105 posts • joined Friday 25th April 2008 12:34 GMT
I think the clue to the credibility of what you were told lies in the word "factory". You mught want to try getting your beer from a brewery. :)
Guinness is pasteurised and filtered to remove/kill anything which might make it go off - which includes most of the things which make proper live beer taste good. They used to sell some live Guinness brewed and bottled in Dublin - I'm not sure if they still do - but the draught stuff (which isn't draught at all, it's forced out under CO2 or nitrogen pressure) is dead as as dodo, and tastes like it too.
Sprouting seeds should also get a mention
Even if you have no garden, you can still make a really nice variety of salad and stir-fry ingredients by sprouting seeds. It's dead easy too - just get a large glass jar, soak seeds in it overnight, then drain (cap the jar with a piece of muslin held on by an elastic band) and leave on a windowsill. Rinse the seeds three times a day (more if you can) by filling with clean water, swilling around, and emptying.
Standard supermarket beansprouts are mung beans, but I don't like them much - alfalfa is much nicer in salads and sarnies, and sprouted seeds from clover, radishes, any brassicas, or indeed pretty much any legumes are great - they taste surprisingly different from their parent plant (some quite spicey), are really good for you, and cost very little compared to buying sprouted seeds or the equivalent weight in fresh veg. Check your local wholefood shop for packets of seeds for sprouting.
Jake is obviously well set up - I'm guessing somewhere warmer than me. I have half a dozen raised beds about 3 square metres each - but as we've had a bitterly cold spring here in the British midlands, only the onions sets and a few beetroot are planted out - everything else is in trays and pots in the greenhouse, pending our last frost, though most of it will get planted out over the next couple of weekends.
But we're already eating salad stuff grown in the greenhouse in containers, along with a few perennial garden salads (chives, garlic chives, lovage, fennel, sorrel) which are up and running.
And to answer the Evil Auditor - it's probably not worth the time it takes (or the money it costs) in British weather conditions, but there's no simple way to calculate this empirically. For example, I find that growing veg is an infinitely more rewarding and interesting way of exercising than going to the gym, and paying for membership thereof. And of course it's impossible to put a price on the benefit gained from eating stuff straight out of the ground - it tastes better, and my (probably biased) reading of the science says that many nutrients start to degrade as soon as a plant is lifted, so picking and eating on the same day may well have serious health/nutrition benefits compared to the 3-7 day latency inherent in supermarket shopping.
Of course having animals and grazing land means that you can use the resulting fertiliser to get more value from limited veg growing space - and I wonder if Jake uses the manure from his larger farm to boost the productivity of his urban veg garden. I would certainly grow more in the limited space I have (and use more of my garden for growing) if I had a ready source of good bullshit.
Which is one reason why I read the reg, especially on a Friday...
Recommended reading ...
Plusnet are in this week's list, but if you go back a month or two, you'll find complaints upheld against BT, EE/T-Mobile, TalkTalk, Virgin Media ... so while I favour the Bollocks Alert and klaxon solution (AC 12:04), I would apply it to all ISP and telco ads automatically, thereby saving a lot of time and green ink.
I'm not remotely surprised by these judgments - but I was surprised to find a complaint upheld against Gallaher, the company who sell tobacco and are therefore not allowed to advertise:
But I think this is my favourite:
I'll upvote you...
...purely for "Simon Cowell TrouserFont".
Re: It's a vocation
Of course "How the fuck should I know?" wasn't a satisfactory answer.
A satisfactory answer would be "'l'd be happy to help, but it appears that your subscription to my support service has expired - please renew it at your earliest convenience, which as we are fortuitously located in a licensed premises, you can do at the bar over there. A pint of IPA and a large Macallan 18-year-old will get things moving nicely."
Re: Ever wondered if...
Ravenwiz said "observed supernova" - he didn't specify who/what was doing the observing.
So today's challenge is to work out what might have been observing a supernova which made the oxygen atoms which made the water which made the beer (left) that I shall shortly be drinking because it's Friday. This depends on having a clue about how fast oxygen atoms travel outwards from a supernova - which I don't. Any offers?
Are we talking archeae, dinosaurs, early hominids, Roman legionaries, my grandad, or me in ridiculous 70s trousers?
This map would be easier to relate to if ...
... the boffins had included a little arrow indicating "You will be here".
not catching up
I liked the idea of catchup until I actually tried 4OD etc - only to find that it's harder to skip the ads there than it is on broadcast TV. The old fashioned record-watch-fast-forward technique works just as well now as it did 20 years ago, despite Sky's attempt to rename/rebrand the "video recorder" as the "Sky Plus Box".
So while I won't criticise commercial TV for trying to force me to watch the adverts which fund its production, I will carry on loving and happily financing Auntie for providing me with advert-free TV, including on the iPlayer.
Now all we need to do is to convince Auntie that as well as hating adverts, we also hate trailers, and her increasingly annoying tendency to repeat the same ones endlessly for weeks and weeks. Yawn.
Oh, and I rather enjoy BBC radio too.
Yours, Mrs Trellis, North Wales ®
>>The initial design for WAMSR is a 500MWe (megawatt electrical) plant that can be manufactured as a standalone unit and be shipped directly to customers, ready to be fueled up and switched on. It would cost around $1.5bn
Crowdsource, anyone? I'll happily accommodate it in my backyard, for an appropriate percentage...
The real challenge now...
...is to come up with a candidate that none of the previous 421 commentards (at time of writing) have mentioned. For the first half-hour of comment-wading I thought I was onto a winner with "The Man In The White Suit", but someone eventually cited it.
But as far as I can see no-one has mentioned "Max Headroom", so I'll go with that. Not very sciency, but that's not unusual in this thread, and it has the dystopian individual-versus-faceless-corporations shtick which seems to be the prerequisite for qualifying. Shame that like so many classics it was retrospectively ruined by further development.
I'll also give a million upvotes to "Dark Star", a film I loved so much as student that I once stole a television in order to watch it.
O happy day...
... now I can switch from boycotting Amazon for not paying their UK corporation tax to boycotting Google for not paying their UK corporation tax.
Mine's the only one in the cloakroom without a f***ing gift voucher in the pocket...
Re: how about a modern computer?
+lots of upvotes for visiting - it's about 5 years since I went, but it was fascinating even then. Particularly amazing to find that the reason it wasn't open to the public or widely known about in my youth was that the place, and the work it did, remained secret until ridiculously recently, the 70s I think.
Re comparison with modern computers - I don't know about the Bombe, but the boffins (proper ones, brown overalls and everything) demonstrating the rebuilt Colossus told me that it did its stuff at a rate comparable with a 286 PC running about about 12MHz. Of course it had a comparatively tiny "instruction set" - it ran stored programs but was closer to a dedicated hardware device than a general-purpose computer (so more like the ALU or GPU than the CPU in a modern machine) - but still mightily impressive. (OK, I understand that anyone too young to remember the 286 won't be that impressed, but that's just the ignorance of youth.)
Equally amazing was its paper-tape reader, a fantastic Heath-Robinson contraption nearly as tall as me, which apparently managed a read speed of 5Kb/s whilst almost having your eye out.
Allow me to assuage your no doubt painful cognitive dissonance....
The OK-ness about atmosphere > plant > brewery > atmosphere is that on completion it will revert the CO2 levels to what they were before the barley was grown - ie a year ago.
The problem with releasing all the carbon in fossil fuels is that this will revert the atmosphere to the CO2 concentrations of the period before that carbon was taken up by the plants which made the fossil fuel. Since most coal, oil etc was laid down in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods, we're talking about reversion to atmospheric carbon levels of maybe 500 million years ago. Back then (I remember it well) the atmosphere was not terribly human-friendly.
NB I am not a scientist, or -ist of any other relevant discipline. Free free to bat bricks...
Re: Hardly the scientific approach is it?
>Well you could look at the teenage pregnancy statistics for the last 20 years
Might be more relevant to look at the STI stats - anyone out there with a medically informed opinion?
>it is uncomfortably close to the argument that the way women dress invites aggressive sexual attention.
Goodness Mr/Ms Parnell, what a fine exponent of the logical long-jump you are. How many do you get when you add 2+2?
I would defend very little of Ms Abbott's thesis, and definitely not the bits of it which require some kind of magical mechanism for filtering "adult content" (whatever that may be) - but there's no need to be putting words in her mouth that are even more rabid than the ones she puts there herself.
Re: Metric Fuckton
Surely we need this expressed in a Reg standard unit of some kind - but a quick check of the online converter suggests that we are missing both a unit of currency, and a unit of non-specific comparativeness.
This is a major oversight which needs urgent attention from our Regist overlords - lest there be revolution.
Is it really only Monday? Oh bugger...
Re: Sour grapes?
Lilke most taxpayers with an iota of knowledge about IT, I'm endlessly astonished at the degree of incompetence that IT procurement seems to reveal. But I'm interested and ignorant on the question procurement rules - so please JohnG, could you clarify whether the procurement rules of which you speak prevent the customer from directly employing its own people to do the work?
And if they don't, why doesn't the public sector employ more techies directly?
Pint, for anyone who can explain why public-sector procurers continue to use a system whose record clearly shows that it doesn't work. And because it's Friday and I need one.
Re: A Coward for All to See and Hear
>>A criminal conspiracy with Cabinet collusion?
My dad has blocked access to the Daily Mail website from my computer beause he doesn't like me looking at pictures of scantily clad teenage girls, please can we have a Guardian link instead?
If any child of mine ...
...turned out NOT to be able to bypass any filtering I or any ISP applied to see stuff they wanted, I would deduce that I wasn't doing my job as a parent very well. Kids are SUPPOSED to be better than oldies at this stuff, that's one good reason for making them. I'm going to need someone who knows how to record the footie when I've degenerated into a ranting, dribbling shadow of my current Adonistic self.
That's Adonis the god BTW, not Adonis the peer.
<Where's the "Won't someone think of the grownups" icon?>
I see what you did there...
The Right Stuff
>Grunsfeld has a special attachment to Hubble, as he was the last human being to touch it
Spacewalking with no gloves on? Must be a Geordie!
If new startups are going to learn the most important aspect of running a business - the effective avoidance and evasion of Corporation Tax - then Silicon Roundabout is an excellent location from which to watch and learn.
Though personally I'd rather see the Silicon Roundabout types relocate in a proper offshore haven, preferably Rockall.
>Didn't we already try that with a chip factory up there? Can anyone remember the name?
Er - Harry Ramsdens?
I fear that modern mobile technology has finally put this lovely old gag out to grass - would anyone under 25 get it? IIRC it originates in the rotary-dial telephones of my youth, and was lucky to survive the transition to push-button dialling 30-odd years ago.
Where do old jokes go when they die?
> are there any practical benefits at all??
Depends - are you a farmer, career politician, or international tax lawyer?
I used to be an enthusiastic EU-phile, in the days when they forced unwilling Tory governments to accept stuff like human rights and environmental quality standards. But these days I wonder, I really wonder.
SD card? Whaffor?
Since the primary function of my Nexus7 is to relieve me of the need to get off my arse except to recycle beer or fetch snacks, the fact that it talks nicely to my shared drives via wifi and my hi-fi via bluetooth makes on-board storage irrelevant. I have my MP3 library sitting happily on a shared network drive, and I don't want to clutter my devices up with multiple local copies of everything. If I need to access it when I'm elsewhere, there's a cloud for that (though I don't need to, I like my house and spend most of my time there).
I've yet to master watching tablet telly, though. The problem used to be Auntie's insane allegiance to Flash, but since they got their act together with iPlayer (are you listening 4OD?), the issue is purely mechanical - however I hold the thing, my hands eventually get tired or I accidentally press part of its touch-screen and cancel the playback. I think I need a device like harmonica-playing guitarists use, to hold it hands-free at a comfortable watching distance from my head. Any suggestions?
But the one thing I do really really really HATE about it is how it forces me to have a Google ID and link all kinds of personal and LAN stuff up via some cloud mechanism that I don't want and over which I have no control. Which is exactly what a lot of commentards above like about it.
Just goes to show how different folks' strokes can be - so as it's Friday, here's beer to drink to la différence!
> processors made of wattle and daub
Though the main issue wasn't the processors being made of wattle and daub - it was the programming and I/O mechanisms being hand-cranked. My first encounter was with an 8080A development box - this had a "Program" mode, in which we entered individual CPU mechine-code instructions and data using 8 little switches and a "Next" button, and a "Run" mode, in which the status of the data and address busses was shown by banks of LEDs - 8 for data and 16 for address. Debugging? Well, the Run mode had a single-step button...
Of course the proper computing types got to play with really advanced stuff, like punch-cards. But for us in the electronics world, "stored program" meant "write down a long list of hex numbers on a piece of paper with a pencil".
You try and tell that to the young people of today...
Specialist subject the bleedin' obvious
>>It is best viewed on clear nights
I hear a distant bell tolling...
I read recently  that last year, for the first time, Apple spent more on patent purchase and litigation than they did on R&D. Eventually people will work out that buying their computers from a firm of solicitors may not give them the best value for money.
(Note for Americans - a solicitor is a lawyer, not a whore. Err .. hang on a minute...)
Mind you, I'm not holding my breath - it's a very, very distant bell. There are few consumers more gullible than Apple-istas, and the supply of people with more money than sense appears to be ever-increasing.
"Then give VM back the £10+billion they invested in fibre infrastructure in the 1990s."
I live in a medium sized market town in the middle of England, and no-one spent a penny on (or in other words, gave a sh*t about - see what I did there?) providing me with fibre infrastructure. So VM can go and boil their bottoms on this one.
I recently watched Orange/TMobile/EverythingEverywhere's promo vid for their 4G launch, and the message can be roughly paraphrased as "If you already live/work in a place where you can have a fast internet connection, we can sell you a faster one. But if you live somewhere too sparsely populated for anyone to have cared about you before, don't expect anyone to start caring any time soon."
The infrastructure does need nationalising, but the nature of any payback to the current owners should reflect the disparity in provision which they have created and perpatuated, as well as the outrageously knock-down price some of them (BT, for those too young to remember) paid for it in the first place. They only invested where they could make a profit, and they've had a jolly good long run at doing so - especially BT, who simply haven't had to compete at all in vast swathes of the country.
The time when anyone believed that a free market delivers the best service in an infrastructure-based natural monopoly is surely long gone, and these people need telling that they've had all we feel like giving them. It's time we took back what we built and paid for in the first place, and told them to sod off and find some other developing country to exploit.
And if they think that's a bad deal, they're welcome to dig up all their jolly-expensive fibre and take it with them. It won't make any difference to me, except that without it I'll be competing on a level playing field with city-based businesses who currently benefit from fibre connectivity but usually pay less for it than I pay for ADSL.
Oh dear, I think I forgot to take my dried frog pills this morning. Nurse??
Surely that should read either "Properly NOT known as the Secret Intelligence Service" or "Properly known as the Not-Very-Secret Intelligence Service"..?
< Mine's the one with stuff in a cunningly-concealed secret pocket >
'You're meant to encourage innovation, not stifle it'
Nononono - these are companies, they're meant to make money for their shareholders. That's what they are constituted to do, and should do. End of.
It's up to governments and legislators to regulate or moderate that paradigm into some kind of broader community or social benefit - but they stubbornly refuse to do so, and seem to believe (flying in the face of both intuitive logic and decades of experience) that an unfettered market will create a nice planet to live on. And while I'm more instinctively a European than many Brits, I do feel that the EU have been even worse than most national governments at cosying up to business at the expense of any broader social benefit.
Of course the companies' PR mechanisms work very hard to perpetuate the fallacy that what's good for companies is good for everyone, and they are good at making people believe this shit - but the stupidity of people in continuing to do so just makes me ....
Should be a FAIL icon, but I'm going for Beer because I fucking need one.
Automatic recognition and targetting?
Hmmm ... could be time to shave off the beard.
Helicopter because there's no drone icon yet. Or indeed brown-trouser icon.
@Pete2 et al
Interesting, popular, relevant, unbiased and informative - Steve Bell, every time, on the nail. His stuff alone is worth 2 quid a month.
Beer for Steve!
By their choice of friends shall ye know them
I'm happy that Canonical is not a charity and that I get free stuff from them, so I expect to pay somewhere along the line with a bit of adware.
But since learning about Amazon's avoidance of UK corporation tax (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/04/amazon-british-operation-corporation-tax), I've boycotted them assiduously, and tried to convince others to do the same. So for me, Ubuntu's decision would be a dealbreaker - if I hadn't already dumped Unity ages ago 'cos it kept crashing my bloody computer.
Interesting also that Shuttleworth thinks we already trust him because we enable updates from his esteemed repository. That's like assuming that everyone with a Windows box who has Automatic Updates enabled trusts Microsoft. Word up, Mr S - trusting you slightly more than we trust all the hackers, botnet masters and malware authors doesn't mean that we trust you.
You are, after all, a billionaire - and therefore the enemy.
Whoever it was that installed the gravitational lenses in the first place obviously ground them wrongly, which is why this galaxy appears so far away. But now the Shuttle has been grounded, we can't send anyone up to install additional corrective gravitational lenses in front of them.
Largely agree, but AFAICS the key point is:
"Of course anything I do is rendered moot by 3g or a friend's internet connection,"
The idea that controlling your own household's net connection amounts to controlling your offspring's net access is a complete head-in-sand number. Go ahead with it if it makes you feel better - but this entire issue is riddled with S2BDS syndrome and is lamentably short of learning from centuries of of people making laws and creating mechanisms to stop other people doing what they like doing. And of course we have to remember that children are people too, in this respect as in any other.
The most cheering thing about this whole debate is the prospect of challenging a bunch of adolescents to find clever ways to outwit their parents, ISPs, and governments - thus ensuing that we have IT-savvy youth to care for our systems in our dotage.
Afterthought - can 3G pr0n be thwarted by applying a tinfoil hat to your house? Perhaps tinfoil's time has finally come!
NB - IANAP. Mine's the one with the negative paternity test in the pocket...
Symptomatic of the FOSS problem
Trolls apart, it's evident from reading the above that even IT- and licensing-literate commentards disagree about fundamental aspects of the GPL. That suggests to me that either the GPL is hopelessly unwieldy and complicated, or that someone in a position of authority needs to set up a page carrying translations of the GPL from Lawyer into Civilian, and also into Commentardese.
Anyone volunteer to be someone in a position of authority? (Earlier contributors need not apply, for obvious reasons.)
Mine's the one with the Supreme Court subpoena in the pocket...
"There's no unequivocal evidence that fucking with the earth's atmospheric CO2 level will definitely hurt us now or in the future, therefore any rational person would agree that we should continue fucking with it at least until we have such evidence."
Bodycount, or it didn't happen!
Costs saved, cheaper stuff..?
So, now that Apple and Microsoft are NOT spending billions of dollars a year suing each other, can we hope that these cost savings will be reflected in cheaper products and cheaper software licensing? You know, the way the oil companies always drop the price of petrol when crude prices tank?
Why do I not have a good feeling about this? Could it be because I don't hold any Apple or Microsoft stock?
I am assured by parents of teenagers with the BBM bug that the key issue is exactly what the rest of us don't get. Because it's a closed platform, and most of us grownups want interoperability, we are not on BBM. Therefore everything the kids share on BBM is shared only with their mates, and not with their parents. Contrast with Facebook - of course all the BBM kids are also on FB, but they (mostly) aren't allowed to lock their parents out of their FB accounts.
That's why in this case a platform locked to a specific device WILL survive, as long as the grownups keep refusing to buy the devices for themselves while allowing their kids to have them. Of course the teens will move on to more open systems as they grow up and have less to hide, but by then there will already be another generation of teens with secrecy requirements, so the model is sustainable. It can never take over the world, but it does have a revenue-generating USP, which is what matters.
Do my eyes deceive me or ...
... did it come down within fire-spitting distance of a stack of white static pressurised tanks? Presumably containing something relevant to the exercise, such as hydrogen, oxygen etc..?
If it were me I'd be leaving a little more margin for error.
Pint icon because they'll need one after that.
Re " the most successful political movement of the past few decades, environmentalism"
Not grinding an axe on either mentalist side here, but really? In the UK, one Green MP in one general election. I don't know much about other countries, and the Greens are doing OK in Germany - but I see no Green Party representatives in the US, only one in Canada (OK I got this from Wikipedia, feel free to correct me), and in most of Europe the Greens do somewhat worse than Communists, of whom no-one seems to be afraid any more.
Just as those who call themselves environmentalists can be lazy and ignorant of what they speak, environmentalist-bashers often are too. The trick is to dispense with the whole Daily-Mail adversarial yar-boo approach and concentrate on the science - and specifically on the question of atmospheric carbon. Which is why it's depressing to find that the yar-boo approach still seems to dominate debate on El Reg - not just among commentards, but also on the part of Mr Orlowski, of whom we have a right to expect better.
We need to take the focus off any quasi-moral dilemma about having equitable distribution, or issues around the economics of power generation and consumption - those are all human vanities, and irrelevant to the urgent issue - which (IMHO) is the simple engineering challenge of reducing the amount of carbon we dump in the atmosphere in order to power our lives, because this constitutes a significant change to the planet's ecosystem, and we can't be sure that it won't be apocalyptic for humanity. I'm not a mentalist in either camp, but I'm risk-averse, and in the absence of any control in our planetary carbon experiment, I would rather cut my consumption until I'm sure that we have an apocalypse-averting solution to current consumption levels - whether it comes from fission, fusion, renewables, diesel-shitting algae, or billions of wheel-driving hamsters on crystal meth.
I don't even think it's useful to include the environmental impact of carbon extraction or renewable generation infrastructure in the urgent damage-limitation exercise we have to undertake. A lot of those arguments cut both ways, and no-one ever died of a spoiled view.
Let's concentrate on what might kill us first, and worry about knocking down the stupid arguments of stupid people when we have the luxury of some energy security.
Oh - one other thing. Rampant Spaniel - "...religious objections to geothermal"...? Really? Have you tried telling these religious people how much money they could make if they harvested the wealth of geothermal in Hawaii and sold it to Europe in zero-carbon form? I would so love to see flotillas of liquid hydrogen powered liquid hydrogen tankers bunging up the Panama canal...
I prefer mine tartare
If any government repackages the data in a way which makes it easier to understand, it's inevitable that they would also put their greasy spin on it. We already get their version via press releases and departmental PR - surely the point here is to get the raw data available too, so that anyone can put their own visualisation / interpretation / spin on it. Or at least, anyone who can get their head around the semantic web can.
And while hating Nu Labour and the coalition with equal venom, one has to give credit to both for running with the idea, and letting Tim Berners-Lee drive the agenda - though as anyone on the mailing lists will know, all the actual good stuff has been done by the civil service, not by politicians.
Pint, because I'm taking tomorrow off so today is technically Friday.
- IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL
- Nine-year-old Opportunity Mars rover sets NASA distance record
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS
- Comment Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE