Feeds

* Posts by John H Woods

1268 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Boffins cram binary data into living cells' DNA

John H Woods
Silver badge

Ace science...

... but there is no usable *IT* technology here, probably never will be. In terms of genetic technology there is always potential anywhere you can control genetic material; but I really cannot see why "Programmable data storage within the DNA of living cells would seem an incredibly powerful tool for studying cancer, ageing, organismal development and even the natural environment." That just sounds like marketing, rather than science.

0
1

Another NHS trust coughs up £90k fine for lax fax acts

John H Woods
Silver badge

I can beat this

I was once faxed a full transcript and evidence for an employee disciplinary hearing. Apparently this Orange store employee was considered to have violated some purchasers privacy. I nearly died of irony.

1
0

Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I have a serious question:

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/jimmy_wales

0
0

Txt-speak is a sign of humanity 4 U

John H Woods
Silver badge

Lots of love

Grandma has died. LOL.

3
0

Does Britain really need a space port?

John H Woods
Silver badge

Money Men?

"That said, Reaction Engines believes it will need a cool $12bn to make a Skylon fly: and it remains unclear that it can pay such an investment back on the time scales that money men demand. "

Weird isn't it? These 'money men' seem to thing that waiting over a century to get their money back from their Facebook shares is perfectly ok.

3
0

UK man to spend year in the clink for Facebook account hack

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Note to Home Secretary

IIRC the military passwords Gary McK guessed were, for the most part, blank. So even weaker than the average FB password!

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: lol @ todays "hackers"

Yeah, did he mean gaol?

1
0

Button batteries BURN KIDS FROM INSIDE

John H Woods
Silver badge

Weird...

... were they waiting for someone to invent X-rays?

0
0

New Apple keyboard patent may spell trouble for Android

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Did you hear scientists are replacing lab rats with patent lawyers?

You forgot (3) only a finite number of rats in world :-)

0
0

Foxconn chief: we're gearing up for Apple 'iTV'

John H Woods
Silver badge

ITV2

Can't remember which sketch show it was, but a wonderful 10 second clip of the ITV2 logo with the voiceover "This is ITV2. Move along, nothing to see here" is very hard to forget.

0
0

Headbanger plays Star Trek theme on floppy drives

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: The standard by which all others are tested

My favourite is Phantom of the Floppera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmoDLyiQYKw

1
0

UK milk wastage = 20,000 cars = actually completely unimportant

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Unfortunately, the facts are otherwise

"No child benefit after second child - that way it's like a tax on children."

Errm, children are FUCKING expensive anyway, they do not need to be taxed. Couples who choose not to have children are rewarded not only 'in some way' but ENORMOUSLY due to - guess what - not having to pay for children (xkcd 946).

If you were correct in your cause and effect wealthier people would have more children than poorer people, and that isn't what happens. Making the poorest poorer will not stop them having more children. Looking after children properly, educating them properly and making them productive members of society is what we need to focus on.

Remember your 'reduction in class sizes', even if it were to happen, is a reduction in the number of people who will be able to pay for you - pension, healthcare etc - when you are older.

4
7

How to simulate a light armoured vehicle

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Aussie sims.

It's a great story, and has some basis in fact, but the reality of it is apparently a little more mundane. The devs did it as a joke; it was something visible right away (not an embarrassing hiccough during demonstration or after deployment); and it was at an early stage of development (when the projectiles were still, IIRC, beachballs rather than missiles).

2
0

US gov boffins achieve speeds FASTER THAN LIGHT

John H Woods
Silver badge

@David W

whilst I appreciate the sarcasm in your amusing post I feel compelled to opine thus:

The highly trained individuals to whom you refer would (rightly) have zero respect for us if we took them, or any other highly trained individuals, at their word. This is a logical fallacy called "accepting the argument from authority."

It has been my privilege to meet many top-flight scientists and my feeling is they would be more impressed with even our ill-informed attempts to debunk their approach than the unthinking 'scientists say...' acceptance of the other lay media where their results will be reported.

3
0

Cameron hardens stance on UK web filth block

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I can only imagine

Actually I found a porn mag whilst walking the dog the other day. And, sign of the times, it had a DVD taped to the front of it!

0
0

Yahoo! board! probes! CEO's! CompSci! CV! blunder!

John H Woods
Silver badge

Completely agree ...

... you might even hire me (BSc Genetics, PhD Biochem) to do an IT job, given I've been doing one for 20 years. But there's a difference between "not having an IT degree" and "being prepared to lie on one's CV".

Bit like MPs with sleeze. We don't care what shenanigans they get up to in their personal life. But we do care if they are liars.

7
0

Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

John H Woods
Silver badge

ABH

*rubs forehead twice*

0
0

US, Euro e-car makers back 'standard' AC/DC jack

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Is it just me....?

I hope you never have to take a Rorsach test!

2
0

ICO mulls stiffer probe into Google Street View Wi-Fi slurp

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: How is this all so wrong?

If you did that you could hardly object to my observing your signal strength (oh, that person over there is shouting at this volume). But what if you shouted something I didn't understand (bytes) and I went to the effort of translating it, transcribing it (making it search-able), storing it with something identifying your voice (MAC code), the address you were at, and when it happened. And keeping that information indefinitely. Oh, and then systematically driving round the whole world doing the same, with microphones able to pick up what people were saying 100m away. And then saying I did it unintentionally.

Doesn't it seem just a tiny bit wrong now?

3
3

'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

John H Woods
Silver badge

Time is a quality filter

I think there *are* good movies, games and music still being created. It just looks like it was better in the old days because we don't re-show, re-broadcast or re-play the dross: the intervening years act as a filter.

Countless films were made in 1942 - 1358 of them are listed in iMDB. They weren't all as good as Casablanca and most will never be shown again. I still occasionally play Timesplitters 2, but that doesn't mean that I think 2002 was somehow a golden year for videogames in general.

I certainly don't think there should be an expectation that we should enjoy the works of others for free, nor that the works of those others should provide income for generations of their descendants long after their death. But I don't think we can claim that so-called 'piracy' is responsible for the death of all quality when we haven't really established that such a death has occurred.

6
0

GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

John H Woods
Silver badge

Let's see

1) Tie the (monetary) success of schools to their grades using league tables etc.

2) Allow the exam boards to compete with each other so that schools can choose exam boards

3) Act all surprised at the consequences

12
0

Want to be a better marksman? Play shooting games

John H Woods
Silver badge

I used to play Skyrim all day...

... but then I took an arrow to the paycheck

0
0

The truth about Apple's mind-boggling low tax rate

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: On this occasion I am willing to accept the iPhanboi argument that.......

Sorry, but the fact that "people" would not offer to pay more tax, quite apart from the fact that they are effectively taxed much more than corporations - and have a lot less wiggle room in terms of clever accounting - has nothing to do with this argument.

Companies are either paying enough tax or they are not. And, as they have a duty to perform as efficiently as possible whilst remaining within the law, it is the laws which may or may not need to be changed.

14
3

EU privacy body slams ACTA as 'unacceptable'

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: About bloody time

Self determination my arse. The reason why it looks that way to us in the UK is that power is massively centralised. What we have in the UK is 'London Determination' and that is why we all fear that the EU merely replaces that with 'Brussels Determination'.

In other EU contries, local government has REAL power which is why they don't fear the EU so much.

Apart from that, I completely agree with you.

0
0

Computer nostalgia is 10 PRINT 'BOLLOCKS'

John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

ok ...

"I bought an Apple iPad 3 last weekend. I now invite trolls to abuse me below. Lord knows, I deserve it."

Writing bollocks like this gives you that kind of disposable income? Where can I sign up?

30
0

'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry

John H Woods
Silver badge

ob. xkcd

http://xkcd.com/747/

4
0

Tim Cook rejects Apple's old business model of suing everyone

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: toasted waffle vending machine

erm - incorrect use of the joke alert icon.

2
0
John H Woods
Silver badge
Flame

Re: The apple hate makes no sense

- to you. Clearly this is true otherwise you would see that "The products are good" is an irrelevance to this argument. Some people here are objecting on a moral and ethical basis to Apple cynically trying to make people believe they truly invented almost everything to do with these devices when it is a simple matter of fact that they did not.

However, you caricature these objections as 'hate' and consider those who make them to be just "crying about it". Until you can see that the objections have some rational basis (with which you may or may not agree) you will continue to incorrectly perceive a 'hate which makes no sense' and therefore be incapable of contributing to the discussion in any meaningful manner.

6
1

Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'

John H Woods
Silver badge

The other reason ....

... we like the 2nd hand market and they don't is that , in that market, price reflects quality. They would like to continue to release all games at the same 50-60 price point even though some of them are vastly inferior to others.

4
0

Theresa May: No emails sniffed in web super-snoop law

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: when she says

Beat me to it. It means *EVERYONE* else.

6
0

Educating Rory: Are BBC reporters unteachable?

John H Woods
Silver badge

Sean T. Baggely says: "Our education system is fundamentally broken. We're doing it wrong. All of it. It'll require politicians with serious, long-term vision and the force of will to carry it through to fix the mess, both in education, and within politics itself."

BZZZT wrong. Politicians *are* the problem. The more they interfere with education, the worse it gets.

7
0

Martha Lane Fox hits caps lock, yells at small biz websites

John H Woods
Silver badge

Whilst I agree...

... I would like to remind everyone that the UK is a *serious* manufacturing nation. I would like us to do more, and I would certainly welcome more support for UK industry. One of the first things we have to do is stop fetishizing small online start-ups on the one hand, and the financial services industry on the other. The former, as you say, generate very few jobs and the latter is so heavily taxpayer-supported it might as well be considered nationalized industry.

But we have to get out of the "we don't make anything anymore" mindset - it's not helping us support the industry we really do have.

0
0

Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Oh come on!

wor(l)d has moved on - 'boffin' is now mainly a term of possibly grudging, probably jokingly grudging, admiration.

Sources:

1) my teenage children

2) teh interwebs

1
0

Ten... Satnavs to suit all budgets

John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Map update costs

Are you sure you didn't accidentally tick 'avoid main roads?'

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Hm, odd

... yes, a dedicated GPS can also record blackbox style through the camera and save video when a crash is detected. Oh, no, wait - that's my phone :-)

Get a half decent Android, load SVOX voice of your choice, download one of the black-box apps, and if you wish, pay for traffic news.

The major downside afaics is that capacitive screens don't work with gloves. Nice to see that some manufacturers of dedicated GPS are also going capacitive now to even things up!

1
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Please reformat...

Absolutely agree. 'Galleries' of pictures are particularly galling. Firefox + Autopager doesn't do everything but where it works (like here) it is a godsend.

0
0

'I'm no visionary': Torvalds up for $1.3m life-changing gong

John H Woods
Silver badge

Refreshing ...

... to hear that Linus describes himself as 'no visionary' and is clearly aware of how much of the success of Linux is down to the community.

Contrast with the myth that the entire success of a corporation is down to the almost single-handed efforts of the CEO.

0
0

Great HR mistakes of our time - Aviva fires 1300 by email

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Is it just me?

Facebook firing already happened - you must remember http://itsnotyouitsyourresume.com/wordpress/2009/11/24/5-%E2%80%9Csocial-media-don%E2%80%99ts-%E2%80%9D-for-the-career-minded. Although my sympathy is more with the employer than the employee in that case :-)

0
0

Gmail goes titsup for 30 MILLION PUNTERS

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: X Sigma

I'm confused - I thought sigma referred to standard deviations from the mean. Is it now also used as a replacement for the '5 nines / 6 nines' etc terminology that we used to use for uptime?

0
0

CAPITALISM without PROFITS - Welcome to the Instagram Era!

John H Woods
Silver badge

It shows how bad things are ...

... I had to read it twice to make sure it wasn't serious.

37
0

.XXX registry in .porn, .adult, .sex extension grab bid

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: 215,000 .xxx domain names

That's a lot of research to do single-handedly.

2
0

Game of Thrones Blu-ray disc set

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Book for adults

Absofuckinglutely

0
0

Ten... ADF-based inkjet all-in-one printers

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Reg != Which

Actually, Which? is a bit pointless anyway: they usually only test one of each model as if there was no such thing as production line variation. It's always bugged me that the sample-size-of-one approach can be held up as the acme of consumer testing - I'd rather read 50 online reviews and make up my own mind.

0
0

Ten... Living Room Gadget Treats

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: So...

Yeah, I'm listening to music playing from my phone through a load of old car radio speakers and an amp and a sub salvaged from a broken x-rocker chair. Still nice to look at stuff you can't have - lots of magazines do this: holidays, cars, yachts, improbably expensive gadgets and even women.

0
0

Forensic snoops: It doesn't take a Genius to break into an iPhone

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Proving once more

Yes - excepting good encryption of the content

3
0

Condom compartment hidden in iPhone case

John H Woods
Silver badge

iPlaya?

Surely the Beeb will complain

0
0

Thousands of Brits bombarded in caller spoofing riddle

John H Woods
Silver badge
Happy

My solution ...

... phone with a 'VIP' mode - and distinctive ring. So i have my non-VIP ring set to silent, and my VIP ring set to normal.

Answering machine message goes like this: "You'll need a PIN to proceed. Don't worry if you don't know it, I'm going to tell you. But before I do, I should also point out that unless you are a colleague, friend or relative of someone who lives here, using the code will be considered an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. If you accept these conditions, please feel free to use the PIN: it is 1990. Otherwise you can leave a message ..."

The phone lights up at least 20 times a day. But no-one has ever dared risk the CMA which handily makes it a crime to access a system for which you are unauthorised, even if you know the password.

Most calls fail at the point that the 'grunt-detector' on the autodialler detects that it has reached an answering machine. Some people hold to leave a message, but where I have put the ellipsis above I have recorded a very long diatribe, lamenting the use of telephone spam. At the end of that message it tells them that the answering machine is currently off. I love seeing some calls lasting the full 3 mins.

0
0