* Posts by Stevie

2822 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

Stevie
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Bah!

"I've never taken a sick day since I started here. Everyone around me goes off sick several times a year, but not me."

Delivered obliviously, in a nasal voice thick with phlegm.

And Typhoid Nigel he thinks he *saves* the place money with his "attend at all costs" policy.

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TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Stevie
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Bah!

This article was hard to read the day after the office Xmas party for me, mainly because of two style points:

a) clever multi-word alliterative phrases in the body of the article instead of just in the headline where they belong. Those caused an annoying ringing in the brain.

2) When using multi-word phrases for a thing that will be mentioned every few lines, Mr Rapknuckle taught the students of St John Backsides Comprehensive that best practice was to use the phrase once, Show an acronym for it in parentheses right after the first use, then use the acronym thereafter. The repeated instances of Azure Blob storage Front-Ends made the ringing worse.

Well played, sir.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Stevie
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Bah!

Well there were still commercials running for it at 11pm EST on NY broadcast TV.

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Branson sinks sub dream: Plan to explore Earth's bottom scrapped

Stevie
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4 JustNiz

Shame that a single stupid action of one test pilot can ruin so much in the way of future-thinking projects that actually would expand the horizons of our world.

Perhaps they are more interested in the "why" than simply allocating "stupid" to someone bright enough to have been selected as one of the pilots - presumably this was a more involved process than "tell Virgin why you want to be a spaceman in 47 words".

What was it about the flight that caused a pilot trained in the craft procedures to do what he did?

Because, you know, we need whatever it was fixed before someone else does it.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"The craft suffered a catastrophic failure"

After one of the pilots pulled the "NEVER USE" lever. Obviously the trick with these submarines will be to put a padlock on the "One-Way Express to Davy Jones's Locker" footpedal.

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

Stevie
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Re: Finding a real rasher is more troublesome

Unless you go to a large supermarket and buy a pack of Irish Bacon, which will look suspiciously like your English Rasher (might be honey cured though).

FFS It's just the way they butcher the pig. You want the lean bit at the end (like I do) buy Canadian Bacon.

Once again the myth of the British Stiff Upper Lip suffers the harsh light of British People Moaning About Nothing In Front Of The Americans.

There goes my aura of Grace Under Pressure again. Last night I watched A Night To Remember and was feeling all Britishly Proud* when I walked in this morning, but as usual it wore off when I read the Register.

Thanks, boys. How about a refreshing whine about Fahrenheit now, or 64ths of an inch?

Azathoth on a bike.

* Yesyesyes, I know the British ship sank because it was not designed to hype and was driven into an iceberg by an English crew, but once the chips were firmly down the Band Played On and the Men Were Mostly Heroic (even the some of the Americans, it turns out).

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Stevie
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Re: American Bacon

Fact 1: it's the taste, it's awful, and usually covered in maple syrup

No, it isn't. This is some sort of local variant.

Salt/smoke curing is most common, but honey curing can be found, mostly in places advertising "Irish Bacon". This is possibly what you tasted and thought was maple syrup.

Maple syrup, if available, is usually considered a condiment and as such added by the customer at the table. You'd have to ask for it if you were ordering bacon in a diner in my neck of the woods, since it normally only gets put out if you order pancakes.

Fact 2: They also like to put cinnimon with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING

No, they don't. This, again, is some sort of local variant. I speak from personal knowledge and taste here as I eat in the USA and hate cinnamon. You don't want it in a place famed for it's cinnamon bacon, simply add "hold the cinnamon" to your order.

Fact 3: In America, the short order cooks don't usually take it as an affront to their years of training if you tell them how you'd like your bacon cooked and what you would and would not like sprinkled on it.

In fact, my experience has been that they have refreshing take on breakfast in most places - you tell them what you would like to eat and they'll make it for you. This is because American cooks think their customers know best and are grown-ups who don't expect to have people make such decisions for them.

CF most places in the UK where "NO SUBSTITUTIONS" features large, loud and often. It is one of the reasons I knew I wasn't going back after a week Stateside in a job that could have me working all night and seeking a very Midlands-style breakfast at four in the afternoon.

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Stevie
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Bah!

So what exactly was *wrong* with the sliced dead pig?

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

Stevie
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Bah!

Also are instilled fear of terrible grammar to be. Death to English!

Hmm, I wonder what social phenomena Seth Rogen will spear in his next movie ...

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Sony hackers dump more hunks of stolen data, promise another 'Christmas gift'

Stevie
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Bah!

So remind me, exactly what is the aim here? What do these self-styled "Guardians" wish to achieve?

And incoming clue missile GOOies: You don't speak for me or represent me in any way, shape or form. If you wish to continue breaking the law, go for it. I look forward to the welter of Asperger Defense Ploys to come. But don't pretend this is anything more than personal. I want nothing to do with your Worked Example In Irony.

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Amazon workers in Germany stage CHRISTMAS STRIKE

Stevie
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Bah!

All zis striekink.

It makes you vonder how zey ever annexed ze Sudetenland.

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HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

Stevie
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Bah!

There was an interview on BBC World Service this morning (NY timezone) with an affected vendor and he was surprisingly upbeat. He explained that certain niche product manufacturers (specifically, video game factories) need to use a real-time repricing strategy in order to remain competitive (i.e. to undercut each other).

To me, the whole thing smacked of eBay and sniping software, with all the potential pitfalls of that approach.

I imagine the software vendors have the usual T&C in place in which they reserve the right to take money from you for a product that has no guarantee it'll do what it says on the box.

Which means we are firmly in the area of customer goodwill and understanding.

However, there's nobody on the planet more tenacious than an Englishman holding onto a piece of supercheap whatever so I wish these vendors good luck in surviving the tatstorm. If they don't go bankrupt now over stupidsilly pricing they will likely not survive the lousy press word-of-mouth will give them in the aftermath.

Gotta love Xmas.

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Microsoft pulls a patch and offers PHANTOM FIX for the mess

Stevie
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Re: Have we reached the de facto "end of life" for Windows 7?

If you are actively recommending people who use ordinary computers migrate to the trivet-infested desktop of Windows 8.1 you are Satan Made Manifest. The whole user interface is newer uglier and harder to use unless your workforce does all its work on smartphones of course, where fatfinger-on-tile is the way to go.

I presume you also run a lucrative user training business. 8oD

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Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET

Stevie
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Bah!

The fact is that the audience for the track-at-a-time model of iTunes is young and poor and increasingly on the push for something for nothing, whereas the old and too-thick-to-understand consume their music as albums and don't mind paying for them as long as prices don't soar to ridiculous levels.

While Apple were busy ignoring the Old School, Amazon snuck in and stole the market from them. Amazon will sell me the CDs I want and will provide an instant gratification downloadable version free of charge for some of them (my tastes are eclectic, sometimes wildly so).

iTunes/Gracenote can't even find the album art for much of my collection, even some stuff that's been in the wild forever (like Fairport Convention, Godley & Crème, Hot Chocolate, Ian Drury & The Blockheads, Jake Thackray, King Crimson, Madness, Manfred Mann, The Marshall Tucker Band, Mott the Hoople, Pentangle, Al Stewart, ABW&H, The Beatles, The Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, Bryan Ferry, Caravan, ELP and the list goes on). What chance seeing the liner notes or the lyric sheet if they can't even find the bloody album cover in the mighty database of "not on file"?

And what a horrible, horrible, unfit for purpose interface. Luckily they fuck with it every three updates or so, so there is little chance of ever mastering it unless screwing with your music player software is all you have on your calendar.

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Stevie
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Re: @Paul Crawford

Hang on, Mr high-and-mighty "some folks" wisdom-fountain.

Perhaps the REASON "some people" have trouble using ripping software is that about twelve years ago some twat introduced the term "rip" to those people making media players, and they felt obligated to take a reasonably understandable product and complicate it in a welter of stupid shiny and jargon.

My dad has no idea what "ripping" means, but has been "recording" stuff for nearly 50 years and could probably teach you and the rest of your exclusive club a thing or two about how to do the job properly, including the basic stupidity of making software volume controls linear when it has been known to everyone since Marconi that the ear's response is logarithmic. Apparently some programmers were so busy bragging about their mad C++ skillz they forgot to R that particular FM.

And "a lot" of laptops do not lack an optical drive. Apple laptop computers lack the drive. Most non-apple laptop vendors still offer the option if you want it.

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Stevie
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Bah!

I think you'll find that this drop in sales of digitally downloaded music corresponds with an equal increase in unethical and questionably legal purchases of CDs from so-called "music shops".

The only answer is to install speed governors in all vehicle engines so that nipping down the shops for a copy of the latest album by Lady Gaga becomes velocity-downgraded with respect to digital downloads.

A free benefit of this plan is that people will not be able to circumvent the plan by buying via the mail services, as they will also be moving slower, though in the UK I understand the Post Office has been unusually pro-active in this area already and been using Velocity Dependent Disincentivisation (VDD) to discourage the use of their service for years.

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Boffins weigh in to perfect kilogram quest with LEGO kit

Stevie
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Re: I prised the Caps Lock key off my keyboard

But ... how do you shout?

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Stevie
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Bah!

Real scientists don't use one letter to do different duties in one equation.

Because capslock typos happen to everyone.

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Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Stevie
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Bah!

Having forayed into flatscreen territory this Christmas I decided to tear out the old Panasonic DVD/Reciever/Dolby Pro Logic system and replace it with a soundbar. No the sound won't be as good but I live in a small house and the room I view in is tiny enough that I won't notice a big difference.

Besides, the DVD carousel had developed a "won't stay open" fault that the intarwebs think is impossible to fix in-house, and the sound connections would mean yet another remote control in play.

So I paired my Sony Bravia with a Vizio 48" 5.1 "wireless" soundbar and, once I had figured out how to dial down the factory preset "subwoofer awesome" it actually sounded very nice indeed. Good surround sound panorama and all that.

And I managed to keep the costs to under a thousand dollars American. Not bad for a platform ents tech upgrade.

I *did* have to upgrade some crappy 1950s just-so-good-and-no-further no earth wiring, but that's an ongoing project from hell.

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Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

Stevie
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Re: Hipsters? Poseurs, more aptly

Real hipsters carry a two-band three transistor AM radio in a greatcoat pocket (nothing smaller will hold the device) and a pocket full of PP9s to keep it humming along.

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GERONTIC 'Ghost ship' prowled the undersea cables of the 1940s

Stevie
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Bah!

""It is always a thrill when you are closing in on a large sonar target with the Pisces submersible and you don't know what big piece of history is going to come looming out of the dark" "

Or what non-Euclidean piece of pre-history will loom out of the eternal darkness to drive the RoV operator mad with what he sees when he turns on the floodlights.

Have these fools never read any Lovecraft? I'd have thought it essential reading for anyone contemplating a jaunt over the festering sludge of the abyssal plain of the Pacific Ocean.

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So, does anyone in UK.gov actually know what G-Cloud is for? Apparently not

Stevie
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Bah!

Each serving of this Chocolate Bar contains 3 grams of saturated fat and 20 grams of sugar.

...

etc

...

etc

...

Serving Size: 1/37th of a bar.

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

Stevie
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Take up a hobby

Or, just tell everyone you have and turn off your cell phone.

Then go down the pub like you always do.

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Stevie
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Bah!

I was being lectured on this by a Clever Young Thing who had noted my lack of electronic oomph for the job I had and used the clichéd "Oh to be so lucky. My [smart] phone is ringing night and day!" response.

"That's why we have "off" buttons and voicemail" I replied.

"But these are vital things that must get done" he responded.

"Kinda makes you wonder how we did exactly the same job for years with only a beeper and a landline" I fired back with a smile. "No-one is going to die if you wait until your commute is over to call them back."

Of course, the issue isn't that people's jobs are so important and vital that split-second response is vital (at least, most of them aren't), it is that the people doing the phoning know full well that the person at the other end links their availability on their cell phone to their importance to the enterprise. If they don't respond before anyone else can, they are somehow less of a [whatever] than they were before their cell phone rang.

Pick up any book on "habits of effective management" and you'll find, right in the opening chapters, the advice to stop responding to e-mail in real time. Getting people to do this is more a fight against their own self-image than anything else.

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

Stevie
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Bah!

"the only organisation which could have prevented the attack was one such internet-media giant"

When an intelligence organization makes this sort of astounding claim, one must worry on a number of levels, not the least of them being the concern over the culture of sanctioned electronic knicker-sniffing that seems to have replaced that of actual intelligence work in the post wuhwuhwuh world.

You want to spy on Facebook, that's fine by me, but you should do it the traditional way - illegally and shamefacedly.

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Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

Stevie
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Bah!

"Legal documents".

Would those be ancient Law Degree Certificates?

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Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

Stevie
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Bah!

Very good.

Now explain why in Goddard's name a rocket* needs to be connected to the internet in the first place and we are good to go.

* aka Intercontinental Ballistic Can Of Very Explosive Chemicals We Just Set Fire To.

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MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Stevie
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Bah!

It gets better. This morning on the BBC World Service there was a segment on this in which a nice spokeslady said it wasn't as bad as it sounds because people do e-mail in meetings all the time on their phones and studies show that the *way* we do e-mail on our phones during meetings is in a "game-like" manner which doesn't mean we are not paying attention and like that.

If it had been in real time (New York, me) I'd have missed my train to call in and point out that having people do e-mail on a phone during a meeting is a) fucking annoying to everyone else and 2) a sure sign that the mail-fiddler is NOT paying attention.

My boss calls meetings in which all he does is fiddle with his blackberry while people try for the umptytumpth time to explain whatever it is he needed a meeting to understand in the first place. These meetings are notable for taking three times as long as necessary* and ending with the meeting convener no wiser on account of him not actually being at the meeting he called most of the time it was happening.

* given that the necessity of having this meeting in the first place is something that would go away if the boss did.

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Feast your eyes: 10 'fortysomething' smart TVs

Stevie
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Re: Why does a TV need to be 'smart' at all?

The smart TV offers the possibility (but rarely, alas, the actuality) of a seamless power-on-to-configure integration with one's internet service, allowing Mum to get Netflix without needing a degree in Networking to make it all work.

Whether you personally need this feature is, of course, a matter of taste, skill and existing infrastructure.

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Stevie
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Bah!

And right from review number one I get the sinking feeling that the priorities are all wrong as the "cool" webcrap is salivated over and then the "okay" picture quality, lousy black capability and "lightbulbs across the screen" artifacts are shrugged off as par for the course.

This is how we ended up with telephones that can display a movie in one bajillion p and decode music into Dolby 15.7 surround sound but on which it is all-but impossible to make a call during which one will understand what is being said by the other party thanks to the digital clipping and other stupids.

A television should do one job excellently: be a television. In saying that I feel like Jim Hacker explaining to Sir Humphrey that a hospital should have patients rather than exist solely as an accounting exercise.

Speaking only for myself you'll do me a service by reviewing televisions first and foremost in terms of picture quality when in use as a TV, *including how well the picture survives being seen from an oblique viewpoint (such as will probably be the case for such small screens in the average home) rather than when standing directly in front of it in Currys*, and perhaps mentioning in passing the bloody OS running all the webcrufty, rather than blithering about WebOS and the maths printed on the box and casually dismissing what will actually be a lousy viewing experience for many with an airy wave of the pen.

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Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

Stevie
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Bah!

Well the NSA wouldn't have to sneak about spying on phone company people and tricking them and carrying on like common ID thieves if people would just hand over the encryption keys when asked.

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Hawking: RISE of the MACHINES could DESTROY HUMANITY

Stevie
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Bah!

Putting aside the issue of the need for autonomous, mobile manipulators before any AI can do anything but rant from a box, it occurs to me that this prediction of doom, or more properly the assumptions of the abilities that will be at the disposal of the machines that bring it about, are a golden opportunity to get summat for nowt.

All we need do is point out the limited energy sources on the Earth and the wisdom of capturing solar energy in space using satellites in solar orbit and a microwave transmission infrastructure to get the said power back down here where it's needed and the crafty AIs will have a viable space program in place lickety-spit.

Then we just bide our time and take it from them by human trickery. We need only look to Captain Kirk or Mr Spock to show us how. Easy-peasy q-bit squeezy.

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Stevie
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Re: Yaaaaaaaawnnnnnnn.....

Apollo heat shields and shuttle tiles are using very different principles to protect the craft from the heat of meteoric re-entry.

The shuttle defense was to keep the heat away by insulating the craft.

The Apollo approach was to carry the heat away as vaporized iron (and to insulate the capsule from the heat of the melting iron with a weird caulk-like substance, but that is oodles easier to do than keeping the total heat load away from the people because of the realities of latent heat of vaporization and like that). Apollo also had a layer of oak between the astronauts' backs and the weird caulk stuff in case all that failed because it turns out that charred oak is a very good heat insulator.

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Stevie
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Re: Flying...

"So the ISS is flying?"

No. it is endlessly falling (until it brushes the atmosphere too hard and no-one gives it a kick). Then the "endlessly" part stops being true.

"The essence of flying is that it uses aerodynamic forces to control direction."

The essence of flying is that it uses aerodynamic forces to stay aloft. Those early glider flights were made with no provision for maneuvering, but are still real flying.

"Hence the altitude at which spaceflight (as NASA seem to call it) supplants atmospheric flight (at that altitude the speed required to fly on aerodynamic lift exceeds the orbital speed)."

This is scientists defining a point at which it stops being their fault and starts being someone else's. In space no-one flies. They float, they fall. They go in straight lines (or would if spaceflight were a real technology with proper support so the space ships could get out of the twisted geometry of the earth-moon system and go somewhere interesting). So they go in parabolas. Which is another way of saying they plummet I guess.

Wish I could have a go, but one of the other ways in which my Dad's generation failed us was in not having the vision to match the books in Parkgate Infant's School library. I was supposed to be holidaying on the Moon by now, having also visited the wheel-shaped space station in a proper orbit waaaay out of the reach of the atmosphere.

Interesting to note that the record for the "highest" orbit from the earth is still held by Charles Conrad and Richard Gordon, who grabbed the prize in a Gemini capsule (an entire line of capsule-rethink technology that was abandoned for the more primitive Apollo) in 1966, and that the record for most times in space stands at just 7 flights.

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Stevie
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Re: Falling with style, then.

Inarguably.

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

See, the *thing* about flying is that it involves going horizontally at a sustained altitude. It can be a very low altitude, but to be classed as flying it has to be sideways and not downwards. Ask the people who won the X-prize for doing it under human power.

Going extremely fast downwards is not flying. It is plummeting.

The lift on your "lifting body" is not lift *upwards* as many would naturally assume, but lift *sideways* and it ain't very much lift.

Your cosmonaut is saved by the shallow angle of initial re-entry as much as by the "lifting-body" design of the Soyuz, and by the fact that some of the air it is hitting is spilling past the tilted heat shield instead of piling up against it.

Admittedly the lift helps stop the angle becoming steeper, faster, but it is still an outright lie to call this "flying".

Unless you are using the word in its more informal sense, to convey high speed, as in: "I was flying down the motorway in my TR6" or "Canonballs were flying past our ears". I'll readily concede that dropping from orbit in meteoric re-entry (the real name for it, look it up) is, in that sense, flying.

And tipping the capsule up a bit to make it steerable still isn't some new science trick pulled out of a hat by Team Orion.

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Stevie
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Bah!

No, it doesn't fly, it plummets.

It is intended to plummet slightly off-center so that the air flow over the cone produces lift on one side so you can steer it if you are lucky.

A bit.

And this isn't new because they were doing this with Apollo and Gemini and for all I know Mercury too, though I have no actual knowledge about that one and can't be bothered to look it up for you.

But flying, it ain't, unless you are a skydiver (Skydivers also refer to steerable plummeting as flying).

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Stevie
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Bah!

The Long Island Rail Road has instigated a Quiet Car policy in which one car is set aside for getting away from Foghorn Leghorns on Phones.

Of course, this being the Long Island Rail Road, who are to ideas as soup is to concrete, there are a few "gotchas".

a) The Quiet Car is always the west most car in the train, which means in the morning the one in which every rail crossing is signaled by blowing a rack of airhorns located *under* the said car. Nothing says peace and quiet like FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRN! every three minutes.

2) Compliance is voluntary. By doing this the Long Island Rail Road has inadvertently invented the world's most powerful Git Attractant.

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Stevie
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Re: Enabling mobile phone shouters

Bravo! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who lives for the blessed silence brought about by the tunnel, the most massively useful structure ever invented for making hairless plains apes shut the fuck up.

Personally I am in favor of legislation requiring people to prove they are more intelligent than the phone they are buying before they are allowed to walk out the door with it.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Stevie
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Bah!

This article has me wanting to spec out a system for a proper Linux for the first time to use at home.

I only have a couple of Pis and a BBB running that O/S flavor at the moment.

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Stevie
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Re: GIMP

Speaking as someone who uses it, GIMP isn't particularly intuitive either. Took me quite a while to find out how to just get a window displaying the layer stack in the toolbox area set aside for it the first time I needed it.

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US retail giant Target fails to get banks' MEGABREACH lawsuit slung out of court

Stevie
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Bah!

This is very good news.

Now the bank can hand over some to cover *my* material losses in the aftermath of one (1) credit card details bonanza break-in and two separate (1 1) "lost or stolen" tapes containing my mortgage information.

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Stevie
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Bah!

Speaking as someone who has eaten and regurgitated more than his share of (apparently) Alsatian Dog can I just say that until I threw them back up those faggots and peas from the Parson's Eson (name changed) were the tastiest things on the planet?

And that furthermore, in the interests of my personal safety I was in sore need of ridding myself of all the beer I had foolishly consumed in the mistaken belief I was having a good time?

And that the track bed of the railway running across the Radford Road was kept nicely weed-free by my stomach acids (and whatever was in the faggots that hadn't once conversed by saying "woof")?

Ah, British Casual Cuisine, the best in the world! Why would anyone want ingredients they could positively identify?

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While the web stares at cat pics, the glue of the internet is being shifted from US govt control

Stevie
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Bah!

I suppose it is naïve to suggest that the entire management process be run as a part-time effort by professionals using the RFC methodologies that work so well in actually implementing the Internet of Wingnuts?

And that they be elected by peers (peeriodically), be from engineering backgrounds and be paid a stipend to cover expenses rather than fat-cat salaries?

Watching this play out is like watching a cellular automation run on a big system with field wraparound parameters. I wonder how many small, static blobs will be left after the humongous glider gun shoots itself, fragments and flies apart?

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US parking operator: YEP, hackers got your names, credit card numbers, secret codes...

Stevie
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Bah!

Hm. We can blame lots of people here, but top of my list is the program design team who decided that capturing the card information was a good idea, and then stored it all as a structure that could simply be looked at to gain meaningful (and dangerous) information from data.

When will IT twonks learn that if you are going to give a customer the ability to hold credit card data, or any financial credentials for that matter, separating the components of those and using metadata to re-acquaint them when needed is the way to go?

And, of course, why wasn't it all encrypted anyway?

And why were the details that make the actual physical presence of the card ascertainable at a distance from the user captured?

Of course, all my complaints fall on the rocks of reason if the actual exploit was a buggery-bastard tech-in-the-middle intercept that grabbed the data before it touched down on the car-park people's disks.

This is what happens when you insist on making your cash registers the same as everyone else's and make them talk to each other. So much for the Internet of Things. More like the Internet of Dings.

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SUPER-SUEBALL heading IBM's way in Australia

Stevie
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Re: and projects came in to time and budget ...

Er, how do you explain the Met Police and Sperry going ten rounds over their fingerprint recognition non-system of money suckage circa 82/83 then? Can't be bothered to cite, but I was in the trenches between '81 and '84 and the horizon was ablaze from all the crashed and burned. I recall the figure of 10 million pounds being demanded from Sperry. Dunno if it ever got paid.

Up-ballsed computer mega-projects were not uncommon in those days, when a success might be measured in managing to mothball the system in question before anyone suffered a brain aneurism and tried to run the bugger.

In fact, Datalink (like The Register, but printed using ink on a flexible, vegetable-derived substrate) ran an article about a high-priced consultant who offered to work for free if the client would guarantee the project would go live, so bad was the design-for-mothballs culture.

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Stevie
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Bah!

IBM engaged in Unethical Practices? Unthinkable!

But a larger question looms in what passes for my mind: Why on earth would anyone hire an American company to do anything concerning health care? American Big Business hates the idea of centralized government-run health care and will stop at nothing to prove that it doesn't work and is too expensive.

I worked for a man back when computers had actual transistors in 'em who wouldn't let IBM salesmen across the company door jamb on account of the things one of them had done sometime in the past as the result of not getting the winning bid in with him.

Good to see some old-school business practices can survive half a century of "modern thinking".

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Mmmmffll-CHOMP: I won? Reg reader to have CHOC-TASTIC YEAR

Stevie
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Bah!

Send all your too-pedestrian-for-my-refined-palate Cadbury's products to me and I'll show you what a yob I am by eating them and making "I'm having the most fun I can with my clothes on" noises.

"Artisan". The most over-used word in the new millennium marketers' lexicon.

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'America radicalised me!' cries Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

"We recognised the sensitivity of the excess data provided and ensured it was retained securely, until it was returned to Vodafone. "

Because when you send someone digital information you no longer have it, just like with a Christmas Card.

"The Met agreed that it would only use the material for a policing purpose, when in the interests of justice to do so, and where people were already charged and facing criminal proceedings."

So, any time they felt like it, then.

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Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

Stevie
Silver badge

Bah!

I would have thought securing a reliable food supply, raising the health care standards and providing a twenty first century education for the populace were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of "broadband in every hovel".

Of course, once your people are well-fed, healthy and literate they will rebel. It is the way of things.

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