January 7th, 2010


"Research", you say? Fuck off, noddy, we know you're lying

I presume that by now most of you have heard about the ramming of the Ady Gil by a Japanese whaling 'research' vessel.

Now, the Japanese government is claiming that the Ady Gil accelerated into the path of the ship and was therefore to blame. And if you look at the first video on that link, taken from the Japanese vessel, you can see the motors of the Ady Gil, which have been sitting at idle, start to churn about 2 seconds before impact. You also notice the bow of the Japanese vessel swinging round. I think what happened is that the Japanese vessel deliberately rammed the Ady Gil, spinning hard to starboard in the last 5-10 seconds, and that the acceleration you see from the Ady Gil is an attempt at evasive action when the skipper realises they aren't just being hazed.

But regardless of what some office worker in New Zealand thinks, the real test is the International Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea, particularly Section 2:15, 16 and 17. Under these laws, port gives way to starboard. In this case, the Ady Gil was the starboard vessel, and they took action to avoid collision when it became clear that the Shonan Maru 2 was not going to give way. And I think that's what the acceleration you see is about.

So why didn't the skipper of the Ady Gil actually swerve away instead of seeming to power straight into the bow of the Shonan Maru 2? Well, the Ady Gil steers and powers from the back. If you were to engage the motors at the same time as swinging the rudder hard to starboard, the boat would turn on its centre as the motors pushed the back around - straight into the path of the oncoming vessel. Since most of the business end of the Ady Gil is at the back, including the people, if he had done this the collision would have taken out the people instead of just the bow. If he'd responded a couple of seconds earlier he probably could have got sufficient distance to turn parallel to a vessel that was actually going in a straight line, and that's what I think he was trying to do - but remember here that in the second video you can clearly see that the Shonan Maru 2 comes about hard to starboard at the last minute, creating a T-bone situation and cutting off any attempts to swing parallel.

The skipper of the Shonan Maru is in breach of international maritime law. I know activists take risks, but to turn on a stationary boat that was clearly not in the direct path of the Shonan Maru 2, is not a risk by the activists. It's attempted murder, and it's all over the internet.

Fuckers. I hope they get internationally fried, publically.

Question for the geeks

So my FrankenPuter is not only Frankeny, but also three years old. Most things still work on it, but it has all sorts of foibles and has started to freeze on a far-too-regular basis. This wasn't a problem until Socrates came into my life and showed me what a healthy relationship with your hardware is like. And then on a double-freeze occasion, Windows ran CHKDSK and deleted a file that's actually pretty necessary for doing stuff with networks.

Anyway, long story short, I may be doing some juggling and moving 'upgrade desktop PC' up the list a bit*. So naturally I'm looking around. The problem is, my knowledge isn't comprehensive enough to decipher the combinations of letters and numbers and go "Oh yes, that's what I need for my uses." Especially when it comes to stuff like this:

Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 2.6GHz 800MHz FSB 2MB LGA 775 45nm Dual Core

That's a big string of relatively incomprehensible stuff. Anyway, I know enough people who know enough stuff that asking advice is probably a better bet.

Here's what I want from a desktop:

Gaming capability. I'm never going to be UberGamer who needs the latest and greatest graphics card but I do game and the PC has to be up to WoW, Dragon Age, etc.
Reasonable sound card. Again, not state of the art but I play music and other media and having it sound good is nice.
A legit operating system. I'm told Windows 7 is better than Vista.
To spend less than $1000.

And that's about it. I surf the net, play music using dj software, game, occasionally edit small videos and photographs.. sometimes at the same time.

I found this and this. Seems ITServices' Elite 530 is $70 cheaper than Paradigm's for (what looks to me like) more or less the same stuff.

Advice please?

* I know a lot of you are probably thinking "Hey I can make it work" and you probably can, but y'know, you can't make a silk purse out of a three-year-old FrankenPuter with dodgy software, no matter how great at computers you are.