43 posts • joined Monday 24th September 2007 17:24 GMT
Dumbed down school ,dumber police
Some time ago a white female student at a school in a remarkably similar experiment mixed bleaching powder and hydrochloric acid to make a solution that would remove ink from a woodent floor.
Margaret Hilda Roberts.
On that occasion the authorities didn't clap her in irons, despite one of her fellow students choking on the chlorine gas produced.
How (not) to succeed in the tablet/pad market
The best way to do this would be to use an over large, crippled OS, to have a device that is inferior to the competition in almost every respect and to make it weigh about the same as a full featured laptop. If you can make it crash regularly and if you can launch it with a senile old fool capering around on stage while looking confused about why it's crashed (again) then your job is done.
Oh, have a backup strategy of having no apps, no app store, and no concept of what the market wants.
It worked for HP!
It's long past time that they were axed
In recent years, the COI have been used by Other Government Departments as a way of obscuring their spend on advertising and promotional work. I can see some advertising agencies in London are going to feel the pinch as a result of the closure of an "easy money" contract. I see getting rid of COI and putting the spend back with the department requesting the work as good for accountability.
There was a lot more to COI than the "Charley Says sort of thing. The one concern that I do have is the potential loss of the archive of material produced during WWII/1950s that forms an interesting record of those days. Sadly, because of the way government works in the UK. very little of this material has been published. In the US the view would be taken that the public paid for it, therefore the public has the right to access the information, free.
I don't hold out a lot of hope for government, police or even security organisations taking appropriate care of personal data. I've just completed an on-line process for registering with a government service which holds personal data about me. The account details, including my password in plain text were automailed back to me at the end of the application process.
The perfect platform for a evil overlord ...
Oh come off it "Anonymous Coward", you can't really be suggesting that Richard Branson is some sort of evil overlord, can you? I mean for that to work Branson would have to have a secret base in the Caribbean, a secret Desert Base with rocket ships and be a megalomaniac with a world-spanning empire blazoned with his logo...
Oh, hang on...
MMmm yes DominicT, I agree that it's terribly sad that some lamers feelt he need to rant on about Clarkson as if by doing so it elevated the whiner in the sight of All Right Thinking People. Is there some eco-weenie Brownie point system whereby whining about Clarkson is the equivalent of chanting off a few Hail Marys after confession?
 i.e. Everyone who agrees with the whiner.
Not well thought through
So I take my nice, shiny USB drive to the store and ask them to fill it up with DVDs. Then I have to stand around the store for about 10 minutes for each DVD downloaded to the drive and up to an hour and a half for each high definition movie.
I think I'd rather wait until the inevitable moment when it appears on Freeview.
A lawyer friend sent me the paper this week, in a state of panic about the consequences,
As others have pointed out, if you have access to a subject's DNA profile and access to an oligonucleotide synthesiser then you could synthesise a DNA profile that matches a living individual and leave "evidence" at a crime scene. However it's going to be a lot easier to obtain DNA from an individual and scatter that around.
And if anyone thinks that the spooks don't pay attention to the purchasers of oligonucleotide synthesisers and of nucleoside phosphoramidites for those machines or to PCR systems and deoxynucleoside triphosphates for those machines then they are sixpence short of sixpence.
Over sixteen years ago I made a small income from selling an "add-in" that I created for Excel. Microsoft later produced a remarkably similar add-in using remarkably similar code and gave it away with Excel. When I pointed out that this seemed to be copyright infringement I got a "so what sue us, we've got more resources than you have" reply. So umm.... I'm sort of glad to see them getting what seems like over-due just desserts. I suspect I'm not alone.
The Weird and Whacky World of Wiki
Wikipedia rules are the most bizarre and bizarrely implemented set of rules/guidelines that I've ever encountered. I have seem, for example, individuals refusing to accept that in a description of a book that a reference to the book is adequate evidence that the content referenced exists in the book. A link to a web site that any loon could have knocked up in five minutes is taken as hard evidence.
In a recent dispute over notable Usenet personalities, individuals were judged not to be notable if their posting history lay almost exclusively in the UK hierarchy. A touch of cross-pondian NIH syndrome creeping in there, I suspect. Probably this is why Swells is considered not to be notable, after all he only worked in "Yoorp" or more properly "Yoo-Kay" so he can't have been notable, ever.
Not just the makers, not just the journalists but also a significant number of those commenting here. Hydrogen is not produced by electrolysis from water.in significant quantities. It is produced by passing hydrocarbons and steam over a catalyst ro produce hydrogen and that good old favourite carbon dioxide which is vented at the production site. The car may emit no CO2 at the point of use, but it emits just as much as any other vehicle of the same size/weight/power.
As to the value of this car, it's hype, hype and more hype. For the £200 a month touted as the lease cost for this car one could have either a proper car suitable for four to five adults or a Smart CDi with sufficient fuel for 3000km of driving. The Smart car is functionally identical, except it's faster can be driven safely on a motorway and I suspect that an environmental audit would favour the Smart car.
--- each of those trying to show how clever they are by commenting on the implausibility of the story, and on the 30,000mph figure. Clearly they didn't read the article which states that the meteorite "had entered Earth's atmosphere at 30,000 mph" not that it was traveling at 30,000mph when it hit the youth. As to the rest of it, yes it's a a rare event, clearly the odds of a human being having that experience are less than one in 100 billion since as far as we know it is unique.
I disagree with everything Guy Kewney says
But i'll more or less agree this time. I subscribed to PCW from the first edition. I didn't have access to a micro at the time, just socking big mainframes. But soon I had my hands on a PET and then an Apple and I think I bought a fair proportion of the computers reviewed. I still have the Jupiter Ace and an Oric Atmos in my collection - to my wife's disgust.
So yes, I'll be sad to see it go, but for years now it has been dead and pointless.
As to captains of industry - well I reckon most of the original subscribers are still sweaty nerds.
<sniff><sniff> is that really my armpits?
Yes it's just you
Laughing at the stupid is a birthright. The stupid tend not to like it, that's their hard luck.
Paris, in the hope that she'll buy some balloons.
I have one
Rather I have one of the older PocketSurfer 2 models. Yes it's cheerless, the screen quality is poor and hte keyboard is only just usable. But it is certainly cheap. As stated the basic cost includes a year's use. Paying an additional £60 means that there's nothing to pay again as long as the machine stays in one piece - which may not be long given how flimsy it is.
It's also fast and it can be used almost anywhere. I work in places that don't have 3G. Looking at a map of coverage shows how restricted 3G is in the UK, it's fine for major conurbations, but outside those areas nothing. The Pocket Surfer works and is usable in remote locations. The big negative is that there are no applications and no storage. It's possible to use Google Aps and on-line free storage but there's no way to upload pictures to the web via the PocketSurfer. All that said, within it's limits it's usable and much better than a WAP phone.
Give me a break
To claim that Wikipedia is not censored is, at best, disingenuous. The pages are censored routinely by administrators who censor based on their knee-jerk reaction rather than fact. It's a fairly common experience of anyone who has tried to create/edit a Wikepedia page that the admins will pull pages that don't conform to the perceived wisdom of the common herd, even when there is plenty of evidence and the citations are given. Admins can't be bothered to do anythign as tedious as read citations, and why should they need to when they *know* that something is *wrong*.
This is why Wikipedia is the antihesis of QI. The quiz challenges lazy thinking and trite assumptions. Wikipedia thrives on the trite, trivial and on consensus above accuracy.
Paris, because even she's not as dumb as the average WikiDroid(tm).
Where's the beef?
Sorry I can't understand the point of the article. Nothing new, nothing clever, nothing that isn't blindingly obvious. I worked on the Quantel Clipbox and Avid systems in the early 1990s. It was obvious then that the writing was on the wall for "traditional" skills and equipment.
Blame the consumer
I do the IT stuff, my partner runs a food business. The aim of that business is to only sell good quality food traceable from the fields where it is grown to the package delivered to the customer. The business will close this year because consumers really aren't interested. The question asked over and over again is "can you do that cheaper?" Sure, like some other makers it would be possible to stop using lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruit and use processed fat and salt and sugar with acidity regulators, "extenders", colourings flavourings and preservatives. And it seems that's what the customers want as long as the label makes some ludicrous claim about "quality".
Why not a diesel?
Because diseasels are already relatively efficient. Hybrid technology is being used to improve the efficiency of petrol engines because there's a big(ger) gain to be made. Why not pure electric? Because when talking about electric cars all common sense seems to fly out of the window. The electricity has to be generated (somehow) people don't like nuclear, wind power and solar are still joke technologies and filling one's car up with coal or gas fired electricity isn't achieving that much in terms of overall efficiency. The same goes for fuel cells. Very few people think to ask where the hydrogen to fuel the vehicle comes from - at the moment it's mostly from hydrocarbons in the form of methane or petroleum gasses.
"Does Mercedes create a monopoly by refusing to sell their engines to other carmakers?"
Not a good example to choose, Mercedes doesn't refuse to sell their engines to other car makers. For example Daewoo and SSang Yong use Mercedes petrol and diesel engines in their cars. BMW also licence others to use their engines.
I must be the odd one out
Ryanair provide flights that are a fraction of the cost of other operators (OK about half the price) that go to where I want to be, rather than the capital city 90 minutes drive away. I take an iPod with acoustically isolated earphones so I can't hear the stupid announcements, generally sleep all the way, and have no desire to eat or drink on a flight that only lasts two hours. Chances I will make a phone call in-flight, less than a snowball's in a pizza oven.
I know it's fashionable to hate them, but when I look at fellow travelers they tend to be penny-squeezing MEPs, celebrity chefs, and the "chattering classes" heading for their second homes. Exactly the people who complain about Ryanair. In all the time that I have used them, the flight has never been late, my luggage always arrives at the same time as me. With national carriers I usually end up in a different country to my luggage on a third of flights, and the flights tend to be 30 minutes late departing.
If allowing some moron to rabbit on the phone keeps down the price of my ticket, then I'm happy. Pirate flag for O'Leary who deserves it.
Another failing IT initiative
"For example, teachers could ask the kids to split a restaurant bill by using their fingertips to divide up the coins they see on interactive table."
Wouldn't it be cheaper to use real coins?
"Teachers could also display one child’s work on all the interactive tables in the classroom."
Excellent, another excuse for bullying in the playground. Hurrah for clueless "educational" IT manufacturers. This screams of yet another "initiative" created without evidence that it will contribute positively and without any thought about how or if it will be used in the classroom.
Penguin, because I fancy a choccy bikky with my coffee.
All energy is free
Maria McCaffery scores points for the dumbest comment I've seen in a long time. All energy is free in the sense that she considers wind to be free "We don't have to pay for wind power - it just comes to us naturally,"
All energy is free. Uranium, oil and coal are just lying in the ground. Water for hydroelectricity just falls from the sky, wood just grows. Do I have to spell it out any further?
Paris, because McCaffery's comment is the sort of thing Paris might say.
"An ipod sized device is just not going to be able to fit in a high quality DAC. End of. "
Which would be true if it weren't for the fact that it is wrong. The iPod DACs have always been good - better than most CD players. The headphones supplied by Apple have always been rubbish. The 128kB/s iTunes tracks have also been terrible. The iTunes Plus tracks are perfectly acceptable. Use a lossless format and there's no issue at all.
Mr Whiny-Voice Young is overlooking the fact that these tracks must be small enough to download over relatively slow connections, *and* that it's the record labels that restrict the bit rate and quality that they allow Apple to offer.
The songs sound tinny
"many digital formats, including MP3 and Apple's AAC, strip out much of the signal from the original CD file, leaving the songs sounding tinny"
How would anyone notice if Neil Young tracks sounded whiny and tinny? He's been making them that way for decades.
It could be worse
El Reg seems to have missed this particular gem, the Amazon "Kid's Pimp Suit"
And in the great world of HiFi overcharging, nothing comes close to the "Special Black Wax" sold at £250 for 5ml, from a website which also offers red and green pens to colour in the edges of CDs. Spread the wax on your credit card then wipe it off and it improves the sound of your HiFi.
I'd give a URl, but the site in question is down ATM.
Paris, because even she wouldn't be fooled by this stuff, would she?
OK, so El Reg cannot have photos of the inside of T5. The answer is simple, show photos of the inside of Stansted. The two are identical, making it look as if Rogers wanted to pay homage to Foster.
So long and thanks for all the fish
Well, it wasn't the greatest interface, it had problems accurately recording shows, and it was always going to be a matter of time before the TV companies involved assembled a "crack team of high-powered legal talent" but I suspect the most galling thing to those companies is that TVCatchup managed to do for £100,000 what they have not been able to do for "quite a bit" more.
As far as I could tell the program delivery was as secure, if not more so than iPlayer.
And I can't see in what way the TV companies and the content providers were losing out. Most of the content made available was stuff that no one in their right mind would ever pay for on DVD. And if someone did want, desperately to watch the content several times over, they only had a relatively short window of time in which to do so.
Ah well, I'll place an order for a PVR now.
Ugly, hideous, nauseating
The male lead and Paris Travelodge that is.
I watched the trailer, or rather I failed to watch all of it because I was ready to throw up 30 seconds into the trailer. Which is quite impressive because the titles last for about 20 seconds.
I must you know, be like, missing, like, some whole layer of like irony in this film. Because the males objecting to someone being ugly are about as ugly as the person portrayed. And Paris Formule1 is one of the most repulsive creatures I've ever seen.
That's not flying, that's not even falling with style.
Serious crime my elbow
Firstly, speeding doesn't carry a prison term, not even speeding at 172mph. Like most of the media those commenting here are ignoring the fact that the sentence was for dangerous driving, not speeding. For speeding he was given a ban at a previous court appearance.
TBH I think he had terrible or probably no legal representation since there doesn't seem to have been any evidence of bad, let alone dangerous, driving. Unless failing to see someone dressed in yellow holding a speed gun is a sign of dangerous driving. He got a prsion sentence because he admitted to dangerous driving and that I suspect was because he was threatened with other charges if he insisted on pleading not guilty to that charge.
He harmed no one, not even himself. However at the same time someone who harmed children escaped without a custodial sentence. I can't see any justice in either sentence.
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