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* Posts by Loyal Commenter

1770 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Ice, ice maybe: Evidence of 'Grand Canyon' glacier FOUND ON MARS

Loyal Commenter
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Re: claimed they had found a deposit of a "new type" of jarosite

By definition, it must be the same as jarosite found on Earth, as a mineral is defined by both its chemical and physical structure. The archetypical example of this is calcium carbonate, which is a single chemical that exists as three different minerals (calcite, aragonite and vaterite), which differ in their crystal structure.

So either, it is the same as terrestrial jarosite, or if it is a 'new type' of jarosite, it isn't jarosite, it's some other sulphate mineral composed of potassium and iron. This raises the question of how it has been identified, as if it is chemically or physically different to jarosite, its infrared spectrum will also be different, and presumably unknown.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

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Proper clipboard support

Is long, long, long overdue on the command line. Admittedly, there is the conflict between Ctrl-C copying, or cancelling certain apps, but I'm sure it's not too heinous to allow it to pass the keypress to the running application first if need be.

I wonder if they'll fix the other hideous bug in Explorer (and it IS a bug in the eyes of anyone who is remotely security conscious), where file extensions are hidden by default, so some joker can write a malicious executable with the word document icon and fool people into running it, because they can't see it's called 'sales.exe' and not 'sales.doc'. Yes I know Windows pops up a warning when you try to run a random .exe file this way, but I also know that users habitually click through message boxes without reading them, and this 'feature' is incredibly annoying for a number of other reasons.

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Four caged in UK after cyber-heist swipes €7m in EU carbon credits

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Emitting pollutants isn't cost free, but the cost is not borne by the emitter*. By taxing emissions, the cost is borne by the emitter, not by society as a whole.

If you buy your electricity from a supplier who produces it from burning coal, then your prices will be higher.

On the other hand, if you were to buy them from a carbon-neutral producer, the taxes would not apply. This way, the cost to society (unless you deny that anthropogenic climate change exists, in which case you are a moron), is borne by those causing it.

If the price + tax of your electricity is more than price - subsidy of 'greener' electricity (wind, solar, wave, nuclear, etc.) then people will buy the cheaper electricity, and we won't all be so screwed, so soon.

The alternative is to have to pay billions from the public purse to mitigate the effects of climate change post-facto, which will be MUCH more expensive, for everybody. The odds are that this will happen anyway, because people are short-sighted, especially politicians who cannot see past the next election.

*This is known as an externality. For example, if you draw your drinking water from a river, and I dump raw sewerage into it upstream, I don't bear the costs of making that water safe to drink. It is, to my eyes, cost free, and any cost to me is an 'externality'. From your perspective, and that of everyone downstream, the cost is very much there, and probably many times greater than it would have been for me to dispose of my sewerage properly.

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Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

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Re: If I were to congratulate India for their technical achievement

Well at least one of those was because your comment was directly commenting on getting down voted rather than for cheering on India with this

I was remarking on my comment from yesterday, here, which consists entirely of a short statement congratulating India, but which somehow managed to collect a singular downvote. Normally being down-voted wouldn't bother me, but I am at a loss to understand why someone would down-vote this.

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Re: If I were to congratulate India for their technical achievement

Turns out the answer is yes. I seem to have made myself an enemy amongst the internet opinionistas...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Do you get what you pay for?

Go on then, you take some better pictures from a couple of hundred miles up, whilst travelling at tens of thousands of miles an hour*. It might also be worth pointing out that the Viking images were taken by the Viking Lander. It's just a teensy bit easier to take pictures of something when you're sat stationary on it.

* The orbital of the probe around Mars is elliptical varying from around 300 miles to 50,000 miles, according to *cough* the Mail Online (I feel dirty). I'm willing to bet that at that distance, and at the appropriate velocity required to maintain the orbit, any camera you might be able to buy at a reasonable price wouldn't take great pictures.

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Re: Congratulations India.

I would imagine that those employed by the Indian space agency, who if this project did not exist, would not be, and the Indian manufacturers, researchers and scientists that this benefits are actually quite pleased by it.

I'm also pretty sure that if this project didn't exist, none of the money spent on it would go to starving children anyway. Not that India doesn't have its problems, but I challenge you to point to a nation that doesn't have starving children in it. The Vatican doesn't count.

Please don't denigrate the achievements of a nation by naysaying, and waving and pointing at its shortcomings, unless you, personally, are going to do something about sorting out those shortcomings, as well as all of those of your own country.

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If I were to congratulate India for their technical achievement

would some moron downvote me for it again?

Either way, well done India, I'm still impressed.

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MOM: CHEAP Mars ship got it right first time. Nice one, India

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Re: Top Skills

I'm not entirely sure why someone felt the need to downvote me for that. Perhaps my congratulations were somehow offensive to someone who thinks that this isn't an impressive technical achievement by those in charge of the Indian space program, or perhaps the down-voter thinks that India doesn't deserve to have a space program. On the other hand, perhaps they believe that doing this sort of thing is a waste of resources and are too blinkered to see the benefits to be had to the people of India, from gaining the technical expertise involved in pulling this off. Or maybe they're just racist thugs, and don't like Indians?

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Top Skills

Well done India.

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'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV

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On the other hand,

Those who would buy this could just have the following played on a loop through their stupid giant hipster headphones:

"WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, DOUCHEBAG!"

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iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? No. It is the Most Exquisite THING. EVER

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Re: Look

Really, he's a better example of the British upper middle class. Thankfully, he has no authority, other than over eight students for half an hour at a time. He does, however, manage to act as if he is a figure of authority. Whilst this might be amusing when watching him make weasly politicians squirm on national television, I would imagine that being in a room with him for any amount of time would lead to a desire to chew through the walls in order to escape.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Mr Fry

So, what you are suggesting is that one would have to be suffering the acute effects of an actual psychiatric condition to consider the iPhone worth purchasing? Carry on...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: to be fair

Mr Fry's Graun piece is explicitly a profession of unconditional faith in the Jobsian heresy. It's just as embarassing as any other religious rant and self-invalidating as journalism. bollocks.

Why use 25 words, when one will do?...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: I'm Tony Paulazzo and I approve this message.

+1 for the use of "gorram" :)

Shiny.

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Loyal Commenter
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Very amusing

And it did remind me of one of my cow-orkers, out of whom the piss had to be liberally taken last week.

However, parody often works better if it attempts at least a modicum of subtlety...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Look

At least Bamber Gascoigne took the time to read the questions beforehand and research around them, so that he could make a judgement as to whether a slightly off answer could be deemed to be correct.

Paxo can't even properly pronounce the words in any vaguely science-based question, but still manages to maintain an air of snotty self-importance.

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Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure

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Re: Yup, back to normal soon methink. Although...

My six year old niece logged into my iPad after watching me key in the PIN.

The difference being in the detail, of course. Did your Niece brute-force the password, over the internet, in order to gain remote access to the data from your iPad? No, didn't think so.

The actual problem with all the cloudy stuff (and not just Apple's implementation) is twofold:

Firstly, the authentication is weak - it is password based, and doesn't seem to authenticate the device itself (otherwise, this was actual hacking, not just password guessing), so anyone can have a crack at getting in. In security parlance, the attack surface is very large - i.e. the entire internet.

Secondly, your data is held by a third party, who you have to implicitly trust. you have no say in how they secure your data, and no control over how they use it, other than the terms and conditions they give you. Which nobody reads anyway, because they are likely to be 200 pages of legal jargon.

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Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

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Electronics 101

"Charge congregates in the pointy bits."

Principally because free electrons are inclined to get as far away from each other as they possibly can, being negative little bastards.

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Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper

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Re: I'm STILL playing this!!

It *needs* a decent remake - not the recent piece of money-grabbing crap that EA came out with and should be dragged out into the street and shot for.

Show me an EA game that this sentiment doesn't apply to...

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Re: If you are after a modern day version.

Wow, that really does look like a direct rip-off!

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Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

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Re: Climate Change

Despite your rather transparent attempt to mock and thereby discredit climate science, I don't see or hear any actual scientists claiming that solar phenomena have anything to do with Earth's atmospheric chemistry, so please settle down.

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Loyal Commenter
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Dear Americans,

The Earth's surface includes more than just North America. Please be kind enough to include the rest of it in maps that show planet-wide phenomena.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

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Re: Meanwhile in other news..

War in Europe as Russia continues invasion of sovereign nation.

I supposed you could just about consider the Balkan states to be a part of Europe, geographically, but this conflict is hardly in what most people would commonly consider to be Europe, at least in a political sense

War in N. Africa continues: Jihadists butcher another journalist.

The last time I checked a map, Iraq and Syria were in the middle East, not North Africa. Not that there aren't any wars going on there, but I think you may be a little confused.

With map-reading skills like these, are you, by any chance, a US citizen?

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Loyal Commenter
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How many times?

If you want something to remain private, DON'T PUT IT ON THE INTERNET! That includes anything with 'cloud' in the name, and especially anything controlled by large companies such as Apple.

Not that I don't feel sorry for the slebs involved, but this reflects poorly on their powers of judgement.

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

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Pint

Re: Sharon T. Pokeworthy...

A fine ale, but not quite so good since they switched to using pelleted hops five or six years ago...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: This is actually true...

In a previous incarnation, I used to sign job sign-off forms as Mickey Mouse. Things for print-runs of between 50 and 150k...

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

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Re: ISIS

Concentration camps were (IIRC) first used by the Spaniards in their colonial wars in the Caribbean.

Concentration camps, in terms of rounding a group of people up and putting them in one place, have been used throughout recorded history by pretty much everyone. The term Concentration Camp was coined by the British Empire during its escapades in Africa during the late nineteenth / early twentieth century. The Spanish camps in Cuba prior to this were used under 'Reconcentrado' policy, which probably contributed to the coining of this term, but these were not referred to specifically as 'concentration camps'.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: ISIS

What has the Geneva convention got to do with anything. Are you one of these idiots who thinks we should no longer afford our citizens basic human rights 'because terrorists', and then brand every criminal in the country as a terrorist to suit our needs?

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Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

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Re: Complete this series...

Everything Microsoft makes these days is substandard crap.

I've actually grown to rather like Win7, and VS 2012 is nice once you turn off monochrome mode and change the registry to stop all the menus shouting at you.

Don't get me started on Orifice Office and its numerous iterations of confusing and contradictory UIs though...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Sorry but Apple is not a football team.

No, it's a cult.

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Loyal Commenter
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Complete this series...

Windows 3.1 good

Windows 95 bad

Windows 98 good

Windows ME bad

Windows XP good

Windows Vista bad

Windows 7 good

Windows 8 bad

Windows 9 ...

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Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

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Re: Robots hive mind for the win.

One mind = one target, so without any redundancy it's a terrible idea. Also without variation or autonomy, there's no adaptability.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Godzilla!

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Loyal Commenter
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Ninjas are in

But are limited to their role in Kabuki theatre...

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

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Re: Well my cousin will be happy

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that incidents of police brutality and corruption don't happen. The Menezes and Tomlinson cases are shocking and a sad reflection on the forces involved. It is worth noting that the officers involved in these were a) a special 'anti-terror' firearms unit, and b) riot police. both are far from the rank-and-file of the vast majority of police employees.

I won't argue for a second that what the police did in either of these cases was right, and that the cover-ups that followed were not a disgusting indictment of the Met. One would hope that the lessons learned have been applied and that this sort of thing is less likely to happen in future. I'm not naive enough to think that a problem does not exist.

However, extrapolating this behaviour to all members of the police, across the entire country, is grossly unfair to the vast number of honest, hard working officers.

The introduction of body-cams is a good thing in that it records both the conduct of the officer, and the public towards them. If an officer decides to get over-zealous with his truncheon and he is wearing a body-cam, he'll have a hard time denying it. Conversely, if he has to deal with a violent drunk who attacks him with a broken bottle, and later claims he was assaulted by the police, the evidence is there to show what actually happened. I would hope that the correct oversight is taken in storing and retaining such evidence, as it goes a long way to restoring public trust in policing, which on the whole, in this country is very fair and even-handed. I would also hope that it manages to root out the bad apples in the barrel, and when tragedies such as Menezes do happen, provides evidence as to who was ultimately responsible.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: He needs the attention, but still...

watching the Cliff Richard thing play out without an ability of the accused to defend themselves

I'm not sure how you think the CR thing is playing out, but as far as I am aware, his main complaint was that he was not forewarned that the police would be raiding his home. Forgive me for my naivete, but I was not under the impression that it was common practice for the police to forewarn suspects. Something to do with destroying evidence. The South Yorkshire police have also been very explicit in stating that the BBC contacted them, because they had been tipped off by a third party, rather than the other way round. It seems like the current attitude of the police is to NOT tip the press off in cases of investigations into celebrities, and everything the police have done in this case seems above board to me.

The identity of the third party that tipped the press off has not been revealed AFAIK, but it could be any one of a number of people, from an alleged victim, to their friends, or relatives, to someone bugging a police station - any guess is just that - pure speculation. We have been told that it was not the police, and we have no reason, other than suspicious minds, to question that.

CR has also been given the freedom to make public statements (which he has done). As a multi-millionaire, it's not as if he doesn't have the resources to defend himself. The cynical might suggest that the timing of the raid (when he is out of the country) is precisely because of the resources that CR may have at his disposal to make things turn out in his favour (rightly, or otherwise).

Lets let any evidence come to light, and the police investigation complete before we jump to any conclusions. Unless you are directly involved in the police investigation (are are the accused, or alleged victim), you are not in full possession of the pertinent facts to make any sort of judgement.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Well my cousin will be happy

It might be worth your pondering the fact that due to oversight, and regulations, the vast majority of the police (in this country at least) are almost guaranteed to be less corrupt than members of whatever profession you are engaged in.

Whilst police work might nominally attract a certain personality type that likes to beat up on hippies in bean fields, the vast majority of officers are over-worked, underpaid and far too busy buried under piles of paperwork to be kyboshing anyone with their batons, and if they did, they would have to explain the footage from their bodycam to their superiors, or face some very tricky questions about why it was turned off.

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@ Ross K

With all your self-focused commenting, I suggest that you are, in fact, Julian Assange, AICMFP!

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Tor-rorists get sneaky Aphex Twin album peek in dance guru hypegasm

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Re: In my day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9xMuPWAZW8

Fast-forward to the bit 5:30 in.

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You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference

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I'm not normally one to stand up for Sting

But if you had a story, told by a summoner, and added nine more, told by the same incantator, the sum of those would be ten summoner's tales. The error is not in the syntax but the parser...

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NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

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Coat

I'm disappointed by the limited number fo puns in this article.

But then, you can't always get what you want.

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

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Re: I'm more impressed

3. Pull out the battery (if it's not removable you're fucked) so that it "loses coverage" without performing a proper sign-off.

If the battery is not removable, place the phone inside a microwave oven (switched off), or other faraday cage, to force loss of connection to the network. If microwaves at 850W can't get out, the couple of watts your phone puts out won't either.

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Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

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Re: Can you turn it off?

Good for you. Personally, I avoid using email on a mobile device where the data connectivity may be poor or non-existent, where a quick and easy alternative (which doesn't use any of the data allowance) is available.

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I recall reading somewhere that SMS messages get sent as part of the network synchronisation messages that keep your phone connected to the nearest base station. As such, there is no additional cost to the network for sending and receiving them, only in carrying them across the network, and passing them on to other networks. The cost to the telco of carrying the messages, as opposed to not carrying them, using the infrastructure which is already there, is as close to zero as to not matter.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: The biggest challenge ...

If your boss is sending you text messages whilst you are on holiday (or, by extension, in the evenings, at weekends, at any time where you are not being paid to be at work), it is he that deserves the bollocking. I would be explaining to him in no uncertain terms that you are paid to work specific hours, and outside those hours, he should not be contacting you with work-related matters.

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

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Re: If you ask for soya 'milk'

I'm not trying to claim that there aren't any number of ingenious uses for soya beans, particularly in the Orient, from eating them boiled in their pods, to fermenting them to make sauces and miso, and processing to make tofu (evil though it is).

Soya 'milk', however, would not historically have been used in China as a whitener for coffee - it's not only anachronistic, but geographically unlikely.

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Unhappy

Re: Scarcely relevant musing

oddly I've never heard of anyone spreading "pah-tay" on toast.

Sadly, I have.

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

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Re: Jolly good work.

Would you be impressed if your boss told you to turn up tomorrow but he/she had no intention of paying you anyway?

I work as a programmer. I expect to be paid by my employer to turn up to work, but I certainly don't expect to be paid every time one of our users runs a piece of code I've written.

By all means, performers should be paid to perform, but people shouldn't have to pay the same price you would pay to go to a concert and see a performer live just to listen to a pre-recorded version of their performance.

Also, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that many people download things to watch/listen to them and decide if they like it, before actually buying it, so increasing sales. I know I have certainly bought things that I otherwise would not have, after downloading them first.

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UK.gov eyes up virtual currencies, fingers red tape dispenser

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Re: The problems with bitcoin, as seen by governments

With mining power concentrated in such a small number of actors all liable to the jurisdiction or pressure of the USA, that's a feasible prospect.

That's not entirely true. Slush's pool, for example, is hosted in the Czech Republic. I don't believe that they are closely linked with the US.

Admittedly, they are now down to being the 11th largest pool, but still...

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