3334 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
'The report also advocates scrapping the £380m fule subsidy for bus operators'
Okay, ignoring the typo, how does making buses even more uncompetitive against the car make for less congested roads?
'transparent prioritisation and coherence'
I hear the whale song calling...
...but she loses marks for failing to mention 'sustainability' or indeed 'public/private partnership end-to-end conflict resolution scenarios'.
Very disappointing, and from a New Labour minister at that.
Might be related to Wii - but not stock shortages
Pretty much everyone I know who has a Wii has stopped using it. It took off as a novelty, but a trickle of piss-poor games has turned Nintendo's little white box into a dust catcher. Wii-owners are looking for something new to entertain them and a cheaper PS3 is very tempting.
Greenwash from Red Ken
Ken's precious Hindenbuses will burn hydrogen made by cracking natural gas - which means they'll be less efficient than regular vehicles whilst still consuming fossil fuels.
I love the bit in the Reuters reports that they will reduce CO2 emissions in the capital - true, but only because the CO2 is released elsewhere. Annoyingly its a gas, so its warming effect will be felt everywhere, unless Ken can come up with a charging mechanism for any molecules crossing the North Circular.
It's be a shame to split Ken and Chavez, they make such a lovely pair of swivel-eyed demagogues.
Security checks at stations
Now this could be fun - let's assume its the bags open, coats off, shoes off, everythig but the Marygold glove of freedom treatment you get at airports these days.
How precisely is that going to be done in the 5 minutes between a train being announced and the doors closed? Or are we going to have to have 2 hour check-in times for the 09.20 to Droitwich?
The milling crowds at all major stations will always be a target, just as people waiting for check-in are soft targets.
This is nothing more than good old-fashioned Home Office fearmongering ahead of Jacqui Smith's first lock-em-up-an'-throw-away-the-key internment bill.
It might be worth reading the real history of the excavation of Tutankhamun before damning the Egyptians. It was Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon who wanted to break up the collection and sell to private collections and foreign museums; the Egyptians were adamant this would not happen.
Worse still, it appears that Carter and Carnarvon violated the terms of their licence to excavate in the Valley of the Kings. After opening the tomb they were under strict instructions to reseal the tomb and inform the authorities in Cairo. Instead they entered the tomb, broke a number of seals, moved objects and then covered their traces. It was at this time a number of items, never recorded in the official diaries, were removed from the tomb. They were discovered in Carter's home after his death (from lymphoma not a curse).
There is still some controversy over how much stuff was removed from the tomb. Regrettably it appears that Carter had intentions to take a much larger number of items, including the famous bust of the boy Tutankhamun. The statue found in a box destined for Carter's home in England when Egyptian authorities raided the site. It had not been recorded and Carter's excuse that it had been put there by mistake rings hollow when you see how meticulous he was elsewhere on the site.
So he was human too.
Any idea why Channel 4 and 5 aren't available for free via satellite?
IIRC my generic dish pointed at one of the Astra satellites can receive Channel 4, but it's encrypted pay-to-view.
Jeez how desperate would you have to be to pay for 'Celebrity How Clean is your Relocation, Relocation, Relocation' with Vernon Kay.
Well this is cheery news
Not news - the whereabouts of the trillions of blacker-than-coal bits of junk whirling around over our heads is a complete mystery.
News - we're not even able to pinpoint the position of stuff we've fired up in accordance to Newton and Kepler's laws.
Excellent sense of priorities there
Are we honestly meant to believe that polythene is the biggest problem faced by Londoners? Rather than try to tackle London's pollution, drugs, low-level crime, anti-social behaviour, guns or even some of the shocking deprivation, they're spending time, money and effort on trying to ban plastic bags.
As for the Britney hemp catsuit - do you think she could try it? Just for the sake of a scientific comparison.
'Lily is multi-talented'
She really is - ubiquitous AND annoying.
Relax - It's just a test
Of Britain's Olympic flame - fuelled by the world's largest chip pan fire.
The closing ceremony will be a moving event during which the Red Arrows will extinguish the sacred flame using a huge damp teatowel.
Oh this is going to work SO well:
If they follow up on the slogan "Everyone's unique. Let us keep it that way" we'll all be charged a 25% single's supplement on top of the cost of the ID card for a minuscule second-rate Blunkettcard smelling faintly of tramp.
'More to the point, he admitted the argument was largely symbolic - the two sides are fighting for the prestige of winning rather than because of any significant technological superiority.'
Tw*t - there are only two sides because his company split with the DVD Forum who had already agreed on HD-DVD as the follow on standard to DVD.
Sony's greed to control every aspect of new media brought this situation about and it's helping sink them.
Rise of the terylene Terminators
Wardrobes around the world will never be safe again!
Contract law is with Tesco
The Web page is nothing more than a legal 'invitation to treat' - that is an offer to enter negotiations which if completed will result in a legal contract. It has the same status as goods on a shelf, a shop window display or an advert.
Clicking on the button and going through the check-out constitutes the act of 'offering' a price for the goods. Tesco must then choose to accept or reject your offered price (£35) for an XBox 360 + goodies.
If they choose to accept and your card is debited (you are said to have provided 'consideration') then a contract is brought into being between you and the store. Tesco would be legally obliged to supply you with the XBox 360 for the minuscule sum being advertised.
HOWEVER - either party is able to walk away from the process right up until the acceptance of the offer provided they inform the other party they are doing so. This is what Tesco will do; they will say there was an error, you card was not debited and they're sorry for the inconvenience. They are not obliged to you in any way.
Correspondingly, if your offer of £35 was accepted by Tesco you would be obliged to pay it otherwise you would fall foul of the contract that would exist between you.
Obviously, contract law gets much more complex than this, mainly around what exactly constitutes a legal relationship, what consideration is and so on - all of which helps explain why contract lawyers are quite so rich.
Set the Daily Mail on Camelot
Not just for promoting the sin of gambling, but also for using Metric units when good old British Fahrenheit* would have prevented the problem in the first place.
* Just don't tell the editor that Mr. Fahrenheit was German.
Paris Hilton - finds God, renounces fortune, joins nunnery
Totally irrelevant, but guarantees lots of page hits.
Gosh I'm too cynical
I always assumed that MI5 had routine access to the DNA database. Now I realise that I'm actually more cynical than Nu Labour.
It's a bit like finding you're plutonium in the periodic table of life.
Re: Independent verification
The people who don't think America landed on the Moon with Apollo are hardly going to be mollified by other images are they? Their denials of the totality of the evidence is every bit as absurd as the creationists denial of evolution.
But to answer the question, AFAIK Chang'e I's camera is quite low resolution (c. 100m) and designed for stereoscopic work, so it won't be able to pin-point the landers already on the surface. Japan's Kaguya probe, also orbiting the Moon has a 10m resolution so it could probably pick out the lower stages of the Apollo LMs and the Apollo lunar rovers against the lunar backdrop.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter due for launch in 2008 will be photographing most of the Moon at 50cm resolution. NASA have announced they will be taking images of all the lunar landing sites.
Nice job guys
This is the same government which is telling us (at the sharp end of a huge fine) to hand over all of our most personal data and to trust them to look after it?
Is there an icon for hiding under the bedsheets?
Wasn't it more traditional for the captain to go down with his ship?
...was on The World this Weekend and her denial of the Mirror story seemed very precisely worded. When asked about the reports the government was planning on scrapping ID cards for British citizens, Hazza opined:
'Well I think that's false, we're absolutely clear that we're going to have proper biometric identification for people from abroad who are in this country...'
Brian Hanrahan interrupted and reiterated the question about abandoning ID cards for Brits, she continued:
'there's no change in our policy that's been announced.'
It's like the good old days of Kremlinology.
Fabulous quote from a minister
According to the Mirror report:
'A minister involved in the original ID card plan proposed by former premier Tony Blair said: "Time and technology has moved on. We now have photo driving licences and isometric passports are being introduced. They fulfil the role of ID cards."'
Isometric passports - not only do they stop terror, they keep you fit at the same time.
What a shame the odious little shite was caught before he did us all a favour and drove into a wall.
Not just sales tax
Folks, most consumer goods in the US have a 90 day warranty. In the UK it is a minimum of 1 year, on top of which you have all the obligations under the Sale of Goods Act which can extend for up to six years from the date of purchase.
Those are sizeable costs which companies have to recoup when trading in the UK.
The biggest reason to dump the panel is because it isn't fully extended it doesnt have the capacity to serve all the new instruments being installed on the station.
But NASA is also concerned that the torn area will continue to release small fragments of material that could cause damage to other parts of the station by fouling machinery.
Pasties - in Devon?
Lewis, you might just have offended the entire Cornish readership of El Reg - all four of them.
It's bad enough that people think of Devon clotted cream, but pasties?
Hold on - that's a really good point. What are people meant to do if they're enjoying their double bed and the plane hits turbulence.
Are Singapore Airlines really fitting their beds with restraints?
Is there a growth market for transonic airborne dungeons?
America and fossil fuels
Stand back, I'm a geologist, this could get rocky (my coat? yes the one with the extra long sleeves that tie up at the back)...
America actually doesn't have a huge amount of oil. The USGS estimate, which is higher than almost anyone else's, puts proven US reserves at about 22 billion barrels (the precise number fluctuates depending on the price of petroleum) - about 2.5% of global reserves or 3.5 years of US consumption.
The potential for large new discoveries in the US is very low as the country has been thoroughly explored. There is some potential in very deep continental shelf traps and the very high Arctic, but it is always worth remembering that US oil production peaked in 1971 despite huge new production from fields under the North Slope and Gulf of Mexico.
Unconventional oil - shale and tar get more attractive as oil prices rise, but the US reserves of shale are predominantly in Colorado and Wyoming. They could be economically mined with current prices, but there is an insurmountable problem that one barrel of oil from shale needs three barrels of water - and the West is drying up as its water supplies are diverted to irrigation and the city. Shale is too bulky to transport for refining, so that problem seems to have no solution.
Hydrogenation of coal, yep it's a possibility, the new governor of Montana has said his state should become America's gas tank. Whether he could politically get the citizens of Big Sky country to accept the environmental cost is another matter. The same problem of water also applies - Montana has been in a two year drought now and much of the state is quite dry.
Finally, all reforming of hydrocarbons into synthetic crude produces enormous quantities of CO2. Even American politicians are starting to realise that global warming is a real problem and not a Hollywood plot gone wrong.
'The fact of the matter is the Battle of Britain was really quite trivial in the grand scheme of things because like I said all evidence points to the fact Germany did not have either the material or doctrine to carry out a large scale ampihous assault on the UK mainland.'
Actually, Germany didn't need to occupy Britain to achieve its aims.
The Nazis always hoped that they could emasculate Britain, first by the defeat of the Expeditionary Forces at Dunkirk, later the Battle of Britain and finally the wholesale bombing of British cities. They thought a demoralised public would turn on the government and demand peace - Schirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich' contains a number of speeches from Hitler alternately cajoling the British towards peace, then threatening them with utter destruction.
A neutral Britain, or better still a compliant Britain would have freed up the German fleet, allowed troops to move East and prevented any supplies from reaching Russia. Later on, it wouldn't have provided a staging post for the Americans and Canadians to invade continental Europe.
So whilst it wasn't a huge battle like those on the Eastern Front or in the Pacific, the consequences of the Battle of Britain were enormous.
'If a dog was left on its own outside a shop in North London it would have been stolen in less than ten minutes.'
Either that or up on bricks with the ears smashed in.
'My friend's Dorsets would have taken their arms off :-)'
Dorsets? That's a euphamism isn't it?
Copyright vs. Trade marks
'I don't want to go into a legal brief here but at least in the States you have to defend copyright or you can lose it. '
I'm pretty sure you're thinking of trade marks. In the US and UK (at least), copyright can only be lost by actually giving it away.
Trade marks must be actively defended otherwise they undergo (here comes today's fabulous word) genericide.
Come on America - the Lippisch company designed a ramjet powered supersonic coal-fired fighter as long ago as 1944:
Thankfully, the Nazis desperate shortage of firelighters put an end to that project.
'In Finland, long-distance trains travelling when the clocks change spend spend an hour in the nearest station until things make sense again.'
Ah we don't have that problem. Thanks to the unparalleled professionalism of Britain's privatised rail network, you can never be sure what time your train is going to arrive even when the clocks aren't changing.
'If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear'
Ah this'd be the same Shahid Malik who voted in favour of an intrusive state detaining people without charge and who also backed intrusive compulsory identity cards.
You'd have thought Malik have learned something from being pulled over twice by the DHS, but rather than worry about the state becoming too powerful, he's bleating that politicans should be treated with kid gloves - or rather no gloves at all - the rest of us should expect to receive the latex finger of freedom.
I guess we'll have to stomach him touring the TV studios tonight whining about his 'ordeal', then we'll have to stomach him trooping into the government lobby when the next Home Office sponsored internment bill gets its time in the limelight.
Then we'll have another minister with a shiny new logo and equally shiny spindoctor ready to run up their expense account.
Between working for various Russian gas companies, the new Minister for Hot Air will be able to engage in high-season fact-finding trips to exotic foreign beach resorts (alongside the foreign secretary), sign European treaties promoting low-carbon langoustine (alongside the European minister), hold multimedia summits in some of England's finest golf resorts (alongside the environment secretary) and host charity save the planet jetsetting concerts (alongside Ant and Dec).
Shocked! I. AM! Shocked - Khhhaaaaaaannnn!!!!
Time to see if Gordon Brown is as shallow as his predecessor.
Do you think we could get an official response to a petition on the Number 10 Website demanding El Shat's inclusion in the new merchandising adventure?
Apple has a support page here...
As someone else who grew up in an area historically famed for wreckers and pirates
Sorry Neil, that's not the case.
The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 says that anyone recovering material from a shipwreck has to inform the owner of the goods *AND* the Receiver of Wreck. If the goods are worth more than £5000 then Lloyds of London must also be notified. If the salvor does not perform these actions and retains the items, or sells them on, then their actions are considered to be criminal.
The material becomes theirs if, and only if, the owner of the goods expresses no interest in its recovery. If the owner wants their goods back then they must be returned. In exchange for which the Receiver of Wreck ensures the salvor is suitably rewarded.
And I grew up in Cornwall whose wreckers made those of Dorset look like rank amateurs. Currently, my closest stretch of water is the Grand Union Canal which isn't nearly as good for the old 'donkey an' a lamp' enrichment procedure.
Come on El Reg
You should be mailing this guy, passing on God's BLESSINGS for his VENTURE. Then ask for his address and bank account details so that you can deposit ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS from that well-known Liverpudlian philanthropist Mrs. Cherie Blair.
Novel collision between 'legitimate journalism' and 'Paul Dacre'
Could this be anything to do with the fact that the Mail was one of the few papers that didn't crucify Brown over his recent decision to abandon an election?
Not to mention that wooing the Mail has been a staple New Labour policy since before they came to power. With Dacre being allowed to set government policy on the media, Brown can be sure he won't get too many Mail editorials gushing about Cameron.
Errr if you're so annoyed about the format war caused by two incompatible formats why aren't you demanding that Blu-Ray is abandoned? The DVD Consortium named HD-DVD as the official follow-on to DVD *before* Blu-Ray was even demonstrated. HD-DVD finalised a standard and shipped players before the rival camp had even decided what should go into a Blu-Ray spec (and by the state of recent events even the specification is still up for grabs).
Blu-Ray was nothing more than an attempt by Sony to own the entire media production cycle from content creation through to encoding, licencing, disk manufacture and playback devices. It's also incredibly customer unfriendly. If Blu-Ray wins, we all lose.
As for Microsoft, they were a founder member of the HD-DVD group so they are hardly meddling in the market.
But I do agree with you on one point, Microsoft definitely sees XBox Live as the way of delivering high definition content to the home. The market is theirs to take and they'd be foolish to lose the download market to Apple for a second time.
Hotol Mk II
'Ello, ello, ello, this looks vaguely familar - why it's a revamped version of lan Bond's Skylon which was a revamped version of Alan Bond's Hotol - the British space plane that was going to revolutionise travel in the 1980s.
The clever bit about Hotol was that its engine could be reconfigured in flight to switch from low-altitude air breathing to a true rocket. The not so clever bit about Hotol was that it was British and therefore doomed by lack of funding and vision.
Third time lucky folks?
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