* Posts by Brenda McViking

163 posts • joined 28 May 2012

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Brenda McViking

Re: CA and pilot infalibility

That's like a cyclist being well within his rights being in a cycle lane next to an articulated lorry distribution centre and a motorway. He does have every right to be there, but if he isn't paying attention he'll end up right, but dead.

I'd also expect the council to review the cycle lane after a reported near-miss, and if it's deemed to be dangerous, remove it, even if it messes up the plans of all the cyclists who use the area. no different with Class E airspace. I'd opine in this case that there are a lot more jetliners around, in a lot more of a hurry than there were when that airspace was first designated Class E - so reviews by the aviation associations following air-proximity reports are entirely correct.

Aviation is safe because these rules exist and are strictly enforced, and every time an accident or near-miss happens it is reported and the root cause investigated, which often leads to it's removal from the equation. Drones in controlled airspace are an accident waiting to happen, and aviation is one of the few industries where it doesn't have to bring down a plane before something is done to prevent it.

If that means lending more weight than is usual in other areas of society to a captain's report, as a professional charged with the care of his passengers, then so be it. It has my full support.

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Brenda McViking

Re: colour me cynical - lead in petrol

Personally, when analysing increases in risk in chaotic systems (like the human body or any biological process) I find that visualising the stats is far better than reading headlines.

After all, we all know that a 14% increase in a very small percentage is still a very small percentage. Viewing an image like this helps immensely in whether or not I need to care enough to do anything about it. (Yeah, it's on smoking rather than food, but you get the point.)

In the case of food, the answer to "so should I actually care?" is almost always "no."

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PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Brenda McViking

Re: Fixed battery!

Yep.

Yet another utter deal breaker this year with no removable battery and lack of uSD slot- would have had one otherwise. Their loss.

Also, I do mean removable, not just replacable with enough intent. I frequently switch my battery once it's out of charge and I'm not returning to a plug socket for 20 more hours, which happens a lot travelling on business.

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'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!

Brenda McViking
Go

Re: How to set the tax?

"But how do you account for things like smelting..."

By taxing carbon.

It's a catch all. Smelting, power production, red diesel - all subject to the carbon tax, paid for, in the end, by consumers. If the consumer buys products which emit a lot of carbon during production, then they pay all that carbon tax.

Thus if something can be created without emitting carbon (smelted, power, red diesel), it won't have any carbon tax priced into it, and will be cheaper, and drive the carbon intensive product out the market - an inherent feedback mechanism of a carbon tax

Not that it is simple - the government can still very much mess it up by trying to tax it in the wrong place, or double tax it, or create carbon tax havens, or using flawed assumptions or loopholes in the calculation of the tax, but ultimately, the fundamental process of taxing carbon will work..

I need to stop reading Worstall, I have far too much confirmation bias...

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Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run

Brenda McViking

Re: Unideal

errrr... supercaps ARE capable of delivering HUGE currents actually. You're thinking of conventional capacitors. A bank of 6 maxwell supercaps (58F, 16V) can have 170A drawn from it at max load, which is pretty darn big. It won't provide it for long, but this type of application is exactly what they're good at.

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Brenda McViking
Alien

It's blatantly Putin

...trying to pull a fast one on LOHAN.

He's trying to cheat by putting a playmonaut into orbit using a big rocket rather than a baloon.

Splitter.

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Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: arggg

Yep, Messenger remains very much deliberately uninstalled on my phone, although facebork is installed by default (one of my few gripes with android is that you can't nuke preinstalled bloatware without rooting.) Firstly, I don't see why I need a pointless 25MB app to not speak to anyone, secondly, it sucks the battery like a fruitbat in a del monte factory.

If I ever want to use chat i do it on the browser.

I do especially like the fact that the higher the companies market cap, the lower the quality of the app they provide. It makes me realise that all big companies are all as "agile*" as your average supertanker, not just the one I work for.

* Agile is our favourite word this year. It replaced "synergy" which replaced "touching base"

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Brenda McViking

Re: Not all councils are hopeless

Our council on the other hand is worse than useless.

Our high street has had a shop boarded up about once a month, been happening since 2008, and a good 20% of units now are derelict. Hell, some of them we're built in 2005 and still haven't been moved into.

I blame the local business rates - a taxi driver "in the know" told me his mate was looking at £26,000 a year in biz rates for a shoebox of a corner shop, the rent was a paltry £20,000 a year by comparison. (I dunno - is this normal? seems insane to me)

Parking is atrocious - you can't find anything within 10 mintues walking distance that has a limit of more than 2 hours, and the council increased the number of wardens 1400% when fines started going to it, rather than central government.

And it's the same as any other town - mobile phone shops, banks, and womens clothing retailers. And somehow it manages to support about 20 charity shops - probably filled with the posessions of those shopkeepers driven out of business by the council and the general savvy of the public knowing they can get superior products, knowledge, service and prices on the internet.

So yeah, anything that re-invigorates the place, or at least stops it looking so shabby and run down would get my vote. I'm also in the market for my first house, so an increase in supply would be welcome (I'll probably just wait until interest rates rise half a percent and the reposessions start rolling in)

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Amazon hiring drone flight ops engineer in Cambridge, UK

Brenda McViking
Go

Equally they might just work very well. There are going to be teething problems, there are going to be pitfalls and traps along the way, but if anyone could make this work, it's amazon.

Fundamentally, lugging around 2.7 tonnes of van and employing a person to deliver a package is highly inefficient, even if it is the best way of doing things in the current part of the 21st Century. A drone may well be better at this, but there is a good 5-10 years worth of legwork that needs to be done prior to this becoming reality. This job description reads like a proof of concept trial for an R&D specialist, and works with this timeline.

Go right ahead amazon, let's see where this leads.

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Brenda McViking

Re: How Google Fights Piracy

So I get he's saying follow the money, that google plays a part in providing revenue to those who are making copyright infringment possible. That I don't have a problem with.

What I have a problem with is how Google is expected to determine what is and isn't piracy, and to be judge, jury and executioner at the will of $plantiff who feels hard-done by. I fail to see how this is Google's problem. If a plantiff, in this case a songwriter, finds their copyrighted work on a website, then they need to go through the legal process to get it removed from that website, just like any other member of society with a gripe against someone else abusing their property. If that is too difficult, ineffective or inefficient, that is too bad - this is the real world. Time to lobby for better laws, but moaning that google is stealing all their cash - no, get lost. It's nothing to do with them.

Google provides a search function, and acts as a middleman for advertisements. Nowhere in those descriptions do I see "law enforcement" coming under their remit. Nor should it.

Music is a bloody difficult product to sell, like many intangibles. It's extremely easy to copy, whilst being difficult to contain and package in such a way that you can monitise it, and this has been the case LONG before the internet, even if the internet has made these flaws an order of magnitude easier to exploit.

As such - if you want to be in the business selling music, good luck to you. But don't expect the law or society to bend over backwards to accomodate you just because you sell something that is easily stolen and very hard to protect. Those are your problems. Don't like it? Get out of the industry. The arts have never provided a certain, solid, reliable income stream, and if the internet made the risk:reward ratio more unnatractive, then investors in that art, whoever they may be, must pay the consequences.

Plenty of artists have found ways of adding value that mean they get paid without relying on people paying an arbitary sum for a string of bits. Does it mean fewer people will be able to make music? probably. Society has already made up it's mind that it doesn't value music as much as it did - time to face that tune for what it fundamentally means for the industry. This may be harsh, but that's the real world. No one owes Taylor Swift a living but Taylor Swift. If 500,000 plays on Spotify only makes as much money as selling a T-shirt, then you're probably better off selling more T-shirts.

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If only 0.006% care about BLOOD-SOAKED METAL ... why are we spending all this cash?

Brenda McViking

Re: Would you care enough to pay more for ...

Workfare was designed to give people work experience so they can come off the dole (or whatever politically correct name it has now) where they're in the situation that they have been out of work for a long period of time.

If you refuse to work when you can work and are offered with work, then I completely agree that your benefits should be stopped. Taxpayers do not owe you a living - a lifeline to help you back on your feet, yes, but not a life where you don't have to work.

He wants his benefits, and he wants to turn down community provided work which allows him to keep it. He is being paid, therefore it isn't slave labour. The fact that the company he'd otherwise be working for isn't paying him is neither here nor there - just semantics. I've been on the dole, I've seen the lengths at which people go to remain workshy, and heard all the sob stories and excuses, which are all too easy to get away with. I know, i've been there, done that, discovered there was more to life and got on with it. The DWP don't need to be nice to the unemployed, they need to get them back into employment. If that hurts people's feelings, tough; it's not the Department of Wishfulness and Pampering.

This is part of the government acting to ensure that you don't get it both ways at the taxpayers expense, which, as a taxpayer, has my full support. It sure as hell isn't slavery when you're paid, never mind whether it's dressed up as a carrot or a stick.

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REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff

Brenda McViking
Flame

Personally, the last iPieceofshit I had was back in 2008, an iPod touch.

Which, following an almighty apple (praise be upon them) update, bricked itself.

So I went to an apple store, thinking "oh, well they've got good customer service, they ought to be able to fix it."

No. They couldn't. Reason? not that the update was faulty - (it was, it was pulled 24 hours later) - but that there was a slight dent in the case which didn't meet apple "spec" for a dent, and hence everything that happened to the device was my fault. Even when it was caused by a clearly faulty firmware update. (i dented it accidentally about 6 months previous, and it hadn't skipped a beat since. Completely unrelated.)

Now I wasn't rude to the staff, having worked in retail myself, I know full well it's the quickest way to ensure that the service you recieve is laden with spite, but they were very rude to me, telling me apple updates were most deifinitely infallible and it was my own stupid fault I'd dented and broken my iPod which was now effectively a £200 brick. That apple were great and no one else was having this problem (again - there was uproar over the proceeding 24 hours at apple incompetance) So iLeft. and Apple have never recieved a penny from me since.

Thankfully, some nice hackers had written up a guide to unbricking online, which worked 15 minutes after I got home. Should have just done that in the first place.

But Apple can go sodomise themselves forever. And I will sneer at people who buy their products stating "good customer service" and "just works" because I have experienced neither. If that gets fanbois wetting themselves because of my blasphemous utterances up then so be it, indicate your allegiance by using that downvote button down there.

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Trickle-down economics WORKS: SpaceShipTwo is a PRIME EXAMPLE

Brenda McViking

Re: Trickle where?

Even if they're acquiring illiquid assets - they're not doing it all on their tod, are they? Financiers, Estate agents, accountants, lawyers, all funding their own ostentacious lifestyles buying cars, food, triple-mark-up coffee and iPads, then making and maintaining them are the factory workers, the cleaners, the mechanics, the electricians and carpenters, the call-centre staff, and then, at the very very bottom, is the sysadmin who designed the entire infrastructure they all use. In his basement. and he's looking at the one plug socket which will bring the whole sorry state of affairs down.

With a cattle prod in hand.

KZZZRT!

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Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: Nice catch 22

Pah - maybe she should submit a takedown request of the real "Optical express" alleging copyright infringement.

Then I could get the popcorn out.

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Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to REAL photography?

Brenda McViking

Re: Good points mixed with some arrogance, IMHO

I use a humble, bottom of the range 7 yr old APS-C Sony with a raft of 2nd hand 80s A mount Minolta lenses, I have contmplated upgrading as I think it might benefit my photography, but honestly - I can't see myself getting more pleasure out of it - and it is one hell of an investment to change to FF now.

I like to capture fast aircraft, ballroom dancers, steam engines and, above all, human emotion.

The latter is all about response. Everything is secondary to speed, everything. The prep is having the right lens on with the right settings, but other than that, my tactic is 600 photos an hour, with the expectation that 2-5 will be outstanding. The rest - well, who cares? it's digital. i.e. not hard to delete 99.9% of them. Film would never have suited my style - I'm not so bothered by photography that I am prepared to be patient, but thanks to terabytes of test footage, I have a pretty good idea now of what works where.

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Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth

Brenda McViking

Re: Shame it's Ardbeg

Some of you might find the Scottish Whisky Flavour Map of interest.

Personally, I really like Ardbeg, but it's not something I'd necessarily reccommend to someone if they've never tried a proper single malt before - Glenmorangie would be my choice for the beginner just starting out.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Brenda McViking

I'll go over the basics of any phone costing over £500 upfront, as even Samsung keep missing the mark.

Things which MUST be included or they're not even considered:

Full HD screen, with MHL OR a micro HDMI slot.

A microSD card slot. 128GB support absolute minimum.

A removable battery. 2000mAh minimum. Actually, 2500mAh as it's 2014. (~10Wh in lithium)

NFC, Bluetooth,IR,2x cameras, 1 with full HD recording, a 3.5mm socket, LED for torch use, a light level sensor that works, wifi + tethering, and GPS.

Things they should have:

waterproofing, dedicated camera button, thin case options, quality finish, Qi wireless charging built in, stereo speakers, xenon flash, pay-by-bonk

Is it really so difficult?

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Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Brenda McViking

Re: A heap of cr@p

Agreed.

The only thing worse than picking one of these Peugeots up at the corporate-hire-car-operator-du-jour is a Kia Carens. Give me a Hyundai over these any day. Or a Citroen DS5 - they're not that bad.

The new 308 (and the old - this goes for the 508 and 5008 too) has absolutely no feel in any of the controls. Steering - might be connected to the wheels, but I can't tell. I don't know whether a curved slip road requires 5 degrees or almost full lock - and neither does the car from the feel of it.

Brakes, might be connected to the wheels somehow - I honestly can't tell. I press it and something happens, but it doesn't seem to respond to how hard I push it or how quickly. Now Ford are guilty of the so-called "digital" braking system - i.e. "1" or "0" but this is too far the other way.

The accelerator just is a squishy mess - It doesn't give any feedback, just makes more noise as you press into the sponge of a pedal - doesn't appear to actually control acceleration.

But by far the most hideous aspect of these latest Peugeots are the automatic gearboxes - they have all the finesse of a learner driver with 45 minutes worth of experience, over-rev, jerky, or take 18 seconds to change - it seems to pick one of these options at random every time it wants to change gear. They also seem to have programmed gear changes to happen at bang on 30 or 40 mph. Which means it can never. make. up. its. mind.

It is the most disconnected driving experience I have ever had, and I've driven several american cars which had an entire design team focussed on being as mushy as possible. This was worse. I think it is best described as driving a bus with the handling characteristics of a bouncy castle.

I also had a HUD in the last one i was given, which was interesting for the first 5 minutes. I then realised that I still had to take my eyes off the road to read it - so it was no different to any other dashboard display.

This car is perfect for those who cannot be bothered with any intellectual effort whilst driving; for the person who when asked what car they drive replies "a red one," and expects a nod of recognition for that as a legitimate answer.

Plenty of them around though - I'm sure it will sell well.

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Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012

Brenda McViking

Income is one side of the coin - Doing this would effectively destroy an awful lot of companies with low margins. If I get income from selling a chair, i have to buy the wood and the electricity for the lathe. If you tax the chair on sale (as in me, the manufacturer, not the customer who will pay VAT on top), without allowing me to offset the sale price against the wood and the electricity, then this all falls down.

Here's a radical solution - don't tax profits. Don't offer subsidies for losses either.

Why do profits need to be taxed? You pay workers, who pay tax

You provide customers with goods, who pay tax

You provide shareholders with income or assets, who pay tax.

Why should any more tax be paid on top of other taxes? you've already covered all of the money exit routes - it's not like a company is going to buy itself a fancy house and a yacht for itself - and even if it does, the housebuilders and yacht builders will be paying tax via one of the 3 methods above. I mean the only thing that "profit tax" allows the exchequer to get their hands on is a pile of cash hoarded by a company. And why would a company hoard cash when inflation means it's losing money? which shareholders are going to stand for it? It's all utterly pointless.

I mean, have I missed something? surely corporation tax is double taxation, plain and simple. I fundamentally disagree with double taxation, though I'm prepared to listen to how I've misunderstood the situation...

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Brenda McViking

I too am a 'would be customer' who is completely put off by the lack of an uSD slot. the OTG option is a clunky workaround at best, and in reality, completely unworkable for me - I'd either forget the cable, or not have it on me when I was given 3 hours notice to get to the airport.

Same argument for lack of swappable battery for the '6, though with a 15min boost charge, I might be able to make it work.

Actually no, on second thoughts, the amount of times having a fully charged spare that can be changed in 30s has saved my bacon is too many to count. Typically when I've landed somewhere that nobody speaks English and google maps is the only thing that can get me to my destination with no hassle.

So no deal. Which is a pity because I've always wanted a Nexus and its lack of bloatware.

Samsung Note 4 it is.

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The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event

Brenda McViking
Coat

Apple Q&A

Q: Why is the Apple still reporting record profits?

A: Because iPad users are just as oblivious to the looming recession as they are to the people around them!

Q: What do you call a bent iPhone 6 plus?

A: A dead wringer.

Q: What is written on Steve Jobs tombstone?

A: iCame, iSaw, iConquered, iLeft, iCameBack, iThinkDifferent, iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iCloud, iRIP

Q: How can you tell which one of your friends has the new iPad?

A: Don't worry, they'll let you know.

Q: Why did Steve Jobs live his last moments in regret?

A: They say your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. Unfortunately for Steve Jobs, his iPad didn't have a Flash player installed!

Q: How many Apple iPad early adopters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: 3001. 1 to do the work and 3000 to go online and bitch about the lack of obscure features!

Q: What do the latest iPad applications do?

A: Whiten teeth and perform lasik eye surgery!

Q: According to Apple what is the leading cause of iPads overheating?

A: Downloading images of Katy Perry!

Q: What do you call a Scottish iPad?

A: An AyePad.

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Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

Brenda McViking

Re: "Advanced training"

You jolly well can teach someone to multitask - it involves making neural connections to the point that things are done automatically without requiring a slow cognitive decision. E.G. manipulating the clutch whilst negotiating a busy hill junction with traffic lights. You get someone who has never driven a car before and they physically will be unable to manage it, because they haven't learnt how to multitask.

Same with aircraft. Flying a circuit (takeoff, go around the airfield once and land) - requires an intensive amount of multitasking. You have to be aware of your own aircraft, it's speeds, setup, altitude, engine setting and position in 3 dimensions, whilst negotiating with air traffic control via a radio and being aware of everything other aircraft in the pattern with you. Some of which will be going a lot faster (or slower) than you. If you haven't been taught how to multitask, you cannot do this properly, which is why you have to be trained to be a pilot.

This is why we have licences for these things - it certifies that you have the appropriate neural connections to be able to multitask properly.

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Forget bonking, have ONE OFF THE WRIST with Barclaycard's bPay

Brenda McViking

Re: I would prefer this

But why not a smartphone?

I see this opinion a lot on here, but don't fully understand why - I'm genuinely interested. If you told me that I could ditch the wallet/purse entirely, and just needed to carry a smartphone, I'd be fine with that. I don't get why in 2014 I still need to carry around keys, metal coins, a wallet full of plastic loyalty cards and the odd paper note when the technology exists to just put it into my communication device, which I alreay take everywhere, and then control it via an app.

Is it the fact that mobiles run out of battery?

Is it the fact that it's an internet enabled device and entrusting bank details to it is asking for trouble?

Do you think it makes it more of a target than it already is to an opportunistic thief?

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Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed

Brenda McViking

RE:Loot system

They have fixed it, yes - to the point where only you can pick up your weapon drops. However, it's completely random as to who drops what - certainly not a case of kill a boss to get a good piece of kit - "stuff" is just as likely to be dropped by a tiny minion which you can accidently kill with an unaimed spray of bullets, rather than a Tank which will take 600 seconds of sustained machine gun fire from 3 players to down.

I must admit I was hoping for more of a Skyrim length main quest as opposed to an average shooter like, say, Far Cry, Halo, Half Life, but it's a fair story, if a little short.

I've not played Player versus Player yet - certainly it was a lot less fun in the Beta than it is in Titanfall, but the game is good fun if you have 2 other friends to play it with, in the "single-ish" player mode.

Overall, I'd give it 7/10, so far. There is a lot more they can (and hopefully will) do with it to bump it up to 8. (and to give you an idea of my ratings, I'd give Skyrim 8/10,. HL2 ep2 9/10, Max Payne 3 4/10, Halo 7/10)

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

Brenda McViking

Re: Not bad value really

Sorry Lionel, it's you who are wrong.

If you watch ANY television programmes as they're being broadcast even without an aerial, if you don't pay the BBC telly tax, you're breaking the law.

That includes internet streaming, sky programmes via satellite dish, periscope into the neighbours living room - any equipment which can recieve a broadcast (an aerial is just one type of such equipment, your dish is another), and it doesn't have to be a BBC broadcast either - which is why it is so ridiculous.

Personally, if you watch sky through a dish, I'd buy a TV licence if you don't want a fine. And next time, don't pander to their inane requests - there is only one reason for them, and that is to use against you in court - they serve no other purpose whatsoever.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Brenda McViking

Re: Some valid points ...

Because if you reuse a slightly stronger password than remembering 18 simpler ones, your overall security is often still better. And be honest - what is easier? Everything needs a login nowadays. If recall is more than 1 second for the user then you're wasting more time and raising their stress level unnecessarily.

This is actually one of the few research papers that "get it" - realising that whilst the theory of entropy theoretically makes security stronger, adding in the meatbag actually MASSIVELY reduces entropy. If you're demanding a 6 character password with 4 types of characters, the entropy is orders of magnitude lower than a 6 character lowercase password, but the majority of people do not know that.

That and security is often completely unnecessary - who needs a password taking 550 years to bruteforce protecting the corporate "how to sit at your desk without becoming a paraplegic" Health and Safety intranet portal? even nuclear launch codes only really need a few months of brute force protection. (and indeed, 0000 0000 was the launch code for some types of nuclear weapons during the cold war. For 20 years. Why? because psychology trumps security where humans are involved.)

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Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Brenda McViking

Re: "Copyright infringement is theft, pure and simple"

"Auto theft" as you describe it doesn't exist in the UK for the exact reason that it doesn't fit the definition of theft. In the UK legal system, you HAVE to know and understand definitions correctly, in advance. This is why we get so brassed off with Americans using our language improperly - because it breaks the meaning of what is being said and leads to stuff like this.

In the UK, if you "steal" a car, it is not theft. It is the criminal offence of "Taking without consent" or "Twocking" in the British Bobbys' common vernacular.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Brenda McViking

Re: I have to wonder...

Your top of the range phones are actually very good at recording these things, in Full HD. In fact with their noise cancelling microphones they can actually pick up the sound very well too - and this wasn't the case 5 years ago.

Not that I agree with their use for such things. In fact the best gig I recently went to had a band that said "right. Everyone, record our next song. it's the one we're best known for, we'll be doing it again at the end, but after we've let you get it out of your system - put your phones/tablets/cameras and screens away and enjoy the gig. Anyone recording afterwards has my permission to get their head kicked in by fellow fans annoyed by your screen. There will be a professional recording on the website tomorrow that you can download free of charge, no catch, no restrictions, which will be much better quality than you guys can capture. Here we go"

Surprisingly, it had the desired effect, and we all agreed afterwards it was a very good way of doing it.

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Brenda McViking

Mail order deliverers?

Since when do they ever ring the fracking doorbell?

They tiptoe up to the door, tap it with their finger twice, wait 5 seconds and then launch your new monitor over the fence and leave a "sorry you weren't in" note.

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Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

Brenda McViking
Pirate

I've seen a couple of films with Atmos

in the cinema, that is, and I must admit I was impressed - though there is a lot more that can be done from the filmakers side with setting up the soundstage - they'll learn though, in the same way they learnt that changing the focal point of the scenes too much in 3D gave everyone a massive headache.

Though naturally, the ticket office more than made up for the positives by slapping a £10.50 charge for the privilege of seing the film whilst being able to hear overhead (and that was with student discount!)

That's a ticket price increaseof 244% over 5 years, and people wonder why piracy is so rampant...

3
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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

Brenda McViking

Re: Anon Cluetard

Modern Israelis != Biblical Israelites.

Unless you're trying to submit that actually Europe belongs to the Rome, and America to the native Indians. Countries, empires, and borders are all man made creations and do not last.

Besides, I'm a descendant of Pangaea, so you can get the hell off my ancestors land!

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

Brenda McViking

SASS

Specialised Avoidance of Seductive Saplings.

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

Brenda McViking
Happy

Re: If you ask for soya 'milk'

Granted, soya milk may not be to everyones taste, but it has finally meant that I can go out for coffee with my lactose intolerant mum. As allergies and intolerances go, it's a rather rubbish one (though not the worst by far), as milk in the western world is in sooooo many products.

Soya's image is really not helped when hipsters jump on the band wagon for animal rights and saving the planet purposes (which neither I nor Mum give a monkeys about) - but soya milk actually means she is able to drink something other than water, and even if I wouldn't drink it, the option is appreciated.

0
0

Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Brenda McViking
Pirate

Re: An arguable case for Public Domain

I'm with wikimedia on this one. the photographer set it up, but was not the author for copyright purposes. I'm not disputing the fact that it is unfair, unjust or that the photographer didn't put a significant amount of effort in to allow the photograph to be created, but if the monkey would have been the author (if they were human, for instance) and legally cannot be, then there is no author. We all know the law is an ass. This is a prime example.

If this photographer wanted the copyrights on these images then he should have taken the photographs. Classic catch 22 - as the percieved value in these images is that they were monkey selfies, and their actual value, because they are monkey selfies is 0. If he had taken the exact same images then they'd hold less percieved value, but more actual value. It's a technicality - but in law, technicalities matter.

Regardless, the photographer has finally got his front page and hence managed to get the full legal value of these images in terms of advertising. Watching him on the Beeb last night - I agree with him that copyright needs reform and is unfit for purpose in the 21st century. I hope he sells a lot more of his portfiolio due to this, sparks a proper debate on copyright and assists in inspiring others to get copyright reformed properly.

0
2

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

Brenda McViking

Re: What law has been broken.

You could break into my desk and steal my patent papers - I think that might actually constitute "theft" of copyright,

0
0

Flying United Airlines? If you could just scan your passport with your phone, that'd be great

Brenda McViking

Re: RFTM

It's no different from mobile boarding passes, from providing advance travel information like we do with budget airlines here in the UK to speed up check-in.

A typical international flight experience: Queue for check in. sometimes then separate queue for bag drop. Queue for departure police check (often not present in the UK). Queue for baggage scanning. Queue for full cavity search. Queue for overpriced food, no-tax-but-doubly-marked-up shopping or airport lounge if you're so lucky. Stand around (maybe even in a queue) looking at departure board wondering why it still hasn't opened the gate yet despite that fact you were due to take off 10 minutes ago. Queue at gate. Queue for boarding pass scan at gate. Queue for airport security/G4S guy who glares at you, glares at your passport, glares back at you and waves you on. Queue for the bus. Cram yourself into the the last available space. Queue to get off the bus. Queue at the aircraft steps. Queue on the aisle waiting for the lady in seat 3B to unpack and repack her 3 bags of hand luggage looking for her flight pillow. Sit down. Fly. Queue for the toilet. Fly. Queue to be let off. Queue for the bus. Queue for immigration. Queue for baggage that doesn't turn up. Queue for baggage handling services to provide details of lost baggage. Queue at customs. Queue for the only atm in the arrivals area. Queue for a taxi/ train/hire car to get out. Queue for Psychatrist to check you haven't gone completely mad.

So yeah. completing any international travel qualifies you for your level 6 queuing proficiency at "Expert" level. - absolutely anything that avoids any queuing for any length of time is something I'm interested in.

7
0

EE rolls out London bus pay-by-bonk app – only fandoids need apply

Brenda McViking

It isn't linked to your bank account. it's linked to your phone bill.

I have wanted this for an age. My wallet is stuffed so full of RFID already that bonking a wallet no longer works. It can't tell whether it's my netherlands chipkaart, the oyster card, one of my debit cards or my work or student ID trying to communicate.

My phone goes with me everywhere and is separate. Paying with it would be useful - The way I see it, I have no need for a wallet - it's a place I use to store identification and payment methods, both of which can be done better by a phone. Yes, it's only a matter of saving 15 seconds, but why the hell not?

And yet, because my S4 isn't supplied by EE, it's fracking ineligable. And sod getting a monthly contract with them - that just means the liability is limitless. At least with PAYG it's limited to your account balance.

0
1

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Brenda McViking

Since both the justice system and law enforcement have proven themselves completely inept when it comes to technology, I move that neither be able to use any technology in their jobs until they get an el Reg approved internet licence.

In it should be questions like: Little Jonny downloads a movie. What is he guilty of?

  • a)Piracy
  • b)Copyright infringment
  • c)Theft
  • d)Nothing, yet. he is innocent unless proven guilty
  • e)Terrorism

and: In terms of connectivity, what does IP stand for?

  • a)Intellectual Property
  • b)Internet Protocol
  • c)Incompetant Policeman
  • d)Illegal Populace
  • e)Terrorism

21
0

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Brenda McViking

Re: Tory-led government's Drip bill?

In the UK, not giving up your key is a criminal act.

Exhibit A, register article.

In the USA, not giving up unencrypted email is a criminal act.

Exhibit B, register article.

1
0

Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: Chris W @ Condiment

What is a magnet going to do to a flash based MicroSD card? To disturb electrons in silicon based NAND flash memory you'd need a magnet capable of sucking iron out of your blood cells.

Shoving it in a microwave, on the other hand...

1
0

UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

Brenda McViking

Re: I need to get some t-shirts made up...

"Why does the Grid need to quadruple STOR power?"

Because we're running far too close to the margins. STOR is a last ditch attempt to make up for the fact that we don't have enough capacity. It's the payday loan of the energy sector which prevents it from defaulting (blackout). Renewables like wind do indeed provide unpredictable and spiky power which increases the margin requirement.

"Why are gas plants not more attractive to run,"

Because they've been winding them down for ages, because historically gas prices have not been competitive with coal, and because you can't just un-mothball a plant economically unless you've got some guarantees that it's going to stay economical. And because the EU say you can't add more fossil to the grid once you've taken it off. For smaller plants, it's far better to keep a gas plant on STOR - it'll earn it's money that way, rather than trying to compete with nuclear, coal or subsidised wind.

"Why is it the politicians that shut down plants?"

Because they're in charge. They provide the laws and regulations relating to the countries infrastructure. Unless you want the French and the Germans to be in charge of our energy (which they pretty much are, as our politicians don't give a shit and it's come to crunch time.) Energy companies HAVE been screaming for new capacity, for an energy policy, for plants to be given the okay to go ahead. But no, the politicans block it to get short term green lobby votes. And it takes years to build stations. And the politicians sign us up to EU directives that state that fossil is bad m'kay, and we're LEGALLY obliged to shut it all off.

"the energy companies screwed up, not the politicians."

See above. Politics blocks the energy companies from doing what they want, and spend so long fumbling around not giving commitment or guarantees to financing or permission, or debating whether "profit" should be guaranteed for someone making a national investment. National infrastructure is not something the private sector want to pay for - the public sector holds all the cards here, and it comes with high risks with little reward. You can spend £20bn on a new plant for the next politician to come along and give it to your competitor. Why would any sane person take that risk?

"If they shut down too many plants without building new ones the energy companies screwed up"

Politicians agreed to laws stating fossil plant must be shut down. Politicians didn't agree legislation to allow new plants to be built, unless they were wind turbines, which are not fit for purpose when it comes to a stable and affordable energy supply.

"If the grid operators did not enter into enough long term contracts ... then it's operators fault."

You can't enter into a long term contract with a plant that a) is due to be shut by law or b) hasn't been built yet. What exactly are national grid supposed to do? other than explain to the politicians what a fundamental mess they're in and whose fault it is (and they've been doing that)

"In the end the consumer pays, or puts PV solar on his roof"

You can pay as much as you want - but you can't buy what doesn't exist. As for Solar PV, at this latitude - you can choose to run your microwave, or your fridge, but not both at the same time, and not at night. You'd be better off with a domestic diesel generator - but once the power cuts start, they might be commanding a nice premium.

It's a farce, a mess and a frankly stupid, entirely predictable state of affairs, and in my mind, amounts to high treason by the current and historical crop of politicians we've had. But still, even with blackouts coming as early as this year, we're STILL not building new capacity - which will in all likelyhood take until 2020 to be operational.

4
0

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

Brenda McViking

Re: Still waiting to see where the power's coming from

Well to accomodate a potential for an additional 1.25MW peak load on a typical domestic distribution substation, you'll need some major, and expensive upgrades.

Mean load for a house is around 1.25kW - peaks at maybe 10kW if you've got the kettle, oven, tumble dryer and immersion heater on. A single Tesla on a "supercharger" is the equivalent of shoving 10-12 homes worth of peak demand on the grid - and at the lower distribution level our grid wasn't designed for it. I've heard estimations that more than 3 electric cars on your average domestic street is liable to knock it out as the substation simply can't cope. And it isn't like substation manufacturing is a high volume activity which can knock one up for easy installation with a weeks notice. Our grid is only slightly newer than those new-fangled victorian railways we still have lying around. It'll take decades to upgrade.

The fact that at an increase of 0.2% consumption for an infrastructure of 200 charging points which will service, what, 14000 vehicles? (10 cars a day charging themselves once a week) - you'll need to build 59x 1MW wind turbines at a generous 33% utilisation factor for that 164GWh requirement you have. List price ~ £1m/MW installed (2012) = £59,000,000, so a not insignificant £4200 per vehicle. (and they'll need replacing every 10 years.) That's just the capacity, let alone distribution and the rest of the critical infrastructure Not exactly cheap to save the planet, is it? Conventional fossil fuel is probably a quarter of that price, but even so, a 0.2% increase in UK consumption for vehicles which can be owned by 0.0002% of the population is actually still a rather concerning figure, if these things are going to become popular. If only our electrical infrastructure wasn't already on it's knees...

0
2

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Brenda McViking

Re: Nope

Yeah but when they're really small they're not that efficient, in thermal terms. They're also expensive to build and maintain, require expensive materials as the average temp at the back is soooo much higher and are still very thirsty. Not to mention it'll easily drown out the noisiest boy racer Corsa driver who has drilled a hole in his exhaust.

GTs are extremely power dense, and therefore fine for when you want an insane amount of power from something that doesn't take up much space or weigh very much - thus for land based vehicles they really don't make sense - you're much better off with a diesel running at it's optimum driving a generator, if you're after maximum efficiency with minimal losses... Unless of course you're trying for land speed records.

But don't let me stop you wanting a jet car. I do too!

4
0

UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: THE TRUTH

Brenda McViking

They'll porbably go the same way as other outdated forms of transport - provide a mild annoyance for normal road users stuck behind one on the very rare occasion that they're on their way to a vintage rally, or be used in sporting events. Like horses, traction engines and classic cars are today.

1
1

E-cigarettes help you quit – but may not keep you alive

Brenda McViking

Re: ....and less sick people choking up the NHS.

But that isn't the whole story, is it.

The medical community came up with many studies showing that smoke-related healthcare was actually costing more than the tax it bought in. Without that the smoking ban would never have happened - it wasn't for the good of the countries health, it was about money. It always is.

Now, you will probably get people lasting longer, from a statistical point of view across an entire population, but due to the fact that fewer people will need the more expensive treatments that smoking increases the likelyhood of them needing, then overall, caring for people for longer without requiring so much expensive specialist equipment (say ventilators, oxygen-equipped wheelchairs, lung transplants, chemotherapy or whatever) is cheaper.

Yes, this is a gross simplification.

Yes, they'll die of something else.

But a human dying of a heart attack is cheaper than being kept alive with lung problems for 20 years, and that, effectively is the crux of the matter, only simplified (a lot). If smoking killed you stone dead, really quickly, then it wouldn't cost more than the tax it bought in, and it wouldn't be such a public enemy, and we wouldn't have seen the smoking ban, which is pretty much being rolled out worldwide, at least in the west.

1
4

Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

Brenda McViking

Re: Don't have 85k

What, this one?

Huvr board

2
0

Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Brenda McViking

Re: Meh.

And yet, having both consoles and not really biased either way, it is clear at least to me that the Xbox is the more polished experience of the two. The PS4 was not *quite* ready when released and it shows.

2
5

LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

Brenda McViking

Re: I think the time has come

This disaster resulted in the entire aviation community agreeing that TCAS advisories are to be given priority over controller instructions. As a result, if a TCAS resolution advisory is telling you one thing, and the meatbag another, you follow TCAS - because it is provenly safer to do so.

0
0

Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

This Story

Bought to you by the NSA, who actually can break in easily but they want you to think it's secure so that you get rid of the blackberry which has them stumped.

Next week: The dangers of letting terrorists into your computer by using TOR

1
0

Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Brenda McViking

What is much more likely is the average "mom and pop" investor will not update their stop-loss orders and get stopped out of the market.

The other thing is that employee share plans are pretty difficult to do with a 3 digit share price.

But in the markets there are plenty of people (even rich ones) who don't really know how stocks work and will not have bought Apple because it "was too expensive."

1
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