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Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

Anonymous Coward

Re: Going Home

"I've never been able to work out this gut reaction from some people."

It is possibly that many organised religions and many of their followers believe it is their $(deity)-given right to proscribe how others will live their lives. Couple that with hypocrisy and corruption and the feelings of revulsion are visceral.

Join a club and follow its arcane rules to give a feeling of belonging and identity - that's ok - *if* it is your free choice. Try to impose that dogma on all civil society - and that invites a backlash. The major English Churches have not yet accepted that their usefulness as a means of State control of an uneducated population is largely a spent force.

Over the last 50 years my support of the major Churches has now been reduced to just the choral traditions in concert. My local CofE church lost my support for maintaining their ancient building when they started using community donations to target proselytising in non-denominational schools.

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There's even a song about it.

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The Hedgehog Song would be more appropriate

Probably the one and only time this statement could possibly be true :-)

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FAIL

Downvoting

Someone seems to have a serious Anti-Pratchett problem, and is downvoting almost every post.

To you I say;

Ook.

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Happy

Re: Downvoting

Indeed!

Also, by doing this they are effectively UPvoting everyone, because as soon as you realise it's happening you start subconsciously subtracting 1 from all downvotes.

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Bloody hell

Why do *I*, of all people, have to be the one to point out that the inventor of the clacks ( Robert Dearheart ) did NOT die? His son John died while working on a rival company to The Grand Trunk, but Adora's father is very much alive in the books.

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Re: Bloody hell

I was about to say the same thing. Though I'm not certain of Robert Dearheart's mortal status as of Raising Steam, I don't know that it's ever actually mentioned. However it was definitely her brother who was murdered on the tower.

Or on the ground by the tower depending on whether you take cause or effect as the actual murder.

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Wonderful!

And full employment for the Orc's flocking to clacks as a trade.

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Re: Wonderful!

Having no access to my references, I still believe that it were the goblins, not the orcs that were flocking to work on the clacks. The orc(s) only enter the diskworld multiverse in "unseen academicals".

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Thumb Up

Clacks

They actually existed and used by Napoleon.

Wikipedia article on Semaphore

"A semaphore telegraph, optical telegraph, shutter telegraph chain, Chappe telegraph, or Napoleonic semaphore is a system of conveying information by means of visual signals, using towers with pivoting shutters, also known as blades or paddles. Information is encoded by the position of the mechanical elements; it is read when the shutter is in a fixed position.

The system was invented in 1792 in France by Claude Chappe, and was popular in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century.[1][2][3]

They were much faster than post riders for bringing a message over long distances, and also cheaper in their long-term operating costs, once constructed. Semaphore lines were a precursor of the electrical telegraph which would replace them half a century later. The electrical telegraph would in turn be cheaper, faster, and more private. The distance that an optical telegraph can bridge is limited by geography and weather; thus, in practical use, most optical telegraphs used lines of relay stations to bridge longer distances. This also prevented the optical telegraph from crossing long expanses of water, unless a convenient island could be used for a relay station."

The privacy thing is NUTS. People tapped Telegraph wires.

People wanting privacy (on Semaphore or Telegraph) used code systems, cyphers, encryption. Just like some people today. Semaphore in reality wasn't really any less private than email or telegraph.

UK started having copies of all International telegrams (via UK, which was a major hub) before WWI.

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Re: Clacks

There were also telegraphic towers between Admiralty House in London and Portsmouth (not sure if they did Falmouth too)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clacks

" Semaphore in reality wasn't really any less private than email or telegraph."

IIRC "The Count of Monte Cristo" involved a MITM attack by bribing an intermediate semaphore operator. Something to do with disrupting the financial affairs of one of his persecutors?

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Re: Clacks

> UK started having copies of all International telegrams (via UK, which was a major hub) before WWI.

Hence just about the first action of WW1 was the navy cut the German telegraph cables so that Germany had to sent its telegrams via the UK.

I'm sure El'Reg published a map of major sub-sea comms fibre a year or so back which looked incredibly similar to the early 20th century map of mostly British run cables.

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Pirate

Re: Clacks

I'm sure El'Reg published a map of major sub-sea comms fibre a year or so back which looked incredibly similar to the early 20th century map of mostly British run cables.

http://www.submarinecablemap.com/

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This post has been deleted by its author

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"Am I the only person who thinks this is a crass waste of time, effort and bandwidth by people who

usually consider themselves more intelligent than average?"

I doubt it, but it was nice of you to tell us.

Have a banana

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I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

Looks like your parents failed during the first 7 years. The ones where traditionally it is their responsibility to teach their offspring:

1. Respect for the dead

2. Respect for the ones that are greater than you

3. Respect for what other people like or dislike. While we may disagree with what other people do or honor, that is no reason to treat everyone else with disdain.

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WTF?

@AC (the miserable git)

Dear AC,

yes!

Jay

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Anonymous Coward

"[...] this is a crass waste of time, effort and bandwidth [...]"

Apply those criteria to the traffic on the internet and suddenly there would be the sound of wind whistling through lonely telegraph lines. Apply it to the world in general and it would become a very grey existence akin to the Puritans.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

1. Respect for the dead

They're dead. What we do makes no difference to them.

2. Respect for the ones that are greater than you

Still dead. Though it is nice to see that some peons still know their place.

3. Respect for what other people like or dislike. While we may disagree with what other people do or honor, that is no reason to treat everyone else with disdain.

I respect peoples' choice to smoke. I don't respect their choice to smoke in a public area, any more than I would their choice to litter or defecate in that same area.

If this were done purely on a LAN I wouldn't consider there to be an issue, but the Internet is effectively a public area in this instance. The more garbage people add to their internet traffic, the worse the Internet performs for everyone. Tragedy of the commons and whatnot.

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WTF?

You sound like a bit of a humourless SYNT and I hope you lose all your web traffic.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, yes you are.

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Holmes

Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

Respect for the dead is nice, but they do not need it. Like most things realted to the dead it is we who need it not them. Still, it's good manners.

I rarely respect anyone who is said to be greater than I, except those who prove it like TP

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Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

Sorry, I happen to be with you on your response to the first two points but they are COMPLETELY irrelevant here. Bringing them up is a nonsense, to be honest.

"Respect for ... other people['s choices]" is the only one that matters.

If people want to do this, it's not hurting YOU. Nobody asks you to participate. Nobody cares if you do or not. But to suggest blocking on it is to say you'll actively HINDER the operation. (In real life, nobody will care about your site doing that, sorry but they won't - they'll just tell you your site is broke like those old sites that used to block Opera and then tell people Opera isn't supported because nobody using it appears in your web logs). That's just being a pillock. You've gone out of your way to actively interfere in something that didn't affect you one bit.

So you don't like it, fine, don't participate. Don't encourage. Air a reasonable opinion on it and leave it at that. You disagree with us, we disagree with you. But don't be a pillock. Your actions will have zero effect on anyone else, in all probability, so it really doesn't matter (and applying my philosophy expressed above, you're not hurting me or anyone I know, most likely, so my caring stops there).

There's disagreement. There's condemnation. Then there's trying to prove some kind of point that nobody really cares about anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

"[...] just for the younger generation to waste that bandwidth with an http header that does nothing."

Hmm - I'm an old fogie who appreciates the occasional frills in life that add a little lightness and humanity. That's why my web site has the memories of old boys from a technical school that ceased to exist in the late 1960s. There's no reason for the visitors to need to download the texts and panoramic pictures - other than to remind them that we were all young once and that DEATH is now one of our companions.

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Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

> The more garbage people add to their internet traffic, the worse the Internet performs for everyone.

Hence the proposal to put it inside otherwise wasted space such in the unused bytes of the typical 64byte ping packet.

BTW rejecting requests that contain correctly formatted information is a violation of RFCs. If nothing else it violates the rule that you should be precise with what you send and generous with what you receive. Which is why the Internet more or less works most of the time rather than some of the more formally proposed networks like X.400 where so many implementations effectively sent garbage and rejected everyone else's garbage.

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Stop

@Miserable git [AC] Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

I bet your parties are fun!!!

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Meh

Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

"They're dead. What we do makes no difference to them."

A bit like your servers (if you have any) now that you have effectively cut them off from anyone who isn't you.

Stupid twat.

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Re: Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

You really don't get this whole respect thing do you. When you die do you hope people will say "Oh, he's dead now. Whats on tele tonight?" I hope someone remembers to bury / cremate your body before you start smelling too bad.

There will always be people "greater" than you. And those "lesser" than you. If you have no respect for the abilities, talents and achievements of the "greaters" how are you going to acknowledge any assistance you could give to the "lessers?" This isn't about peons knowing their place. It's about knowing when (and from where) to ask for help, and when (and to whom) to give help. I take it that you've never needed assistance in your (seemingly quite lonely) life.

And you don't respect other peoples choices. You only seem to take note of what affects you. If people are smoking in a public, outdoor area, why don't you exercise your right to move elsewhere?

I wonder, when you die will people who have never met you say "My life is better for his being here, for his work." Will someone on another continent say "Did you know ACs died, Oh my $(diety) how awful."

Will thousands of strangers want to keep your name alive?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Flame

"Am I the only person who thinks this is a crass waste of time, effort and bandwidth by people who usually consider themselves more intelligent than average?"

Very likely; look at the number of downvotes your post has gathered. One of the few times recently that downvotes here have actually made sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I guess you parents failed your first 7 years

"But that's actually real history and quite interesting, as opposed to made up fiction writing [...]"

What is purveyed as history is generally a type of fiction. It is an interpretation of a past society filtered through the mores of the writer and their own society. The historical research resources themselves are often the biassed views of a narrow stratum of that past society. Sometimes that bias is simply what was felt worth recording at the time.

Some of what my school's old boys write is factually wrong - they mostly remember their school days as they would have liked them to have been. Convenient memory lapses are not solely down to the effects of old age. It is interesting when one has two contributors with quite different memories of the same situation. Several teachers were sadistic brutes - yet some old boys laud them as enlightened beings.

Eventually the site's content will be archived to the local museum - and that will also contain the unpublished contributions that might balance the picture for future historians. Unpublished because of their potentially controversial contents which often cannot be verified beyond all doubt.

Written fiction is often about human nature distanced from named individuals. TP's books did that - they held up a mirror to human nature and society - hopes, fears, warts, and all - and dressed it as a divine comedy. Fiction allows the reader to get inside situations and paradoxes that would otherwise be beyond their experience or current comprehension.

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Unexpected benefit

When I am bashing out ASP pages I sometimes* forget if I am looking at a live page hosted elsewhere or whether I am looking at the page on my test IIS rig.

Now with this added to the IIS server I can see at a glance if I am looking at a live page or not. The live page will, of course, have a silent clack.

(* i.e. most of the time)

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Re: Unexpected benefit

Not silent.

Merely the sound of no clack clacking.

Could be worse. It could have gone through silence and out the other side into anti-noise.

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Re: Unexpected benefit

Indeed have an upvote from me.

I used 'Silent Clack' because using a clack is more or less like using a morse key and when a member of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) passed on their obituary was marked in the magazine column entitled "Silent Keys".

Yes, a little contrived, but there you have it.

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Happy

To the miserable git

Please don't visit my website. It's full of 'unnecessary' stuff.

Oh, and it now proudly displays its clacks.

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Re: To the miserable git

Ditto

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Re: Unexpected Benefit

'I used 'Silent Clack' because using a clack is more or less like using a morse key and when a member of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) passed on their obituary was marked in the magazine column entitled "Silent Keys".'

The term Silent Key or SK is still pretty much universally used for a deceased amateur operator. It's derived from the standard CW operating procedure of sending SK at the end of a 'conversation' to indicate that the sender is not intending to transmit any further information. related to the exchange ie., "over and out".

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