Ed's #1 Rule of Marketing
For every vaguely useful invention, there's a marketer who asks "Great, now how can we make this more expensive?"
127 posts • joined 29 Jun 2012
For every vaguely useful invention, there's a marketer who asks "Great, now how can we make this more expensive?"
Too right! J&J are responsible for trying to slather all newborns in their vile, sickly, overpowering perfume.
Babies don't need perfume, and they certainly don't need their little lungs dusted with perfumed talc.
By the way, I don't like J&J.
Yes, yes, YES!
"also prevents arsehole insurance companies from placing recurring annual charges on your card when you only signed up for one year's insurance "
Just stay away from dishonest weasels like Budget Insurance. They'll promise not to try any of that auto-renewal crap again, don't worry, until eleven months later. Then you get the letter saying they're helping themselves to your money, so you write, email and 'phone them to say don't bloody dare. They acknowledge your request and THEN try to steal your money. With luck, your credit/debit card will have been re-issued by then, with a new number, thwarting them. Then, they'll be after you for an admin fee for messing them around. Avoid Budget!
Alan Brown said:
"Binding it with carbon is even easier because you don't have to "recharge" the metal. There's a lot more hydrogen in a litre of diesel than in a litre of liquid hydrogen."
Brilliant! All we need to do is burn coal to make electricity, use it to electrolyse water, combine the hydrogen with more coal to produce big molecules, say octane. Then use THAT for running the car.
It's no dafter than using hydrogen as a fuel.
"I think you're being a bit naive if you think this or most other wars have anything to do with religion. Stalin was an atheist, to give but one example."
Sigh - not that old canard again. Stalin was a bastard who just happened to be an atheist. He didn't slaughter people in the name of atheism.
While there have been many wars over territory and supremacy, there has been an unhealthy proportion of wars where religious motivation has been at or close to the surface.
"There are only two things the internet is good for. [...]
And poor grammer ..."
I see what you did there.
"To assume the vast number of variables that effect decay rate to be constant over time is ABSURD."
Ok, bring it on. What effects do you know that effect decay time? Last I heard, there was nothing known that affected the decay rate of a particular isotope, apart from the most extreme nucleus-impacting environments.
The constancy of radioactive decay is what enables us to date materials. Cross-referencing using different daughter isotopes gives good agreement for (say) the age of the Earth. Would you suggest that some force has affected all the different isotopes in some cunning way so that they still give the same result?
"a lot of sensors and cameras have more than sufficient sensitivity in near IR"
As DougS also pointed out, this is a useful trick to see if your remote control is working; just pick up that mobile.
Because of the sonsor's intrinsic sensitivity to IR, cameras, webcams, 'phones have IR-rejecting filters. Without the filters, the contrast and relative brightness of objects in the captured image would be messed up. There are some pages on the web showing how to remove the filters and have some IR fun.
BTW - the longer-wavelength IR will have a different focussing point to visible light and the lens won't be optimised for it. It's still on my 'to do' list. Readers old enough to remember 'proper' cameras may have noticed the additional focusing mark for use with IR film.
1. Boy, are you holding it wrong(ly)
2. Maybe the 6-inch monster phone wasn't such a good choice.
3. Gives a new meaning to 'ringtone.'
"Mate of mine used to work with a near-totally-deaf woman who had a hearing dog. When her phone rang the dog would bark."
An old story...
It's common practice to ring a telephone by signaling extra
voltage across one side of the two wire circuit and ground. When the
subscriber answers the phone, it switches to the two wire circuit for
the conversation. This method allows two parties on the same line to be
signaled without disturbing each other.
Anyway, an elderly lady with several pets called to say that her
telephone failed to ring when her friends called, and that on the few
occasions when it did ring her dog always barked first. The telephone
repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog.
He climbed a nearby telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and dialed
her house. The phone didn't ring. He tried again. The dog barked loudly,
followed by a ringing telephone. Climbing down from the pole, the
telephone repairman found:
1. A dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an iron
chain and collar.
2. The dog was receiving 90 volts of ring signal.
3. After several such jolts, the dog would start barking and urinating
on the ground.
4. The wet ground now completed the circuit and the phone would ring.
Which shows you that some problems in life can be fixed by just pissing
"Lindt Excellence 99%"
I'm always looking for the better (80+%) dark choc so I was amazed to find this in a French supermarket. I bought some out of curiosity. It was like eating cocoa powder in solid form; there was certainly nothing sweet about it. Not sure I actually liked it.
While it is not yet a criminal offence to be "a few loops short of a Slinky" or just not suitably informed, it is illegal to use deception to relieve such peeps of their money. It's like the fake bomb detectors or other snake oil.
There's a sports-gear shop in Swindon, probably one of a chain, which sells "hologram bracelets" which claim to improve your balance and perform other miracles. I pointed out to a nearby member of staff that this was fraudulent, but I was 'reassured' that they were very popular. So that's all right then.
I have groaned when friends (actually, all female) told me that they'd bought "powerful" crystals for absorbing harmful energy. One friend actually sells this shite to other people, making it awkward to take her seriously.
" Martin Gavin, aged 47, of Hope Hey Lane, Little Hulton suffered an electric shock of 11,000 volts which left his life hanging in the balance."
" A 33 year old man lost his life after attempting to steal copper cabling from an electric substation in Urago d’Oglio, near Brescia in Italy."
" A MAN was in a critical condition last night after suffering horrific burns in a suspected attempt to steal copper from an electricity substation.
The unnamed victim, thought to be in his early 20s, staggered into hospital with 60 per cent burns..."
" A man who tried to force his way into an ENMAX power station in southeast Calgary was found dead by emergency crews on Thursday morning."
" A BOY of 16 was killed by a 275,000 volt cable at an electricity substation in Leeds at the weekend.
Officials blamed the incident on an attempt to steal cable."
" A man is fighting for his life in hospital with severe burns believed to have been sustained as thieves allegedly tried to steal metal from an electricity substation."
"James Sorby, 22, was burnt so badly that his daughter was unable to recognise him. He had been trying take cabling from an electricity sub-station in a disused Post Office sorting room in Leeds, West Yorks." ** Nice picture of said moron **
Ed's note: A lot of crap journalism out there; "electrocuted" means _killed_ by electricity, not just hurt. If they're still breathing then they're not electrocuted, and no Darwin Award. Sorry.
"...makes people wanting to except or not except."
Unable to parse. Did you mean "accept"?
"Ever moved from a car with the indicators on one side of the wheel to the other? How hard was it to avoid turning the wipers on instead of indicating? How hard to avoid flashing your headlights when you intended to wash your windscreen?"
I'll disagree here, although not enough to downvote you. In my 30+ years of owning cars, there's always been a dedicated control for each function. Until, that is, I got a recent-ish Audi, with its wanky MMI (Multi-media interface). In their attempt to minimise the number of controls, there is now a multi-function knob, a display panel and a number of soft-keys. Digging though menus to access various functions is all fine while sitting at a stationary desk, but trying to do that while driving is really dangerous; it takes far too much concentration.
So, I get get sick to the tits of having my music constantly interrupted by traffic bulletins, but it is now too much of a distraction to my driving to turn it off. Also, I'd probably forget to turn it back on and end up in a six-day holdup on the M4.
On the previous cars, it would have been a single button-press; quick convenient and safe.
"... gives them the right to park the 4x4 wherever they want..."
May I propose a solution? Make it illegal to enable power-steering on any vehicle UNLESS it is in the posession of a bona fide farmer. That might just dissuade the mummies from deploying their tanks for the school run.
"Three words: "The Day Today" (or if a Radio 4 purist, "On The Hour")."
Excellent choice, Sir. If I may contribute "The thin twig of peace has been stretched to breaking point."
I had to change a coolant flange(*) on my previous car. I was asked to give a brief write-up on a car-related web-site. However, their anti-profanity filter removed the F-word, replacing it with ******. Nice work, guys!
(*) It's a part of the coolant system which connects the end of a hose to a hole on the side of the engine.
"Or Cadburys Dairy Milk made in Australia?"
Yay - it's not just me then. I tried it on a visit to Oz in the 1990s. Familiar wrapper but it was like trying to each a choc-flavoured ceramic tile. We speculated that maybe Cadbury's modified the recipe to tolerate the higher temperatures than Blighty's. However, I think I once saw a FAQ section on their website which said that they didn't tweak their recipes. Maybe I've just forgotten.
"It's known as the Dunning-Kruger effect - where people are too stupid to realize their own incompetence."
Well-explained by Ben Goldacre in his book Bad Science. Very amusing.
" Initially the policy was to remove joke reviews, but Amazon eventually cottoned on that the good ones drove more traffic to the site"
May I recommend: "Penetrating Wagner's Ring"
Many of the best reviews did get purged some time ago, but it's good to see them re-emerging.
"I've always thought it would be amusing to get hold of one of the flow charts"
Counterscript is what you want:
"...the waiter asked if we wanted "some more cocaine""
"I'm fine for cake, Mrs. Doyle."
"Are you sure, Father, there's cocaine in it."
"Oh, no... not cocaine...what am I on about? No, I meant... what do you call them...raisins."
the slang known as Lunfardo was in use in Buenos Aires (Arg) and Uruguay a hundred years ago. Some words were incorporated into tango lyrics, affording them some immortality, even if they never entered common usage.
Not surprisingly, given its underworld origins, the Lunfardo vocbulary seems to have a disproportionately large number or words relating to criminal activity, (theft, knives, killing, prostitution) women, sex and sexual organs.
Why is this relevant? New words enter our languages all the time but it seems to reach a significant point when it acquires its own name. Perhaps, those looking back in a hundred years' time will have a new name to refer to the rapid influx of new words for our age.
Listening to a serious prog on BBC Radio 4 about the Mexican economy, I had a PMSL moment when the Mexican gentleman being interviewed referred to BILLIONS of dollars. It's all The Reg's fault, with their SEEEELY headlines!
and what happened to their testicles.
the bell-end who was in my year at school and wanted to avoid taking an exam. He was on of the "hard" guys and had the bright idea of finding someone to break his writing hand for him. He didn't get any takers and so did it himself, apparently with a brick. I saw him later with bandaged fingers. He didn't do the exam and most probably didn't go to uni (no surprise there).
That is all.
Dunno about you, but I LOVE to read about criminal scum getting caught. It's like porn to me.
One the one side, there are decent, hard-working folk, like the readership here. At the other side, there are the parasitic scum who have no compunctions about stealing from others, as a cushy alternative to working. They are filth and I hope they have a rotten time in the Queen's Hotel and lose all their stuff.
BTW - I use Thunderbird for email, so I'm used to seeing the real URL in the phishing spams. I was shocked to see that my colleagues using the standard corporate-issued MS Outlook can't actually see the URL.
"I have trouble producing reasionable pictures without a viewfinder or manual settings."
Glad it's not just me that dislikes cameras with no VF. Then again, I'm still using my old OM1 and Canon EOS-50.
What - you mean car insurance, mortagages and gardening?
"The suffix "-ene" indicates that each C atom is covalently bonded to three others (instead of the maximum of four), a situation that classically would correspond to the existence of bonds involving two pairs of electrons ("double bonds")."
If memory serves, (A-level chem, late 1970s) in compounds containing carbon rings, each C atom has bonds to three others, but the fourth bonding electron is "de-localised." This enables it to move fairly freely over the surface of the rings, so it can conduct electricity. Graphite is the usual example.
Disclaimers: I may have mis-remembered. The picture may have been simplified. Knowledge in the field may have progressed to the point where the above is no longer accurate.
p.s. I don't know if the delightfully-named ring molecule Arsole is conductive, but I don't care.
"BG is the most extreme over-charger"
Yup. I let BG quote for my new boiler, just for entertainment purposes. Not suprisingly, they wanted 5k where other quotes came in at around 2-3k. I feel sorry for the people who are taken in by them.
Oh and I hate those vile caricatures on their ads and web-site; those freaky people with huge heads and tiny bodies. Big turn-off. It givesme extra pleasure in waking my wood burner, getting the place all toasty FOR FREE.
"Yup, just like people knew a long time ago. Observations like this were made at least ten years ago, if not 20 years ago."
Yes! I recall having some "Anklebiter's Book of Science" maybe 30- 40 years ago, with a section called "Nature Beat Man to it" (or similar). It showed how the feathers on the trailing edge of owls' wings had gaps between them. The text explained that this broke up the airflow and reduced the noise. Similar methods were used on the arse-end of jet engines to make them quieter (paraphrasing a little).
Maybe there is something new here, possibly in the mention of the softer materials and porosity.
This Tesla owner drives into a bar.
The barman says "Your car's on fire."
How we laughed.
"Model S battery combusted after the car ran over a tow bar,"
Of course God made us from clay; the 3D printer hadn't been invented, otherwise he'd have used one.
"Yes, there was a survey that obliged people to travel."
No, they even made up that bit too, to make the story fit with Old Testament predictions. The census was a myth.
Source: The Fabrication of Jesus Christ - Christopher Hitchens
"Right now, those MBAs are probably feverishly looking for ways to bend over even further."
Yup, right up to the point where their own jobs get outsourced to China. Then, it's not quite so funny.
"Having an actual plug-and-socket means breaking the skin barrier, which carries a much greater risk of infection."
May I humbly suggest xkcd?
" that could be very bad." - Makes me think you just might be an xkcd reader already.
"Yes I know you make most of the money on the popcorn, but think."
Boy, am I in trouble? Just last night, I made a ton of popcorn, which was a direct copy of Genuine Overpriced Cinema Popcorm (TM). My offspring were unknowingly nomming PIRATED POPCORN, stealing money straight out of the mouths of the cinema industry, er- literally.
I await the knock on my door and the prospect of a cold winter after having my gas cut off (because that was used for the copying).
"Awesome spell check of the day!"
Hmm, I also stared at that line, but couldn't work it out. Maybe the DRM code comes on a floppy?
Bit of a limp suggestion, I know.
"What's wrong with Caesium?"
"Come on Reg, your a British site"
Irony alert! (Yes, I'd always spell it with -ae-)
"A simple cat's whisker can pick up (analogue) FM signals hence why battery drain on a portable FM radio is pretty low....whereas a multiplexed digital signal needs to be "processed" in order to extract the radio signal of the station you want to hear - hence why the battery drain on a portable DAB set will be much higher."
No. I don't know if this comes out of the Daily Mail Radio Design Handbook, but it is cobblers.
A 'cat's whisker' makes a simple diode detector, which extracts the _envelope_ or amplitude of the signal. For an AM broadcast, this is a simple way of recovering the audio.
In FM, the signal's amplitude carries no information at all. A diode detector will give you nothing, nada, zip (*). In fact, an FM receiver will have some stages which intentionally limit the signal amplitude, keeping it perfectly flat.
The need for digital processing is real enough, though; you need to pull out the right bit stream, before turning it back into audio.
(*) Ok, if you manage to detune to one side of the signal, you may manage some crude slope-detection, using the edge of your filter's passband.
"the majority of radio's only have a single speaker"
...and you can have your apostrophe back and all.
During the last international mail-storm here , I watched hundreds of "unsubscribe" emails being sent to the entire list. My first thought was that many colleagues were foolishly hitting Reply-all. In fact, they were actually (still foolishly) using Reply.
Most list-servers in my humble experience simply treat a Reply as a Reply-to-list; you need to use a different admin address if you want out. List members tend to forget or lose this vital piece of info. At work, entire departments may get signed up to new lists, with little warning.
Some list-servers at least may trap any unsub requests, but it doesn't seem to be default.
Still, that's my observation as a user, not an IT admin of any sort.
"In Japan nearly all the men smoke but they don't get lung cancer."
Cancer rates certainly appear lower than, say, those in the US. Some interesting reading:
Possible explanations for this difference in risk include a more toxic cigarette formulation of American manufactured cigarettes as evidenced by higher concentrations of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in both tobacco and mainstream smoke, the much wider use of activated charcoal in the filters of Japanese than in American cigarettes, as well as documented differences in genetic susceptibility and lifestyle factors other than smoking.
Man does Bicycle in Hotel room "
Yebbut - that was just a harmless crank.
...and I have touched the sky.
"For a brief moment, I felt like I held the world's most powerful remote control in my hand."
A few weeks back, I was having an unpleasant motorway drive, though driving rain. I was relieved to reach my junction but the traffic lights at the end of the slip road turned red to spite me. I called to the great god Bollocks, who obliged with a lightning bolt which took out all the traffic lights. I smiled in thanks.
"Current obessession is waging war on the molluscs in our garden by collecting the slimy sods and drowing them in bleachy water. One of these days a neighbour's going to call the police about the shadowy figure with a flashlight rooting about in my garden at 11pm every night ..."
Nah - just another gardener and mollusc hater. You are in good company. Snails are usually treated to the Dropkick of Destiny, while slugs get the Heel of Justice.
"... trashes the tire too..."
I believe that's a myth. While I don't have personal experience here, I have read accounts from several peeps who have had the gunk scraped out and the tyre successfully repaired later. Some repair places may have propagated the idea that it's not possible, maybe because they don't know better, or can't be bothered.