* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3685 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: Physics.

Why not use harpoons? It worked for Philae. After all that bounced so high, it took 2 hours to come down again...

Oh, hang on. I think I've got that wrong. OK, how about it harpoons your leg, and avoids bounceage that way. I'm sure none of us would mind a small leg wound, in order to save our precious mobiles.

17
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Coat

Re: @ I ain't Spartacus (let the flamewar begin)

It's a bit like sausages - buy them from a good butcher and they are a world apart from the vile factory produced rubbish sold in supermarkets even under their "best of" brands, that appear to be solely made from udder, rectum, ears, lips, eyeballs, cartilage and sinew, dyed pink and injected into a twisted garden hose.

I'd heard sausages were made out of that too. But personally, I think it's just bollocks...

7
1
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Hilarious maybe

I saw one of them telly chefs do that. I think it was Raymond Blanc (who otherwise seems to be a sensible chap), putting best steak into a kate & sidney pudding. Given it's going to get seared, then steamed for over 3 hours - I really don't know why he was wasting his time doing that. Plus you want something with a bit of fat in it, to make a nicer gravy.

I'm inspired to have a go now. Since I've started making bread, I'm hoping that my (long neglected) pastry skills will have improved. So I think I should have another go.

2
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Hilarious maybe

Ledswinger,

There's nothing wrong with not serving the best meat in pies. And actually a reasonable gravy content is important, as you need some nice liquid to go with the pastry. Although you don't want gristle or the nasty bits of kidneys hiding in there. Even if it is a right bugger when you have to trim it off - something I have to do regularly as a frequent maker of the superior steak and kidney pudding.

However poor quality of meat is a sign that you shouldn't be going back to a place. Because their product is crap. Whereas non-pie-ness is an all too common problem which the market does not appear to be able to solve. Hence we need government regulation to force compliance with reasonable standards.

A proper pie is a lovely thing to eat. But also a bit of a hassle to make. Therefore it's the sort of thing that we invented restaurants for. So they can do the buggering about, greasing, rolling, shaping, blind baking, filling, sealing etc. I always end up squashing my pastry flat, and turning it into biscuits. Which is why I've resorted to the more forgiving steamed pudding.

I suppose we need to add another exception for cobblers, or whatever you call it when you stretch dough across the top of a casserole and bake it. Actually I think they might be two different (delicious) things. They're really nice, and easy to eat, as you rip off some bread and dip it in the gravy Not like those awful puff pastry hats, that so many places foist on us.

6
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Originally, the pastry wasn't even edible

Surely that depends on the pie? I know that the cornish pasty had what was effectively an inedible pastry handle to hold it by with dirty hands. That was the bit you left - but the rest of the pastry was supposed to be eaten. I'd imagine similar things being true elsewhere. When you're trying to feed people who're taking their meal to work, then you need something to keep it in. But if you're cooking for home, you'd not want to be wasting any ingredients. It's not like flour and fat was lying around just to be thrown away!

Edible plates were the thing, back in the day. So you might serve stew on a trencher of bread, which you eat to mop up the gravy. I'd be amazed if a pie was much different.

7
2

FOUR, count 'em, FOUR big rockets launching in next seven days

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Hayabusa bombing the asteroid

Don't worry, El Reg got the details wrong. The probe won't be landing, but staying at a safe distance. It will launch its nuke small charge - then drop mobile infantry, who'll go down to kill all the bugs take samples, then (any survivors) return to the craft, and come back to earth. There's absolutely nothing to worry about.

11
0

Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Seems they're re-using stuff again...

Sod a new Elite (although I'm interested in that too), I want a modern version of Tie Fighter!

1
0

By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: Lost in translation?

There was no paper instruction manual, due to the excessive costs of copying manuscripts.

Instead a slave was provided with each device, who'd memorised instructions on how to use it. This was called the Portable Didact Format. Unfortunately due to lack of security designed into this system, they all got infected with viruses and became unusuable...

5
0

Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: It's all too complicated

Good point. I could never remember which was which, both had big red signs with white lettering. And were equally crap. Also Curry's seems to have disappeared into PC World anyway. Presumably as the less toxic of the 3 brands (Dixons being the first to go). As I recall our Curry's and Comet went within a few months of each other, the Curry's being folded into the PC World a few hundred yards down the main road.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: It's all too complicated

Andy Davies,

This is pretty much the definition of a 'first world problem'. But I don't like having to get up to pick a new song, so having the device wired to the sound system is annoying. It's OK when you put on an album to play in the background, but if you feel like listening to lots of different stuff, it's nice to have the controller by your chair.

Obviously I could be organised, and have playlists, or be less lazy and get up off my fat backside. But on the other hand it's nice to sit there with a drink, and chat to friends while passing round the iPad and letting people pick some tunes.

It's not worth £100 though. Which is why I currently have to get up. Although my player allows me to use the remote control to skip tracks within the album/artist/playlist the device is playing, for iOS and Android.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: It's all too complicated

I just saw an ad for an Asus 7" tablet for £79. Why not just leave one of those there? I'm actually quite tempted to buy one, or maybe a cheap Android phone, as a replacement for my iPod. It can do podcasts when I'm out-and-about, without killing the work phone battery. The work phone is an iPhone, and only has a pathetic 8GB of storage anyway. A 'Droid with an SD card slot solves that problem, for my 25GB of audio + podcasts. Then when at home, it can be the remote for BBC iPlayer, podcasts and music. As well as a Chromecast. Should I bother to get a NAS, (or leave the computer running as a media server), it can control that as well. Or Tesco's Hudl, which is dirt cheap if you use Clubcard points, and not bad if you don't.

Then you just need a Bluetooth connector for music. Or USB.

Android tablets are now so cheap that they're going to beat almost any decently specc'ed dedicated controller made in low volumes. Then you just write an app. Or even don't bother selling and locking down dedicated hardware, just do apps.

2
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

It's all too complicated

I've just never felt the desire to sit down and do all the required research to get it right, as there are so many incompatible options. So I've tended to go with what works and add to it, or go for standalone gear. I keep thinking that a fanless living room PC is the answer, but when I had the budget I didn't have the time, and now I'm mortgaged I haven't the time or the budget...

Such a shame, as the technology has been around for ages. But the bloody manufacturers just cannot get their act together.

I guess my first foray was a Bluetooth speaker/iPod dock I picked up when Curry's bit the dust. That's now relegated to the bedroom. Not great for music, but wonderful for iPlayer Radio and podcasts. iPad speakers aren't loud enough to drown out the sounds of cooking (when I mostly want to listen). Also good for the iPod. Don't know how long that's got to live though, as Apple killed the iPod Classic.

I had a brief excursion into Sky. The Sky+ box is great, and not too shabby for things like iPlayer. But NFL online didn't work, without plugging a PC directly into the telly.

Then I allowed myself the expense of a decent CD player again. So the CDs came back out of their boxes, now there's too many of the buggers for my old tower (aaargghh!). That plugs into the telly, and solves the crap flatscreen speakers issue. It also has a USB socket, so talks to phones/tablets, for iPlayer, podcasts or music. A Chromecast rounds this out for iPlayer telly and if I decide to join Netflix or go Sky online for a few months to watch the Summer's cricket. Even NFL online worked via the PC, despite the promised Chromecast app still not being available. I've been mostly impressed with Chromecast, and at £30 I was less worried by not having researched it fully. I was tempted by Apple TV, but that doesn't seem to do much more.

If I wanted surround sound, this would all break down. But I'm happy with stereo, and my speakers have plenty of base.

My friend has an Onkyo box/amp with millions of inputs, and a PS3 - and he can do more-or-less anything with those and his PC. But he also has millions of remove controls and spaghetti junction behind his telly. Even he sometimes gets confused by the setup. Oh and the media interface on the PS3 is horrible. It does many things, but that menu system is tiny, and fiddly, and nasty. I am jealous of his bluetooth receiver though - so much easier than my wired USB.

Maybe I should have tried a smart TV. But I don't trust the manufacturers to make it useable. And if my £30 Chromecast is obsolete in 2 years, I won't be complaining. When it's an £800 smart telly, I damned well would have been.

2
0

Go festive this year with Christmas carols, baby Jesus and CLITORAL STIMULATORS

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: A bit rich...

TeeCee,

One of the teasmades on Amazon (when I bought mine) came with a little stainless steel thermos jug for the milk. Or you can buy those nasty pods of UHT stuff (or even just a little glass bottle of UHT), if you're not too choosy.

This was the reason I didn't buy a teasmade years ago. But I've been taking my tea black for a couple of years now.

The other, surprisingly nice, option is to go for fruit teas. The objection to these is that they smell far nicer than they actually taste. Which is even before someone has questioned your manhood. It's actaully really nice to wake up to the whole bedroom smelling of raspberries. And I rather like the refreshing first mug of fruit tea, as a nice palette cleanser, giving me the required fortitude to face getting up and schlepping to the kitchen to make a pot of the real thing.

Twinings fruit teas are disappointingly tasteless. You have to leave the bag in for about ten minutes, then they start to become harsh, before they've even developed much of a flavour. Whereas Sainsbury's fruit teas are cheaper, and much fruitier. You can take the bag out after a couple of minutes, and they've achieved a nice strong fruity taste. I haven't got round to trying any others yet.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: A bit rich...

How dare you criticise! I have a teasmade, and it is the finest device known to man! It awakens me with life-giving tea. Usually after I've slept through the other alarm. Although it can be a bit of a shock to the system to hear what sounds like a jet engine switching on mere inches from my ear, as I try to eke the last few precious seconds of slumber out of the morning.

I will suffer no criticism of this wonderful and humanitarian invention. At least until I'm rich enough to employ a butler to bring me tea in the morning. Well, if I can afford a butler, let's make that afternoon...

1
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Or...

It's the bacon that's missing.

I love a plain omelette. But never want to do any work for that, so it's eggs done in a pan with some butter, plus salt and pepper. Just on the hob, and you can get it pretty fluffy if you run the spatula through the setting egg a few times, on a medium heat. You basically push the sheets of just setting egg on the bottom of the pan, from the outside to the middle, then let new egg start to set, then repeat a few times. This fluffs it a bit like scrambled, but keeps it together. As soon as there's some definition, fold in half, then turn off the heat. Turn over after a minute or so - then serve just as the middle bit has set. Or before if you like it still a bit runny in the middle (which is how they always came in Brussels).

Once you're chopping onions and faffing around with turning on the grill, you may as well do things properly. And properly means bacon or ham. Then whatever you've got. Hopefully some bits of boiled/roast potato, bit of sweetcorn, definitely cheese, tomato, peppers, onion, asparagus, whatever.

Never tried putting chilli in it, but I suppose it would work fine. I like a bit of nutmeg with eggy-bread - but I'm not sure that cumin would be all that nice. To be honest, I don't really fancy the curried omelette that much at all.

If I want chilli with my brekkie, I tend to go for a bit of tex-mex and have breakfast burritos. Nice bit of spicy tomato salsa spread on a soft tortilla, with a couple of rashers of bacon (or some sausage), plus a sprinkling of mature cheddar and a dollop of scrambled eggs. Makes a lovely brunch with fruit juice to use up leftovers if you've been doing tortillas the night before. I wonder if they'd work with guacamole, but that would have gone brown by the next morning, even if any of it ever did survive long enough to go back in the fridge.

0
0

Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Megaphone

Citizen. Please put ED209 into this list.

You have twenty seconds to comply!

0
0

Questionable ads

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Stop

Kill it with Fire!

I've just had that crappy McAfee ad as well. I don't care who Marcus is, I just want him to shut up! Not only is the ad obnoxious for starting automatically with sound, it's also obnoxious as it seems to be on a permanent fucking loop! Just to add insult to injury.

Any company who push their crap onto people's computers because they forgot to untick a box on installing another product is malware. Which used to include Chrome and Safari, but Apple and Google stopped being sleazy, whereas Crappy McAfee (it rhymes, I like it) still are. Which I wouldn't have said if McAfee hadn't decided to invade my peace and quiet.

Please fix this advert. And also please implement a proper report ads button.

1
0

Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Ambient Sleep Sound Made From the Comet's EM Emissions

Well done for passing on the alien mind control sound to even more people! Now they'll all be infec...

...

...

...

I serve the Might Space Duck!

All Hail the Mighty Space Duck!

Praise to his harpoon defying power and his holy bounciness!

We must march on Darmstadt and kill the trespassers on Holy ground!

Hail Duck!

2
0

Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: MalwareBytes & VLC

I've noticed a drop-off in people looking for desktop and laptop repairs in the last few years...

True. I think it's partly because Windows has got better, and I almost never come across a computer that isn't running up-to-date anti-virus nowadays. 5 years ago people didn't know about the free options like AVG until I told them. Now they've probably at least got MSE/Windows Defender.

But I take the case of my Mum, who's not at all unique. Last time I had to fix her desktop was June. When I checked, it hadn't been booted since late April. She checks her email daily, but has an iPad. Even for online shopping, she needn't leave the sofa to go the other room and turn on the PC. So she doesn't anymore. It got used so infrequently she's given it away, and got a secondhand Macbook Air.

I hate using my iPad for anything serious. I like the ability to have multiple tabs, more screen space, and easily cut & paste stuff into lists. And a proper keyboard, so I can type at proper speeds. It might take me a couple of minutes to go to the spare room and fire it up, but it's so much more efficient when I get there.

However I suspect many people were never efficient on their PCs. Were never comfortable with the interface, and can't touch-type. So the iPad is just as good, maybe even easier, and they can be sat on the sofa.

Oh and a big thumbs up to Malwarebytes. I run multiple checks on PCs infected with nasties - often using a linux boot disc. So far Malwarebytes has been my first tool used, and none of the other scans have picked anything else. Except for once, when my brother decided not to pay Sky for the boxing, and went to some truly horrible site instead.

1
0

Leaked Syrian log files reveal attempts to starve rebels of information

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Not blocking xvideos.com?

They also seem to have blocked access to Zynga. So as you say, they must still have a remaining spark of humanity in their black hearts...

1
0

Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: "....Ms.Young's current appearance...."

According to the documentary on Bladerunner, Ridley Scott said he was working on Dune, when he decided to drop it, and do Bladerunner instead. I wonder what he'd have made of it? He'd have struggled to do worse...

I'm sure someone could make a much better stab at it now, with modern technology. Still a very hard film to do though. So much of the plot is going on in Paul's head.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: "think of the god-awful Indianna Jones 4."

Shrimpling,

Good point. Now it's coming up to Christmas, do you think they'll ever make a sequel to Die Hard?

12
0

Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

What the fuck does Free+ mean?

It should mean, not only is this free, it's also brilliant. What it actually means in many cases is free to download but not free to actually play. Even in newspeak + is supposed to be a good thing.

Perhaps Apple should have gone for Free!!

2
0

Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Re:He fled the country when he got the second summons.

Seriously, the original accounts are easy enough to find. What's with the communal memory loss?

DiViDed,

They certainly are. Which is why I'm tempted to conclude that Assange's supporters are lying deliberately, rather than suffering a 'lapse of collective memory'.

So it's a matter of fact that Assange's lawyer was told that Assange was wanted for questioning the day before he left Sweden. The lawyer denied this in one of the original hearings. Only to then be forced to admit to the judge that he was wrong, as the evidence was on his own phone. Weirdly they seem to have sent him a text (seems a tad informal for these purposes to me), don't know if there was a supporting phonecall as well.

Next he is wanted for something. This was the only legitimate part of Assange's appeals. There's not supposed to be any grounds for appeal over the EAW, as it's supposed to work like we're one happy family in the EU. A system I don't approve of myself, but that's the law. So as the UK has a different legal system I believe an EAW has to be signed off by a judge, whereas in Sweden (or anyone else using the inquisitorial system) it's going to come from the prosecutor (or equivalent).

He's had his questioning and investigating, and was invited for his final "we might charge you after this" type of interview that the Swedish system apparently requires. The UK Supreme Court got to rule on this, that it's compatible with UK law that these foreign legal systems are allowed to issue European Arrest Warrants at the appropriate stage of their legal process. It is, after all, a European Arrest Warrant. Not extradition. That was the whole (wong-headed) point of the system.

Finally we come to your above allegation about the minor nature of the charges. Again, this is in the judgement of the UK Supreme Court. Freely avaiblable online, and mentioned many times here, and elsewhere. The 2 charges the Swedish ticked as rape, would be rape under UK law as well.

6
3

Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: Not the right way to promote IT among girls... but realistic, after all

Realistic?

I hate to break it to you, but Dilbert is not a documentary.

Martin,

Yes, I used to believe that too. I hate to break it to you though, but that all changed once I got a job at a large multi-national.

Next you'll be trying to tell me that Chris Morris's 'The Day Today' is supposed to be comedy. When it's actually training material used by most media organisations.

20
0

MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: take a look

Ah, but what's stopping the Americans from putting up a fake X37B to have a look-see at this new Russian toy?

Small inflatable microsatellite with camera perhaps?

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: sattelite spying sattelite?

Have you tried doing the environmental impact assesment for hollowing out a volcano?

I tend to find that after I've shot a few people with sandals and clipboards, the environmental impact statements say exactly what I want them to...

11
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: sattelite spying sattelite?

Spying on it is boring. Why not send up a bigger satellite that can drive up behind it, swallow it whole, then bring it back down to earth for examination?

14
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: or...

Stealth paint isn't magic. It's the shape that makes stealth planes hard for radar to detect. Not having any large flat surfaces for the radar to give a simple return off, but to be all angular, so it reflects off in different directions. That's going to make solar panels particularly problematic, as they have to be folded for launching, and then unfold into exactly the large, flat surfaces you're trying to avoid. I guess that's where you consider using a nice RTG power source instead. I'm sure the Russians have got the odd spare bit of plutonium lying about they could use.

Another problem is moving around. If you fire your thrusters, you're easier to spot. Although I guess that depends on whether you're expecting to move far or not.

4
1

The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: I no what it is

.I think it's a WiFi biscuit tin that Tweets a reminder when you're about to run out of chocolate bourbons.

When you run out of bourbons it then plays the Hallelujah Chorus. It also tracks down the credit card and store that were used to purchase them, so that it can find out who bought horrible, cardboard, fake-chocolate tasting, yucky bourbons, and despatches a Reaper drone to their current location, so they can be terminated with extreme prejudice. Then orders you some decent biscuits.

I'm aware that I may have upset the bourbon taliban with my post. But I can take them on! I will not be silenced! Chocolate Covered Gingers FOR EVVVEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!

3
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Is it too easy?

One of my favourite post-pub delicacies is the fish finger sandwich. However I don't know if this is too simple for this. On the other hand, at least it's easy to cook when alcoholically advantaged.

They seem to be much nicer fried, but in the oven is less effort. And then it's just the choice of condiment. Ketchup, salad cream, tartare sauce perhaps?

Another, even easier, post-pub snack is cheese and biscuits. So long as you have large doses of port available, all other ingredients are optional. but I usually have nice cheese, savoury biscuits and fruit to hand. Did I mention the port?

I'm either unimaginative or lazy, I'm afraid.

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Better hot

My brother makes them, although I believe his recipe involves bacon, then places in an insulated thingy. Apparently they're still warm and make the perfect breakfast after an hour's journey to Lords for a day of cricket and drinking with his mates.

He also claims they're much better warm.

This is one of their cricket watching traditions, along with ludicrously huge picnics, and finding a way to sneak giant gin and tonics into the ground.

0
0

'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Next those evil Canadians will want to muscle in on the Eurovision Song Contest...

0
0

EU Ryanair 'screen-scraping' case could affect biz models

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

solo,

The internet is not for sharing. Or stopping competitors...

The Internet is for Porn

6
1

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Whereas my rival ISP, with out 5,432 complaints in the last 90 days will run a big banner advert saying, "The ISP with the service so good they won't let you know about it".

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Dear ISPs

But... But... But... BT sent me an email the other day, saying their Home Hub had the best range of any WiFi router. And BT wouldn't lie to me. No! I won't believe it! BT are my friends. They send me emails and everything.

Next you be telling me that anti-ageing creams don't work. And they've been tested by the British Skin Foundation and everything!

12
0

Most convincing PHISHING pages hoodwink nearly half of you – Google

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Hardly surprising

Havin_it,

I couldn't be arsed. I know there's noscript, ghostery, adblock and all the rest. I installed a couple of them a few years ago. There was too much faffing around. You have to whitelist sites you want to get ads from, and sites where you want cookies (to show which articles you've already read), and I seem to remember you could download various whitelists and blacklists. So I played around with it all for half an hour, and ran it for a few days, and decided it was more effort than I could be bothered with.

A periodic cleanout of cookies, care about what sites I go to, and the fact that I use several different computers and devices every day, and log onto different services on each, keeps my data trail a bit messed up. In the end I decided it's more trouble than it's worth to do more.

I do run Flash Block sometimes, as that's nice and simple, and easy to allow stuff, as you just click on it.

If I used Facebook regularly, which I don't, I'd accept their ads. As that's the funding model these sites use, and it's my rule to cooperate, unless there's a reason not to.

Anyway I have ad-blocking software built into my brain. I don't notice them unless I choose to. Or obviously some annoying mis-behaving one zooms in to take over the screen or blares out loud noises.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Hardly surprising

NatWest are still pretty good. The last email I got about one of my accounts had a button on it, which took you to info about some changes they're making, but it was on a natwest.com domain - and didn't have any links to log into you account.

However Facebook have an interesting idea of security. I don't use it very often, and I always log out. So they've started quite heavily spamming me with emails, presumably in order to get me to use the damned site, and view lots of crappy adverts. I have relatives who post a lot, so there's always something to link to in an email. I know these aren't phishing because they have partial messages from people I know - and the links lead to FB. But when I click on the button, it logs me in to Facebook. Oddly if I then log out, and click on another mail (they often seem to send two or three at once) that time, I'm taken to the proper log in page. That is some particularly pisspoor security from Facebook.

I keep meaning to go and change my email preferences to none. But I probably log-in unprompted about once every 6 weeks.

I don't know why Facebook bother though. The quality of the ads they show me is shocking. It's spam and scam stuff. I know I've filled in virtually no personal info, but they can surely do better than ads for foreign brides, dodgy looking dating sites and 'competitions' to win free iPads/iPhones. I'm amazed any legitimate companies advertise with them. Occasionally I'll see a mainstream retailer - but it's mostly the sort of stuff you see on banner ads in the dodgier areas of the internet. I guess at least I've never seen an ad on FB for one of those "you have a virus use our free online scanners", so at least they have some standards and haven't completely plumbed the depths yet. That'll be for next year...

1
0

Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: They predicted there WOULDN'T be an earthquake

As I understand it, their prediction was that there was no more risk of an eathquake than normal. Despite the fact that there had been some recent tremors. In an area where there are always tremors.

So if you live in an earhquake zone, that's the risk you accept. If you don't like it, either move, or live in a nice soft tent, where you don't care if it falls on you. Those are the choices. Or to stay in your homes, schools and offices, and live your life as normal. Accepting the extra risk every day.

When we have a method of predicting earthquakes, we can revisit this.

18
0

ICANN creates 'UN Security Council for the internet', installs itself as a permanent member

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: "anchor seats".

Perhaps it's a cunning ploy? It's a plan to improve the breeding stock of the human race, by removing a whole pointless layer of useless global bureaucrats (B Ark style).

First create a completely insane committee. Then get some of the most useless chair-sitters on God's green Earth appointed. Then sit them on their chairs. Now tie giant anchors to them, chuck the anchors in the deepest part of the ocean, and watch them slide away to the bottom of the deeps.

It's either that or ICANN have made so much money from selling gTLDs, that their bank account is full. Perhaps it's run out of noughts? Anyway, they've all given themselves pay rises, and massive bonuses. But now their bank accounts are full. The cash is still pouring in, so they need to find a way to get rid of more of it, sharpish...

0
0

Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

One solution to this might be some judicious bribery.

If the whole nation is going to benefit from having HS2, a new motorway, a new nuclear plant or whatever, then we probably need to simplify planning requirements. Remember the enquiry into Heathrow Terminal 5? This took ten years. There were no extra flights, because no extra runway, and they're already at 98% runway capacity. So all they were doing was putting up a building in the middle of a restricted site that no-one's allowed to go to, except under strict controls. It should have gone through on the nod. Obviously a new runway should take a long time.

Perhaps the solution is to bribe the locals? Since everyone's benefitting, but only a small number of locals are suffering (annoyance, drop in house prices, whatever) - we could give them some cash or some local amenities. That way the burden gets shared.

Personally I'd like to tell them to stop being stupid NIMBY arseholes. But we do live in a democracy, so we should make legitimate attempts to please minorities, before looking at out-voting them. And I do live under 100 yards from a train line that's being upgraded.

The new one is BANANAs: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

4
1

Yes! It's DRONE PORN. And we don't mean shiny pics of UAVs

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Paris Hilton

Re: I realise some guys love their gadgets...

Ah but you haven't known pleasure, until you've had it caught in a blade, lifted up, and stretched to a thousand feet long...

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: How dull

<voice=attenborough>

And so the camera pans across the magnificent hills, to the verdant, moist and welcoming valleys. The dappled sunlight of a warm afternoon giving everything a beautiful golden glow.

The dancing sunlight shimmers on the water. But as the camera pans back we can see that it's not water, but glass. In fact the window of a 2005 Ford Escort. And we see homo automobilus canus in his natural habitat, half naked, lying across the bonnet, in an Essex carpark, staring through the windows at what goes on inside.

</voice=attenborough>

And that was when the BBC's latest documentary 'The Dogging World' was cancelled.

8
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: The future

Are you suggesting a "Prince Albert cam"?

5
0

Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: What about advertising

Amazon do love the spam. I'm perfectly happy to take special offers from companies I use a lot. I don't mind a glance at their email, if it's interesting I save for later, or delete if not.

But one day I had 3 different emails from Amazon, and it had got to the point where I was getting more than 10 a week. This didn't make me buy more, it made me hit unsubscribe.

The stupid thing is, they have a good chunk of my purchase history. Some of their stuff seemed well targeted, and so I bought things on special offer I otherwise wouldn't have. But some of the rest of it was horribly badly targeted, and as well as all the attempts at targeted ads, they'd also do general ones for any-old-thing. You'd have thought even marketing could work out that you can have too much of a good thing...

1
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

The weird thing is, this is exactly what Amazon did with books.

They launched the Kindle, but there was a Kindle app available on every other device they could manage. They supported Blackberry and Win Phone too. So you could get your books from one program, whether on PC, tablet or phone. And of course were able to buy from Amazon's store, right from the app. Or buy in browser, and have it magically turn up on the phone.

Isn't that how they also operate with music? I buy many of my CDs from Amazon, and because I haven't got round to ripping the latest (due laziness in replacing a dead PC), I stuck the Amazon Cloud Player on the iPad.

I really don't understand why they aren't doing this with video. I've just got a Chromecast and assumed it would work with Amazon, as it does with Netflix. I didn't buy it for that, but it was in the back of my mind, if I felt like a few months of gorging on films.

0
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Obsolete?

My 50" telly cost £500 a couple of years ago. Panasonic. Dumb as a brick. The Panasonic smarties, with as far as I can tell the same panels, were about £800.

That £300 difference would buy me a Playstation to use as Bluray and set-top box. Or a cheap PC to do the same. Although when I tried my friend's PS3 the user interface was appalling, with the smallest text imagineable and horrifically complicated menu structure. It would have driven me round the bend. Has that improved? Or is the XBox better?

Anyway I got Sky for a year on a cheap deal, and the Sky+ Box isn't bad. It's easy to use, and although you can't stream iPlayer live, you can download a show, and start watching after a few minutes.

That's now over, and I've just spent £30 on a Chromecast. Which to my surprise is rather good. All I really want is NFL online games and BBC iPlayer though.

So for that £300 difference I've effectively had a year of free Sky sport and a Chromecast, and I've still got change for a decent meal out. Or a new Chromecast (other thing) in 3 years, when the smart bits of the smart TV are out of date, but the panel still works so you can't replace it.

Finally, is the Samsung easy to use? I've yet to see a TV menu system, that was anything other than an ugly, confusing mess.

Actually that's not quite fair. The menu on my Panasonic is horrible. But the Freeview EPG is actually very well laid out.

2
0

Is new EU digi chief H-dot Oettinger starting a war with his boss?

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: That memo is not valid if you cannot be fired

He's already done at least 4 years, in the last commission. As Energy commissioner. So his pension is sorted.

However, he can be fired. The one person who can do that is the President of the Commission. That's the guy who just had the idea of having these Vice Presidents, that Oettinger's just slagged off. Not the brightest move perhaps.

The European Parliament still can't sack individual commissioners. And neither can the national governments. Although the Parliament can sack the whole Commission. As they were going to do a few years ago, before the Santer Commission got their dibs in first, and resigned.

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Not quite. Most of the policies have to go through the Council of the European Union, i.e. the college for the national gouvernments.

True. But what I meant was that no commissioner is totally in charge of his department. Obviously they have some administrative control. But any major proposals have to be voted on by all the commissioners. In a sort-of equivalent of a cabinet government. Remember that only the Commission can propose legislation.

Their legislation is then negotiated on by the Council and the Parliament. But he who drafts the document has control. Unless he's such a fool that he can't draft documents because he's annoyed the Commission President and Vice Presidents...

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

As the article says, Oettinger was apparently very miffed that he got the job he did. And let everyone know it. I'm not quite sure why the Germans didn't get a better job for their commish, but I suspect it's because Merkel was more interested in making sure there were hawks in all but one of the places that control Euro policy. She got lumbered with the French Moscovici at monetary affairs, but he's also being supervised by one of the vice presidents.

Also as part of the European Parliament power grab that got Juncker the President's job, they were also trying to force the losing Spitzenkandidate Martin Schultz on her. As the German commissioner. And he's from t'other party. The Germans, like us, rarely seem to send top-rank politicians to Brussels.

Still Oettinger is an idiot. The whole idea of giving the big portfolios to the big countries is sort of inevitable. Given that they've got the political clout. But Juncker is from one of the small states, so his idea was to give the smaller states some power back, by putting them in as co-ordinating Vice Presidents. Who knows if it'll work. But the Commission is just like any cabinet government. You're the minister (equivalent), but all policies go to the full College of Commissioners, and as I understand it go through on majority vote. So you can write all the policy papers you like, and brook no interference. It'll do you no good if you keep getting outvoted for being an arsehole. And if you piss off the Commission President for saying his big idea was stupid.

5
0

Forums