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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

2727 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

ZERO-G DINOSAUR made from bits and bobs by space station flight engineer

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Used space-faring female T-shirt scraps...

So what you're saying is, it's not so much dinosaur as dino-phwoarrrr...

[note to self: Learn from the example of the above commentard, and remember to post anonymously to preserve remaining shreds of reputation.]

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Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

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The brightest, most lurid, yellow you can get please! I guess we should probably call it Windows Phone Yellow...

Although, as a couple of people have noted above, a nice blue to match the Fireflash from Thunderbirds would be fun. But I guess that's not exactly going to help with visibility in the sky. But we could stick to the 50s/60s futuristic theme by going for a nice shiny silver paint job. The 50s jet fighter look would be further enhanced by the addition of cannon, for dealing with rival space-plane-ballocket ventures (especially the ones using hydrogen) - or even for bursting your own balloon prettily. But perhaps that's still a bit too advanced for 3d printing...

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Re: Fireflash

As I recall, those Fireflashes were always exploding, falling into the sea, being shot down, and generally keeping International Rescue busier than a one-armed paper-hanger. So here's hoping El Reg have got Thunderbird 5 on speed-dial, just in case...

Have they got a new Traffic Control module built into the ISS now? Given that there's been quite a lot of congestion up there recently. What with the Cygnus test-capsule, a Soyuz popping in and The Register sending their playmonaut to join the staff. Although as there was nearly a space-drowning just outside the ISS, The Special Projects Bureau ought to be very careful, as the only space agency we know of to have actually drowned one of their 'nauts.

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Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me

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James 51,

Solar is a pretty poor idea for single dwellings. The use time and generation time mostly don't match up, and the infrastructure costs are high. Retrofitting is even worse. But blocks of flats or commercial buildings are great. Mixed-use buildings are even better, as you've got a good expectation of someone wanting power at any time.

Sadly the trend in the UK seems to be about providing the minimum central services possible. Even where it's cheaper, most clients I talk to don't even want communal water services in any block where it's feasible to give each flat their own water main, even if this means having several smaller pumps on the ground floor to feed flats higher up. That way they don't have to work out all the billing, or have the hassle of having maintenance - and they get to pay me several times as much money as doing it the more efficient way.

What could be done now, in any decently sized building at construction time, for very little money is amazing.

1. You've got to have piles (stop that laughing at the back!), otherwise your tall building falls over. Stick a couple of pipes on each, as you drive it in, and you've got a free ground-source heat pump infrastructure. It costs almost nothing extra, a couple of the pipes will fail in the driving process, so you just pressure-test, then don't connect those ones to the manifold. Heat pumps are very efficient, reliable and cheap.

2. Solar. If you're building at the same time as the roof the panels cost comparatively little. I don't know what the state of combined PV and hot water are, but that's surely the way of the future. With solar hot water, and decent sized, well-insulated hot water storage vessels - you're set up for a lovely district hot water scheme. So no nasty boilers for each flat, saves money, maintenance and gas or leccy - and even better if all flats have underfloor heating. Then the 40° C water you can pretty much guarantee from solar is all you need for heating. Then it's heat pumps, excess heat from solar you'll get whenever the sun shines, and a nice single set of efficient backup gas boilers for the hot water you need at 70°C.

3. Rain-water harvesting is marginally useful. Grey water isn't worth it in my opinion. The filters cost a fortune, you need 2 sets of pumps to make it work, so you use lots of energy. And the large tanks take up loads of space. The filters are complex and expensive, and need about 20% of the reclaimed water to backflush them. But take the water out of your gutters, stick it through a relatively course filter to get out the leaves and dead birds, and you've got something to water the garden or wash down the bins and paths. If you want to flush your toilets then you need slightly better filters and UV sterilisation, but it's still pretty good. However the relative lack of water against the demand makes this better suited to places with high irrigation needs, or large roof areas. The cost of an entirely separate set of pipes, makes it expensive for toilets. Toilet flushing also tends to aerosolise water, which makes me queasy in terms of legionnella.

3. Solar leccy is the area I know least about. But as I understand it the grid isn't designed to take exports of power at the local level - so you may be better off using your own. In a block that's tall, and has solar in the day, but leccy demand at night, there are 2 very simple methods of storing your energy. You're already pumping loads of water up the building, so why not just have a bigger tank at the top, and use solar to power those pumps - rather than bothering with weights. Although it only takes something like a 10kW motor to bung 1,000 litres of water 50m upwards in an hour. The other possibility is heat. Leccy is less efficient than gas, but insulation on hot water vessels is very good nowadays. So you heat your water by solar-leccy in the day, and use that at night and the next morning. However that conflicts with using the more sensible heat pumps and solar-thermal, though solar-electric is a very good fit with air-conditioning.

Although it would be rather more fun, Thurnderbirds style, to have nuclear powered trains, aeroplanes and buildings. There's also some nice developments on photo-voltaic glass cladding for buildings. And of course there's still loads of efficiencies to be gained from having proper controls on the systems we already have. Far too many large buildings are way too hot, or too cold (when the air-con comes on). I still remember the physical shock from walking into a shopping centre in Dubai. That drop from 40°C and high humidity to 18°C and dryness was like walking into ice. You have to carry a coat in Dubai, for when you go inside... And when you leave again, it's like walking into a baking hot, but wet, brick wall.

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Space truck Cygnus left idling outside ISS after data format snafu borks docking

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Re: Safety?

Mir was old, and I think the extra modules weren't plumbed in all too well. I think it was the Spektr module that took the hit. The power and data cables were just clipped to the side of the airtight hatch, so you couldn't close it without removing them first. Not exactly going to pass a health and safety inspection, but then how the hell's the inspector going to get up there with his clipboard...

I saw a documentary on this, and it claimed that the British born definitely American astronaut Michael Foale panicked and started yanking out cables, whereas the Russians were trying to power down the main computer first (or possibly get it emergency power first), then unplug power and data, then re-start so that they didn't lose the solar panel lock on the sun. I'm pretty sure the lack of power had them on emergency oxygen generators at several points, before all was up-and-running again. Getting the panels aligned and main pooter all tickety-boo and reliably working, took several weeks, from memory.

On the other hand, that might be a Russian smoke-screen to cover the fact that they had a piss-poor and unsafe space station that nearly killed everyone on it. I'd have though airtight doors ought to really remain closed, or at least be able to automatically close in case of a major leak. After all, meteoroid damage is quite a likely incident, and if the hole is big enough, you need to have that compartment seal itself off from the rest of the station.

It probably didn't also help that everyone seems to have reverted to their native language under the stress of listening to their air leak out of the station, while the only airtight door that could save them couldn't be shut. I believe it takes a loooong time to put a spacesuit on, you can't just step into them - unless they have emergency (lightweight) ones kicking around in case of this sort of problem.

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Re: Safety?

When the Russians tried to operate the automatic Progress capsules without their expensive docking radars, they made a small hole in Mir, trying to dock it manually. Apparently they'd given the Cosmonaut who was docking it manually very little in the way of instruments.

In the confusion of trying to close the airtight doors to the module with the slow leak (the crew could hear the hiss of their breathing air escaping), they killed the power, lost the main computer, which lost the lock from the solar panels to the sun, which lost them power, which meant they had to operate on emergency power for ages, and it took a lot of work to get the station even vaguely working again. I don't think Mir ever fully recovered from that, and they nearly had to abandon Mir.

Had the thing hit a bit harder, and punctured the hull in a big way, then I guess some poor sod might end up going for an unscheduled spacewalk - minus suit. I'm sure there are parts of the ISS that can't be fixed if broken in that way, especially as we don't have shuttles any more.

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Maybe SpaceX have better PR? But also they managed to do it first. And they're using an all-new shiny system of their own, whereas aren't Cygnus using a bunch of off-the-shelf components? Not that I'm saying rocket surgery is easy or anything.

So you get more headlines out of SpaceX. What with aiming to get their system man-rated, talking about going to Mars, and sending CHEESE INTO SPAAAAAAAACE...

Also having a boss with a perfect Bond Villain name has to help. You know that at some point Elon Musk's going to buy a volcano, then US and Russian rockets will start disappearing, and it's underground monorails, private armies and self-destruct buttons all over again. I've seen that documentary on the History Channel, You Only Live Twice I think it was called.

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Re: to be fair

That's not it at all. The ISS sent an SQL injection attack disguised as routine docking guidance info. Either to test the incoming craft's software, or so they could take remote control of it, and steal all the payload without paying.

Once they've got control of the craft, they can turn off the downlink, quickly nick all the goodies, then de-orbit it. Who'd know?

Every self respecting system has space pirates. Now we've got ours. Yarrr! Did this "docking" attempt take place on the 19th by any chance?

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HTC staring down the barrel of a US sales ban after Nokia's patent coup

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Re: Now we know...

Now we know...

the real reason why Microsoft is buying Nokia...

Oh do tell. Please enlighten the rest of the class, oh master of business strategy.

These patents belong to Nokia now. When/if MS buy the handset business off them, these patents will still be owned by Nokia. Who are giving MS a ten year license on them as part of the sale, as was mentioned in the article. Nokia are keeping the patents, and the name (which MS can only use for a brief period on certain handsets. What MS get is the phone division, minus patents. What Nokia keep are the 2 profitable bits of the business, the Networking side and the software side (mapping etc.).

So Microsoft have nothing to do with this case whatsoever. They're just another phone company who've bought a license from Nokia for these patents.

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How I hacked SIM cards with a single text - and the networks DON'T CARE

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Re: A mean bowl of cornflakes with only three main ingredients?

Bowl...

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Nohl: "Are you going to fix this?"

Industry: "Neigh!"

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Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

I ain't Spartacus
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Can't you also pick up one of Asus' cheapy 7" tablets at around £120? Of which I've seen decent reviews.

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Re: I just wonder...

If I don't get my updates, there's gonna be Trubbl!

I'll go to Tesco HQ and cause a Kerfuffl!

It'll all kick off quick, and there'll be rough-and-tumbl.

I don't want the Earth, timely updates are enoughl.

[With apologies to anyone who actually likes poetry. And my old English teacher.]

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Re: Who cares what it's called?

At the other store that is open at that time, they charge to park and yes the CCTV's are monitored 24/7 and if you try to slip in to the store to grab a newspaper without paying the parking charge you get a £60.00 fine through the post a few days later.

To go off-topic for a moment... This parking charge may not be legally enforceable.

The police and local councils can issue parking tickets. That's Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for the councils, and Fixed Penalty Notices for the police. Oh and TFL can too. These are dealt with by the criminal court system. My local council owns a bunch of the supermarket carparks, so in that case you'd have to pay. But mostly I think they're private.

However if the parking enforcement is private, then they have to use the civil court system. They may send you a thing that looks like a proper PCN, with appeals form and stripy lines, but it'll actually be something weaselly like a parking charge notification. Due to all the abuses, private firms are no longer allowed to clamp.

Whilst they still have a right to charge you for parking, and rightly so. The rules of civil courts apply, in other words they can't just charge £100, they have to justify this in terms of their loss by your breach of the contract they imply you agreed to by parking there. So if parking costs 60p, they can have that. And possibly something for admin. But instead, they have a series of carefully calibrate letters, escalating to fake legal threats from fake lawyers, and even more fake threats from fake debt collectors. And if you answer or go through their 'appeals process', then they may even try to phone you to chase. As it's going to cost them more to go to court, than they can collect, they probably won't. Though an offer of a reasonable payment, say a cheque for double the parking cost may be in order? There's a form letter to reply with done for them by a barrister (while queuing for an iPhone presumably...) and more info: Money Saving Expert.

I got my Mum out of one of these, which wasn't fair anyway recently. Plus I know someone who got one from the people running the carpark at the Asda he bloody works in. Tossers!

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Re: I bought a Tesco Value webcam for my mum..

The blue and red stripes over her face are most fetching...

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'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

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Re: From the linked article

How do I disable the phantom power supply?

Ghostbusters?

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VMware to customers: STOP INSTALLING OUR SOFTWARE! NOW!

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Devil

Test systems? Test systems! I laugh at your namby-pamby risk-avoiding, pathetic idea! Real coders don't make mistakes and real sysadmins can recover from any problem, no matter what! Testing is for wimps!

Yours,

The VMWare update team

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Nokia Lumia 1020: It's an imaging BEAST... and it makes calls too

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Re: It's a phone

I'd imagine he's bored of reviewing Windows Phone, and suspects the readers will be bored with reading it. You don't get a review of Android with every 'droid that's released. Only the first ones, with new versions.

As for that, I used to have an older Nokia Lumia, and I doubt things have changed. Call quality and signal will be good, because it's a Nokia. Also it's plastic, so you don't get the radio and WiFi/Bluetooth issues you sometimes get with metal ones. There's a stupid issue with Win Phone where you turn the volume down on apps,and that also turns down the ringer volume, rather than being separate.

The bundled Nokia apps are brilliant. I think you have to download some of them, but as it's a Nokia they're free. You get HERE maps, which gives off-line maps, off-line sat-nav - and it can recalculate routes offline as well. Nokias maps don't have as good local information as Google's and they're not as pretty as Apple's, but they're very good quality and work properly when you have no signal. Unlike dedicated sat-navs you can just go to the controls when you're on WiFi and download the map for a whole country to the phone. Microsoft's app store (Marketplace) isn't as good as the other 2 major ones, but it's apparently improved a lot in the year since I moved to an iPhone.

As a phone Windows Phone is better than both Android and iPhone. In my opinion anyway. And I've owned all 3. The address book has big text, and is customisable and searchable. If you like that sort of thing it fully integrates Facebook and Twitter, so you can have your friend's combined witterings displayed combined with their call history, emails and texts. This last bit is excellent for business, where I get to see a list of recent emails as I call someone. It also handles my 4,000 business contacts far better than the iPhone, in that I can display just my personal ones and 'favourite' customers, while hiding the 4,000 others - who turn up as soon as I search by name. Apple will only let me search what's displayed - or tediously set long lists of favourites. All the Android ones I've tried have been quite fiddly, but at least the search feature actually worked properly. The phone operation is all pretty standard, but with nice chunky buttons.

For me, the standout feature of WinPho is the big buttons, big text and big icons for the stuff you use a lot in the home screen. Which is more customisable than Apple, but nowhere near as good as Android. The browser on Win Pho 7 isn't as good as iOS or Android. I've not used a Win Pho 8 enough to have an opinion. My summing up is that Windows Phone is a better phone, and worse mobile computer. The top end Nokias also seem to have superb cameras, with this one being double-superb I guess. Hope that all helps.

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Re: It's a phone

As Colombo would say, just one more thing.

Someone below commented on satellite lock times. My old Lumia 710 go the fastest satellite locks of any phone or in-car sat-nav I've used. I've never used professional kit though. And it gives you an error circle, so you know when you've moved from the WiFi element of aGPS to the satellite one. Another thing that made the Nokia mapping apps good.

Incidentally, is it just my imagination, or is that Nokia phone a much yellower yellow than the Apple iPhone 5C?

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Devil

Re: "the camera compensates for a shaky hand or wobbly undercarriage"

I like to call mine my monopod.

You can get some very interesting pictures if you screw a camera on the end. Almost good enough to make the trip to casualty afterwards worthwhile...

[should I have clicked anon here?]

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Sofas with a roof and Star Trek seating: The future of office furniture?

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Re: Loosing

Your right. It is utterly rediculous that people can no longer spell lose...

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Happy

Go for the glass one please. It gives everyone else in the office something nice to look at - without having to hear anything which might distress them.

However, I should point out that although Jenny's pulchritude is not in doubt by anyone in the office, yours needs to match up as well. So if you're Adam from accounts, you can forget it. Jenny says you're repulsive. If you're Brad in marketing however, she's asked me to tell you to bring your hunky body and a canister of whipped cream anytime after lunch.

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WHY do phone cams turn me into a clumsy twat with dexterity of an elephant?

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It's in da nose, stoopid!

I'm convinced the key to good photography is the nose.

Give me an SLR, I put the eyepiece to my eye, I take nice photo. My first digital camera had one of those digital viewfinders, which I used instead of the screen. My first film compact cameras had those crappy glass viewfinders on top, but rarely were my pictures blurry.

With my cheapy modern compact or my phone though, it's blurr-o-vision. I think it's my nose-tripod (nose-pod?) which is providing camera-shake compensation.

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Fanbois shun 'crappy plastic' iPhone 5C

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Re: The video with the motivational guy

There was lots of milling about, and not very much motivating happening there.

I guess the guy was a holiday rep for Club 18-30, and now he's gone "up in the world" to working for Apple.

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Re: Happy Clappy Crappy

Share and Enjoy!

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El Reg seeks new mobile, wireless tech writer - could it be YOU?

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FAIL

I think you mean:

REGISTER NOT APPOINTING EADON AS WIRELESS CORRESPONDENT FAIL!!!!

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Cisco email accidentally sent to 1000s of employees causes message list MAYHEM

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I remember this happening once. Someone sent one of those chain emails about a missing child in the US. To the entire global address list. The person who replied in a grumpy and abusive manner, of course, hit reply to all... There were many emails in my inbox over a space of about 15 minutes, in which the perpetrator attempted to retract their offensiveding message, their boss then apologising, HR then informed all that the aforementioned person had now 'left the company'. Oh deary, deary me.

I do remember some idiot doing an email to about 40 people, with delivery and read receipts and an attachment to fill out - as these people were notorious for not providing the information. Of course the idiot forgot to include the attachment, and so within five minutes 40 delivery receipts, 10 out of office messages, 10 read receipts and 5 replies appeared in my his inbox, and the thing had to be sent out again with apologies, and 40 more delivery receipts, 10 read receipts, 5 answers... And a partridge in a pear tree.

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Nokia Lumia 625: Quality budget 4G phone ... but where's UK's budget 4G?

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Nick Ryan,

There's nothing wrong with plastic. I prefer it, especially if rubbery. That's nothing to do with my rubber fetish (much), but more because I'm always scared of dropping these horribly slidey metal and glass things. Shitty design over ergonomics bullshit, if you ask me.

Apple got abuse for their plastic phone, because all they did was release an iPhone 5 coated in plastic, at the same price they would have continued selling the iPhone 5 at this year anyway. So they've actually raised their profit margin on their 1 year old handset, from when that was the 4S last year. Assuming they sell enough to cover the costs of re-tooling the production lines anyway.

Which is no problem, except that the markets were worried about Apple's market share dropping, and hoped they'd go cheaper to counter this. Also their marketing BS is wearing rather thin. When you claim to be innovative, magical and revolutionary when all you're doing is putting out a slightly better iteration of an already good product - you're bound to cop some abuse...

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Re: More and more frustration...

IHateWearingATie,

I'm sure Nokia could produce perfectly fine Android phones. Especially with their snazzy cameras at the top end, where I assume the camera has its own chippery, and so is just a driver away from working with anything.

However, at the lower and mid-priced ends, Nokia couldn't do this with Android. The hardware requirements are higher. You can't run the up-to-date versions of Droid with less than a gig of RAM and extra battery. Even the dual core 1 Ghz chips are probably a bit low for Android 4.2 aren't they?

That's the price you pay for 'proper' multi-tasking. Even if it isn't true that Android is less efficient. Personally I've found I don't need or want it on a phone, as multiple apps are less important to me than phone, email, navigation and internet (in that order). Competition is good, and allows people to pick horses for courses. If I was paying with my own money, it would be a budget Lumia (what I bought before the work iPhone). Unless I was convinced of the shinyness of the camera on the new Lumia 1020.

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Re: I wonder if Apple have done Nokia a favour

I must confess to a childish desire to own a huge bright fluorescent yellow phone.

But then when I was four, they asked me what colour contact lenses I wanted, and I said yellow. I got blue...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: What's the point of cut-price handset when there's no cut-price carrier plans

The point of 4G is that it's not significantly faster than 3G, but it is designed to cope with more subscribers per cell. So although it will slow down when over-subscribed, it should do better than 3G, by the time everyone's migrated to it.

Also, there's a counter to Andrew's point about 4G and 3G speeds being comparable, which they undoubtedly are. In my limited experience of 4G, latency is lower. And also upstream speed is higher. So when you start downloading data, you get no significant speed advantage, but your request to start downloading should get through much quicker. Certainly I've noticed that on 4G web pages don't load much faster, from when the first element appears, but it usually appears much more rapidly.

I wouldn't have paid for it myself, but the company did. The company also took me the iPhone 5 route, and away from my previous Lumia 710. The iPhone is a premium product, which the £120 Lumia wasn't, but the ergonomics of the nice rubbery back on the Nokia were better. It was more comfortable in the hand (without the slidey metal and slab-like sides) - and the address book and phone functions were better, easier to read, and coped with work's 4,000 contacts properly. In a way the iPhone simply fails at.

The only all metal phone I've used that fitted well in the hand, without sliding, was the old V3 RAZR (my favourite - for feeling so good to use). The nicest iPhone was the plastic backed 3 (or was it the 3GS?). But my favourite of all was the HTC Desire/Wildfire design, being all metal, but half coated in rubber. Even if it was a weird browny-gold colour...

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Korean stealth-scraper plans will turn 450 metre tower INVISIBLE

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Re: The reason invisibility only lasts for 30 mins

LarsG,

But I like custard. Although I'm not so sure about pigeons and custard...

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Windows Phone overtakes Apple's market share ... in India

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Re: Listening to the radio the other day.

That's the thing about India and China. There's loads of them. 1% of a billion is still a rather significant 10 million people. So even if only 10% of the population can afford a smartphone, you're already talking 100 million people. Given how fast their economies are growing, and lifting ever more people into the upper-working, and middle classes, they're going to become ever more important.

Also, there's a rebalancing due. Especially for China. As the Yuan rises, the artificial export advantage and import disadvantage diminishes. This has the bad effect (for them) of making exports less competitive, but the upside that imports get cheaper, so Chinese wages are no longer artificially held down and they can afford more consumer goodies. The thing is that China imports loads of its industrial raw materials, so that will partially offset the export disadvantage, and also mean it becomes cheaper to sell goods made from imported raw materials into the domestic market.

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The Troodos Conundrum

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Vimes,

I'm not sure how completely reliable Craig Murray is as a source. He's always struck me as a bit hysterical. I'd be surprised if the US keep him up-to-date on their intelligence assets either. Anyway possible sources are Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, Iraq - or didn't the US have some success tapping Soviet microwave links with satellites back in the Cold War days? Not to mention the opportunities for sneaky-beakies like the SAS, SEALS or the CIA to hitch a ride from Turkey with some rebels, and plant interesting kit in naughty places. Oh and electronic listening ships, subs and aircraft.

I don't know how Syria's telecoms are routed, so I've no idea what's possible. There was a supposed telecoms intercept by a German intel ship of an Assad phone call, but that was reported from 'sources' by Bild am Sonntag - which is the German equivalent of the Sun. And that was suggesting he didn't authorise the attack and was asking who'd done it.

As for Mossad faking stuff, and the US falling for it (or being active conspirators), I'm sure both are entirely possible - but there are other more likely explanations. It was a large-scale well-co-ordinated chemical attack, over a relatively large area, delivered by surface to surface artillery rockets. It seems pretty unlikely that the rebels are up to that level of sophistication, or concealing that amount of kit around Damascus.

Plus I'm not sure I buy Israel's motive for this. In an ideal world, I suspect they'd like Assad to have avoided this civil war and stayed in power. They'd have had a permanently hostile border, but Syria were relatively predictable, and Israel could beat them militarily with ease. Who knows what will happen now, except it's quite likely that Hezbollah will come out stronger. With more Iranian weapons (and Syrian ones), more cash and some battle-hardened troops. So Israel's reason for the bombings, that they wanted to stop heavy weapons getting to Lebanon, seems pretty plausible - as Hezbollah have admitted they've got thousands of troops on the ground in Syria, and I'm sure they want paying. I suppose they could want an excuse to go in and physically remove/destroy Syria's chemical weapons. I'm sure they're extremely worried they'll fall into other hands. But that would be a huge operation, requiring far more commitment from the US, than they look likely to show, or Israel doing it themselves. Given the number of horrible options available, I can only imagine that Israel wants Assad to win, possibly bloodily and messily thus making himself, Iran and Hezbollah all horrifically unpopular in the process.

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Badges for Commentards

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: where's mine ??

Looking at your posting history, there's about 50 posts per page, and you've posted just over 2 pages of them in the last year. So you should be all bronzy and shiny.

Either you're just 1 or 2 shy of 100 posts in the calendar year, or the mice in the El Reg badge-slinging server haven't been fed for a while. Silveryness requires 2,000 upvotes though doesn't it?

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Official crackdown on Apple fanboi 'shanty town' ahead of London iPhone launch

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Coat

Re: no queues on-line

hot and cold running coffee and biscuits.

There's something wrong with your biscuits.

No, they're gingerbread men.

Hmmm, better get me coat.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: no queues on-line

It is however, a queue in the warm and dry, with hot and cold running coffee and biscuits.

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Devil

Re: I would like to take the piss out of them

I bet you've since neglected it, and the poor thing is now dead. You heartless monster! Remember a Tamagotchi is for life, not just for Christmas!

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Re: What they should do

You're allowed to demonstrate. You just have to get a permit from the local police station. Mark Thomas did a very funny radio program about it, where he protested about the anti-protesting regulations by having protests with as complicated paperwork as he could manage.

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Re: Spend a penny?

Well they could solve the number 2's issue by not eating for a couple of days before joining the queue.

I guess they could go into the store for a pee, then cross their legs between 5:30pm and 9am when it's shut. Or to keep their place, just have the Apple store staff collect their filled bottles.

Reminds me of something I read in the paper years ago, about a Sumo wrestling demonstration in Australia. It turns out that not only did JAL have to fit extra large seats for them, but they're too huge to fit in aeroplane toilets. So they had to not eat the day before, and severely restrict their drinking, to avoid the issue.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: Really?

The cynic in me would assume that apple didn't apply for the license on purpose so it got reported in this way instead of "Only 2 guys are bothering to queue for the new iPhone".

Shrimpling,

Congratulations on out-cynicalling me. I didn't think of that. And now I see you are a marketing genius. Would you like a job with my new Dogbert's Diabolical Marketing Agency?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: 23 year old estate agent

That's not fair to estate agents. They do the initial hard-sell. It's the conveyancers and lawyers whose job it is to hold up the sale for no reason whatsoever...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Jesus Christ

And what a completely pointless waste of time and energy for all concerned.

Is it beyond someone to come up with a better system, rather than having customers physically park themselves outside the shop for days, waiting for a completely arbitrary date & time when they have to physically walk through a door?

To be fair to Apple, they will have it delivered to you on release day, if you order online in time. Or you can reserve at a store, if you're so sad you have to have the thing on day 1, so can pick it up where you work, at luch time.

To not be fair to Apple, they've apparently applied for the license for this tent for the last 4 years, making these poor saps basically unpaid marketing fodder for the Cult-of-JobsTM. But then they seem to be perfectly willing to get wet in this cause, so who am I to interfere with their 'fun'. Even if it does make me want to beat a bit of sense into them.

So they get to be first and get their 15 minutes of fame, care of lazy/bored journalists with copy to file. Apple get to look cool (or more realistically weird), especially when their staff start whooping and high-fiving. And everyone else gets to go, "what the hell is going on with some people?", and shake their heads sadly at the state of the world...

Do the staff in the UK stores really do all this high-fiving and whooping? I can understand the US doing it, they're less grumpy and cynical than us, but you'll notice that Wal-Mart did not introduce the Wal-Mart Cheer when they took over ASDA. Although apparently they did when they started up a chain in Germany. I have this mental image of all these poor Germans being forced to raise their hands and fist-pump while mumbling "Go Wal-Mart! Go Wal-Mart!" And I'm going to resist all temptation to make any bad-taste jokes here, I'll leave that to Basil Fawlty...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Coat

Re: "Dude, you're a barista"

Dude, I'm a barrister. Sure I'll make you coffee. My fees are £600 an hour, plus annual retainer and refresher payments.

For the lack of a wig icon, I think I'll get my coat.

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THE TRUTH about beaver arse milk in your cakes: There's nothing vanilla about vanilla

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Happy

That's true. Every Swedish film I've every watched has has been absolutely chock-full of beaver.

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Happy

Re: CAT Bum Juice

My brother had to take his cats to the vet the other day, due to blocked anal glands. The cure for which was a nice cat bum massage. If it happens again, I wonder if he'll pay the vet's bill, or just go DIY?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Could be worse:

I always assumed that most calamari was made from cable insulation. Hence the phrase, that calamari Hong Kong style was rubbery...

Although I think tripe is worse. It's not the thought of where it comes from, so much as the amount of time it spends in your mouth being chewed, giving you longer to think about what you're eating. And that was disguised in a rather delicious Vietnamese ramen type dish. I'm not sure I fancy tripe and onions - one of my Grandad's favourites apparently.

What was that quote from Neal Stephenson's Zodiac? Something like:

I've lost a job and several girl friends by reading the ingredients from food packets aloud, with explanations.

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You thought slinging Photoshop into the cloud would fail? Look who's laughing NOW

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FAIL

Re: Don't gloat too hard

Buzzword,

Well maybe. If Adobe DRM was making profits, it would be worth someone else taking over the servers. But if it loses popularity, then it's all costs (running servers and keeping the lights on) for no future profits, and so no-one will keep it going. Although as I understand it, it's quite easy to crack.

Incidentally Amazon use their own DRM don't they? So you could regard that as being 2 chances of an organisation failing, or a more healthy ecosystem.

Adobe Digital Editions is utterly shit though. I tried to set it up for a visually impaired acquaintance. The reader/controller program that you install on the PC is in charge of authorising other devices, so you can put books on you eReader. However, if you want to read it on the laptop, you aren't able to increase the font size, and the laptop isn't able to authorise itself - so you can't use another program which actually works for its specified purpose! So I was left with telling them that their options were, buy an eReader to make the laptop they just bought for this one task pointless, or I suppose you might be able to authorise another PC? Or crack the files. As this was supposed to be to read library books - cheapness and regularity were the point, and they weren't up to the complication of sorting it out.

I don't like the idea of vendor lock-in, but I think the library service should just have out-sourced eBooks to Amazon. Kindle may be DRM encumbered, so I won't use it, but at least it bloody works.

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Angry Brazilian whacks NASA to put a stop to ... er, the NSA

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Happy

I think you'll find that the moon is not low-hanging fruit. It's low-hanging cheese...

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Ghastly! Yahoo! Groups! gripes! grip! grumpy! gremlin! grumblers!

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Re: Reminder

Can somebody remind me: why do Yahoo! exist again?

The world has not yet reached peak punctuation. While punchy punctuation production continues to thrive, there will always be a need for an exclamation mark buyer of last resort. Yahoo! clearly fill that niche.

Alternatively:

These changes are an important step to building a more modern and personalised Yahoo!

It could be that they will soon exist to ruthlessly track and exploit their users' data... As that appears to be the standard Web 2.0 meaning of the word personalised... Or are we up to Web 3.0 yet?

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