* Posts by albaleo

102 posts • joined 20 May 2009

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So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

albaleo

Re: Not so much public ownership but public wealth creation

I'm not sure that the 30s private housing boom is relevant to the council house building activity. Over 1 million council houses were built in the inter war years. That's not a small event.

Regarding the NHS, I don't think there was anything simple about the nationalisation of existing facilities. Not sure what data would suffice. My parents said it was the biggest change in society in their lives (and they'd just lived through a war). Before they used to get treatment for free, and handed in rabbits for the doctor once or twice a year.

I picked up on council housing and the NHS, but I think there were other publicly financed investments in the 20th century that may have had an impact on wealth. Road building, education, electrification, gas grid, ports authorities, whatever. My image of this is that it increased steadily in the early part of the 20th century, and accelerated after WW2. I can wave my hands like any economist and say this was the cause of reduced wealth inequality. I'm hoping you can do better.

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albaleo

Not so much public ownership but public wealth creation

Tim, you mention public ownership, control, and planning, and I'd probably agree with you that those alone don't cause reductions in wealth inequality. But is public spending on wealth creating projects not a different matter. From the 1920s through the 1970s, there was large investment in council housing. After 1947, there was also large investment in the health service. In addition to employment, these also brought wealth to large numbers. A decent home, parents who aren't too sick to work, etc. Taking ownership of the car industry seemed quite different from these other projects. They weren't handing out cheap cars to everyone.

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PALE, MALE AND STALE: Apple reveals it has just ONE black exec

albaleo

83 wimps

This tells me Apple has 83 executives who agreed to tick a box classifying themselves as one of Asian, Black, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American, or White. Or did someone tick the box for them, as my local education official offered to do for my kids until I told her she'd better not.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

albaleo

Re: Spending money

I'm not sure what you mean by "going into the economy". What difference does it make if money is spent by private contractors or multi-cultural lesbian single mother awareness campaigners? Isn't the point that as long as they spend the money, the economy grows? I can understand that you might prefer better roads to increased awareness, but is that not just a matter of personal taste? Others might prefer better pizzas. (So why not just increase welfare benefits for that matter?) These are honest questions. This economics stuff hurts my head.

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

albaleo

Re: Nukes

And as they are so opposed to it, they should also be completely removed from any bidding process to build anything

What does "they" refer to in your comment? The SNP, those who voted for the SNP, or anyone in Scotland including engineering companies who couldn't give a toss about the SNP. Your comment smells of xenophobia, whether intended or not.

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Bonny Scottish post-pub nosh neckfiller: Rumbledethumps

albaleo

Re: best cabbage-based "neck filler"

"but Kansai style is an acceptable substitute"

Don't let my wife (an Osaka lass) hear you say that. Hiroshima style is forbidden in this house.

I suggest you use those pointy sweetheart cabbages instead of white cabbage. And chop it really fine. Adding some dashi (fish stock) to the batter helps. Bacon is good, as are shrimps, as is bacon and shrimps.

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Why should I learn by ORAL tradition? Where's the DOCUMENTATION?

albaleo

Re: Sorry if it's an obvious question, but...

It always amuses me that so much effort can go into software development without any of the developers bothering to make notes on how to use their own software.

We can rationalize that. I have a client who, when asked if we should make some user documentation, said that if users can't understand the interface, they certainly won't understand the documentation. I've since tried to live by that principle.

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Apple's Tim Cook and Salesforce's Marc Benioff DECLARE WAR on anti-gay Indiana

albaleo

Re: Pehaps

"Most businesses are conducted for the purpose of earning money, however, and will not concern themselves with the sexual orientation of their customers as long as the latter pay promptly."

But they may well concern themselves with any vociferous campaign along the lines of, "they serve gays".

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

albaleo

Being for the benefit of Mr Kite

The celebrated Mrs K

Performs her feats on Saturdays

Behind the gate

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Vince Cable opens hipster-friendly London tech creche

albaleo

a uniquely British solution

"a uniquely British solution"

Otherwise known as a cock up.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

albaleo

It's for the addresses (maybe)

"I can't see that medical records and tax liability are sufficiently closely correlated to make the exercise worthwhile."

I don't think it's the medical records that are of interest, but people's addresses. Under new income tax arrangements, Scottish residents will pay income tax to Scotland. I'm guessing the NHS register is considered the most accurate database linking people to their current address.

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

albaleo

Re: UKIP

"What funny little german guy?"

Hengist?

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Jamie Oliver serves up steaming pile of malware

albaleo

Compromised Javascript

Your article gets in the usual digs at Flash, Silverlight and Java, but doesn't mention that it started from some compromised Javascript. It would interesting to know how that could happen.

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Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies

albaleo

Re: I thought that HTML5

"...and haven't learnt HTML5, JS and CSS properly..."

That made me smile. I'm one of those that is currently trying to move applications from Flash to html/javascript. It's a bloody nightmare. Once upon a time, I used to make desktop applications. But then clients wanted things in the browser. So Flash, using the Flex framework, seemed a good way to do this, and it generally was.

But it appears I have sinned in forcing the satanic Flash plugin on users, and my penance is to do it all again in html/javascript, knowing that others will view this as almost as big a sin. I can say with certainty that I haven't learned to do this "properly". If there is indeed a "proper" way to develop applications in html/javascript, please show me the way. So far, I've learned that it involves a lot of this and that.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

albaleo

Careful now!

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

albaleo

"Far too much white - hurts my eyes when viewing for long periods"

This, this, this!

I can't make comments about other changes as I'm blinded to them.

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Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

albaleo

Re: They predicted there WOULDN'T be an earthquake

I upvoted theSkipper because his description matches my memory of the event. You say that people failed to interpret the statement correctly. The Nature article has this quote from the official: “the scientific community tells me there is no danger because there is an ongoing discharge of energy”. I can't imagine any official announcement in Japan using the words "no danger", and especially not following a series of tremors. That quote doesn't come from the mouths of the scientists, and so I don't know exactly what they said to the official. Their lawyer said this, "...the scientists could not be held accountable for De Bernardinis's reassuring statements, and that the scientific opinions given by seismologists during the meeting were ultimately correct." It seems the judges may have accepted this, which is why the official's conviction still remains.

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Japan: Land of cheap booze and slippers in the office

albaleo

Re: English teaching business mostly collapsed

I also did well out of the eikawa business for 15 years. But that was in the 80s and early 90s. I was in the "corporate" end of the business, teaching company employees, mostly engineers. If you don't mind staying in company training centres for up to two weeks at a time, it can be rewarding. As most courses involved the students explaining aspects of their jobs and business in English, I got to learn about things as diverse as cable making, desalination plant construction and the production of lenses for compact cameras. It was also during this time I got to work with computers, at first producing training materials, then later online interactive training systems. I'm still involved in producing educationally-related software.

Like Shannon, my Japanese is pretty feeble. My in-laws can tolerate talking to me for perhaps an hour, before they get another family member to suffer in their place. (The time varies with the amount of drink consumed.) But my experience of travelling around Japan for work has made me the person the family come to for advice on whether Shimonoseki is the dump it is made out to be, and whether it's best to drive to Niihama from Osaka, or take the ferry.

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Crooks are using proxy servers to build more convincing phishing sites – new claim

albaleo

What was it about the original form that bugged you? It read fine to me. Most usage guides say that either "who" or "that" are used to refer to human subjects. Some note that "that" is more commonly used when denoting a class of people, e.g. "those that prescribe grammar" versus "one who prescribes grammar. But there is no exclusive rule.

It's different with non-restrictive relative clauses, where "which" and "who" are the normally preferred options, and where "which" is not generally used with people. "Now someone who really annoys me is Albaleo, who bores us to death with his thoughts on grammar." "I know what you mean. He talks all the time about relative clauses, which no one in their right mind gives a fuck about."

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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

albaleo

Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

"a statistically quite small group of people"

It looks quite large to me. An increased sample, using the same sampling methodology, would probably just continue to show any built-in biases that might exist. Unfortunately, the study isn't free to access, so we can't say much about the methodology. I'll assume it was done sensibly. (But I smiled when imagining that the group with diagnosed cancer had an average age of 70 while the control group had an average age of 25 and were to be asked about their sex lives. I'm reminded of Kevin Bridges, "Who me? Put me down for 30.")

For speculation on the difference between straight and gay results, could it be that the vision of a face faking orgasm has previously unknown effects. That would kill the wanking theory. Darn!

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SPECIAL iPHONE TROUSERS will ease Apple into the fashion world

albaleo

I used to like Apple and The Register

"Apple is no longer just a tech firm, remember, it's a fashion brand."

And The Register is no longer just an IT news outlet, remember, it's a clickbait site.

I think you can do better.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

albaleo

Re: Can't quite put my finger on why...

It reminds me of something, but I can't remember what exactly.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

albaleo

Re: Easy to make

It's not meant to taste like real coffee. If, like me, you require a constant infusion of caffeine and hot liquid during the working day, "real" coffee isn't an option anyway. Recently I've got into the art of instant coffee blending. My current favourite is equal parts Carte Noir (when available on offer) and Tesco Gold.

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

albaleo

Re: Mad

"He has been given those assurances"

Really. I don't recall seeing that reported in The Register where they generally like to report on his arrogant behavior.

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albaleo

Re: Mad

"a seriously slippery slope "

Why? However much of an arse he is, his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state. He has voiced a fear that he would be extradited to the US should he return to Sweden. Sweden seems to have done nothing to allay those fears. They could interview him in London, or issue an assurance that he wouldn't be extradited after being interviewed in Sweden. Surely that's not such a big deal. And then it would fall to Assange to show how much honour he has.

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

albaleo

Re: I really, really, hate that word

I'm not sure I agree.

A boffin is always potentially dangerous. They are not motivated by altruism of any kind such as doing social good or saving the planet. Seeking knowledge and finding out if something is possible are all that count. So on climate science, and the question of whether increased CO2 will warm the atmosphere, a run of the mill climate scientist will warn us to reduce CO2 emissions. Our climate boffin on the other hand is more likely to start pumping CO2 into the atmosphere to see if it is true or not.

A useful boffin will always have a kind and sensible spouse who makes sure things don't get out of hand.

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

albaleo

Re: Don't blame the Americans

"They are some of the nicest people you will meet."

I agree.

"It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to deny evolution, or a lack of decent education standards."

Or perhaps it's passive coercion of thought - believe what your peers believe. I'm interested in what "decent education standards" might mean in relation to evolution. Should it be taught as a fact (the truth) or should students be presented with a range of ideas and evidence and be allowed to make up their own minds?

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albaleo

"I see - you don't find it even slightly worrying that these individuals are trying to have their surreal delusions taught as fact in science classes"

I was commenting on whacky beliefs. There was no question in the survey asking whether creationism should be taught in science classes. I understand that as many people worldwide believe in ghosts as believe in gods. I view both ideas in the same way.

"or how about something weighing the risk of vaccination against the risk of contracting the condition it should prevent"

Sure, but it would be a slightly different question. "Vaccination is generally safe and effective." versus "The benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks." The first is more in line with the survey's theme - the second is more a comment on policy than scientific understanding. Someone might agree that vaccines are generally safe but not always accept that the benefits outweigh the risks - for example, the chickenpox vaccine.

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albaleo

I probably have more respect for those who are very confident that the world is 6000 years old than those who are confident that vaccines are "safe and effective". The former group's beliefs are based on fantasy. Weird, but not so worrying. The latter group seem to be straight out of some Brave New World where we believe what we're told. If they'd asked if they were "generally safe and effective", I might have felt able to answer the question. But surely anyone with any respect for science is not going to accept any absolute claim about anything.

Anyone labelling me an antivaxer will make 100113.1537's point.

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Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

albaleo

Re: Methane breaks down faster than CO2...

"I'd think they would mine that stuff"

It seems some are trying.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9924836/Japan-cracks-seabed-ice-gas-in-dramatic-leap-for-global-energy.html

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Samsung and Apple BEWARE: Huawei is coming to eat your lunch

albaleo

Re: Pronouciation

"basically, their alphabet has the R consonant, but not the L"

Kind of, but a Japanese "r" is not the same as an English "r" and in some ways is similar to a "d". An English "r" usually involves no contact between the tongue and palette (except when rolling like a true Scotsman). A Japanese 'r' usually involves a short touch, but not as firm as with a "d".

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

albaleo

Some things should be left until big school

I'm not sure primary school is the right place for learning to code or learning other difficult things. At primary school in the 60s, I didn't learn any 'science' except for a single lesson in the final year (more about that below). Yet I often wondered about things in the natural world. For example, I would often wonder whether a ball bearing could be cut in half, or whether it was some indivisible thing. More perversely, I sometimes wondered what I would see if I cut my thumb off. At my first science lesson at secondary, I was told everything was made from atoms. It explained so much of what I didn't know and wondered about. And more importantly, it made sense to me. I don't think I would have appreciated that lesson as much if I'd been told at age 7 that everything was made from atoms.

The single 'science' lesson we had at primary didn't actually teach or explain anything. Rather, it let us explore some interesting things (which is heavier, water or sand, etc.) The killer thing was being asked whether water could flow uphill, and then being shown how to syphon water from one bucket to another. That sealed things for me, science was more magical than Jesus. :-)

Rather than being taught how to code, are there not better activities for primary school that would make learning to code at secondary much more understandable and rewarding?

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iFrame attack injects code via PNGs

albaleo

Re: So the user doesn't notice anything happening

But the code embedded in the png doesn't appear malicious in itself. I'm assuming the malicious code is at the url pointed too by the iFrame src attribute. Is security based merely on scanning urls in the original web page?

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albaleo

So the user doesn't notice anything happening

Naive questions... (gentle answers please)

I don't see what's so special about this form of attack. (perhaps not enough coffee yet) The code to execute is embedded in a png. But presumably it could be embedded anywhere, for example in the text of a hidden element. Or perhaps not hidden at all. Creating an iFrame and setting a src for it is apparently a legitimate practice. Is there any reason the user should notice, whether done in a sneaky fashion or otherwise?

Is the issue not more about the code that is eventually loaded into the iFrame. If it is allowed to perform some mischief, are we not already potentially doomed by any web page?

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This one time at Apple Camp... Tech titan offers to school US fanbois on coding

albaleo

Re: blend o' skills...

"Am I the only one that thinks you can just "get" computing"

I've found it requires tremendous amounts of constructive cursing. If you didn't learn to swear like a good'un at school, you may be at a disadvantage.

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Solar enthusiasts rays idea of 'leccy farms on MOON, drones

albaleo

I think the Japanese company is called Shimizu, not Shimzu. (Although they seem to be using 'Shimz' as their logo.)

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Gold meddler: Doctor Who is 50 years old TODAY

albaleo

50 years ago, I wasn't allowed to watch the first episode. (Something else on, Dr. Finlay's Casebook or some other crap, I don't remember but I'm sure some fellow abused child will inform me). And today, the family won't let me watch because X-Factor is on. Fuck, I've spent my whole life as a wimp.

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TOXIC DOLPHIN SANDWICH on the menu, say hacktivists

albaleo

Re: The numbers don't add up

Oops, a bit early in the week for mental arithmetic. Should be about $2,750,000 dollars.

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albaleo

Re: The numbers don't add up

Figures at the link below show exports in 2010 were worth 276,950,000 yen, which is approximately $275,000 (at today's rates). So yes, it looks like they may be making shit up, and then some.

http://en.elsaenc.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ELSA-Number_of_Dolphins_Exported_from_Japan.pdf

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Google patent: THROAT TATTOO with lie-detecting mobe microphone built-in

albaleo

Re: @Gives a whole new image

And would that image be a picture of George Clooney or Brad Pitt or whoever she's thinking of?

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Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

albaleo

Re: Sounds like sour grapes to me

Slight correction...

Those who can, do

Those who can't, teach

For those who can't teach, there's always journalism

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Anonymous and pals gather in support of girl at centre of rape case

albaleo

"love is a stative verb"

I'm not sure we can say that English grammar has the concept of stative verbs. The distinction between stative and dynamic verbs is just a matter of semantics and logic. They conjugate in the same way. This is probably why we have verbs that can have both a stative and dynamic sense. For example, "I have a plate." and "I'm having a plate of chips."

"I'm loving the discussion." seems more economic than "I'm enjoying the discussion so much that I have stained my underpants." McDonalds apparently came to the same conclusion.

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Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

albaleo

Painting agnostics as wishy-washy

'Don't forget that agnosticism is honest because it says "we don't know if there is a God or if there isn't".'

That's a wishy-washy interpretation of agnosticism. A better interpretation of agnosticism would be, 'I see no solid evidence for a god so I don't believe in one.'

The 'don't know' part of agnosticism doesn't mean it's a 50-50 thing. I don't know for sure that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, but evidence and reason tells me it will.

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Young? Been online five years? Congrats, you are the ELITE MINORITY

albaleo

Re: The "experience" experience

"It's results that count."

Except when they come in a Powerpoint presentation.

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

albaleo

Re: Unicode needs to be taken out back and shot

"the full width "A" should not be U+FF21, it should be decimal 65 with the renderer deciding if it should be full width or not."

I'm not sure I agree. How does the renderer decide? For example, in the following (if it displays), where English and Japanese are mixed, and the second upper-case A is part of a Japanese name.

A great future at Aテック.

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albaleo

Make 'em pay

Isn't utf-8 just a new form of the Flanders imperialism? One-byte characters for us chaps, and some other variable number for the funny writing people. It's just a plot to rule the world by keeping their bandwidth costs high.

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There's ONE country that really likes the iPhone 5c as well as the 5s

albaleo

Re: Clueless Analysts

Point taken about the status thing. But for the man with everything, assuming he has five mistresses too, a 5c in each colour might be appealing.

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RADIATION SNATCHED from leaky microwave ovens to power gadgets

albaleo

Is it really wasted energy?

"all from energy that would otherwise be wasted"

Genuine question. For example, does the leaked energy have no effect in heating the house, or curing acne, or whatever?

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iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

albaleo

Boring you all to death (and you too El Reg)

It's all about the apps . Do you El Reg guys really fondle hardware. I thought you were jesting.

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