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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

coastwalker Re:Are you kidding (804 comments)

American politics from outside seems framed in the terms of what politicians are doing about forcing your own world view on other people who do not hold that world view. In other words politics is framed as a religious war on unbelievers. In this way it is no different to the Iranian theocracy for example.

4 days ago

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

coastwalker Re: instant access to computers around the world (275 comments)

I remember being at University in Cardiff in 1979 and chatting with the Exeter or Bath or Bristol operator on the South Western University's Network or SWUN or similar. We conversed as I typed on a teleprinter terminal, each letter I typed being printed on the two foot wide paper roll scrolling out in front of me by a buzzing print head. No screen. So we had instant messaging. We also had email and 3d graphics on the textronics video display units. You could run realtime jobs on any of the computers on the network if you had a login.

The only thing that has changed is that business has taken over from academia and the military and we now use this amazing network connectivity to do other things. We order pizza on it and lose money betting through it and get instant updates on what everyone else had for breakfast. So no progress there really except for better interface hardware. We old farts invented all that stuff that the smartphone does nearly 35 years ago and boy are we bored with what it has become. A means to funnel money from people into businesses profit lines by paying for "apps" and services that remain free on older hardware.

The fledgling internet was opened up to the public in the early 90's through dial up and TCP/IP using trumpet winsock. First stop the CERN snowboard club.

5 days ago

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

coastwalker Re:It was a "joke" back then (275 comments)

It was obvious that the covers were not intended to represent future trends, they were often works of art that didn't even get the technology of the time correct.

Maybe modern journalists should be taking a cold look at the modern world instead of lazily looking for things to mock in the old.

For example the cell phone has mutated into a games machine that everyone on the planet appears to want to own. We don't need swipeable screens or flappy birds to build nuclear power stations or do open heart surgery. However Microsoft for one is attempting to destroy the tools that run the modern world because they don't look like the more profitable smartphone.

Let me remind you of the digital watch. They were popular for a few months in the late 70's and only exist now as novelty's. The smartphone is the same in that it will look laughably stupid in 30 years time.

Making consumer hardware is a fashion business and the only certainty is that today's fashion will be out of fashion tomorrow, remember that the next time you promote stuff in the smartphone toy market.

Meanwhile we 'almost' have Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy from 1978. A product that accessed the entire knowledge of the galaxy, could play sound and vision, all without noticeable power needs.

Show me a poxy smartphone that doesn't need charging at the end of the day.

5 days ago

Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

coastwalker Re:So Arrest Them (207 comments)

Turns out that democracy is just as rubbish as dictatorship.

about three weeks ago

DVRs Used To Attack Synology Disk Stations and Mine Bitcoin

coastwalker Re:Why is anyone surprised... (75 comments)

Completely agree, the bitcoin miner is just the headline. The rest of it is to scan the contents of the NAS, I wonder which government owns them?

about three weeks ago

WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

coastwalker Re:Wow, that was so full of stupid... (449 comments)

Never mind what dialogue a clever psychologist has planted in you Pavlovian brain.

So you want to kill people.

I hope your house is the remote one that doesn't get a signal and is the first to lose POTS.

I look forward to your urgent need to call an ambulance and your untimely death.

If you don't need civilization then the rest of us can do without you.

about three weeks ago

Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

coastwalker Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (455 comments)

That is what the guy just said - Walmart competes on marketing - meaning that they dont tax everything they sell to spend on harvesting the morons who respond to advertising.

about three weeks ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

coastwalker Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

You can bet that the person who wrote this article has made or will make a ton of cash out of this sick idea. Its all over the web.

Secretly people enjoy the idea of torturing people they do not like, so its struck a rich vein. It is the antithesis of civilization and should be resisted.

Looks like the monkey cant quite get down out of the tree and forget its animal nature.

about 1 month ago

Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax

coastwalker Re:politics as usual (185 comments)

Actually no one gives a monkeys about the planetary science program, its deeply unpopular because it uses genetic medicine and genetically modifies organisms to survive drought and it supports evolution and it ends the war on drugs - it is fundamental Science.

NASA should spend more money on that Russian space station, because we get live moving pictures back which make the news. Air time gets funding.

Actually America is just about done now and the rest of us are just waiting for the Chinese to take over the role of leading the world in real science.

See they have this dictatorship that doesn't need tv ratings to do things.

I despair.

about a month ago

A Dispatch From Outside the Prison Holding Barrett Brown

coastwalker Re:Why ? Because USA has become more Soviet than U (95 comments)

I am very sorry to say that it appears to be because the cold war is over and that the reasons we fought the cold war were being constantly repeated to us to justify the cost - "they don't have free speech, they don't have independent legal systems, they oppress minorities". Apparently now we no longer have that enemy we are fighting for those reasons its OK to openly do all the things that we were supposedly fighting against. Its very sad.

about a month and a half ago

Ars Technica Reviews Leaked Windows 8.1 Update

coastwalker Re:Nobody cares (194 comments)

This is what I keep thinking but dont say.

about a month and a half ago

Ars Technica Reviews Leaked Windows 8.1 Update

coastwalker Re:Nobody cares (194 comments)

I agree with you that you can do lots of entertaining things on a tablet or phone interface and that is great for domestic consumers. However they are locked out of any expectation of creative use of computing by the interface and applets. Its sad that it took only 20 years for the internet to become no more than a metro app.

about a month and a half ago

School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

coastwalker Re:We Don't Need No Education (417 comments)

I think you will find that they will squash you like a bug if you make a fuss. Is this really something worth fighting for?

about a month and a half ago

Physics Forum At Fermilab Bans Powerpoint

coastwalker Business (181 comments)

In business you often present information on the status of something and then after a dialogue have to decide on actions. Without presentation of data this would not work. Powerpoint is ok as a means of showing data. A blackboard is ok for teaching abstract subjects but probably isnt suitable for subjects that require familiarity with physical objects. Anti Powerpoint crusades are a stupid concept, Powerpoint is fine for many applications.

about a month and a half ago

US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

coastwalker Re:USA Liable for AGW Costs? (401 comments)

Your money stinks, most of it is debt and we don't want it.

Half the world hates you with a passion for your criminal lack of morality and arrogance.

Typical for your response to be that you can always pay for the millions of deaths you will cause with a fine.

Your culture is revolting, lets hope the Chinese behave better than you because they are clearly the future.

about 2 months ago

Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

coastwalker In some ways... (237 comments)

I dont mind UI refreshes but I think that it will dumb down the discourse if the information density is decreased too much. But we live in an era where most of the audience growth is thought to be on mobile interfaces. The web is changing.

about 2 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

coastwalker Re:Is this maybe justifiable? (385 comments)

it will certainly destroy the value of their second hand equipment.

All of my home computing is three year old refurbished corporate stuff precisely because it does have decent bug fixing and driver updates. Quite apart from being less than a third of the original sale price to buy.

Lenovo support is still free.

Wonder what is going to be done with all the thousands of tons of useless HP equipment at the end of its three year life? I hear that landfill is pretty much full these days.

about 2 months ago

Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

coastwalker Re:No (337 comments)

It took us a decade to allow Nato to sort the thing out. The Europeans would have done it long before if they didnt have to ask permission from our American paymasters. The only reason

Americans get involved in everything is frankly because they have most of the weapons and soldiers that exist on planet earth. Its surprising that the American tax payer hasn't figured out that the reason they have shit schools and hospitals is because all the tax gets spent on cluster bombs and drones.

about 3 months ago

Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:

coastwalker Re:Don't try to outwierd me, three-eyes. (201 comments)

And interestingly a random poll of slashdot readers reveals that nearly 25% claim to have access to large telescopes inconvenient to carry or ones with even more light grasp and mass.

So that makes us different to the rest of the population - apart from not having a girlfriend and living in a basement of course....

So Slashdot is actually 'News for Nerds and backyard astronomers' from the sound of it.

Well I think its entirely understandable that the technologically interested have their own tools for accessing space.

I wonder if the same could be said of microscopes, I have one, but its nothing like the array of telescopes that seem to have come to live in the spare room..

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

coastwalker Re:It's 2014 (387 comments)

Spot on. All those posts advising on what tools to learn are missing the point. The world isn't hiring people with toolboxes, its hiring people who know how to use the toolbox to make stuff. Concentrate on finding the right Stuff to become expert on and you will enjoy your toil and make money doing it.

Sitting in a basement learning how to use a bunch of tools will just see you end up on a production line making dog food. Which is OK if you like the all pervasive smell of dog food I guess, but probably wasn't in your plan for life when you thought that being an Astronaut might be fun.

about 3 months ago


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