hugo.fisher

hugo.fisher

  • Commented on Generation Z
    Charlie, any thoughts on the "Big Deal" in Descent, the latest by Ken MacLeod? It's a background event in the book so hardly a spoiler to reveal here: in the near future, all the banks are nationalised, right across the...
  • Commented on A hypothesis
    El wrote: I guess the thing that surprises me - bearing in mind I have 0 experience in the field - is that regardless of the country involved it seems to take about 4 days from satellites taking pictures to...
  • Commented on What's The Future For Virtual Reality Movies?
    I tend to think that VR won't succeed in the home market for anything but games unless - big unless - we get some kind of technological breakthrough in holograms or direct laser projection onto the retina. 3D movies work...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    Charlie @46, very happy to agree that heroin is harmless in a modern society. Or even a late 19th C one. I did qualify that I thought it would be bad in a medieval society like the Gruinmark. "High grade"...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    pml540114 @ 39 asked why not gold and silver? One reason would be the relative differential between dimensions. Opium grows well in medieval conditions, but concentrated high grade heroin doesn't have much value (even if the medieval growers could manufacture...
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    I will shamelessly steal from the Unix-Haters Handbook to add that networks and distributed operating systems have further complicated the theology of operating systems. In for example NFS, one can decide that all gods are manifestations of the one divine...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    David Brin had a more narrowly targeted rant against the neo-reactionaries a couple of days ago. Well worth reading. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/neo-reactionaries-drop-all-pretense-end.html...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    Not just for clothing? In the same room I currently have a camera case, backpack, and cricket bat case all made from stitched together cloth like material. Cloth wrapping instead of plastic on food and goods is currently used as...
  • Commented on The regular holy war ...
    scentofviolets @ 106, the GUI transition away from keyboards and mice is already underway. Phones with touch screens are almost everywhere in the world, with tablets spreading fast. I've seen a semi-joking suggestion that Linux will end up winning the...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    Charlie @209, if I'm making a category error, that's because software is far more flexible than helicopters and airliners. When I worked with FrameMaker (some time ago now though) we used it for revision tracking and planning, not just page...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    Charlie, I think you would have hated whatever word processor rose to dominate publishing, regardless of who wrote it. Microcomputer software has always succeeded by being cheap, easy to use, and just good enough for small jobs. People start to...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    We have computer programs that do a reasonable theory of mind and simulation of interior mental states, the most famous being Eliza. In RFC 439, "PARRY Encounters the DOCTOR" two of these artificial theories of mind collide with entertaining result....
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Not sure this would have geopolitical consequences, but in Western style cities it could have quite an impact on real estate values for "upper class" suburbs. Where to buy your house is one of the most important decisions in starting...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    To those people thinking about reading Connie Willis for the first time, I strongly recommend "To Say Nothing of the Dog" to start with. It's time travel, but lighter in tone and much shorter than the others. Or look for...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    There seem to be a lot of books written about women time travelling, but they're on the romance shelves of the bookshop, not science fiction. Typing "time travel romance" into the Amazon book search just reported 4,399 hits, not bad...
  • Commented on The latest news
    Scott @ 132, Charlie @134 It's certainly possible to smuggle data around without the Internet. But my question is what happens if the regular business and personal traffic we now take for granted is no longer easy? I don't see...
  • Commented on The latest news
    Could these revelations, and presumably more to come, be enough to break up the Internet? A single world-wide computer network was pure sci-fi as recently as the 1970s. (And usually dystopian "used to subjugate humanity" sci-fi at that - hmmm.)...
  • Commented on The latest news
    heteromeles @43 This, incidentally, is why Gen. Petraeus was such a bad choice for CIA director. If you can't exercise fundamental informational security over your covert affairs... I prefer the other interpretation from (I think) Bruce Schneier. Hoover wasn't better...
  • Commented on The latest news
    paquette.mj @ 40 I bet nobody in the executive suite understands Baysean statistics, certainly not to the point where they recognize the 'false positive problem' in relation to low probability events. The increasing number of signature drone strikes being carried...
  • Commented on On Syria
    A couple of interesting views on Syria, chemical weapons, and US intervention: Syria in general, chemical weapons: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/ Via Bruce Cohen on Twitter, a Syrian on US intervention and imperialism: http://www.mideastyouth.com/2013/08/28/amal-wa-alam-a-perspective-on-the-u-s-strikes-in-syria/...
  • Commented on On Syria
    Charlie @ 235 Such a shame that for several decades the USA had a policy of organizing military coups and fascist dictatorships in "weak" democracies or those that seemed too partial to socialism. Probably set the democratization process back by...
  • Commented on On Syria
    edwin.gimpel @171: How many nursing and medical degrees cover the after effects of chemical warfare? How would they know what to do? Even if they did know, medics in combat zones are some of the bravest people there are....
  • Commented on On Syria
    Chemical weapons are outlawed for a few different reasons. The "dead is dead" argument also applies to tactical nukes, and nobody really wants to go down that path. Soldiers don't like chemical weapons (source J Dunnigan) because, oddly enough, they...
  • Commented on On Syria
    ewanmacmahon @ 15 and Vanzetti @ 25, Syria is not just our imperialist fault as Westerners, and the sects are too numerous and conflict-prone for easy division. Syria, like the neighbouring countries of Israel and Lebanon, is chock full of...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    (Australia is the wrong time zone, this is difficult.) I'm not trying to derail the thread, I'm taking exception to the "everything is the fault of the USA" that seems to be the default for many commentators. By blaming the...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    Charlie @114 wrote: One could argue that the whole sweep of history in the Middle East during the 20th and early 21st centuries, and the War on Terror, were shaped by large energy corporations using western governmental military force (and...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    Is the general lack of organisational loyalty, in both directions, necessarily a Bad Thing? In the 1980s, cyberpunk science fiction (books, movies, RPGs) usually assumed that the future would be dominated by ruthless multinational megacorps, with fanatically devoted executives and...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    J Carl Henderson @ 77 wrote: Asylum in Russia (hardly a bastion of human rights) was clearly not Snowden's first choice. But to turn himself in US authorities for trial would just be stupid. There is nothing to be gained...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    Clearly the next step is for (Western) governments to apply their own rhetoric about the wonders of the marketplace and open up intelligence assessments to competitive tender. Privatise MI5 / CIA / ASIO and let them sell intelligence to anyone...
  • Commented on Monarchy versus the Panopticon
    Paparazzi style unflattering coverage of the Royals seems to go in and out of fashion, so I'd guess the royal family will cope. They've done so before. Diana is a a recent example, but google for "The Duchess's Little Shoe...
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