1385 posts • joined Monday 5th March 2007 21:42 GMT
So this is why it's taking me several times longer to sftp things to my server than it used to. I thought I was just hitting congestion somewhere... well I guess I was! Only it was intentional. Similar with anything else I was running over ssh, or non-http ports.
@ac re: million-to-one
Aye, and if hollywood is believed, nine times out of ten they bloody well turn up in california, where they're beaten off by the pretty dude, the sassy woman, the geek and the dog.
To be serious for a moment, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the polar lander drop down on a parachute for the final part of its landing? With an airbag? No rockets involved...
And now, I've just realised what some of the mysterious "box shaped" objects in the earlier photographs actually were... the supposed "machinery on mars" as, I think a Mr Hoagland had it, is actually The Luggage!
Notes is good
The city council I used to work at uses Notes for all its internal communications - though, notes on Windows, for some godawful reason. They standardised on Win2k. Being government I don't know if they'll be too quick to shift over to an alternative, but that's probably 10,000 or so users, which is a lot of windows licenses to be invested in. they're cutting budgets now, perhaps i should phone up my old boss and make a suggestion.
Actually hoist is correct. It's quite likely a variant of the middle english "hisse" ("heave!") and in the contemporary context generally meant lift or carry away, which is usually what happens to you when a petard goes off in your hands.
Originally petards were just bombs with a slow fuse designed for undermining castle defences and it was possible to set them off accidentally, whilst carrying them, and consequently be "hoist" all over the roof of the undermining tunnel.
@ac with link
Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.
Simple solution to knife crime
Make guns legal.
It works like this. They'll still attack each other but instead of wounding they'll just kill each other, which means fewer injured idiots straining the A&E department, which in turn leads to less money being used up to save idiots who'll just be in again next week. Reduced strain on limited funding means that it can be more effectively distributed, saving money, reducing the costs and letting the NHS fund more livfe-saving treatments for cancer patients and so on. I just saved the NHS! Where's my consultancy fee?
"If he actually existed and was in fact actually the son of God"
The historical person of Jesus existed, we know that much, since he's recorded in extra-biblical historical records from the era. Whether he was the son of god is a matter of faith.
I think it can be left at that.
Now where did I put my MoPhone?
Badly written law
In my occasional gracing of these comment threads I'm sure I've built up a reputation as someone who, to put it mildly, isn't particularly keen on the EU as a concept. Now I'd love to be able to point at this as another example of why the EU is evil incarnate and scream "Told ya!" from the rooftops, but I can't. I can't because our own dear parliament is just as prone as the EU to writing laws with such sloppy logic and such over-broad terminology as to be essentially useless. The "extreme porn" thing a while back was an example of that - it could easily have included just about everyone, so badly was it written. There are hundreds of examples from the last decade of similarly badly written law, either implementing EU directives or just made up on the spot by a Minister with a need for some publicity.
Laws shouldn't be confusing and shouldn't need the author to "clarify" them in order to assuage fears. They should explain exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it and if they aren't they should be rejected and re-written until they are.
"People may, quite understandably, want to see their money spent on things that they voted for,"
Didn't they vote for Johnson? Presumably they knew he planned to scrap this...
It's a crazy world. We have EU paratchiks denyong their countries referenda because they want to "increase public representation" or what have you, we have the government spending billions on a failing bank whilst claiming to be prudent, hiding half their accounts off the book s with PFI whilst claiming to be open and accountable, and we have this green politician deciding rather at random that Boris actually promised the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do. Madness. I know, I know, politicians are expected to lie... but why? Why can't they tell the damn truth for a change? Why do we tolerate the sort of behaviour from the political class that we wouldn't even tolerate in primary school kids?
It's tru that the current *house* prices going into something of a dive but you seem to forget that "houses" and "prperty" are not the same thing. Property values may go up and down, of course, but you can make plenty of money on short and medium term leases. In times of high uncertainty and times of great prosperity, owning property of any sort allows you to do something that most other businesses are only capable of doing in certain pints of the economic cycle: seek rent.
Like the great man said, they aren't making any more of it. People always need land. They don't always need set-top boxes. Moving into property, therefore, is a very sound decision.
Is it worth pointing out the judge in question is a Clinton appointee?
"Does anyone know the actual reason for the strict regulation of mustache size for fighter pilots?"
Modern regulations presumably account for the fact that fighter pilots will invariably be wearing an oxygen mask, though whether the limits are to prevent a risk to a proper seal or just the possibility that the wearer might get a nasty rash I cannot say. The Queens Regs date from a time when having a moustache was considered a bit dashing and extremely fashionable, and all the officers, being posh types, simply would not part with them. So they regulated em instead.
First, munitions are surprisingly delicate things built to extremely fine tolerances. Dropping them at speed tends to make them break. Useful in a bomb, not so much in an air-to-air missile...
Second, sea-water makes things corrode like nobody's business. It's likely that your average missile is designed to withstand a bit of splashing, but immersing such a delicate piece of kit in the sea would render it useless in minutes.
Other than that it's a bright idea. Perhaps they should think about water-proofing.
"Cogito ergo Deus absconditus"
I think, therefore god buggered off?
Speaking as a man holding religious views, I have to say I found this whole idea very silly. Of course I would say that, wouldn't I? I'm just a stoopid christian...
I would have hoped that the creators of the report read up on European history, though. It was syncretism (which my spell checker apparently doesn't recognise) between Greek philosophical thought and early Judeo-christian belief in a rational God that allowed the creation of our society. The idea within christianity for most of the last 2000 years is that God, being rational, would create a universe of rational rules that could be studied and discovered. The scientific principle eventually grew out of this belief in the rationality of the universe as expressed within the nicene creed and other christian get-togethers, which is why subsequent dips into irrationality and anti-scientism from the church were never able to last long. In one sense the very concept of the trinity is an odd mathematical problem that has promoted a very sharp mind. The arguments over that concept alone forced the great thinkers of the past to actually think. The idea of critical thinking is central to christian syncretism.
On top of which, by banning polygamy and banning concubinage, christian society removed one of the most potent disincentives to progress by giving the majority of men a chance to have their wife without the big man coming along and taking it away. On top of this, the removal of the power-plays and constant questing for favour from the male in polygamous marriages increased the rights of women incredibly. It also prevented inbreeding to a great extent, by reducing the ability of certain powerful men to dominate the gene pool, and consequently allowed a much greater genetic mixing to occur, and allowed smart people, who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance, to propagate. That was a side-effect of course; I doubt a bunch of priests got together and said "Lets increase our genetic viability!"
Then again, with priests, who knows?
All of these things are rational ideas. It was Christianity that propagated them across its sphere of influence. I freely admit that these ideas could have propagated in as many other ways as you can imagine but, it was a religion that actually *did* it and it was often the most fervent believers in that religion that were also, generally, the smartest, because christianity, for much of its life, encouraged rationality and education and provided an incentive for the ordinary man to improve himself. It's gone downhill a bit recently but that's just one of those things...
If you want another example then lets go to India. There, mathematicians were working with complex trigonometry and algebraic equations that would make your eyes water when the Arabs were still worshipping their pantheon and the Greeks still wondering what to call themselves while they hacked each other to pieces. They did it because they were inspired by their beliefs to seek out the rules that governed their lives, rules they believed were put in place by their gods to run the universe. I imagine some of it involved working out angles for the kama sutra as well but that's by the by, the main point is that their religious life encouraged this sort of highly critical thinking.
Whilst it's quite likely that critical thinking tends to lead to a rejection of religious ideas, I would doubt that the lack of a religious experience is a necessity for critical thinking. The idea that religion prevents critical thinking is false, as I hope I've demonstrated; what actually prevents critical thinking is a lack of critical thinking, and that can afflict even the most accomplished scientist if they've got their own little idea they don't want to give up. Just look at the whole AGW debate.
I do find it fascinating that the increase in atheism can actually be matched up to a general decrease in educational standards. It all depends how you draw the graph really. :)
re: 89 days 23hrs 59min 59secs
Look at it this way. We've not had this 48 hour hard limit *before*, so why should not having it now suddenly mean employers are going to start acting like complete idiots with their employees? They didn't before, when the limit didn't exist. The limit still doesn't exist. Nothing actually changes.
Anyway it's all moot, the ECJ will simply override it in a year or so and kill off another bit of our freedom. Yes. Freedom. I freelance, that means I can choose to work the hours I want. With this 48 hour limit I would no longer be able choose to work the hours I want. I would no longer be free to do so.
So let me get this straight...
The congestion charge is being sold to us lot around greater manchester as some sort of deal with central government to pay for the metrolink we were promised. Which they cut funding for, for some reason, probably because it peeked a little bit above the 900 mil they'd initially budgeted for.. Now this congestion charge is going to get a 1.2 billion subsidy to get started...
Wait a minute, wasn't this charge supposed to pay for the Metrolink light rail extension? Why is it getting more money than the extension was going to get? Why didn't they just take that 1.2 billion or whatever, that they suddenly seem to have lying around for useless schemes, and "invest" it straight into the Metrolink instead? They'd still have a few hundred mil left over for padding out MP's salaries, filling one of the pot-holes in Gord... sorry, Darling's books, or building a new fountain somewhere, too. Everybody wins! Well except the taxpayers, but that's probably an argument for another day...
Oh wait, it's actually about saving the planet now, so we have to pay whether or not we get our light rail. Ye gods.
Actually tbe sub-prime mortgage thing was caused by the US government mandating that mortgage lenders *had* to provide mortgages to high-risk borrowers, those below a certain income threshold with known credit problems who most lenders wouldn't normally touch with a barge pole. They were forced into the situation that created the problem. That same government (the faces change but the government is always the same) is now proposing solutions to the sub-prime problem they created - solutions that will actually make it worse.
Which just proves my idea that when there's a problem, first look to see if the government started it. They usually did.
"It isn't cold enough for CO2 to rain out here on Earth."
CO2 is water soluble. It rains out with the rain.
On top of which, increased rainfall cools the atmosphere. It's a self-regulating system in that respect. Of course the idea that rainfall is increasing doesn't actually prove that CO2 is warming the atmosphere, merely that there is an increase in the amount of energy input into the system. That's it.
And, lets not forget, energy travels from points of high potential to points of low potential. That means energy *in* the atmosphere can only ever radiate *out* of the atmosphere. When CO2 absorbed that energy it may temporarily halt its progress, but it can't bounce it back. It has to keep going out. And here's why:
See, the very concept of a greenhouse effect is a terrible, terrible misnomer. A greenhouse works by preventing convective heat exchange - it prevents warm air from convecting away and being replaced by cool air. The reflective properties of glass in a greenhouse are a tiny effect in comparison. That's a greenhouse: a closed system that prevents convection.
In the atmosphere there is nothing preventing that convective exchange. Warm air rises, losing energy as it does so, drifts a bit to a cooler latitude and then falls again, which is the primary exchanger of heat from the lower to upper atmosphere. Now, you may have noticed that there's nothing actually surrounding the planet. No giant greenhouse, no big "Spaceballs" atmospheric shield at any point, hence nothing to stop that convective process.
CO2, compared to the glass in a greenhouse, doesn't reflect or rebound heat at all. It absorbs those photons, yes, and that energy gets turned into a little bit of extra kinetic energy in the CO2 molecules, but then it re-emits those photons at a lower energy level. Now this is where the physics comes into it again. That photon can't go down because it's not got enough energy to be absorbed by the warmer gas below - in that case it *would* bounce off, or at least that's the approximation we come up with. It's at a lower energy level than they are, so it goes flying upward (or, to put it another way, the probability of the photon being emitted down is much, much lower than the probability of it being emitted up). Eventually it reaches space where it radiates away into the vacuum.
See this planet is radiating heat out into space just about as fast as it can. Turn off the sun and we'd be frozen solid in a matter of days. Days. Weeks at the outside. That's how fast the planet radiates energy. In fact it radiates it as fast as it's introduced because there is nothing, *nothing* to prevent it. Just a vacuum which, as I said, is effectively an infinite heatsink.
Not *yet*, but it's just a matter of time now. Ooh... actually I think I'll build one of these, it might come in handy for some model-making projects I have in mind.
A stork to deliver another EU tar-baby. Joy!
The reason they waited until after countries started distributing theirs was so they could cause the most amount of disruption to the largest number of people's lives. As far as I can tell, the EU civil service do this sort of thing purely for the giggle of it. They *like* causing people misery. It's really the only thing that explains their actions and behaviour these days.
We should stop sticking bullpikes in nubile women forthwith!
I'm going to cement some sort of reputation as a nerdly type here but let me point thos out: Manga is the japanese name for comics and graphic novels (and is also the name of a company that imports japanese "animé" for some stupid reason). The equivalent of saying you want to ban "manga" would be like saying the police want to have all illustrated books banned because a few of them contain these images. Or saying they want to ban all film and television because some times you can find videos of people doing nasty things to their kids.
There's no denying that the Japanese have quite a reputation for less than savoury comics (and animation) but that's not an excuse to ban *everything* from there. It's like saying Hollywood movies contain sex, so lets ban everything from the United States! And the French, well they're just weird, so lets ban everything French! And the Italians? They've got naked kids painted on the ceiling of their most famous church! PERVERTS!
And that's another thing, I can think of a number of paintings that would be banned by this, with images of the cistine chapel just being the most famous example. A few of them are pretty fruity and feature what would be considered "children" by the standards of some of these bad laws. Sorry, Monet, Raphael and all you other 'artists', you're under arrest.
Does anyone believe this law won't be so overbroad and ridiculously vague as to do all of these things? I bet you it'll be an enabling act as well. This government are very fond of enabling acts, with their lovely statutory instruments that let them arbitrarily expand the provisions of the act without facing parliamentary scrutiny.
As I think I've said before, laws like this are the actions of a government in denial about how much power it actually has. They're desperate to be seen to "do something" that they'll do anything. And, of course, it's "for the children", which means there's nothing to argue against without being twisted into a monster.
I hate that argument.
now those few of you that may actually know are asking "But Graham, you're a christian, shouldn't you be all for banning everything sinful?" No. You don't ban, you don't use the power of the secular state to enforce religious ideas because that power can be turned right back on you. Another religion can come along and use the same mechanisms to subdue you, outlaw things you never intended to be outlawed using the very same laws you originally promoted to enforce your idea of what's moral. The answer is never over-broad and potentially unenforceable law - along with the implicit threat of force contained in any law - but talk. I try and convince you you're doing the wrong thing, you tell me to toss off. That's how a civil society works.
I was going to post this as anon but, frankly, I think it's time people stopped hiding. Like I said, "for the children" mean any argument can dismissed with "you're just a pervert pretending to be about liberty or something", standing up can mean ruining your reputation no matter how logical your argument and no matter what your own moral stance on the issue. I'm a christian. My stance on many things is probably quite easy to glean from that, but I prefer to believe that people can be reasoned around to my way of thinking without the use of great big legal sledgehammers.
Bring on the black helicopters!
Suddenly all those mobile phones they're letting onto plans *will* be a threat.
some sort of title
"The government takes about 60 pence out of every litre of petrol you buy, and BP / Shell still managed to clear a PROFIT! of over one billion pounds sterling over thirty days!"
Yes, because the price at the pump rose to preserve the profit margin in the face of an increasing tax percentage. No other company would be expected to sit by when the government basically took away its profits.
Most oil company margins are about the same as most other successful businesses though, around 10%. It's the volume that matters, and given the huge volume of sales oil companies make it's no surprise they have these huge profit. Go look at the stats of how much petrol Shell sells in a week, worldwide and suddenly that one billion profit is put into perspective. If Microsoft (for example - hey it's an IT site, lets get some reference to IT in here) were to sell several billion quids worth of software every week they'd also have huge profits.
A billion is a big number, but it's only big in comparison to small numbers. Oil doesn't just squirt out of the round into the waiting barrels of cigar-smoking magnates in huge cowboy hats. If you look at the costs involved in oil production, the R&D, the exploration costs that often turn out to be dead-ends (i.e. a non-recoverable expense) then the oil company profits make sense. They're a big number alongside a whole bunch of other big numbers. And if you look at where those profits come from - quite apart from petroleum sales there's a whole bunch of other oil-derived products out there - then the scale of the operation becomes apparent and the profits no longer seem excessive. Or should a company be forced to lower its margins just because it has extra zeroes after its annual turnover? Raising taxes won't do that. They just pass it on to the consumer. The only way to stop that is to introduce price controls but, price controls simply remove the incentive to produce.
I'll tell you who's stealing! It's OPEC! Broon said so!
If existing users get to 36 do they get to pay a visit to the carousel, or can they get renewed?
Would you believe, I typed in "Nelson", stared at it for a while and then thought "that can't be right"...
Is it not more likely...
... that Brown's tax increases on every single damn thing in existence are the main culprit?
Incidentally, I didn't spot it in the article (I admit I skimmed a little) but... Diesel is now more expensive than Unleaded. Diesel, which is still, even taking into account particulate pollution, more environmentally friendly than regular petrol, is now taxed at a far, far higher rate than unleaded. This is the stuff that ctually drives the economy. It's the stuff trucks and trains run on, those things that make our economy actually viable by transporting goods around, and it's taxed *more*. No bloody wonder prices are going up!
And don't even get me started on Broon's attitude to anyone attempting to actually put their money where their mouth is on the issue. Remember when he famously slapped a huge backdated tax demand on a few people for using chip fat to run their vehicles, claiming it was a "loophole" in the tax system. He liked closing those loopholes, squeezing a few extra pennies out of the economy to fund god know's what, maybe the whole PFI fiasco, but raising costs for everyone and putting a drag on the economy in the meantime. And then he has the temerity to blame the oil cartel for problems HE created. I'd tell him to look in the mirror before he starts blaming people but he'd probably just pull a Wellington, close his working eye and yell "I see no taxes!"
I'm a Tory voter, so that's who I'll be voting next time around but, god help me, I'd rather see the lib dems in power than this useless lot.
Foundation and Earth?
Obviously teaming up with google and controlling the world is the next step...
What after that? Robots coming out of the woodwork despite no evidence of their existence up to that point? A mysterious clone of the Wikipedia Foundation on the far side of the world? (Ooh, that'd be the EU's attempt at creating a european competitor to google wouldn't it. I wonder how that's going...)
@I can forgive every coding blunder
Would that not be everythingButMixedCapitals?
aka camel case? If you've got a programmer writing names with ranDom CapITals in them then yes, that person has a problem, but if he's writingLikeThis in order to makeItClearer for the reader then, sorry, you don't have an argument.
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.
Simple fact is, the industry hasn't hit a wall yet so they aren't bothering to change, and they'll carry on this way right up to the point where someone important can't get an IP address. Then they'll change.
@Victor + Luke
Actually you're both wrong. American English is a dialect that branched off from "English" in the mid 19th century and retains much of that character, whilst British English continued along an evolutionary path heavily influenced by its colonial heritage (doo lally, tiffin, thug, for example, replacing "slightly mad", tea and footpad). Communication between the two dialects has been strong, so they share words with each other, *but* it's likely in about 500 years they'll be as incomprehensible to each other as Scots English and English are today.
Despite what you might think, nothing about creationism actually rules out the possibility of alien life. I know there are times when creationists have said otherwise but they're silly people.
Look at it this way: if you were God, would you stop at one planet?
There's an entire universe out there! The evolutionist looks at it and marvels at the wondrous possibilities of nature. The creationist looks at it and is struck by the infinite majesty of God. You know that feeling you get when you look up at the stars and realise just how far you're actually seeing, the one that makes you feel so very, very small... anyway the assumption that God would only make one planet full of life is silly, and people on either side of this great chasmic debate using that assumption are equally silly.
In fact it's all silly. Lets go and get merry instead. And no, I don't care if it is thursday.
it would put another nail into the coffin of the creationists.
Nah. "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd."
Of course it could be argued this was just a reference to people who weren't Israel but, where's the fun in that?
"And the difference between invisible aliens and God is what?"
God doesn't anal probe you,.
"Does make me wonder why those jolly chinamen [and women, of course] wouldbe poking around belgian interests?"
Steven, go look at a map and find out where Brussels is located, and the Hague, and all those lovely EU institutions, and NATO headquarters.
Think about it for a moment...
Realisation dawning yet?
Personally I think there's a moral difference between filesharing something and making copies to sell. The latter isn't merely distributing, it's actually profiting from a criminal action which, as I recall, carries a few extra penalties under UK law. As a some-time software developer I don't particularly mind people sharing my (crap) writing around, nor even the software I write - hence the GPL - but if someone were to start *selling* it then I'd be very angry.
I know I'm not making as much sense as I'd like here but I think the point is that, in cases where a trader is passing off illegal copies as genuine and profiting from it, they don't have a leg to stand on. It's not any sort of moral statement and it *is* essentially theft, inasmuch as they are making a profit from something that had no part in creating, and inasmuch as a company willing to take the initial hit and drop its pricing down to that level could well stand to make quite a few extra sales. The fact that they aren't doing that doesn't make this particular act any less reprehensible. They're not stealing in the classic sense but they are profiting from a criminal enterprise, which is something you could never say about stuff on p2p. It's like the difference between Robin Hood and your more average highwayman.
Also I could say a thing or two about Bradford and not being surprised but I won't... oh wait, I just did. Never mind!
@AC re POS
"Unbuntu may or may not have these problems, but nor does it have a competent POS solution, so I hope that you aren't advocating it as an alternative..."
I would suspect not, as most competent POS apps are written to run on suitably configured versions of Linux, Unix or whatever, *without* the huge overhead of running hulking great window manager (or Windows Super Elite Fancy Edition or whatever) underneath. You see, most people running POS want to be able to run a POS and *nothing else*.
There is no Ubuntu Branded POS software because Ubuntu isn't aimed at the POS market. There is POS software that will run on Ubuntu, just like it'll run on any other suitably configured linux distro, but why would you want to use a desktop/server oriented OS for POS applications?
And, for that matter, why would you want to use windows?
Freedom of speech does not allow you to write hurtful things about someone else.
Actually, yes it does. You can indeed say these things and you can accept the consequences of them, if they then cause actual problems. Shouting "fire" in a cinema is the classic; the act of the shout itself is freedom of speech, but the subsequent charges for multiple manslaughter resulting from people being trampled to death are the responsibility you need to take for acting on your freedom to yell stupid things. The criminal act in this case was not the speech itself but the choice to do it in that particular spot.
Or, to put it another way, if you shout fire in a crowded cinema and nobody gives a damn, are you guilty of anything? By your idea, you are.
Freedom of speech is absolute necessary. If you start saying that people are free to speak as long as it's not "insulting" or whatever then you no longer have freedom of speech, and without freedom of speech you are no longer free to live your life as you see fit, nor criticise the government, or "corporate interests", or whatever. Without freedom of speech you are a slave to the whims of the people who decide what is "reasonable".
Now common sense, of course, is a whole different matter but that's a case of personal scruples. The day they start legislating common sense is the day I give up on humanity. Oh wait, they already do.
The one with the ticket for Mars in the pocket, please.
Well you can tell by the way I use my walk...
Perhaps the most extravagantly expensive disco ball in existence.
Can't help but think we'll end up attracting a load of Jon Travolta aliens... oh dear, Battlefield Earth might actually come true!
- Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities
- Apple's spamtastic iBeacon retail alerts launch with Frisco FAIL
- Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes
- Apple sends in the bulldozers as Fruit Loop construction begins
- Pix Astroboffins spot HOT, YOUNG GIANT where she doesn't belong