Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    He's a jesuit. I suspect the answer to "do you believe in the bible?" would be a pained expression followed by "that's a complicated question ..."...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Having met Brother Guy, I am totally not surprised that the Vatican Observatory is part of the reality-based community. (SF fan, jesuit priest, research astronomer, runs the Vatican Observatory, takes a withering view of creationism among other anti-scientific beliefs.)...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    The really big problem with civil lawsuits is that members of a hate group use organization names to play a shell game, hiding liability. And if you mess with the law to find that "common cause" conveys liability regardless of...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    NB: if there's one drawback to the GPD Pocket, it's that it lacks SD/micro-SD/memory card slots and you can't upgrade the RAM or storage. The reason for this is that the Intel chipset it uses maxes out at 4 USB...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Unfortunately the Venn diagram of people who use twitter/facebook/email to communicate is only a partial overlap; plenty of people use Facebook who don't use either of the other media. (A survey in Indonesia found that the percentage of population who...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Pyra is expensive and underpowered compared to the GPD WIN, which is basically the same size package but containing a full-blown Netbook-spec PC running Windows 10 with 4Gb of RAM and 64Gb SSD, with XBox compatible game controllers. GPD WIN...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I'm seeing a lot more sites lately that want me to turn off my ad blocking software. Ironically, the sites that nag you to turn off ad blockers do so by downloading a snippet of javascript that throws up a...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    pay phones, which used to be available every block or two, are virtually nonexistent; so the situation of a person travelling about without a mobile is very different from what it was a quarter century ago British Telecom inherited the...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Which doesn't mean Pigeon needs a mobile phone, or needs to join Facebook. Just that those who can get away without it should realise that how hard that is depends on one's situation, that many people are in a different...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Not only is the anti-abortion thing purely Christian, it's also 19th century revisionist Christianity — go back to the middle ages and this nonsense about "life begins at conception" wasn't doctrinally valid, life began at "quickening" (fetal movements in utero,...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Sea Ceptor, aka CAMM, a vertical-launch relative of ASRAAM for naval point defense....
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    The reason for priestly celibacy was to prevent the papacy becoming a hereditary monarchy (consider the Borgias). With the Reformation in the offing, that would have sounded the death knell for the papacy as it would inevitably evolve into just...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Excuse the sarcasm, but I really don't see that one happening Not with the current pontiff, but wait for the Catholic church to allow married clergy then add 30-40 years: having cardinals and maybe a pope who are or have...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Let me add to this: Pigeon seems to be a little out of touch — in 2013, the average pocket money given to kids aged 8-15 was roughly £6 per week. A cheap bicycle with the minimum of essential accessories...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Just how many more layers of tech can the military pile up before the whole weapons/military system crashes? For a salutory reality-check, it's worth rooting out a second-hand copy of The Baroque Arsenal by Mary Kaldor, pub. 1982. Kaldor isn't...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    You have to remember that JRM is a really good catholic, all the time, every time No, Greg, I disagree: R-M is a very bad Catholic, and I'm pretty sure that in a private audience the Pope would give him...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Yeah, that. My strategy if I ever really need to visit a country with a rep for searching and rooting devices at the border will be to simply raid the dusty desk drawer where the old gadgets go to die....
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    1. The Gemini camera is front-facing, for video calls, not photography. (There'll probably be an optional rear-facing camera for people who *really* can't live without one, but it's not definite yet.) 2. The keyboard is designed by Martin Riddiford, who...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Er, no. The Atari Portfolio was a pile of cheap junk compared to the Psion PDAs, which totally owned the market here in the UK. What killed them was a combination of two things: (a) Microsoft's usual FUD and pre-announcement...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    You need to learn how to use twitter properly, greg: that was a retweet of a comment on an earlier tweet. Here, let me show you the thread: >> How many times will I have to read breasts described like...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I mean £1000 fora PHONE? And some mugs are going to be gullible enough for this shit? It's a computer, Greg. Six cores (probably maxing out at over 2.4GHz), at least 4Gb of RAM, a screen with more pixels than...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Martin: National Action neo-Nazis in the British Army is regrettable, but Neo-Nazi cells in the Israeli Army are something else again. Nazis are like fucking cockroaches: they get everywhere. (And yes, I know referring to your enemies as vermin, insects,...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I thought Germany was bitterly opposed to having a military force. You think wrong. What Germany is opposed to, by consensus (excluding a maybe 5-15% fringe of loonies on the far right) is having a military force which is sent...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I didn't realise that was a deiberate attempt to get you to be forced to buy more stuff .... Or am I coming at this from the wrong end? Wrong end. Modern smartphones are general purpose computers of some considerable...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    US Libertarians push a very limited idea of "privacy" - analogous to the limited American view of what right one has to "Free Speech" (as demonstrated upon Colin Kaepernick). Libertarians also seem to worship "the market". I think that's wrong:...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Is this true, or only for [ SPIT ] "Apple"? Calm down, Greg. Have you noticed the USB-connected rechargable batteries all the shops are selling? Sealed phones and external booster batteries are probably safer than letting J. Random Idiot try...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Apple must have been doing something incredibly unsubtle to "get caught" if you can get away with being that blatant. And who's to say they're not still doing it but in a (slightly) more subtle manner? The original iPhone didn't...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    the important correlation with the drop in crime may not be with lead, but with zombification by iphone, Wrong. Tetraethyl lead was phased out of gasoline in the USA gradually, between 1973 and 1991. The drop in violent crime began...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Set against a planeload of bombs every eight minutes for nine years (and the classifying both bombing tapes and decommissioning information for over a generation afterwards), a few weddings blown up is lost in the noise. Laos: population in 1970:...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I hesitate to blame the Nazis on Nietzsche, although they indisputably misappropriated his writing for their own ends. (He was more of an iconoclast than anything else. And believed in a "steady state" universe, with eternal cyclic return, as an...
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