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Losing Aaron

wild_quinine an old chestnut: (199 comments)

Putting yourself at risk of a crime, doesn't really excuse the criminal for comitting it.

1 year,25 days

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

wild_quinine Re:It IS a big deal (222 comments)

You might want to use VHS tape or film reels as metaphors when introducing video editing in the 90s...

But even back then, yes, even with technophobes, if you'd forced your users to rewind those tapes in real time you would have had a serious problem.

about a year ago

Video Gamers See the World Differently

wild_quinine FOX News: (160 comments)

Breaking Fox News: Gamers implicated in ABC murders.

about a year and a half ago

Sony Exercising Its Acquisition of GaiKai, Plans To Stream Games To PS4

wild_quinine Re:Then why not just buy a PC? (129 comments)

- PCs need to be replaced with a new model every 3-4 years. Game console cycles last 5-7 years.

The rest of your points are bollocks as well, but this. Wow. This isn't just wrong, it's actively misinterpreting one of the most significant advantages of PCs.

It is not that you *must* replace your model every 3-4 years, the fact is that you *can* replace it every 3-4 years. (In practice you probably only need to think about replacing the video card, as a quad core bought in 2008/9 is just as fast today as it was then, and CPUs haven't been the bottleneck in the majority of games for quite a long time.)

Those PC games will scale to your hardware, and your 2008 graphics card will still produce better graphics at higher resolutions than either the PS3 or Xbox 360, it's just that a 2012/3 card will do even more - if you want to go there.

Because it's expensive to develop exclusively for the PC, and because the console market is more lucrative, the consoles have effectively been holding better graphics on the PC back for seven years. All PC owners get is higher resolution basically for free, and if we're very, very lucky some kind of texture pack.

Please note that the PS3 originally released in the same week as nVidia launched the 8800 series, the first DX10 cards. Sony made such a hoo-hah at the time about how the truly next gen experience could begin. But the truth was, it was already last generation at launch.

about 2 years ago

Facebook Lands Drunk Driving Teen In Jail

wild_quinine eCrimes division (443 comments)

That you can be arrested for admitting to crimes on Facebook is only news these days for the people getting arrested.

Treating this story as news in this day and age smacks of the "Same old crime.... but on a COMPUTER!!!" syndrome that we've been criticising for a decade or more.

about 2 years ago

UK Students Protest Biometric Scanner Move

wild_quinine Re:Why do I have to BE at a lecture? (196 comments)

What part of the summary did you fail to comprehend?

Thats right, the part about the need to prove attendance of *foreign students on a student visa*. READ THE FUCKING SUMMARY, YOU MORON !!

If they're passing the courses, who cares if they're attending the lectures? What are the chances that someone who can pass degree level courses through disciplined self-study is likely to be *less* of an asset to their country?

The University is treating the students like criminals because the UK Border Agency encourages this. But the UK Border Agency know fuck all about Universities, so why should we take their opinion on Universities over that of the instituions themselves? Hell, the UKBA can barely manage their own house, let alone our centuries old and rapidly losing its edge (but once world class) Higher Education system.

more than 2 years ago

Music Industry Suits Could Bankrupt Pirate Party Members

wild_quinine Re:Does the UK have SLAPP laws? (215 comments)

Remember their imaginative lawyers are second only to their imaginative accountants - just ask the artists...

Everybody imagines accountancy and the legal professions to be dry, bookish jobs dealing in facts, history and obscurae.

But the truth is that those jobs are just as creative as writers, painters or musicians.

If anything, we should be paying them more!

more than 2 years ago

No Charges In UK For Gary McKinnon

wild_quinine Re:Loony (148 comments)

No, he has Asperger's syndrome, which, from what I can gather, is way for IT guys like us to behave like absolutely fucking pricks, and we just have to hold up the card "Asperger's" and everyone is supposed to accept our miserable attitude. Apserger also apparently extends to hacking into systems we have no business being in. Apparently, providing we have this wonderful social ineptitude disease, we don't face the consequences of any of our online actions.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I'm going to go out at lunch and kick some little old lady in the ass. "Asperger's!"

Did you really just have an uncalled for, violent, frothing rage at people with "social ineptitude disease"? You know, it pays to look both ways before crossing Irony Street.

more than 2 years ago

NZBMatrix Closes Their Website

wild_quinine Re:Too many people... (144 comments)

It got popular, because it just got sooo mucy easier to use over time, and the tools got better. Some were really, really spectacularly mature. The changes were welcomed as they made it more convenient for the knowledgeable, but things also more accessible for the novice demographic. If it had been anything other than the internet's last dirty little secret, usenet would have exploded in the next two years.

more than 2 years ago

Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

wild_quinine Re:Accuracy (861 comments)

I have heard about 2/3 rate, not 90% rate. There is little room to independently separate propaganda exaggeration from actual facts.

Agreed that we shouldn't quoted figures as gospel, but I think the discrepancy is between rockets fired out of Gaza, and interceptor missiles fired in response.

What I've heard is that about 60% of missiles out of Gaza have been shot down, but that Israel is not targeting rockets other than those with a reasonable chance of hitting urban areas. So, of the missiles they have *tried* to hit, somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent are being hit.

more than 2 years ago

Publisher of Free Textbooks Says It Will Now Charge For Them, Instead

wild_quinine Re:Having an aneurysm - send help. (156 comments)

Perhaps you'd have more success if you learned to capitalize properly.

That is a fantastic double entendre, in context...

I can barely tell where one sentence ends and the next begins in your post, and I wouldn't even try to struggle with that in an entire novel.

...but given that you're in full on Grammar Crusader mode, I'm assuming it was accidental.

I don't like the insinuation that success can only be defined in pure numbers, or by sheer monitization. This is art. Sometimes it can do that, but it's not for that.

Also, whilst artists must know the rules, in order to be competent, nobody ever made art worth salt by merely following them.

more than 2 years ago

Publisher of Free Textbooks Says It Will Now Charge For Them, Instead

wild_quinine Re:Having an aneurysm - send help. (156 comments)

obviously, people were willing to settle for the electronic books without the physical.

May not even be a case of settling.

I wrote a novel aimed at a small student community, and released the ebook for free. i wanted it to be a gift, so i made the ebook free (creative commons) and also gave away a lot of physical copies to the people i thought would appreciate them most (within a certain community).

the really interesting thing is that i got feedback (remember, from people who i was offering the book to for free) that they were really happy to have the ebook version, but they didn't want the physical book version becase it was 'stuff' that they didn't need. they're students, they move around a lot, books aren't that light, plus they don't really have a place they keep 'things' any more, now they've moved out of home, and probably won't for a few years to come.

now sure, they might not have been interested at all, and been letting me down gently, but it made me realise that there'd need to be more to any future business model i might come up with than 'electronic is free, physical is not'. i know this may seem obvious in retrospect, but i think there's still an assumption held by many people that physical copy = upgrade of electronic copy, and this may not be true.

i'm sure many people on slashdot feel that way already, but mostly i would expect for functional/practical reasons. however, my experience suggests that the sentimental value of a physical book may no longer exceed the value of the ebook, either.

that could be the seeds of an interesting change in our perception of books altogether.

more than 2 years ago

University Team Builds Lego and Raspberry Pi Cluster

wild_quinine Re:For the old timers (147 comments)

Call me old fashioned, but my time on Slashdot has taught me that it's much better to *imagine* a cluster than to create one.

more than 2 years ago

The UK's New Minister For Magic

wild_quinine Re:What a sham (526 comments)

Go wave your dead chicken elsewhere, shaman.

Show me that placebos cure actual illness.

-- BMO

I don't need to show you anything. You are the one who made a positive statement. You said "Placebos don't work when you've got a real disease".

I didn't even disagree with the statement. I simply asked you if you had evidence, or if you were forming a conclusion based on what you expect to be the case.

That's ironic for at least two reasons, and this irony is only further compounded by your calling me a 'shaman' for asking for evidence of your positive statement.

more than 2 years ago

The UK's New Minister For Magic

wild_quinine Re:What a sham (526 comments)

That's not homeopathy working, that's the placebo effect working. Again, homeopathy does not work. It is no better than a placebo.

I think you're missing the point. A placebo has to be administered. Homeopathy, for the context of this argument, could be seen as a method of administration. As such, it probably is more effective than some other placebos, such as those which the patient knows to be placebos, or those which the patient is more skeptical of. (Although it's not 'some effect vs. no effect'; studies have also shown, IIRC, that there is *some* placebo effect even where the patient knows they are taking a placebo). But at any rate, if some kook is demanding homeopathic remedies, giving them to that person is likely to be more effective than any other placebo.

Whether using this particular (or any other) placebo is ethical and whether the benefits outweigh the costs of, effectively, keeping people ignorant is a different conversation, where we probably have more in common. But let's not rail against the facts simply because we don't like those fucking charlatan liars, the actual homeopaths.

more than 2 years ago

The UK's New Minister For Magic

wild_quinine Re:What a sham (526 comments)

Placebos don't work when you've got a real disease.

Evidence, please? Or is that just an assumption you made because the conclusion seems obvious?

That would be ironic coming from someone who is clearly championing empiricism.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best VPN Service For Australia?

wild_quinine Re:The real question is (138 comments)

What illegal activities are you so desperate to hide?... I've read some of the oddest, whackiest things about how subtly related information has resulted in law enforcement successfully prosecuting people who think VPN and other obfuscating services will hide their activities on the net.

Quite so. Law enforcement, with sufficient motivation to investigate a person, will tend to get the information they need from other sources, using available facts, clues, and investigative logic. It's time consuming and expensive to actually work things out, of course, and they only do it when there's a strong reason to do it. And that is a desirable outcome.

On the other hand, having my internet history, my transactions and medical information, my relationships, any affairs I may be having, rough financial status, sexual preference and political views directly accessible to who knows who simply because it is politically convenient... That is not acceptable. That is open to abuse. Access to that kind of database will be available to, for example, tabloid reporters for a price, because access to databased information that is widely available to a law enforcement community is always available for a price. And that's NOT ok.

When you make just a little effort to hide what you are doing, I agree, that you are not anonymous. However, that information then requires effort to obtain. It requires co-ordination, intelligence, time and effort. It's only used when there is a strong reason. And a strong reason, even in this day and age, is usually a good reason.

In many ways, consistent use of obfuscating technology serves merely to put the warrant back in to the process. We should all be doing it.

more than 2 years ago

Sealed-Box Macs: Should Computers Be Disposable?

wild_quinine Re:Interesting discussion (673 comments)

But the market has changed. Kids nowadays, and Joe Public who isn't a computer expert at all - well they really don't give a damn about keeping their options open. They want a neat little package that works with as little hassle as possible

What changed in the market was that everybody started using computers, and a lot of those people are using them because they *have to* use them, for work or school, or what have you. They don't care about X or Y, because more fundamentally, they don't care about the computer at all, other than its utility to perform the functions they purchased it for. They're not interested in computers, any more than an average commuter is interested in engines.

But don't let the numbers blind you. There are ****millions**** more people who care about the precise same things you care about than there were in the 70s, 80s, and 90s combined. I've been around for much of that time too, and I feel like there's never really been a better time for expandability, or configurability, either.

Building computers isn't just a money saver, these days. Heck, it isn't *even* a money saver. It's a hobbyist thing. Has been since the late 90's. What further vindication could you need?

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 RTM Benchmarked

wild_quinine Might as well be a BSOD. (398 comments)

I don't consider myself a luddite. I usually have an open mind about change. I don't mind if the start menu changes. Heck, I don't need a start menu. I don't feel like there's something missing in Mac OS X when I use the Dock, Spotlight and Finder together to get where I need to be.

*But* the 'Metro' launcher is an abomination. Having something fill my entire screen with glaring colours and toybox tiles when I am looking to launch an application is the exact opposite of the discreet, unintrusive interface that I'm looking for on a workstation desktop.

What did users complain about with Vista? UAC. They hated that every five minutes all your colours went grey, and you couldn't continue without clicking yes on a box in the middle of the screen. But UAC did that because, love it or hate it, there was a reason for it to demand your attention and draw you out of whatever you were doing.

The 'Metro' launcher has no such reason. It completely breaks my flow of thought every time it swallows my desktop. It breaks the illusion that I am working on a constant surface. It is a jarring alteration to the consistency of the desktop experience. It causes the eye and the mind to pause, to catch, and to wonder what the fuck is going on. It might as well be a BSOD for the effect it has on my concentration.

Now with time, I accept that the 'where did all my stuff go?' feeling will dissipate. The interruption will become familiar and not shocking. We'll get used to it. But I fundamentally refuse to accept that a glaring fullscreen, interuption is a step forward in UI. Stick it on a tablet by all means. But it is simply not suited to genuine cognitive multitasking.

more than 2 years ago

Bill Gates Wants To Reinvent the Toilet

wild_quinine Re:Great.... (338 comments)

can't wait to see for the BSOD on that.

Let's just hope it doesn't ship with Windows 8, because Joe Average is going to shit in his pants trying to find the button that lets you lift the lid.

more than 2 years ago



UK Gov: IWF list should cover 100% of UK broadband

wild_quinine wild_quinine writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wild_quinine (998562) writes "The UK government stated in 2006 that they wished to see 100% of UK consumer broadband ISP's connections covered by blocking, which includes images of child abuse. 95% of ISPs have complied, but children's charities are calling for firmer action by the government as the last 5% cite costs and concerns over the effectiveness of the system. According to Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, "The government is currently looking at ways to progress the final 5%." With a lack of transparency in the IWF list, firm government involvement, and blocking which only 'includes' (but may not be limted to) images of child abuse, it looks like the writing is on the wall for unfiltered, uncensored internet connections in the UK."
Link to Original Source

UK employee blacklist scheme kicks off

wild_quinine wild_quinine writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wild_quinine (998562) writes "The BBC reports that:

"Workers accused of theft or damage could soon find themselves blacklisted on a register to be shared among employers. Individuals would be treated as criminals, even though the police have never been contacted. By the end of May they will be able to check whether candidates for jobs have faced allegations of stealing, forgery, fraud, damaging company property or causing a loss to their employers and suppliers. Workers sacked for these offences will be included on the register, regardless of whether police had enough evidence to convict them. Also on the list will be employees who resigned before they could face disciplinary proceedings at work.""

Link to Original Source


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