Re: Just looking at the Google car
Not interested. I've heard it can be a punishing job...
5072 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Not interested. I've heard it can be a punishing job...
Shagging inside one of those would be like having sexual fantasies about a teletubby.
What's wrong with that? Po is very attractive. And when she says, "here comes the tubby custard!" I go all gooey...
They often go into safe mode (or one of the several safe modes), which is fine and dandy. And usually easy to recover from, though it takes ages - as NASA tend to do a lot of thinking before deciding to make changes.
In this case I guess they'll have had to react faster than they'd have liked, because they were losing so much fuel. But they obviously had some sort of major error - either bug, cosmic ray or possibly an interaction of both.
What if the main processors had been affected long enough that they couldn't reboot? Then communication would have been lost, the solar panels lock on the Sun would have gone, so no power, and therefore no way to recover the craft.
By having this backup system take over you're taking out a bit of insurance that might save your bacon at some point. And has at several points in the past. Like all insurance it has a cost, in this case wasted time on the DSN disrupting other projects, and some wasted fuel.
In a lot of cases you won't need such an expensive fail-safe, but where you're getting power from solar panels that require alignment you probably do.
Obviously, if we did discover the planet of the Trumps (a gas giant with methane atmosphere presumably?) it would be the incentive that instantly gave us world government and a space navy, plus a mission for it. I know it's not quite the way Gene Roddenberry imagined, with the Federation's first fleet on a ten year mission to seek out and destroy all weird-hair based lifeforms.
I'm not sure I buy the idea of the robotic repair spacecraft. If satellites had been designed from the start for in-orbit maintenance - then a robot could be built to do the job. But given even the low level of bodging that was required on the Hubble repair mission - I very much doubt it would be possible.
It seems to me that space tourism is going to be too expensive for decades given current technology. Isn't a Falcon 9's fuel cost something like $300,000 to orbit? So with 8 people in a Dragon capsule and totally re-usable rockets, that's still $50k minimum - and that would only be if you could do it in bulk to get the costs down, which you can't do at that price. Whereas some kind of space plane can operate with much less fuel - but it's a question as to whether we currently have the materials to build one. I'd say a 2 stage to orbit, big fat carrier jet to get to 40,000 feet and a smaller space plane looks to be the best bet - but maybe Reaction Engines will prove me wrong.
Anyway the most likely commercial application I can see for manned spaceflight is going to be satellite repair. A team of say 4 guys, with a Bigelow inflatable space habitat, launching presumably with Dragon capsules (assuming they're going to be cheaper than Soyuz in a few years). The Dragon has multiple engine firing capability and solar panels, and it's your in-orbit taxi too. So if each mission lasts a couple of months and requires one unmanned resupply with food, fuel and parts, that's say $100m in launch costs. If you can repair or refuel 4 satellites in that time, which doesn't seem unreasonable - you ought to be able to charge $60m to give an extra ten years life to a $500m satellite.
It's a big investment, but I'm sure the numbers work out. Particularly so if you can start building new satellites to be able to take in-orbit refuelling - and maybe even processor upgrades, new reaction wheels and such.
Then the question comes, how much do you have to compromise satellite design for what can go up on one lauch, and self deploy? Is there a demand for a small amount of in-orbit assembly (once you've got a small workshop up there)? So you could have a bigger unit, that maybe takes two launches and a small amount of assembly. The Ikea flat-pack satellite...
According to the story, the satellite is some 70m from earth
If it's only 70 metres from earth, you could presumably fix it with a normal elevator...
Las Vegas running out of water would (if we also confiscated all the petrol/gas) make for an excellent reality TV show...
Corrected your obvious typo for you.
There must be some level of making little difference, somewhere as hot as Nevada. Any rain that falls is soon going to be evapourated right back up into the air, ready to fall as rain somewhere else. I seem to remember reading a while ago about climate change in Saudi Arabia. Where they've built sufficient round fields (round because of the water distribution systems) around some towns that those places now get rainfall. Something they's almost never previously had.
I don't know what the climate effects would be of trying to green the desert though. But I don't know if they're being that ambitious, or just trying to get a little bit of rain.
We're going to have a tougher time dealing with this than Oz anyway. We're in the EU. One of the provisions of the single market is that you only have to set your company up in one jurisdiction, and pay tax there. So setting up in Ireland, operating from Ireland, and paying your corporation tax there is perfectly legal, and we could only stop it if we left the EU.
On the other hand, Ireland allowing transactions not from Ireland to be corp tax free is presumably going to be ruled an illegal subsidy by the ECJ.
Google were also, allegedly, selling advertising in the UK for a while, and then just having the Ireland office sign the contract. Which should surely have been UK money, to pay UK tax. Now the whole sales team is in Ireland, so there can't be an argument.
Not always. You buy 3 lots of hot dogs, and 4 lots of buns, and they last packets will finish at the same time.
Sorry, did you not want to know that...
I hope you're not just hoarding bacon. Otherwise, as soon as you cook your first post-apocalyptic bacon butty, those who prepared by arming themselves will be attracted by the smell, and will relieve you of your bacon.
Unless of course you are planning to use that to your advantage, and lure them towards you. Possibly for the twin purposes of getting more guns and ammo for trading purposes, and turning them into selling bacon. Make the streaky out of them perhaps?
I once tried to buy a flat off a drug dealer.
To be fair to me, I didn't know at the time. I thought it was a re-posession. Only found out the truth when we got the contract, and it was actually being sold by the courts service as part of his punishment. He hadn't apparently been using it for deals, it was part of his money laundering. He'd got 3 places in the town where I live, and had built a development of 12 villas in Spain. Was doing 10 years for being part of a big skunk ring (you can imagine I got googling once I saw the contract).
The funny bit is they were having so much trouble laundering all the cash they were taking in, that they had a lock-up garage locally where the police found £120,000 in a metal safe under a bit of the roof that leaked. It had turned to papier mache - because they couldn't get it out the door fast enough.
Much to my Mum's relief, I got gazumped, and decided not to up my offer when invited to join the bidding war.
My Dad bought a house for cash, in the 1980s. He'd decided to save money, by doing his own conveyancing. With a bit of help from a lawyer mate, and a book he'd bought.
And his opposite number at the vendor's solicitors decided that the honour (and the closed shop) of the legal profession must be protected at all costs. So messed him about, and it ended up for various reasons with Dad driving to the building society, taking £105,000 out in a suitcase, and driving to the solicitors. Being England, all in £50 notes.
I'm surprised the bank let him. After all, if he'd lost it on the way, it would be an unsecured loan, seeing as the old house was sold (this was the cash) and the new one not bought yet.
That's interesting. When I lived in Belgium, up to 2002, I used to get €100 notes all the time, if I wasn't careful. As I recall you could get smaller denomination ones in your own bank, as there are two kinds of cash machines in Belgium. The ones outside the bank offer bigger notes, the ones inside are only for customers, and at least KBC had seats, and you could get more smaller notes.
I'd have been glad to see the back of the 1 and 2 eurocent coins. They were almost identical anyway, and I had to resort to using a little plastic coin holder thing. The 20 and 50 cent are also quite similar in size and colour too - but it's easier as they're bigger. UK coinage is much nicer, because you've got both colour and shape changes, which make life a lot simpler.
I think it was more of a shock to the system in places like Italy and Belgium, where they didn't use coins very much beforehand. And suddenly had loads.
We won't have the Barber of Seville, we've got Draghi instead. And he has a very dangerous blade indeed...
Without Draghi, the Euro would have collapsed already. Despite what all the hawkish German politicians have told you about the risk of inflation, does Germany currently have runnaway inflation? No. You do not. You don't even have high inflation. The ECB is currently missing its inflation target by being 1.9 percentage points under target! And the South of the Eurozone has deflation - one of the reasons that the crisis there cannot be solved and why Germany will not get paid back. This is basic economics. While their economies are barely growing, and prices are falling, debt will rise faster than they can pay it - they will only be able to reduce national debt when nominal growth is high enough.
Meanwhile your trade surplus with these countries is growing. Which is A) a breach of the Eurozone stability pact, and; B) insane, as you are lending them money to buy your goods and make your economy look bigger. But like the false profits of the banks from the boom, this money will not be paid back, cannot be paid back, and so you are effectively working to give away your exports. The solution to this problem is for Germany to buy some of the exports from these countries, to give them the means to pay back loans to German banks (which are your pension savings remember) - this reducing your trade surplus - and to try to create more inflation in the Eurozone. You lose a bit of the value of your savings, but then have a chance of being paid back. Also inflation means higher interest rates, so you don't totally lose out.
Oh and the €500 note was heavily criticised at the foundation of the Euro. By the British government for one, as its use for organised crime was obvious. Sadly, like the warnings about the inevitable problems the Euro would cause, they were ignored. And proved right in both cases. The Euro can be made to work, but it won't be easy.
A filling between two slices of breadfruit and a cup of tahitea perhaps?
With my favourite error message too.
Having just chucked nearly £15k of VAT to our beloved masters at HMRC, I got the following error message:
"There has been an error. Your transaction may have failed. Please check over tollowing 4 hours, and try again if it hasn't appeared on your statement."
Now that's what I call reassuring! Volune 2...
You've got to love the non-specificity of it. Not a nice warning in there to say, your payment's probably gone, so don't worry and definitely don't pay again as we might process it then too. Or a system that if they can't be sure just pulls the payment out. But nope, give people vagueness! Because no-body will be too concerned about the whereabouts of a mere £15k. Why that's not even enough for the most derisory of bonuses! And anyway if we've double-paid it for you, those nice people at HMRC won't take 6 months to sort it out and get your money back to you. Not a problem at all.
And to think I filled out their customer survey last Monday, saying the site was OK - if their bloody web designers could only get over this fucking minimalism thing that's infected design of late. Because text entry boxes need not be of the palest blue available on a white background, without text labels so you can't find the fucking invisible things. Bet they won't be offering me a chance to re-do that today...
They usually say "limited number of customers". This is much better, because so long as at least one customer succeeded in logging in, then they aren't technically lying. But limited number implies small number, without actually claiming that.
I bet they've got stats to show that only a small-ish percentage of customers log in every day though, so in this case they can say it didn't affect the ones who didn't try to log in, even if it would have if they'd wanted to.
It's not lying. It's marketing...
She's a busy girl. It says on the box that she has 3 working offices...
Why buy an expensive robot to empty the cat litter tray? Just get a robot cat.
Ah, but what about those of us who are addicted to being sanctimonious busybodies? What abour our rights?
I thought it was the Mormons who had the magic underwear?
It's all a fusilli about nothing...
NB it takes about 20,000 pellets to kill a cow!!!
Is that how they get the holes in swiss cheese?
Surely better if he owns a brewery?
Remember though that it's £1 a day, not a meal. So you've got to get brekkie, lunch and soemthing to drink out of it. Obviously I just chose to have water that week, but I couldn't go without a few cups of tea a day. The office coffee machine comes out at 50p a cup, so that was right out. A teabag is about 1.5p.
Also the global poverty line measure is actually a measure of consumption. So it's an economic value put on everything that the poorest people get to consume, not how much stuff they're able to buy. Given that most of the world's poorest barely interact with the cash economy. So lots of them are subsistence farmers, and the $1.60 a day includes the value of the crops they grow.
I therefore decided that it was cheating to use anything I could grow, or get free. Though others took a different view. And in the end, there's no point going over the top.
Veg was what I struggled with though. I'm perfectly happy to go without meat for a week. As I in fact did. But finding nice veg that I could afford was much harder. Peppers were out of the question. I could have afforded a few apples. But basically had to settle for carrots, potatoes, onions, chickpeas and the like. Salad stuff was too expensive. And even things like cauliflower, leeks and broccoli were too much of a stretch. A decent portion of cauliflower cheese would have been at least 70p, which doesn't leave anything for some other veg, let alone other meals and a handful of teabags for the rest of the day.
When the electrician has finished the job - connect him to the mains. This solves your money problems in two ways. One, you won't have to pay him, and two, you've now got a ready barbecued meal. Admittedly it might be a stretch to get him to cover himself in marinade beforehand...
The wedding is more problematic. There is no known solution to this problem, short of selling the rights to Hello Magazine.
I'm determined not to touch the chickpeas next year. Even though I've still got half a packet left from last year - still not feeling a strong desire to use them up... My Aunt tells me that the trick with the dried ones is to use a pressure cooker, but I don't have one. The tinned ones are nicer, but twice as expensive, and I already went 9p over budget last year (when I'd finally done the calcs). Shame!
I think perhaps lentils. Though tofu is £1.40 for 350g on Sainsbury's site. So a bit of shopping around might get it cheaper. And I can curry it or something. And eggs. Made a big omelette last time, with much veg and tatties, which did a dinner and two lunches. Yum. Frozen mixed veg is decently nutritious, but doesn't taste very nice, sadly. I'd only used the chickpeas to bulk out, and add a bit of protein to, my delicious Italian tomato and herb sauce. The plan was to convert this into curry, once I got bored. It also had a backup role as a tomato sauce for pizza, using Lidl (£1.49 for 300g) plastic cheddar and left over bread with a bit of veg. But the day I was going to do that, I couldn't be arsed, and just made eggy-bread (french toast) for dinner instead.
Nah. It probably serves a brown liquid, that is not quite, entirely unlike tea...
Ah. What a wonderful piece of writing. Very nicely done sir. Very well played indeed.
I'm glad you mentioned the Freudianism at the end. I don't own a portrait of my Mother, and if I did, it wouldn't be hung in the bedroom. But I was more thinking the Bates Motel, rather than Freud.
As well as biscuit-shame (an excellent choice of phrase by the way) there is, as you say, the problem of crumbage. Of course you can avoid crumbs, by going the Jaffa Cake route. But who wants melted chocolate stains on their duvet? Perhaps the solution is a pair of pyjamas with built in bib - or a duvet-napkin? I quite like the idea of a giant napkin, to be tucked into the duvet - this also has the advantage of dealing with any spilled tea. The teasmade is a wonderful invention, but nobody's at their most accurate first thing in the morning.
I do remember reading about George IV, who used to eat kedgeree for breakfast in bed. I do like it, but I draw the line at a breakfast of smoked fish. He also one-upped my teasmade, by having a decanter of port on his bedside table. This was for if he was struggling to sleep, due to gout. Sadly the port would make things worse, but he aslo took the precaution of having a bottle of laudnum on hand. A boon that modern drugs policy sadly denies us - though a friend who reported severe toothache to a Kenyan pharmacist once got a bottle of the stuff, and said it was very moreish indeed. He didn't write any poetry thankfully...
I believe the favoured tactic of the honey badger, when locked in combat with larger animals is to go for the plums. Hence the saying, "attracted like honey badgers to nadgers"... So I'd suggest your movivational poster would be of a honey badger, eating a biscuit in bed, while simultaneously emasculating someone and pointing to the slogan, "Grab Life by the Balls!"
I'd be interested in a drone that I could dispatch from bed for a pint; a pizza; and the 5 metres of catheter tube at the front door that has just arrived from eBay; but not really interested until that point.
This is what sold me on Mr Tickle at the age of 4. The first couple of pages of the book, where he yawns, and stretches, and stretches, and stretches... And then reaches down the stairs to the kitchen with his amazingly long arms, to get a biscuit from the tin. He was my favourite Mr Man from then on. The less said about the pervy touching people through windows, the better.
Of course, as an adult, I realise that despite the crippling handicap of not having twenty foot long arms I can simply have a biscuit tin on the bedsite table. I already own a teasmade (hooray! for being woken up with fresh tea) - so why I don't add biscuits to the ensemble is a continual mystery to me. I can only conclude that it's guilt, trained into me by my
parents mother. Perhaps I should seek psychiatric help, to get me over these appalling feelings of guilt, and allow myself the bedside biscuit-y pleasure I so richly deserve?
I seem to remember that it took about 8 helium balloons to send one (full) glass of wine across the room at my Aunt's wedding anniversary. But I guess a mini-airship is no solution, since it'll gain too much lift as soon as it delivers its pint.
Altough, on the other hand, as long as there is a ceiling, and it's not too obstructed by whirling fans and light fittings, it could zoom up there and drag itself back home across it - so long as it's bouncy enough. The airship, not the ceiling obviously...
But a wheeled drone seems more appropriate for drinks delivery. Even if it requires a cattle prod to make it's way through the crowded bar to the tables. But that's also useful for dealing with fights and drunks. Or people who put rubbish music on the jukebox. Or suggest karaoke. Or drink WKD...
You have 20 seconds to comply!
True. But they're mostly skilled jobs or professional ones, and automated factories employ orders of magnitude fewer people. Especially in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.
The suggestion is that computers are coming for the semi-skilled jobs in offices next. I'm not sure how much I believe that though, but I guess automation making things easier/quicker should mean fewer people needed to do the same amount of work.
Obviously we need to improve education. Then we'll have more skilled people, with better options. But also to change attitudes over the prioritisation of academic learning over practical. Otherwise we risk leaving a bunch of people out of what should be a richer future.
Until we've got the robotic capacity to make everything for virtually free, and can become The Culture or Star Trek, we're going to need jobs.
The sad thing is, I think the Germans and the BBC put up a huge chunk of the money, with other broadcasters paying much less, and the hosts footing the rest of the bill. I guess it guarantees that we don't have to go through qualifiying, but just think how much of a service to music it would be if the BBC were to spend that money on something (anything!) else. Although taking out a hit on Justin Bieber would surely be the best use of license fee payers' cash.
I'm guessing that the, more effective, option of assassinating Simon Cowell would be frowned upon by Ofcom, due to the damage it would do to ITV's Saturday evening ratings.
Luxury! We used to dream of having a Brian Cox (with his ooh so lovely hair). We had to make do with a Brian Blessed.
Strange. I drink my gin with breakfast...
Did the airline pay their 5p?
If I'm now forced to buy bin liners, I don't see why they should get free ones falling out of the sky...
You cannot hope to bribe or twist
(thank God!) the British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there’s no occasion to.
Seems appropriate somehow.
It's a hard survey to quantify. In some ways the UK has some of the most free press in the world. They're much less restrained by taste or social pressure than in many other countries. Our politicians get a lot shorter shrift from our press in general than do American ones, or most of the rest of Europe. So it's a bit more anarchic, and elements more likely to kick the establishment. We've also got a comparitively wide variety of viewpoints - even though there are two really big players in the Murdoch press/Sky and the BBC. On the other hand we've got tough libel laws, a new system of press regulation that's still only half completed, and some dodgy legislation like RIPA - which the police and government too often abuse. So it's a bit of a mixed bag.
I'm surprised to see North Korea comes out ahead of Eritrea though. I'd have thought they'd be bottom of the pile - given there's not even the opportunity for journalists to print disobliging things about the government. And they'd much more likely be shot, than imprisoned too. If not them and their whole families being sent to the gulags.
I'm looking forward to all the comparison adverts on the back of The Economist, that show a graph with Aston Villa in a huge claret and blue bar which is double the size of the red bar labelled Manchester United - and says when benchmarked on the same grassware Aston Villa performed twice as the competion.
Presumably if they win an silverware, there'll be an open-top yacht parade round the canals of Brum.
I look forward to Larry holding aloft the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in two years time...
The bit in my post that mattered, got deleted. If I thought they were competent, I'd blame a BT conspiracy.
The domain that btinternet emails were dropping with, and vice-versa was btconnect. Their own small business service, that one of our clients was with.
I had a 2 month gremlin back in about 2003 with BT. Btinternet email was not working properly (either sending or receiving) with... It mostly arrived, but delays could be as long as a month. I actually got as far as BT third line support, some outside consultant rather than an internal bod who was already aware of the issue, and they resolved it.
But I'd already resolved the problem myself, by suggesting that it was about time the company stopped using a micky-mouse ISP address, and got us a domain. Although I just got an email through on that old address last week - from a customer we've had for years, I'm amazed it's survived in his Outlook autocomplete for so long.
Does anyone know what a Kanye West is?
It's the only one we've got left, after that house fell on Kanye East...
A lifeboat volunteer was in B&Q with his Mum, when he got a mobile call from a friend. This guy was on a crewing job in the Caribbean, on someone's yacht, they were in hurricane force winds and had lost power and pumps, and were taking on water. So he grabbed his receipt and a pen to take down the details, position etc.
"What's the boat called?"
"Ha ha. Very funny! Now stop taking the piss!"
Except the panic sounded genuine, and his mate wasn't taking the piss. He described his next actions as, deciding not to phone this one in, but to go to the lifeboat station and call it in from there. As he was much more likely to be believed coming from an official line.
That's certainly true. It was a one-off joke / social media thingy, that will pass and nobody will remember. But of course, there is ongoing free publicity. They'll be able to get at least their first 2 or 3 press releases decent publicity on the back of the name alone, so if they ration them carefully they could get something useful from it.
Of course, there's also the downside of, "it is with regret that we have to announce the sinking of the RRS Boaty McBoatface - all her crew are feared lost."
I guess as a compromise they could give it a "proper" name, then paint a big face on the front, so everyone knows what it's really called. And I'd be surprised if the crew don't end up calling it Boaty McBoatface anyway.
Or perhaps a compromise. Go for an Iain Banks theme, and call it Grey Area. That gives the crew an even better nickname.
There's nothing wrong with closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. So long as there are going to be more horses along in future. At least you'd hope people might now have learned something...
So the correct quote should be: "Management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! Stable door, meet management. Bang! Ouch! Now, have we learned our lessons? No? OK. And again, management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! And for some variety, management, meet anvil! Clang! Next, pair of bricks...?
Is this the problem? Perhaps The Mail have been burning with jealousy for ages, because News International made such a success of Myspace. And they're desperate to get in on the action...
Come to think of it, didn't ITV do so well with Friends Reunited too - and the less said about AOL Time Warner, the better.
I'm sure the Daily Mail would love to run email. If they could only get enough people to use the service, say by
ceasing to screw it up horrible drastically improving it, they could sack all their journalists and just rely on all the lovely info passing across their servers.
Oh Ethics? Yeah, that'th the plathe just to the East of London isn't it...
It's called Saddr.
Does a comparison with the nearest other person who has the app, then detonates the batteries killing the loser. The idea is to gradually increase human happiness - or at least train people to be able to pretend.
It's billed as a "synergistic human lifestyle improvement paragidm"