Feeds

* Posts by John H Woods

1194 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

UK.gov's minimum booze price dream demolished

John H Woods
Silver badge

Sorry ...

...was minimum alcohol pricing intended to reduced drinking? I thought it was a intended to be a stimulus package for smuggling.

31
0

'SEX and the FEMALE BRAIN are CONNECTED' - shock discovery

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Vasectomy

What's produced in the 'bits the other side', also known as 'the balls' are the spermatozoa. The article states the chemical is in the semen, not the sperm, and I would be surprised if it were otherwise.

Still, there may be a research programme to find out ...

1
1
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: so....

If that were the case, surely it wouldn't work 'as intended' - females must just need to be exposed to it, not to actually ingest it. Unless the sexual antics of llamas and cows are more varied than I understand them to be.

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: So having

Having a vasectomy doesn't stop semen production - just means there's no sperm in it.

2
0

PLT chair: UK Radio Society is 'living in a dream world'

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: A pedant gets grumpy

Absolutely agree. They only say 'refute' because it sounds stronger than 'deny'. Which it is, when used correctly.

As for shielded mains cable that is in the new generation of British housing with larger rooms and modern insulation spec ... oh, wait...

6
0

Curiosity's laser turns Mars rocks to 'glowing plasma'

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Mars Rover bollox

I thought he just missed the Joke Alert icon. Either it's a joke or he is.

3
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: That rock was a red ...

I think you mean a total of 0.15J. It's the energy that's not so strong with this one, rather than the force!

2
1
John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Yep, NASA's getting sexy, alright.

Actually that's a seriously good funding idea. After all, pornography has been a driving force behind many of our other technologies - printing, video and the internet.

0
0

Ten phones for seniors

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Ageism much?

Yes I think "10 phones for the elderly" might have been better. 'senior" is just an age boundary - the one at which the previous generation could afford to stop working, whilst "elderly" is when one has to.

Another couple of generations (max) and they'll be the same thing.

1
0

'G-Cloud is nothing more than a suppliers' website'

John H Woods
Silver badge

surely there are already rules...

about what the domain name can be? Can't the same rules be used to determine what the gTLD can be?

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Expletive off, you expletive money-grubbing expletive

Point of order - the 'v' in Arkell v Pressdram or other British case is not 'versus' but 'and'. In a criminal case it is pronounced 'against'.

0
0

Optical Express 'ruined my life' gripe site lives on

John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Should have gone to Specsavers

"C'mon, why can't I see someone already using that line"

Maybe because you should have? Crisp used it almost 24 hours before you did!

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: @Nigel 11

We all believe in healthy active living, and I totally agree that your natural remedies may well be good for colds - for which there is no effective medication. But your rejection of all conventional medicine as 'for whimps' makes your argument worthless. Sorry.

1
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Annihilator: "they apparently considered the risk to the remaining eye as too high"

... and they strongly disparaged my idea of having my eyes done separately, one year apart. Those two positions seem internally contradictory to me.

Upvote for extended wear lenses - get a good fit and high quality lenses and you can wear them for a month.

0
0

Assange's fate to be revealed at high noon

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: @ Tom Welsh

Bollocks to 5%. 60% of UK rape cases result in a conviction. 5% is the ratio of complaints to convictions. If theft clear-up was reported the same way it would be under 1%

1
0

Three extends data use with Sim-only tariff tweak

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Limitations?

I suspect not. I use a 3 PAYG SIM and pay 15/month for AYCE, 300min, 3000 SMS.

I use 3-4GB per month (I stream a lot of audio) and the speed seems purely based on my location. At the moment, in my house I'm getting 3.0 Mbps up and 1.6 down, with a ping of 90msec. In fact the connection is usually so good that when the facebook peak hits during school term (between 15:00 and 19:00) I switch from landline to mobile.

I watched Mo Farrah win the 5000m on my phone in smooth video from a field. When my wife was in hospital I was able to tether my work laptop to the phone and continue doing my job from her bedside without a glitch. In fact the only reason I hesitate to recommend 3 to people is because I worry if I convert too many people I'll get less bandwidth!

1
0

YouTube video has NOT killed radio's star

John H Woods
Silver badge

Jango

I absolutely love this - it's a bit like StumbleUpon for music. You either pick a genre or choose an artist, and in the latter case you hear music that other fans of the artist also like. You can vote those tracks up or down to hear more of the same.

There are adverts, but it's fairly light, and there are new artists whose exposure you can vote up or down. The only time I listen to radio is when I have no data connection, and fortunately that's becoming increasingly rare.

0
0

Shops 'mislead punters' over phone contract prices

John H Woods
Silver badge

Simple...

The price per month should have an asterisk and on the price ticket it should say '* operator may increase costs during the term'. Or it should just say "30ppm variable" or similar. Anything less visible, especially burying it deep in the contract legalese should not be considered fair - and therefore should not be binding.

Let's face it, to really understand most of the contracts we sign, we would probably need to pay a lawyer 500 quid or so to read it. When one is arranging a mortgage, that's reasonable. When purchasing a 500 quid phone it is completely out of the question.

0
0

Ten apps to install on your Nexus 7 first

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Forgot...

and my PC of course.

Now can we have an edit button? Please?

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Forgot...

I have Jango (Music / Artist Discovery) on all my Androids. Absolutely love it.

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

I haven't tried Pulse, but I love the Taptu newsreader and its widgets - anybody else a fan of this?

Also my favourite launcher is GO - has some very nice effects. In fact you could probably do a whole article just on visual customization and eye-candy. The power of the Nexus 7 makes a lot of this quite impressive.

I would have thought it was well worth having iPlayer (and Sky Player as well if you have an account). And TED, of course.

1
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Tunein Radio file size....

Charlie Clark: "Size might be the database."

With 60k stations that's 2.8k per station. But I love it - although, like you, I find the free version perfectly satisfactory

0
0

Burglar steals $60,000 of computers from Steve Jobs' home

John H Woods
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: "Trumped up?" Nah

Dave 126 "My education was not to bad.."

too bad?

But I share your bafflement about 'excessive taking of property' Especially as a quick Google of it just turns up this same story, on the Reg and in other organs.

1
0

First, Google goggles - now the world gets self-censoring specs

John H Woods
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: There are times...

I agree. And how much more would we have achieved if we hadn't lost 1000 years or so to the transmissable disease meme of religion?

8
0

BBC gives itself a gold in 700Gbit-a-second Olympic vid sprint

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Freeview?

*'quiet.

Edit button, guys? Even Farcebook has one.

3
1
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Freeview?

Whilst you're wrong, you're in company. Very many of my friends didn't realise that there were 24 full channels, between them covering every single event.

[A lot less fuss was made of this than the digital switchover - that had the stupidity of a multi-million pound campaign on almost endless repeat, with posters everywhere, when a quite superimposed graphic on the corner of each analogue channel would have done nicely. In any case, you notice when a telly goes blank - it's not quite so obvious when more channels crop up.]

1
0

YouTube escapes Google's piracy site smackdown

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Google favours its own services shock story.....

@Big_Ted, BBC is not permitted to advertise any other services, so that's why they don't - completely different situation.

0
0

Google may face grilling by MPs over 'immoral' tax avoidance

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Jolly good

More importantly - every major media outlet

3
0

Huawei Ascend P1 Android review

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: @Cabroni: Given that it was obvious that I had used the term ad hominem ....

Calling someone a 'muppet' is definitely ad hominem.

Maybe he's hiding in case your nom-de-plume refers to something you could see him through.

0
0

Glaswegian scientists snap entangled particles

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: OR...

I've been thinking about that and I don't quite agree (although it wasn't me that downvoted you). Every time you get in the box you run a 50% risk of dying. As you survive more and more times, it appears obvious that *something* is defeating the risk. That something could be (if the equipment isn't broken) that you find yourself in a particular universe where the history is of, say 20 successful survivals, and not in one of the 2^20-1 universes where you died.

This actually gives you a counter-argument to the God people - that there are gazillions of universes out there where nothing has happened at all. We live in the one where we developed like this. But the difference between that argument and my strategy is that (if the equipment works) you can exactly quantify the chance that you would have survived, whereas we have no realistic measurements for the chance of abiogenesis.

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: OR...

Emmanuel Goldstein: "the observer is in fact discovering which of these universes he/she is in. no faster than light propagating required."

In fact you can prove this (but only to yourself) by becoming Shroedinger's cat yourself. You get in the box, subject yourself to a 50% quantum risk of death, get out, rinse, repeat. After you have survived 22 times you've hit 5 sigma (I think, maybe someone can check my maths) certainty.

Of course, there are now something over 4 million universes where people are tutting to themselves as they get a dead physicist out of a box.

1
0

Not a Cloud in my holiday sky

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: You wouldn't steal a car?!?

To make it clear, my open WiFi network has the word "OPEN" in it. Feel free to use it if you are passing. I feel that running an open network (firewalled and throttled to 1.1 Mbps) as well as a secured one is protective - I'm pretty sure the majority of people who'd try to break into the secure one are looking for free internet access rather than targetting my own network.

1
0

SHOCK: Poll shows Americans think TSA is highly effective

John H Woods
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Sample size?

A sample size of 1000 would be perfectly satisfactory to get some sensible results IFF the samples are chosen at random. The smaller the sample size, the more important it is that it is a truly random selection of the population. That is probably not the case in this survey, as others have pointed out, but if you can ensure perfect sample selection you'd be surprised how reliable it can be.

For instance, if you found that 50% of a truly random 1k sample liked apple pie, then you would have about 95% confidence that the true value in a population of 250k was within 47-53% and only a 1% chance that the real population's liking for apple pie was outside the 46-54% range. However, asking customers of the Pie Factory, or the residents of the Olympic Village, might render one's results MUCH less reliable.

2
0

Blizzard pwned: Gamers' email, encrypted passwords slurped

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Wrong advice

For a while one of my (female) bosses had:

Q: "There's no way you're going out dressed like that young lady"

A: "I'll dress how I like and you're not even my real dad!"

2
0

Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Bull excrement

"Have you tried your Blackberry on Orange?"

yeah but it was a lemon

2
0

Mobile phone health rules need update, warns US watchdog

John H Woods
Silver badge

All health risks ...

... should be measured in cigarettes/day or car miles or something people can understand. Not bollocks such as %age of a minute risk. Three car journeys triple a minute risk - buying three lotto tickets triples your chance of winning. In both cases there is no practical difference.

Until we have worked out how to stop ageing, there is almost no point worrying about any risk that is less than around 2-5cigs /day or 5-10,000 miles of driving a year.

2
0

Apple: Samsung was in 'crisis' over our iPhone awesomeness

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Conflation

A quick image search for Psion MX origina box reveals boxes with - a picture on the lid.

3
3

Wikipedia collapses threatening the very fabric of civilisation

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: People talk about the inaccuracy of Wpedia...

Sorry Euchrid, I may not have been clear. I don't think Dimmock's norks or even Wisdom's compositions are really 'encyclopedic' content.

As well as 'uncontroversial' I should have said 'important'. For instance, what mineral is usually refined to get elemental arsenic? What is VxWorks, or for that matter, what is a Real Time O/S? What is the median of an exponential distribution? How do you calculate an exponentially weighted moving average? How much does MSL Curiosity weigh a) on earth b) on mars?

I'm am sure that the accuracy of the Wpedia articles that cover stuff that you would never see in a regular encyclopedia are frequently inaccurate. You should thank your lucky stars that anyone has even tried to gather this information for you. But what I'm talking about are Wpedia pages that cover stuff you would see in a regular encyclopedia. These, in general, tend to be fairly bloody reliable.

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge
Flame

People talk about the inaccuracy of Wpedia...

... as if print media was 100% accurate. I challenge those who have claimed above that Wpedia is effectively worthless to provide a link to a Wpage on an uncontroversial subject that really is downright wrong. I have a lot of problems with Wpedia - the douchebaggery of Wales, the egotistic posturing of admins, etc but it really isn't bad enough to consider it to be mainly, or even significantly, "rubbish".

When my kids' teachers complain that Wpedia isn't always right I agree - but it is *good* to teach them not to rely on any single 'authority'. Check your sources, and apply critical thinking. Even when reading El Reg.

2
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I'm in the UK.... the sun is shining....

... and we got our first gold in the showjumping for 6 decades!

1
0

Devon NHS trust left data of 1,373 staff online for MONTHS

John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Sensitive?

I always put my origin as "African". Because it's true for everybody.

6
0

Curiosity success 'paves way for Man on Mars by 2030s'

John H Woods
Silver badge

Grey Goo

... not going to happen

Empirically - nothing like it has evolved in 3.5Gy. Why do more complex organisims exist?

Genetically - if it ever did, organisms would evolve resistance. Even if they did not, by the time everything was grey goo, some nanobots would get a replication advantage by organising themselves into more complex structures. So you would have a grey goo phase, but then it would go away again

Thermodynamically - you can only get stuck with an interminable grey goo future if there is no more energy to go into the system. In which case it is game over anyway, goo or not.

0
0

Samsung lengthens Note phone-cum-tablet to 10 inches

John H Woods
Silver badge

bluetooth or speakerphone, surely...

... but upvoted for the first LOL of the week.

0
0

God-botherers burst onto IPTV Freeview: The End is Nigh

John H Woods
Silver badge
Flame

TV

Sorry, I read that as Transmission Vector rather than TeleVision - probably because I regard religion as a communicable disease,

21
6

Size does matter: Outlook.com punters want meatier passwords

John H Woods
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: "The length of a password is less important than its strength"

Wow, I can see you didn't read my post before hitting the downvote button. It actually agrees that 5000^5 is still better than 64^8. It's just a note of caution that the xkcd 'correct horse battery staple' entropy is often overestimated. I'd normally be interested to know why you think my 'argument fails even on it's own rather suspect numbers' but the fact you couldn't even read and comprehend this short post tells me all I need to know.

1
1
John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

Re: "The length of a password is less important than its strength"

"Clearly long passwords using just dictionary words are vastly more memorable and secure than 8 letter passwords composed of random characters."

Might be true but most people don't know what many of the 200k words in the English dictionary mean. Most people have a working vocabulary of about 5000 words. I'm pretty much prepared to bet that if you asked most people for 5 random words you would get 5000^5 ~= 10^18 bits of entropy at most. So I reckon you're out by a factor of 100 million or so in you estimate.

You're still better off with this than 8 characters though.

2
1