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* Posts by John H Woods

1389 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

John H Woods
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I'll insure him for that

n/t

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Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

John H Woods
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Re: @ dogged (was: Why, exactly ...)

"Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years without this kind of tat" -- jake

For most of those millenia, 35 was old. Whilst I agree with your sentiment in a lot of cases, hard data can be useful. My old GP used to reckon that if every bathroom scale was swapped by the NHS for a blood pressure monitor, several lives would be saved: you know if you're fat when you put on your trousers; you pretty much have no idea what your BP is without measurement.

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Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness

John H Woods
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Re: I hate to say it but....

"There is absolutely nothing in luxury products that guarantees better quality or durability"

[IANALBIPOOTI ...]

Price is one part of the context surrounding the "implied terms" of quality in the UK's Sale of Goods Act (SOGA). A £600 washing machine would usually be expected to last longer than a £150 one, unless the more expensive one was for a specific low volume use (e.g. in a caravan) and the buyer had used it as if it was for normal volumes. But a premium product like a Louis Vuitton bag is not always more expensive because a "reasonable person" has a higher expectation of durability. One might possibly have a case with such an item if it were badly made, however (as 'freedom from minor defects' and 'appearance and finish' are also possible implied terms).

The whole SOGA is based, very reasonably, on what a reasonable person would expect. It is quite possible a judgment would take into account that a reasonable person knows that a Mac will be more expensive than a similar specification PC and that the premium implies qualities other than increased durability (compared to the PC) --- but it is also quite possible that a judgment would say that an expensive computer should last longer in normal use. If it turns out you've been maxing it out 24/7 the judgment may be different again.

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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

John H Woods
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Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

"Until every single person on the planet has everything they do recorded and every health issue recorded this kind of statistical "study" is just a waste of money" --- Lusty

If that were true, and every datum needed to be collected, opinion polling, a significant amount of quality control and a huge amount of science would be invalid --- we'd still be unsure as to whether or not cigarettes were harmful.

IS2R that a randomly chosen sample of 1000 from a population of millions would give you a worst case 95% confidence interval of about 3 percentage points on an either/or survey question. This is obviously a more complex case, but if sampling is good enough, it is certainly possible to draw conclusions about the population with a high degree of confidence.

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

John H Woods
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Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

"No, they mean TFLOPS. 16PFLOPS is world top 4 territory and not something the Met Office are buying."

I'm pretty sure they aren't getting ripped off that much. The Cray Titan at Oak Ridge is ~20PF and that was $100m in 2012. It's got to be Peta rather than Tera in this case.

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Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home

John H Woods
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Re: Time dilation

"There's something wrong with your maths."

Ah yes, *wipes egg from face*, looks like I should debug the old mental arithmetic unit again.

But I was interested in the idea that it gets harder and harder to accelerate because the mass of the craft increases - doesn't that just mean the mass of the propellant increases as well, so that the thrust stays constant?

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John H Woods
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Time dilation

"It doesn't change the fact however, that space is really, really big, and it would certainly take decades - if not centuries - to do 8 light years to our next nearest star"

It doesn't necessarily take that long for the crew. A constant 1g acceleration would get you to near c in 30 years; cruise for a bit with the engine off; then decelerate at 1g for 30 years. As time is hardly passing on board at all during the weightless period it is (a) not that uncomfortable and (b) you can travel almost as far as you want in a few hours.

So if we can crack the propulsion system, and the living and breeding in space problem, pretty much everywhere in the universe is only about 3 human generations away. Of course, the civilisation they've left behind might be long gone ...

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Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

John H Woods
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I'm thinking of one of these as a company car ...

... but quite like the look of that Blue Diesel (88mpg) engine. I don't tend to fiddle with the controls very much when I'm driving, so the touch panel is less of an issue for me but it's still a disappointing direction for car interfaces. Can't they at least put ridges on the touch screens?

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Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ

John H Woods
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Re: My first Wooden Twig of Fail

"thank you fanbois nation for this amazing shiny trophy"

Is it shiny? I always envisaged a rather ordinary stick that should be handled only by one end.

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Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

John H Woods
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CIF comment

(spotted on CiF, - Comment is Free, on the Guardian site)

"I hear that the CEO of Tesco has fallen further and faster"

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COMET 67P is basically TRAILING a HORRIFIC STENCH through space

John H Woods
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Re: Hydrogen Sulphide doesn't stink

Off the top of my head I suspect you may be be slightly mis-remembering ... pure *methane* doesn't smell, but tends to contain contaminants that make it very smelly. (In the case of domestic gas, they actually add ethanethiol (ethyl mercaptan) or other sulfur compounds because non-smelly gas leaks are dangerous!) I think H2S does smell (but, when pure, not nearly as badly as people think - those are (similar) contaminants).

You are absolutely right about it being extremely toxic though.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

John H Woods
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Charm menu ... grrr ...

Now *THAT* is poor interface design: the charm menu slides out of the MIDDLE of the right hand side of the screen, but only when you put the mouse in the TOP or BOTTOM right hand corner?

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

John H Woods
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Re: "Serious Crime Bill"?

^^ COTW

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

John H Woods
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Re: Totally inadequate

Hadvar: "Chris Huhne ... actually did time for what was basically a speeding offence"

No, he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice; I would contend that is a good deal more serious than speeding (except where the speeding is serious enough to be another offence), although it remains, as you say, a non violent first offence.

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John H Woods
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Re: All very well...

"The problem is there is nothing they can do"

Not whack-a-mole against the sites, true. But presumably at least some of the ladies (for it is usually they) remember which partner took / possessed the pictures that have been published? If the police followed up a number of these cases they'd find at least one they could prosecute ... and a well publicised successful conviction may be a more effective deterrent than another new unenforced law.

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Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST

John H Woods
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Re: Plug ugly?

Gomez Adams: "Compared to all the currently available smart watches it is a Venus de Milo"

You mean it's ancient and doesn't have hands?

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

John H Woods
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But maths IS fun!

The reason maths is incorrectly believed to be not equal to fun is crap teaching and contagion from adults who believe it is not fun.

I was absolutely furious to hear that my niece's grandparents, worried she wasn't up to snuff for her new school, had given her reams of sums to do (some of them they marked incorrectly, ironically).

This is turgid; no wonder she texted me that she hated maths. So I texted back to her to find me a pinecone, see that it was made of two spirals of 'squares' and tell me the number of the squares in one of the spirals. She texted me the bigger one was 13; I texted back the smaller one was 8.

Guess who's interested in maths again?

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Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

John H Woods
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Re: Just a thought....

"... no real interest in trawling through all of the comments so far, but:"

Isn't that a bit rude? If you can't be bothered to read what other people think, why do you think they'll care what you have to say?

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

John H Woods
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Not even slightly true ...

swallowing hard and putting her comments in the most sensible light possible it would appear she is using "the Internet" as shorthand for "The Contents of the WWW". Huge amounts of this content and design is created by women, and quiet possibly they are responsible for a slight majority of the content on the social media sites.

What a totally crazy thing to say ... she's a parody of herself.

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Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug

John H Woods
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Joke

Re: In Honour...

Is "chub[b] change" the amount one has in one's safe?

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

John H Woods
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Re: FM Reception Crap, Ditto DAB

"It seems incredible that Freeview TV works but basic radio services don't."

Actually, how about building Freeview receivers into mobiles? Aren't there radio stations already on Freeview?

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John H Woods
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Re: DAB is on my wish list for mobles

"how do people listen to 4extra or TMS in a car without DAB?"

I listen online using an old Samsung Galaxy S2, Bluetoothed to a receiver plugged into my audio system. I use Three's £15/month pay as you go bundle for unlimited data, and routinely burst 30GB/month without any complaint from them. And, with an app that does reasonable buffering, there's very few places round here (rural Warwickshire) where it goes quiet. (And when it does, it pauses quietly, no bubbling mud).

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

John H Woods
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Re: Your mother—and mine

If I were to accidentally say "can I speak to [x] please" rather than "could I... " and someone were to reply "yes you can, but you may not" I would be tempted to ask them, if I hadn't hung up, to clarify whether they were using the term "may" to refer to permission or probability; as it is commonly used in either sense (in a similar manner to "can" being used to refer variously to permission or ability).

The real faux pas, in my book, is asking whether you could speak to someone before you say who you are. Excuse me, but you called me - don't ask me for my name, or ask to speak to someone by name, before you identify yourself. It's so common these days, however, that my first sentence on the phone is nearly always "may I ask who's calling please?" --- although I'm always tempted to say "For security, I first need to take you through some questions. (1) who are you? (2) for whom do you work? (3) is this a business call? (4) could you please estimate the likely duration of the call for me? (5) I need to make you aware that I record all calls for quality assurance purposes ... etc"

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Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

John H Woods
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Re: OK I admit it

This is very interesting, Chemist, thought about publishing the data somewhere? However, I'm not sure it applies to everybody. I have to say, I eat far more than is justified by my exercise levels; I'm a bit of a porker, but I don't seem to be getting any fatter as 50 approaches.

In fact, I'm doing a little bit more exercise now, and it's making me lose weight, despite the fact it makes me hungry and I eat more. And by more, I don't mean slightly larger portions, I mean coming in from a 2.5km run and eating 3 slices of toast and honey - vastly more calories than I have theoretically burned. If my metabolism worked like yours apparently does, I'd be gaining several kg per month.

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Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

John H Woods
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"... we need laser hawks...."

Ted Hughes was way in front of you there (with A Sparrow Hawk) ...

"Slips from your eye-corner [...] \ Those eyes in their helmet \ Still wired direct \ To the nuclear core – they’re alone \ Laser the lark-shaped hole \ In the lark’s song."

Although we possibly have a drone-shaped hole in this case...

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Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped

John H Woods
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Stupidity.

If you can see it you can record it - even by pointing another flaming camera at the screen. Beyond that there's ... I dunno, VMs, Bluestack, Screenshots ... the list is endless.

The idea that pictures can ever 'cease to exist' is surely a massive misrepresentation of the truth.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

John H Woods
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Cabriolet?

Hurry and and make one! --- But probably a version of the S rather than the D :-)

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

John H Woods
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Re: Fat luck on the recording

A friend who ran a small shop told me she had been conned into a very expensive utility switch. A famous energy company insisted she had agreed to a deal that she would (being canny almost to the point of being a Yorkshire lass) never have agreed, but were absolutely insistent she had assented on the phone.

We asked for a recording and actually got one. Listening to it I had the almost incredulous realisation that it was fake. I was able to analyse it with Audacity and prove beyond any reasonable doubt (in no small part due to a very fortunately timed quiet but distinctive background noise - the shop door bell) that the 'yes, that's right' which was supposed to imply consent to the deal was in fact a copy/paste of the response she had given when asked to confirm her address. The forgery was, despite a few blunders apparent only under a reasonably technical analysis, pretty good. When the police listened to the call, they assured me they didn't think it sounded fake - until I showed them the waveforms; then they were stunned.

Famous energy company, of course, blamed a rogue agent, and settled out of court, so unfortunately I was not a party to, as I had hoped, an actual fraud trial against them. Still my fee & reward bought me a new bathroom, so it wasn't too disappointing. But the moral is that call recordings, even when they are produced, may not be all they appear: record your own side (preferably on old fashioned cassettes with a nice bit of mains hum, and the radio on in the background) if you want to be sure.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

John H Woods
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"I had yellow LEDs as well"

I always thought yellow ones were just green and red superimposed. IS2R a very exciting LED in Tandy when I were a lad ... it was green if you powered it one way, red the other and yellow when connected to AC - I had always assumed it was a red and green lumped together the opposite way round to each other.

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EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

John H Woods
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"data boost on your mobile data bucket from 4GB to 10GB"

I've used 30-50GB per month on my Three mobile for years (at £15/pcm PAYG) without even doing much video, can't see 10GB lasting long. It's only about 5-10 hours of video, surely? I cannot see how the box spec, and the supplied service, are worth anything like the amounts suggested.

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£150m, three years... TWO base stations. Gov.uk? You guessed it

John H Woods
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Quite surprised ...

... that Google didn't collect 2G/3G dB ratings for networks when they were doing their big w̶i̶f̶i̶ ̶s̶l̶u̶r̶p̶ mapping exercise.

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Fiat 500S: So pleasingly sporty we didn't want to give it back

John H Woods
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Re: ...one doubt is about stop and start

"So in 3-4 years when the battery's gone a bit limp, how many times are you going to get stuck at a light with a car you can't start?" - Gene Cash

As people have said - sometimes it doesn't stop, and sometimes it restarts itself - because start/stop technology monitors the battery condition. The amount of time it will spend off depends on whether the A/C, headlights, demist etc are on. I should imagine you'll notice when the battery goes a bit limp, because it will hardly ever autostop.

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John H Woods
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Re: ...one doubt is about stop and start

So you spend quite a bit of time stationary, in neutral, with the clutch up, and the engine running? Why? I don't understand this "it stopped just as I was about to move off" complaint. You don't even have to have a gear selected to prevent the stop - just put your foot on the clutch. It takes a little bit of getting used to, sure, but it's better for fuel consumption, pedestrians around you, and the environment in general. Why bother getting into the habit of disengaging it every time you drive when you could just get into the habit of using it properly?

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

John H Woods
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Re: Touch typing

Yes learn touch typing. On Dvorak. It's quicker to learn, faster to type. I can do 60wpm without thinking, 80+ when I'm in the zone. And the biggest plus of all? Even if you forget to lock your screens your co-workers can't do a thing -- of the letters, only the A and M are in the same place! Makes fraping a thing of the past.

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You don't have to be mad to work at Apple but....

John H Woods
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No wonder they can't innovate ...

Who gives a fsck that the execs are in the office at all hours? Firstly, they are compensated enormously and secondly their work is very different from creative or engineering functions. If work hours were linearly related to productivity, Apple should be absolutely wiping the floor with the competition. What is happening in all those extra hours at the office? My guess is that it's making most of their workers so tired that they are achieving even less in an average twelve to sixteen hour shift than they would in an normal eight hour day.

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Spammer uses innocent hacked blogs to punt NAKED PICS of JLaw, McKayla Maroney

John H Woods
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Whoa!

f̶e̶l̶i̶c̶i̶t̶a̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ facilitating

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While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m

John H Woods
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Incentivisation

I'm not even really sure that executives should be allowed to hold so much stock in the companies they run. A high share price doesn't necessarily mean the company is in good shape - it could just mean it is ripe for a takeover. That means that a number of activities that are good for (those who hold a lot of) the stock (e.g. axe a huge number of staff and keep the order book --> short term share price rises) are not actually good for the company.

Maybe if some other body dictated the dates at which they could cash in the stocks, or it was planned very far ahead, or they had to hold them for a minimum of x years - I don't know, I just have an uncomfortable feeling that holding a large amount of stock in a company may not always encourage you to do the right thing for the company. Founders who hold a lot of stock at least seem to have some emotional investment in their erstwhile baby.

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

John H Woods
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IAUNABPE but

Flow = 1500 gallons per hour = 1.89e-3 m3s-1

Velocity = 2 miles in 15 minutes = 12.9 km per hour = 3.58ms-1

Area = 1.89e-3 / 3.58 = 0.000528m2

Radius = sqrt (0.000528/pi) = 0.013 m

Diameter = 0.026m = 2.6 cm.

I Am Unfortunately Not A Beer Pipe Engineer but ... I reckon allowing for resistance you're still only looking at a 2" pipe or so.

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Boffins' better blues beat battery blues

John H Woods
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I predict...

... a new set of home screens run through a 'how a dog sees' color filter.

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Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER

John H Woods
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Re: Flaw in the argument

"4-6 times? How much do Tesco charge for oil? Your maths stinks, and you're comparing oven chips to either from-raw deep fried chips or oven-baked jacket potatoes. You can bake chipped potatoes in the oven using a lot less oil." --- CADMonkey

I re-used Voland's Right Hand's ratio, because I was supporting his point that healthy food is often more expensive than unhealthy food. The ratio is, I agree, an exaggeration in this case, but the logic stands: even without cooking the baking potatoes are nearly twice the price of the chips, yet the chips are peeled, cut, and ready oiled. BTW the bakers will take twice the energy to cook, even in a micro/convection combi, than the chips.

Now I'm a great believer in the baked spud, chips with skins, and 'a lot less oil'. You're preaching to the choir, there, mate. But VRH's point stands: the healthy option is the more expensive option. Why are baking potatoes selling at £1/kg? Because of the target consumer: people like you and me might not think anything of parting with £2 (although, as a bit of a country bumpkin, the idea of paying so much for anything less than 5Kg would offend me enormously). But which of these two potato products would you choose though, if every penny counted? And if you choose the cheaper option --- it is Tesco who gets to dictate the quantity and (possibly lack of) quality of the oil that is used.

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John H Woods
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Re: Flaw in the argument

"If your food bill is too high, you need more imagination, not a fix of junk food"

I actually agree 100%. But it doesn't change the fact that I saw him on telly showing what a healthy breakfast looked like and this particular healthy breakfast is way beyond the financial means of a lot of people.

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John H Woods
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"You can buy a full set of running gear including shoes from Aldi for less than the cost of one month's gym membership." Honestly, if you don't know that some people would struggle to get even that, you might really have a very warped idea about how poor some of our poor really are.

I'm not defending MYSELF here. I'm well paid, can cook and exercise a lot. I'm a bit on the heavy side, but that is not making me "pro-fatty" I'm just anti-villification.

What I'm saying is that I find some of the judgmental attitudes being expressed to be rather harsh, and that I find the "fat people are lazy, feckless and generally rubbish" to be quite an unacceptable condemnation of a fairly large and probably quite varied group of people.

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John H Woods
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Re: Flaw in the argument

Moultoneer: "for example on Tesco's on-line store 1KG of McCains oven chips are £1.75 yet 2.5KG of baking potatoes are £2"

You are comparing prepared branded and non-prepared non-branded goods. A better comparison would be Tesco's EveryDay Value chips 82p for 1.5kg.

By the time you have washed your bakers, peeled them and chipped them your £2 of potatoes is 1.5-2 kg of chips. And you have spent 30 mins of your time for free. Then you have to cost your oil (and you need a lot to fry that many chips). Starting to look like 4-6 times more expensive, isn't it?

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John H Woods
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Re: Flaw in the argument

Voland's Right Hand --- as a parent I have to agree.

I saw Mr Oliver on telly feeding his young a very healthy breakfast of various bits of tasty fruit. Back of the envelope tells me that was over £4 of fruit each. That's £240 a month for two kids or £360 for three. These are not amounts that the majority of the UK could easily afford for a total food bill, let alone just the kids' breakfasts. Good quality protein is similar - compare the prices of mass produced burgers with even fairly cheap cuts of beef.

Gym membership round here runs at about £40 a month, and although jogging is free, shoes that are good enough to give you 6 months of injury-free jogging most certainly are not.

I suspect, as I think do you, that we may be seeing a correlation/causation confusion anyway: obesity here may just be a marker of coming from a relatively more disadvantaged background.

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Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER

John H Woods
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So,

"big nose, big penis?" was something even the dinosaurs thought?

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