* Posts by JC_

399 posts • joined 9 Mar 2011

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

JC_

Re: More than reported here?

I miss the good old days when personal culpability was the rage and if you acted the idiot and got hurt it was your fault.

When the 'hurt' is abstract then it's easy to be a bit heartless, but see it up close and it's hard to keep that attitude. An uncle of mine was squashed by a shipping container while working at a port; it was partially his fault and partially the port-operator's, but the death was entirely his.

One of my lecturers at uni showed the class a series of pictures of industrial accidents - the one that sticks was the girl with a pony-tail who was scalped when her hair was caught up in the engine of a go-kart - and the point was clear: health and safety laws are there for very, very good reasons.

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How to not get pwned on Windows: Don't run any virtual machines, open any web pages, Office docs, hyperlinks ...

JC_

Re: An easy (pragmatic) solution

"God Mode"? You mean, the Control Panel view that lists the various helpers and utilities?

Next you'll be getting all breathless telling us how you hacked into Google using tracert.

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Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

JC_

Re: Councils

"it is slow and you worry for the fuckers"

It's kind of you to worry about people on bicycles, AKA mums, dads, friends, colleagues, children and other assorted fuckers.

The fact is that traffic here in London moves no faster than horse-drawn carriages did a century ago; in fact, a running chicken out-paces drivers and bicycles certainly do as well.

You may feel that cyclists are holding you up, but they aren't, other drivers going nowhere fast in their cars are.

As Chris Boardman says, cycling is just a means to an end: space (and time) efficient, reliable, cheap and healthy urban transportation. It should be supported because it's the best way to achieve this goal. You may disagree, but if you do, what is your alternative plan?

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JC_

Re: Councils

Aberdeen City Council has cut £900k from the sport and elderly care budgets, but found a million to put in a cycle lane no-one will use.

No-one? The count of cyclists in Aberdeen was up 23% in 2014; decent cycling infrastructure results in more cycling, which means less pollution, fewer road deaths, and a healthier (and wealthier) population.

It's beyond ironic to bitch about cycling on an article about potholes when road damage caused by a vehicle is proportional to the the fourth-power of the vehicle axle weight.

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Toshiba rolls out PC-busting monster: 1 terabyte TLC flash SSD

JC_

One thing's also not noted: the PRICE ... in terms of mass market adoption, they're going to have to do something about the price first

Not really, since the value of HDDs only applies when users want and use huge drives. If they're satisifed with 256GB it's already cheaper to buy the SSD; the more that production shifts to SSDs, even the wee ones, the harder it is for HDDs to maintain economies of scale.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

JC_

Nearly all jet passenger panes these days look so similar and boring, thank heavens for the A380.

The A380 has all the elegance of a beluga whale. It's certainly nice to fly on and is probably the most practical design possible, but no charm at all.

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

The wallabies really are getting out of hand if they're ravaging sheep...

If Australian gun laws prohibit gun-owners from lending out firearms to unlicensed people, then it's hard to see a problem with that. If you want a gun, get a gun license.

Laws prohibiting shooting around dwellings are also quite sensible. Most people would prefer that there are no bullets flying anywhere near their house and family. Possums and rabbits are easy to trap and as for wallabies, they're native and cute, so let them be.

In any case you're setting up a straw man arguing about farmers when farmers would be completely unaffected by a prohibition on Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns.

Australia implemented gun control after Port Arthur and there hasn't been another massacre since; who would want to go back to the slaughter that the US experiences. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine High - none could have happened in Australia, thankfully, and hopefully one day they won't repeat in the US.

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JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

No, people I mean.

That's a really weak counter-point you've made. Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

Hunting and pest-control are legitimate uses for guns; neither requires a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun. All of those are for killing people.

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JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun

When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

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VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe

JC_

Re: Interesting justification.

NOx is only a problem when ... when idling ... during normal driving they wouldn't encounter the situation where the cheating was required

In what way is idling not part of normal driving? In the city, that's what cars are doing much of the time.

Imposing standardised tests is rather more useful than non-standardised tests; at least with standards, VW knows what cheating is 'required'. Other manufacturers might attempt to actually meet standards because people's health is important.

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JC_

Re: Interesting justification.

If true by some law of physics then all manufacturers will be equally affected.

This is the only flaw in your otherwise spot-on post; some manufacturers tried different ways of meeting the regulations, especially by selling petrol-engined cars and/or hybrid transmissions.

This is perhaps the fundamental problem: European manufacturers have committed hugely to a technology - diesels - that just can't meet the necessary standards. Saying 'tough luck' to pedestrians getting asthma and heart-disease isn't acceptable when there are superior alternative technologies in use right now.

They're right up shit creek with regulations now in the public eye, thanks to this scandal, they'll have an awful lot of trouble getting out.

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JC_

Re: 85'000 vehicles in toto?

Maybe, but the more improtant (political) point is that its 85,000 cars that aren't from good ole USofA manufacturers

About half of US auto sales are from imports and VW even have a factory in Tennessee, so nationalism doesn't seem a likely cause. The simplest explanation is that VW tried to sell an unsuitable product - diesel-engined small vehicles - and cheated so egregiously they had to be prosecuted.

On the other hand, German civil servants have done there damnedest to fudge EU standards so that their national champions can keep selling smoke-boxes, "calling for the tests to be conducted on sloping downhill tracks, and for allowing manufacturers to declare a final CO2 value 4% lower than the one measured"

Regarding the air-quality vs. CO2 trade-off; thinking locally it's understandable to prioritise the air-quality, although ideally both could be helped by promoting electric vehicles and built-environments suited to walking & cycling.

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How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

JC_

Re: May not be an issue

Do you mean TCO

Yes, because manufacturing is included in the price and installation and removal is not expensive and for small installations may even be 'free' if part of the roof for a new build.

Location is of course important. Here's a headline from Texas: A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity. It's for wind-generated power.

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JC_

Re: May not be an issue

I'd rather take my chances with climate change. It might or might not kill me. Lack of electricity or any other energy I can afford definitely would.

It's always astonishing that people can decide when it suits them that capitalism will selectively fail. Right now you can buy solar panels at a cost that makes them supply energy at a price more or less equivalent to fossil-fuel power stations.

Yet somehow if fossil-fuels are priced to include their externalities, alternative power sources will neither be developed nor grown, despite the fact that they already exist and are being used right now.

'Greens' have encouraged fuel economy in cars - do you see the complete absence of cars or simply more efficient ones?

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JC_

Re: wrong problem

You can import food, even if it's 'too hot' to grow food

Only if you have something to pay for it with, which will be rather a problem when the petroleum runs out or becomes uneconomic, first.

The population of the UAE is 10 million, but only 1.4 million of them are citizens. Egypt, on the other hand, already has 82 million citizens and is a hell of a lot poorer.

The effects of climate change on these poor countries that are also utterly corrupt will be catastrophic.

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JC_

Re: May not be an issue

You're certainly right that with industrial monocultures, we're basically eating oil, but there are alternative methods of production that while more labour-intensive are still productive and certainly more sustainable.

Michael Pollan (he of "eat food, mostly plants, not too much" fame) has written a lot on this with Polyface Farm the best known example.

For all its horror, the casualties of WWII were 'only' 3% of the global population; going from the forecast 9 billion down to 2 would be beyond horrific and hopefully not likely.

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JC_

Re: wrong problem

You are soon looking forward to a series of wars

It's quite ironic that the US military - not known for liberal tendencies - is forecasting and preparing for these situations as an outcome of AGW, while all of the supposedly pro-military Republican candidates for president flatly deny the existence of AGW.

It's going to be hellish in the worst-affected countries. Yemen is already a disaster heading for a catastrophe.

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JC_

Re: I would build down not up.

Not on the Central Line in August.

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Exposed Volkswagen 'n' pals get 2 more YEARS to sort out emissions

JC_

@chris

My other half will easily get 65+MPG out of my car whilst i struggle to get in the 40's.

Speaking heuristically, it might be because you drive like a selfish prick and your other half doesn't.

Or do you only drive when the boat is towed?

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JC_

Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air, better air quality can't come too soon.

The proper perspective is that VW lied and cheated and people have died as a result. Not even VW customers, but people who had no choice but to breathe the pollution of VW vehicles.

Everyone knows about externalities, right?

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JC_

Re: Here's a plan!

The technology is already available - and in use - for instant roadside testing of emissions. It combines with license plate recognition (and therefore car make, model & year) to give real-world statistics.

This offers a simple solution: manufacturers vouch for their emissions levels and if they aren't met in real-world sampling then they pay a whopping fine per vehicle.

It would also have the benefit of catching owners who re-program the ECU, modify the exhaust etc.

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JC_

Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air, better air quality can't come too soon.

7 downvotes? There are that many people who prefer to breathe dirty air and want to keep it that way?

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Herbie Goes Under Investigation: German prosecutors probe ex-VW CEO Winterkorn

JC_

VW has met the letter of the law

VW has publicly admitted cheating.

the climate change/eco scam is a multi billion $/£/€ business

NOx kills.

had the Australian PM removed

So this is all part of the Anti-Abott-pro-Obama-space-lizard conspiracy? You might want to step away from the screen and experience the real world - you'll find it surprisingly different to what you think.

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JC_

Re: he was unaware of the "defeat device"

"However, that's not a reason to jail him, and what this article is about is criminal liability (if any)."

In Common Law countries there's the concept of Vicarious Liability, which could make him subject to prosecution.

I don't buy that he was unaware. Breaking into the US market was strategic for VW and they attempted it by mass-marketing diesels, unlike any other manufacturer. Only wilful ignorance could explain Winterkorn - a well known control freak - failing to ask his staff how they were going to achieve this miracle.

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Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

JC_

As the EU likewise did to Intel & Microsoft (and deservedly then, too!)

Hopefully, any such fine levied will hurt VW enough to discourage such practices and cause some high-level heads to roll.

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JC_
JC_

Re: EC mpg tests just as bad

"people don't want crap cars"

Not a problem, because there basically aren't any crap cars these days. Here are the best sellers from 2014, any of which would seemed magically good 30 years ago.

Thus this sort of "cheating" is bound to happen over and over till reality is restored.

The reality is that this is cheating: after being presented with evidence of its wrongdoing, Volkswagen admitted that the cars contained defeat devices.

NOx and diesel particulates cause tens of thousands of premature deaths each year in the UK. This kind of cheating shouldn't attract just fines but criminal prosecutions of those who made the decision to cheat; they've literally taken innocent lives.

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Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

JC_

Re: @ AC

'97% of climate scientists' is a blatant lie. Look it up.

It probably isn't worth wasting time on ACs who are full of rubbish (there's just too many) but here you go, from NASA:

Among abstracts that expressed a position on AGW [Anthropogenic, or human-cause, Global Warming], 97.1% endorsed the scientific consensus. Among scientists who expressed a position on AGW in their abstract, 98.4% endorsed the consensus.”

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JC_

@ codejunky

97% of god botherers believe in a deity. I still wont take their word for it no matter how delusional them and their followers call me

Scientists are the exact opposite of your 'god-botherers'. People who ignore all the evidence - and the agreement of the experts - are the deluded ones.

Here are some coherent reasons to oppose measures to prevent AGW:

* I don't want to

* It's a hard problem

* I won't be around for the effects of AGW

* My income depends on not trying to prevent AGW

All of these are selfish, but at least honest.

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JC_

Re: @ h4rm0ny

The extreme cults of absolute denier and absolute warmist both look like nuts but it is the warmist cult that is abusing our lives to appease their beliefs. I dont know anyone on the fence who is happy about that

This is the equivalent of the old saw "flat-earthers vs. scientists; opinions about the shape of the earth differ". 97% of climate scientists support the theory of AGW. It isn't cultish to accept the opinion of the overwhelming majority of experts, it's sensible; pretending otherwise is delusional.

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Nokia sells HERE maps to Audi, Daimler and BMW for €2.8 billion

JC_

Re: Swarm intelligence ?

"I cannot help but remember that there is only one thing that swarms - stinging insects."

And illegal migrants, too, according to the P.M.

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It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

JC_

Re: Comparative reviewing

Also, does it have stupidly bright LEDs that are annoying when watching a movie?

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JC_

Re: Just wondering...

Cryptolocker targets network shares that are mapped to a local drive, so \\MyNas\MyFiles would be fine but Z:\MyFiles would be toast.

However, as people have pointed out, RAID isn't backup - it just helps availability. What you need are copies of the files over time, so as CryptoXXX creates encrypted, current versions, the old copies are untouched and can be used in the restoration.

At home we use CrashPlan for this. When Cryptolocker first broke out, they reportedly came up with a utility to make restoring from a point in time (i.e. pre-infection) a bit easier.

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And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

JC_
Thumb Down

Re: Good news for us all !

I don't recall ever finding anything I saw on Top Gear particularly offensive.

It's one of those things - you don't know what it's like to be on the end of prejudice until you are.

In my case, as a white, straight, educated middle-class male who likes sport, this lightening bolt hit when I experienced how much so many Brits irrationally hate other people who happen to be on a bicycle.

Clarkson is one of the pricks that encourages drivers to act like inconsiderate bastards, rather than people who have the rather awesome responsibility of the lives and safety of others in their hands.

Sod the repetitive prick, until he changes his record I hope his 'new' show drops like a turd.

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

JC_

Re: @Spartacus

The problem with enforcement is that there is none. LTDA boasts about how successful it is at getting drivers off on the few occasions that they are ticketed. Despite being a tiny part of the transport network they have outsize representation on the TfL board. 30,000 drivers are represented; half a million cyclists aren't.

Traffic enforcement ought to be enforced by a body separate from the police and council, so that effective enforcement doesn't affect how motorists view these groups; basically, it needs to be done by a technocratic group that don't care if (bad) drivers think that they're bastards.

Secondly, enforcement needs to actually happen. For that there needs to be an objective measure of how bad the driving is; if, for example, a sample of red-light cameras show violations above a threshold, then up goes the enforcement strictness so that it's brought down.

Finally, give the enforcement agents some real encouragement: 10% of the fines as a commission!

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Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

JC_

Re: Let's be clear about one thing

"You don't want your swap file on an SSD, unless you want to kill it early ..."

The last SSD endurance test I saw had the first device failing after 0.75 Petabytes of writes, while the others were approaching 2PB. With that kind of endurance and their ever increasing capacity, it's pretty unlikely that the swap file will cause a problem.

Every laptop in our office came with an SSD and only one of them (mine!) has a regular HDD, as well. Along with every phone and tablet around, they all swap to SSD and the manufacturers seem to be happy with that.

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JC_

Re: Let's be clear about one thing

And as for disk space, your OS on one disk, your data on another with the swap file. Been working like that since Win95 and I've never seen any reason to do otherwise.

SSDs. Your reason has arrived (and been waiting some time for your attention).

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JC_
Windows

Gather your data, stick in a new HDD (or be bold/foolish and wipe the current one), new OS, the software you actually need, and finally restore your data

This bit is the sticking point - having to call up the vendors and hope that they'll let you 'activate' another time with the same license key. Penance for not obeying RMS, I know, I know...

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Wearable fitness tech: Exercising your self-motivation skills

JC_

Re: On yer bike!

" I have been cycling 24 miles a day in London from zone 4 to Holborn and back - its awesome!"

You've been breathing the fumes too deeply - cycling in London sucks! It's better than the alternatives, but could be so much better with a little investment and some traffic enforcement.

Anyway, good on you for cycling so much and staying chipper - I do 22 miles per day and find that a grind by the end of the week or earlier when the cabs/weather/plane trees misbehave.

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Microsoft to TAKE OUT THE TRASH in the Windows Store

JC_

"do not offer unique content, creative value or utility."

A flashlight app that works the same as the others but doesn't require access to my phonebook, dialer etc. has a lot of value to me, but will it to MS?

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Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

JC_

It's a commute, not a race! E-bikes are a brilliant idea for getting people out on a bike when they don't have the strength (or motivation) to cycle hard.

In my experience in London it's not the hills that hurt, since there aren't many, but the traffic lights. 70 of them between home and work mean a lot of standing starts and tired legs by the end of the week.

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Smile! Brit transport plods turn bodycams on travelling public

JC_

Re: Who is Kidding Who?@ handle

In a society with over 2m people unemployed and an unfunded state pension, and a budget deficit, the "cost" to the rest of society is negative. The Department against Transport use a circa £1.2m "willing to pay" value for road deaths that is totally spurious, but even then we're talking less than £5bn. That's the tragic thing for lefties about maths - the answers are often wrong and have to be made up.

£34 billion. That's the government estimate of value of prevention of road accidents. Where does your £5bn number come from? Did you make it up?

Also, how much would you demand from a drunken driver to compensate for just one year of your child's life?

Well, again we enter the realm of made up numbers. Funny thing is, when I blow my nose after a trip on the underground, all this black snot comes out. When I look at the crap spewed out by the average bus or taxi, looks a lot worse than the pollution from cars, and the emissions per passenger km support the visual observation. Are health conditions less bad when the pollution comes from public transport?

London 'black snot' is brake dust. In this case, what you see can't hurt you - your nasal mucus has trapped the particles and no harm has been done.

What can and will kill you are the small particulates that you can't see and lodge in your lungs. They will cause cardiovascular disease. Not seeing them won't help; children in the seventies could not see the lead in exhaust fumes but it damaged their brains nevertheless..

Being a fat b@stard has far more to do with eating too much crap than it does with exercise. Do the maths (again).

Exercise has next to nothing to do with it. The 'obesogenic environment' in which we live does.

Don't be so naive.

Indeed.

Perhaps you should not be so smug about naiveté yourself.

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JC_

Re: Who is Kidding Who?

The roads are even more heavily subsidised - and vastly less efficient as a method of transporting people, unless they're on bicycles.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

JC_

Re: Upper- and middle-class

to use such a huge catch-all as "tattoos are so ugly" I find rather sad.

True, but if he'd just the qualifier 'most' then he'd be quite right (and I say that as someone with a tattoo and plenty of scars).

Not many look good to start with (IMHO) but zero of them improve with age - skin sags, inks fade and regret often sinks in.

Hopefully the woman with the post-masectomy tattoos will want them all her life.

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JC_

Re: Hardly a bug, is it...

The issue here is more around if Apple know / knew about this issue before his purchase

Putting on my dev hat, this really doesn't count as an "issue". If someone wearing a nose ring gets it tangled up in a towel (yes, really) we wouldn't call on towel manufacturers to sort it out for them, and the same goes here.

On the bright side, mums and dads will finally have an argument to use against sleeve tattoos that their darlings will consider.

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Microsoft vs AWS: If you can't bark with the BIG DOGS get off the PORCH

JC_

Re: propaganda journalism

Crass partisanship and hero worship of specific technologies or companies based solely on ideology and technological ignorance is stupid and a waste of space

Indeed...

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

JC_

Don't Like the IRS? Blame Intuit.

One reason the IRS can't do things to simplify tax is because Intuit vociferously lobbies against it.

Comically, Intuit claims that easy filing would hurt the poor.

Not to be conspiracy-minded, but some corporations and one political party in the US have a vested interest in making government look incompent, and they do their very best to achieve this. Blame them, not the IRS.

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

JC_

Re: Top Marks

(Also liked the Daft Punk putdown too - weren't they briefly top ten material about 15 years or so ago?

What cave were you living in in 2013? "Get Lucky" was huge and is a pretty catchy tune - check it out with Stephen Colbert and tell me you don't like it :)

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

JC_

Re: Criminal acts...

"disorderly conduct" is on the books in the US, not the UK, the same as "lewd and lascivious behavior". Besides which, Channel 4 isn't a court of law and she wasn't on trial.

Otherwise, a certain US football player would have been able to squash the video of him knocking out his fiancee at a Casino.

That went to court, right? Not just to television? This was broadcast for titillation and it just isn't on. There's no defence.

I've seen girls pissing in the street during Hogmanay and felt a bit self-righteous about it, but to put it in the public domain would never cross my mind. People make mistakes and any punishment has to be proportionate to the harm done.

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JC_

Re: Criminal acts...

Why did the comment by =5 got downvoted, without anyone having the courtesy of explaining their disagreement?

'Cause it's impossible to explain and so very easy to press the downvote link?

Presumably all the down-voters think that eternal, public humiliation is a proportionate response to the situation, rather than simply paying a fine for punishment and compensation for the actual damage done.

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