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* Posts by Bryan B

38 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

Now it gets serious: Fracking could RUIN BEER

Bryan B
FAIL

Purity schmurity

The German brewers just *love* to witter on about their Purity Law. Apparently no-one else in the world brews good beer because no-one else has a Purity Law. Now, when was the last time I heard an argument like that? Oh yes, some religious nutter telling me I can't possibly live a good life if I don't have a Holy Book to tell me what is and isn't good.

Never mind that it was forced on the rest of the country by the Bavarians as a condition of unification and didn't cover the whole of Germany until 1906, never mind that it doesn't stop you using GM barley or hops sprayed with pesticide, never mind that it wiped out entire swathes of North German brewing tradition at a stroke, never mind that pretty much all British ales do indeed meet the Reinheitsgebot...

The Reinheitsgebot is a prop, a sop. It's what mass-market German brewers use to convince themselves that they are the best in the world and so is their beer, when they aren't and it isn't. Sure, there are some very VERY fine beers produced in Germany, but there's also a lot of meh and a fair bit of dross.

PS. I live in Germany.

PPS. Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!

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BYOD sync 'n share

Bryan B

Re: Left Dropbox last week

I'd use Dropbox's Selective Sync feature to prioritise the folders I really need now on the new machine, then sync the rest later.

I think Dropbox is great, especially the way it actually syncs to a local folder on a Mac or PC - and not just under Windows, too. Encryption is an issue though, and while I could encrypt the folders on my Ubuntu systems before syncing them, that would presumably prevent my reading my files on my phone or on in the browser on a borrowed PC, say.

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Where are all the decent handheld scribbling tools?

Bryan B
FAIL

A one-piece machine for bashing out words on the move is a great idea. Sadly though, as the makers of the TRS-80, Z88, NC100, etc. discovered, once you've sold (or quite likely, given) one to every journalist that could use it, there's no-one left to sell the other million units you made to, because hardly anyone else wants this kind of thing.

So yes, it's probably back to a tablet/smartphone plus a Bluetooth keyboard...

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Yuri Gagarin lands at Royal Albert Hall

Bryan B

Technically *not* the first spaceman

The parachute descent meant that the trip should have been disqualified under FAI rules, which required the pilot to land with his craft. The Soviets covered this up for years, including forcing Gagarin to lie in press conferences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vostok_1#World_record

He was a bloody brave guy though.

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UK.gov uses booze to lure London kids into ID scheme

Bryan B
FAIL

"Travel to Europe"?

Er, if they're in London - or even Manchester - they're in Europe already...

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Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse

Bryan B
Stop

The Web is not the Internet

"Businesses and individuals were unable to gain access to their email accounts via the internet"

Not true.

There was no access via the WEB, most accounts were still accessible via the Internet using IMAP or POP3.

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Take a hammer to your hard drive, shrieks Which?

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Which? has been clueless on IT for years

"Which? is published by the Consumer Association and has a long history of offering sensible advice on everything from car maintenance to home finance and computers"

Nope. Which? has a long history of offering worthless, crap, wrong-headed and misleading advice whenever it gets involved with anything technological.

Even when it brings it people who DO understand tech to try and turn things around, it's never long before they succumb to the mysterious quantum-Luddite field that apparently permeates Which? HQ.

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US smutmongers want big bucks bailout

Bryan B
Happy

Nice irony

A suitable riposte to the preposterous claims of the fat-cats of Detroit and Wall Street. Bravo!

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US stocks up on semi-automatic rifles

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Home defence

These guys want Kalashnikovs and Armalites for home defence? Who the heck do they think they need to defend themselves against - an Al Quaeda assault squad?!? Bizarre...

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Can I connect two gadgets to one powerline Ethernet adaptor?

Bryan B

Switch

A switch should work as well as a hub, and it'll be a lot easier than trying to find a 100Mbit/s hub!

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MEPs vote to recognise flag, anthem, motto

Bryan B
Thumb Up

12 is just a nice number

The number of stars is - so they say - nothing to do with the number of members. It's because 12 is a nice round number and looks good on a flag (and a calendar).

It's not even originally the EU flag - the EU has nicked it off the Council of Europe, which is not part of the EU or run by the EU, and which has 47 members, not 12.

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Unannounced Nokia E-series talkers leaked

Bryan B
Unhappy

"We're sorry, this video is no longer available."

"We're sorry, this video is no longer available."

You gotta cache this stuff, I guess....

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Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

Bryan B

Cloning

It might just be a frightener of course, but cops have talked about the ability to spot the same numberplate turning up in two unfeasibly distant places at around about the same time. So when you go looking for a car similar to yours, make sure it's one that doesn't get used much....

@Justin: There's also ANPR gantries on the autobahns for the HGV (LKW) tolls, to check GPS accuracy and spot non-payers.

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Home wireless without the power trip

Bryan B

Line of sight can be a big advantage

as anyone who used a Palm or similar to beam contacts will know.

Anything radio-based, such as Bluetooth, is a right PITA by comparison. Instead of a nice simple accept/reject dialogue, you get a list of all the detected devices, which in some locations can be yards long. Then you have to figure out which is the one you want to send to - by which time the receiver has probably turned itself undetectable again.

Give me IrDA rather than Bluetooth for beaming any day!

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TSA says 'checkpoint friendly' laptop bags on the way

Bryan B
Unhappy

Cheapskate Americans

instead of putting the onus on the travelling public, the TSA could do what some of the UK airports have done and get better scanners - at London Heathrow, signs now instruct travellers NOT to remove laptops from hand luggage.

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T-Mobile calls it a day for WAP

Bryan B
Thumb Up

WAP worked

Chris is right - CSD did the job, and it was generally cheaper or included. It actually went up to 14.4k (whoo-hoo!) and if your operator did HSCSD, which bonded multiple CSD channels together, it equalled GPRS.

CSD was fine for downloading email (headers plus top kB only, not all the attached junk, but WTF wants that anyway??) and WAP sites.

Plus, if a web designer can't fit their site into a few kB of WAP text, it's almost certainly just unwanted chrome & crap anyway....

There's a lot to be said for CSD batch-style access. Not everything needs to have an always-on GPRS/3G-type connection.

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Chinese telco jumps starting gun in 3G race

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Pointless Chinese posturing

Given that the number of visitors to the Olympics whose handsets are TD-SCDMA capable will be as near zero as makes no odds, the whole thing is just wind-baggery and empty posturing of the highest order. But that seems to be all the PRC's Communist government is about, these days.

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MP launches ten minute rule bill on in-UK roaming

Bryan B
Unhappy

Rip-off charges

The EU cap doesn't apply in-country, so operators would be free to charge whatever extortionate rates they felt like - as they already do for international calls.

Example: I've a UK SIM and a German SIM. If I'm in Germany and need to call the UK it's actually cheaper to do it with the roaming UK SIM, as that's price-capped to 30p/min or whatever, whereas the German operator charges nearly EUR2/min for overseas calls. That's FIVE times as expensive.

It's the same in reverse in the UK - I'm better off calling Germany using a German SIM. Bizarre...

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Phone insurance firm reveals Sharia rules policy

Bryan B

@ElFatbob

There certainly is an officially Christian country - indeed, it is that rare thing, a country where the head of the state church is de facto head of state.

It's also one of the smallest countries in the world - the Vatican State.

By the by, I guess "brand new boxed" only guarantees you a brand-new box- the contents might be refurbished, but that's OK cos the box is new...

Lawyers - Sharia or otherwise - doncha love 'em?

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Microscope-wielding boffins crack Tube smartcard

Bryan B

"about 50 cents apiece"

Is that 50 eurocents (Dutch card, Dutch currency) or 50 US cents (US-centric writer)?

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Nokia N96 to land in August

Bryan B
Coat

baited breath

Is that a piece of cheese I see on your tongue...?

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Microsoft picks Exchange and Sharepoint for the online draft

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Only available in the US

This beta programme is for US companies *only*, at least until some time later this year, said Ballmer yesterday.

It's an interesting definition of "we're now opening this service up to companies of all sizes" - as long as they're American-sized, presumably.

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Points mean passports: Citizenship Smith unveils 'like us' plan

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Too many loopholes - as usual

The problem with all these government schemes is that they have to have a structure, a scheme, a framework - and as soon as you say what you need to do to qualify, people will work out exactly how to game the new system and get an unfair advantage, just like the chavs, crims and junkies game the current one.

@Mike JVX - your Jobcentre experience ties in with mine of 5 or 6 years ago. I can sort of sympathise with the staff, whose main experience/training is in trying to help what we used to call blue-collar workers, not degreed professionals like thee and me, but it was annoying to have to use my disability (genuine but minor) to get onto a helpful scheme _without_ having to wait until I'd been unemployed for 18 months.

@Pheet - my passports have said "British citizen" for over a decade. Does that mean we Citizens and kick you Subjects around? (-:

@Colin Wilson - I know several foreign nationals with CRB checks, so there must be mechanisms. (Most of the ones I know are EU citizens, mind you.)

@Ian - "The UK has allowed far more than it's fair share of immigrants" - it seems to me that's the kind of thing that's said by people who don't travel much. Go visit the slum-suburbs of Paris, or see how many Poles, Kurds and so on are in Germany, for example, then come back and tell us if you still think that.

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Palm punts unlocked Treo 500 smartphone

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Where's the PalmOS version?

The USAnians have the Centro with PalmOS 5.4.9, but we Yurrupeens get stiffed with WinMob... Bastards!

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New BAE destroyer launches today on the Clyde

Bryan B
Thumb Up

@James Farrell

LOL! Nice one...

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Inventor offers London Congestion Charge GPS gizmo

Bryan B
Thumb Down

Title

If he's going to call it a KenBuster, then it ought to warn me before I enter the wretched CC zone - and help me navigate around it without having to pay.

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Crime-busting gator kills Florida fugitive

Bryan B

State law - how come?

I thought Indian reservations counted as sovereign territory - hence the casinos and stuff - in which case how can the gator be terminated?

Much better if it could be recruited into the Miccosukee police as a kind of watergoing K9 unit...

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UK Government tried to stop EU roaming cap

Bryan B

@voshkin

It's "non-EU", not "non-European" - Orange UK ripped me £1.30 for a sub-minute call in Norway a little while back, if I remember rightly.

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Restored Vulcan takes to the skies

Bryan B

@David Harper

Too right - at least a *bit* of work went into trying to make Concorde less noisy than it would otherwise have been, whereas with the Vulcan, nobody bothered!

BTW, I remember hearing the five-engined Vulcan flying around Filton, and I think that was even noisier. (It was Rolls Royce's flying testbed for the Concorde engines, IIRC, with a 5th Olympus in the bomb-bay).

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Nokia slides latest Linux tablet onto market

Bryan B

Of course it's got mobile data

It's got Bluetooth, your phone's got Bluetooth - wake up and smell the connection.

Or something like that... LOL!

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Nissan builds twirly-cab sideways electric pod-car

Bryan B
Paris Hilton

It's a giant mobile can of beer!

Talking of drink-driving and "You can go everywhere without worrying about your driving skills", I'm only slightly concerned that "Pivo" means "beer" in most of the Slavonic languages...

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UN moves to preserve Bounty mutineers' lingo

Bryan B

Frisian?

Laurent_Z - are you thinking of Frisian, said to be the closest living relative to Old English/Anglo-Saxon?

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Beeb reveals Kylie as Titanic waitress

Bryan B

Tennant & Myles

...are "an item", so maybe they're trying to avoid mixing work and pleasure (even though they met through work in the first place).

Or maybe if the list on fan-site www.sophiamyles.org is accurate, she is just too busy with other work for the moment.

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China will head for the moon this year

Bryan B

Not a hoax after all

If they DO get there and find the US flag - whether flying or fallen over - at least it will nail all that guff about the US moon landing being a hoax!

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Biofuels are the 'next environmental danger'

Bryan B

And this study was proudly brought to you by...

> Shell, BP and Texaco

The one who's been banging the anti-biofuel drum loudest in recent weeks has been Fidel Castro, and for the same reasons as the Co-Op - it diverts land from food production and does nothing to wean the US off its hydrocarbon addiction.

The oil companies couldn't give a monkey's, I suspect. If the profit moves to ethanol and biodiesel, they'll just buy up the midwest and sell us that.

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Sun may never set on British Empire's pint

Bryan B

Fahrenheit? Oh good grief...

I'll defend duodecimal over decimal (more factors, so no need for fractions when doing common sections such as half or third), I'll defend feet and yards (as being based on people, not on a faulty estimate of the earth's circumference), and I'll *use* metric when it's appropriate to the task at hand, but Fahrenheit?? No way...

The Fahrenheit scale is not human-based - it has arbitrary endpoints based only on 18th century science - and it lacks any sort of the internal consistency.

I mean, who the heck has any real feeling for what 0F actually feels like? And if he really did mean 100F to be human blood temperature (as most historians seem to think), he got it seriously wrong.

As has already been said, if you want a more accurate scale than Celsius, use Kelvin.

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Stripping Belgian lager girl off UK shelves

Bryan B

Lager's not ale

They're both beers, but lager isn't ale - in Copenhagen or elsewhere.

I notice that one of the other beer aficionados adds: "The best thing about this beer is the label." Nuff said!

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Plants may be red and yellow in galactic boonies

Bryan B

So what's new?

Um, we already have red and yellow plants on Earth... Looking out of my window I see some gold-coloured shrubs, and I'm pretty sure there's a copper beech around here somewhere.

If I remember my O-level biology rightly, there's four types of chlorophyll, and only two of them are green - the other two are red and yellow. I also seem to recall that the reason green chlorophyll dominates here is that red light carries more energy than green.

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