* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2211 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Loyal Commenter
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It's a Veblen good

It doesn't have to be useful, just expensive.

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Loyal Commenter
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hey, lets down vote this guy just to be ironic.

I down-voted you for the sake of meta-irony. All the cool-kids will be doing it soon.

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British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

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Re: All their rights and entitlements would be exactly the same

Tony also made it illegal to sell grey squirrels.

More to the point, it is illegal to release grey squirrels into the wild. This means that if you accidentally capture a squirrel, for instance in a rodent trap intended to catch rats, you legally have to destroy it. You also have to do this in a humane way, or you get prosecuted for animal cruelty. This happened to one man who knew he couldn't release the squirrel, so despatched it in the most humane way he could think of by drowning it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10705958

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Loyal Commenter
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And access to a solicitor & legal advice? How would that be maintained on the street?

Do you get those if you've not been arrested?

There's a big distinction between questioning people and arresting them. Sure, you could have a lawyer present every time you interact with the police, but you might find that the only benefit is to your lawyer. As I understand it, if you are not arrested, you are under no obligation to tell the police anything anyway.

On the whole, I think BWCs are a very good thing.

They keep the police honest (they have been shown to reduce the number of complaints of heavy-handedness against the police), and they are also useful in gathering evidence, especially when a crime is in commission.

After all, video evidence of a crime being committed stands up much better in court than first-person testimony from a police officer, and isn't subject to the human flaws of imperfect recall. This can also be valuable in the sadly all-too-common domestic violence cases. Where an officer attends a report of a DV attack (for instance a man beating his partner), the video evidence can show the injuries a victim may have received, without later having to rely on a combination of doctor's reports and dragging the victim through court as a witness, a process criminologists refer to as 'revictimisation'.

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Labour scores review of Snoopers' Charter's bulk powers from UK.gov

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Re: Good news, I guess

"Though you have to wonder why Labour collectively abstained in the last vote regarding this bill in parliament. "

My understanding is that Labour are not opposed to the bill in principle - after all it is nominally about regulating the investigatory powers of the police and spooks. By voting against it in the first reading, they would have given the impression of being against law and order, which would have given 'Call me Dave' ammunition for his childish attacks on the Labour leader during PMQs, and also given the right-wing press (also known as the mainstream press) a field day.

What they did, quite rightly IMHO, is say that they cannot support the bill unless several problems with it are addressed. By doing so, they have allowed it to reach this stage, where an independent review can be made.

If this review makes recommendations, especially those concerning basic human rights such as the right to privacy, and suitable amendments are not forthcoming from Ms May et al, then fully expect them to vote against it in the next reading.

The thing to remember is that the Tories (currently*) have an absolute majority, so in order to bring the bill down, Labour will need to convince not only the other parties, but also a portion of the Tory party to vote against the bill. The best way to do this would be to go through the due process of having the bill examined, and fault found with it, thereby putting forward a strong argument for voting against it. If the govt. then get it through with a slim majority and the Lords vote it down (as they almost certainly will), then there is a stronger argument against using the Parliament Act to force it through.

All of this bypasses the point that some sort of legislation is required to properly regulate what the spooks and the Peelers are up to, rather than leaving them with the blanket 'emergency powers' they currently have.

*This may of course change, if certain serious allegations of electoral irregularities are found to be with substance.

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Being an IT trainer is like performing the bullet-catching trick

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Re: AND a better picture...

You are a Fortean Times reader, AICMFP.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Reminds me...

Sadly, can't do that with modern 'ergonomic' keyboards, as the keys are all different sizes and shapes. No more spelling the longest single word insult you can think of with no repeated letters on the top row of a coworker's keyboard...

I think the best one 'we' came up with was 'dickbreath'

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If you know what's good for you, your health data belongs in the cloud

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Two very different things:

1) Connected medical device such as a blood glucose monitor with a single, or small number, of secured users

2) All your medical data 'in the cloud', under the control of whoever the government of the day decides to contract it out to. No control over access - you're unlikely to even know who has access, let alone be able to control it. Security is a single-point-of-failure for everyone's data, so a large, juicy target for anyone who wants to harvest that data for nefarious means.

Number 1 is fine, number 2 most definitely is not. Trying to equate the two things is, at best, highly deceptive.

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Peer tables motion to kill vaping rules

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Here, fixed that for you:

"Ignoring the facts, I think that e-cigarettes are almost as bad as the real thing..."

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Loyal Commenter
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It's a bit late now...

...to start expecting evidence-led legislation from our government.

Only legislation based on dogma and pandering to private interests is allowed.

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

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Re: we're scientists, we know what we're talking about!

Interesting. Since you raise the issue of thalidomide, presumably, you are aware that the drug thalidomide is an enantiomeric compound that has only one active isomer. Presumably you also know that due to the cost involved, the other isomer (thought to be inactive simply because it hadn't been tested) wasn't removed from the mixture when sold. You would also know that it was this 'inactive' isomer that turned out to be teratogenic (i.e. caused birth defects). You would also know that this was all at a time where new drugs were not routinely tested for their effect on unborn foetuses.

Now, do you think that these decision were made by scientists, or by a businesspeople and politicians?

So, I 'see' your smug, and raise you a 'do your research'.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Seed ownership

These aren't problems with GM, though, they are problems with multinational organisations. Monsanto could, in fact, have exactly the same practices with non-GM varieties which they have bred.

The issue has been deliberately conflated with GM to influence hearts and minds, but the issues are not actually linked in any way.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Gene escape

fish genes don't "naturally" get into plant genes

Are you sure of that?

Horizontal Gene Transfer in Eukaryotes

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Gene escape

Selective breeding is not the same as introducing genes from entirely different species.

No, but horizontal gene transfer, as practised by nature is. In fact, this is exactly the (naturally occurring) method which is used in a targeted way to insert a new gene into an organism.

Nature does this all the time in the form of retroviruses, and horizontal gene transfer is believed to be more prevalent than inherited gene transfer in some bacterial species. This isn't often beneficial; the transferred genetic material may sometimes lend the organism an advantage, but usually it has no effect, in which case it will eventually be lost again, or it has a negative effect, in which case the organism doesn't reproduce and pass it on. What we're talking about here is essentially how bacteria and other micro-organisms evolve. I'm assuming that you aren't one of those people who thinks evolution isn't a thing...

There's no substitute for actually knowing what you're talking about.

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Re: When electricity was first introduced....

[citation required]

i.e., please point me in the direction of a single credible scientist who agrees with your opinion.

Nope? Crackpot it is then, sorry.

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Politician claims porn tabs a malware experiment, then finds God

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Re: Man Up

The problem with being an honest politician is that you immediately have a disadvantage against the dishonest ones, who are free to use dishonesty as an effective tool against you.

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Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

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Re: Age Verification

Age verification question:

Enter your (stolen / parent's) credit card number here:

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Re: In the light of recent revelations...

The problem with Ol' Charlie is that he believes (strongly) in nonsense like homeopathy and talking to plants (although Mythbusters showed that there may be an effect here*, it also showed that playing them death metal is far more effective).

*Not a statistically significant one give the sample size of six plants per group

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Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

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Re: Lets MASH UP!

Unless you're in the top quartile of reader age, The Flumps were probably before your time.

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Loyal Commenter
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There was no Nicholas Cage remake

...and no sequel(s) to The Matrix.

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Loyal Commenter
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"Radiohead should have sought our consent [...] It is not something we would have authorised."

What would be the point in their seeking your consent then, unless you have the legal right to stop them? Are they actually breaching the copyright (if it hasn't expired), or you just trying to dine out on the work of your grandparents?

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Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

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How about a finger a call, and then when they run out of fingers, move onto other body parts that resemble fingers.

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Exercise apps track you after you stop exercising

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Re: Why does the phone permit this?

Maybe the solution is for Android to have a way of monitoring what permissions an app is using, and when through an easy-to-use dashboard (maybe on the lock screen in some way). Then when your exercise app that you turned off half an hour ago is still accessing your GPS, you can start to ask why.

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Loyal Commenter
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"Do you even lift bruh?"

It depends entirely on what you mean by 'fitness'. Cardio workouts are (surprise surprise) better for cardiac fitness, whilst lifting heavy things is good for building muscle bulk. If you want to run marathons, muscle bulk is not actually something you want, if you want to enter "World's Strongest Man", that muscle bulk is required. If you don't want to have a stent fitted, cardio fitness is probably a good idea, as is a healthy diet.

So, in summary, don't be a lifting bore.

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A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

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Kessler Syndrome

I often thought that the idea of the Kessler Syndrome has a large flaw in it. When two objects travelling at orbital velocity collide, surely the transfer of momentum into the fragments would mean that they would not be travelling at the same speed? The bits that are slowed down would fall back into the atmosphere and burn up, and any that end up travelling faster would escape orbit. Add to that that most of the fragments would probably end up in elliptical orbits and therefore dip into the atmosphere and de-orbit, wouldn't the problem solve itself in fairly short order?

Can anyone enlighten me as to whether I am right or wrong here? Are there documented cases of orbital collisions and studies into the fate of the debris?

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Loyal Commenter
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A box of glitter would probably be more effective. No need for anything as big as nails.

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We're calling it: World hits peak Namey McNameface

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Non-police orgs merrily accessed PNC without authority, says HMIC

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Re: List

Environment agency - investigation of environmental crimes, such as pollution of rivers, etc. - I can understand

FCA - investigation of financial institutions (these would obviously never be crooked in any way) - ditto

The others; not so much

In any event, there should be up-to-date agreements and access controls in place.

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Loyal Commenter
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Three body problem

..actually it sounds like there is s third body at fault; Her Majesty's Government doesn't seem to have made it clear who has ownership of (and therefore responsibility for) the PNC. Is it any wonder that it isn't being administered well when we get politically-led reorganisations like that of the ACPO without a clear plan that accounts for the assets?

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It should be a crime to install spyware on phones, thunders Plaid Cymru MP

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So...

The current heap of confusing and possibly contradictory laws is hard for police forces to implement. Instead of doing something useful like issuing guidelines on implementation, lets add several more poorly thought-out laws to the top of the heap and hope the whole thing doesn't come crashing down.

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

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Re: Why July

If you don't want cloud, don't use it.

-How can you be sure it is turned off, and an unspecified flaw in it doesn't represent a potential security risk which wouldn't otherwise exist?

If you don't want the App Store*, don't run it.

- Same as above

If you don't want metro, don't install metro apps.

That doesn't actually get rid of the 'metro-ey' features does it?

Start thinking for yourself and you might find Windows 10 OK.

Start using it, and you might not. You probably won't even notice that fact that it's broadcasting all your key-strokes over the internet or reporting back to Redmond with your usage patterns et al but you might do when some enterprising hacker manages to position him/her-self between your PC and the MS servers and slurp up all of your lovely data. You can't say this won't happen, and history suggests that the flaws to make it happen do exist.

MS aren't selling it, they're giving it away for free until the end of July.

'giving it away' in a very aggressive manner, akin to a representative from your local supermarket turning up in your kitchen and trying to get you to buy a 'better' brand of milk at 'no extra charge' every time you open the fridge.

PS. they are listening - that's what the spyware is for ;-)

I prefer my fundamental human right to privacy, thank you very much.

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Suck on this: White hats replace Locky malware payload with dummy

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Re: Shame that they didn't...

One would hope that they put some logging in place on the C&C server to audit who connects, and when to trace those responsible for setting it up.

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EU set to bin €500 note

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Re: The largest note is always 'too big', the 2nd largest is OK.

I learned quite quickly when visiting Ireland, to take out €30 at a time. Find a quiet cash-point though if you want multiples, or risk the ire of any natives waiting behind you.

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Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

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Re: @ A number of you here

What I see here, is someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) who is the sort of person who likes to take offence on behalf of others. I've not read anything here that really warrants the sort of name calling that this AC is doing.

Nobody appears to be saying that people who don't look where they are going should actually be killed.

Most of us can tell the difference between a joke and seriousness, and even if we don't find the joke funny, or find it to be in poor taste, don't find the need to throw our toys out of the pram.

Nevertheless, personal responsibility is actually a thing. When someone walks in front of a tram because they don't pay attention to what they are doing it is their fault; nobody else's. They may end up dead, the tram driver will end up traumatised. This sort of safety measure (LEDs on a pavement) may make a difference, but it is a sticking plaster over the actual cause, which is a society in which the concept of personal responsibility is undervalued.

As I previously said, we used to have the Green Cross Code. We had 'Stop', 'Look', 'Listen'. We had the Tufty Club. What we are lacking is the modern equivalent. The problem isn't new - in the '80s we had people wearing Walkmans strolling into traffic, but seems to be getting worse.

Perhaps because we don't teach our children how to properly assess risk, so that they think that they are perfectly safe when bombing it along on the pavement on a bicycle, wearing headphones whilst texting, but are petrified with inaction when some criminal blows themselves up on a bus or in an airport. Most people don't understand that they are far more likely to die in a traffic accident than due to an act of terrorism, yet our governments have policies of spending the money where there is the biggest perceived impact. We fritter it away on security theatre in our airports that achieves little but costs millions, whilst omitting to run those public information campaigns that cost little, but actually educate people and save lives.

Anyway, I've wandered a little off topic - rather than being all high and mighty in a very self-important fashion, maybe you (AC) should accept that others are entitled to their sense of humour, even if you don't find it funny, and even if it is in poor taste. After all, most humour is in some way in poor taste.

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Loyal Commenter
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We already had a solution to this in the '70s / '80s

It was called the green cross code, and involved educating people about looking where they are going when crossing a road.

Tackle the cause, not the symptoms.

And bring back David Prowse, although he's a little less impressive these days...

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The case for ethical ad-blocking

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Re: The case for ethical ad blocking

Only one of those things exists. "Ethical ad" is, to many people, an oxymoron.

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Typical of the advertising industry

Immediately brand anything that threatens your business model as unethical. Without any sense of irony.

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Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

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This FF22 guy/gal

Worst. Astroturfer. Ever.

Imbibed a pinch too much of the ol' nose candy, perchance?

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'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

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Has it been tested in a vacuum?

Because the first observation I'll make is that it will heat up if microwaves are being bounced around inside it, and if operated in an atmosphere, the larger end will heat more air than the smaller end. Boyle's law can take over from there, producing a small thrust.

In other words, the reaction mass would be the air it heats up; this effect wouldn't work in a vacuum any more than a rowboat would.

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NASA injects cash into solar electric motor

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Re: Xenon?

Xenon is chosen because it is inert (neutral nitrogen is also inert, but tends to become somewhat more chemically active when ionised), is elemental rather than molecular (e.g. Xe rather than N2), so physicists can treat it more like an 'ideal' gas, it has a high atomic mass (131) as opposed to the molecular mass of neutral nitrogen (28), which is important because thrust is proportional to mass, and has a lower ionisation potential than molecular nitrogen (12.13 eV vs 15.58 eV), which determines the amount of energy required to ionise it in the first place before accelerating it as reaction mass.

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Re: am I the only one?

Nah, that's just a small tesla coil inside a ball of inert gases. Pretty though...

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

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Re: A question of belief

And back to my point: how many wars were fought between countries with different religions, with religion as the stated reason?

How about the Crusades? That's nine, for starters.

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The judge also forgets his John Stuart Mills when he dismisses parody as a possible source for truth.

Yes, but would you pay much heed to a man who, of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy, was particularly ill?

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Re: A question of belief

The real bloody wars were about lucre/power. Religion was simply an excuse and I'm unsure whether the 'faithful' of the time believed it.

I've visited the Vatican, and there's plenty of lucre and power on display there. If the religions are seeking that lucre and power (and many organised religions appear to be seeking exactly that), and that lucre and power was gained through wars, then it appears to be a matter of semantics whether wars were fought for the former or latter.

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Re: Supurb

(yes, that's scientology with a small 's', because it is not a real religion - or word for that matter according to the spell checker).

But it is a proper noun, even if it's not a proper religion, so the capital 'S' is valid.

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Re: Pastafarianism is under attack!

Hail Eris on this Prickle-Prickle, the 31st day of Discord in the YOLD 3182.

Ah yes, it made me remember that I'm a Pope of Discordianism and that made me smile. You can be a Pope too - there you go, all ordained.

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HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

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In most aspects, it is superior; the screen is much better, in terms of pixels and resolution. The camera is not quite as good. The battery is almost twice the capacity. Have a look for yourself:

http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=7242&idPhone2=7884

edit - and £50 cheaper.

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Re: Yet another landfill flagship

Did they even put in a micro SD card slot?

It took me literally seconds to google that, and yes, just like HTC's other recent phones, it does. Up to 200Gb supported.

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

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Re: As my radiation safety officer used to say,

Arsenic may be there forever, but plutonium (including the 'stable' isotopes) is as toxic as nerve gas, so I know which if the two I'd rather ingest.

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