You're just a bunch of new cruel people being cruel to other people who'll end up being cruel to you
Congratu-fucking-lations, President Hollande. You've retaliated with airstrikes and killed a bunch of Their civilians.

Is that enough now? If not, how many will be? How many of Them do you want to kill before you'll feel like you've sufficiently avenged those of Us that They killed? How many of Them to you want to make feel the rage you feel now? How many of Them do you want to forge into feeling the need and the self-righteous justification for retaliation that you feel?

As John Oliver so eloquently put it, "this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking assholes. Unconscionable flaming assholes, possibly working with other fucking assholes. Definitely working in service of an ideology of pure assholery".

Why, why, WHY do We have to co-inhabit that level of pure assholery with Them? Isn't there some path We can take where We are not also gigantic assholes? Or are we doomed to be ruled by people who look like grown-ups, but are still incapable of exercising any sort of emotional self-control in the face of provocation, and can't help but blindly, unthinkingly, and totally predictably lashing back in return?


You are not superior to the people who were cruel to you
The near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed nearly 130 people were an "act of war" organised by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, says France's President Francois Hollande.


Islamic State released a statement on Saturday saying "eight brothers wearing explosive belts and carrying assault rifles" had carried out the attacks on "carefully chosen" targets, and were a response to France's involvement in the air strikes on IS militants in Syria and Iraq.

Oh yeah, we (the west) are already at war in the area, and have been for 12 bloody years. Your response therefore is...?

So France will be pitiless in its response to the Islamic State militants," [French president Hollande] said, vowing to "use all means within the law.. on every battleground here and abroad together with our allies.


Edit: Answer: He doesn't. I am reminded of the recent article that George H.W. Bush Was So Bored by Peace He Wanted to Quit - our leaders don't go to war to safeguard their citizens. They do so to stroke their precious egos, to feel big and important, because running a country in peacetime is apparently not grandiose enough for these narcissistic psychopaths.

Please stop this ride. I want to get off.

Edit 2: Clarified wording of rant.

Xmas lard
It's that time of year again :-)

The consensus last week was to go to Rowsha again, as they handled a pretty large group of us so well last time - and the food was great!

I've made a preliminary booking with a guesstimate of numbers, but need confirmation of actual numbers in about a week. So, if you're not otherwise busy on Wed 2nd December and would like to come along, comment and let me know how many of you there are.

November Lard
It's been on the list for a while, so how about this week we try the Italian Kitchen on Eccleshall Road? 7:30pm. Meet at the Nursery Tavern from 7:00.

Daylight savings weirdness
I just noticed that the clocks go back on the last Sunday of October, and go forward on the last Sunday in March.

OK, I didn't just notice that. However, I did just notice that the last Sunday in October (Oct 25th or later) is less than 2 months before the winter solstice (Dec 21/22), but the last Sunday in March (Mar 25th or later) is more than 3 months after the solstice.

Isn't that weird? Why wouldn't the clocks go forward/back at roughly symmetric intervals from the shortest (or longest) day?

My best guess is that it has to do with the equation of time. If I'm reading that page right, the sun rises at its earliest relative to the mean (average) solar time by about 15 minutes around late October, when you get comparatively more light in the morning than the evening. Conversely, it rises at its latest relative to the mean solar time - again by about 15 minutes - in mid-February, when you get comparatively less light in the morning than the evening.

The goal of daylight saving time is to give people more daylight in the evening (rather than just telling them to get up earlier). Given the calculation above, daylight saving time is more "necessary" in October than it is in February, and therefore it makes sense to keep it in effect "longer" into the autumn, and "delay" putting it into effect in the spring.

However, this is just guesswork, and I can't seem to find anything to prove or disprove it. Does anyone else a) care, b) have time, and c) have better research-fu than I to figure out the actual cause of the asymmetry?

Happy Back to the Future Day!
Great Scott!

Yes, in 1989, BTTF2 depcited Doc and Marty travelling from 1985, 30 years into the future to October 21st 2015.

We may not have hoverboards or flying cars, but at least we don't actually still use faxes for everything, like notifying people that they've been fired.

Anyone have any interesting BTTF 2015 links? I've got:

Back In Time trailer 1
Back In Time official trailer 1

Back to the Future 4 trailer parody
CollegeHumour (via Politicartoons)
Teens React to BTTF2, plus bonus footage.

Edit: Jaws 19 trailer
Texts from Superheroes

Also, I think a lot of people unfairly malign BTTF's prediction of electronic trainers and jackets. In a sense, it was a prediction that most things would be mostly the same, but some belongings would be weirdly and unnecessarily electronic. So, they happned to pick trainers and jackets, but, let's be honest, if they'd picked cigarettes instead, that would have been even cheesier. ("Electronic cigarettes in the future? You could't come up with anything better than that? Go back to scriptwriting school!")

Also, which fashion would-have-been/is[0] stupider, wearing your trousers inside-out, or this?

Edit 2: The Future Is Now! - 10/21/15 - A Special Message From Doc Brown

[0] I really need to get myself a copy of Dr. Streetmentioner's tense handbook for times like this.

What are they thinking?
On my commute home from work recently, there was a point where I got off the motorway and onto a dual carriageway that was undergoing roadworks. So getting off the motorway roundabout put you straight into a 40mph zone for a couple of miles, before going back up to the national speed limit of 70mph.

Anyway, I'd get off the motorway and onto the 40mph roadworks area, do 40mph, and be impatiently overtaken by people who are in a terrible rush, or who are special snowflakes to whom laws apparently do not apply (or both), at about 50mph. So far, so normal.

However, once they'd got out of the roadworks area (or, within a couple of hundred meters of the end of it) and onto the ordinary 70mph stretch of dual-carraigeway, they'd accelerate... to 60mph, 10mph under the speed limit. At which point I'd overtake them back again.

The trouble is, I'm trying to figure out why these people drive the way they do. If you're in such a rush, or believe that speed limits do not apply to you, why only do 60mph in a 70mph zone? If you're not, why do 50 in a 40 zone? It's not even like they just didn't slow down in the first place for the 40 zone, as the motorway roundabout/junction requires you to slow to below 40 (or to a stop if the lights are red) to navigate successfully. And they can't have not seen the 40 limit signs, as they were going more slowly than they did not in the 40 zone.

I simply cannot imagine what these people are thinking.

I mean that literally. I am unable to conceive of any possible model for their thought processes which explains the behaviour I actually observe. The only conclusion I can come to is that they're not thinking, while speeding, which is the scariest part of all.

Happy Birthday, LibreOffice
A few days ago, the LibreOffice project turned 5!

Slightly more than 5 years ago, Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, acquiring ownership of a number of valuable Sun technologies, including the SPARC family of processors, Java and MySQL. It also got a bunch of other things into the bargian that it didn't really seem to know what to do with, including Slowaris and (formerly StarOffice). (OOo) was, at the time, the number one office suite for GNU/Linux systems, far ahead (in terms of market/mind-share) of Calligra, with Microsoft Office not having been ported at all (yet) (*ahem*). However, even Sun had been dicking about with its stewardship of the project for quite some time, and the maintainers of the Linux OOo packages for most of the large distributions had amassed a fair number of improvements over the course of a few years in a mostly-unofficial fork nicknamed Go-oo. Even so, Sun had at least committed plenty of their own developers and marketing resources to OOo, and was making regular releases to the project, which made the Linux devs reluctant to strike out completely on their own.

This changed with the take-over by Oracle. Over the course of some months, Oracle pulled most of the resources away from OOo development, and were even less willing to work well with the Free Software developers from Linux-land. Things simply could not go on as they were.

So, on 28 September 2010, LibreOffice was officially born with the release of version 3.3 beta, based on the most recent OOo 3.3 beta release and the Go-oo patchset. This also made the Go-oo code widely available for Windows and Mac for the first time. It was followed on 25 January 2011 with the first "stable" release, version 3.3.0. Then, at pretty reliable 6-monthly intervals ever since, they've released another 9 main feature updates (plus umpteen minor bugfix releases). This has culminated (so far) in version 5.0 being released a couple of months ago, and 5.0.2 a couple of weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the official codebase, along with associated trademarks and copyright ownership, was transferred to the Apache Foundation and became Apache OpenOffice. Since then, AOO has made 3 releases, in total, including bugfix updates. The most recent of these was over a year ago, and since then remote-execution bug CVE-2015-1774 has gone 6 months without being fixed - even though to do so would only require the removal of a single file from the installer. Apparently a new release fixing this is due "soon", but in the interim they've been knowingly distributing vulnerable software for 6 freaking months. It would be an exaggeration to say that AOO is a dead project, but only just.

Anyway, if you're on an old and busted branch of StarOffice/ OpenOffice, it's probably worth downloading LibreOffice and giving it a spin.

Relaxing in fields
This weekend just gone, edy_, chairman_mat, caerban, caerban's S.O. "C" WINOLJ, gourou and I all went for a relaxing weekend, in tents, in the not-too-distant countryside.

Friday was good...Collapse )

Sometime around noon, everyone else showed up! Not just my ride, but everyone. And we all had ice-cream. And it was good. And then we said our goodbyes, and headed back to "civilisation".

Hell's Club
Because not enough people read JWZ, and by all accounts this hasn't hit FB yet.

There is a place where all fictional characters meet. Outside of time, Outside of all logic, This place is known as HELL'S CLUB, But this club is not safe.

Like the man says, "this is pretty amazing, and it just keeps going and going..."


Log in