* Posts by Colin Mountford

25 posts • joined 3 Apr 2008

New pics of giant black sphere hurtling toward Earth

Colin Mountford

Thank you....

for the most useful link since the "how to make an origami tin foil hat".

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Planet with British weather found 20 light years away

Colin Mountford
Headmaster

Hold on...something wrong here

For a planet to be tidally locked to something the water must be in liquid form. No?

If the water became frozen on one side that would create an eccentric mass which is turn would start the plant rotating again.

It seems unlikely it is tidally locked to the sun as according to the physics for something this far out to be tidally locked to the sun the system must be incredibly old. But actually it seems to be the same age as our solar system.

Analogy would be the earth or mars should be tidally locked to the sun, but they are not.

So I don't understand why this thing is tidally locked.

Of course as the last time I touched theoretical astronomy was 22 years ago (3 month optional A-level Physics course) I might have missed something and Wikipedia might not be the text book I need.

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£1bn+ Royal Navy destroyer finally fires 'disgraceful' weapon

Colin Mountford

Ah ha!

Monsieur,

Vous, mon vieux haricot, êtes le Register homme français caché et je demande mon €5!

Sentiments distingués

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Action gamers make better drivers, soldiers, surgeons

Colin Mountford
FAIL

The result was obvious

Anyone playing Sims2 for more than a week would be in no fit state to do anything, an effective software lobotomy.

Scientist: "Where is the yellow dot?"

Sims2 Player : "Ooo but there are so many pretty dots to choose from, I'm not sure I want the yellow one. Can I try them on the walls? that will look nice."

There's your result.

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Apple acquisition points to Google Maps divorce

Colin Mountford
Headmaster

Unacceptable slur on the author

Considering the level demonstrated in the article and the state of foreign language teaching in the UK I would say he is at least revising for A levels.

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Ten Essential... Gaming Mice

Colin Mountford

Gaming mouse for WOW - waste of money

How can you actually review a gaming mouse with WOW?

I would have thought something a bit more twitchy like Team Fortress 2, Unreal: tournament, Crysis 2 etc. would have been more appropriate.

However you seem to have come to the right conclusion - Razer all the way.

Can't beat them (unless you want something under £50).

One correction the Habu mouse (joint Microsoft / Razer) has interchangable thumb buttons to allow position adjustment. However the drivers are terrible, presumably due to the involvement of microsoft. Therefore don't buy it.

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Sony sued for dropping Linux from PS3

Colin Mountford
Linux

VAT myth

As no one has already pointed out this, the VAT loophole applied to PS3 was and is a myth. Although Sony might have thought of trying to claim PS3 was a computer (as they did with PS2) they never bothered to follow through. It was already clear from the PS2 judgement that they could not get away with advertising it as a games machine and then selling it as a computer.

Off topic: No idea how that applies to Alienware PCs though - maybe that is why they are so over-priced?

As a PS3 owner am slightly miffed about the removal of Linux. I was waiting for a long weekend without wife and any decent new games to try the install so I can do proper web browsing on my PS3. Have to find something else to do now; probably install it on my PC.

Can I sue Sony for wasting PC disc space and resources <troll>?

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UK suffers videogame 2009 sales blow

Colin Mountford
Heart

Huh?

As every man + dog will point out - this is over the counter sales.

Over the counter sales are dead long live steam, amazon, play.com.

I will miss it though, nothing quite like walking into Game and being hit by the unique combination of freshly packed videogames and superconcentrated body odour.

Perhaps I should bottle it and sell it to amazon?

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1 in 3 users reviewed Facebook privacy roll-back

Colin Mountford
Alert

Deliberately confusing

I logged into my facebook account for the first time in 4 months to check up on an old friend and faced this privacy "review". It took me 1 minute to work out exactly what was going on.

It gave me 2 options for each type of information:-

1) Do you want to share "x" with everyone?

2) Do you want to maintain current settings for "x"?

Why didn't it say explicitly what the current settings were (until you "hovered over the selection)?

If my old settings were "share with everyone" why did it not give me the option to roll back?

Seems to me it was a confidence trick to try and get users to open up their settings even more.

Fortunately, from the start I had the foresight to input inaccurate data, at a stroke reducing my age by several years, giving me the 29-Feb birthday I had always wished for and moving my residence to the far more interesting Afghanistan.

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Vomit cannon to protect vessels from pirates, paparazzi

Colin Mountford
Coat

Perfect solution

Can't they just double up on the eyepatches?

Yes... ok.. I'm going

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Homer Simpson speaks out on satnavs

Colin Mountford
Coat

Shurely shome mishtake....

I think actually the Homer Tom Tom should say things such as

Disclaimer screen "He knew the things that were and the things that would be and the things that had been before. However he does not know that Pickering Street is now one way - so please follow the Highway code. Do you agree (Yes/No)"

For voice recognition

"Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another. Can you please state your instruction again?"

"You have reached you destination but remember that The minds of the everlasting gods are not changed suddenly. "

I'll get my Toga....

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Teens rate top tech brands

Colin Mountford

Re: Man Utd?? @ steogede

"Manchester United’s apparently the most favoured souless corporation posing as a football team amongst the people that don't actually have any interest in football as a competitive event but rather as a method of rich men wanging their wads at each other."

there, fixed that for you...AND I feel a bit better for it.

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Oz bloke in underpants wrestles 'lunatic ninja' roo

Colin Mountford

No no no that's all wrong

What a tragedy - if only Mr.Ettlin had understood

<crash>

Mr. Ettlin: What's wrong Skippy.

Roo starts bouncing on the bed

Mr. Ettlin: Oh, you want the bed sheets? Why's that skippy?

Roo continues bouncing but nods it's head and points with it's claws

Mr Ettlin: Mr. Parkin next door has fallen down a mineshaft?

Roo bounces through to son's room

Mr. Ettlin: We're going need more sheets are we Skippy?

Roo stops bouncing and crosses it's "arms"

Mr. Ettlin: So you want us to tie them together to make a rope to rescue Mr. Parkins. Let's go Skippy - show us the way..

I thought with Australias immigration policies that Skippy the Bush Kangaroo would be obligatory watching for all foreigners.

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World of Warcraft: 'The crack cocaine of the computer world'

Colin Mountford
Thumb Up

@ Mycho

Angband - now that is hard core.

Whilst I was at warwick Uni I remember 5 to 6 hour playing sessions going through the latest compile made by some guy doing compsci (Geoff?). I was always the lightweight as I normally went to bed at some point.

However on one occassion I did wake up at 6am to find myself sitting at a computer with my fingers still stuck on the control keys and some security guy looming over me asking me kindly to move along.

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US Army working on 'exploding marmalade' missile tech

Colin Mountford
Joke

I wouldn't have expected anything less.

With NASA it's always jam tomorrow.

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Curve/ball phone-cam tech 'to match professional kit'

Colin Mountford
Coat

Solution looking for a problem?

Nowadays they compensate for that kind of problem is done through software compensating for the lens distortion with generally good results.

The main problem with a slim camera is the "film" is not as far from the lens.

This means the image is projected onto a smaller area on the film.

To compensate the density of pixels increases and the pixel size decreases.

As pixel size decreases they essentially become more sensitive to light (I'm sure there is a more technical explanation). This sensitivity means higher error ratios causing more noise in the picture.

So until they solve the noise concern this seems pointless.

Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me.

Now if he really wants a market he could turn it into a coat and include both sensors and emitters then potentially we have an invisibility cloak!

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UK e-tailers scurry to scrap dodgy Heavy Metal covers

Colin Mountford
Go

I have a cunning plan...

Maybe we can turn this to our advantage.

How about submitting these depictions to the IWF of men lusting after school age children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Trinian's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carry_On_Camping

Although no images are available on Wiki. I'm sure the actual film images available on Youtube et al. would have the IWF frothing at the mouth.

At the same time we can reduce the number of Christmas repeats by forcing the BBC to not show them. If the IWF have banned them then how can BBC show them. Sorted..

Now if only I could get Chitty Chitty Bang Bang banned. Let's think...

Environmentally unfriendly flying car - tick

Children - tick

Adults abusing children by locking them up - tick

Weird bloke who sniffs children - BINGO!

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iPhone developer stoops to straight bribery

Colin Mountford
Thumb Down

Their bribery is worse than our bribery.

In what way is paying customers to give a better review a step further than giving journalists free gifts in order to give a better review.

Customers are just getting goods with a rebate when they say they like the goods.

Journalists are taking additional income (yes free products are income) outside that they have already received for doing the job.

I would say giving customers rebates to say products are good is in fact on slightly higher moral ground than giving freebies to journos.

Or course I wouldn't suggest that journalists should have to return the goods they review. But at least they should declare in their reviews if they are allowed to keep the goods or if they receive other "gifts" in exchange.

By the way if you have a Darth Vader toaster going spare I would be willing to change my comment on receipt of the goods....

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Blu-ray add-on coming to the Xbox 360?

Colin Mountford
Stop

<Deep breath>

Blu-ray, not worth it anyway until discs are the same price as DVDs. Just need an upscaler player, far better.

Anyway Xbox 360 has far better games line-up, doesn't need to pretend to be a media centre to sell.

Blu-ray region protection is rubbish.

Hard media is no longer the future, downloadable content is the way to go, so why are we bothering with Blu-ray.

Blu-ray p0rn is the way to go, Paris would know about that

Mine's the one with the useless dongles attached.

<Breath out>

Hopefully that's the thread killed before it starts....

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Judah 'Visual Voicemail' Klausner sues Google, Verizon, Citrix...

Colin Mountford
Gates Halo

Hold on a minute - American Patent System

Sorry but although IP is imperfect this,

"anyone who is not putting a patented technology into practical use two years after getting the patent approved, or at least is able to prove that he seriously attempts to, should loose the patent"

, is a seriously flawed idea.

If you have an novel invention (whether software, hardware or widgets) you should have the right to be able to exploit that idea however you see fit. You may not be capable of actually making that idea, but someone who is capable should pay you to use it.

The fundemental problem is actually the American Patent System.

There are key criteria for a patent

- Is it new?

- Is is technical (does it relate to the way something works)?

- Is the intellectual step required obvious to anyone with technical knowledge of the area?

- Does is meet the laws of physics and/or can it actually be made?

In Europe the general system (although burdensome at the beginning) allows the patent office to judge whether these are met _before_ issuing the patent.

In America they avoid the initial detailed check, they just do a cursory check (no comparison with existing patents to confirm it is original etc.). Then they let the lawyers battle it out if anyone disagrees.

For an example see http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6994809.html.

A patent allowed for a method to cover a hole in a plaster wall by creating a plug of the same material in the same size.

I know I'm biased but the European system seems better and should result in less work for lawyers. A good thing all round I think.

Of course when it comes to American companies trying to patent their software to create a monopoly, Europe aren't so happy about that. Poor old Bill.

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Gordon Brown's secret life as network admin

Colin Mountford
Boffin

@ Grammar Pedants

Dear Sirs,

I feel moved to comment on the furore surrounding the use of the apostrophe by a number of your correspondents. I am outraged that anyone who uses a less than symbol in combination with a solidus in an English paragraph feels in a position to comment on correct grammar and punctuation. May I suggest that your readership peruses the excellent "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" before making any further comments on the subject.

Yours faithfully

Mr C. Mountford

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Bebo users to summon superhuman alien pop-fancier invasion

Colin Mountford
Pirate

At least the message is clear

Previous communications could have been misinterpreted leading to possible future misunderstandings between the human race and any alien civilization.

At least now there is no danger of that. A concentrated beam of Bebo multimedia imagery; an open act of war.

Can't someone stop this madness or at least beam a signal in the same general direction containing the image of the dear professor with a big arrow pointing at him.

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US bars ID refuseniks from planes - but not ID losers

Colin Mountford

But errr....

I fly every week in Europe (and within the UK) - I always need to present my ID both when I check in and when I get on the plane.

No ID - no flight.

Did I miss something?

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Swiss birdman in Alpine backpack-jetplane stunt flight

Colin Mountford
Heart

Jet-Wing Widow

Conversation went like this:-

Me - "Wow look at this, genius"

Roll you tube video and brief explanation of principles of flight.

Wife - "Why would you want to do that"

Me - "Because it's awesome"

Wife - "I already got you a remote controlled helicopter"

Me - "But I can't fly IN that"

Wife - "And it looks dangerous."<eyes narrow> "How much does it cost anyway"

Me - "But the wind in your hair, swooping through the Alps, you can't put a price on that."

Wife - "No you can't have one, besides we're saving for new windows"

Me - "But"

Wife - "No"

Me - "mumble mumble" - retreat to the shed with hammer, carbon fibre panels and 4 jet engines - "I'll be in the shed, back soon"

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Aussie laser-pointer dazzle attacks on airliners: Bad

Colin Mountford
Boffin

Powerpoint - literally

I thought these guys wore mirrored shades (I know - I've seen Topgun). They just need to polish them a bit more before landing.

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