* Posts by Graham Marsden

6780 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Little bang for the Big C? Nitro in the anti-cancer arsenal

Graham Marsden
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"The potential impact might be explosive"

Nice one and a very interesting article.

Nitroglycerin: DO NOT shake well before use!

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Yes, yes, cure cancer and so on, but, what of these 'poppers'...

> amyl nitrite can no longer be legally sold for 'recreational purposes'

But similar products are sold in (Ahem) Room Odourisers (erm, allegedly!)

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No, seriously, NASA will fly a probe through Saturn's moon plumes

Graham Marsden
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Alien

Anyone...

... spotted any Black Monoliths in the vicinity?

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Mystery object re-entering atmosphere may be Apollo booster

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

@TheProf - Re: @Alister

> Maybe the blame lies with the co-author(s).

Regrettably that's usually the case. When a Big Name Author starts franchising out the writing to someone else, it's never as good.

What's really galling is when you get caught by a Bait-and-Switch with the famous name in big bright letters on the front and the co-author's name in tiny, dark letters somewhere underneath and you don't realise it until after you've handed over the money :-(

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Graham Marsden
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@Alister

> look forward to the next two

I'm not so sure. I looked forward to the sequel that was implied after the first Rama book... :-(

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You own the software, Feds tell Apple: you can unlock it

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

I would laugh at the irony...

... that EULAs which say "you don't anything, we just give you permission to use it" are being used against the companies who wrote them, if it wasn't for the fact that this is being used to circumvent the rights of users.

I sincerely hope that 1) The Feds get told by the Courts to take a running jump and 2) The EULA writers sort their bloody game out ASAP!

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Court to Wikimedia: Your NSA spying evidence is inadmissable, so you can't prove NSA spying

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"one trillion dollars are of enormous value"

And our Freedoms and Rights and Liberties are of *incalculable* value and should not be dismissed in such a cavalier fashion.

Ask Ben Franklin for details...

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We applied to Google's €150m journalism fund – here's what we sent in

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

'goal is to "support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation"'

So why is El Reg applying...?

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;-)

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New Horizons: Pluto? Been there, done that – now for something 6.4 billion km away

Graham Marsden
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Re: Slow download speeds

I used to have a modem that did 1kb per second :-)

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Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: Imprisonment for profit!

"The privatization of prisons can be traced to the contracting out of confinement and care of prisoners after the American Revolution."

"In the modern era, the United Kingdom was the first country in all of Europe to use prisons run by the private sector"

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Imprisonment for profit!

1) Privatise the prisons so companies like G4S get paid by the number of people in their institutions

2) Make it much more difficult for people to get legal aid by slashing the budget

3) Privatise the Courts system so the people running it are the same ones running the prisons

4) Profit!!!

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Charles Manning

> I don't care what happens to people who choose to impose prison on themselves....

"With less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its incarcerated population, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world – largely due to the war on drugs. Misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing requirements have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color. Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial and ethnic lines, blacks and Latinos are far more likely to be criminalized for drug law violations than whites."

http://www.drugpolicy.org/resource/drug-war-mass-incarceration-and-race

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Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre

Graham Marsden
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@Bc1609 - Re: While the DB10 does look awfully impressive

And that lovely comeback from M when she comments that the DB5 isn't very comfortable:

Bond: "Are you going to complain the whole way?" (Flips up top of gear stick to reveal red button)

M: "Oh go on then, eject me, see if I care."

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Hackers pop grease monkeys' laptops to disable Audi airbags

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Yes, but...

... when is someone going to come up with an exploit that makes the indicators on BMWs work?

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Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Graham Marsden
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Henry had the feeling he might be under surveillance...

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Graham Marsden
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Now I sing a Helen Reddy song...

(With apologies to Scott Adams!)

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Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp

Graham Marsden
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Happy

I preferred...

... this examination of the historical facts (which is probably about as accurate as Plutarch's version...)

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UK/China cyber security deal: National security attacks still OK, it seems

Graham Marsden
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Devil

Re: Trust?

China: "Oh, didn't you notice we had our fingers crossed? No? Too bad! Nar nar ne-nar nar!"

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Millions of people forget to cancel Apple Music subscription

Graham Marsden
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Re: @DougS - How attitudes change

The difference between the situations you describe and what Apple has done is that the others require you to give your card information up front, so there is at least a *clue* that you're going to be charged once the trial period ends.

Apple, however, already *have* your payment information...

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Graham Marsden
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@DougS - Re: How attitudes change

> What's the problem? Apple is only giving three months for free, after that you have to pay.

The problem is what's called Inertia Selling

"Apple set it up so that users of the trial period were automatically subscribed to the service when it expired. And thanks to the fact that the app is running on Apple's system – which in the vast majority of cases already contains people's credit card details – it was able to seamlessly sign people up without forcing them to enter their credit card details."

Signing people up to a service "for free" and then taking money off them if they don't unsubscribe is verging on the illegal and I hope it comes back to bite them on the arse if someone is willing to stand up to them (unfortunately, they'll need deep pockets...)

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FBI, US g-men tried to snatch DNA results from blood-testing biz. What a time to be alive

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

As always....

... it's different when *they* do it...

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OMG Captain Skywalker, here comes AMD's new Merlin Falcon doing Warp 9 to the Tardis

Graham Marsden
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Re: Bird of Prey

Hibou et Minou allèrent à la mer,

Dans une barque peinte en jaune-canari...

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El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Graham Marsden
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Damn those IoT hackers, that was supposed to be a cappuccino!

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Graham Marsden
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You're telling me people pay over £3 for a cup of coffee in 2015...?

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Terror, terror everywhere: Call the filter police, there's a madman (or two) in town

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: There's a difference between child porn and extremism

> The former is easily defined, the latter somewhat nebulous.

Alas, even the former is nebulous, hence the case of of the 14 year old boy having the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him by police and there are other examples of people being convicted for having images of someone over 18, but who *looks* under 18.

If we can't even make clear definitions of the former, the latter is virtually impossible (of course that won't stop our Nanny Government trying to tell us that we're not allowed to see it in case it makes us do something bad...)

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

@AC - "Can we have a f*** constitution"?

Unfortunately even if we *did* get a written Constitution, instead of getting clear, declarative rules, they would be so laden down with weasel phrases like "except to prevent terrorism or crime or protect children (or to stop anyone we don't like being able to exercise these rights)" that it wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on :-(

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Graham Marsden
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Alert

@Vimes - Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

> define the term 'extremist', or for that matter what makes a value 'British'.

To misquote the old line: "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it!"

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Pluto flashes its unusual pits

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Re: It's a DVD

> You should see the unit that plays it!

It's obvious, we have to build the Sun Beam from Doc Smith's Lensman books (which concentrates the sun's output into a single concentrated beam), then we'll be able to read it!

(Or we fry Pluto, I'm not sure...)

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So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

Graham Marsden
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Re: @Doctor Syntax - Writing?

As a_yank_lurker points out, passing on information is not the same as storing it for future reference.

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Graham Marsden
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@Doctor Syntax - Re: Writing?

Unlike word of mouth, writing has a permanent form which can be referred back to, rather than relying on someone's (possibly unreliable) memory or the tendency of some people to embellish details.

Also (from another post) Printing is, ultimately, effectively just more efficient writing, allowing mass reproduction and distribution of information, rather than laboriously copying by hand, but really just a development of what already existed.

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Doctor Who's The Girl Who Died ships in nasty Vikings floating atop a time-bending tidal wave

Graham Marsden
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Was I the only one...

... who cheered when the Sonic Sunglasses were snapped in half?

And then booed when it turns out they still bloody worked?!

Still, apart from that (and the stupid horned helmets) it wasn't a bad episode :-/

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Job alert: Is this the toughest sysadmin role on Earth? And are you badass enough to do it?

Graham Marsden
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Alien

At least the criteria don't include...

... high Sanity and an ability to deal with Shoggoths!

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

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Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Re: Star Cops and Box

I want to go around to your house and snap: "Box - Maximum alarm!"

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

Re: More customization desired in these voice powered assistants

What about the Orac version?

You: "Orac, what is the temperature outside" .

Echo (or similar device): "Go outside and find out for yourself, I'm busy!"

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Ad networks promise to do something about the awful adverts you're all blocking, like, real soon

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads"

That rather relies on the publishers' service actually being important enough to the users that said users will stop blocking ads in order to see the content.

Sorry, publishers, but the vast majority of you are not indispensible...

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Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'

Graham Marsden
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Happy

What about...

... Bobby Tables?

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Cybercrime bazaars: What's for sale in the online underworld?

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

But don't worry, boys and girls...

... you can trust the Government with all your data...

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After Burner: Sega’s jet-fighting, puke-inducing arcade marvel

Graham Marsden
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Memories of a mis-spent youth...

I recall the first time I played the sit-in version and I was utterly blown away by the immersive experience of not just standing in front of a cabinet, but actually having the whole machine move around me in response to my controls!

There were others that followed, but I still hold a treasured memory of retfA renruB (as I used to refer to it since the title would spin round and reverse on screen ;-) )

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

@sabroni - Re: re: make play easier, get extra lives etc.

> Even gaming properly is too much like hard work!!!

Game smarter, not harder!

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Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet

Graham Marsden
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Re: @werdsmith - People who use adblockers...

> Your problem is not with these poor cold and wet guys on the street, it is with the advertisers.

FYI, in the past (long before the advent of MW) I have delivered leaflets, so I do know what is involved.

But you're right that my problem is with the advertisers because if they paid more than the minimum wage, the guys on the street would not be working below it if people put "no flyers" signs on their doors. Of course the advertisers won't pay more, because they'll argue that "if we pay more than the minimum wage, it will mean we have to charge more for our services and that would mean we couldn't employ so many people, so it would be *your* fault they're out of a job" (which actually means "I wouldn't be able to pay myself so much...")

However the point is that it's *my* front door and just because I have a letter box and a doorbell does *not* mean that everyone is free to shove their rubbish through it or disturb me when I'm working (I work from home), meaning I have to drop everything and find out it's some idiot wanting to sell me something I don't want and wouldn't buy at the front door even if I did or push their religious BS onto me.

This is no different from my browsing a website and someone's advert being stuck over what I'm trying to read or jumping up and down and flashing in my peripheral vision or unexpectedly blasting out sound from my speakers and if you do that to me, I *WILL* be a grumpy, miserable git!

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

AndrueC - Re: @werdsmith - People who use adblockers...

> I have a plastic engraved plaque on my letter box flap with the same message and also 'no cold callers'

For brevity I didn't include the full version which is printed in big letters on an A4 sheet and says:

NO

FLYERS

MENUS

JUNK MAIL

SURVEYS

COLD CALLERS

RELIGIOUS PERSONS

YES, THIS DOES MEAN YOU!

There are still those stupid enough or arrogant enough to ignore it :-(

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Graham Marsden
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@werdsmith - Re: People who use adblockers...

> If it is your ad that has annoyed them, then you will lose goodwill with that person and probably a potential customer too, because your company / product is associated with irritation and annoyance.

Hear hear!

A parallel example: I have a big sign on my front door that says "NO Flyers, Menus, Junk Mail", yet still some idiots shove their rubbish through my letter box.

I take great delight in phoning up the companies involved and informing them that, because of this, there is no way I will ever use their services since their employees have so little respect for my wishes.

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GCHQ can and will spy on politicos, rules tribunal

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

But... but...

... it's different for *us*...!!!

Signed - Your MPs

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Facebook's UK wing paid just £4k in corporation tax last year

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Re: Minimum

Apropos of this: here's an article published just today "Now the Tories are allowing big business to design their own tax loopholes"

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Minimum

I am not a tax expert, so don't expect me to cite specific rules and I doubt you're an expert either, so even if I did, would you be able to validate my claims?

That is, however, of course, the point. Neither of us can afford the "buy in" which is the cost of the expensive accountants and tax experts who know the loopholes and avoidance methods that exist in the incredibly complicated tax rules we would need to negotiate to play the game on their level.

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Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

Graham Marsden
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Re: How do these cars cope with motorcyclists?

A lot better, because these cars are actually paying attention all around *all* the time, leaving the passenger free to make phone calls, play with their laptops or even doze off without endangering anyone else which is a big change from the current situation.

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Not theat simple

> Ram the driverless Volvo!

Are you aware that the driverless cars are fitted with cameras and lasers to scan the area around to them to enable them to *be* driverless? I think they'd be recording that data...

> What if a driverless Volvo and driverless Tesla hit each other?

Then one or both must have had a major systems failure (or been shunted into the other by another vehicle)

> I found the factory configuration menu of the neighbour's car.

Now that one *is* a serious concern, hopefully there's no hard-coded passwords or other such nonsense caused by Sales taking precedence over Security!

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Science Museum celebrates Ada Lovelace

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Re: But most importantly...

Pah! Abraham Lincoln fought Vampires... ;-)

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Google says Loony broadband balloons are 'nearly perfect'

Graham Marsden
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Who's going to clean up after them?

These ballons will, of course, drift on the wind and others will have to be sent up to replace them.

All of these will, eventually, come down somewhere which may not be easily accessible, leaving a mess for someone to clean up...

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Researcher messes up Wi-Fi with an rPi and bargain buy radio stick

Graham Marsden
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It's easy to jam 2.4Ghz

All you need is a dodgy old microwave oven like one of my neighbours used to have which would block my video sender every time they turned it on!

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