* Posts by David Pollard

1082 posts • joined 29 May 2007

Page:

What time is it Oxford Dictionaries? How about almost ‘beer o’clock’

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: English is rubbish...

It will be interesting if amanfromMars sees those examples.

1
0

NHS site defaced with screed protesting Syrian conflict

David Pollard
Bronze badge

nhs.uk has been hacked for years

It's quite hard to stop all inappropriate posts on an easily accessible comments forum that is mostly un-moderated, and it would be unreasonably expensive to moderate all the public comment areas full-time. However the people in charge of the NHS site don't seem too bothered about relatively minor hacks in areas which should not allow unauthorised access.

A quick search for [site:nhs.uk paypal] alongside a few genuine links brings up a host of links for counterfeit goods such as Nike trainers, cialis and viagra. Although these seem to be being cleared fairly rapidly, mostly appearing only in Google's cache, this has been occurring for maybe a couple of years now.

0
0

Snowball spud gun shows comets could have seeded Earth with life

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Analysis ... found non-terrestrial life

The explosion over Sri Lanka which supposedly produced the evidence for this, the Polonnaruwa Meteorite, was detailed by Chandra Wickramasinghe and his chums. 'Nuff said.

1
0

Has anyone lost 37 dope plants, Bolton cops nonchalantly ask on Facebook

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Time to end the 'war on drugs'

Durham police seem to have been promoting an enlightened approach to the 'drugs problem' for a couple of years now. Maybe their Bolton colleagues are in agreement.

One of the difficulties with such an approach is in knowing where to draw the line. Perhaps three dozen plants is the suggested maximum for 'personals'. Or maybe it's a reminder not to be 'blatant' in smoking in public places.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/592920/Police-go-ahead-grow-own-cannabis-live-up-North

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/28/time-end-war-drugs-uk-police-chief

2
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

Does plod know?

It's important to weed out the male plants if you want to get a good crop.

See, e.g.

http://grow-marijuana.com/male-female

4
0

Chinese, Russian, tech giants join global open source efforts

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Sign on the NHS?

Recently I received an e-mail from my GP surgery containing two attachments; the first, RTF, to suggest visiting for a check-up and the second, PDF, a short questionnaire. The sizes of these short documents were 425k and 820k respectively. The first shrinks to 25k in Libre Office. Though disk space isn't all that critical and bandwidth is fairly cheap, it can't be good practice to be so profligate.

Maybe the British government could help here, perhaps by allocating a small percentage of the NHS IT budget to open source projects. Along with obvious benefit to the NHS there would also be spin-off from involvement with international developments.

One can but hope.

3
0

It's not just antivirus downloads that have export control screening

David Pollard
Bronze badge

It's just as well ...

... that trrrsts never use false names.

4
0

Samsung Electronics coughs up £55m for cancer-stricken workers

David Pollard
Bronze badge

How about the Royal Ordnance Factories?

Now that it's being recognised that industrial use of benzene, toluene, chlorinated solvents and chemical waste can cause cancer, perhaps it's time to take another look at possible causes of the leukaemia clusters that Greenpeace and FoE blame on the early nuclear reactors.

The notorious Seascale cluster, for example, was close to two ROFs which produced hundreds of tons of trinitrotoluene a week during the war. Might there have been spills, or carelessly dumped by-products which either leached or were disturbed when the factories were demolished in the '50s and '60s?

1
0

AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Flame

EMP-pad a successor to EM-Drive?

The EM-drive was featured in the Torygraph a week ago. Maybe Mr Edmonds thinks he can get a bit of lift from the wash as it zooms on by into the stratosphere.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11769030/Impossible-rocket-drive-works-and-could-get-to-Moon-in-four-hours.html

Mind you, the EM-drive was twice in receipt of DTI funding - £100,000 or so - just over a decade ago.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2006-12-05d.103254.h

It's reassuring to know, as Margaret Hodge informed us, that, "Highly qualified technical experts and academics carried out an assessment on behalf of the Department [of Trade and Industry]."

0
0

‘Secure’ criminal justice email system relies on obsolete protocols

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Pint

Any 77th Brigade Readers?

Does El Reg have any readers in the 77th Brigade? If so maybe they could point out that there's a rather serious security risk here, or have a quiet word in appropriate ears.

Pint for whoever it was who took the trouble to send in the tip-off.

0
0

How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Seawater Greenhouse

Obviously you can't build these everywhere, but it's pretty neat when you can.

http://seawatergreenhouse.com/

4
0

Amazon comes up with delivery-drone zones after watching Fifth Element all night

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Joke

The real problem ...

... is where to store the stuff after delivery until the purchaser comes home. I have come up with a concept specifically to deal with this aspect. My invention is called Safe Housing of Online Purchases, or SHOP as people will come to know it.

2
0

Flash zero-day monster Angler dominates exploit kit crime market

David Pollard
Bronze badge

If only you could buy shares?

You can, but you have to know the wrong people.

1
0

The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Pint

The Lawyer from Lima

Cheers again to David Villanueva Nuñez who championed open document formats for all government purposes a few years ago.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/19/ms_in_peruvian_opensource_nightmare/

3
0

Cyber-security's dirty little secret: It's not as bad as you think

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: calling all Mathematicians

"... explain how 10 out of 1000 is equal to 100 out of 10,000,000."

You need to compare blogs.

1
0

NASA boffins peer at Pluto: Could it be ... is that ... OATMEAL?

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1551/

2
0

Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Pint

Pugwash and the Russell-Einstein Manifesto

Cheers to the memory of Jo 'Prof' Rotblatt, who did as much as anyone to curb nuclear proliferation and, together with scientists across the world, to explain to politicians and military chiefs that mutually assured destruction would be the inevitable result of nuclear war.

3
0

ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Jetisoned

On the basis of past publications that's not so improbable. The red rain in Kerala that in 2006 Wickramasinghe claimed was spores from space was more than likely incompletely incinerated chemical waste from the Eloor industrial estate.

3
0

Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Somebody call Quatermass!

Sadly they don't make boffins like that any more.

0
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

"... experiments conducted since the '70s suggest that it is rather difficult to get life going on its own."

On the contrary, although the processes are subtle and probably quite complex it looks to me as though several promising avenues are opening which explain aspects of abiogenisis; including, for example, the work of Jack Szostack and his team.

http://www.hhmi.org/scientists/jack-w-szostak

The problem with panspermia is that it still doesn't explain how life started. I'm happy enough with the idea that the potential for life and consciousness is everywhere in the universe without needing to dream up all manner of stories that can't easily be disproved.

1
0

Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Meanwhile at the Alfred Wegener Institute

A report out today foresees "far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems" unless greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150703135248.htm

12
1

THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Megaphone

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1338/

2
3

Noshing moth menaces misled into male-on-male mating

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Was this a USAF black op?

For detail see the 2007 Ignoble Peace Prize awarded to the Wright Laboratory:

http://www.improb.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html#ig2007

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jun/13/usa.danglaister

A similar plan by the CIA was also detailed in the 'Nine Lives' issue of Fat Freddy's Cat, incredibly enough based on another apparently genuine secret weapons programme some twenty years or so previously. Copies are a little difficult to find.

https://www.lambiek.net/shop/series/fat_freddy_s_cat/i_led_nine_lives.html

0
0

Webmail password reset scam lays groundwork for serious aggro

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: So why

Because a local supermarket had free PAYG SIM cards and a half-price top-up voucher, so the relative anonymity plus security that this provides was not expensive. The 'phones too can be a little as £10, which isn't too bad for backup.

0
0

Hey Google, what’s trending? Oh, just the death of journalism

David Pollard
Bronze badge

...

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,

And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

0
0

US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Damage Limitation?

Articles published in the last couple of days suggest that the Russians and Chinese have decoded material leaked by Edward Snowden, and in consequence spies have had to be moved for fear they will be recognised. Is this part of a damage limitation exercise to shift the blame onto him for "significant" damage (see caption in link)?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11673533/British-spies-removed-from-operations-after-Russia-and-China-crack-codes-to-leaked-Snowden-files.html

2
0

'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Not all there

"Please explain..."

Maybe through the addition of some sort of aerosol dispenser.

0
0

Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

David Pollard
Bronze badge

It's interesting to note that when it comes to difficult issues such as this - 'politically sensitive' is perhaps the phrase that's used - the MPs who are prepared to try to tackle them come from both sides of the House. For me this suggests that there may be a glimmer of hope. At least some of our representatives seem to have a sense of decency and fair play.

1
0

Future Range Rovers will report pot-holes directly to councils

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Joke

Speaks volumes?

"That the Swedish system concentrates on icy patches and the British one on potholes speaks volumes ..."

Surely this isn't suggesting that in Sweden they fill the holes with water and let it freeze overnight?

7
0

Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

David Pollard
Bronze badge

@ Tachikoma

Your son is fortunate in that he has a dad who has fun with him, who takes the time and has the capacity to explain details and, perhaps most importantly, who can provide a background context in which computing can play a part.

5
0

Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Calibration? Public Servants?

"... I'm suprised our revenue hungry public servants haven't added another roadside tax to their schemes."

They have. A couple of years ago the Met took £30 on the spot when I was driving out of London. Parked up in the garage forecourt where I'd pulled in, two uniforms in a patrol car had watched me as I drove in and again as I set off. They couldn't have failed to notice that one tail light wasn't working. Nevertheless, only after I was back on the main road did they turn on the nee-nah and blue light to pull me over.

The MOT was current for another couple of weeks, but as well as the fine they gave me a ticket forbidding the use of my van other than to drive it directly to a pre-arranged MOT. It was night-time, the van was now stopped on a main road, and they wouldn't let me reverse fifty yards to the garage or drive forward to a parking spot. As it happens, there was a flatbed vehicle recovery truck also parked in the garage, though I'm sure this was entirely coincidental.

Thanks to a kind chap from the AA who had remarkable powers of persuasion at the local police station I was able to extricate myself from this without great expense, though I imagine many others are not so fortunate.

3
0

NHS blows £5 MILLION on delayed Care.data

David Pollard
Bronze badge

The 'yellow card'

The 'yellow card scheme has been running for a few decades now to collate details of untoward side-effects of medications. There are options to use paper or the internet to file reports, though the interface for the latter is pretty ghastly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Card_Scheme

0
0

Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

David Pollard
Bronze badge

... and for aeroplanes?

I seem to recall a similar sort of idea recently to extract electrical energy as the wings flex during flight and thus reduce fuel consumption.

0
0

EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Oh dear

It seems to me to be a mistake to think that the EU is going to "rein in various national governments..." What is actually happening when they appear to be blocking national excesses is that the EU hegemony is preventing state authorities from wielding their own powers when they think this may curry popular support.

As for other excesses by national governments, it is a mistake to think that the EU will "get them under control". For, ultimately, like most political bodies, the hegemony's primary aim is to increase its own powers.

The appropriate means of control lies in the hands of the citizenry. National governments are still democratically answerable to their populace. Limited though local democracy may be, there is still greater accountability than within the narrow structure of EU control.

1
5

Zuck can EFF off: Internet.org is SO NOT the INTERNET

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Pennies from poor people

I can't remember who coined the phrase, a decade or three ago, but it's rather apt: It's easier to make money taking pennies from poor people than pounds from the rich.

8
0

Welsh police force fined £160,000 after losing sensitive video interview

David Pollard
Bronze badge

It's not the first time

Also in 2011, South Wales Police lost crucial evidence which led to the collapse of a trial of "eight former South Wales Police officers and two civilians ... at Swansea Crown Court accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice." A QC-led public inquiry was finally ordered in February 2015.

http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Inquiry-collapse-South-Wales-Police-s-Lynette/story-25998139-detail/story.html

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-qc-led-inquiry-launched-collapse-8725791

3
0

US hospitals to treat medical device malware with AC power probes

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Joke

Pedantry is by convention somewhat to the right.

0
0

Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Yes, but

"Take all paths" - That's the problem. How can the photon's energy have more than one value?

Equally, how can the gravitational potential of a point in space be defined if it depends on which direction you choose to look?

0
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

Yes, but

Suppose there happened to be massive objects situated such that through gravitational lensing there were two (or more) paths available from wherever the photon started out in the distant past to a detector on Earth, one going through the less dense region the other(s) not. Depending on the path that the photon took, its energy would be different when it arrived.

0
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

I don't understand this at all

"The low mass helps explain the low observed temperature of the cold spot. Crossing the region, CMB photons lose energy ... Were the universe regular, those photons would recover energy from other mass exiting the region; the shortage of mass means the energy isn't recovered."

Imagine a photon traveling from afar and crossing a region of the universe where the density is different from the average. If this was a region where density is locally higher than average, the photon's energy would increase as it approaches and then decrease back towards its original energy as it moves back into the overall average density; as it 'climbs out' of the gravitational well. So why don't photons approaching a region of lower density lose energy as they approach and then gain it back again when they move away; as in going over a gravitational hillock?

0
0

Transparency thrust sees Met police buying up to 30,000 bodycams

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Online face recognition?

Will these cameras be coupled into the rather large database that has already been generated of the untermensch of usual suspects?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/17/legality_of_coppers_facial_recognition_database_called_into_question/

1
0

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

David Pollard
Bronze badge

What sort of traffic?

Presumably there is a big difference between the number of visitors and the number of page views. With traffic to the Reg, for example, many of the visitors who start from a search engine will simply read the one page, in contrast to regular readers who are likely to take in several pages when they visit.

7
0

Can't patch this: Mozilla pulls Firefox encryption feature after just a week

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: 100% False Positive rate

Perhaps what's needed is an opportunity to log the details and check with a database/forum that other people have also seen the warning and/or that the owner is correcting the problem. That would go some way towards making the warnings meaningful to everyday users.

2
0

Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Ah, this explains the....

You've been watching Stephen Fry again.

1
0

Tech leaders: Is your biggest threat North Korea or your own board?

David Pollard
Bronze badge

This sort of thing never would have happened when the moderatrix was around.

1
0

It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Send for Chris Busby

He has anti-radiation pills that can save the children.

http://www.amfir.com/AmFirstInst/Symposia/Fukushima/Experts/Busby/Chris_Busby_index.html

0
0

UN inflicts 10,000 flat pack IKEA shelters on Iraq - WITHOUT TOOLS

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Buy One Send One Free

7
0

Euro THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT is in TROUBLE

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Meanwhile

If governments in Europe had not shied away from fission and hadn't spent quite so much on subsidies which don't actually keep the wheels of industry turning, then we'd be a good deal richer with more to invest in research.

5
0

Hey, Woz. You've got $150m. You're kicking back in Australia. What's on your mind? Killer AI

David Pollard
Bronze badge

It's not the rise of AI that will do us in.

It's the insidious effect of deliberate dumbing down.

3
0

Page:

Forums