* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1358 posts • joined 22 May 2007

ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

Your school experiment did not PROVE that sugar dissolves more quickly in warm water. Your school experiment was an empirical direct observation of a phenomenon.

True, that experiment did not prove it. However, it was a demonstration of part of the scientific process. Postulate a hypothesis, determine how to test it, test it, analyse results, repeat. This may involve adding more detail to the hypothesis until it turns into a theory (with details of why), and eventually you prove or disprove it.

Science is all of the above. Without one part, you will not get to the next. The author of this paper has followed the first 2 parts, the rest still needs completing, but it is still science.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Unconvincing hype

"Bumbling about spending billions justifying sending a craft to Mars by comparing pictures that confirm a bias is not science."

Again, that is not what is happening.

She has postulated a hypothesis. This is one, possible explanation.

What you are suggesting is saying "it was probably just erosion, so it's not worth looking". That is not science.

She has suggested her hypothesis and outlined how to test it. There is no bias in it. The tests can be run by the craft which is already there, which will provide data which could support or contradict her hypothesis. This is science.

Occam's razor is a good starting point, but is not the be-all-and-end-all. You cannot hear hoof beats and immediately say "it is definitely a horse". There is a possibility of a zebra, so looking at what is there is a good plan. If you see a horse, great. If you see a zebra, also great. You are no longer guessing.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

"In this particular case, merely asserting that something must be true because photographs of different things appear to indicate a similarity between them does not make it true, let alone a proven scientific fact."

Which is exactly what she is NOT doing.

In the scientific method, you come up with a hypothesis, design some method of testing the hypothesis, do said test, and analyse the results to see if it matches. Here, she has done the first 2.

Let's take a simple one I remember from an early school experiment. The teacher suggested the hypothesis, showing anecdotal evidence (very often the basis for any hypothesis), that sugar dissolves more quickly in warmer water. We designed an experiment, involving heating water to different temperatures, adding equal amounts of sugar, and seeing how long it took to dissolve. We then analysed the results, and concluded that they supported the original hypothesis: Sugar does disolve more quickly in warmer water.

In this case, she has suggested a hypothesis (microbial life existed on Mars) based on anecdotal evidence (the pictures look remarkably similar to pictures of earth structures created by microbial life). She has suggested methods to test this hypothesis. Now, NASA need to carry out those experiments to determine whether they support her hypothesis.

Sounds like science to me.

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Je suis Charlie...

I agree, this is exactly what I was trying to point out.

The law should be fair and just, whereas human beings (and by extension groups of human beings, including companies) have to weigh up risks in a completely different manner. They can be emotional and irrational.

Taking this theoretical next door neighbour, let's say he committed murder. He completed his sentence many years ago, but is still a large, strong guy. People will be afraid of him. He has killed in the past, so what would stop him doing it again? It doesn't matter that he has not done so since he was released, or that he has dedicated his life to good works since (volunteer work etc.), or even the circumstances surrounding his crime, he will forever be tainted by that.

Now let us say he works hard and gets a good job, but his criminal history is leaked, and this starts affecting the companies business. Clients and/or customers start boycotting the firm. A good employer may try to defend him at first, but if things continue they will be forced to let him go. His career is wrecked by a mistake in his distant past, one which he has paid for under the law, but he will never be able to escape from.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Je suis Charlie...

that this man is a public figure who can influence

Many people in public positions can loose their jobs, and even careers, for something completely unrelated to their job.

Even had he been found not guilty, there would still be a chance the club would ask him to resign or pay him out to get rid of him. A company/club etc. has to look at their image. Anything which would bring the entity into disrepute has to be viewed seriously. A CEO of a large multinational can loose his job over the most trivial of things if they reflect badly on the company. In the end, our actions can reflect (for good or bad) on our employer, and the employer must take into account those reflections.

While I agree that, under the law, once a sentence is served that should be the end of it, this does not extend into the public conciousness. If you know your next door neighbour was convicted of rape/murder/child abuse, the fact he has paid for his crime will not be much reassurance.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: "right to freedom of expression"

A right, granted by the government, can be taken away by the government, and it is thus, not a right, it is a privilege.

While I do agree very strongly with the "right" to free speech, and many others, they are very new concepts, and I would guess that the majority of the populations are not legally or physically entitled to them. To most of the world, these are privileges, ideals to wish for, or pipe-dreams, if they are thought of at all.

We see them in "the West" as rights, but this is only because of the last few hundred years they have become enshrined as such. In fact, these are not rights. Go to a war torn country in Africa, or to China, or to North Korea and you will see this. Hell, we do not even truly have the right to free speech in the UK: Even without looking at the laws on terrorism and religious hatred, look at the laws on slander etc. (and many other areas) and you will see that the "right" is limited.

Many of the "human rights" we hold so dear are privileges granted by our governments, society and moral code. I believe they should be universal rights, but they are not for all but the privileged few in "Western Democracies"(TM).

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Lollipop licked: KitKat still king in Android land

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Android upgrades

Maybe so, but it would allow an upgrade to pure android without the manufacturer even being involved.

In addition, Google could also have specified that any "skin" also use a standard API, which would be maintained between versions and, hence, not break.

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but it would have been possible. The whole "OS" would become a set of clearly defined layers, starting at the HAL, through the base Android system, through to the manufacturer skin and third party apps.

but that's typical engineer thinking, concentrating only on the technical aspect of the problem

I take that as a complement. I am an engineer. I acknowledge that political problems exist, but I'm not the person to solve them.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Android upgrades

I have to agree.

Personally, with hindsight, I believe the design of Android is a little out. What should have been done is have a pure HAL, with a forward compatible API, which the manufacturer makes for the phone, and the OS sits on top of that, compatible back to a certain version of the HAL API. When a new version of Android is released, it can be (almost) immediately installed on any phone with at least a minimum version of that API (albeit possible missing some features due to level of HAL).

This would allow the following process:

* Google releases a new update to Android

* Manufacturers run a set of tests against their current HALs which are compatible

* Manufacturer releases OTA

* If required (e.g. for newer models, or older ones they still wish to support) manufacturer develops and releases upgraded HAL.

This would also engineer in a point of obsolescence. The manufacturer will likely only upgrade the HALs for newish devices, just as they currently only develop OTAs for the newish devices. Therefore, Android would eventually move beyond that HAL version, at which point no upgrades can be performed. However, it would push that date out into the future (as long as Android was maintained with as much backwards compatibility as possible).

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BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

Dr. Mouse
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While I agree that the legal boilerplate can get annoying at times:

"Enough is enough, Mr Speaker. Never again do we want email chains that say in one line 'Fancy lunch, mate?' and then immediately the one line is followed by 20 undeletable lines of legal officiousness."

Why, in $DEITY's name, are you printing an email which says "Fancy lunch, mate?"?!?! That in itself is a complete waste of paper.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I printed an email. When I have, it has been a long, complicated one containing discussions of specs for a project, which I need to digest and annotate, but it is incredibly rare. It sounds like he is using his email as more of a fax machine, printing everything off and only reading it on paper.

This is a user issue (PEBKAC). He needs to be taught not to print emails.

"It is high time, therefore, that we put a stop to these meaningless politicians that clog up our political system, deplete our printer cartridges of precious ink and cut down forests’ worth of paper. The footer and the header can survive, but let us now condemn the needless idiots to the dustbin of internet history. I commend the bill to the House.”

FTFY

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Toyota to Tesla: we can play the free patent game as well

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Could be useful

The battery powered car can however have more efficient batteries fitted as the technology improves

But it is still specific to the individual vehicle.

The only real option we currently have for quickly "refuelling" a battery-powered vehicle is battery swap technology. However, for this to work with current designs, the "fuel station" needs to have a multitude of different packs available, and would probably need different equipment to change them for each different model.

To implement this effectively, we need a standard battery pack and swap technology for every vehicle, or at least a standard with only a small number of variants. However, this would lead to sub-optimal battery designs, not best suited to the vehicles involved.

Without that, or disruptive new battery technology, the best we can achieve is incremental improvements on the current 20 minute quick charge to c.80%. This is not quick, buy hydrocarbon-powered vehicle standards, and puts off many potential purchasers.

Incidentally, I know of someone who uses his Leaf for journeys from Leeds down to Cambridge. As many service stations have free quick charge points now, he just runs from service station to service station, plugging in and having a coffee. He finds it much more relaxing than just driving, although it does take longer. It also costs him very little.

For the vast majority of people in the UK, I'm certain that current electric cars would cover the vast majority of their use. However, the down sides (having to charge overnight, lack of range if they decide to do a longer trip, image, cost etc.) put most of them off.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Could be useful

no advantage over batteries

I would beg to differ, on this point alone.

The one major advantage is that you can use a large tank for longer range, without it costing the world. Just as with hybrids. Add to that the speed of refuelling vs recharging, and the advantages are clear. I know battery swap tech would mitigate this, but it needs standardising to work across a range of vehicles, which is not at all easy given the different shapes/sizes/specifications of the vehicles.

I do, however, agree with you on all the downsides. Hydrogen is a very impractical fuel. We would be better off developing hydrocarbon fuel cells, particularly ones which would run on a variety of fuels. At some point, that would allow an easy switch from oil-based fuels to synthetic fuels.

Or building nuclear cars.

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Push-button gear change? Really?

Now try to join into traffic from a 15 degree gradient side street uphill. With someone behind you and minimal visibilty

I agree, this is a less than practical system in such a situation. I certainly prefer a manual hand brake (especially as part of the reason behind a hand brake is for emergency use, when all else fails you have a simple mechanical method of getting some braking).

In this situation, I think I would be introducing a lot of wear on my clutch by balancing it, so I was ready as soon as a gap appeared, although this would depend on the precise circumstances. It would certainly be easier with a manual handbrake.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Push-button gear change? Really?

a button activated handbrake on manual which will work only if you put your foot on the footbrake so you can no longer "start off handbrake uphill"

I drove for Audi for a while after leaving university. Some of their models featured this. However, they also included a hill-start setup whereby you could just use the throttle (and clutch if manual) to set off. Once the car realise you were setting off (putting enough torque down to the wheels) the handbrake released.

Seemed like a brilliant idea. It seemed well designed. Most of the ones I drove were manual, and so you needed the car to be in gear, have high enough revs, and slip the clutch for it to work. I can't remember how it worked on autos.

I can see, though, that it could end up being dangerous in automatics. Left in drive with handbrake on, reach over to get something from the glove box and accidentally press the throttle enough for it to disengage, and you end up either shooting forward or rolling back.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: They arent a serious party..

Importing heaps of people who have no realistic chance of getting a job and who will indeed end up being provided for by the welfare system strikes me as a recipe for disaster.

Actually, all the statistics I have seen on the matter show that those who come to this country want to and do work. They find jobs, doing whatever they can for whatever money they can, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

The problem caused by this is lower employment opportunities and wage deflation for existing workers, particularly at the lower end of the skills range. I still don't believe it is as massive a problem as the 'kippers say. Europe and Immigration are being used as a scapegoat.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: They arent a serious party..

And I suppose you think 60% of voters in clacton are racists/homophones/whatever?

Or just maybe there is a problem with massive immigration onto a small island with already overstretched resources and thats reflected in the rise of a party that a large proportion of the population feels reflects their views.

I do not say that all UKIP voters are racist (although I do believe a significant number are, just like my father-in-law and my wife's grandfather, although they kid themselves that they are not). But I believe the party, itself, to be such.

There is a problem with mass migration, although I do not believe it is as big a problem as some make out.

But then anyone with a brain knows that the london metro liberal view is no longer an intellectual viewpoint but more of a religion nowadays that must not be questioned, and anyone who thinks differently must be lambasted, vilified and generally treated as a pariah for going against the holy texts of The Guardian and Independent.

My views are my own, and quite open to change given a persuasive argument. I do not read any newspapers. To put it succinctly, I do believe mass migration is causing a problem, but I do not agree with UKIP's solution, policies, agenda, or principals. And I think there is plenty of evidence that UKIP, the political party, and many of it's members are bigoted, in one way or another.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: They arent a serious party..

FYI Ukip is currently the only party to ban former BNP members from joining.

This is to present a friendly front. They are BNP-lite. They know how unpopular the BNP are, so want to copy them without the bits which upset people, but as seen in "slip-ups" from members, they hold the same views. They just keep them hidden.

I (unfortunately) know of several former BNP members who now vote UKIP, and they want to join the party. UKIP know that their views appeal to the BNP crowd, because they are practically the same, but need to put distance between them to avoid alienating voters.

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Call from the register?

Dr. Mouse
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Call from the register?

I just had an odd phone call. The quality was very low, so I am unsure whether I correctly heard, and the call cut off before I could get any more details, but they seemed to be claiming to be calling from el'Reg.

I'm just wondering if this is something which would happen. Do you guys make cold calls? I don't even remember filling in my mobile number here.

It's not a problem, really, but I am wary. I have never received a phone call from el'Reg before, and it came from a private number (which I always find untrustworthy). So some confirmation and/or explanation would be helpful.

Thanks in advance

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Sony-blasting Lizard Squad suspects quizzed by UK and Finnish cops

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I always find it horrifying

So, let's stop pretending to be horrified by the justice system and look at prison rape as part of the deterrence

First, I'm not pretending. Second, it's not the justice system, it's the disgusting crime that occurs in prison. And third, if you sanction rape and murder as "part of the deterrent" you may as well be committing it yourself. Hell, while we are at it, let's torture prisoners too. After all, they deserve it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: assuming he's in it up to his scrawny neck, by now...

I always find it horrifying that people laugh and joke about being raped in prison, seemingly with the attitude that they deserve it. While I get the gallows humour, I don't see how it's really any different to laughing about rapes in general, or excusing them. It's a problem, and a crime, and something which we should be working to put a stop to (like murders in prison), not something to laugh about or threaten people with. Granted, it's a difficult task. Prisons are filled with the scum of the earth, who think they can do whatever they want.

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1,000mph ROCKET CAR project dogged by beancounters

Dr. Mouse
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Bloodhound originally used a Cosworth Formula 1 engine as a fuel pump but with the new sponsorship from Jaguar Land Rover, a 550hp Jaguar engine has been pressed into service.

I may be wrong, but I had heard the reason they are not using a Cosworth F1 engine is because there are no Cosworth F1 engines anymore. They are no longer being produced, due to the change in engine regulations.

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El Reg tests portable breathalyzers: Getting drunk so you don't have to

Dr. Mouse
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Re: UK

Lol, no I'm not really a doctor. I'd love to get a PhD someday to make it true, but I'm just a lowly BEng.

What I put is just my own opinion, and the guidelines I follow. In my younger days, I took the guidelines on face value and had a pint after work, driving home immediately. I am slim build and, looking back, I was unfit to drive. I would also go on heavy nights out, stopping at a friends house and driving home the next day. On several occasions I was unfit to drive then, too, although I never thought so at the time.

Now I stick to soft drinks when I have to drive, and am careful about how much I drink if I have to drive the next day. I'm just glad that I did no harm back when I wasn't so careful.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Drink and drive, a simple rule:

I think you should be done for a minimum of involuntary manslaughter if you hit someone - you made that choice when you got into the car.

I would agree with this, in fact I would go a step further. I think it should be looked at in the same way as "felony murder" in the US: You made the decision to drive drunk, which is a crime. All consequences of that crime should be considered intentional. So if you kill someone, it should be murder. If you crash into another car, it should be treated the same as if you had set out and planned to ram your car into theirs.

It could be taken a stage further than that, even, although I think this one probably goes too far. The fact you have driven drunk means you are accepting the possibility of killing someone, so it could be seen as attempted murder even if you are just pulled over by the cops.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: UK

I've always been advised roughly 1 hour per unit consumed after you finish drinking. However, I did come across an (I think) Excel spreadsheet which calculated it all for you, given details about your drinks, timing, and your weight etc. It was very interesting, but I've not been able to find it again.

I would not trust it, though. I would not normally drink heavily if I know I have to drive the next day, and have used a taxi to get to work before now when "a couple" turns into "stumble in at 2am with a kebab".

Assuming you set off for work at 7am and finish drinking around midnight, I would stick to 2-3 pints at most. On 8 pints, finishing at 2am, you shouldn't expect to be fit to drive till the next evening. You may be fine sooner, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: cheap fun BAC readers too inaccurate

Cheaper might be time release alcohol-filled nanoparticles.

I think the point would be that you actually get drunk at the pub, then activate the nanobots when you need to drive. They sober you up, you drive home, then can release the alcohol and get instantly drunk again.

To be honest, I think taxis are a better idea. Drink what you want, and someone else drives you home. One very good idea, though, would be something you could ingest before you go to bed, which aids in clearing the alcohol from your system somehow. This could be by speeding up the bodies own systems to break it down, or some other method. I have no idea how (or if) this could be done...

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Dr. Mouse
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make sure you have an unopened bottle of something in the trunk

I saw this one on CSI. Sara's dad, I think, was involved in an accident while over the limit, and she told him to find the nearest bar and down some shots. He would be able to say he drank because he was so shaken up, and the cops would not be able to prove he was drunk while driving.

Of course, I certainly do not advocate this. Just don't drink and drive. I, personally, don't have any if I am driving, and drink conservatively if I have to drive the next morning. I would also have no problem reporting someone to the police if I was reasonably sure they had drunk too much and got in a car, even friends or family if I failed to convince them not to (including threatening to report them). Luckily I have very few friends or family who would be stupid enough, and have never had to do this.

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

Dr. Mouse
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As far as I am aware, if the seller does not charge VAT, it should be charged on import with any appropriate duty.

I have been stung by this. I was unaware, and bought 2 CPUs from a US seller. I had to pay import duty, VAT, and an admin fee to the courier (which outstripped the taxes). All in, I ended up paying more than just buying from a UK retailer.

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Money hungry bastards

I guess it depends on your needs. Personally, on a holiday I am not bothered about having internet access. If I had arrived and there was no net, I would have texted my boss and told him I was uncontactable (unless he allowed me to expense phone calls and texts).

When it comes to business trips, I do need internet. However, then I have no problem with paying for it, as it gets expensed to the company.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Money hungry bastards

I'm just back from Goa. The hotel we stayed at used to charge for Wifi. It wasn't too expensive, and was a great service.

They have recently changed this to free. The service quality has gone down the toilet. I struggled to load a web page or check email most of the time (unfortunately my boss needed me to check in in case of urgent problems). In addition to this, they allowed only one device at a time, whereas when you paid for it you could pay for several devices. When I needed the net, I had to ask my wife to log out.

So personally, I would rather choose a hotel with reasonably-priced, good quality wifi over one with free, crap wifi. It's the reasonably-priced bit that Marriot seem to be getting wrong.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Jammers ???

While I do think they are doing this for the money, I can see it from a network management point of view as well. We attended a (non-technical) trade show a couple of years ago, and every man and his dog had their own Wifi set up for their own stand. This made wifi unusable, both for the exhibitors and for the visitors.

The next year, the show operator said no individual wifi. They invested a lot in decent wireless comms, and told everyone they must use that. They would even set it up so it dropped directly into your own stand's network. Things went a lot more smoothly.

The difference here is that they offered it free, both to guests and to exhibitors. If these hotels did the same (or at least charged a reasonable amount) they wouldn't need to de-auth people.

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Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Dr. Mouse
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Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs, look for cyclists (and motorcyclists) when changing lanes (or generally when driving).

In general, all road users need to be aware of those around them, and obey road markings and rules of the road. There would be a lot less accidents if people did that. There are plenty of cyclists who break the rules, but there are more car drivers who do.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Dr. Mouse
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Re: This is gold

Exactly my thoughts. If it is so early in the day for deciding against it, it should not be going into Debian, the distro I go to for stability in my servers.

I don't care that I don't get the newest, flashiest software. I care that it works, every time, and I can say that Debian has always done so.

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

Dr. Mouse
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Re: That bastard gave me OCD

Whenever I'm bored, I start clicking random. Always cheers me up.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: "period table"

Or a table about the menstrual cycle?

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BOFH: Everyone deserves a little DOWNTIME

Dr. Mouse
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Re: The one advantage...

Yes, IIRC GPRS did allow calls through. It was before that, when it basically acted like a modem (can't even remember what it was called now) which would tie up the line when you were internetting.

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Dr. Mouse
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Thank you!

Thank you, dear Vultures, for restoring BOFH to his rightful place on a Friday. Just what I needed after this week...

To the story, great stuff again, Simon! Remote management through a convoluted chain of remote desktops, SSH connections and port forwarding into the LOMs, why does that sound so familiar? And figuring which server by trying them at random until the one your want disappears. All with people calling you (with me, normally to tell me there's a problem, which I already know, but nobody has botherred to pass the damn message on).

And Gina is still on the scene... Hope the enjoy the trip to Amsterdam :)

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Dr. Mouse
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Re: On the bright side

use the roads but pretend there are no rules and no etiquette.

To be fair, this phenomenon is not limited to cyclists. Car drivers often cut down the wrong lane and dangerously push in front of me, motorcyclists filter at high speeds on motorways, lorry drivers pull out to overtake but then realise they can't, but stay there anyway as they are now alongside, bus drivers consistently fail to travel faster than 20mph, holding everyone up. There are inconsiderate road users in every type of vehicle.

I do get very wound up by cyclists breaking red lights. Unfortunately, this is often "forced" by car drivers using the advance stop lines, so technically breaking the red lights themselves. More should be done to crack down on both of these.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: reducing energy consumption

>The big things we need for comfort

The crux of the problem lies within the above phrase.

He said the BIG things. So this is not about consumer products etc. This is about having heating, light, hot water, cookers etc. All things that a civilisation the size of ours needs.

As also pointed out in the article, just to make the renewable generation equipment, we need vast amounts of energy. So we need more energy to produce more energy generating equipment... You see the vicious circle?

I agree with the article: What we need is a large investment in modern nuclear fission power (as well as continued research into fusion), as well as some small reductions in red tape. We also need to continue developing renewables, but stop the hidden subsidies (if the govt want them subsidised, do it, don't make US subsidise through our bills).

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Google Contributor: Ad-block killer – or proof NO ONE will pay for news?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: huh?

For sites like El Reg where ad revenue is important I'd happily not block the ads if they were not so intrusive as to either obscure the article or distract my attention with flashing animations.

Here here!

I have recently re-enabled ABP on el Reg due to the invasiveness of the ads.

Instead of this Google initiative, I'd like to see sites do something like another of my regular reads: f1fanatic.co.uk. Here, they allow you to pay a small fee (£1/month) to remove all the ads. As I use it so often, and want to support the site, I pay this fee. I would do so for el Reg, if they had the option. Other sites I wouldn't bother with, but would allow (small, unintrusive) adverts. I will always block intrusive adverts.

One of the most annoying types of advert on here is the "change the colour and put stuff in the margins" advert. If I select text, I have always clicked in the margins to deselect. On el Reg, without ABP: BAM! You are on some other site, who are trying to sell you some **** that you don't want!

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

Dr. Mouse
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Sounds like I'm the only one here who hasn't had issues with these multi-function printers. Then again, we haven't had a new one here since I started. It took ages to get this one to print our certificates (on large, thick, plasticy pre-printed paper) without jamming. Now it's set up, we point-blank refuse the "upgrades" they keep offering.

I will come back to one point, and I will continue to make it until el Reg listen:

BOFH belongs on a FRIDAY!

Please move it back! As I've pointed out before, reading BOFH on a Monday morning makes it less amusing, and on a weekend even less. Friday lunchtime is the correct time for BOFH, please move it back!

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Glasgow boffins: We can now do it, Captain. We DO have the molecular storage power

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Wow

Prisoner of Mother

Would that not be a foetus?

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

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Not far off

I've actually had a lot of that from my father. He's a civil engineer, and has banged heads with many architects over his time. There have been several instances where the "design" (i.e. pretty picture) is either impossible to build with current technology, or so eye-wateringly expensive it may as well be. This never deterred the architect, and my father's "diplomatic skills" (or lack thereof) often ended up with him quitting, being fired, or being pushed sideways into another project. He would often later find out that the architect backed down, and the alternative design he had proposed was accepted when someone who didn't just p*** everyone off proposed it in a more diplomatic way.

BTW I know that this speaks volumes about my dad's likeability and employability. I don't like him much myself at times, and certainly wouldn't want to work with him!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Hey don't go mocking the 'creatives'

Thanks Khaptain, at least someone got it :)

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Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Re: Hey don't go mocking the 'creatives'

IT is just a tool.

You're just a tool!

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Dr. Mouse
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Not far off

I have spoken to many "software engineers" (male and female) who match the Barbie of this book more closely than anything else. They come up with an idea, draw some pretty pictures, then hand it to a team of programmers who do the real work. Then they claim all the credit.

These are just like the architects who draw pretty pictures, then hand them to a team of civil engineers to actually make it work. But the architect, obviously, gets the credit, not the people who turned a drawing not too dissimilar to those produced in crayon by a 5 year old into a real design.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Dr. Mouse
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I don't have the Samsung Note, but on my Tegra Note 7 it is in between the nice-to-have and indispensable. I would certainly miss it if it weren't there, and I wouldn't be playing Sudoku on it any more (Sudoku is just too slow if you aren't writing the numbers, I find).

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Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

Dr. Mouse
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Re: No option?

And there is no real customer 'choice' available: Either watch the BBC's excellent but 50%-of-races-as-highlight-shows-only OR pay for Sky channels that I wouldn't watch in order to then watch 6 hours of TV every three weeks.

Actually, there is a much cheaper choice with Sky.

You can watch the 9 BBC races live, then watch the others using Now TV. It's £10 for a day pass, so it would work out at £100/yr to watch all races live.

I'm not sure whether qualifying & practice are shown on BBC, so if you want to watch them too you may be better off with a Sky subscription.

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Dr. Mouse
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"Competition" does not help the consumer in this case. It hinders them.

Real competition would be to force the Premiership to sell all the rights to at least 2 broadcasters, then let consumers decide which to watch it on. Exclusive deals mean that broadcaster has a monopoly on that game.

This is where it has gone wrong. Europe has tried to help, but actually made things worse. If both Sky and BT (for example) had the rights to all games, we could choose between the two based on our preferences. THAT would be competition, and it's the only real solution.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: No option?

It's if you want to watch a specific match, particularly in the premier league that things become restricted.

Just to clarify, I am not a football fan. The only sport I follow is F1, and even that has come close to being dropped. Luckily for us, we already had a basic Sky package, and could just pay a fiver a month extra for HD to get the channel. If it moves to the sports package, I'll be dropping it.

Back to the point in question: Most football fans are fans of a particular club. They want to watch the games that club plays. They will watch other games, but it is their club that they want to see.

I am no expert, not being a fan, but if they are a fan of a Premier league club, they will need Sky Sports at least. However, due to "competition", they will now need BT Sports to watch some. They will need BT Sports for some of the FA cup. This isn't competition, as if you want to watch the game, you have no choice but to pay for that one, specific channel.

In order to have competition for the consumer (what most people view as competition), you need to have the game available on at least 2 channels. Then you can choose which channel to watch it on (and pay for).

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Dr. Mouse
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To be honest, this is something I find odd about sports broadcasting in the UK.

The rights holders go on about competition. What they actually mean is that TV companies compete for the rights. However, the consumer has no option, if he wants to watch a particular tournament, than to subscribe to the one, exclusive channel.

This is then compounded by the fact that several tournaments are spread over several TV channels. If you are a football fan (luckily I am not) then, to see all games, you need to subscribe to several channels to see all the games your club plays in.

Real competition in this market will only come in if exclusive arrangements are dropped. Then the consumer would actually have a choice as to which channel(s) he subscribed to, rather than having to make a choice as to whether or not to see tournament X. You could make a choice based on price, quality of programming, or whatever you wanted.

As things stand, you have 2 (legal) choices: Pay for the channel, or don't watch. That's certainly not competition.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Dr. Mouse
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Interesting

The Z launcher certainly seems interesting. I'm sure after a few weeks of use it will be pretty good.

I won't be making the switch yet, though. If nothing else, I can't change the docked apps at the bottom*. I'll try it out at some point and give it some time.

* They say you have to go to your default home app and change them there. Not only is this cumbersome, but it didn't work for me. Until I can put my own stuff on there, I will not be giving it a proper go.

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