3346 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
It's kind of sweet when you think about it
Dear easily bewildered Alan Johnson still thinks he and his crowd are going to be in any position to say what happens to ID cards after a couple more months.
Hello Alan, you've got some nice visitors. I SAID do you want a cup of tea? Oh, it's not one of his good days. best keep back and not make any sudden movements, he gets a bit like this close to an election.
'That is 3 exorcisms a day, 7 days a week, for about 64 years.'
I don't know how these things work, but perhaps there are loyalty schemes run along the lines of 'excommunicate two creatures from the Pit and we'll throw in a further lost soul absolutely free.' Or maybe he once exorcised a demonic beehive and is counting all the residents?
Nicholas Cage was robbed!
' Eddie Murphy was similarly crowned worst actor of the last ten years.'
I defy anyone to sit through Nick Cage's 'The Knowing' and not try to make an escape for the exit.
I was 35,000ft over Greenland when I saw it and still wanted to leave.
New word needed?
'*We would suggest a special name for the quality of negative strangeness. Perhaps "ultramundanity" or "hyper-boringness".'
May I propose 'Bracknell'?
BTW. One thing you left out of this article - does the new stuff confer superpowers?
Before voting for them you might want to know about the LibDem's Lord Clement-Jones.
He's busy in the Lords on the Digital Economy Bill and proposed a change which would do good business for lawyers specialising in intellectual property disputes. Essentially he wants a judge to hear any dispute over copyright material that is found on a site, and if the judge rules there's been a dispute, he can order the page or indeed the whole site taken down. No bad? Well think how many copyright disputes there could be over a site like YouTube. You couldn't probably find enough lawyers to represent all the breaches on YouTube alone.
Lord Clement Jones' list of interests includes:
*12(b) Parliamentary lobbying
Partner of DLA Piper (international law firm) and adviser to its global government relations practice.
The member is paid £70,000 in respect of his services as Co-Chairman of DLA Piper’s global government relations practice
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldreg/reg06.htm (you'll need to scroll down a bit).
And who are DLA Piper I hear you ask?
'DLA Piper's Intellectual Property and Technology practice is one of the largest groups of IP lawyers in the world...
'When disputes arise, your commercial objectives are our main concern. Whether you turn to litigation, engage in arbitration or mediation, or employ some other innovative solution to the problem, our IP and Technology group will represent and support you at every stage. '
You'd almost think he was being paid to drum up business for them. Which, when you think about it, he is.
'Tropical rocks from the Sturtian, which have since migrated up to remote northwestern Canada, show unmistakable signs of having been covered in big ice back then.'
More correctly, the rocks haven't migrated. Canada has.
Is an epoch not an era.
And there's plenty of reasons not to even consider it a real epoch at all. It's shorter than most of the Pleistocene interglacials and there's no reason to think the glaciations have ended. It'd be better if we just considered ourselves living in an ongoing Pleistocene.
Mind you I have some sympathies with those that consider anything after the end of the PreCambian as geological 'drift'.
'Doom laden' more like
Phobos is in a degrading orbit and very soon* it is going to pile into Mars with the force of a million Michael Bay movies.
* Very soon here is in geological terms. About 11 million years give or take a rise and fall of civilisation.
Whatever happened to Moore's Law?
The specs of the current crop of netbooks isn't that far removed from the original Eee. Only the screens and the bills have got significantly bigger.
2Gb RAM would make many of these machines much more usable for day-to-day use.
Why do you choose 15 years as the point to start of your 'no more warming'? It's wrong anyway - NASA have 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004 (in that order) as the warmest years on record,
The MWP was not warmer than the current period, it was drier and it was a localised effect.
Sea ice in the Arctic is thinning and diminishing, it is growing in the Antarctic. That doesn't mean Antarctica is cooling, in fact its warming faster than pretty much anywhere on Earth. It does mean the circulation in the Antarctic Ocean is changing and less heat is being convected to the surface because meltwater is diluting the salinity of the surface layers of the ocean, reducing its density.
So the ice in the Himalayas isn't going as fast as one report says. But the evidence is clear, the vast majority of Himalayan glaciers are retreating.
Yes the climate has always changed, but its rarely been changing as fast as it is now in human history, and we're particularly vulnerable because we already use so much of the available resources whether that's water, agricultural land or areas built close to the sea.
The guy calls for scientists to be more open yet on every occasion he voted against opening up Parliament to external scrutiny.
Lost in Showbusiness
Not funny, terminally unfunny, pointless little carbon sink, buttock-clenchingly unfunny, Irish and yet still unfunny, 'chocolate or cherry?' 'Shotgun please', not that funny actually.
Think of them as a bunch of overpaid Butlins entertainers on wheels.
Is it wrong to wonder if they'll hit a big truck coming the other way?
Sony say they now know the cause of the problem and the fix should be along in the next 24 hours.
HOWEVER, they're saying all users of fat PS3s should NOT use their machines until the fix is released as there is a risk of data corruption for trophies and PSN purchases.
Details at: http://www.neowin.net/news/playstation-bug-cripples-quotfatquot-ps3-models-worldwide-2
Astonishingly, this info isn't even on the front page of the Playstation site. Sony's PR people should be taken out and lightly shot.
BTW. Sony's current slogan: 'It Only Does Everything (tm)'
Apart from work.
The other thing that did for our aircraft industry was putting all our eggs into the supersonic basket (thank you Tony Benn, another success to chalk up alongside ICL and the AGR). The money needed for that killed our relatively successful airliner business.
Congress vs. President
The President has proposed a budget which cancels Constellation. Congress has not yet approved the budget and might choose to reinstate the programme. Obama has said he will veto the revised budget if they do so.
But as many commentators above have said, this is a problem with a series of administrations and congresses who have kept chopping and changing NASA's mission whilst starving it of the money needed to engage in a long term project. NASA needs more money ring-fenced for these grand projects, but not just manned missions - it's time to go back to the Outer Solar System and start looking at those moons. We have nothing orbiting Jupiter looking at Europa and we should be seriously considering another probe to Saturn with the intention of seeing what the hell is going on down on Enceladus.
Let's have some of the excitement of the 1960s - yes it was expensive, but look at the advances America made in so many technological fields, look at the generation of engineers and scientists it spurred and look how much good will America garnered around the World. If America wants to be admired it needs something like an Apollo for the 21st Century.
If you want to have a little weep at the UK's deficit - take a look at this graphic:
Just go and buy TiVo
Then the Apple TV becomes a useful product.
Apple's original tablet had a faithful following as a device for medical applications. It's amazing battery life was one of the reasons it was so successful even after Windows CE machines came along with colour screens.
If only there was something like the Psion organisers around today that combined battery life, ergonomics and all-round loveliness.
One question - why are they allowed network devices in a hospital when we're expected to switch all our electronic gizmos off?
That's not the real question
He doesn't care about security or anything like that. His lifelong dream has been realised. Sir Joseph has been at the Home Office since year one and throughout that time the HO has been pressing for ID cards. It's hard to believe his anything other than a firm supporter of the scheme.
Our only hope is that Sir Joseph will be out of a job in a few weeks. No doubt to spend more time with his luxuriously furnished pension in the country.
'Why is the UK Government using taxpayer's money to impose the use of products and services of a company that's currently being investigated by the EU for anti-competitive practices and breaches of EU privacy laws?'
Since the British government is also currently being investigated by the EU for anti-competitive practices (Northern Rock) and breaches of EU privacy laws (Phorm/BT), they might just want Google's company.
Of course where things differ is that most people like Google, Google is successful and Google has lots of money.
Just got the bumph in the post
There's lots of stuff about the benefits, but the only way to opt out appears to be to make an appointment with your GP.
Well good luck with that around here. The only way of getting an appointment is to call at 08:15 (not 08:14 because the place is closed) and absolutely no later than 08:16 (because all of the places will be filled). Then, after being queued for ten minutes you have to satisfy the receptionist that you are suffering from something suitably serious to warrant an appointment, but not so serious that you should be at A&E. I'm pretty sure something along the line of 'I want to get off the spine' will be considered somewhat lower on the range of conditions than 'I cracked a nail.'
We wouldn't need a Vulcan (which did practically no damage anyway). We have cruise missiles so rather than crater a runway at the arse end of nowhere we could (hypothetically) redecorate an office of our choice at the Argentine Defence Ministry.
It's not as if BT stands for British Telecom is it?
BT stands for - erm - overcharging, inflexible, monopolistic, money-grabbing, scum-sucking knuckle-dragging parasites.
Seriously BT is the company's name, not an abbreviation. It's about as patriotic as BAe.
'"catastrophic" effect on public confidence in the government'
I don't think we need the cyberattack to have zero confidence in this bunch of control freak chimps.
Problem with breeder reactors
Is one word.
U238 is bred into Pu239 in a reactor. Fortunately for all of us, so far FBRs have been stupidly expensive, stupidly inefficient and stupidly unreliable so almost all countries have given up on the splendidly pyrotechnic mix of superheated plutonium, molten sodium and hot water.
We're already scared witless over the possibility of plutonium getting out of the fuel cycle and into the hands of the sort of people who shouldn't be trusted with a box of matches. And that's just with our existing light water reactors. Building reactors that are explicitly designed to make more of the stuff doesn't seem to be likely to end well.
The current treaties on the peaceful uses of nuclear power would give any country the right to make as much plutonium as they like in fast breeder reactors. They'd have to have reprocessing technology to recover the plutonium from the spent fuel and there is effectively no difference between bomb-grade and reactor grade plutonium if all you want is a relatively crude deterrent.
The thorium breeder has a similar problem. U233 is fast fissionable and as Operation Teapot showed in 1955 it makes for a delightfully pretty city buster.
Wasn't ever core (ahem) to the German uranium project which was run mainly by Kurt Diebner. Early on the Germans had decided to concentrate on the power generation potential of fission rather than the bomb, so the Norsk Hydro heavy water was absolutely key to their objectives in calculating the fissionability of uranium.
Fortunately for us the whole project never got a very high profile in the Reich (Speer reported that Hitler only showed a passing interest in the subject) and for a long time ended up being funded by the Reich Postal Ministry of all places. By the time the Germans got round to experimenting with uranium enrichment they were being bombed back to the stone age and there was a crippling shortage of key components.
The German uranium project was eventually wrapped up by the Allies as Operation Alsos (alsos - 'grove' in Greek. The Manhattan Project was run by General Leslie Grove). They recovered a near-criticality experiment and several tonnes of uranium, but nothing close to what the Americans, British and Canadians had achieved.
Oh and trivia buffs. The Joachimsthaler mines which provided the Germans with their uranium were the only source of the metal in Europe. They had also provided Marie Curie with the pitchblende in which she discovered radium and polonium. Uranium extraction had been a side effect of mining silver. Which was used in the local currency, called the thaler. Whose name lives on as 'the dollar'.
Richard Rhodes' 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb' is absolutely recommended reading for anyone interested in how we came to be where we are today.
It's unlikely that Xerox would have won the case anyway. After all they invited Apple in and got paid hard cash.
In 1979 Apple engineers had heard a lot about the Smalltalk work going on at PARC and got an agreement from Xerox that the company could buy 10,000 Apple shares (worth $1 million pre-IPO) in exchange for which Apple could see what was going on at PARC. Over the heads of some of PARC's staff, Xerox's management said Apple could see everything.
The Lisa team which was already well advanced with the OS, then began to implement a completely drag-and-drop interface which was well ahead of what Xerox had demonstrated. They were joined by many ex-PARC people who could see WiMP wasn't going anywhere under Xerox.
As for those shares. Xerox sold them for more than $17 million.
Apple did later agree to licence an ex-Xerox patent from a company called IP Innovation LLC, but that seems to relate to tabbed interfaces rather than WIMP per se.
Now firmly in Blackadder territory
Edmund: Ah. Well, let's start with the pardons, shall we?
Baldrick: Right. Well, this is a fair selection. Basically, you seem to get what you pay for. They run all the way from this one, which is a pardon for talking with your mouth full, signed by an apprentice curate in Tukesbury.
Edmund: Ah. How much is that?
Baldrick: Two pebbles. ...all the way up to this one, which is a pardon for (reads) anything whatsoever, including murder, adultery, or dismemberment of (Edmund reads along) a friend or relative.
Edmund: Who's that signed by?
Baldrick: Both popes.
Akron and Macon were built by Goodyear-Zeppelin, a partnership founded (quite brilliantly) in 1917, just before America joined World War I. Re-established in 1929, Goodyear got the rights to Zeppelin patents and people, Zeppelin (which was haemorraging money) got 10% of the partnership, hard cash and a guaranteed customer who could pay their bills.
The Zeppelin NT is still flying, there's one near the old Zeppelin works in Friedrichshafen that takes people over Lake Constance. IIRC there are two or three sister ships.
No, no, no...
It's an anti-fraud feature. Until El Reg broke the story, the Chilean Mint could identify real coins by checking to see if the name was spelt incorrectly. Now that cunning plan's been blown open they've had to resort to the back-up excuse that it was a terrible mistake.
Wasn't the 'Akron'
Twas the LZ126 / ZR3 'Los Angeles':
After this the US Navy refused to allow their ships to use high masts.
Here's how the Home Office normally goes about solving the problem
LONDON. British boffins have opened their shed doors, clamped pipes between their teeth and proudly unveiled the Home Office's solution to street crime; a problem which afflicts even pleasant parts of our Metropolis. The half ton cast-iron and glass wonder is called The British Aerospace Mark I Telephonic Communications Enclosure'. This commodious device about the size of an average living room has been styled by a avant-garde cathedral architect and incorporates the very latest in Bakelite technology.
Her Majesty's Minister for the Interior, the Right Honourable Alan Johnson MP, told this correspondent that the government soon hopes to have enclosures on every street corner so that even working class people can indulge in the latest craze of making 'telephone calls' for a modest sum and to provide convenient advertising locations for ladies working night shifts.
The enclosures, which are already being called 'phone boxes' by the low orders will be painted in a patriotic shade of red. Once again, Britannia leads the way!
Wasn't Bill Gates also unimpressed by the iPod and the iPhone? As a techno pundit he's somewhat lacking.
'uniformed opposition' - should be 'informed opposition'
Drayson is a pointless waste of perfectly good carbon isn't he?
A jumped up Labour Party donor who made his first fortune selling a batch of life-expired vaccines to - oh - a Labour government and then made another one selling smallpox vaccines to - a Labour government - without ever having to tender for the contract.
'Water' is the English name of the molecule H2O. Its phases are water ice, liquid water and water vapour. Since water can be found in all three phases in space, the clarification is needed.
'Ice' is also incorrect because some of the outer planets and their satellites are made of water ice with greater or lesser amounts of ammonia ice, methane ice... and don't get me started on the clathrates...
The Graf Zeppelin was always planned to be filled with hydrogen, it was only after the R101 burned that Zeppelin began considering helium as a lifting gas. Had the Graf been filled with helium she would not have been able to make transAtlantic flights. Zeppelin even cancelled the planned LZ128 for the same reason and began work on the much bigger LZ129 Hindenburg which would have been viable with helium.
Zeppelin did not have formal negotiations with the American government about using helium in Hindenburg, instead relying on their chief Hugo Eckener's close friendship with Roosevelt to try and release the gas. However, the President's hands were tied by Congress passing the Helium Control Act which forbade the large scale export of the gas. Hindenburg was redesigned at a late stage as a hydrogen-inflated ship (she would have originally had two sets of gas cells, the main ones filled with helium for lift, the second filled with hydrogen acting as anti-ballast which would be vented to offset the loss in weight from burning fuel).
Hindenburg was inflated with hydrogen on her first season, Zeppelin were confident they could handle the gas safely - they had never had a hydrogen fire on any of their civilian ships - and the airship performed superbly. During the winter of 1936/37 she was laid up and her accommodation expanded to take advantage of the greater lift from hydrogen. She returned to the TransAtlantic route in the spring of 1937 and burned shortly afterwards.
It was only after the Lakehurst disaster that the Zeppelin company approached the US for an export license for helium to inflate Graf Zeppelin II - the Hindenburg's near twin. The ship had been redesigned to accommodate helium, including advanced water recovery systems that would reduce the need for venting gas. Once again Eckener appealed to Roosevelt and was given permission to have the gas. However, Harold Ickes blocked the export in retaliation for Germany's annexation of the Rhineland.
Graf Zeppelin II was inflated with hydrogen but never made a commercial flight, the US having blocked any hydrogen-filled ships from their territory. She spent a short life on propaganda missions for the Nazis and trying to ferret out the secrets of Britain's radar chain. The original Graf Zeppelin was deflated and turned into a museum. Both were scrapped early in World War 2.
Any chance Tanzania will get its money back?
'The Sony will go flat just in standby in about 5 days..'
Really? I can get a couple of weeks out of the 505 - even more if I don't put a memory card in it and just rely on the internal memory.
Fantastic device, the iPad will have to be REALLY impressive if it is to be a better way of reading on the go. But I agree with you over the terrible Waterstone's eBook store. It's simply shocking, how Sony tolerate it I don't know.
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