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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1505 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Swiss, German physicists split the electron

Graham Dawson
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Re: Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!

AC, with those sorts of charges you're going to be lepton.

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RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service

Graham Dawson
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Re: Today London lost Ceefax!

Is Lewis Page an Oracle? It would explain a lot.

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Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

Graham Dawson
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Re: Maybe?

Knowing the difference between acid and alkali is not comparable to knowing how to fiddle with a stylesheet.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: A little bit of knowledge does no harm - it's essential

"The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides .. yup, use that regularly."

I do. It's very handy when you're building a house, just as a random example that has nothing at all to do with what I do (which is building, don'tcha know). Or even if you're a software developer who wants to, I don't know, program something to display a triangle on a screen.

Of course, I learned such things back when the GCSE mathematics papers required long written answers.

Which is to say nothing about the point of the article anyway. Which point, I should add, makes a great deal of sense to me. Some things should be compulsory, but teaching computer skilzzzzzz isn't one of them as it tends to be either a skive-off class or actively puts people off getting involved in software development. GCSE IT is a complete faff.

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Graham Dawson
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Re: Computer languages and software interfaces may fall under copyright protection

Look at it this way: who has the copyright on English?

Nobody. And nobody will get it either, or any other spoken or written language, because it's a stupid idea to copyright language. Yet change the language to java and suddenly you seem to think it makes sense. Why? Both are frameworks for the expression of ideas. We could, if we wanted, hold conversations in Java or any other programming language, and we'd be able to express ideas and understand one another just as any other spoken language (with a little more difficulty and syntactical sugar, I suppose, but still).

APIs and interfaces are like idiomatic, culturally shared shorthand for particular concepts that might be expressed in other, longer ways. They're the equivalent of a raised eyebrow at the sight of Orlowski arguing against copyrighting something or the exhalation of air that says so much about your mood, what you want, what you don't want, and just how stupid some people can be to believe idiocies that make no sense.

Do you understand the problem with copyrighting language now?

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Hold on, Booker prize judges - Stob's penned a steampunk hit

Graham Dawson
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Re: Enjoyed that

@Jimmy

More of a tradition.

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Graham Dawson
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Re: Don't look too much at the past

I have been begging the world for multiplayer Elite for years to no avail. I would almost literally kill for it to happen. Or possibly dump garbage on the edge of the solar system...

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RIP wind power: Minister blows away plans for more turbines

Graham Dawson
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Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.

PWRs are also more than 30 years old and have been superceded by several generations of much safre passively cooled reactors that require action to maintain the reaction rather than actiion to prevent it.

fukushima is an old reactor that should have been shut down years ago but wasn't because of people like you screaming about the idea of new replacement reactors being built.

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If Google's only taking a COPY of your personality, why worry?

Graham Dawson
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Internet fame! Huzzah! Time to announce a new web 3.0 collaboration site for famous commenters and get bought out by Brin or someone for a brajillion dollars!

What? My fame is gone already? Dang...

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It's all in the wrist: E-ink smartwatch Pebble bags $2m

Graham Dawson
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Since we're on the subject of watches and phones, you know what I've always wanted? A phone built into a pocket watch. IT would be marvellous. I have no idea why, it just would be.

Anyway I shall be looking out for these. I wonder though, do they keep time when you haven't got your phone with you? If it can be used as "just a watch" as well, it'll be great.

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Facebook defends support for CISPA monitoring bill

Graham Dawson
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Re: Uh, yeah. Right....

Or for those who are of the more lefty persuasion, imagine this power in the hands of a future Rumsfeld or Cheney.

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Sweden: talk, text and drive? OK

Graham Dawson
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Re: Different

I don't quite get all the downvotes. He's right, you know.

Besides, my father in law (who ois Swedish) drives like a nut all the time yet never uses his mobile phone while he's driving. I think he's more dangerous than the moose...

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Android spanking iOS in world's BIGGEST mobile market

Graham Dawson
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@pepper

Maemo is quite good, yes, but I do wish it had a more reliable browser and e-mail client. Every browser I've tried has been either bloated, broken or, in the case of the default, both.

That said, my gripe is somewhat tempered by the fact that I can compile code on the phone and install dosbox. :D

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Shuttle Discovery to buzz Washington DC at 1,500 feet

Graham Dawson
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Re: Those stats sum up how shuttles never lived up to the sales pitch

What are you talking about? Concorde made a profit of around 30 million a year for most of its operating life for BA.

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Whisky IN SPAAAAACE: Zero-G Scotch is matured aboard the ISS

Graham Dawson
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Windows

Re: UltraPedantry alert

3 years in Scotland if you want to call it Scotch Whisky. There are a number of non-scottish single malts that have every right to all themselves whisky, rather than whiskey, because they're matured for the right amount of time in the right sort of barrels, just not in Scotland. I just bought one fromÖland. just the other day. Bit pricy but i think it's worth it just for the uniqueness. Quite tasty too, though a little young...

Mackmyra is also quite good, and there's Penderyn from Wales, and that new English whisky that's currently raising its profile selling a "story" of various stages of its whisky's development. It shows great potential.

As yu may have guessed I have a thing about unusual whisky. :)

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Aged not Distilled

Current distillation methods rely on gravity, yes, but I'm sure a little human ingenuity and perhaps a centrifuge will sort something out. Orrr... something like an Archimedes screw jammed in the neck of an old pot still..

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'Don't break the internet': How an idiot's slogan stole your privacy...

Graham Dawson
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Re: A really good start...

Now this is an idea I like.

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Graham Dawson
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You seem to be arguing from an invalid position regarding copyright. The law already stands: materials are copyright the moment they are created. There's no need for the increasingly repressive and unworkable new copyright laws currently lobbied for as they are solving a problem that doesn't exist, attempting to extend the meaning of copyright to places it was never meant to go, or attempting to snatch works from their owners so they can be handed over to the state or huge copyright mills.

Enforce the laws that exist rather than creating new ones. Of course that leaves copyright as a mostly civil matter in the UK, which is apparently an undesirable outcome for some people.

Conflating the copyright issue with personal privacy is a non-starter as well. Our "traffic data" is not a copyright problem and making it one opens up all sorts of problems, not least being who actually gets the copyright on that traffic data - the person it is recording, or the entity that made the recordings of that person?

In addition it's been established by precedent in the UK for centuries that we have the right to freely move about without interference from the government or its agents, under any name, without unjust challenge. It's been a bit battered recently but it's there - and it applies to everything we do, not just wandering the hills and dales. This ancient freedom establishes a right to privacy far more robust and flexible than the EU-inspired human rights bullcrap, which is so full of caveats and exceptions that it might as well not exist.

Not that any amount of legislation matters a jot when the government is intent on ignoring it anyway. Stop making new laws and enforce that which already exists.

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Windows XP support ends two years from now

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Graham

And hang on, are you actually trying to convince me that the repos disappeared after just one year of use? You're either claiming that Squeeze is gone, which is a lie, or you're saying you installed an OS that was due to be EOL after just a year (these things are flagged for a long time before they happen). Either way you cocked up mate, not debian. You wouldn't recommend people install Windows XP a year before it' due to be knocked off, would you? Yet you've apparently done the equivalent here.

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Graham Dawson
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Stop

Re: @Graham

My advice was bad somehow?

The installer uses the current stable release name because they want to guarantee that it installs a particular package set in order to provide the most stable installation experience. In addition, someone might actually want to install an older version of debian than the current stable release, presumably because they're trying to achieve some particular thing.

However, if you want to keep your installation up to date with the latest stable release, you change the release to "stable" rather than the current release name. It really is so simple, and flexible. Far more flexible than windows update, wouldn't you say?

So why is this proof Linux won't make it? The original post complained that a Debian install's repos suddenly disappeared and spent a great deal of time complaining about something that takes les than a minute to sort out, then used this as "proof" that Linux is a bigtime failure, so I offered a solution that is both quick and simple (even my dad could probably do it, and he HATES computers). And now this ease of adjustment is also proof that Linux is going to fail?

Really?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Take an example to 13 years of XP!

Change the repo from whatever it was (sarge?) to "stable" and it'll always be there and always up to date.

There you go, your entire complaint solved in a heartbeat.

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Sedna shrinks after new measurement

Graham Dawson
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Re: They're going after Neptune next...

But not Uranus?

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PLASMA GERM BLASTER GUN invented for cleaning skin

Graham Dawson
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Re: 17 *layers* of bacteria?

Nono, what you do is expose them to a bad idea. Osbourne would be the one that ran towards it.

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Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

Graham Dawson
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Re: This cant work

Ahh but ze fallen madonna with ze big boobiez is not porn, she is art!

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Publisher hails CS Lewis 'space trilogy' e-book debut

Graham Dawson
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If anyone wants a companion to these books and the Narnia chronicles they'd do worse than to pick up a copy of "Planet Narnia" by Michael Ward. It discusses the underlying imagery of much of Lewis's work and reveals a very interesting unifying theme. Worth a look IMO.

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30-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on

Graham Dawson
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Re: However, the deniers will soon be along to point out ...

@NomNomNom

All the things I listed do falsify AGW. The tropospheric hotspot is mentioned as a predicted effect of AGW in the IPCC reports but it has not appeared at all. In fact, the upper troposphre where the hotspot is supposed to be has barely changed its temperature. If a theory makes a prediction and the opposite occurs, the theory is wrong.

The fact that CO2 and temperature don't correlate over the long term is in itself a huge falsification of AGW as it demonstrates there's no direct relationship between CO2 and temperature - if there's no relationship, there is no effect and no problem.

It only takes one of these things to demonstrate that AGW is wrong. We have two right there. There are plenty of others out there.

And on the subject of ensemble means: Weather forecasts average several runs of a single model, not several runs of several models. Given that a single model will tend to produce similar results with each run it is more likely to be "right" when you average it, but only for a given value of "right". After more than 3 days they are not very right at all and all the averaging in the world won't change that. You can get you position on a map "right" if you make a bunch of random dots and take the average to be where you are, but it's only "right" within a huge margin of error and if you start moving (changing over time as temperature does) the margin of error becomes so wide that it's functionally useless.

The ensemble mean of GCMs takes the averaged outcomes of several different models and averages them again. Given that each of these models does indeed miss out one or more major warming or cooling events in the 20th century, taking average of the averages of each models runs is also going to have such a wide margin of error as to be functionally useless. Each model gets it "right" in a very wide margin of error. The average get it "right" in an even wider margin of error. given we're talking about 10ths of a degree changes in temperature, and given these models diverge more than that from each other, taking the average seems to be a rather pointless exercise.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: However, the deniers will soon be along to point out ...

Actually us global warming "deniers" are more likely to point out that there are a number of falsifications of AGW out there already, such as the lack of stratospheric cooling, the lack of tropospheric hotspot, the fact that CO2 and temperature don't correlate over significant timescales, the fact that the models can't hindcast (they are tuned to roughly correlate with the late 20th century and are incapable of producing anything that resembles historic temperatures), the fact that most all the models miss at least one of the major warming and cooling events of the 20th century (To hide this they use an ensemble mean, which is pointless; averaging a bunch of wrong answers doesn't magically produce a right answer) don't account for clouds, don't account for changes in TSI, don't properly model dust and are generally useless as a result, and the fact that this "prediction" is essentially just a straight line over a thirty year period.

And this is before we get into the serious doubts over the temperature data and repeated, documented adjustments that lower the temperatures in the past to make the present look warmer.

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Ice Cream Sandwich gives Android mobes brainfreeze – Sony

Graham Dawson
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Re: I'd give anything to go back to Honeycomb

I haven't had any of the major issues you mentioned and, overall, ICS has been quite nippy on my tf101. However the stock browser is crashing regularly and, given that's the app I use most, it's a bit of a pain.

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Yes, Prime Minister to return after 24 years

Graham Dawson
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Re: Deja Vu

And Yes Prime Minister (as opposed to merely Yes Minister) started off with Trident, a banking scandal and something to do with manipulating the press...

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Panasonic talks up TV for the blind

Graham Dawson
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I don't know if you've noticed, but television programs aren't just pictures. Plenty of blind people "watch" television - they can still hear it.

God knows why they'd want to but they can.

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Ex-Dell man Boyce to head up Computer 2000 sales patch

Graham Dawson
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They're avin a larf ain't they? Would you buy a computer from Dell Boyce?

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Musk muses on middle-class Mars colony

Graham Dawson
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Hm, so when is he planning on sending the first 100? And please tell me he'll name the ship Ares, otherwise I'll cry.

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You're crap and paid too much for the little work you actually do

Graham Dawson
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Re: True, but...

Reasons to not drive a porsche are as numerous as the stars in the sky, top of the list being "!they're all basically the same car". I'd rather drive a nice old E-type jag or a big old 67 mustang, but that's because they appeal to me on an aesthetic level.

As long as I have enough room for my hidey hole and my computers, I'm happy. :)

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'Now we understand what's required to explode a supernova' - NASA

Graham Dawson
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Re: Warning: agenda at work

What's that? Argument to authority? Oh my, so *scientific*.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Warning: agenda at work

"There's overwhelming evidence to prove that it's a simple statement of fact. "

No, there isn't. There's a great deal of circumstantial evidence but there's also a great deal of question over how accurate and reliable that evidence is, especially given the repeated "adjustments" of historical temperature records that nearly always reduce temperatures in the past, and the reliance on a very small number of proxies that have been shown to have significant error margins and biases in the collection method, amongst other issues. In addition the current warming trend is neither unusual nor particularly significant in historical terms - even within the instrument record - and falls well within the bounds of natural variability.

The entire AGW concept is based on the idea of "forcings" reaching a tipping point. Given that temperatures have been higher in the past (or were until the temperature records were fiddled to show otherwise), and CO2 levels have been much higher without any tipping point being reached, and given that we are still here despite these much warmer and much higher CO2 epochs, I would suyrmise that the current paranoia about a fractional increase in CO2 levels is just so much hokum. That leaves only political reasons for its persistence.

You have to admit, it does offer a great way to raise more revenue.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Warning: agenda at work

A page which quotes or paraphrases AR4 and its summary for policy makers. In fact the quote you picked is directly referenced as coming from the AR4 summary for policy makers.

So it's political. Stop pretending it isn't.

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The Register obtains covert snaps of Google's new London offices

Graham Dawson
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Meh

Re: It makes me think

Completely Unrealistic, Like Theyalwaysare.

*cough*

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LOHAN's fantastical flying truss menaces kiddies

Graham Dawson
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And as for youtube comments, has anyone else noticed that every video featuring animals of any sort invariably has at least one comment declaring it to be animal cruelty? Even videos of lions on the Serengeti chasing zebra are "abuse" now. One example I recall even declared that there would be no "abuse" if only us horrible humans weren't forcing these poor animals to eat each other...

anything that contrives to make my witterings look sane in comparison MUST be bad...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Wildlife?

You'd definitely think so if you met my nephew. He's a complete monkey.

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Nokia design chief ayes tablet plan

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

They had a tablet. I'm holding it right now, though it's not switched on... granted the n810 is a little smaller than the average these days but, when it came out, it was a breath of fresh air.

God in heaven. Nokia, you wasted so much talent and money developing a tablet line that would have put you ahead of EVERYONE by now, if only you'd actually stuck at it but no, you had to can it just when you'd got to the point where it was about to pay off. And then you did it again. And you keep doing it, every time something new cones along you get cold feet and run off to carry out the worst possible alternative.

Anyone who says Elop has detroyed Nokia is only half right. He's simply carrying on Nokia's grand tradition of self-sabotage and moronic decision-making.

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NASA orders study for all astronauts over vision concerns

Graham Dawson
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Re: there *was* a plan to put a kind of cetrifuge on the ISS

The centrifuge was for experiments, not people. You can tell from the size of the proposed device.

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Graham Dawson
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adaptaion to confined spaces?

I wonder if they've performed similar studies on submarine cres or other occupations that spend long periods in xonfined spaces? This could be the eye adapting to the lack of use for longacdistance vision.

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Death Star SUCKS PLASMA FROM SUN in NASA riddle vid

Graham Dawson
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Re: Intelligent, but inexperienced...

From hell's heart I stab at thee!

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Xbox Live glitch resets players' scores

Graham Dawson
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Re: My take on it...

Good choice! I pretty much only bought an xbox because of that, then realised I could use it for playing Soul Calibur at my yearly get away with friends.

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Graham Dawson
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Sentence fragment;

Consider revising.

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EC: Apple claimed Motorola demanded ALL ITS PATENTS

Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Hearsay

It's not "here say", it's "hearsay". As in "I heard someone say", not "someone said here".

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Samsung spanks Apple in world's biggest mobile market

Graham Dawson
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Re: 15m people using iPhones on a 2G network?

You're right, there's plenty of other things that make buying an iPhone a waste of time.

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Jupiter and Venus get cozy in revealing late-night display

Graham Dawson
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Makes me wish I still had my old telescope.

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