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Everything posted by DamnSaxon

  1. I've been having more-or-less this argument with a Linux chap over on one of their forums. The theory behind Linux - the freedom - is wonderful, everything an operating system ought to be. But in practise, one distro (Ubuntu) has the sweet install procedure, another (Red Hat, say, or Novell) has the decent security, somebody else has the decent media handling and so on. Worst of all, and really unforgiveable, you have a lot of trouble trying to make A's program work on B's version of the OS. And this is the OS that's based on sharing! Micro$oft, for all we love to hate them, do make installation and running the programs pretty easy, and unfortunately for the competition it mostly works quite well. Wouldn't the best answer be to split the GUI - or whatever interface the particular user prefers - from the OS completely, and let the OS just be responsible for providing known "hooks" for programs to talk to hardware? In my box here, for instance, although Windows does all the underwork, I actually interface with it using Litestep as a shell because I can customise the operation just the way I like it a la Linux. In an ideal world, it ought to be irrelevant whether you're using an x86, a Sun Sparc, your auntie's old Mac or whatever, you should be able to run any available program on it and use the interface you like best. And if all the prodigious abilities of the world's programmers were devoted to one, universally known OS, perhaps they'd be able to spend less time reinventing the wheel to try to make it work on all available OS's! (Edited almost immediately; changed "likt" to "like" )
  2. Actually, thinking about it, perhaps it should be made mandatory for all MPs to be stoned out of their trees whilst legislating. They'd probably do a lot less harm, and "Today in Parliament" would be a lot further up the comedy charts than it is today!
  3. Can't agree with you, JustMe. Even the government's own research shows that the cameras don't reduce crime noticeably, all that stuff about them "making the streets safer" or whatever is to gull the population into thinking they're a good thing. There seem to be a lot more thugs and ruffians around than there used to be before CCTV, not less. The whole surveillance business is the state (define it how you will) collecting masses of data about us (the mostly non-offending citizens). And if "our" politicians are going to treat us like that, then let's see how they like their dirty linen being chuckled over. Fair's fair. Like I said, I don't give a fig whether DC smoked pot or not, but if we ain't private, why should he be?
  4. Also: old Boston traffic ordinance: "When two motor vehicles approach an unmarked intersection at the same time, neither may proceed until the other has passed"
  5. Tippex is a VERY expensive way to paint your walls white!
  6. I don't care whether he smoked pot or not - lots of people I've known have done so without ruining their lives or health. It should be legal anyway (see separate thread!). Absolutely. The political class are responsible for millions of CCTV cameras around the country, keeping records of the - mostly innocent - doings of all of us. They create giant, leaky databases full of data we're not allowed to check, often even to see. They tell us that "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" from continual surveillance. And while they're doing that, why the hell shouldn't we subject them to a bit of surveillance of our own? (NB This is NOT to say that I think journalists are perfect, far from it. But if "they" have the "right" to know everything about "us", then "we" have the same rights over "them".)
  7. Two that I enjoy hugely: A superb amateur science site http://amasci.com/ And a superb art site: http://www.deviantart.com/ If you want to see why I love the art site, look at this one: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/9869282/ and reflect on the fact that this is art, NOT photography. Look at the way this fellow has "aged" the metal ... unbelievable.
  8. With everything we've been hearing about Vista over the last few weeks, it would be nice to think that the future holds only a well-deserved death for Windows! Since computing seems to be heading back towards a client / thin server model, with Google et al starting up office suites and so on, perhaps all we'll need is a very simple terminal. If it's stoopid enough it might even be more virus-proof. I use XP (on the box when I got it), but the firewall is Smoothwall (Linux). You've got to have some honest software in there somewhere
  9. Yeah, stick in there. I'm on the SIC list (not Hjaltland) & for about the same time, it does get you down. I'd offer you my spare room, but it's 500 miles "sooth"
  10. What is prison "for"? In the "good old days" of two or three hundred years ago, lesser offences were treated mostly by public humiliation - the stocks, the ducking stool and so on. Prisons were basically a holding facility for the more serious cases who were waiting to be deported to ... who cares where. Well, we can't deport 'em now, and the public humiliations have withered away, and we are left with prisons bulging with people who have done every sort of crime. Surely, if we are going to let them out at some point, we ought to try to educate or train them so they can become more use, and less of a liability, to society. Should prison be hell? No. You're sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment. You should be losing however long it takes of your life learning how to be a decent member of society, something the majority of us learn as kids. And when you come out of prison I don't think it would be unreasonable for someone to keep an eye on you for awhile, to make sure you are capable of normal behaviour. Half the problem is the number of laws being introduced. How many new crimes has Blair invented? Thousands? And many more include prison as the main punishment for pretty trivial offences. Hardly surprising that the prison system can't cope.
  11. ArabiaTerra's point above needs shouting out loud - IF our government were perfect, or even better than average, then perhaps "we" (UK plc) would be in such a morally superior position that we really could consider ourselves above the rest and laugh at their pathetic attempts to define human rights. Our government is not perfect. Not by a very long chalk (Guantanamo has already been mentioned, and "our" role in the "extraordinary renditions" business frankly stinks to high Heaven). We need external standards, since we are obviously incapable of raising our own. I think people perceive problems whenever the HR legislation clashes with their own "common sense", a phrase which covers a multitude of sins. The main problem we have with external legislation in the UK is that our government tends to impose the external regulations so strictly as to get people's backs up about it, whereas the same rules in, say, France, are treated more as guidelines. The same thing happens in "Health and Safety" legislation, where a man who's spent a life (say) climbing ladders perfectly safely is suddenly told that he can't "in case he falls off". We have a saying for that sort of thing in English ... Bl**dy St*pid. It ain't just the rules, it's the spirit they're taken in by authority that irritates. Too often, human rights or health and safety are offered up as excuses for some stupid decision, and we the public perceive the stupidity and blame the EU. No, we need human rights legislation, but we also need some real common sense. Someone has already pointed out that convicts in prison should lose their human rights for treading on other people's ... what, all of them? What about all the women prisoners who have heinously failed to buy a TV licence, or whatever? We (humans) need rules, and the quicker some common set of rules about decency spreads all round the world and is accepted by everyone, the better. I wish I could say that in Chinese, though. We think we've got problems?
  12. That's no more than we were suggesting in this forum last week, anyway. Maybe the BMA reads Shetlink.
  13. That's what I've been doing. Damn this automation!
  14. I use the VLC player for video, Winamp for audio (mainly 'cos it's got the Milkdrop visualiser!) Honourable mention also to Media Player Classsic: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Media_Player_Classic.htm which looks and feels like the ole-fashioned Windows one and is easier to use than most of the newer ones.
  15. When I try that (it's the position I'd like to use), the thing sits there using 100% processor power for 50% of the time - on, off, on, off ... and it is really taking over, other apps run treacly slow when update is on 100% CPU. At one point I left it for 2 days, but it just kept on doing this and apparently nothing else for all that processing time. What was it doing? Anyone suggest a suitable kick up its digital backside to correct it? The only setting that leaves my damn PC alone is "off", and I don't want an insecure, unpatched windows (I want an insecure patched windows!)
  16. Many already mentioned - Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, Robert Thompson & the other bluesmen, Julian Bream ... Frank Zappa must be on the list (& not just as support for Vai!). John Williams is v-e-r-y nearly as good as Julian Bream. Paco Pena plays truly astonishing flamenco guitar, and there's a whole scene there to explore. Johnny Winter definitely had his moments.
  17. There could be the exact same supply route, but surely there doesn't need to be? I can imagine western pharmaceutical firms being quite happy to set up supply chains from the same farmers in Afghanistan who grow opium now but have to sell it through gunrunning chains, or John Player with the pot growers. Surely this is the point in cutting the ties between drugs and major crime. I don't want to be helping feed weaponry into some conflict if I buy a bit of something to cross the eyes, I'd much rather be paying some tax on it to help keep the NHS going (as I already do with my tobacco). No, we (= society generally) need to take a long, cool look at the whole damn business. (or do I mean DamnBusiness? ) Sadly, while there's so much of this "all druggies are bulging eyed madmen who do loads of crime" attitude, it ain't gonna happen. And while it doesn't happen, all the problems of its being criminalised remain.
  18. Cornerstone, maybe, but with too many things it seems to be front and rear elevation as well, not to mention the rest of the building. I've still got an LP I've had for years of "Gaelic Psalms from Lewis". The singers keep time - and even vary it a bit here and there - but don't need a synth. drum machine to hammer it home! Got fed up after about 15 minutes waiting for the Dillinger Escape Plan to download - maybe try again sometime when America is asleep
  19. Surely the laws are there to protect the rest of us from those who do. If somebody's smoking a bit of (currently) illegal weed in the privacy of their own home, who needs protecting from them? Really, this thread is just polarising into "pro legalisation" and "anti legalisation" camps, with nobody changing anybody's mind (least of all their own). OK. If you're pro, what would make you change your mind? If you're anti, same question. I'm pro, and I'd want to see some hard evidence of harm being done by drug use - i.e. not mugging old ladies or breaking into people's houses to keep the hapless user capable of paying criminals' prices, but actual harm caused to other people by the user using the drug. I also wouldn't include the idiots who manage to kill themselves by OD'ing on something cut with poisons - that sort of thing only happens because it's currently only available through criminal supply chains. I want to see. say, me smoking a joint and actually harming somebody else, any way you like. I know it's not going to happen. That's why I'm pro.
  20. And are therefore likely to be better informed about the issue than people who allow the Daily Mail, government, etc. to scare the pants off them about it.
  21. Pretty much a perfect analysis, Ally. Sounds like Edinburgh's just like my own dear Nottingham. I've lived opposite a popular pub, been kept awake by yelling and brawling in the street at chucking-out time, had a car written off by some drunken fool who obviously didn't see it, had them p*ssing in my garden. I've also lived in a street full of assorted druggies, who might stagger about a bit now and then, or talk stoned nonsense and giggle, or wander past you with glazed eyes in a world of their own. (Actually, the last bit seems to apply to mobile phone and ipod users as well ) Why the first lot are "legal" and the second lot "illegal" is completely beyond me. There are people who can drink, or take practically any drug you name, and stay in control of themselves, and there are people who lose it whatever they're on. You can't legislate against human nature, and in my experience the "problems" are much more to do with that than with what a given person happens to be on at the time. Criminalise the antisocial stuff, no matter how the individual got there. And as several posters have commented, buying your drugs at the chemist's or tobacconists would help take the "cool" out of it - if the chemist had to warn purchasers of the hard stuff of the risks of addiction, probably fewer of them would end up addicted as they'd be much better informed. Certainly I still know a few aging H addicts, and mostly they hold their lives together just as well as the next person. BTW, Methadone is more evil than the heroin it replaces - practically impossible to get off, apparently. I tried a bit of a lot of things years ago, but the only "illegal" one I'd still accept an offer of is a spliff. The government tries to scare kids off with all their talk about pre-teens damaging their brains with "skunk" - well, who's responsible for these children? That's an argument for better parental control, not for cannabis being "dangerous" - if those kids were damaging their brains by OD'ing on nice legal whisky or vodka, would that be okay? Legalise the lot. Make it so you have to sign the "poisons register" or something for the more dangerous ones. Make it uncool to be out of control on anything, and illegal to drive, etc. when wrecked on anything. And let the police get back to chasing real criminals, the ones who break into your home, or nick your car, or beat you up for whatever reason.
  22. I speak of them all ... I keep my renaissance ear in form with Bach et al, then turn to the 'modernes' for a whole new thrill. Yeah, music is more vital than your average organ. Though not, apparently, the idea of rhythm, though living next door to a houseful of students I do sometimes wonder whether it should be quite so insistently mechanical (Hope none of the 'technofreaks' are following this ... )
  23. Buggy? Slow? My FF does nothing unexpected, and starts up, shuts down and surfs quicker than a lot of other programs (not least most of the bloatware from ie's home). The ad blocker used to be a bit iffy, but it does just what it says on the tin in my current install - anyway, it's not a part of FF, just an addon somebody's written, you don't have to use any of the 'optional extras' with FF if they offend you. Pooks is dead right about viruses and malware being the root of most of the evil - Spinner72's recommendation of AVG makes more sense to me than defending ie - though if more people use Firefox it's going to find itself targeted by the malware writers just like ie has been for years. I only play with pcs myself - used to "build" 'em (i.e. plug a few bits together!) but these days it's got so it's cheaper to buy readymade boxes than hunt round for the bits unless you're very dedicated. But friends in the biz agree about Firefox - their advice is why I started using it. And a surprising and pleasing majority in the poll seem to agree. Stay Foxy!
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