2329 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: One wonders
I believe red wine is a good mitigation strategy for radiation exposure. Or so I shall be telling the stewardess next time I'm at 30,000 feet.
Gamma radiation didn't hurt Bruce Banner. In fact it helped him...
I'm green with envy...
Spot the difference
Instagram users view he world through urine filled goggles - pub-goers view the opposite sex through beer goggles - does this mean the 2 cancel out?
Re: Alternative theory
I agree. I was going to say use the cash saved on subsidies to raise benefits for those on them, and lower taxes for those not on them - then let them choose what to spend their cash on. But got side-tracked onto forms and fire lighters...
Economies are just too complicated for governments to plan. They don't even have enough information or knowledge to get interest rates right, because the data takes 3 to 6 months to collect and the effects of changes can take 2-3 years to finish percolating through the system. So even if economists had a perfect understanding of cause and effect in economics (and they don't...), it would still be impossible to manage an economy perfectly. How people can expect a government to be able to balance demand for bread, toilet rolls, healthcare and all the myriad other things is beyond me.
If you really want a cool cape, just go out and buy yourself one. I can't help with the shooting gamma rays from your hands, but LED torches are cheap. Will they do?
Don't forget to put your underpants on after your trousers...
Re: Alternative theory
Who says it's a few - and not everyone who lives on the border? Like you can't buy baby milk in Hong Kong. Because any Chinese person who goes there, runs to the supermarket and hoovers it all up. Either for profit, or for themselves and friends. Because no-one trusts the locally available stuff after all the recent food scandals.
But anyway, that's why capitalism works. Don't have the government telling people what price things should be and what to buy, they'll invariable screw it up. Don't subsidise stuff. Give people the money to buy it, then they can make their own decisions on what they want. If something's in short supply, then more will magically appear, because the price will go up. At least if the economy works well. If stuff isn't turning up, it's probably because you've regulated your businesses so much, that they can't change production without filling in forms, in triplicate, then burying them in soft peat for 3 months, and re-cycling them as fire lighters.
It doesn't need a secret agent to discredit socialism. It does it perfectly well, all by itself...
It's also sad looking at Argentina. They started to recover really well from their debt-crisis a decade ago. And then the politicians buggered it all up. Not that it would have been easy anyway. They set the price of beef below that of production. Because it's apparently immoral to export food when poor people are struggling to eat beef at home. Well that's all fine and dandy, but how are poor people going to afford food, if all the jobs dry up, because the exporters have been put out of business? I think the soya export trade is still going well, but I read that they've now introduced the same idea to the grain farmers, so that export industry will be going the same way.
Surely a carrier exclusive on one colour is harmless enough? I don't think that many people really care if they get the black or white one. But I guess it makes some numpty at the network feel 'important' and that they've 'driven a hard bargained' with Nokia.
Re: please no...
I used to think the way you do. But then I was persuaded that I was wrong by a piece written in
crayonThe Guardian by Jordan...
I'm sorry, it was me.
But details of the Christmas party have been changed, the nice lady has since laid down her pole and retired, the goat is receiving treatment and the contamination in the Marmite factory has been dealt with. I have been contacted by the lawyers and informed that should I pass on any further photographs then my life won't be worth living - so you'll have to resort to Playmobil for the rest...
Re: nexsphil Bullshit Damage Limitation
I've got no problems at all with reality. Although my tinfoil underpants do chafe somewhat...
Re: Huge Failure
Interesting. I hadn't realised that. I guess that's why he got a sub, and not an aircraft carrier, like all the other presidents.
What idiot at the Pentagon named that submarine? You're picking the name for a sub to tap into undersea cables. It's going to be named for an ex-President. How could it not be called the Richard M Nixon?
3M in feb was it? fuck me, that would have been better spent catching more dangerous criminals.
That's what we have police for. You'd hope that all suspects and criminals would cooperate, and help us save cash, but sadly not.... You can't just let people off because they're making things a bit awkward for the plod.
Also, he is accused of a violent crime. i.e. Rape. OK it's not as serious as some other rapes (although I seem to recall Ken Clarke got into trouble for saying that). He's not accused of using violence, but he is accused of using physical force. The police prioritise what crimes to spend resources on, and rape ought to be near the top of the list.
The linked Independent article is interesting, if accurate. With leaks from both sides.
When the situation first blew up, and Ecuador gave him asylum, I remember reading Charles Crawford's blog. He's an ex ambassador who's gone into mediation and consultancy since leaving the FCO. An interesting chap, even if he does seem to have invented the word 'blogoir' (half memoir half blog) for which I'm sure he'll burn in hell... Anyway he said that Ecuador were deliberately limiting their own room for manoeuvre. As a diplomatic tactic you turn the rhetoric up to 11, and make your position much harder to back down from, in the hope that the other side will still want to settle, so will have to give you extra concessions.
Whatever our ambassador said to their government, the mistake was probably in giving them the written note (called speaking notes according to Crawford), which they then got to wave about, and say how we'd wronged them, and threatened them. Perfect excuse to get all shrill and give asylum. Now it appears they want to deal, or the FCO are maybe trying to make it look like that... But there's not much deal the UK government can offer. The Foreign Office can't tell the courts or police what to do, and can't give legal guarantees of future behaviour of the courts. So all they can do is make some nice statements about how lovely Ecuador are. Which I'm sure they'll do gladly.
I guess for the FCO it's easy. Sure the police have to spend all this cash, but it doesn't come out of their budget, and catching criminals is what the police are paid for. So long as the Home Secretary isn't giving them permanent earache, it's no skin off their rosy noses. As for Ecuador, they've got a big Aussie taking up their sofa, in quite a small embassy. And perhaps they've finally got it through their thick skulls that the UK can't back down, as the courts in this country are pretty non-politicised.
Sanctuary in embassies is apparently standard practise in South America, but not accepted as normal in Europe. But Ecuador's government played this up for domestic consumption, and now have to try to avoid losing face, if they let him out. Because their embassy is so small, they can't just ignore the problem, otherwise they could probably just forget about it. I wonder if they're trying to link it to the Falklands issue? If they could get a concession (or pretence of one) on that, then they could say it was a deal, kick Julian out the door, and weren't they clever for helping outfox those evil imperialist British pig-dogs and help brother South Americans...
Re: @Military Intelligence
Erm, exactly what relevance does this have?
Re: Always Great
What's the Spanish Inquisition got to do with anything? I didn't expect that to come up in this conversation...
Assange came to my country, and pissed about for months (partly at my expense) in a pointless court battle, when the law was very clear that he had no choice but to go back to Sweden and face the police. I happen to disagree with that law - I don't think the European Arrest Warrant is a good idea. But it's a perfectly reasonable bit of legislation. As happens our judges decided to be extra good, and pointed out that even under the old extradition system (which I do approve of), he'd still have been sent back to Sweden. He then decided that even after 4 appeals, he was too special to go back and face the rape allegations. So as well as wasting even more of my tax money, he decided to show his gratitude to his 'friends' that bailed him out, by pissing their money up the wall too. And buggered off the Ecuadorian embassy. Well I have no sympathy for him now!
He can sod off back to Sweden, another country he decided he has no gratitude for. It was apparently a safe haven, and worthy of having him as a citizen. Until he got a bit too frisky with the locals, or so the allegations go. Whether they're true, I've no idea, but he's gone to pretty great lengths to avoid facing those allegations, which makes me suspect his motives aren't pure.
Given he published the names of local villagers in Afghanistan who'd given information to NATO troops, without apparently caring whether they got murdered for their pains, I find myself even less likely to give a damn about what happens to him. Some of that information was along the lines of "the landmines round our village are here, please can you clear them" - but according to St Julian they should have no rights. Obviously that same doesn't apply to him... I do believe he should have rights. We've given them to him. He's abused them. If he helped Manning hack into US files, then he's committed a crime and I've no sympathy in the unlikely even the US government catch up with him and try him. If all he did was publish the stuff, then I believe the US have little to nothing on him.
Re: Does it do widgets?
I'm not sure I really miss widgets on my phone, since I moved from Android to Windows Phone and finally to iOS. I had the best widgets, then mediocre ones, and now just badges. What I really liked about setting up my Android home screen was the ability to have different sized icons. So the most important icons can really be made to stand out, by having them double or even 4 times bigger. That way, I can select them quickly, even when I'm only half looking. Widgets were just a nice-to-have feature. Obviously others may disagree - and that's why it's good we have several competing OSes.
Just allowing this would do wonders for that nasty confusing grid of icons which is iOS. Would improve having to wade through 6 screens of 20 similar icons each, to find the one you want.
Re: Put an iPhone beside a...
Even funnier, when you give your iPhone to someone who's blind to try out, and stick the screen-reader on he hits a letter and it says "capital T". That's not because shift has been pressed and that's what he's going to get but because it's reading the button he hit on the screen, and the keyboard only shows caps. Now that's crap.
Although I believe the RNIB still recommend the iPhone, and I don't think any of the others can muster anything close to the aids that the iPhone has built in.
Re: Nobody got fired for buying IBM
If everyone sticks to running IBM software on IBM mainframes...
Then we'll all have to wear nuclear-powered, super-reinforced, anti-gravity trousers - in order to be able to carry them around...
I was thinking Top Gun, so they could soon be giving us Goose and Ice-man...
And for reminding me of that film I think my next tablet should be an Android, as punishment for them.
Is there a macro?
At El Reg towers, where you write these articles about the good old 80s micros, do you have a bunch of macros set up, such as:
"The product launch was announced in 1982, but none were actually shipped until 1983"
"Due to production difficulties, initial orders were not filled for several months"
"Several expansion modules were promised, but never delivered as the project was cancelled due to cost-overruns"
Actually, thinking about it, are you just publishing the same article every month, but changing the names and product pictures, and seeing how long it takes us all to notice?
Ah, happy memories... Keep up the good work.
Look at da pwetty lights
That's a pretty rippled rocket exhaust they've got there. I don't recall seeing one like that before.
Hooray for space ships, as always.
I enjoyed them all though. I plan to read the non-M books at some point.
If you like music, read Espedair Street. It's clear that Banks did - and his sick sense of humour is on display as always. The Crow Road and Whit are good, and mostly nice. I enjoyed Complicity, which wasn't. And the Business is fun, although I'm not sure it's one of his best. The rest are a mixed bag, and there's quite a few, like The Bridge and Walking on Glass that could just as easily have had an M in his name.
Start at the very beginning (the very best place to start), with Consider Phlebas. If you like that, you'll like the Culture. Although you don't need to have read any of them first before picking any other one up, there are possibly some assumptions in there that you could miss. If you like the Culture, you'll like Excession, and The Player of Games has a nice straightforward plot. Sometimes he plays silly buggers, but not in all books. Once you've liked one, it gives you the desire to plod through the slow/harder/odd bits of any others.
Use of Weapons and Against a Dark Background are fun. But he does like his black humour. And watch out for those lazy guns.
Personally I thought his books were quite uneven. He was trying lots of different things, and I thought there were quite a few weak books, where things just didn't come off. I thought that happened a lot more with his literary fiction than the sci-fi. I've had a lot of fun reading his stuff over the years. There's always the sense of humour and it's often fun to try and puzzle the book out, to try and work out what he's playing at before you get to the end. And he plays fair, and usually gives you clues.
Re: A great loss to Sci Fi..
If you haven't already read the Wasp Factory. You wont regret it.
Well I'm not sure about that... It's one of my least favourite of his books.
Espedair Street is my favourite I think - I highly recommend it, especially if you're into music. It's certainly lots of fun, and one of his 'nice' books - as he said he described it to his wife. The Wasp Factory obviously being one of the 'nasty' ones - along with Complicity, which I liked. My second favourite of his normal fiction would be The Crow Road. Then, maybe, Whit. So I guess I was more of a fan of the 'nice' ones.
I think my favourite of the Sci-Fi would be Excession. Although if you're not a fan of the ludicrous ship names, there's more in that than any other. In my opinion it was his sense of humour that made his books, and the ludicrous ship names made me smile.
It's a shame, I'll miss his work. I think I'll dig out one of his books and a bottle of whisky tonight, in his honour. He also wrote a nice book on whisky, called Raw Spirit.
Re: predictable result of NSF funding cuts?
And would you want your demo an/or riot to be managed by the police using the traditional teargas/ watercannon/ kettling/ batoncharges, or something a little less brutal?
No. I now expect the police to shout, "let's do the show right here! Sarge, give me a one, give me a two..."
Re: You don't know what it's like......
At a place that I used to work, there was a very attractive blond girl in accounts. They used to hot desk, so whenever a PC went wrong, they just moved her to that desk, and she called IT. Funny how it usually took 3 hours to get someone to fix a broken desktop. But she had someone climbing under her desk within 10 minutes, every time...
So, in a large company, every department needs at least one hottie.
If you were a true hunter*, you wouldn't allow these petty difficulties to affect your mind.
*Good grief! How was someone who thinks they have a sense of humour allowed into HR?
Re: Good looking on Radio
Surely that's what fake photos are for. It's Heat Milton Keynes, who's going to find out?
I'm sure you can get round this issue easily enough. Don't boot from a Linux image, but load onto the hard drive, then install from there. Or create a custom install image, and feed it drivers required for USB hubs or Bluetooth (although I don't know how easy that is). Or install over network.
Whether the correct drives for the hardware will all be available is another matter. Last time I tried playing with Ubuntu on an HP tablet I couldn't get the touch-screen or the hardware buttons to talk to it. Which was particularly annoying, as for some weird reason the sound defaulted to mute, and I couldn't get drivers to make the button go. Anyway I was just playing about, so didn't care.
I had that, but the doctor gave me some pills...
Re: @I ain't Spartacus
Nokia's choice definitely does apply. Crap management leads to crap performance. I don't know if Elop has got his decision right, or whether they could have turned round Symbian, or Meego/Maemo, or would have been better with Android. What I do know is that Nokia's management culture had been in the shit for years, and that's the culture that selected Elop. And approved his decision to release the 'burning platforms' email, and to change strategy. It's no good them blaming him, they hired him, they approved his decision.
My personal suspicion is that he didn't come in as a poison pill from MS, but was brought in to do a deal with MS, because none of the competing factions inside Nokia could agree on an internal solution. Or believed that none was available - as they never seemed to be able to finish anything. But that's only guesswork on my part.
the overrated camera of 920 could take nice pictures, but what the software does to them should be punishable by cutting fingers off. And I seriously doubt Nokia can influence any of this as they seem to have become a pawn of Microsoft and its rat who became the leader investors are not exactly fond of. As for the custom GPU, that is no doubt result of Microsoft's partnership with some OEM.
That's all a bit silly really. The camera on the 920 seems to have got very nice reviews and the test shots I've seen have been pretty good. That's not over-rated. If there were software problems, they've apparently been dealt with. But whatever, that's not Microsoft's fault, it's Nokia's. Nokia produce the drivers for their hardware, so any problems are down to them.
Similarly with the GPU on the Pureview camera, that's nothing to do with Microsoft, and them having parter OEMs. Nokia bought in the camera, they'll select the internal GPU for the camera, and they'll write both the camera software, and the driver that links it up to the OS. With their Symbian version they can use the phone's GPU, and that's a downside of using Windows, because MS would have to re-write the OS to allow this. So they'll have to have an extra chip.
Surely if you want to stress how inexpensive your wonderful shinies are, then the best way to show their value is in chickens (or other edible birds).
Then you can say they're going cheep.
...Sorry. That was baaaa-d.
Yes, I had one of those on my last WinPho handset. Which was very useful. But the one I really wanted was a brightness control. So you can crank brightness to the max when you're outside in the sun, and can't read the screen. So it can't be buried illegibly half a page down the settings menu. iOS doesn't allow this either, and the easy-access to the brightness control is only on the iPad, not the iPhone (where it's most needed).
It was also a shame that there were only these WiFi/Bluetooth/Aeroplane Mode apps, and nothing else. I'd have liked to have shortcuts to a few options as a possibility.
That's just because you follow the grammar-nazis like sheeps...
Re: "...treats such as peanut butter..."
Never understood how this vomit-inducing peanut butter can be regarded as edible.
Next you're going to tell us that you're one of those sick perverts who enjoy Marmite.
Re: the correct way..
No. If the cheese is nice cheese, then heating the cheese should zoom all the lovely aroma of it around perfectly happily without changing the taste much (think warming brandy). So I like to only melt it, rather than caramelise it. I don't personally think it's an improvement on the flavour.
Whereas toast is different. That should be a nice golden brown, but not a nasty charred black. Hence you toast one side, very very very lightly toast t'other - then bung cheese on the side that's still white but no longer soft, and back under the grill for about a minute to melt the cheese and nothing more.
I suspect that at least 70% of smartphone users don't care about the OS. Certainly of the handful of non-techies that I've advised on phones/tablets in the last 6 months only 1 was wedded to his iPhone, and not willing to change. The rest only cared about what it did, and would shift to whatever platform had the price or features they were after. There's still a good number of people who haven't heard of Android, even though they're using it on their phone. "Oh, I've got a Samsung Galaxy"...
I've just pushed a friend off iPhone onto Android (which I'm nervous about given how non-technical he is). But the Galaxy Note 2 has the stylus that will be brilliant for him. He's loved his iPhones for the last 4 years, but switching doesn't worry him in the slightest.
Re: Import the ingredients
There's nothing wrong with modern British food. Not compared with even ten years ago. And certainly compared with the food wasteland that was the 1970s when I grew up. Although I still yearn for the taste of Butterscotch Instant Whip. It would probably be awful if I ever found any and actually tried to eat it mind...
There's plenty of crap in the supermarkets. But then I used to live in Belgium, and I've shopped in other places on holiday, and there's plenty of crap there too. You can get decent cheese in the supermarkets. The bread is OK, although Morrisons often have nice stuff (I don't have access to a Waitrose to comment).
Although crap-white-sliced bread, and bland-supermarket-plastic-cheddar is perfect for the cheese on toast with baked beans on top that I sometimes have. But otherwise a nice mature cheddar is best, and can be easily sourced from supermarkets, if no cheese shop is available.
Worcester sauce is British. There's a thriving British cheese industry, winning awards even in France. The artisan food industry has been growing here since the 80s, and been doing increasingly well for the last decade. Local breweries have made a comeback, and they're doing particularly well now. Probably half the pubs in my town now have something from Rebellion (in Marlow) on draught - whereas ten years ago only 2 or 3 pubs served any kind of real ale.
You had to look for this stuff ten years ago, but even the supermarkets and chain-pubs are in the action now. There's plenty of mass-produced down to a price stuff out there, but also plenty of alternatives.
Re: the correct way..
Hear! Hear! Well said that man!
Once the cheese is all melted and warm and lovely, get it away from the nasty heat and get eating. Bread isn't nicer burnt either. I'm amazed at the number of people suggesting the cheese should be going brown. This isn't the 1970s you know...
I think. "Nokia had far more control over its hardware then than it does now." speaks for itself.
Not really. Obviously it's a Microsoft OS, instead of Symbian - although that was Nokia's choice. But what MS are specifying is the chips they certify. Because of this, Nokia can't use the OS and the CPU or GPU to process the camera images. So that presumably forces them to have a custom GPU in the camera itself, which does all the work, and then they just write a camera driver for Windows Phone as normal.
Symbian was a separate entity to Nokia, not under its control (at least theoretically) for a while. Then it was again, then it wasn't... I lost track. It'll be interesting to see how much Nokia can influence MS in their future Windows Phone decisions. It's an interesting question as to who's management and bureaucracy has been worst in the last 5 years, out of those two companies...
Croque-madame has pineapple on top instead of the ham. Or sometimes as well as. But both are an excellent accompaniment to beer.
Don't you have to make some sort of sauce to do Welsh Rarebit, making it count as cooking. Also the stuff goes on cold bread, whereas with cheese on toast you should have already toasted the bread before the cheese goes on for the last minute of melting.
I wonder if some sort of port and Worcester sauce based sauce would be nice with cheese on toast? Ketchup is great, or just on its own, but surely port and cheese will always work together?
Did he say, "Blessed are the cheese-makers"?
I seem to remember it was the Cheese Marketing Board in the 80s who did those adverts where they made the union flag out of different coloured cheeses. Although it was a round, cheese-shaped one of course.
And they had the celebs doing little lines to camera, then biting into a bit. I knew I hadn't imagined this, everything is on Youtube nowadays: Ken Livingstone linky.
At table with a lovely young filly,
Trying to impress without looking silly,
I said I don't like to boast,
But I make great cheese on toast.
Would you like a mouthful of my... Piccalilli?
Hmmmm? Not sure about this poetry lark. I don't think it's my strong point. Anyway the secret to the best cheese on toast is a mature cheddar, and to put baked beans on top of it. Just before eating each slice, so as not to get it soggy. Then you get lovely crunchy, cheesy, beany, tomato saucey bites of goodness.
I don't know why the prize is a toasty maker though. Surely the toasty is a completely different taste experience to the cheese on toast. My favourite being the egg toasty, You need one that seals the edges well, and has quite deep depressions in the pan. Then whack in your bread, drop the egg in, get the other slice on top double-quick, slam the lid down and hold really tight to avoid the egg spilling out the sides. Once the seal is formed round the toasty you can let the pressure up and cook as normal. Due to the butter on the outside of the bread you get a sort of combined fried/poached egg effect, and it's amazing with ketchup. Whereas the perfect cheese toasty has ham in it as well.
The lack of options on the volume control is a bit crap. Also there doesn't seem to be a way to save a half-composed text message - which given the number of times I'm interrupted doing this is even more annoying.
Other than that, I think the other major downside is apps related. Firstly the major lack of them, and secondly the limited way you can display them. Even iOS (which just gives you an indistinguishable grid of icons lets you organise them into different screens or into folders. Neither of which can be done with WinPho, it's the single home-screen or the alphabetical list of apps only - although at least you can change icon size. Both have the fault of forcing you to dive into the settings menu to turn on Bluetooth, change brightness etc. - where Android is brilliantly customisable.
I can't vouch for the music player. At least you're no longer stuck with Microsoft's truly horrible Zune PC software. Which actually makes iTunes, and even Sony's efforts, look good. Email and web browsing are fine and Facebook could be superb. You can either use an app, web interface or use the built-in client that puts Facebook right into your contacts. Which kind of takes over the phone, but if you're happy with that you'll love it.
Re: Ah memories...
one two Stevie Jacksons! Only two Stevie Jaaacksons... etc.
I'd never realised that, as D&D wasn't my thing. My brother had the Fighting Fantasy books, but I think I only read/played one of them. Although I did see them a couple of years ago, when clearing up some old books at my Mum's house.
The first game like that I ever remember playing was Illuminati. Which was one of his. Moving your money round your vast network of companies/organisations and putting out the occasional hit on the enemy (if you couldn't bribe them). I always liked the idea of an organisation that could span the Gnomes of Zurich to the Church of Elvis.
Watch out for the Secret Service Steve...
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