hairyears

hairyears

  • Commented on Implications
    "on SF/F, the world is a character" Quite. A few mainstream authors have that ability to make their setting a rich and memorable character, and I wonder how many SF fans have read Len Deighton's cold war thrillers (Funeral in...
  • Commented on A hypothesis
    So more people die because the door to the flight deck is more useful as a safety feature than a security barrier. Since when has risk assessment played a part in security theatre?...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    Let's do this the easy way: ask the rwlevant questions, hope that crowdsourcing the research gives us useful answers. 1: How many airliners have been brought down by terrorists, ever? 2: How many airliners have been brought down by catastrophic...
  • Commented on Dear Google, am I pregnant?
    No, the obvious market isn't micro-targeted medical insurance spam: it's blackmail. The profit margins are higher. And the data is tagged for identification by condition. Abortion - anything gynaecological at all - can be used to end a woman's political...
  • Commented on Rule 34, meet Kafka
    I've been thinking about countermeasures. An obvious one is to modify your webcam to inject a 'toxic' image every hundred frames or so. Something like a pair of huge and hairy buttocks tattooed with 'F*** THE CHELTENHAM STASI'. Unfortunately there's...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    This is going to read like I'm anti-technology: I'm not, but I don't believe in shipping new features and extensions to software until the bugs in the existing version are fixed; and this is a general principle you would do...
  • Commented on Why AIs Won't Ascend in the Blink of an Eye - Some Math
    Greg's got a good point, but there's an error in the language he's using; he's pointing at the wrong concept. The blue line rocketing upwards and approaching the vertical is a singularity; the others all rise exponentialy for a while...
  • Commented on How To Survive A Death March
    Deathmarches: done a few, and they're the reason I prefer tactical development on the trading floor to cubicle slavery. But you do get them, sometimes. Breaks are important: so, too, is task tracking. Every project has discrete small tasks, some...
  • Commented on Introducing Hugh Hancock
    One of the difficulties with discussing a new technology is that we might sound like nerds, arguing whether Mr Bleriot's wood-and-canvas monoplane is better than the wood-and-canvas biplanes that are the obvious design for aircraft; or we might sound like...
  • Commented on Introducing Hugh Hancock
    How far will we get with machinima? Will 'real' film go the way of live plays on stage, a 'real' performance with something indefinable that cinema cannot capture, but relegated to a tiny minority of the world's performing art? ...If...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    WHAT F*@#ING CHEEZBURGER?...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Ceiling Cat is watching you masturbate. Ceiling cat? No. The other one. Watching you do lolcats with Libertarians....
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    Heinomatic: you are definitely going to Hell and it will, in the beginning, be Word....
  • Commented on A likely tale
    Okay, now I've read A Bird in Hand, and it would 'read' very well - not that I have any intention of practising on a train full of Dutch teenagers. The final pun is quite dreadful, even by my abysmal...
  • Commented on A likely tale
    I remember Eastercon a year or two ago had an item for reading out participant's 'White Hart' tales; the stories were quite good, but none of them were very good as spken word - OK I guess, to read; but...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    How about designing a car that you can't remotely brick? How about *buying* a car that the manufacturer can't brick? I doubt that you can buy a phone with that assurance; and, while you and I can probably jailbreak a...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Okay, time for some geopolitically-relevant speculation about self-driving cars: a weapon of mass disruption. Take two percent of the cars in the Bay area.Or Jakarta. Send out the firmware update that says: B R I C K. Into a pre-existing...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    A point about parking a self-driving car: you all get out of the ca, and it parks. Without a gap for opening the car doors either side. That's just halved the footprint... And brought a number of suburban garages back...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    The geopolitics begins at home: there will be one attack with hacked vehicles, and that's it for civil liberties and an open web. It doesn't actually matter of the perpetrators are bearded foreigners from someplace with a lot of oil...
  • Commented on Parasites
    Try this for a creepy parasite: it sends cells wandering around your body into every organ, where they can settle down, blend in, and grow. Every organ, including your brain. Well, maybe not *your* brain; but probably your mother's: After...
  • Commented on Marking time, more thoughts
    I recall that a town in Canada tried this; and, by most accounts, it worked. Of course, the town in question had the good fortune to be built on land with oil beneath it *and* have democratic control over this....
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    The debate over empires trundles on... Meanwhile, it looks like one of the nastier UKBA officers has been given a free rein, and the bastard has a case of galloping ambition. Operating street sweeps and demanding papers openly, in broad...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Apocalypse Codex
    " One does not merely "run into" Seph. One experiences her presence." Oh yes indeed. A hint for budding writers of esoteric, occult, or fantastic fiction: the London Goths are a wellspring of astonishing characters and most of them will...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Saturn's Children
    The distant possibility of manumission is PR *directed at the slaves*. If the most intelligent and capable among see a plausible escape route within the system, they will strive towards it; they will have a powerful incentive to preserve and...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Saturn's Children
    Here's an interesting question: which societies would invest in artificial sex workers when there is a low-cost human workforce? We're looking at two factors here: cheap human labour vs capital investment in machinery (a factor in all industries); and cultural...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Saturn's Children
    See if you can find comparative statistics for investment on gerontological research, and into the development of cosmetic treatments for the visible effects of ageing. We will see a seventy-year-old supermodel looking twenty years of age, long before a human...
  • Commented on A Bad Dream
    Why bother with finger-sized drones for dissidents? Just erase or freeze your data. All phones , all social media, your bank accounts, your employment, your transport cards and keys, your apartment access codes, water, electricity, medical reporting and dispensary. This,...
  • Commented on The language of alienation
    Newsflash, 2033: "Moon-landing denialists are under Data Sanction". It is clearly stated in Foxipedia and the published key stage 4 XinHua NewsCorp curriculum for London schools that Wu Fei was the first human being to set foot on the...
  • Commented on Grand Guignol Tropes
    Given the conditions that Bengali factory serfs work in - and they know that Western consumers happily pay for that - it is only a matter of time before unpleasant little surprises start turning up in our imported consumer goods....
  • Commented on Grand Guignol Tropes
    My work here is done. Well, almost. There is much amusement to be had in killer bogbrushes, but it'll all sound a bit tasteless when China gets hit by a really lurid environmental emergency....
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