graydonish

graydonish

  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Employee [REDACTED]'s regular duties involved assignment of code names. The last five such code names, in chronological order, were: GENTLE TENTACLE TUMESCENT ENTELECH CHILL FONDLE PERSISTENT OSCULATE CARNAL ETERNITY Employee had clearly fallen under the influence, and it falls on...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    While we commend your sense of urgency and obvious diligence, the existing formal protocols for obtaining blood from members of the Royal Family are lengthy and tedious for a reason, and are under no circumstances to be ignored, worked around,...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    Hardly anyone wants their hair cut by a robot. Same with fashion advice, original art, gardening, dog-walking, handmade furniture, and so on. In a condition of general prosperity you can perfectly well work and profit by it, you're just not...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    You realize you've gone from "a differential lack of suck causing problems" to "well, I guess everywhere has to suck" without considering "maybe nowhere should suck?" That last is much easier and better to implement than the coercive state necessary...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    I would also add, when considering how Norway managed to avoid becoming a failed petro state, "socialism" and "NATO". The Norwegians took strong steps to regulate the oil industry heavily to make sure that no one particularly got rich off...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    And the Conservative Party is now talking in ways which make the New Fascism a mainstream option. Option 1 - admit their moral construction of the universe, the long-held justification for their personally favoured status, and economic theories are wrong....
  • Commented on Vacation
    I also note that in general, phone mapping systems only maintain a very small local cache of maps on the phone Completely true, and why I -- at the start of this -- had good things to say about OSMAND,...
  • Commented on Vacation
    GPS receiver depends on the phone; the GPS receiver in my phone (a Note 3) is (much) better than in my GPS device (an eTrex 20). The eTrex 20 has a 25 hour battery life, though, while the phone has...
  • Commented on Vacation
    Google maps certainly does have problems. It's tried to route me over bicycle path that doesn't exist (at least twice "exist yet") on more than one occasion. It's also quite surreal to be sailing along on path the GPS doesn't...
  • Commented on Vacation
    As for Google Maps, well, don't use it to look for a vegan-friendly pizzeria in Bristol! It has all the faults Apple Maps is accused of, but the latter knows where that pizzeria is. I can no longer eat pizza...
  • Commented on We need a pony. And the moon on a stick. By next Thursday.
    That's abstracting from a large body of people, though, something you can in principle approach through statistics. Finding an individual crazed assassin, much harder; they're an individual, we're not looking for a present trend, we're looking for an event in...
  • Commented on Vacation
    Does OSM -- Open Street Map -- not work for the US? The Canadian version is (at least for bicycling and map detail purposes) superior to the Garmin maps. I'm pretty sure the OSMAND+ app is available for iPhone as...
  • Commented on Vacation
    Given that I have the male pattern baldness that is affected by all male persons of taste and discernment this means that I have quite a lot of skin to cover. Being as I am Canadian, I am now compelled...
  • Commented on Vacation
    Sunscreen goes up to 110. (Though it's apparently "100+" now.) I love this stuff; it works and it sweats off relatively slowly. http://www.neutrogena.com/category/sun/ultra+sheer-.do#productLine I'd also recommend finding something to put in the water, so you've got electrolytes coming in at...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    If we could only DRM these ebooks and other material up tighter than a duck's wotsit, then we'd save ourselves money and maybe be able to cut tuition fees into the bargain. This, ladies and gentlemen, is white-hat DRM in...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    Global warming exists, but the level to which global temperature is forced by carbon dioxide is not known. Not known in what sense? We don't have four significant digits of precision for the current -- it's a moving target --...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    Nope. Capitalism leads to widespread misery. The regulated mixed-economy approach of the mid twentieth century works and you do see increases in general prosperity, but that's hardly capitalism. Straight-up capitalism benefits money, not people. Which is what's been happening for...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    Fascism is a normal response to the failures of capitalism. There's a whole lot of that failure to go around at the moment. Of course the far right's message of comforting simple authority is doing well. (If I'm being very...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    I didn't mean just SF authors. (A marginal fringe genre in sales terms.) I meant authors of all sorts and descriptions, book producers considered widely....
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    Nigh-all the ebook devices can take clean EPUB files, even if that's not the native format for the distributor. The problem is getting the clean EPUB file; Google will let you download the file if the author/publisher selected no DRM,...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    Probable actual end-point? Appropriate end-point? Appropriate end-point involves dissolving Amazon into diverse components, strong regulation so the order fulfilment mechanism can't be used as an engine of control, and Bezos being reduced to one-pair-of-pants level poverty. (Jail time isn't frightening....
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    This only works in industries where there are significant barriers to entry, but its hard to imagine a market where the barriers to entry are lower than ebooks. The barriers for ebooks are enormous. You have some ostensible standards, but...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    DCMA and other copyright takedowns go after the content. The links become redirects because the original's not there any more and it's by specific address. This doesn't work very well. A "right to be forgotten" is either "no search will...
  • Commented on Some news about the Hugo voters packet
    EPUB is lovely, lovely stuff to handle programmatically if and only if you really understand XML. If you don't it's a nightmarish haze of namespaces and un-comprehended rules. Hammering PDF -- with a different set of container rules -- into...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    "It's just an assertion that the consequences of allowing a tiny minority to rig the game to guarantee they win is a very bad thing." Clear and profound. There are people who will argue that it's always been that...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    Just because a business model is possible it does not follow that it is legal (or, for that matter, desirable). Thing is, the law as interpreted breaks search. It sets a standard you couldn't meet short of strong AI. The...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    The thing about a panopticon is that it's relatively flat; everybody's in there. What this ruling appears to create is an administered panopticon; the costs and effort involved to find all the links you want suppressed aren't trivial. (It's not...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    Google isn't really an advertising company as such. Advertising works by creating or identifying an insecurity, and then presenting a good or service as something which will reduce that insecurity. Google works by reducing internet-related insecurity through ostensibly free services...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    I believe the object would be, in that case, the extinction of capital, and the legal issues would not be significant in the face of the political coalition able to seriously consider the question legislatively. And we most emphatically do...
  • Commented on Interstitial note
    Given the kind of capabilities being discussed, I've always thought there was a kind of elegance in arranging some large black holes in a Klemperer rosette, spinning the rosette up as fast as you can, and firing the centre of...
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