Cheeseburger Gothic

Short lived Peace

Posted September 19, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I bought a copy of Marco Arment's ad blocking app/extension yesterday, partly out of curiosity, partly to support Arment, who is a developer worth supporting. It worked brilliantly, stripping the banners right out of the Cheeseburger and, more importantly, massively speeding up the news sites I read.

Of course, the Burger doesn't rely on ad revenue. Those banners are more of a design element than a commercial feature, but a lot of the sites I like to visit, and some I work for, do live and die by their ads.

Arment famously withdrew his app, called Peace, from sale after it shot to No. 1 on the App Store, thereby doing himself out of significant revenue. But he said he just didn't feel right about profiting from annihilating other people's profits.

I'll probably keep running Peace, but will white list those sites I want to support. In the medium term though, the industry is going to need a better model than burying visitors in shitty ads. I suspect it'll accelerate the market shake out, resulting in a two tier publishing industry divided between megasaurs like Buzzfeed and NYT, and smaller boutique operations like Daring Fireball and Jason Snell's Six Colors (which I've also whitelisted).

23 Responses to ‘Short lived Peace’

beeso swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 19, 2015
I'm seeing a lot of stuff on Twitter saying anyone who runs an ad blocker is a (insert insult) and that we should all just suck it up.
For Australians there is a great analogy. Taxis. For years they have had crap service, gouging practices but because there was no way to fight back we just had to wear it. But Uber comes along and rather than using it as a chance to accelerate reform and become taxi 2.0, they cling to what they had and ignore the people that provide them with an existence.
Ad blockers wouldn't exist if publishers had control over their sites and didn't do shitty things like pop ups, auto play video and the like. Ghostery has topped out at 23 trackers and ad networks on some sites I visit and I long ago gave up on places like the verge and imore because of the way they run their sites.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 19, 2015
This is very bad for people like me who enjoy reading the ads Peace blocks. Sometimes ads are all I read when I access a website looking for something other than ads.

Ads are truly fascinating. They provide a powerful insight into the true nature of our civilization - the good, the bad and the ugly.

I find especially fascinating the interwebs' ability to tailor ads directed specifically at me, including prices that are different from what someone else might be charged for the same product or service.

And now, thanks to apps like Peace, this sparkling, swirling kaleidoscope of awfulness where desperation, hope and evil compete for dominance may come to an end.

And it is all totally free. You never have to spend a penny to enjoy the show.

I guess nothing lasts forever.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted September 19, 2015
I'd love to know the ratio between creatives creating content because that's their job & they like having a house and children with shoes. : Commercial creatives creating promotion for product / service X. : Hobbyists like friends who are into Photography &/or fanfic. 3:5:10 ?

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spokey ducks in to say...

Posted September 19, 2015
I block ads because the only time I've copped malware is via ad buffoonery. I also can't stand the take over page, auto play videos and the bandwidth that dwarfs the actual content. Clean that shit up and I whitelist the page.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted September 20, 2015
A bit of an odd decision by Arment to pull the app. Marco Arment is obviously a smart and financially aware techo person. He's 33, so not young. Very recently he was strongly defending ad blocking. Now this sudden decision. He may of just changed his mind, but the obvious reading is that maybe he got a better offer.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 21, 2015
"He's 33, so not young."

33 is fucking young looking down from where I stand.

Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 21, 2015

Jesus was the messiah at 33. I hadn't achieved anything by the time I was 33.

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted September 21, 2015
Alexander the Great didn't even make 33. Though he was a chap who liked to keep busy.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 21, 2015
Oh yeah? Well, it took Goethe over 60 years to write Faust (part 1 and 2).

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted September 21, 2015
Yeah well, Goethe was a lawyer so he was probably charging by the hour :)

NBlob would have you know...

Posted September 21, 2015
Jealousy. Such a cheap motive.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 22, 2015
What is wrong with a cheap motive? In any comparison cheap motives have greater value than expensive ones. For example, personal honor, as a motive for behavior, always costs more than it is worth.


NBlob mutters...

Posted September 22, 2015
The mark-up on retail altruism is obscene.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 22, 2015
I get mine wholesale. I know a a guy who knows a guy. And, when it is reasonably hygienic to do so, I keep my ear to the ground listening for signs of a bargain on any of Franklin's 13 Virtues. Just the other day I scored some humility for pennies on the dollar. Am I good, or what?

NBlob asserts...

Posted September 22, 2015
1st I've heard of Ben's 13 virtues. With planning & effort I could probably do the majority, individually, momentarily, annually.

insomniac mutters...

Posted September 22, 2015
PNB, are you sure the humility was fresh? because it doesn't appear to be working. Humility that cheap, while a bargain, is probably well past it's use by date. Did you give it the sniff test? Fresh humility should smell a little like short crust pastry.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 23, 2015
Yeah, but fresh humility is always more trouble than it is worth and very, very difficult to wash off when it makes a mess. Humility is like a piece of beef fillet. As it ages, it dries up, gets darker, breaks down and is easier to digest. And, like aged beef, older humility has a higher resale value on the open market. Look at all those robber barons who acquired huge fortunes when they were young, ruthless and hubristic who, as very, very wealthy old men, say "it was nothing; I got lucky." Totally charming.

And, in all honesty (truthfulness is a very expensive virtue, by the way, no matter where you find it, and almost impossible to hold without constant maintenance) old humility smells better than new humility, which has the tendency to smell like baby poop - and not the good kind.

dweeze has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2015
Yeh, we got one of those robber barons as our new PM. Totally humble and all. He's even used the "I got lucky" line. If he wants ads blocked, he just buys the ISP. However, I'm not sure if he's quite rich enough to buy 100% truthfullness...the Dalai Lama doesnt seem to be on sale.

NBlob mutters...

Posted September 23, 2015
I'd guess His Holiness' price would 1 x Tibet.

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Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 21, 2015
These dotcom fuckers scream "get a better business model you buggy whip manufacturers" when they wipe someone else out with a bit of technology. Start taking their pie and suddenly regulation is the solution to everything.

You fuckers started this race to the bottom. You fuckers were happy to watch the music industry burn. You were happy to wipe out other peoples jobs. Shanden-fucking-freud.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 22, 2015
The thing I can't stand about adverts on the web, is how terrible they are , and how utterly badly targeted they are. Its one part broad brush with spamming nonsense, about 5 tips for a flat belly and fake products that do not work. Or its the same old shit advertisers and agencies have always done, huge Monopolies that do not need to advertise. This includes governments. If you dare say that perhaps advertising is a crock of shit and doesn't work for the ad buyer or the public who consume them then you are considered a heathen. If advertising worked , we would be fat and thin, non-smoking, smoking, ice recovering, don't get AIDS, be nice, don't beat up your wife or partner. Vote for that guy or this guy. Of course Advertising gurus and agencies will say Ok that campaign didn't work, but the general vibe is working man.

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Raymond Camden has opinions thus...

Posted September 22, 2015
As someone who runs a blog with ads, I bought Peace the second I could. I run simple banner ads, but the freaking popovers, interstitials, and other crap has made mobile browsing a hit or miss affair. Peace worked great, but I asked for a refund. I totally support him changing his mind, but if the app isn't going to be updated in the future than I'd rather just switch to another app.

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All the shiny

Posted September 10, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I know that my publishers sometimes sneak around in here checking up on me, so I give them fair warning; after watching the Apple keynote this morning I'm going to need bigger advances and fatter royalty rates. Much fatter. Because I’m buying all the things.

I stuck with my old iPhone 5S for two years, and it's starting to feel its age, especially the last few hours. I think there are a coupla gremlins in the iCloud dungeons, possibly shakin' ass to Apple Music. A clean install on a nice new shiny hyper expensive phone should sort that right out.

I'll be going with the 64 gig 6S+. I don't make that many phone calls on my handset and those I do tend to be on speakerphone at my desk. I do read, though. A lot. And I often have to do last-minute edits to columns and blogs, which is kind of a pain on a relatively small screen when I'm away from my office. So the big arse phone it is.

I'm currently rocking an iPad 4, and I have zero complaints about it, other than it not being an iPad Pro. I skipped the Air and Air2 because although they're beautiful looking tablets, and ridiculously overpowered, I simply didn't need them for media consumption, which is about three quarters of what I do on the pad.

I have done some creative work on the iPad, especially on the road, but until now there was no iPad which could match even a base level MacBook Air for content creation. I know that's heresy, but it's also true. It's a hundred little things, from lack of split screening to individual software quirks. Example? When I'm composing a blog post in iOS I can't scroll all the way through the text box in the back end of the Cheeseburger. I could get Dan to dive into the code and sort that out, but I've never bothered. I doubt IOS 9 will magically solve that particular issue, but it will solve dozens of other niggling problems that made working on the iPad less productive than using a laptop or desktop machine. I can see myself working on it now.

So, 64 gig iPad Pro with the lovely keyboard they stole from Microsoft's Surface, and the $99 Apple Pencil. This last is what I'm really looking forward to. From what I've seen of the demos online it's the first input device – don't call it a stylus, damn you – to ship with genuine palm rejection. It should turn the pad into a proper tablet for handwriting. Even having the ability to sign contracts without having to open them in a third party app like some sort of animal is worth the lazy hunnert they're asking.

And Apple TV? Are you fucking kidding me? TAKE MY MONEY NOW, TIM! The remote alone is reason enough to upgrade.

12 Responses to ‘All the shiny’

Mayhem's Mum ducks in to say...

Posted September 10, 2015
One has had quite enough of Mr Cook's IOS updates. Indubitably every second update renders one's internet speed as whiny and slow as a kicked dog. It surprises me not that my Lord and Master Greybeard (Keeper of the Torch, Fixer of Techy Things, Windows Guru) has resisted the lure of the Apple. And rightly so. I would opine that Apple would glean more custom if they were to focus on the functionality of their OS's instead of polishing their Man Bling and calling it an update.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 10, 2015
Mmmm. Man Bling.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted September 10, 2015
Imagine if they had these things on sale the moment the presentation finished. Not a moment to question whether or not you need it. Simply BUY and it turns up tomorrow before that part of your mind that says "you probably don't need this" kicks in.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted September 10, 2015
That part of my mind never kicks in.

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Rob asserts...

Posted September 10, 2015
I have apple envy this week. My boys bought me a BB-8 droid this week, and the android app didn't work with my HTC, so I bought a Sony and it didn't work on that either. It did work on the Motorola, so I have to borrow my sons phone to play with my new Droid. Apparently with an apple app...it works straight out the box. Curses.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted September 10, 2015
Consistent with my rampant frugality - of skipping every second update, i will leap from 5S to 6S. Will the pencil work on an Ipad Air 2? I have a work-supplied one.

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Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted September 10, 2015
You wouldn't believe the stick I got for having a Dell Streak. The refrain was usually "Why do you need a phone that big?" Thank you all for joining me in agreeing a smart phone works better with a bigger screen ;)

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HAL 9000 mumbles...

Posted September 10, 2015
All I can say is 'Vienna', as in - 'This means nothing to meeee....'

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OTR is gonna tell you...

Posted September 11, 2015
JB you can save yourself USD 100 by not buying the Church of Appletology's new styl...um......pencil. The word stylus was, of course, removed from the book of Applenetics by the late, great L. Ron Jobs.

Any of the pencils at your desk, as in the ones in front of you, right now, as you read this, will do the job.

Already proven.

Apologies for the sarcasm - I'm just nauseated by the stores popping up everywhere as if McDonald's (at least in the US) and the growing wild-eyed fervour of too many users.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted September 12, 2015
Yeah ... have an iPad Air. That will be handed down in November as soon as the Pro is available.
BY ALL THAT IS HOLY I WILL HAVE ALL OF THE SHINY ACCOUTERMENTS AS WELL!
SO SAYS RHINO!

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damian asserts...

Posted September 13, 2015
I've always thought the tablet becomes really useful and is maybe a laptop replacement when it's the size of an A4 sheet. That would be approx. 14" in screen-size-speak, so this is an almost thing. Not far off, but, and I'm sure with bezel it's already more.

TeamAmerica asserts...

Posted September 13, 2015
@Damian- Aren't there already convertible laptops that have large screens?

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Respond to 'All the shiny'

HMS Trident

Posted September 3, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I wouldn't nomrally lonk to the Daily Mail, but these artist images of the RN's future HMS Dreadnought were too eerily familiar to ignore.

I think I can see Captain Halabi waving to me.

Whole thing is here.

23 Responses to ‘HMS Trident’

Sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2015
Essentially Half Birmo / half Minbari tech. Hope they have a competition for the public to choose the voice for the AI...


John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2015
Gotta be Posh.

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Sparty puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2015
actually I'd go for Rosemund Pike doing her "lady Penelope" having said that, given how popular the Jeremy Clarkson sat nav was....:-(

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Sudragon puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2015
50 crew...who does damage control?

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted September 4, 2015
Seems more like an LPD than a destroyer with that rear bay.
But I like it.

damian asserts...

Posted September 4, 2015
I think that with more and more automation, there's no particular reason not to make the LPD role an option for all larger ships. It's a question of what you devote internal volume to - ammunition, fuel or leathernecks.
I think trimarans are an odd compromise between seakeeping strengths and platform flexibility. Arguably a straight catamaran design would make for a faster boat, but above a certain size it's academic.

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GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2015


Reminded somewhat of the Stealth Boat in Tomorrow Never Dies.

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Aaron has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2015
There's no news like bad news!.... That line still makes me wince when it comes on

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2015

Funny how Elliott Carver, a media mogul with a worldwide empire who promotes war in order to boost sales and ratings in his news division is played by Jonathan Pryce, who looks suspiciously like Rupert Murdoch?

On of the few times a Bond villain premise had some basis in reality.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted September 4, 2015
A gunboat's role is to bring unquestionably excessive lethal force to area X with special loiter sauce. In the past I've argued that seriously smart munitions & missiles meant the end of capital ships. I'm reconsidering that position. CiWS, beam, caseless & rail combine to = I know just enough to know that I don't know nuthin.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2015
The really interesting thing with railguns and anti-missile lasers and so on is the convergence with electrical power systems for motive force. I gather in the cruise ship world the largest and most sophisticated examples have electric motors on 360-degree-pivoting nacelles as the main drive, powered by inboard diesel generators. Assuming nuclear power (seems inevitable) providing the energy for both weapons systems and propulsion, then there is a driver toward all-or-mostly energy-based heavy weapons in the form of the internal volume required for ammunition. Maybe the reclaimed volume could be for drones, maybe troops. We're looking at reclaiming a lot of volume that would have been used to store crew, too, given automation.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2015
Ammo for Rail & caseless still require stowage volume, Unless you could concoct them from the briny on which you float. Chloride, Sodium Magnesium, Sulfur, Cadmium & Bromine are available.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted September 8, 2015
Yes, but the volume per round is hugely less. For railguns it is the projectile only, versus the entire chemical propellant charge plus casing. And the projectile is smaller anyway, per damage inflicted, because the energy is all kinetic and imparted more by the velocity than the mass. The caseless stuff isn't a main gun, rather lower-scale CIWS and anti-small-thing, perimeter defence, yada yada. So it was already low volume and taking away the casings helps a lot. And point defence could be a natural fit for lasers, given sufficient energy.
Point here is that if hull volume for various purposes is a premium, then there's a driver toward high mass/volume for projectiles for rail guns (though I guess you need to trade off the mass against volume in terms of buoyancy, but you know what I mean), and for the design to maximise the energy input and rely less on the ballistic mass. Likewise lasers for CIWS and perimeter defense. Nothing against 50cal and caseless stuff, just that if you can do the job using the powerplant versus storing power in chemical propellants, eventually the volume premium wins.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 8, 2015
Good point re relative volume. I suspect Magazine fires are about the powder used in delivery, rather than the HE in the round. I'd expect express delivery butt-hurt would still bring bang, rather than be purely kinetic. But perhaps I missunderestimate the effect of a mass travelling at Mach 25.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted September 9, 2015
"Purely kinetic" is a relative term. If the velocities involved turn metal alloy (or depleted uranium) projectiles to plasma, then some of the energy reaches the target as multiple kinds of energy. Think of a rail gun as a proto-plasma-canon (cf Tank Lords). HE isn't so much redundant as problematic for delivery purposes, but probably redundant anyway.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn asserts...

Posted September 5, 2015
cool concept, thought i thing it will turn out different. you can probably lose the over stealthy look cuz stealth will not be able to keep up to "sensor" tech and focus more on fire power. increase the calibure of the rail guns to something akin to WW II heavy cruisers, make them double turreted, and go to a super firing configuration, that may help because combat will turn back to mostly gunnery and torpedo combat due to lasers and rail guns making any missile and plane engagement to costly and inefficient to be the main doctrine. shore defense may include missiles but the day of manned air platforms is approaching its end due to the threat environment becoming to costly for any plane.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted September 5, 2015
Sure hope no Burger is also card-carrying member of Border Force.

Don't want Dutton or Andrews getting their paws on a Rail Gun!

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Abe Frellman mutters...

Posted September 5, 2015
Could really go a Halabi story. And a passiona.

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S.M. Stirling reckons...

Posted September 6, 2015
That -does- seem sort of familiar... 8-).

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ChrisB is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2015
The question is, where is JB storing his Futurevision-o-meter?

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pi mumbles...

Posted September 7, 2015
Ha. That rocks. That is exactly how I pictured it in my head.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2015
The use of a Graphene coated hull piques my interest. Graphene is being touted as a new wonder material that will have a similar effect on the world as transistors did 50 odd years ago.

Graphene is still very much laboratory bound though potential applications include super-batteries, the space-elevator, even better solar panels and, crucially, hoverboards.

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Classvtony puts forth...

Posted September 18, 2015
Well I'm not a bullshit railgun stealth speculator. But I do think the Royal Navy should give you a tip of the hat for providing their CGI boys with something to start from.

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Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy of infidelity

Posted August 27, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I have to admit I've been agog at this whole story. I even flagged it a month ago in my Saturday coulmn, before it had really broken out into the mainstream. (My punishment, as always, was to be ignored).

This latest analysis is amongst the most intriguiging yet. 35M+ subscribers. Almost none of them women, and the few women they did have were apparently made up.

From Gizmodo:

...the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.

Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.

When you look at the evidence, it’s hard to deny that the overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison weren’t having affairs. They were paying for a fantasy.

20 Responses to ‘Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy of infidelity’

DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted August 27, 2015
My spouse laughed and laughed when she saw the data. After asking me if I was registered of course...
One of the great big data books of recent times was 'dataclysm' by one of the founders of OkCupid (?) he used a lot of that websites data in support of the arguments in the book. After reading Gizmodo, maybe his data are bunk??

Aw Heck mumbles...

Posted August 27, 2015
Never been on Ashley Madison, but I was on OKC for a year and the guys there were the real deal. I'm marrying one of them in a month's time.

I could lecture for an hour on the different dating sites but it comes down to this: the more 'hook-up' the site is, the less legit the female profiles are.

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted August 27, 2015
At some point some bright spark will set up some AIs to string people along on these sites.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 27, 2015
I think it has happened and is happening.

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted August 27, 2015
I'll start getting worried when the AIs start trying to hook up with other AIs on these sites.

Sudragon mumbles...

Posted August 28, 2015
Exactly. Skynet wouldn't have caused all that death and destruction if it was getting some love and attention...

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 28, 2015
Is the Turing test invalidated when one party has a hand down his pants?

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 28, 2015
Sex-chatbots? It's hard to prove a negative, but I'd be stunned if they haven't been around for years. Decades. At least one of the first 10 people to "play with" ELIZA in the 60s will have tested some of the parameters. And then the extra data files would have made, swapped and more beer would be smuggled into the lab with all the LISP machines.

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Dave W mumbles...

Posted August 27, 2015
Jeezus. Just plug a cable into the back of their heads and they could have a Matrix affair.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted August 29, 2015
Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted August 27, 2015
Next you'll be saying that Ashley Madison isn't a real woman!

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted August 27, 2015


why don't people go to bars and pubs to meet other people? Its not that difficult. Get drunk, get talking and don't be a dick.

What I hope is that the sites I use are secure, like amazon, eBay and Google. We know apple isn't, because of what fappened a few months back. .

Idin Doit mumbles...

Posted August 28, 2015
It sounded so possible until your third point.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted August 27, 2015
Pubs are always the answer.

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted August 27, 2015
or Lube.

damian mumbles...

Posted August 27, 2015
And the Word is the Law. Therefore Grease is the Law.

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Timmo is gonna tell you...

Posted August 27, 2015
Wow...! I mean you kind of expect those kind of sites to be a sausage-fest, but those stats just tell an incredibly sad tale.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 29, 2015
Look at the bright side. None of those 31 million blokes are procreating.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted August 29, 2015
what makes you think that AM was their only, er, output?

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The first Apple Watch explanation that made sense to me. (Including Apple's).

Posted August 17, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I've worn my watch every day since buying it, even returning to the house on the two occassions I forgot to put it on after a shower. I feel like part of me is missing without it. (Or maybe just that I'm missing my calorie count in the fitness tracker).

I still can't explain the thing to anybody who asks though. There is no killer funcrtion. You really don't need this shiny bauble.

But that's why I liked Benedict Evans post, "How is the Apple Watch doing?"

I think he nails it, and his argument applies equally to any smart watch on any platform.

The Apple Watch tries to be beautiful and it tries to be useful. It tries to bridge two worlds - to be a beautiful tech product and a useful luxury product. But really, it's the iPhone or Macbook that are beautiful tech products - the watch is a useful luxury (though one that starts at a lower price than any previous Apple product). Being able to see the next turn on your route as you walk along a crowed street on your wrist instead of pulling out (and dropping) your phone is not necessary and you don't need it - it's a luxury.

But luxuries are good. If we only bought things that we need, and that have clear use cases, then we'd all wear nothing but overalls and have a single bare lightbulb in each room of our homes.

5 Responses to ‘The first Apple Watch explanation that made sense to me. (Including Apple's).’

Rob puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2015

I really like the casio Gshock watches, but i just can't for the life of me can't actually operate the damn thing. But I totally agree with the luxury thing. I bought my pricey watch because I could afford one and at $400 dollars I can show off a chunk of chrome and silver and it shows I have money every where I go. In a world where you can buy a $100 surround sound system that basically sounds like the $2000 yamaha version I have, or where a $500 PC rig works as well as a $3K one , or you get a loan you cannot afford to buy a car you don't need. You need something to seperate you from the bogans in the burbs. But I don't think I will go a smart watch, I really only use my phone for texting my family and updating social media, the handy features would be lost on this office schlub.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2015

Interesting piece, and the aesthetically beautiful combined with functional is at the heart of many of these more recent trends, and the whole Raison d'être of the steampunk design ethic.

I do like the idea that its removes a 'friction' from daily life, a small inconvenience. I would only add it does this without introducing a greater inconvenience, such as having to charge it every two hours, a daily use seems to be the ideal battery life for this item.

Not sure about the 'Confusion is the mark of a transformative product' its also the sign of a shit product as well. While its true its not a good standard.

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted August 17, 2015
Benedict highlights the mixed blessing of access to luxuries. Because, I've got to say, I find a woman in overalls pretty darned sexy.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted August 17, 2015
W, your 80's are showing.

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ChrisB asserts...

Posted August 17, 2015
You know what my iWatchAppleThingee looks like? It has a faded olive-green strap, white numbers (that glow) on a black background. The glass is 1/4 thick and was state-of-the-art when it was issued to my grandfather in 1942.
It went from Georgia, to NYC, crossed the Atlantic, hung out in England for a few months, then hit Omaha Beach. France. Switzerland. Belgium. And into Germany...and I wouldn't trade it for two iThingees.

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Not the NASA news

Posted July 24, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I’m a bit disappointed by NASA’s ‘huge’ news of a new ‘Earth-like’ planet discovered around a sun-like star. They’ve been teasing this all week and I was really expecting something like a new rocky planet in the habitable zone with a confirmed nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere.
Two out of three doesn’t rate a cigar.
The new planet is indeed rocky. It orbits a sun very much like our own and it does so at a distance you could hope to find liquid water. All necessary preconditions for life. Necessary but not sufficient.
Can’t believe I almost got up early to check my news feeds for this.

13 Responses to ‘Not the NASA news’

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 24, 2015
The problem with Exoplanets is that all the good ones have been taken by the Space Sharks. Even space lizards don't fuck with Space Sharks.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 24, 2015
Pfft. Space sharks. We've got Mick Fanning, mate. All the space shark planets are belong to us now.

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TheWah ducks in to say...

Posted July 24, 2015
It's bigger than us and 1.5 billion years older than us. Its star has an extra 10% on our Star. If it had water once it probably would have boiled away by now.
I agree, John, underwhelming news.. and I'm all about space stuff

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 24, 2015
Sorted.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted July 24, 2015
Well they had intended to announce that all the chimps they sent into space came back hyper-intelligent, but we all know how that went.

insomniac mutters...

Posted July 24, 2015
For all we know we could be the apes just waiting for a super evolved Charleston Heston to return.

Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted July 24, 2015
that twist would still make more sense that Mark Wahlberg landing in front of a statue of Ape-raham Lincoln.

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Shifty Tourist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 24, 2015

It reminds me of a big announcement they made a few years back. I'm paraphrasing of course, but the tone was something like this.

NASA CONFIRMS BASED SILICON LIFE EXISTS*+

*potentially

+in a lab


I can't blame them.... if the biggest thing you've ever done is land on the freaking moon, everything you achieve after that is going to be a bit of a let down.

Shifty Tourist puts forth...

Posted July 24, 2015
silicon based, I mean

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damian mumbles...

Posted July 24, 2015
Sun sized star, Earth sized planet with moon sized moon - then it's time to get excited. Evidence of N and O atmosphere, blue-green colour is just icing.

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pi mutters...

Posted July 24, 2015
OT but a must see. Watson (you know, that IBM AI thing) does personality analysis based upon your writing.

https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/

So I decided to put in a piece of yours JB :

http://cheeseburgergothic.com/show/6309

The response (with a whole bunch of sciency/thinky analysis) if you were interested. Only you can say how right or wrong it is of course.

<div class="summary-div">

You are shrewd, inner-directed and can be perceived as indirect.

You
are imaginative: you have a wild imagination. You are philosophical:
you are open to and intrigued by new ideas and love to explore them. And
you are independent: you have a strong desire to have time to yourself.

Your choices are driven by a desire for connectedness.

You
consider independence to guide a large part of what you do: you like to
set your own goals to decide how to best achieve them. You are
relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your
own path than following what others have done.




John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 24, 2015
Well I am an autonomy freak.

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