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The Strange Story Of the Sculpture On the Moon

garyok Re:It's a memorial, not an art exhibition. (132 comments)

You're assuming that the art is solely the product of the sculptor but it's not. The piece is a collaboration between Scott and Van Hoeydonck. Without Scott to commission (in whatever sense), transport, and arrange the installation, then neither the sculpture or the the plaque (Van Hoeydonck's sense of artistic fulfillment notwithstanding) would have had a lot of significance.

If you want to get all classical greek about it, Van Hoeydonck, controlled the material and formal causes of the installation but Scott controlled the effective cause and, without Scott, there could not have been a teleological cause for the piece. So Scott definitely gets equal standing weighing in on "what it was meant for".

about 9 months ago

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

garyok Re:Stole exam answers? (504 comments)

So he broke into a secure environment, serruptitiously obtained confidential and/or classified information, and used his take to successfully gain a competive advantage over his peers? And somehow this makes him unsuitable for employment at the NSA? If he'd just 'fessed up he'd be the first new guy to start his job with an employee of the month award.

about 9 months ago

Malcolm Gladwell On Culture and Airplane Crashes

garyok Re:I remember being puzzled by that chapter (423 comments)

On a trip from Delhi to Agra in 2010, I saw so much scary driving. Entire families on the backs of motorbikes. A tractor popping wheelies cos the tow bar was grossly overloaded. Bus passengers jumping on and off the buses in the middle of the road, in traffic going 10-20mph. Another bus driving straight at us when we were on the inside lane of a dual carriageway.

Every car journey in India was like a roller-coaster squared worth of white knuckles.

about a year ago

BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

garyok Re: Not-so-accurate source (487 comments)

My mistake - GP is right. Just as long as he never, ever accidentally clicks on the Listen Live button he'll be fine. But if he does it, even once, then a ravening horde of TV Licencing inspectors will descend on his demise and commit inventive mayhem on him and his housemates. And he'll be liable for the licence fee.

about a year ago

BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

garyok Re: Not-so-accurate source (487 comments)

The TV licensing chaps often like to think of themselves as some sort of police force, and will often try to threaten or cajole people in either of the above two categories into buying a license anyway, but they don't have a legal leg to stand on. They can't demand you buy a license or enter your home without permission or a warrant. IME, warrants are very rarely issued to the TV licensing chaps because the judges know they like to throw their weight around and bully people.

I don't know where you're hearing that from. I've gone round with a TV Licencing officer on his rounds through Watford and I've witnessed first-hand how they operate. He never entered a home without permission, he just asked politely and all but one person said yes (the one that said no actually threatened to punch our teeth out - pity we could see the TV tuned to BBC2 from the doorstep...) As far as I'm aware, about 50% of the visits resulted in no follow-up action due to compassionate reasons. The only ones that were referred for further action were people who could pay, but thought they should be allowed to get away with it.

I love the BBC, especially all the various documentaries and the occasional drama. But no-one else in our house watches live TV either and didn't see the point in paying the money, so to get all those BBC4 documentaries I like so much, I scour iPlayer to watch them after they've been broadcast and buy the DVD if and when they become available.

i.e. people like you.

about a year ago

Google Chrome 27 Is Out: 5% Faster Page Loads

garyok Re:is gmail faster in it? (195 comments)

As for Joe Human, his reaction time is at about 20ms. Hence @5% improvement would be theoretically "noticeable" in a 2 seconds page load. But unnoticeable if Joe Human would have to observe it relative to 2 seconds total. Likely even with a stop watch Joe H. would be in "error area". And 100ms would be an improvement on a 20s load which would challenge patience of any Joe H.

Reaction time is how long it takes you to process a stimulus and initiate a physical action in response - it's not how long it takes you to notice something. Joe Human's sitting there wondering wondering why he's letting this site steal the precious moments of his life away from him loading ads for stuff he doesn't care about. He might not have time to hit the Cancel control before the page finishes loading but he knows his time's been wasted.

about a year ago

Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3

garyok Re:How about cutting Notes? (276 comments)

I loved how Notes couldn't handle daylight savings (especially when a meeting request came from Outlook). Try explaining to your manager that you missed a meeting because the reminder was automagically set an hour late. God-awful POS.

about a year ago

Did the Queen Just Resurrect the Snooper's Charter?

garyok Re:The Queen (214 comments)

Only the Crown can assert absolute ownership of the land in England (and the seabed of territorial waters). "Landowners" in England only own estates (the estate in fee simple and the estate in land) and have tenure on the land.

Of course, it'd really kick off if Liz Windsor sent her army round to clear the peasants off her nice patch of dirt (she is Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces after all). Something tells me she can't be bothered with the hassle.

about a year ago

Space Junk 'Cleaning' Missions Urgently Needed

garyok Re:Planetes (165 comments)

Seconded. I loved how well-realised it all was. Favourite thing was the progress bar for interplanetary video chat to let you know when you could expect a response.

about a year ago

Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

garyok The engineers, but... (262 comments)

...Developers aren't the only software engineers on the team. Everyone forgets the test analysts. Input from the test team can improve design for testability considerably, making everything from unit tests to migrations and BI much more straightforward. A lot of developers tend to see testing as a sleight on their prowess and completed documentation as a tedious imposition. I have a tendency to believe that developers with that attitude typically have no prowess worth mentioning.

Yes, I'm fully aware that my discipline is infested with scammers, charlatans, and the completely inept. But there are also good testers out there who know their way practically every type of system an enterprise will deploy.

about a year and a half ago

Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards

garyok Don't want DRM on your movies on the web..? (351 comments)

Then make some movies of your own and release them to the world DRM-free. That's the FOSS way. RMS couldn't find an OS he could trust so he started working on his own. Linus came along and tied it all together and now we've got Linux. The point is they didn't just bitch about things they didn't like on message boards, they solved a problem they were having and made the world a better and wealthier place for it.

The content that's getting DRM protection - that's other people's stuff. What they do with their stuff is their business. There's nothing wrong with them asking for web standards (that no-one's forcing you to use) to implement their protection. It's also their problem if they implement a DRM solution that prevents them from selling content to you. That's sales they'll never make and an audience they'll never reach.

I think DRM is self-defeating - content companies will prevent more sales than they'll gain - but there's a world of content out there that's never been protected by DRM. You could spend your whole life being entertained and enthralled by it and never once wonder what the fuck is going on on Game of Thrones or Piranha 4DDD. Or maybe you could add to that trove of free wealth for humanity. You know, contribute on your terms. Just sayin'...

about a year and a half ago

UK ISPs Respond To the Dangers of Using Carrier Grade NAT Instead of IPv6

garyok Re:Remember this is the UK... (165 comments)

Yep, gotta agree with parent - £22/month for 78Mb/s (measured) from BT and fully ready for IPv6. I got sick of Be Un Limited after the third time they sent me a questionnaire on fibre.

Me: I'd love fibre. FTTC or FTTP, whatever! When are you planning to roll it out?

Be: Mwahaha! I can't believe you fell for that. But we'll keep stringing you along so you keep paying us our subs...

Looking forward to hearing of Be's demise. There's very little I despise more in IT than a company that's all mouth and no trousers.

about a year and a half ago

Crowd Funding For Crank Physics

garyok Re:This got a patent (379 comments)

And, if it stops anyone else trying to peddle this futile concept, then maybe the USPTO really are doing society a service. For once.

about a year and a half ago

Bitcoin-Based Drug Market Silk Road Thriving With $2 Million In Monthly Sales

garyok Re:98% (498 comments)

Drug dealers are the resistance in The War on Drugs.

Actually, drug dealers are the ones hoping that the war on drugs continues, or they'll be out of work.

Nah, they'd just open a cafe or a dispensary (or just work from home) and convert their illicit customers to licit ones. The guys higher up the supply chain on the other hand...

One day I hope to see drug laws across the 1st World that aren't designed to please some tut-tutting old baggage whose sole remaining vice is raining on other folks' parades.

more than 2 years ago

MIT Hack Turns the Green Building Into a Giant Game of Tetris

garyok Re:Tetris? (65 comments)

I think the fun is in programming it rather than playing it now. It's a great way to familiarise yourself with a new language or to test out a novel display. It's a small enough project that a decent programmer can knock out their own version over a few days - maybe quicker - and you've got something that just about everyone recognises and can appreciate. The specs for the basic game are online and easy enough to understand.

Once you've got past "Hello, world" and figured out the basics of a new language's flow control, data types and structures, it's a good next step.

more than 2 years ago

British MPs Propose Censoring Internet By Default

garyok A very one-sided consultation (255 comments)

Reading the report, all parties consulted were either child protection special interest groups or the ISPs (whose arguments could be dismissed as just them trying to save money). No-one from any civil liberties groups were asked to testify. This is the archetype of the Nanny State infantilising its electorate. And would (as pointed out upthread) require people to sign into their ISP and enable personalised tracking of web browsing.

Fuck that.

more than 2 years ago

Spoiler Alert: Your TV Will Be Hacked

garyok Re:I already hacked mine (211 comments)

To upgrade the firmware enabling a Just Scan mode that the (lazy / incompetent / brain-damaged - take your pick) engineers at Samsung neglected to include in the default set of aspect ratios. It beggared belief that an aspect ratio that just displays the picture without adjustment wasn't included in the first place. Especially considering the damn thing has a VGA port and it was obviously meant to support input from a PC. A massive pain in the arse it was too - it needed a custom serial cable I had to put together myself from iffy specs I found online, with the (actually official) firmware update from another hobbyist site as Samsung didn't host it. Then there was the 30s or so sweating bullets as I thought I'd bricked my telly before the new firmware started running. I don't recommend it.

Hmm - never meant to post that as AC. I wondered why I was asked for a CAPTCHA...

more than 2 years ago

UK Man Jailed For 'Offensive Tweets'

garyok Re:Tweet (922 comments)

Ha! Joke's on you! Colonial traitors aren't a recognised ethnicity in the UK. I can abuse you all I want. In fact, I'm thinking of applying for a government grant. And I bet I can get some cash off Liz too - she's probably still pissed about the whole independence thing.

more than 2 years ago


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