3578 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
Ask a loaded question
'Today the proportion wishing for a less dangerous online life is 28 per cent.'
Hmmm isn't this the official reason for Phorm?
@ Anonymous Coward
'Oh, except Blair gave us the Parliament Act '
Actually though they're the sort of law that would give him wet dreams, Blair got beat to it - twice, once in 1911 and once in 1949. However New Labour have abused the two Parliament Acts and used them far more than any other government.
Labour is also committed to further reducing the power of the Lords should it be re-elected, further tipping powers towards the executive in the Commons.
As for extending the life of a Parliament...
The Parliament Act 1911 set the term to a maximum of five years, but that is not absolute. A series of acts passed in the Second World War extended Parliament for a maximum of ten years on the grounds that an election would be a distraction and potentially divisive during a crisis.
So a government could introduce a bill that struck down all or part of the Parliament Act 1911 and simply declare a new maximum term (we've had maximum terms of both three and seven years in the past); or they could try and declare a situation so serious that an election wasn't in the country's best interests.
I'd hope that there are still enough members of the Parliamentary Labour Party that neither of those are a goer.
'They used to show pictures of him in the local press everytime that the C&E popped round to make sure he wasn't actually imbibing the product.'
Bizarre, you'd have thought even Customs and Excise would know that the main side-effect of swigging methanol is to be found lightly dead.
The real drawback of methanol as a fuel (as if being toxic wasn't enough) is that it is highly corrosive to materials like plastics and aluminium. You can burn it in your car, but don't be too surprised if bits start dropping off.
Awesome writing Sarah
Thanks, but since you brought the subject up...
Tom Cruise in 'Valkyrie'.
Not only demands the line 'aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?', but raises the horrifying possibility that he might do an oh-so-serious worthy movie pulling a German accent.
In which case bagsie the popcorn, this could be the most definitive Nazi movie since 'The Producers'.
If you'd thought about it, you'd have cast doubts on the ability of the lovely Italians, then you could expect lots of leggy Mediterranean minxes descending on Vulture Towers wanting to give you a very stern talking to.
Should be mandatory...
...to have cops in every cinema audience. It might be the only way to stop members of the audience talking, making and taking phone calls, jumping up and down and generally being pains in the ass.
@ Anonymous from Mars
'YANKEE HOTEL FOXTRAUT BRAVO INDIA ALPHA GULF SIERRA OHSCAR ZULU NOVEMBYR KILO JULIET'
And a vowel please Carol.
Bloody BBC iPlayer
If only I didn't like listening to live radio - then I could junk RealPlayer once and for all and only be left with the sucktitude that is Flash on the Mac.
Okay setting aside the Greenpeace hyperbole
They do seem to have a point - in part. Since none of the new nuclear plants have ever been announced, let alone designed, tendered and built; there would seem to be available tap in points waiting to be used as older plants are decommissioned.
It's obvious that wind turbines and presumably wave can be constructed and deployed faster than a new nuclear plant; so why not give offshore renewables priority access to the existing terminals and build additional grid capacity at the same time as the new nuclear stations go up?
Or is that dangerously joined-up thinking?
@ Roger Kynaston
'imagine if This (and previous crashes) had been the National Identity Card.'
'And tonight Matthew I will be Gordon Brown.'
I feel your pain.
I'm £24 in credit with Tiscali after closing my account.
Not only have they failed to send me the balance; but (and this is the surreal bit), they referred my case to a bailiff. So I'm waiting for a burly bloke to smash the door down and leave something valuable behind.
Is it defamation to say
That both companies are shit?
With councils having these powers none of the local terrorists will be getting their kids into the good schools - hah, bet you didn't think of that Osama!
Best opening line of an article ever
Makes things much clearer
Parcelforce clearly use the same satnav system.
You want the sound of the most appallingly loud, buttock-clenchingly badly tuned, polar-bear drowningly inefficient engine ever to come out of 1970s Detroit.
Then pull up next to a lentil knitter's recumbent bike and watch them keel over from a heady mix of malnutrition and apoplexy.
undeclared carbon dioxide
Does this mean SodaStreams now have to be licenced?
One of the reports yesterday mentioned the government can now demand entry to your house to look for bears.
@ Charles Manning
Actually the Russians didn't get it right from the start. Their robot sample return missions were a fall-back when they realised there was no way their N1 Moon rocket was not going to be ready in time to beat the Saturn V.
They did consistently beat America with their Luna probes but this was down to the greater throw weight of the R7 launcher and its derivatives over American rockets of the time. But the American Ranger, Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter probes were more or less doing the same job as the early Luna probes.
Where the Russians really scored was Lunokhod which roved the Moon for months and could be sent into areas that it was impossible to put manned landers. It's a shame they didn't go on with later missions - a robot roving the far side would have been awesome - but the technological problems would have been huge.
The astronauts of Apollo did an impressive job bearing in mind with one exception, none of them were geologists; but the lack of time was crippling. Expeditions on Apollo 15 and 17 had to be curtailed because of lack of oxygen. Maybe the best solution will be for future astronauts to have a robot buddy they can drop off at sites of interest and leave it to do a prolonged study of the area when they blast off back to Earth.
I suppose I'm grouchy because I was too young to be an astronaut when Apollo was sending men to the Moon and now I'm too old for the next missions. If anyone from NASA is reading - PLEASE - I was a doozy at studying europium anomalies in lunar samples - and I can't use that line in my CV anywhere else!
@ Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
Putin: 'short, failed lieutenant general'
Hmmm let me see, became President of the Russian Republic, took control of the World's second largest nuclear arsenal, started rebuilding the military, brought the economy under control, cracked down on low-level corruption, made sure the West took Russia seriously, rebuilt the country's foreign currency reserved, seen by the Russian people as one of their greatest leaders, and is now Prime Minister.
Nice - no; scary - absolutely; failed - certainly not.
At bloody last
In the dim and distant 1970s, when we still had proper summers, I learned land area in ares and hectares; never acres - so what's the fuss? Just the same as I only ever saw SI units in school.
Surely the majority of people in the UK have now only learned SI and metric in school it's time to get rid of the ridiculous Imperial system once and for all?
Where's this money suddenly come from? The government is flat broke and another huge wodge of cash comes along all of a sudden. It'd be nice to see this sort of money being promised to build the high speed train links we're going to need RSN if the rail network isn't to grind to a complete halt.
The current hypothesis of planetary formation is that the building blocks of the planets really don't much resemble what we see today - instead their bulk composition was probably much more like cometary matter - rich in volatile compounds like water, methane and ammonia. So the proto-Mars would have had much more water present than we see today. When these rocks were being formed, Mars was regularly receiving fresh supplies of water courtesy of the huge cometary impacts which helped carve out the Martian craters.
As for where it went. A good deal would have been converted into hydrated minerals in the Martian crust (like these phyllosilicates), some would have migrated into the subsoil permafrost, but the vast majority has been lost forever because Mars is too small.
Being small, Mars' interior cooled quickly and solidified. As it did so, the Martian magnetic field would have collapsed to the current pitiful strength. The magentic field helps shield the Martian atmosphere from the solar wind, no field and the wind can impact straight on to the atmosphere where sub-atomic particles tear molecules - such as water - apart. The free hydrogen atoms have velocities considerable in excess of Mars' escape velocity and are lost to space, the free oxygen wouldn't have escaped, but would have reacted with rocks and been locked away in the crust.
As the atmosphere was eroded, the liquid phase of water would not be possible on the Martian surface; water only being found in the form of ice or water vapour. Any vapour is vulnerable to being lost to space, so the process continues.
Why it's so hard
NASA in the 1960s was receiving twice as much money (adjusted for inflation) as they are now and only had to worry about funding one major project at a time - not the mishmash of projects that they've been tasked with by various Congresses.
If the ISS was abandoned as the useless white elephant it is and the Shuttle immediately retired as being pointless without the ISS, NASA might have the money to begin working on the Orion project.
@ Anonymous Coward
'Incidentally I believe the biggest problem with Ares so far is vertical oscillations (pogoing) caused by the fundamental way a solid rocket motor runs, burning along the whole length of the tube. STS (the shuttle) doesn't suffer from this as there are two boosters tied together by the ET.'
Pogoing was a major problem with the Saturn V which was never entirely resolved. The unmanned Apollo 6 suffered such sever pogo that several pieces came off the rocket and it came close to structural failure. Apollos 11, 12 and 13 all experienced severe vibration during launch. On 13, the rocket very nearly never got into orbit; pogo caused one of the engines to shut down just before it tore loose of its mounting - which would have destroyed the rocket. Later flights used a slightly redesigned Saturn V and were much less rough on their crew.
Unfortunately pogo is one of those things that can't really be simulated on the ground with static tests, you can attempt to eliminate it at the design phase but the only real test is to light the candle - which is expensive and risky.
It's also worth pointing out that the Soviet N1 Moon rocket was destroyed by pogo in its last flight. The rocket was within seconds of completing the first successful burn of its first stage when pogo caused the computer to begin shutting down engines; the rocket tumbled out of control and exploded. With four out of four failures, the N1 was cancelled.
Mine's the hoodie with the gold tinted visor.
The Open University has put a nice clip of one of their old TV programmes on YouTube, featuring the noble gases, a man on the brink and some provocatively chunky knitwear:
Push, shove, doesn't matter...
...MobileMe is broken.
The introduction has been even more of a fiasco than last week's iPhone 3G launch.
Perhaps I'm missing something
If Apple spend time and money developing an operating system why *shouldn't* they be able to dictate the conditions on how it's used?
Shouldn't that be iPod dock?
Gets pretty expensive
Even though they won't be charging for streaming movies, the cost of XBox Live and a Netflix subscription is pretty expensive.
If they bundled a basic Netflix subscription into the Gold package that might go some way towards justifying the price of Live. Sony don't charge for their online service, nor do Nintendo, and whilst Live is the best of the online gaming services, it's still pretty expensive for what it offers.
...will be about 67 million people.
This will be followed by the incorporation of all voluntary organisations, youth work schemes and schools into a single government regulated body; anyone refusing to join will be imprisoned as a danger to the community as a potential paedophilic terrorist. May I suggest calling it the Brown Shirts? Such a snappy name it's hard to see why they haven't used it already.
And the winner is...
...on stylistic grounds, the F22 - handsome beast. No TSR-2 I grant you, but it doesn't look like it was designed by a committee.
It's a bit more complex than 555 being a fictional area code.
Only 555-0100 to 555-0199 are reserved for film and television use. The remainder of the 555-xxxx can be used; IIRC 555-1212 is local directory enquiries throughout the US.
There were plans a while back for 555-xxxx to be used for getting hold of local franchises - so 555-APPL might get you the nearest Apple store to your present location, but AFAIK this has not become common.
Now another question - why have British companies never followed the Americans and used handy mnemonics for their telephone numbers?
@ Gianni Straniero
Actually the cause of the Hindenburg burning at Lakehurst is still disputed, analysis of the fire does not support the dope theory as much as its proponents would like to admit.
Hydrogen IS too deadly to use; the Graf Zeppelin is pretty much the only airship to have ever had a long successful career whilst being lifted with hydrogen. If you want examples of other hydrogen-fed disasters, then choose from the British / American R38, the British super-ship the R101, the French record-breaking Dixmude or a terrible number of WW1 Zeppelins that burned in the air - all because of hydrogen and nothing to do with their doping.
Zeppelin themselves recognised the risk from hydrogen and designed the Hindenburg to be inflated with helium; however, the US refused to export the gas to Germany because of Nazi re-armament policies and the fear that it might be diverted into a military airship programme. So Hindenburg was inflated with hydrogen and made a successful first season of travel to the US. Over the winter when it was laid up, the ship's accommodation was expanded to make use of the extra lift provided by hydrogen. The airship never finished that season.
Might have missed it
I was waiting for iTunes to authenticate my iPhone so I was kind of distracted.
This is shambolic
And this time Apple have to take the blame.
I got the original iPhone back in November and getting that working was less smooth than it should be. I assumed they would have noticed the long delays in getting to iTunes last year and geared up accordingly. But no, today's upgrade to 2.0 is even worse.
@ Ioannis above. Good point I wonder if they'll refund people who can't use their paid-for service because of this shambles.
@ Kenny above. Yup .Mac/Mobile Me/Me is up, down, up, down, up, down. Mail is still working, but nothing else.
Next time guys - stagger these events. Firmware release BEFORE a new product launch to keep existing customers happy. And don't bugger round with a vital service at the same time.
Thank God the Reg is still working, it'd be like the 19th Century here if I didn't know everyone else was watching the iPhones go out one by one.
If the Chinese do solve the problem of voluminous expectoration, can they share the secret so that we can do the same to younger people in this country.
Mine's the one with 'Bah! Humbug' on the back marked out in Werther's Original wrappers.
Oh to be a fly on the wall at O2
When their MD gets a well-deserved Jobsian bollocking for screwing up one of the highest profile product launches of the year.
Something tells me O2 can forget getting the rights to the next phone. 3 years exclusivity will be out the window when O2 have shown themselves to be manifestly incapable of selling the product.
Must be a first
"It is simply unacceptable that consumers are being misled by these screen-scrapers into paying 'handling charges' for Ryanair’s flights when they can purchase the same flights with no handling charge on www.ryanair.com,"
RyanAir complaining about people having to pay unwarranted charges???
Taking it to the logical Blearsian conclusion
Offer them money if they vote the right way.
Either that or a chance to win a passion-filled night with New Labour's Poison Dwarf.
...now will the Japanese government fund my purchase of a 40W 40" OLED TV?
Part of me likes to think that Jacqui Smith is in her office sacking the bright-young-thing who came up with to the idea of this site. But a much larger part of me hopes she remains blissfully unaware for a bit longer.
As spin-doctoring operations go mylifemyid is a John Redwood / Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau moment.
Can we look forward to daily 'best-of's?
'Ah well, when the oil drought hits aviation fuel a bit harder, Ryanair will be first against the wall -- their target market will be the first to stop flying.'
Sadly, for all sorts of reasons - environmental and moral - RyanAir will be one of the last companies to hit the wall. They've got a modern fleet that sips less fuel, they run at very high load values and they aren't tied into the expensive major hubs so they can switch routes easily enough. Not to mention their scamtastic marketing suckers people into buying flights with them when the final cost is only a little less than flying with an airline which gives a damn* and takes you where you want to go and not a tin shed in the wrong time zone.
The ones that are going to go are the heavily indebted fleets with archaic business practices, protected by anti-competitve legislation, massive pension commitments and total reliance on big airports. Which is pretty much the whole of the American airline industry with the possible exception of SouthWest.
* SAS if you must know - no not the blokes in balaclavas.
BBC education programming
'For example, a close reading of the production figures shows BBC2 has reduced its education programming by almost half – from 1374 to 785 hours. No doubt this change has some underlying significance.'
A good part of this is because the Open University has lost its late-night BBC2 'Learning Zone' broadcasting slot; instead the BBC switches over to the wondrous rolling car crash of fluffed links, missing captions and wrong clips that is BBC News.
Just think, generations of British youth will no longer discover the wonders of geology, organic chemistry and pure mathematics simply because they've staggered home in the wee small hours and just flicked on the TV - this is a cultural tragedy.
'Combine Tennis, Foxhunting, Waterpolo and Target Shooting and make a sport that is actually worth watching.'
Now that mate - is genius.
Forget the TV...
...I want that jacket.
The simplest way to reduce food costs and supply enough to feed the population is to stop feeding grain and soya to animals in feedlots. The US could support three or four times its current population by switching its grain harvest from animals to humans.
This doesn't mean a veggie world, it means meat becoming relatively more expensive; but the meat we would get would be tastier.
A far more interesting question about tongue is:
'Can it taste you eating it?'
Plotting MPs' second homes on Google Maps. Then they can use that info to find their nearest John Lewis store.
The perspex bit at the bottom is there simply because Asus couldn't be bothered to design a proper stand. It also means I wouldn't be able to tuck my keyboard underneath to retrieve a bit of desk space - something I do like about the iMac / CinemaDisplay monitors.
I like my Eee a lot, but increasingly Asus are looking like headless chickens frantically hoping to strike gold a second time.
Next year's Apprentice
'...they'll be working for no-nonsense entrepreneur Alan Sugar who controls a property empire worth more than £800.'
- Vid Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum
- Updated + vids WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH
- 10 years of Facebook Inside Facebook's engineering labs: Hardware heaven, HP hell – PICTURES
- Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic
- Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base