1208 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
DARPA for inventing the internet
Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the web
Alan Turing for inventing the Turing machine (and David Hilbert for encouraging him)
Eadward Muybridge for inventing the zoopraxiscope (and for making up a stupid name for himself)
Charles Babbage for inventing the computer
probably by a coffee machine that was left on to boil dry and catch fire
I would have hoped that the cooking equipment on an airliner has overheat cut-out switches. My kettle at home has, and it's not even a Dreamkettle.
Not likely! The cabin will be full of stupid pink rabbits banging cymbals.
Weight on Wheels
I'm intrigued by this. From the sound of it the ground/flight switch that preceded WoW switched between the aircraft's internal generators and a ground-based power supply. If the WoW switch does the same, does this mean that the power all goes off as soon as the wheels touch the runway? And does it mean that they need either a very long extension cable or a very fast generator truck to provide power until the weight is off the wheels?
Flippancy, obviously. But it does suggest that WoW is something more complicated than a simple substitute.
Re: You can't bake a proper pie in a microwave.
Once again, James, you show your inability to recognise a joke.
Re: Hellish is a point of view
Speaking as an alien, the temperature is quite comfortable, but the sideways glass rain is a bit of a bummer.
Re: Petition calling for a public inquiry on GCHQ's Tempora
By submitting information you are agreeing to 38 Degrees keeping you informed about campaigns
You'd get a lot more signatures without this. I was about to sign until I read it.
Re: Secret laws
it worked well for Venice. its Star Chamber was so effective. Not.
Maybe Venice's Star Chamber would have been more effective if it was in Venice, rather than Westminster.
The court was so called because it met in a room in the old royal Palace of Westminster that had stars painted on the ceiling*. Far from being ineffective, the objection to the Court of Star Chamber was that it was arbitrary, secret and ruthlessly effective. It was abolished in 1640, after a run of about 200 years.
*The palace is long gone, but the ceiling, oddly, survives in a house in Cheshire.
Re: Well yes
A nightmare for builders too, I suspect. When I was about 10 years old, it became known that bones were turning up on a local building site. A group of us went down there and picked a few choice items out of a trench, including a human vertebra that I subsequently took to school to show to the history teacher. The street sign said something like "Orchard Close (formerly Pesthouse Lane)", so this too was probably the remains of a plague hospital. You can see why they changed the street name.
This was back in the fifties when:
- a trench containing human remains was not cordoned off by the Police
- no archeologists were involved
- it didn't seem risky for kids to poke around in a plague burial
- a primary school teacher wasn't much fazed when a kid turned up with human remains
The problem with a gadget as a gift for a techie is that it's likely to be inferior to, and possibly more expensive than, the model that you'd have bought yourself after exhaustive research.
So-called "kitchenalia" seems to be acceptable to both sexes (except unredeemed men who can't cook and old-school feminists who won't). My ex-wife recently gave me a food mixer and a pasta maker, both very welcome. I'm thinking of buying her some decent kitchen knives, as the ones in her kitchen are blunt rubbish, but for some reason I'm queasy about the idea of a knife as a gift.
@Anarko_bizounours we did not lost so many conflit, only most of those after Napoleon 1er
The ones that always seem to matter to (us) English are Crecy, Agincourt, Blenheim - all well before Napoleon 1er.
I have to agree that it applies equally to the English, Germans and Spanish. But the Italians?
some sort of review of IP addresses
Because everybody knows that evil fraudsters always use the same IP addresses.
The agency hired an outside security contractor, at an eventual cost of $823,000
Why don't I get contracts like this?
Re: Texas ADULT
Anyone age 17 or older is dealt with as an adult by Texas criminal courts.
Unless, of course, they're buying alcohol, in which case they're minors until the age of 21.
Re: Keeping the beaurocracy alive...
I assume "beaurocracy" is the rule of swankily-dressed men from the Regency era.
Or could it possibly have something to do with bureaucrats?
Re: This is just getting ....
Rule 1 of big IT should be never assume the system is correct over a human
The problem is that if you're a very stupid person, then even the most unreliable computer system seems infallible to you.
Also, fobbing people off is the way of life in the public sector. My wife has been trying to sort out a NI problem for the past two years. She never gets to speak to the same person twice, and every person she speaks to comes up with a different excuse - all of them invalid. Bureaucrats know they can keep this up until you die.
Re: Special glasses
They tried "3D" in the same old way, and it failed in the same old way.
Exactly. Whenever the entertainment industry is feeling a draught, they try to fix their problems with a technical solution. "3D" films were introduced in the mid 20th century to try to reclaim audiences that had defected to TV. It failed. The succeeding decades saw numerous technical gimmicks: Cinemascope, 70-mm, Todd-AO, Cinerama, and finally "3D" again. Nobody really cared much about any of them.
It's notable that many of the films that usually top polls are black-and-white and Academy aspect ratio. That's not to say that this combination would pull in audiences for new films, but it does demonstrate that content is what matters.
(+1 for quoting the Duke of Wellington.)
I expected "ultrasonic bollock blasters" to be something the moths used to zap the bats bollocks. I pictured the bats flying away with their legs (if any) crossed.
Re: Ideal profit margin
"If we still had the GPO they would just do it because they were being paid to do it"
I can only assume that you weren't of phone-service-buying age in the halcyon days of Post Office Telephones. It used to take months to get a connection. There was little or no choice of phone or modem because anything connected to the network had to be certified in a locked office in a cellar with "Beware of the leopard" on the door.
"There are even some setups for Vim, Eclipse..."
What do you mean "even"? With the greatest respect to developers who use Django for Python and Rails for Ruby, I should think they're outnumbered 1000 to 1 by users of Eclipse. And what's a setup for Vim? As far as I know vi or Vim is present on pretty much every Linux and Unix system by default.
"the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"
Horrible, indeed. They should use the correct French noun, which is, if I remember correctly, "le paquebot" - no English elements in that, are there?
@John Smith 19 "It won't make the next OECD"
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development? Do you perhaps mean the OED?
Re: I quite like the train noises
Plus, on longer journeys,
"This is your Under-Assistant Senior Train Conductor speaking. We will shortly be arriving in X. If you are leaving the train, please make sure that you take all your bags and personal belongings with you when you leave the train. We thank you for travelling with Y today and wish you a safe onward journey. ... The buffet in coach F is now open, selling a range of hot and cold beverages, sandwiches and snacks. ... First class is in coaches A and B at the front of the train. Coach E is a quiet coach [not that you'd notice]. Gargle, bargle, blah, blah, blah."
I hesitate to dispute the account of somebody who's actually visited Bletchley Park, but the books I've read, both about BP and about cryptanalysis in general, suggest that Tunny was the code name for the traffic, rather than the name of a machine, and that Lorenz was a superencipherment.
Re: WTF is...
I too was about to ask "WTF is Etsy?".
Now that I know, I can't help wondering where this guy got his data from, given that "Etsy" occurred frequently enough to be significant. I work in an environment populated entirely by people who are geeks or nerds or both, and I see no evidence of a taste for handmade crafts.
Incidentally, I though a geek was a fairground performer who bites the heads off chickens, though I've never seen a satisfactory explanation of why anyone would pay to see this done.
The Boffins [sic] and egg heads possibly know how to spell "does", and that there is no apostrophe in the plural of "Psycho".
>many geeks are also nerds (and vice versa).
Why "(and vice versa)"?
If the set of geeks is smaller than the set of nerds, then the intersect set will not be a large proportion of the nerd set, so many geeks could be nerds without many nerds being geeks. For example: 80% of 100 geeks are nerds, but there are 1,000,000 nerds, so the 80 geek nerds are a drop in the nerdy ocean.
The phone book that came with our old rotary-dial phone in the fifties included instructions on how to dial 999 by touch, so that you could do it when darkness or smoke made it impossible to see the dial*. I think you located the metal stop with your right-hand third finger, then put your second finger in the hole to the left of it (the zero), then your first in the next left hole, and you're ready to dial. Whether you'd have the sang froid to do this when the house was burning down or you were hiding in the dark from a violent intruder is another matter.
* Obviously you had to commit the instructions to memory while you could still see, but we had to make our own entertainment in those days, so learning bits of the phone book was something you might do.
Re: Re: My mother
Proper phones are black, and made from super-heavy Bakelite (I'm sure I've seen old films where people are clubbed insensible, if not to death, with the handset). The cord isn't new-fangled plastic coil rubbish, it's respectable, plaited, silk-on-rubber-on-copper.
Re: Pulse dialling?
Clicking the handset rest* was a way to make free calls from pre-STD** call boxes.
IIRC, to make calls legally, you had to insert four pre-decimal pennies, things about the size and weight of a bronze coaster, dial the number, and when you were connected, press Button A to commit the transaction. There was a Button B for rollback. I suppose the phone wouldn't transmit dial pulses until you proved you had the money, but the line was enabled so you could simulate them by clicking the receiver rest.
It sounds like the Middle Ages, especially when you realise that the four pennies we saved were worth 1.7p in decimal money.
*known, confusingly as "phone tapping"
**Subscriber Trunk Dialling, not Sexually Transmitted Disease
Re: How well will it work?
I imagine that there's an important distinction between identifying people and finding people.
I seem to recollect a test in which a police facial recognition expert was matched against software. The task was to find target individuals in film of a crowded street, and I believe the software did as well as, or better than, the expert.
This sort of capability is obviously quite valuable for tasks like screening air travellers, and the software solution has the enormous advantage that it can be replicated in a way that isn't possible with human experts, and that it doesn't suffer from the fatigue and distraction that I imagine is a problem for them. Humans can then take on the task of eliminating false positives.
Not that I'm endorsing this - I think it sounds quite alarming - though I can imagine situations in which it would be valuable.
Great article, but the government icons are beyond irony. I thought the image was a spoof, until I followed the link and saw the real thing.
"a handy reminder of the different content formats" - I've stared at these icons for 10 minutes, and I can't imagine what content format any of them might represent. An arrowhead pointing up at two circular bands? Somebody tell me that's the recognised international symbol for "application/ecmascript" or something, before my brain explodes.
So it's kind of like Microsoft Exchange, and it's named after Microsoft Access?
Why does the river go in a circle?
The junction labelled "DM HUB" looks like it's based on the worst features of the Northern Line nexus around Euston and Camden Town.
I thought the ochre dotted line was the Zone 3 boundary, but it seems to have stations on it, including "Smart Kiosks". If the kiosks were that smart they'd be on a train line.
Re: Who makes the lift car?
While waiting for the lift in a building I was visiting, I read a notice that said it was maintained by The Economical Lift Maintenance Co.
I decided to take the stairs.
Re: Any rope is the problem
the lifts roll over at the top and bottom
This is what a Paternoster lift does. Going over the top is disappointingly un-thrilling, but then it has to be slow enough for people to get in while it's in motion.
Any doubts I had about the authoritarian, dictatorial, guilty-until-proven-innocent-but-probably-guilty-anyway attitude of the Police have been dispelled by this appalling MacPlod. He writes:
interaction with the Police due to an unlawful matter, such as being stopped at the roadside and issued a Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme ticket
So, one cracked tail-light is justification for 100 years on the PNC. MacPlod ends with a piece of advice he could do with taking himself:
Get some perspective.
Re: English Taxpayers
RBS and HBOS are registered on the LONDON Stock Exchange. You may have heard of London, it is in England.
And if they were Scottish they'd be registered on the Edinburgh Stock Exchange? I think the last business done there was to finance the Darien Scheme (another Scottish financial disaster - the financial fallout from this was the main reason for the Union).
Re: English Taxpayers
Other important things Scotland contributes to the UK economy:
HBOS (the last third of this one)
Fred Goodwin's pension
a computer-generated (and therefore extremely good-looking) face... chatting away with a person who would be way out of their league in reality
"Out of their league" in what sense? Cleverer? With a more extensive knowledge of opera, oriental cuisine, philosophy, quantum mechanics... (insert your own cultural preference here). A remarkable technological achievement if they can produce that.
Or is this a device for training people to chat up beautiful airheads?
Re: Has anyone thought about roughage?
I think the term "roughage" and the more recent "dietary fibre" sound more, er, rough and fibrous than they actually are. Soya beans and lentils are good sources of dietary fibre, assuming it hasn't been processed away in the manufacture of this stuff.
Re: Pink wafer biscuits = Soylent Pink
"tea break"? Are you working in the 1950s?
Worst jobs in the world: no 53
Thanks to the miracle of centrally-planned production, the Warsaw Pact armies also suffered from a shortage of bog roll. Apparently an important source of intelligence for the West were the "recycled" secret documents that could be found all over the countryside after a military, er, exercises.
"Your mission, 007, is to wander round fields in East Germany collecting up the used bog paper."
Re: Valuables in your parked car?
My car was broken into three times in a month to steal the audio head unit, when parked in the Maida Vale area of London. The police, of course, had more important things to do than investigate - two of them in a van were busy telling people not to cycle in Kensington Gardens.
Why do thieves steal car radios? It's been years since you could buy a car without one, so the only cars without are those from which it's just been stolen. Many stolen units are replaced on insurance, and there's also a vigourous aftermarket sector for replacement car audio. It follows from this that there are probably more audio units than cars. I don't know what price stolen units fetch, but I should think you have to steal an awful lot of them to maintain even a moderate drug habit.
Re: Why on a laptop
All sensible businesses keep sensitive data on secure servers. The more clued-up ones disable any workstation features that would allow data to be exported. The last place I worked had an instant-dismissal rule for taking data - including source code - off site. If you need to send something to another office, you have a WAN, or at least a VPN, to do it on. If you need to work on something at home you use remote access.
But the public sector seems to be stuck in the age of sneakernet. Massive files of sensitive data on laptops, CDs in the post, flash drives down the pub, and so on. Why?
Re: "The board is seeking submissions from Brits"
Look across the channel and the cheesy aroma will blow you off your feet. - yeah, but that's just French people.
Lovely though continental cheeses are, you wouldn't want to toast any of them In Switzerland there's a cheese called Raclette that seems to be made exclusively for toasting. A typical Raclette night on a skiing holiday: the first course is melted cheese, boiled potatoes and pickles. The second course is also melted cheese, boiled potatoes and pickles, and so are all subsequent courses. It's basically death by cheese.
"cheese on corning pastie" - Pyrex pasties are what real hard men eat.
Re: a top-of-the-range toasted sandwich maker
The correct term for a top-of-the-range toasted sandwich maker is "oxymoron".
Re: the correct way..
@I ain't Spartacus:
Warming may release flavours from brandy - though the balloon glasses designed to do this are very 1970s, and serious brandy drinkers don't use them. But the flavour added to cheese when it's browned is probably a result of a Maillard reaction. Just warming it through is insufficient to produce this reaction.
Two ways with Welsh Rarebit:
- mix grated cheese with flavourings such as mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper, spread it on toast and grill
- cook up grated cheese in a pan with beer (plus additional flavourings as above), pour it over the toast when melted, then grill it
For some reason the Welsh used to be famous for their preference for toasted cheese. There's a Medieval anecdote that alleges Welsh midwives use the smell of toasted cheese to tempt out reluctant Welsh babies.
- Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10
- Amazon warming up 'cheapo web video' cannon to SINK Netflix
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!
- Episode 13 BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
- Vulture at the Wheel Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK