DaveBell

DaveBell

  • Commented on It's a crime
    I'm working through Brat Farrar: that's definitely an unconventional crime novel. Sometimes the crime is a tool to look at other things. But push that too far and you get people arguing, as they sometimes do over Gaudy Night....
  • Commented on Imbeciles: the second round
    This article is a look at how the music business--big media in particular--handles royalties in the music business. The writer used to be part of a band, and now works in the digital media business as the geek who tracks...
  • Commented on Imbeciles: the second round
    Codes of Practice seem to be an addiction of British Governments. And they seem to be a way of bypassing Parliament and not always paying much attention to the "stakeholders" who have to implement them. Besides, the stories about dodgy...
  • Commented on More holding patterns
    @38, 40, 46 Since it's the First Sunday in Advent, Wilberforce's Rule applies, which legitimises a Line Reversion. King George V...
  • Commented on The myth of the starship
    J Boss. A society made up of AI bankers? If that made it into Doctor Who, would it be called The Wunch....
  • Commented on More holding patterns
    There's an article on Making Light about the practises of the WalMart chain in the UK, which lrd to one of their workers being killed in a crush incident last year. A lot of things went into it: how they...
  • Commented on Imbeciles
    We have an election on the way. Anything in the Queens Speech has a pretty slim chance of being enacted. Parliament gets halted at the beginning of May, five years after the last General Election. There's a month of intense...
  • Commented on On the road yet again (and again) ...
    Heinlein hinted at the complexity in Farmer in the Sky. Acres and Hectares: a near-enough approximation is 2.5 acres per hectare. A hectare is 10,000 square metres, and an acre is 10 square chains, or one-tenth of a square furlong....
  • Commented on How habitable is the Earth?
    Bruce @45, about migration rates between Asia and the Americas. There's some evidence for communication--styles of stone tools and such--between Europe and North America. It could, I suppose, be parallel development, but there are ways the journey could have been...
  • Commented on News from the Future Front
    There's a road like this between North Kelsey and Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire. It dates back to the construction of the New River Ancholme, because property and admin boundaries followed the line of the Old River. The New River is a...
  • Commented on News from the Future Front
    One attempt to bypass the cost problems of a heicopter was the Edgley Optica. That's something from thirty years ago, when Police helicopters were still relying on Mark 1 Eyeball sensors. The history seems troubled, and I wonder if it...
  • Commented on News from the Future Front
    Fingerprint sensors are around on flash drives, aren't they? Maybe if the Police are using the things to control access to their own data, we might get a bit less unreal hype on the subject. Maybe not....
  • Commented on News from the Future Front
    On the various UAV options, it looks as though they need a specialist operator. It isn't going to be something chucked into the air by the average plod. Thinking about the numbers, an Army will be happy with finding one...
  • Commented on Attention Conservation Notice
    Dr. X, which particular sort of Anarchist are you considering for the cage-match? See Sgt. Alberto Gonzales if you want to lay bets. He'll give you good odds for Airborne in the Derby....
  • Commented on Attention Conservation Notice
    So instead of worrying that I wasn't there, Tabitha was waiting for lunch to walk back into the house? Either you lot have some weird cats, or Tabitha was very unusual. I'm still missing her....
  • Commented on Meta
    Advertising: I got an inkling of what advertising must be like on US TV from an episode of Babylon 5. It was in the form of a TV documentary about the B5 station, with added B5-setting adverts. And I heard...
  • Commented on Why I hate Star Trek
    I reckon is is sometimes useful to consider tech in SF as being a sort of character. No writer worth their salt would put "[character] the [character]" in a script. In serial TV there may be some form of collaboration...
  • Commented on Politics
    Scots-English border... Where did I put my copies of the Lymond Chronicles? You could get TV comedy out of the whole thing... And there really are shops in the USA sited on the State line to take advantages in differences...
  • Commented on Jeff Bezos Eats Kittens
    Somebody, way up-thread, mention Baen Books as the sane e-book supplier. My own suspicion is that their sanity depends on the current printed book market. The promotional aspect is how they make money out of the Free Library element—I've bought...
  • Commented on Hiatus
    It's range safety. Vandenburg can launch into polar orbits, out over the Pacific. Which is useful for more than just military satellites. Canaveral is also an Air Force facility, launching over the Atlantic. You need both to cover all the...
  • Commented on Hiatus
    I sometimes wonder what skeletons are in the closets of Hollywood. Look up Fatty Arbuckle. Maybe his personal history, going back to being a Jewish child in Nazi-occupied Europe, should mitigate any punishment for jumping bail and running away. What...
  • Commented on And the beat goes on ...
    It's also about combining different technologies in one unit. That lets them try out all sorts of UI stuff. I think we could be seeing, as well, some of the effects of pushing beyond the mock-up to effective prototypes without...
  • Commented on The future, Indian-style
    Ian Fleming spotted the biowarfare threat and used it in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (published 1963). There's certainly authorial hand-waving in the plot, but it's clear he tried to be plausible. Once you accept the scheme which James Nond...
  • Commented on News from the IT travel department
    I think some of us have missed Charlie's usage pattern. It's pretty demanding. It's not just keeping up with basic text entry. I'm happy with my 7-inch-screen Eee. Followed Charlie's advice about getting a couple of large SDHC cards. I...
  • Commented on Chrome Plated Jackboots
    Being able to reverse the progress of diseases such as Alzheimer's is going to have interesting social implications. One of the things they affect is memory. If the memories are lost, is the person who comes out on the other...
  • Commented on Goodwill
    The funny thing about web browsers is that my Internet Banking (useful and so far OK) doesn't officially "support" any current or near-current browser. I suppose if anything goes wrong it will be my fault because I don't use IE5....
  • Commented on Chrome Plated Jackboots
    Alex, #167, I don't know much detail about German agriculture, but farming and munitions production compete for nitrogen. The nitrates which become explosives are the same nitrates needed to sustain food production. Never mind the structural differences, the German economy...
  • Commented on Chrome Plated Jackboots
    What is the definition of a human, anyway? In English Law, Lord Chief Justice Coke gave a definition of murder, four centuries ago, which seems to give protection to some robots and extra-terrestrials. "Murder is when a man of sound...
  • Commented on Chrome Plated Jackboots
    If "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is a moral teaching which depends on the existence of a god, I have this bridge I'd like to sell you. There's a huge amount been added to what might remain of the original...
  • Commented on Chrome Plated Jackboots
    Isn't Freya an example of the over-optimised machine who lost her niche in the ecology?...
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