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Showing posts from June 19, 2005

People have no dignity.

This coming monday is big trash day. All sorts of stuff is out at the kerb waiting to be taken away. Yet it seems there's a lot of people now who just have no dignity left, and take great pleasure in digging through other people's trash and taking stuff away.
For example : our old ladder with a missing rung and another which was broken - someone took that and will no doubt hurt themselves when they fall off it. That's why it was there, because it was trash.
Then there's the box that had our BBQ in it. I emptied out my garage wastebasket into there which means it is full of broken glass, knife blades, a mower blade, nails, screws, rusty shards of metal, wood etc, and the whole lot is covered in a carcinogenic, highly toxic weed killer (from a leaking bottle). I sealed the box up and put it at the kerb, and sure enough, some white trash came along and popped the box open and started digging through it. I guess they'll be in the emergency room tonight then with cuts fil…

Battlefield 2 and NVidia Geforce4

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This is unbelievable. EA have deliberately excluded everyone with NVidia Geforce4 graphics cards from being able to play their new game "Battlefield 2". They claim that because it used pixel shader 1.3 and not 1.4, they wouldn't make it compatible.
This is an inexcusable oversight from EA. What the hell do they think they're playing at? Cutting off their nose to spite their face is one guess. If you look at the survey Valve did on gamers and their cards, this chart shows the number of people currently gaming on cards EA have chosen not to support.

Do the maths. That's 729,595 gamers EA have deliberately excluded. At $60 a pop, EA have pissed away $4.3M in potential sales with this move.

This is - I - its - I - calm down, go to your happy - NO - WHAT THE FUCK, EA??????? Are you insane? You want us to shell out $60 for a game, then upgrade our cards for another $300? That is the most retarded marketing idea I've ever heard of. There is nothing wrong with the Gefor…

Bang goes the right to own your own house.

In another blow to American's rights and freedoms, the U.S Supreme Court today issued a ruling that all but destroys private property rights in this country. The right of eminent domain was overturned.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution specifically restricts the government's right of eminent domain. In fact (flicking through the history books) the right of eminent domain was assumed as a basic part of English Common Law. The Fifth Amendment merely said that government could not exercise this right for a public use without paying for it. The exact working is "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." As was supposed to be the case with the Bill Of Rights, it protected the private citizen's right to own property. Well that's all changed.

For hundreds of years the term "public use" was interpreted to mean use for something like a school, library, police or fire station, power transmission lines, roads, bridg…

Earth tremor.

Wow! The whole building just shook! Earth tremor!

Great headline :-)

From Fark today : In a stunning display of common sense by a US company, Krispy Kreme fires 6 top executives instead of 6000 workers.

We could all learn a thing or two from that move :-)

More freedom stripped away.

And so B*sh and the Republicans strip away yet more of the American public's rights and freedoms.
A new ammendment to the constitution looks like its going to pass:
The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
ie. if you're caught expressing anger by burning the American Flag, it's now a prosecutable and/or jailable offence.
Nice.
Seriously. With the economy on its knees, kids dying by the bucketload every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, looming disaster in social security and the lowest presidential approval rating since Nixon, is it really necessary to waste everyone's time ammending the constitution to ban desecration of the flag? To the word of the law, that means its now illegal to sell underwear or towels, or just about any other product with the American flag on it.

B*sh is getting closer and closer to being able to ban free speech and free thinking.

Orwell was right, but he was 20 years early.

Captain Scarlet

In an idle moment, I searched for Captain Scarlet on the torrents, and the first ten episodes showed up. Couldn't find 11-13 though, but ten is better than none, which is what we'll get here in America (because nobody will show it).

This is the whole problem with the MPAA. Lets use Doctor Who, or Captain Scarlet as the example. They're both TV series made in the UK and shown on English TV. No networks over here picked up either series so they will never air on TV in America. In England, both series came out on DVD.
So I have two options to watch these shows. I either buy the DVDs, which of course are region-encoded and NTSC. This means I need a region-hacked multistandard DVD player to watch them, which in the eyes of the MPAA is illegal.
So the second option is that I download them from the torrents instead, which in the eyes of the MPAA is illegal.

It leaves viewers like me with no choice. I can't get to see the show legally because there is no method available. So I hav…

Motorcycle brakes

I read an interesting stat in my new RiDE magazine last night. Apparently 19% of all motorcyclists never use the front brake, and 21% never use the rear. That means only 60% of people riding motorbikes know how to brake properly, which is a pretty grim idea.

The BBC's view of the FIA

The BBC commentary on this is great:
Formula One has made itself look stupid on a number of occasions in recent years - but the fiasco that was the 2005 United States Grand Prix took it to a new low.

Veteran British driver David Coulthard - long a beacon of sense in a sport flooded with people with an over-inflated sense of their own importance - cut to the heart of the issue.

"I have no words to describe how damaging this is for F1. I am sick in the stomach to be part of this," the Scot told BBC Radio Five Live after seven of the 10 teams pulled out of the race because Michelin could not guarantee the safety of its tyres.

"That mature adults were not able to put on a show for everybody is very sad."

It is maturity - or the lack of it - where F1's problem lies, and not just in this one case.

Too many of the sport's key decision-makers cannot see the bigger picture because they are blinkered by their attachment to the sport's increasingly labyrinthine rules or…

The FIA again

I just can't believe this. The FIA have had the gall to now charge all 7 teams who pulled out of the American Grand Prix!
The charges given are that, according to the FIA, each team:
• failed to ensure that they had a supply of suitable tyres for the race
• wrongfully refused to allow their cars to start the race
• wrongfully refused to allow their cars to race, subject to a speed restriction in one corner which was safe for such tyres as they had available
• combined with other teams to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula One by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race
• failed to notify the stewards of their intention not to race, in breach of Article 131 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

This is just sheer lunacy. Why can't the FIA see that it is to blame for this. There's no gray area hear. No if's and's or but's. The FIA are 100%, totally to blame for this farce and now they're going to charge 7 teams because…

A black day for Formula 1

I think today will likely be the last time F1 comes to America. The FIA asserted their freakish rules to the max today which resulted in an Indy GP with only 6 cars. The reason? Michelin discovered a problem with their tyres after friday practice and refused to certify the tyres for race distance. One Michelin exploded on Ralf Schumacher's car in qualifying and backed him into the wall - again - at 200mph, and Michelin couldn't find a fault. Michelin said they'd allow the tyres to race if a chicane was put into turn 13 to slow the cars down so their tyres didn't get the massive vertical loading that turn puts on them. Max Mosely, Charlie Whiting and the FIA said "no way - if you do we'll pull the sanction and this won't be an official race." As a result, all the Michelin teams garaged their cars after the warmup lap leaving only Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan to run on their Bridgestones.
This is yet another political farce brought about by the FIA's …

Brazil and Ethanol

Interesting. About 40 percent of all the fuel that Brazilians pump into their vehicles is ethanol now, compared with about 3 percent here in the US. The change wasn't easy or cheap.
It's even more interesting that in 1973, Brazil was a dictatorship and the government at the time forced people on to the road to independence from foreign oil. Whilst they didn't like it at the time, now Brazil is reaping the return on its investment in energy security while the US writes checks for $50-a-barrel foreign oil.
Brazil has shown it can be done, but it takes commitment and leadership.

So it won't be happening here for at least another 3 and a half years then.

After the sunset with Steve Zissou

The summer drought being what it is on TV, we rented a couple of movies last night. "After the sunset" was an excellent diamond-heist yarn. "The Life Aquatic (with Steve Zissou)" not so much. In fact not at all. It had the potential to be a fun film but suffered from the problem of having all the funny bits shown in the trailer. The trailer was 90 seconds, the film was 2 hours. The padding between the 90 seconds of funny stuff and the 2 hours of film was - what's the word I'm looking for? Lousy.
Which is a shame, because Bill Murray can do so much better than this.

On another note, the Torrent Gods have smiled upon us this morning - the last episode of Doctor Who is on the torrents. I'd feared that with the demise of bfenet that we'd end up 2/3 of the way through the series and then lose our source. But it seems we're going to be just fine.