, but the 18 - 24 bracket voted by a majority for no so they were in fact just a bunch of yes bots- when the reality of personal finances, seeking full time work, having a family etc. really comes into play at age 18+ the result massively swung back towards no.

The problem with letting them vote is that by and large pretty much none of them have experience of mortgages and so forth so don't understand the impact increases to cost of borrowing and so forth could have- they may understand the outline issues but they haven't much been involved in any of the things that they impact- mortgages, cost of living, finding work and so forth.

Aside from the 16 - 17 group, the other place the bulk of yes votes came from according to the demographics released is from the lower educated working class folks (and I mean lower educated statistically, not as a jab- lower levels of schooling completion) FWIW. Those in jobs requiring higher levels of education were against independence.

The reason it was rigging the game is because it was unprecedented and whilst they could vote in the referendum Salmond had no will to let them vote in the general election- this is because he knows full well that it's easy to make 16/17 year olds succumb to nationalism, which isn't a problem for a referendum where he's pro-nationalism but more of an issue at a general election when they could be swung to the farther right parties and their more ugly breed of nationalism.

But he was allowed the vote on his terms in other ways too which shone through in the campaign. He chose the question which forced his opposition to sell a negative proposition the "no" vote which is always much harder than selling a positive proposition- this was obvious in the campaign where he was consistently accusing no of being negative and bullying even though his own campaign was being negative with fear mongering about the Tories etc. and similarly yes campaigners were attacking no campaigners- there was easily as much negativity from his side but it was easier to sell that it was a no thing because they were on the negative side.

He also chose the date, towards the end of a British political term when serving politicians are least popular- again this was used in his favour during campaigning because he consistently harped on about the negative policies the current government had made that were really little to do with the referendum or just made up- he talked of NHS cuts for example but the Scottish parliament already controls the Scottish NHS so it was just fear mongering.

Finally, he also managed to stop the 1 million Scottish people living in the rest of the UK, outside Scotland - i.e. 20% of the Scottish vote from voting in the referendum at all. That's very unusual as ex-pats can still normally cast a vote in their home elections, countries like France even have a minister specifically for ex-pats.

So the whole thing was done massively in Salmond's favour, yet he still lost, and contrary to the comments above it wasn't the old people that swung it- as I say even the 18 - 24 range favoured no by a majority. Were this referendum run under "normal" rules - i.e. no 16/17 year old vote, all Scots allowed to vote on the future of their own national identity, a more fair question like "How should Scotland be governed? a) as an independent nation, b) as part of the United Kingdom", and run at a time which was more neutral then it seems realistic that the actual tally would've been closer to no 70%, yes 30%, which, for what it's worth, is roughly the background level of support that was registered over the last decade before the prospect of a referendum was involved.

Or in other words, they only even achieved 45% because they were allowed to rig large important portions of the vote in their favour, without that the SNP in general would probably have been obliterated as a political movement by the landslide preference for no that would have ensued.

FWIW though I believe they were allowed to rig the vote on the understanding that it stood, and that they couldn't possibly argue against the legitimacy of it- they were given things their way because both sides perceived it benefitted them - the SNP thought it gave them a chance of winning, and would result in a less humiliating defeat if they lost, and the no team believed that they would win regardless and that it would prevent any complaints of unfairness or illegitimacy forcing the SNP to have to accept it with no excuses. What no didn't count on was the yes campaign getting quite as many votes from their poll rigging as they did, but it still turned out as they hoped in the end regardless.

about a week ago
top

Scotland Votes No To Independence

Xest Re:Everyone loses (474 comments)

GDP is of relevance to everyone, the fact you don't understand it does not change anything. GDP is a measure of the size of the economy, and if the economy is growing then that means there is more money in it. You're correct that that does not mean that as soon as the economy grows people will see instant benefit from it, levels of inflation play in too and companies will not start handing out pay rises left and right the second the economy shows signs of growth, so yes you can see GDP go up, but no people wont instantly see benefit.

I don't know why you say Ireland has a high GDP, no it doesn't, it has a smaller GDP than countries like Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan, maybe you meant GDP per capita? If you want to know why Ireland's GDP per capita is high but the people aren't seeing the benefit of it then it's simple- Ireland is a tax haven and like all tax havens they have a high GDP per capita, there's a reason Apple has many tens of billions sat in banks there - it's a low tax regime, but that money sat in banks isn't in the real economy, it doesn't feed down to employees because it's being held in banks simply for the purpose of being kept off shore. This is the price of running your country as a tax haven, you get a lot of income, but it wont be productive money for the economy - it wont be used to pay higher wages or any such thing. The UK is not a tax haven so is not in even a remotely similar situation.

What we have in the UK is healthy growth because it's sustained, and the fact it's sustained means companies can start increasing wages, and guess what? contrary to your parroting of now obsolete memes that's exactly what's happening. Throughout last year wage rises started to track with inflation, and through this year they've finally started outpacing inflation.

Yes there have been big issues with zero hours contracts and self-employment over the last few years, and this has been key in Carney not increasing the bank of England's base rate, but as bank of England minutes have shown over this last year it's now clear that even that trend is in decline- those zero hours contracts, and that self employment is now being replaced by real sustained employment. It's for this reason that a rate rise now looks likely next year, instead of in 2016/2017 as originally planned. I suggest you catch up on this years monthly BoE meeting minutes if you want to get an updated view of the situation of the healthiness of employment in the UK rather than the outdated view you currently hold.

The things you cite were true a year ago or just over, but in the last year it's become clear that this is real growth and as a result even salaries are increasing (they're certainly not decreasing as you claim- go check the ONS stats on the issue, or see here for example: http://www.theguardian.com/bus... - this is from April just as above inflation wage growth started, the pace has improved even more since then).

So I hate to say it but your whole argument is wrong, it's based on a lack of understanding of economics on a national level, it's based on a naive belief that improvement should be instant, and it's based on a simple lack of knowledge about what the underlying trends actually are in our economy.

Our GDP is growing, our wage rises are outpacing inflation, zero hours contracts are no longer growing, debts are not soaring, bailiffs are not doing record business. That's what I consider healthy growth- you're right, your theorised claims would not be healthy growth but they're not what's actually happening in the country right now, they stopped being true at least a year ago, your information is now completely out of date and incorrect.

Sources:

- Wage increases: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/...

- Reposessions: https://www.gov.uk/government/...

- Household debt: http://www.libdemvoice.org/wp-...

I purposely left food banks out of that last paragraph above because their use has been growing even in the boom times before the recession, turns out if you offer free food with no checks, balances, and means testing that people will take it so drastic rise in their use has been occurring regardless of the economic weather:

http://blogs.channel4.com/fact...

Hence sure crying "but food banks!" sounds good, until you realise that whilst we can theorise that food banks are going to see an increase in visitors in times of poor economic performance we still see increase in their usage in times of good economic performance and so it's incorrect to assume that increase in food bank useage correlates purely with poor economic performance - clearly it doesn't because we can see it rising in boom times.

I suspect we both know what healthy growth is, the difference is I know what the underlying state of the economy is because I've bothered to research it, you however are claiming it's unhealthy based on outright falsehoods.

about two weeks ago
top

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Xest Re:Not a problem... (325 comments)

"But that's not the case. There's nothing magical about living in Antarctica that would cause millions of people to lose their homes elsewhere."

Of course there is, human activity generates heat, and heat melts ice. You can't melt ice in Antarctica and have it magically not increase sea levels, where do you think it goes? or do you think the ice in Antarctica is magical and immune to melt from heat? or that we can create a magical device that just vanishes every single bit of heat humans might generate? When that sea level rise happens there are many people living in coastal areas whose current homes would become flooded. You then have to find somewhere else for them to go.

"No, those species are quite notorious for exhibiting behavior that strongly favors their own species at the expense of pretty much everything else aside from a few symbiotes."

Ah, but now you're changing the parameters of the discussion to suit your argument- I wasn't talking about selfishness that benefits the species as a whole, I was clearly talking about selfishness of the individual making the point that individual humans will look after themselves over the rest of their species - this is why we even have things like racism in the first place.

about two weeks ago
top

Scotland Votes No To Independence

Xest Re:Everyone loses (474 comments)

Yeah, and aliens could land too, and there will be nuclear war, and the world will end also!

Oh wait, you were being serious? You used the words "the way things are going" but that's not actually the way things are going. Based on current trajectories the UK is showing the healthiest growth of just about all rich Western economies and it's doing so whilst maintaining a reduction in deficit too.

Further, a number of studies suggest it's likely to see itself increase in global rankings overtaking France, and maybe even Germany in the next 20 years:

http://www.theguardian.com/bus...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/busi...

So yeah, you may be right, maybe something drastic will happen and things will go into reverse again, but that's not what the current figures suggest so any such possibility is merely unfounded speculation.

Yeah, sure, Scotland could've chosen not to be part of that and that would've been their decision, but I think most Scots saw through the nationalist pessimism towards the UK and recognised that for all our faults, maybe things aren't so bad - we're growing faster than anyone else in the G7 and seeing drastic declines in unemployment to boot - find me a country without political issues, but as far as ours go they're pretty small fry compared to some of the issues some countries are having, we've been growing well for well over a year now and some of our neighbours are still slipping in and out of recession - right now and for the foreseeable future the UK is still a pretty good place to be.

Faster political change would be nice, many people think it's not happening at all, but it is. In recent years we've seen things like the exposure of the expenses scandal, we've seen the closeness of phone hacking and the political classes, we've seen an alternative voting system referendum that was lost, exposure of sexual abuse in parliament, we've seen a coalition for the first time in 60 years- now many people will view all these things are negatives, things that ended badly, didn't turn out well, but they're not, they're all part of a bigger picture- the tide is turning against entrenched Westminster, in the last 50 years most of those things listed above would've been unthinkable, the fact they're happening is evidence that the vested minorities that've had so much power for so long in Westminster are losing their grip. I'm normally a cynical, pessimistic person myself, but since I started to take a step back on this issue and piece it all together, rather than look at individual events in isolation, as well as looking at the wider world in general (i.e. the arab spring) it seems pretty clear that politicians are losing power to the people as part of a long slow, probably multi-decade process - it's slow but it's happening, and I'm optimistic that Westminster cannot and will not be able to carry on with business as usual for much longer- they're already faltering and I fully suspect that this independence referendum is another nail in the coffin for the old way of doing things.

God only knows I've hated my country long enough and thought about leaving enough times (thankfully I can easily obtain dual citizenship through my partner, or just make use of our EU membership to fuck off elsewhere in the EU) but right now I think the signs are good, I think change is happening, it's painfully slow but I'm not convinced this is something that you can fix overnight, I think it takes almost a generational change in politicians (which might explain why there has been some progress already- I believe last election that far more than half the MPs that were elected were completely new) but it's happening, and we're getting there.

about two weeks ago
top

Scotland Votes No To Independence

Xest Re:The over-65's swung it for No (474 comments)

"As a Scot living through the referendum, it has been a sea of optimism and YES flags and events. Many people, including myself woke up this morning very disappointed but also wondering how did this happen:"

I can explain it to you, but like most yes voters you probably wouldn't get it, but here, I'll try anyway.

Those of us sat outside of Scotland, not caught up in the sea of supporters here and there and who bothered to look at the polls - not just the headlines, and that paid attention to events not just in a single locale but across the country, especially in the last few weeks saw something slipping through. We saw the ugly side of nationalism finally shine through, and we saw the impact that was having.

You see dear rapiddescent, all those yes flags, all those events, coupled with the things you'd probably rather not hear about or deny ever happened such as militant yes voters physically attacking no campaigners and even splitting up families and neighbourhoods, telling people they weren't true scotsmen if they voted no. All those things - they weren't a sign you were winning, you'd overwhelmed the opposition sure, all anyone could hear was yes because they'd either silence or out-shouted no at every turn, no, they were simply a sign that you weren't letting people with opposing opinions have their say.

So whilst you were busy silencing and out-shouting the opposition you missed something important- the importance of actually winning the arguments.

Along comes polling day, and guess what? all those people you'd silenced, shouted over, and prevented from expressing their opinion as vocally as you did got to have their say in the ballot box, a place you couldn't silence them, couldn't harass them, and guess what? that's where your weakness of focussing on a a blitzkrieg of yes spam rather than actually putting forward good ideas and rational arguments let you down.

That dear sir, is why the streets were full of yes campaigners, why all you could see and hear was them in the streets, on social media, and in classic media, but why when it came to, you still lost. You militantly silenced the majority, but the silent majority still got to have their say in the end.

The media wasn't biased in it's reporting, most media outlets didn't declare a preference, and those that did largely only did so in the last week or so (it was actually the pro-independence media that declared and actively backed first). You may wish to tell yourself that you've been cheated out of something, that you've been hard done by, that the media was against you, that vested corporate interests stopped it, but none of that is true. You lost simply because a majority were smart enough to see that your arguments didn't stack up, and were put off by your vile nationalist tendencies that kept slipping out from under your mask (like say, when Jim Sillars stood alongside Alex Salmond said post-independence they'd nationalise foreign companies in a revenge act for not supporting independence: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.u...).

about two weeks ago
top

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Xest Re:Not a problem... (325 comments)

I suspect the biggest problem would be the cost and pollution of transporting it relative to other fertilisers that we can transport in a much more efficient manner, we can't really do what the Sahara does with it's mineral sands more efficiently than it already does it, though we can work more efficiently with other fertilisers. The Sahara though does a good job naturally, those global wind patterns do all the work for us with zero pollution.

Given that it's probably worth taking a step back and realising that actually most of the farming that's done today already works on your plan albeit with, as I say, different fertilisers. Much of the world's crops grown today are only feasible to grow precisely because we already do use artificial fertilisers in agriculture across the globe so your plant is already being done in a roundabout way, it's just more efficient for us to do it in our own way outside of the Sahara and more efficient for the Sahara to do what it does by itself.

about two weeks ago
top

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Xest Re:Not a problem... (325 comments)

"No, it doesn't. Just because there is a disadvantage to a choice, doesn't mean that it is "almost" zero sum. You still have to consider the advantages."

Well if you manage to move a few million people to Antarctica and the resultant increase in sea level means a few million people have to leave coastal areas then yes, it is. I did clearly say (and suggested potential examples) there are indeed some areas you could probably get away with spreading the population to with much more minimal disadvantage.

"What species would not be a selfish species in your sense?"

Many colony based species are, such as ants and bees work for the interests of the colony rather than for the individual, though I'm not really sure what the relevance of the question is- the fact that other species are selfish doesn't change the fact that humans are also.

"And this overpopulation problem isn't being caused by the rich. It's being caused by the teeming masses of non-rich."

You're mixing cause and effect, increased birth rates are a symptom of poverty where the per-child survival rate is low, overpopulation is simply a symptom of a bigger problem, not the underlying problem itself. If you take those poor people that you deem responsible for overpopulation and place them in a place where there are crops and water aplenty like the UK then I assure you they will start seeing higher survival rates and lower death rates - the problem is the people who already inhabit these areas and have already prospered as a result keep it for themselves, but you know what? I'm not even judging that - it is natural instinct to look after your own precisely because as I say we are a particularly selfish species, but it absolutely is simply a statement of fact about what does and would happen. The wealthy in the world would still inhabit the most beneficial places, and the poor would still be forced to the places where there is no scope to prosper and would still continue to overproduce children as a survival mechanism as a result.

I don't think it's worth arguing whether that's good, bad, or whose fault it is, or isn't, who is good, or bad, who is innocent or not - none of that really matters because it's just a description of the natural state of the human race and I'm not sure whether we could ever really do much to change that or not, but either way it also doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least recognise it for what it is.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Man jailed for trolling

Xest Xest writes  |  about 3 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "A man in the UK has been jailed for just over 4 months for trolling, and has also been given an order banning him from using social networking sites for 5 years. The trolling in question involved insulting a person who committed suicide by jumping in front a train by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank with the deceased girls face in place of Thomas'.

Is it about time trolling to this extent saw this kind of punishment, or is this punishment simply too harsh for someone who perhaps didn't realise how seriously his actions would be taken by the authorities?"

Link to Original Source
top

Android takes 2nd place for the quarter

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "For the quarter July, August, September Android has now pushed into second place for handset sales accounting for 25% of all phones sold, with Apple taking 3rd place and RIM taking 4th. Symbian is of course still king, largely due to it's massive userbase of low end phones in places like Africa, India, and China where handsets such as the iPhone and high end Android devices are simply unaffordable to many. The article notes that sales by smaller handset manufacturers such as HTC, Huwaei, and ZTE who often develop phones on behalf of other companies to brand themselves now account for a third of phone sales. With devices like the Orange San Francisco developed by ZTE selling at £99 without a contract and sporting an AMOLED screen whilst also being able to run some of the most popular games and applications today such as Angry Birds, perhaps even Symbian will see itself displaced over the next few years to be replaced with some of the highly competitive Android devices beginning to trickle out."
Link to Original Source
top

A brighter future for freedom in Britain?

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "Over the last decade on Slashdot since the events of 9/11 we have constantly been bombarded with stories reporting the continued deterioration of freedom and civil liberties in the West as governments come up with their new latest and greatest scheme to track down terrorists and criminals however negative the effect is on the rest of the law abiding population.

Today, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of Britain's new coalition government who came to power just last week outlined the new government's vision for the future of British civil liberties. The government has so far confirmation that they will be abolishing Britain's ID card database, abolishing the National Identity Register, abolishing the ContactPoint database, look into reforming libel laws to protect freedom of speech, will be restoring protections for the right to peaceful protest, and will improve the fairness of the DNA database to ensure innocent people's DNA is no longer held on it. This all begs the question; is the tide finally turning against deterioration of our rights and freedom?

The results of this rhetoric are yet to be seen, but if they are sincere in their aims, and truly even wish to allow citizens to recommend laws for removal as stated, then might we perhaps even see the dreadful Digital Economy Act repealed? Right now it's too early to tell, but a positive vibe on civil liberties from people now in power is often news in itself when taken in the context of the last decade of mostly doom and gloom for civil liberties and freedom."

Link to Original Source
top

PS3 plagued by similar problems to the XBox 360s i

Xest Xest writes  |  about 5 years ago

Xest writes "More and more reports are appearing of Playstation 3 consoles failing in a similar way that the earlier models of the XBox 360 did, except for Sony, it's the Yellow Light of Dead. The BBC has an interesting article, which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the earlier XBox 360 models to fail — poor soldering connections. From the article:

"Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints."

But it's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook on the issue that Sony have been following, whilst they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5million (a convenient 0.5%) of systems have failed, they refuse to release full figures of failure rates citing them as being commercially sensitive. Unfortunately one rule Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft on is an extended warranty, stating that if it fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK however at least, the Sale of Goods act would disagree with that statement."

Link to Original Source
top

Microsoft announces "YouTube for Games"

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "At this years Game Developers Conference, alongside the announcement of Gears of War 2 due for release this November, Microsoft have announced another interesting feature — homebrew game sharing. Utilising XNA, developers and gamers will be able to share games that they have created over XBox live and rate them in a similar manner to YouTube's video sharing service. Microsoft have released 7 games to showcase the capabilities of the service at the event.

If this idea is extended to Windows users through Microsoft's Live for Windows program and with XNA Game Studio being a nice environment for amateur and professional game developers alike this could provide a powerful new path to mainstream users for indie game developers."

Journals

Xest has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?