682 posts • joined 25 Jun 2007
@Maty - Re: shaving
Wrote :- "I'm often bewildered by why men shave. .. Being bald with a neat(ish) grey beard,"
I understand that "neat(ish)" beards do require regular trimming, and that you end up looking like RMS otherwise.
@Piro - Re: People making money from these mugs don't hate them, though
Piro wrote :- "As for beards, I thought all you had to do was not shave for a while"
Not if they have dodgy hormones ...
From FTFA :- " they may work in the visual arts or performing arts."
... which is not uncommon among that type of person. Seriously.
@AC - Re: Not actually a new idea
Wrote :- "Scuba divers have had a pole for .. underwater video cameras for some time"
Why scuba divers specially? Above water they are called monopods, quite common in conventional photography :-
Never heard of them being used for a selfie, but no problem, set the camera on a 5 second time delay and get your pole out. I suppose your phone won't have a monopod/tripod boss though, but duck tape is your friend.
@Buzzword - Re: Good idea for low-value items
Wrote :- "Sounds like a decent plan to me, at least for fairly low-value goods.....Obviously you wouldn't order a new MacBook this way ... but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea."
You don't know how thieves work. They steal first and assess later.
@Voland's right hand - Re: Kettle, met pot, pot meet kettle
"Demise of KDE" ?? First I've heard of it.
Wrote :- "yes, in a town it the consequences of crashing could be worse than if he's flying over an empty field, but ... even if you tried I don't think you could hit more than two people in one crash"
I do not see your point. The reason flying over a town is more serious is the increased likelihood of hitting someone, not the possiblility of hitting more than one person at once.
@ Eddy Ito
Wrote :- "Go here [usps link], select "Ship a Package" -> "Print a Label with Postage". Affix the label, schedule pickup"
That's a service in the USA but this is a UK based forum and I am in the UK. I tried the UK equivalent (Parcel Force) and got as far as a screen that insisted I must use Windows or Mac to continue. I didn't.
@Vociferous : Re: Name and Shame
Wrote :- "It's the Daily Mail. Of course"
Don't blame the Daily Mail or any other media for reporting a panic. It's their job to report what is going on in the world, as indeed El Reg has reported this panic too.
The DM article you linked says "Imitations of Flappy Bird .. might be popping up everywhere, but the original game is ‘gone forever,’ according to its creator."
Read that again. The "gone forever" is in sacastic quotes and the quote itself is "according to its CREATOR" (my caps). If its creator thinks it has gone because he has pulled it from wherever (but what he really meant may have been lost in translation) then it is he who is under an illusion, not the media. The only thing that might have gone is his direct involvement, though he will find he gets into more "involvement" now than if he had just let things run.
I saw a demo of the game and it is crap anyway, like an early DOS game.
@HolyFreakinGhost - Re: "I know absolutely nothing about the black holes...
Wrote :- "I can assure you that he is still one of the best scientific minds Britain produced in the 20th century"
I will give you and Hawking the benefit ot the doubt over that one, it being completely beyond me to verify Hawkings cosmology.
However, seeing a brilliant mind (I must suppose) having stooped to appearing in "Go Compare" adverts disgusts me, and my opinion of him *as a man* has gone a long, long way in the direction of the above icon.
@Will Godfrey - Re: Yawn
Wrote :- " my mother in London during the Blitz. If she were alive now she would be reduced to tears at the betrayal of all they fought for."
She was fighting for privacy? None of the people I know/knew who lived or fought in the war ever mentioned privacy as their objective. In fact most mentioned quite different things from each other (although mere "survival" comes up quite often) and certainly none of the things that present day politicians claim the war was for. These and others try to hijack the "high ground" for their own present-day issues which in most cases would be quite alien and bizarre to someone who actually lived in 1940.
One thing is certain - most of those who lived in 1940 would be in tears like your mother over the mess that the UK is in today, and I'm not thinking of privacy.
AC @11:19 Re: An industry matured
Wrote :- "DIY plumbing became a lot more feasible when pushfit joints became more reliable than solder joints."
I baulked at that. Push fit joints are not reliable; maybe more reliable than YOUR soldered joints if that is what you mean. Generally, if a soldered joint does not leak when it is first made, it is never going to leak. And I would never buy a house with push-fit plumbing
@Fibbles - Re: iWatch ? I cannot believe
Wrote :- "Most people are willing to accept the slight inconvenience of pulling a smartphone out of their pocket to read the time [as opposed to glancing at a wrist watch] because of all of the other conveniences it provides."
I must be unusual then. I have a wristwatch AND a phone, so I get all the conveniences added together. Should I patent the idea?
@photobod - Re: As with most things, the public gets the high street it deserves
Wrote :- "Crazy travel and parking charges? Local councils have used the high street as a cash cow for decades, gradually squeezing until there's just no more blood left in the stone. Take a look at the number of empty shops."
But there seems to be blood left, because the car parks are still full. A lot of it is by the workers in nearby offices - possibly those above the shops, or in the ground floor of what used to be shops. We have become an "Office Economy".
I used to live near a small parade of shops which had a lay-by right outside - obviously the planners meant it for shoppers to stop in. But every day it was full by 8am and the same cars remained there all day, every day. No doubt some cars were the shop workers themselves.
Saving High Streets
Two things that could be done with high streets :
1) Certain types of shops should become brand showrooms rather than general retailers. At present some shops complain that people come in to view their stuff, then go home and order it on-line from somewhere cheaper. So (eg) Hotpoint could have a showroom for their white goods, which you could buy in the shop, or you could go home and order on-line and Hotpoint benefit anyway. Apple already uses this business model.
2) Smaller towns should pedestrianise their high streets (with rain canopies over at least the shop fronts) making them a mall. The road should be diverted to run parallel to the high street (maybe both sides), 100-200 yds behind the shops and the area between (usually yards and slums) cleared for a free car park with paths through to the high street. Calidicot near me has done this (look at Google satellite view, "Caldicot" puts you spot on :- Jubilee Way and Woodstock Way by-pass thehigh street).
Trouble with (2) is that shopkeepers have always squealed that they will be ruined if cars can't stop in the high street, but there are double yellow lines in most high streets anyway, and people have now become used the the mall concept. I don't know how they work this out; in Chepstow (my nearest town) last visit there were about 500 cars in the car parks and just one parked (illegally) in the high street whose driver came out of a shop with just a newspaper. On the contrary I avoid going to Monmouth (another nearby town) because I dislike the fact that cars are using its very narrow (in places) high street.
@Graeme5 - Re: going for record downvotes... deep breath...
Here you go then :-
@ShelLuser - Re: Risk factor?
Wrote :- "So Mint is based on Ubuntu and Ubuntu is based on Debian. Isn't that a little bit of a riskfull setup?"
I agree with your point. I have never understood why the several distros based on Ubuntu do not base directly on Debian instead. I imagine that Ubuntu these days has all sorts of cruft inside to provide hooks for its weird interface, for phone and tablet hardware, and for God knows what else lying in wait for its commercial future.
Debian itself is of course a PITA to use undiluted (been there) but at least it's clean. I now use Mepis, directly based on Debian but with the quirks ironed out.
@ Anonymous Coward #13
Wrote :- "I bet the guy was sitting in the car with the engine running and eventually the catalytic converter overheated"
There is a guy at my work who sits in his car for an hour every lunchtime - with the engine running if there is an "R" in the month, presumably for the heater. And we are concerned about CO2 emissions ?
"it will still add weight to the argument of some hardline commentators that video games are destroying the nation’s youth"
Where in the news report does it say anything about their ages? Anyway, with China's over-population it sounds like a few less yooof would help things, especially by Darwinian selection.
Is China so crowded that parking in the street is the only place you can find to play a game? China must be a lot more liberal than the UK in this - park in a UK shopping street like the one in the photo and you'd soon either have a penalty sticker or a few earfuls from other drivers.
@John Tserkezis - Re: !Subtle under tones
Wrote :- "they're still right, chromebooks are pretty useless, especially so if you lose your internet connection"
I might be wrong, havn't used Windows for years, but I have the impression that you can't get very far with Windows without an internet connection these days, especially with their newer software rental business model.
@John Savard - Re: The Cure
Wrote :- "The Communist Party of China should give up its grip on power, and turn China into a free country"
This is either an off-topic rant on the pretext of the word "China" being mentioned, or you have misread TFA. This is not about the Chinese Government, it is about the opinion of one individual who got some news coverage. Wouldn't be hard to find such opinions being reported in the West either.
Re: Could be a lot worse
Farting Hippo wrote :- "it has never been hard to get the hand-wringing, grauniad-reading, polenta-munching residents of Islington riled up"
Elmer Phud replied :- "I'm not sure you have any idea about most of Islington (other than what you've been spoon-fed)"
Hippo was not talking about most of Islington, only the hand-wringing, grauniad-reading, polenta-munching subset. Personally I am going by what I have been spoonfed by the "It's Grim Up North London" comic strip in Private Eye.
@Eguro - Re: So, while we can...
Wrote :- "a comment being posted by a random anonymous person will have a hard time convincing anyone"
That's certainly not true. There have been many anonymous rumours (or revelation of facts) that have resulted in history-changing events. For example, the Labour Party back in the 20's lost serious numbers of votes (and maybe elections) because of rumours put about that they were financed by the Bolsheviks. King James II lost his throne in 1688 largely because of a rumour that his claimed newborn son (to his queen who was believed to be infertile), was in fact a maidservant's baby. The son was later nicknamed "Pretender" on this basis (later "The Old Pretender"), a serious handicap to his efforts to stage a counter-revolution.
On the contrary, if these rumours had identifiable sources they could probably have been discredited more easlily.
@ A Non e-mouse - Follow the Trail
Wrote :- "Levying fines against the people/companies making the calls is not enough"
It said making or "instigating". Ought to cover it.
"the UK company contracting their services must be fined. I know this isn't perfect as you could use a chain of off-shore companies to hide the trail"
If someone phones me up trying to get me to change to eg Talk-Talk (or whoever), it seems to me that a "chain of off-shore companies" is irrelevant. You fine Talk-Talk.
PS. I mentionTalk-Talk because they phoned me despite my being on the TPS register. When I pointed this out, and the fact that being a phone company they should damn well what the law is, they had the nerve to "assure" me that they were entitled to phone me because I was a phone user.
Lord Gardiner said : " we have to be careful that, in dealing with this issue, we do not harm the direct marketing industry, which is a legitimate industry that provides employment and opportunities in support of our economy."
Pity they did not say that about the engineering industry, shipbuilding, electronics, car making ... I would like to see the direct marketing industry DESTROYED. A "legitimate" industry ? What it does may be legitimate under present legislation; but I thought this was about changing legislation, and that this is a time to decide what should be legitimate or not in future.
And : "Direct marketing can be beneficial for consumers—for example, calls from telecoms or energy companies advising on better deals or tariffs potentially save consumers money"
Does he seriously believe that accurate and unbiased information can be obtained from telephone salesmen?
ac @ 21:36 - Re: Well, two thoughts...
Wrote :- "I have had it up to HERE with proponents of nuclear power proclaiming its environmental purity while ... avoiding ...the transportation of materials to and from the plant, the processing and storage of the waste nuclear fuels and .. the decommissioning"
As it happens my job is dealing with those, so I at least cannot be accused of "avoiding". Because so much energy is derived from uranium fission, the transport of fuel to and from the plant is trivial, I am not even sure what you are on about - the fuel used by the transport?
Processing of fuel before and after use, at Capenhurst and Sellafield respectively, is a routine matter, not an issue except to those who wish to make it one.
Decommissioning is not rocket science, but I have to say that the plant staff THEMSELVES tend to make heavy weather of it and can drag it into years simply because thier jobs will come to an end when it is done. Being fairly senior, I have done a few things to cut through some of the unnecessary delays.
Storage of the final nuclear waste is also a straightforward matter - technically. Again, even some within the industry itself are making heavy weather of it, while I have always pushed for simplification and expediting things. However the indistry's hands are tied by politicians - it is a political and sociological problem and the cause of that is scaremongering.
No Off Switches?
I don't get it.. Never having had a webcam, don't they have off-switches?
Re: Yes well...
Wrote :- "4: Fix the roads. 80% of deaths on country roads occur on bends because 80% of country roads is made up of bends."
And thus completely ruin the pleasant ambience of English country roads. I live by such a road and the simple fact is that a minority people go much too fast on them and they are the ones who crash. Apart from the matter of spending £billions, flattening properties, and turning rural Britain into a vast construction site for the next 25-50 years, just so that some arseholes don't need to lift off their right foot a bit. The motorways were originally buit to take pressure off rural roads, but what has happened instead is that people like you expect every road to be like a motorway.
My road (and others similar) has signs aimed at motor-cyclists (there is a picture of one) saying how many accidents have occurred on it. A lot of motorcyclist use this road, because, you know what, they (and cars and cyclists for that matter) are attracted it BECAUSE it is a scenic rolling country road. So although I may be thumbed down by some Phillistines here who never come out of a basement and don't give a shit for aesthetics, I am clearly not the only person in the world who does.
The name "Ceylon" puts me off immediately, named after a mosquito-ridden overheated nation [now called Sri Lanka for those born since 1976] that has spent most of its recent years in civil war. Like "Java" puts me off Java. It also reminds me of Indian call centres (sorry, Ceylon != India, but same subcontinent).
It is a mistake to call any product after the name of a country or person (unless the person is actually the proprietor). Eastman knew this in 1888 when he chose Kodak as a brand name - he got researchers to check that it had no political/religious/national/personal implications before adopting it.
One of the reasons that Esperanto failed as an international language is because the name sounds Spanish - important when the issue is about language itself.
Re: There are so many things you can do in a bathroom
Stilted banter wrote :-
"I take it this ......... is an instance of that US American euphemism for 'going to the toilet'"
That brought me up short as well. Sounds disgusting. I hope they wash theiir fondleslabs afterward, and is this why some devices are "paper white"?
Shit on keyboard icon.
Shopping - Singles. Connection??
FTFA : "country’s young single folk to celebrate their loneliness by organising parties and spending their hard-earned yuan in shops and online"
I don't get it.
Parties : getting out.
Online shopping : Mum's basement
Nor is high street shopping a likely setting for romance - more about getting elbowed in the face, in my experience.
@Maxhertz - Re: Reality check
Don't know why this guy has been modded down, but he seems to know a thing or two about engineering, more than most commenters here. Perhaps it is by people who just want to believe.
There is no explanation given of why this printed gun should be any more accurate than a "conventionally" produced one, although I'm prepared to listen. Maybe more so than a run-of-the-mill conventional gun, but "conventional" methods can be done to extremely high accuracy with more cost, time, and individual attention. Like this printed gun got.
FTFA :- "the Liberator isn’t much of a firearm. It's barely accurate, prone to self-destruct, and has to be reloaded after each shot"
Sounds like most guns before about 1870. Didn't stop them being the main weapon of warfare for the two centuries before that.
@knarf - Re: Motorcycle Helmets
Wrote :- "Tesco staff tell me it was illegal to wear a helmet while paying for petrol. Now I know its really for facial recon and targeted ads. Think I can wear the helmet under data protection ?"
You cannot escape falling into one advertising category or another. You are up against Russell's Paradox. In this case you will fall into the "Motorcyclist" category (Tesco might not have one now, but I'm thinking ahead to when the "face of retail" is changed). So expect adverts for warm socks, thermal underwear, and accident insurance.
@Peter 45 - Re: Tesco, stock your shelves
Wrote :- "I foresee an increase in the sales of......Chewing gum...Spray paint....Halloween masks"
Then they will place you in the young male group. Sorry, there is no escape from this.
@rhydian - Re: The old classic....
Wrote :- "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes"
I heard it as "The bandwidth of a motorcyle courier with a pannier of floppy disks doing 90 on the M4"
@ Steve Evans
Wrote :- I took a Nikon DSLR, threw away the lens, drilled a hole in the body cap, covered that with foil, and stuck a pin through it."
I know you are describing it in a tongue-in-cheek way, but throwing away the lens ??! The point of a SLR is interchangeable lenses. Make a pin-hole lens from a body cap as you say, and it becomes another alternative lens in the collection. An SLR is thus an ideal basis for trying pinhole photography.
O'Connor said "I love the unique perspective of pinhole cameras". Sorry, there is nothing different about the perspective. It is exactly the same as a lens of the same focal length as the pinhole-film distance. A difference with pinhole is that all subject distances are equally in focus, just as a lens of very small aperture (f32, f64) has a large depth of field.
Or better described as equally not-quite-in-focus; because the finite size of the pinhole allows un-focussed rays onto the film. And if you reduce the pinhole size too much, apart from making the exposure time impractical, difraction effects reduce the picture quality. So there is an opimum pinhole size, I used to know what it was.
@Chris_W - Re: Or...
Wrote :- .. why don't you just congratulate the guy for something you didn't think of but probably wished you had if you could only have got off your fat arse and done something about it other than criticise someone for being passionate about their hobby"
Kryst, calm down. If this guy wants to 3-D pring a pinhole camera, fine. But it is an excercise in 3-D printing rather than optics - we all (my class anyway) did pinhole cameras back in school physics. I get off my arse doing a lot of things (mended a microwave today) but I won't be making a pinhole camera again, don't require congratulations for stuff I do, and don't think this guy requires congratulations either.
The GP posters are pointing out the fact that you can set up a good or better 3-D camera more cheaply and easily than buying plans from this guy.
Re: Gates is burning a straw man
Oh Homer wrote :- "The potential for education via connectivity ... is necessary, in the same sense that teaching a starving man to fish is just as necessary as giving him a fish."
Quite right. Like when I was two I got a serious illness. I waved away doctors and medicines and instead I hired educators to teach me medicine and pharmecology. Meanwhile my parents learned how to build a plant to make the serums I had been taught I needed, which they did under my learned direction. Good job it was done in the nick of time for me, but so much better to teach a baby how to make medicine than to give it to him.
@Slap - Re: PCs / Laptops will ultimately become a niche market
Wrote :- "There are millions of people out there that simply require web, email, Facebook and Twitter. ... you only need the cheapest android device that you can find. ....The PC as a device in the home is facing death."
There are also millions of people who do more than look at email and Facebook, and it's more than a niche market. Sure, many people will find a handheld enough, but many won't. I'll use a handheld when I am out, but prefer the comfort and experience of a big screen at home and in the office, rather than making my eyes ache looking at a small screen, thanks.
These things go in fashions. When the Austin Mini came out in the 1960's people went crazy about it, and excited journo's predicted the death of all larger cars. But cars got larger again after that (today the "Mini" itself is larger), now 50 years on cars are geting smaller again. What goes around comes around.
Re: Fast horizontal elevator?
Wrote :- "The Channel Tunnel seems to work fairly well, though. .....there are windows, but there's noting to see through them."
There is a big psychological difference between having no windows, and having windows that look out on a tunnel.
They made the mistake of thinking windows did not matter in London's early tube trains [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_and_South_London_Railway], which did have windows but only tiny ones high up in order to read station names (which were on a strip high on the station walls). People felt claustrophobic, despite the advantage of high back seats that were enabled; in fact the carriages were nicknamed "padded cells". After that, tube trains were built with conventional windows.
Re: Fast horizontal elevator?
Except you can pretty much say the same thing about a CAR, and the ride's longer.
@Pierre Castille - Re: No Chance in Hell
Wrote :- " engineers regularly achieve the impossible. ... "Well that won't work" really means that the speaker has no idea how to achieve the particular goal "
I am an engineer and have never achieved the impossible, nor do I know of any who have. If they did, it would not be "impossible" would it? I think you mean that engineers achieve what might *look* impossible to others (like you?).
The Hyperloop is certainly possible, but the issues are whether this idea is practicable, worth the cost, and has any point to it. On practicability, I am dubious about the ability (ie the effort, not the possiblity) to maintain even a modest partial vacuum over so long a tube, junction arrangements (there needs to be at least a depot connection on the simplest line) and about emergency evacuation methods.
On costs, the figures I have heard are ludicrous under-estimates; so risible they are not even worth discussing. On whether there is any point to it - any high speed transport times (including aircraft) are dominated by the time to get to the terminus. Speed is thus a benefit of diminishing returns, and so, despite the more dramatic raw speed, the Hyperloop does not offer that much advantage over "conventional" high speed trains trains which at least can continue at slower speeds at each end of their journey over well-established conventional lines into existing transport hubs.
@Cliff - Re: No chance in hell
Wrote :- "Brunel had a stab at it even, but maintaining pressure seals with leather proved too much. ... glad someone's trying again in earnest"
This is nothing like Brunel's system, which used a 15" diameter tube external to the train with a piston running in it to propel the train. The Hyperloop puts the whole train in a partial vaccum tube to reduce the air resistance, a fact nothing to do with the propulsion which is said to be by linear induction motor..
Incidentally, I followed links and ended up here :- www.jumpstartfund.com/idea/index/refinelist/ , where, when I clicked on the Hyperloop project, I was told i needed to sign in to learn anything about it. Idiots - is that any way to whip up interest (and funds)?
disgruntled yank Bronze badge - Re: Amusing
Wrote :- "my father used to quote, ca. 1960: Arizona guide: This is one of the oldest buildings in the state, folks. It's over a hundred years old"
So a hundred and fifty now then. Can't laugh at that.
@raving angry loony - Re: Amusing
Wrote :- "The significance of Steve Jobs ... will like all history be decided by future generations. Not by people who were alive in the same time period.... to declare something "historical" when it's not even old enough to draw a pension is laughable."
Yes, future generations will decide it. But it is essential for the contemporaneous generation to preserve things which are likely to become historic otherwise they may not survive for those future generations to be able to make the decision.
The UK is particularly bad at this - did not preserve a single battleship built since HMS Warrior of 1860 - nothing from WWI/II. The USA preserved several of theirs. If only .......
My comment is nothing to do with whether I consider Job's garage is even a likely choice.
I wrote :- "Interestingly though, it is possible to argue that gambling is a good strategy for the poor"
Ledswinger replied :- "No, it isn't a good strategy, precisely because on the whole it makes the poor poorer."
I wasn't advocating that the poor should gamble! It is more like a thought experiment. Here is another way of expressing it. Suppose the World is soon to end and someone is offering a seats on an escape vessel for £half-a-million. But you have only £1000, so if you do nothing you are going to die. Your best strategy is to place a bet on a horse at 500:1 odds. It would be pointless to back the 4:1 favourite. The 500:1 will probably lose but you might as well die with £0 as with £1000, and there is a chance the horse might win. Only a slight chance, but better than your chances when the asteriod strikes
I believe that the poor gambler subconciously thinks this way. He thinks his life on £30 per week is crap, but even if he spends £10 of it gambling, life on the remaining £20 is the same crap anyway. So he might as well spend the £10 and get the chance of winning thousands, no matter how remote that chance is.
Watching the telly (the channels and times when I tend to), about half the adverts are for betting. It amazes me that so many people (who tend to be the less wealthy) find the cash to bet when there are rising energy bills to pay, or that such adverts are not banned as a social and economic evil. I understand that they *are* banned in the Land of the Free even.
Interestingly though, it is possible to argue that gambling is a good strategy for the poor. It is maybe the only route by which they might become rich or even comfortably off, even though they far more likely to become even poorer and fall (further?) back on Social Security. But I am not sure the poor work out strategy in that way.
Prime time TV adverts are more for insurance, which is also gambling of course - of the form "I bet I will have a nasty accident".
@Unlimited - Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare
Wrote :- "if ipv4 addresses are so rare Why can I rent one for a few dollars a month?"
Because you are sharing it with others.
“Life is short, have an affair” [is] its motto
"The site's FAQ says it does not encourage infidelity"
So which is it?
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