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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3446 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

SPACE: The FINAL FRONTIER. These are the TEN-YEAR images of star probe Cassini

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Re: A hearty well-done to NASA and Cassini.

Can't they just run a few loads of narcotics to Lave, and then they'll have enough to buy a fuel scoop - and use that lovely gas giant to keep the tanks topped up?

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Rockall pod-dweller braces for stormy weather

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Re: 60 days of learning the harmonica

I'm very disappointed he's wastng his time with the harmonica. Surely this level of isolation is the perfect venue to play the bagpipes. It's almost certainly far enough away from any possible listener that it might actually constitute a pleasant experience. Possibly a bit hard on the sea birds though.

It may be that my feelings are influenced by my school fete, when I was 6. While gazing in awe at the huge, multi-level, model railway that had been built in (and almost filled) my classroom - an evil bagpiper sneaked (snuck?) into the room. He was standing less than 2 feet behind me when he started strangling his cat playing.

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Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

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Re: Abusive relationship

I think you're wrong about Facebook. It does really love its users' money/data/privacy. So I think Facebook will change.

...

...

For the worse.

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NASA pulls FLYING SAUCER out of Pacific ocean

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The important question is, what happened to the Playmonaut on board? All space missions do carry a Playmonaut right?

Well apart from SpaceX who send cheese.

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True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

But the elephant would have more problems getting over the garden wall!

tony2heads,

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?

A. Time to get a new fence.

Ah. Haven't told that 'joke' since I was about 6. From my brother's Bumper Book of Childrens Jokes.

But it's rather like the question where do you park a 60 tonne tank? Wherever the hell you like. The same applies to elephants. According to Spike Milligan you just put an elephant flap in the back door and it can wander in-and-out as it likes.

"Min, have you put the elephant out?"

"No. Was it on fire?"

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I heard about a Sumo demonstration event in Australia (back in the days when Channel 4 were covering all sorts of odd sports). Except it turned out that the competitors were too large to fit into the JAL toilets. As in wouldn't physically fit into the room. Although I don't know why they couldn't aim from outside the door...

So they starved them all the day before, to avoid dumps. And didn't drink for several hours before the flight, and only started drinking halfway through. I'd still imagine they managed to beat the 21 second average on landing though...

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Re: Impossible, I say

I don't believe you. Given that Guinness is basically soup, and can be eaten with a fork, I think you're just imagining going to the loo...

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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

The body uses peristalsis, it pushes things along tubes by wobbling the sides. So because it's the whole tube that's doing the pushing, unlike most pumps where you do everything in one series of impellers, the longer the tube the more pressure you'll build up.

You can get peristaltic pumps that mimic the biological method, and they're good for relatively high pressure / low flow-rate applications (labs / test equipment etc). But they just use a flexible tube and a couple of rollers - although I suppose you could get the same effect by putting a bunch of them in series.

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

At least it's the neighbour's cat pissing in your garden, and not their pet elephant...

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

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Re: @silent_count

...

The long thin juicy ones slip down easily,

The short fat furry ones stick.

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Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

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Re: Gender of the internet???

Où est la plume de ma tante?

Dans le jardin.

The crimson cow is flying South.

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Hey, remember the iPod Touch? Apple just did

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Re: I still want my 1TB iPod "Classic"

The problem with the iPod Classic is the rubbishy scrollwheel. It's OK for short lists, but get very tedious, very quickly. And does tend to end up selecting the thing either side of what you wanted. So I don't want to replace mine with another (it's on its last legs now). I want something with around 100GB of storage, but a much better UI. An iPod Touch with decent amounts of memory, or an SD card slot would be perfect. But Apple do like to massively overcharge for storage.

Samsung used to do a similar device, not sure if they still do. Or a cheap 'Droid phone may be an option. I might even look into Neil Young's Pono thingymajig. I quite like the idea of a flourescent yellow Toblerone...

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Re: Missed opportunity

I agree the iPod Touch case feels nice. But I doubt it would hold sufficient battery to run the radios.

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It's looking rather expensive nowadays. Given that you can get a 32GB Motorola G for under £150. Or a Lumia with SD card for around £100. Although I don't know if MS have sorted out the music app since WinPho 7.

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NASA's Curiosity rover brought Earth BUG to Mars

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In 2 months time, when Curiousity broadcasts a picture of a grinning Elvis sitting on a Martian boulder back to planet Earth, then you'll know that it was me what hacked it. You heard it here first.

Either that, or The Sunday Sport was right all along!

My personal favourite of their headlines was 'Vampire 3-in-a-Bed Sex Scandal'.

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

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Re: Much tech has lost the plot.

Risk isn't always a good thing that should be rewarded. Sometimes people take stupid risks. Or take risks because they're stupid. There's no morality that says, becasue you took a risk you deserve loads-a-money. Hopefully risk will be rewarded if managed successfully. But why should you get anything for screwing things up?

As an investor I might want a low risk portfolio, in order to keep what I've got, rather than trying to grow it. Then I'd buy boring companies that do sensible things. Such as a successful boring company that sells tickets and makes predictable profits. Rather than scary airline shares. If this so happens to be a time of the greatest aviation industry recession since the 1930s (like the dotcom bust your book is about), then the rest of the market is likely to agree with me, and run away from aviation stock too.

A lot of airlines went bust in that period. Almost none were making profits, and the industry as a whole was losing tens of billions a year.

What it did do, was to drive some of the crappier companies out of business though. Some of the national carriers were truly terribly run. Belgium virtually went into mourning over the loss of Sabena in 2002. The expats living there missed it rather less. Although the ones who got virtually held hostage by the cabin crew, who refused to let them off their plane for about 5 hours as a protest against the government not bailing them out again, probably had some harsher things to say...

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Re: Very first world mindset...

generally, they do it better than the whims of moneyed loafers.

strum,

This is where you're allowing your prejudice to interfere with your reasoning. The market isn't controlled by moneyed loafers. It's controlled by no-one. But influenced by everyone. If you like, every £1 used is a vote for what the country is going to do with its resources. So the more money you control, the more 'votes' you get. But there's an awful lot of people and organisations out there disagreeing with you.

So it's possible to corner sections of the market, and say become a monopoly in displaying adverts with online search results, but it's much harder to control how many sandwiches are produced, or cars or what-have-you.

Also, very few people (even on the right of politics) seriously doubt that governments are great at things like fire brigades. Anyone who says you can have a well functioning market economy without government is an idiot, and to be ignored. You need a legal system in order to have property rights. You also need someone to whack monopolies on the head occasionally. It's much more efficient to force everyone to buy fire insurance from one central provider - so you may as well add it to tax and let the government do it.

Like capitalism, governments can be absolutely rubbish at getting stuff done efficiently. It's just that we've not found any better alternatives yet.

Governments are there because someone's got to be in charge. And in democracies they're also supposed to try and do a better job of balancing different goups' interests against each other - and maybe even make life better.

They're very good at doing things that people want, but can't afford individually, or that it's not possible to make a profit doing. But they're not so great when they try to make cars.

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Re: An even more useful app?

It'll still be random what you end up with. Wine experts are notoriously crap in blind taste tests. Giving completely different reviews when served the same wine twice in one tasting.

Having looked at some of the comments on Ocado's site, while buying a few bottles with a voucher the other day - they were even less helpful.

When in doubt, my current rule is to cheer for Chile. I've had one bottle of Chilean wine that wasn't nice, and that was only disappointing, not horrible.

The nice thing is that almost everyone tells you what grapes they're using nowadays. Even the french have started using it, so you don't need to learn all the different terroirs. Which makes for a lot less to learn than previously. And has the welcome side-effect of annoying the french...

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Re: Value

Is there another tool to do the job you want hough?

Sure, we have the infrastructure and resources to feed tens of millions of people. Probably hundreds of millions. But if we can't find a way to run a planned economy for ourselves, how are we going to be any better at doing it for them?

For example, you really can't have a market economy without property rights. There's no incentive to invest for the long term, if some bugger in government can come along and steal your business whenever he fancies. For property rights you need stability. And some kind of rule of law. And concept that political power has limits that aren't to be crossed. That doesn't need democracry, thogh it helps.

So are we going to bomb their governments to democracy? Are we going to work through their existing governments in the hope they'll play nice and suddenly become responsible and caring. Rather than say nicking 20% of the aid money and funnelling it to Switzerland? What when that government uses the aid as political patronage to maintain its power to do just whatever the hell it likes?

The Greeks had a first world economy 5 years ago. But by a combination of lying, stupidity, greed, joining the disastrous Euro and giving out something horrendous like 20-30% of government spending in patronage (sinecure jobs for votes) - they are now well and truly fucked. By some measures they're back in the list of developing economies now.

Short of taking over countries, and running them as some kind of enlightened despotic empire of goodness, this just ain't going to happen.

So the market is what we've got. We should subsidise our farming less, in order to give developing countries a chance to trade fairly with us in products they can compete on. Then they get richer, and we also get richer. Channelling some cash into supporting our farmers in other ways. This has the benefit of both being moral and good for almost everyone. And we already spend huge amounts in tax to subsidise farming, so there's nothing to stop us spending that on making sure our farmers don't lose out. Everyone wins. And we help developing countries in a way that isn't charity, so they get to make their own choices about how to live their lives.

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Re: I'll take your quote and raise you...

rizb,

You don't remove the middle-men. No-one pops round to kill them all, now they're no longer needed. You get them doing something else. At least in theory. The market is operating more efficiently, by doing the same thing (bringing fish to market) with fewer people. This is good for everyone else, but bad for those people who get elbowed out.

But in a growing economy, maybe they'll find some other opportunity. One that isn't so inefficient. If that's the case, then it's a net gain to the economy, as you've now got more things being done with the same number of people. Then everyone wins. Everyone is now richer, and can afford more services from each other, in a virtuous cycle.

There's aslo a mechanism to help this happen. Our middle-men were taking profits from the fishermen. They're no longer doing that, and are out of work. But co-incidentally the fishermen now have much more cash. Even the fish buyers have more disposable income, as fish prices have dropped. All this cash is looking for some goods or services. So instead of taking the money off the fishermen for selling their fish to people who'd buy it already, perhaps our middlemen can sell something to the fishermen.

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Re: Very first world mindset...

Jeff Lewis,

I value my basic services highly. Such that I spend somewhere between £1,500 and £2,000 on water, leccy and interwebs alone. That's far more than I spend on anything else except my mortgage. And taxes, so healthcare, roads etc. My next biggest bill is food. If any of those bills suddenly go up, then my spending in other areas will drop accordingly, in order to cover the difference.

No-one I'm aware of has come up with any better approximation of value than price. I rmember when I started studying economics being introduces to the util. A measure of the utility that something provides to an individual or society. As soon as you start to look at this, you see the difficulty of trying to come up with a true 'value' for anything.

We might value firefighters higher than road maintenance workers. I believe they're paid more. And seen as more 'heroic'. Yet I've never personally benefited from the services of a firefighter. But have used many roads. They're probably reasonably similar skill levels (at entry level) and amounts of physical effort and unsocial hours. Road maintenance is far more dangerous than putting out fires too. Obviously if I'm on fire, I'm going to really value the fire service very highly indeed.

It's basically impossible. Partly because almost no-one willl agree with anyone else on how they'd value stuff. So you have to work in the aggregate.

There is a market that very crudely attempts to work out what price my labour is worth. It's highly imperfect, but it is a two-way street. Sure, the market mostly imposes a salary on what I do, but I don't have to take that salary. I could take less, for a different job I found better in some way, or go and get training to do a more highly paid one. Or decide the market was totally undervaluing my skills, and set up my own company to try and keep more of the value for myself.

The same applies to goods. A whole bunch of people collectively decide whether to buy or not, at a given price, and prices tend to move around to get the most profit they can manage. Either by selling lots cheap, or few expensively (or somewhere in between).

Until governments are able to read minds, and have sufficient super-computing power to assign the 'corrrect' values to everything, we're basically stuck with markets. Particularly as we don't have any good theories as to how to assign any of these values to people, or how they interact. Thus imperfect markets assigning resources by trial-and-error is what we've got.

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Re: Much tech has lost the plot.

"When the company selling cheap seats for an airline is valued at more than the airline company itself then you've a good idea things have gone wrong.."

That's not neccesarily true. Airlines are horribly high risk. Just look at the performance of the airline industry over the last 50 years. During recessions and world crises, or times of unusually high fuel prices, the entire airline industry loses billions between them. They also have to raise massive amounts of long-term capital to pay for planes.

Whereas a ticket shop just has to sell tickets, with very low overheads. So long as they can make profits, and have some way of protecting/differentiating themselves from other market entrants, there's absolutely no reason why they can't carry on making money during the frequent aviation industry slumps.

It's far harder to shift 10 unwanted Airbus A380s (and the massive debt you took on to buy them), than it is to close a call centre or two. Euqally it's far quicker and easier to open another call centre, than it is to get hold of a bunch of big planes, and the cash you need to pay for them.

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I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

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Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I totally agree with you - my colleagues are a threat to any unlocked phone in the vicinity. It is lots of fun though ;-)

bigphil,

I didn't lock my first smartphone. A Sony Ericsson P800, in about 2003. I can remember coming back to find a very disappointed (so-called) friend of mine playing with it.

He was sad, because he was on the change language screen and the only option was English. In order to save limited memory, you could uninstall various options, which I think you could then re-install from CD. So I'd taken all the language support away.

Oddly, when I lived in Belgium my contract phone was already set-up in English. Which seemed rather unhelpful for the locals. The manual was a rather neat affair, with flemish and french versions bound back-to-back and SIM card in a case between. This I guess being a way to avoid either going first, and pissing off the other lot. But making it hard for everyone seemed a tad annoying...

Then again I regularly ate in one restaurant where the staff only communicated in english. Because the french-speakers had forgotten all the flemish they were taught at school, and the flemish-speakers therefore refused to speak french to anyone but customers.

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Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I suppose it's an OK idea. The phone is auto-unlocked at home and work for those who want it. Although I believe that Apple's research said something silly like 75% of iPhones had no PIN code set anyway. That may have been high, in order to plug their fingerprint scanner, but I'm prepared to believe that millions of smartphones aren't locked.

However, leaving your phone at the mercy of your work colleagues might be a very bad idea. You might end up with the thing set to Arabic, or with your ringtone as 'The Crazy Frog'. As well as access to your personal email and Facebook.

As for unlock at home, the PIN is the last line of defence between your shiny tech gadgets and children.

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Google Glass gets 2GB of RAM. Think about this. Two gigs of RAM

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Re: My biggest reservation

I'm liking 'go-go gadget' and 'by the power of greyskull' as options. And I guess other TV references like HAL, Slave, Zen and KITT should be options too. Then you can pick your favourite.

I also quite like, 'Brain Butler'. As in, "Brain Butler, where can I get a G&T?" Or, "Brain Butler photograph these oiks and email to the police."

Then, rather than pairing them to a phone, we could have a drone to do our bidding. So that instead of giving me directions to the nearest pub, my quadrocopter can fly off to the pub for me, purchase my G&T with pay-by-bonk, and bring it back to my outstretched hand.

As drone technology improves I should be able to simultaneously watch an outdoor concert, napalm the band on the second stage who's overloud bass is distracting me, while having a picnic delivered to me, instead of having to queue and pay for the overpriced food/drink available inside the venue.

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Re: When you say "OK Glass, show the viewfinder"

Surely, "OK Glass, show the cross-hairs", would be far better?

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Yahoo! Bids! To! Own! Your! Smartmobe! Home! Screen!

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I'm disappointed.

What are Yahoo! marketing thinking? There's no exclamation mark in the name, it's pronouncable (if rubbish) and an actual word.

Clearly they should have gone for: Aviate! - or - Av8

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Traffic lights, fridges and how they've all got it in for us

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Re: ...of the term "the Internet of Things"

Maybe you need a device that wakes you up over the Internet?

Hmmm. The Internet of Tasers.

Now you're talking!

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Re: Don't connect them to the internet directly

I was going to post the same thing. It would be nice if we could have some kind of home security / network device that handled back-ups, firewall, content filtering and the like. It's all possible now of course (there may even be several products doing this), but I have one extra feature to add. The killer feater. It be usable by non-techies.

I've not yet come across a wireless router that didn't have some very weird quirks in its management software. They either make it relatively easy to set up the network, and make connecting to the internet a nightmare, where you have to browse through about 15 different screens in no obvious order, or setting up the internet's a doddle, but the network is awful. I've also used routers where both were obscure, split over many screens and incomprehensible.

But I have no trust in the manufacturers. Who mostly seem to want to sling kit out the door as fast as possible, and then forget about it. Why don't Wi-Fi routers have an automatic update mechanism, when they're riddled with bugs and permanently connected to the internet, by definition.

I guess at least the data-snafflers might help. For example Google's NEST offers a subscription service. Now if they have a massive security oops, and no method of updates, people will just stop paying the subs. Plus the oodles of lovely data will stop flooding in. So they have some incentive to not leave you vulnerable to hackers. The problem is, they're already hoovering up your data as fast as they can themselves...

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If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

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Re: this probably sounds stupid.

Original anon,

As with so many things, it comes down to money. You can avoid the laws and taxes of a country by claiming to be entirely abroad. And that might work when you are. Although in your Google satellite example, the EU could simply jam their comms. At some point the internet enters or leaves the legal jurisdiction and can be interfered with there.

But that's often too much hassle. So the other thing to interfere with is finance. After all, Google make almost all their money from advertising. Google are now an illegal operation / terrorists / enemies of the state / being annoying / delete as applicable... In which case we simply make it illegal for you to advertise on Google. They lose their cash, what's the point of operating in the EU.

This is the way the US chose to fight online gambling. They couldn't make foreign sites illegal, but they could make it illegal for their citizens to partake. And they could make it illegal for their banks and credit card companies to facilitate transactions related to it. I'm sure it didn't stop people doing it, but it made it much harder.

Similarly the US Treasury Department believe they can cripple the Russian economy with sanctions, without any help from the EU governments. Because the US government can tell its banks not to deal with the Russian ones, and also any bank that wants to operate in the US. Thus they can make it extremely awkward for any global bank to have dealings with any Russian bank they sanction. They picked a small one that had close links to Putin's inner circle and Gazprom - and I rather suspect that this shot across the bows was one of the reasons Putin backed off a bit on Ukraine.

International sanctions on Iran have proved this to be at least somewhat effective. UN sanctions have had quite a bit effect, but it seems to be generally believed that pressure on Iranian access to international banking has also been very significant (although I understand that a lot of that was in cooperation with the EU).

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COSMIC BELCH from supermassive black hole stuns boffins

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Re: "Bad gas ... Artist's impression of a black hole"

Black holes are basically cosmic Cookie Monsters...

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This is why people complain about the streetlights being dim when we walk home from our real ale and curry nights...

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

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Re: Few are called - fewer are called back

My brother tells me that there is a procedure for dealing with Facebook friend requests: If they're female, you click yes, quickly go to their page and have a look round for interesting photographs. Then quickly un-friend before they can look at any of your stuff.

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

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Re: #2

I used to be friends with ISIS, but their puffin refuses to talk to my puffin now...

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Re: WTF? "Sun level" @ AC

Have you never seen Buzzfeed?

Actually I'd never even heard of Buzzfeed, until El Reg ran their last one of these pisstakes. For destroying which blissful state of ignorance, I personally blame The Register!

Worse, since that day, a few weeks ago, I keep seeing Buzzfeed crap now. It's almost like my internal bullshit filters had protected me, until The Register managed to bypass them. Damn you El Reg!

If any articles on My Little Pony porn turn up on here, I'm definitely not going to read them...

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Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

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Re: Simple solution

1.If a consular officer passes through or is in the territory of a third State, which has granted him a visa if a visa was necessary, while proceeding to take up or return to his post or when returning to the sending State, the third State shall accord to him all immunities...[snip]

A quick check of the Foreign Office website suggests that Aussies can come here for tourism without a visa, but not for work. However, Aussies with a criminal record are advised to apply for a visa. So he probably does need one. Don't know what he used to get into the country originally, but he's almost certainly in breach of it. So he probably fails on that criteria.

Next bit of wording is: "while proceeding to take up or return to his post or when returning to the sending State". Clearly in this case he didn't come here while proceeding anywhere, except in the opposite direction to a Swedish prosecutor.

So no. It doesn't work.

It's a convention anyway, so it's a bit woolly as to interpretation and application. So Ecuador are in breach by having him in the embassy. But there's no mechanism to do anything about that, other than to write them a stiff note. Which I'm sure has been done. Equally they could try the dodge of accrediting him, if they could get any other country to do so - and we could simply arrest him as he leaves the embassy. There's not much mechanism for them to do anything about that. Although they could take HMG to the UK courts - but there obvious pisstake is unlikely to pass muster.

In the end the Vienna Conventions are enforced by reciprocity. If you intercept our diplomatic bag, or invade our embassy, we (of someone else) will do the same back to you. In the meantime, it's convenient for us to keep holding the cocktail parties, legally spying on each other, and eating the Ferrero Rocher. This would be such an obvious piss-take, that nobody would bat an eyelid if the police arrested him.

If they could get him accredited somewhere, and spirit him out of Blighty, I guess he would then be safe to cross France (for example) even though Sweden could put a request in for them to enforce an EAW. But even then, only if they've already granted him a visa.

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Re: Simple solution

Nope. You only get diplomatic immunity if granted by the nation you're in. So that don't work.

Just like the embassy isn't Ecuadorian territory. It's UK soil, just that we agree not to go in there without permission, unless invited. All governed by the Vienna Conventions.

Actually it's Ecuador who are in breach of the conventions. There is no diplomatic sanctuary written into them, as not all countries agree that it exists. I believe we're one of the ones that don't. But it is pretty much standard in South America. Anyway there's not really a mechanism for dealing with an embassy that doesn't comply with Vienna, other than to just chuck them out.

So that is our final option. We don't even need to break off diplomatic relations. We simply declare their entire embassy staff personae non grata - pack them off home, and wait for Julian to come out of his own accord when he gets peckish. I think we'd actually have to break off diplomatic relations entirely to be able to go in there and grab him, without breaking the rules. And he's not worth it. So we sit, and wait. Until he, or Ecuador's ambassador, gets bored.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

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I saw this on the Guardian website, and assumed it was a joke. I'd rather hoped El Reg would have spotted it, if so, and so was waiting to see if it turned up here. I admit that's as far as my could-be-arsedness levels had reached, so I guess I bow to your keeness in actually looking at their website.

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I'm afraid you have failed to strategically leverage the synergies. And therefore I'm oot!

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Facepalm

Re: YO

Oy vey!

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Google's too-smart-for-own-good Nest Protect alarm is back on sale

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Re: Always wondered about this.

AOD,

Thanks for that link to Tado. They're cheaper than Google's NEST, but seem to do more, as you can either plug it into an existing thermostat (which Mum doesn't have), or connect direct to the boiler and use a wirless thermostat (which apparently comes with it). Also I don't think NEST deals with hot water, only heating.

That could be even better, in combination with TRVs that actually work - and are fit for use by humans, rather than commissioning engineers. It's a real shame that housebuilders are such cheapskates, as it would be so much easier if they installed zone controlled systems. You only really need 3, upstairs, downstairs and bathrooms. Or you can put the bathrooms on the hot water instead, either will do.

But TRVs are probably too complex for my Mum. Whereas a thermostat is something she's comfortable with, and can live in the sitting room - which is the place she spends most of her time when it's cold, and therefore is the only place that really matters.

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Re: Always wondered about this.

TeeCee,

I was invited to dinner at my Mum's the other day. Well I say dinner. It was more to set up her new printer and sort out her heating controls.

Not that it's that hard to use, but the installers stuck it in a kitchen cupboard, so I have to kneel on the kitchen stool, and prop a torch up against the tea caddy. It's pretty unintuitive though, hence me being asked to sort it out. And the bugger crashed, so I had to find the master switch and power-cycle the whole system. On which subject, the stupid things always seem to lose their settings during power cuts.

Oh a final point, the house builder decided to rely entirely on thermostatic radiator valves. Which are shit, as far as I'm concerned. You need to be a qualified installation engineer to get even vaguely close to setting those up right, and with no overall thermostat, the heating just seems to run until the timer cuts it. As there always seems to be one radiator somewhere, demanding power.

Hence I want to get her onto a wireless thermostat. Google's NEST thing is no use, as it seems to be a wired replacement for one. And while doing that, why not give her control of the system from a friednly app on her iPad, rather than the crappy, cheap and hard to use controls that came with the boiler?

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

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Re: Float? More like Sink!

auburnman,

There are several reasons I suspect. They like to pay as little VAT as they can. Hence the CD/DVD bit of the company was in Jersey. Also, I think that a wholly-owned subsidiary has to pay tax on profits it passes back to the parent company. But the parent company doesn't make more than a few tens of millions a year profit. As the rest keeps being spent on R&D or expanding the company.

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Re: Prediction

Possibly. But he might just be saying it from his orbital space headquarters where he lives with a harem of 500, selected for their genetic purity / diversity (or the quality of their norks?). Ready to either colonise Mars and die of over-exertion in his father-of-the-colony role, or to destroy all life from Earth, with no Roger Moore around to stop him.

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Re: That about wraps it up for SpaceX

Satellites is my hope. Maybe once repair of satellites is possible, they'll be designed for in-orbit repair. In which case great, that's what'll be done. But there's a huge fleet currently up there, which are all basically custom designed. You'd need to custom design the repair robot. Which is hideously expensive, and would need lots of research and testing. So it may well be cheaper to bung a few mechanics into orbit with a refuelling and repair tug plus small space garage.

If you can do minor repairs on, and refuel, 2 satellites per month (24 per year), at an average of $200 million cost each - giving them say another 30% lifespan - that's $1.6 billion worth of new satellites people don't need to build. Give 30% back to the customer, so it's worth it, and that gives you $1.1 billion to play with.

Say it takes 4 Falcon 9 launches a year for crew rotation and new parts deliveries, at $100m a pop, that gives you $600 million per year income to cover the debt costs of the station and space tugs, plus $100 million per year in non-rocket costs, satellite spare parts manufacture, and salaries.

Back-of-a-fag-packet I know, but that looks like a viable business model to me. $600m a year over 10 years ought to buy you a decent little space station.

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Re: Float? More like Sink!

Might I point out here that Amazon has barely made a profit for its entire existence. It doesn't make profits, even though it runs profitable business units. Because it plows its profits back into new investments. And has consistently done so - and yet the shareholders seem perfectly happy, and the shares keep on going up.

How many billions did they spend on cloud servers and infrastructure when they had no market, no customers and definitely no profits to speak of? I don't remember hearing a peep out of Wall Street.

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

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Re: Or....

Ah. Happy memories...

Back in the 70s, I was arrested for Noggin' the Nog.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Earworms

Oh Cavey-Wavey, you're sooooo strong!

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

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That's the next bit of software the supermarkets need. Some will already give you lower delivery costs, if you're willing to take unpopular time slots. I got free delivery from Ocado, for taking 9:30pm.

So they just need to have a system where you get cheaper/free delivery if you're willling to take a slot at the same time as one's already booked for anyone on the same street (or whatever arbitrary range they pick). Extra points if their system can make this distance greater in rural areas.

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