* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1197 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Dodgy Geezer

Chickens home to roost

The government used to have an agency called the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA)

That ran government procurements, and never had a failed project.

It was closed down in the 1990s as Thatcherite politics required industry to do this sort of job. And the rest is history....

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

...A more correct strategy for referenda is to count the non-voters in some agreed way. Typically, they may represent "status quo", or other proportion. This would then be used to set a benchmark point at which the result carries validity....

Saying that non-voters represent 'the status quo' is a mindless statement, which would lead to illogical results which would fly in the face of reason. It is certainly not a 'correct strategy'! Imagine an election where the winning party threw out the government with 45% of the vote while the government supporters got 10%. Your approach would then give the losers the victory?

If you MUST make assumptions about non-voters, the only one you are entitled to make is that they did not care which side won. They are happy with either outcome. That means they are de facto supporting the winning side.

Looked at that way, the Referendum vote was around 75% in favour of leaving...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Anti-democratic?

Actually, he did not. He said that would be 'unfinished business'...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: 4Chan pranked

Probably the key requirement is that, once bought, they can be stored in any conditions for 5- 50 years and still work.

Pens would almost certainly have to be bought anew for each election....

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Dodgy Geezer

Right wing views...?

...no subsidies for renewable energy...

That sounds just like common sense...

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

We CAN'T make a positive contribution to the EU

Because, if you want to point out what the EU are doing wrong, you are not allowed to work in the EU. A precondition for working in the EU is to believe that it's perfect. And you get sacked if you say otherwise....

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Dodgy Geezer

You will vote them out. That is allowed in Britain. It's not allowed in the EU.

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Dodgy Geezer

Has anyone pointed out...

...that the 'leave' negotiations are specified as taking 2 years. More if necessary. And that at any point, if we find that the negotiations are not going to our liking, we can just stop and say 'OK, we won't leave after all"?

So arguments that we will be jumping into the unknown are missing a critical point - we will be jumping into the unknown with a firm safety line....

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Filter out the noise

If we can't stop immigration in the EU, workers from countries with lower pay expectations will arrive here in large numbers. Everyone in the EU speaks a bit of English. Unfortunately, our workers don't speak much Dutch/French/German...

...(Yes, you can buy our BMWs, no we will put high tariffs on your services)...

Then we will put high tariffs on BMWs. I would be amazed if a reasonable trade deal could not be worked out. I looked up the 'threats' which the papers published - they do not come from reputable politicians, but rather from maverick minority parties in the EU, and are not going to happen in practice.

To me, freedom seems to outweigh everything. The 'financially broken' threats are both exaggerated and temporary, but freedom.....

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Dodgy Geezer

...I'm not denying the EU is broken, but we're better off from emerging from this with a remain vote and a mandate to fix the EU from within, and to fix our own democracy that has quite rightly pointed out abandoned the working class,...

If we are out, we get the change to fix out democracy once every 5 years at election time.

We have tried to fix Europe for 40 years, and it has simply got worse and worse. It has now got an established conservative bureaucracy which is never going to change, or be voted out....

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Dodgy Geezer

Three simple points.

1 - the fundamental reason for leaving is that, for a democracy to work, you need to be able to elect the people who have the real power. And that is not true in the EU. And never will be. It is an open and shut argument.

2 - the people of Britain will, however, vote to stay. Because it is less frightening. The frog will boil because jumping out can be made to look SO cold when Project Fear is running...

3 - IF only the people vote to leave, we will not leave. Because the only way we could leave is if the governing body in Parliament had a majority for leaving. So long as most MPs want to stay, we will never get through a leave negotiation...

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Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Dodgy Geezer

Not going to happen...

... Brexit will leave some of those tens of billions looking for a new target. ...

Brexit won't happen. Even if there is an 80% vote in favour.

The Governing group in Parliament make the rules, not referendums. And until there is a pro-leave government party, we can whistle for getting out of the EU.

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Man dies after UK police Taser shooting

Dodgy Geezer

Re: It is interesting

There is no appropriate charge if a policeman kills a member of the public...

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Dodgy Geezer

...and it helps if you give the librarian a banana...

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Forget about Brexit – let's talk Orbits, Digits, Robots

Dodgy Geezer

I'll bet they don't mention Skylon...

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

Dodgy Geezer
WTF?

How to decide how to vote...

...I've been listening, but haven't yet heard an argument that stands up to scrutiny. Or cites a reliable (and neutral) reference. At all.

Seriously, I'd be more than happy to vote to leave *if* someone can present a good case for it. That stands up to scrutiny, and doesn't rely on facts that fall apart when context is applied....

Seriously (for once)!

You don't need any economic or legislative facts or arguments. You don't need ANY made-up predictions of the future - millions of immigrants, trade collapsing or a third world war. Or references. All these are bullshit from either one side or the other.

The whole European initiative is straightforward and its aim is laid out in all the founding documents - to create an 'ever-closer' union, culminating in a single large country. Your decision is simple:

Do you want to live in a single large country comprising all European countries, or a smaller country comprising the current UK?

I'm sure there are pluses and minuses on both sides, but that, essentially, is the question. Europe as a country hasn't been particularly successful so far, but they promise it will get better. If you believe that, vote Remain. If not, vote Leave....

P.S.

If the vote ends up with 'Leave' getting over 50%, do not think that we will leave. A referendum is not a legislative process - it is simply Parliament asking the people what their will is. There is no requirement laid on Parliament to follow that will. Politician's promises are not to be relied on.

There are several easy ways for Cameron to convert a 'Leave' vote into a 'Remain in practice'. Don't think he won't take them. No country will leave the EU unless it has a firm majority political party in power committed to leaving. And sometimes, in the case of Greece, not even then...

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Dodgy Geezer

Thank you, Mr Bong. Your article was just what was asked for. An application form for the club we are proposing you for is in the post.

Sir Humphrey

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Dodgy Geezer

Perhaps the people downvoting this comment could point to one model that matches real-world observations?

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Tidal?

..It wouldn't take an enginnering (sic) genius ....

On the other hand, it looks as if it DOES take an engineering genius to point out that the energy density of a flowing stream is about 50 watts per square foot (assuming 10% efficiency, which is generous). That really isn't enough to harvest...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Tidal?

...Why would you take tidal energy from Scotland down to Birmingham? That seems wasteful to start with. There are massive sections of coast far closer to Birmingham than Scotland and it's likely some of those would be more likely ...

Tidal energy, like hydro, is critically dependent on suitable geography. There are actually very few sites in the UK suitable for either, so any proposal suggesting widespread use of either is an immediate failure...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Knuckling under

Looked at one way, you will NEVER reach 'peak efficiency' - it's asymptotic.

Looked at another way, we are ALWAYS at peak efficiency - we are always doing the best that we and current technology can. The minute you make optimistic assertions about the future of your favourite technology, you allow me to counter with optimistic assumptions about mine - including the assumption that we will invent a much better form of energy production next year...

Betz's law limits the energy you can take from the wind, You could make the rest of the system 100% efficient, and you would still get no more than the Betz limit...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Knuckling under

...Against this, we have the clear difficulty that gas is not renewable,....

Yes it is.

... will run out...

No it won't

... and is causing significant damage to the environment....

No it doesn't

... In otherwords, gas would never be cost competitive with wind power...

Yes it is...

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Dodgy Geezer

Don't Worry!

As soon as the US Film Industry and Walt Disney get to hear that their DVD encryption might be weakened, the US Intelligence sector will back down.

Because no one annoys The Mouse.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O03M6Tm7sWI

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Awesome article

New Godwin's Law. Let's call it 'Charles' law'?

Anyone requiring cites from 'Reputable' (ie, ones that I agree with) 'Peer-Reviewed' (in other words, old chum's networks) journals from 'multiple countries' (so that I can claim that you haven't cited enough) is:

1 - wrong

2 - unable to admit this

3 - frantically trying to force the original poster to do his own checking work for him

4 - never going to agree with any cite that's given, making the whole exercise pointless...

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Dodgy Geezer

I can't see the problem...

The Bill requires "appropriate technical assistance" to be given.

Great.

Send a mathematician around to explain why the encryption is believed to be unbreakable. That's 'technical assistance"...

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

Dodgy Geezer

Where is the illegality?

...Given the vagaries of defamation law, every outlet reporting on the breach including The Register is constrained to note that there are legitimate reasons for using such entities, including estate planning and inheritance rules, so it's unsound to assume that all Mossack Fonseca customers were breaking the law....

Actually, it's unsound to assume that ANY Mossack Fonseca customers were breaking the law. The vast majority are presumably running offshore accounts, and these are frequently set up by people who are able to claim that the money they earn is not tied to a specific country, and should not therefore be taxed by that country.

This is often viewed as 'unfair' by people who are tied into a specific countries tax regime, but it's not generally illegal. It MAY be supporting an illegal transaction, depending on the specific details of the case,but simply having an offshore account is not something you can be charged with.

The interesting stories will no doubt turn up when accountants go through these papers and unearth specific wrongdoings. But I can't see why people are jumping up and down about the mere existence of an offshore account....?

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Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

Dodgy Geezer

Re: You know ...

..the only people who could shop in Manchester had to live in Manchester....

I wonder how Britons ever managed to go abroad before the EU was invented...?

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: The main reason I'm voting 'In'...

...without Europe, all of our basic human rights will be in the sole control of Theresa May for the foreseeable future...

That sound as if you're voting IN because you want to travel to Paris in August without needing a passport...

Couldn't you take a bit more long-term view? Perhaps one based on fundamental principles? Of is the most important driver for the future of the country the fact that you can buy paint 15p cheaper in Calais hypermarket because they have a sale on...?

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Dodgy Geezer

Why do we get such misinformation?

...The reason? The end to freedom of movement that being a member state of the EU has provided...

Why do these lies gain such credence? The 'Remain' crown seem to assume that, if we leave the EU, then ALL EU Legislation will automatically be immediately reversed! So, for instance, I have heard otherwise intelligent people arguing that, if a substance is deemed to be dangerous to eat and an EU directive has banned it, when we leave the EU we will have to start eating it again...!

What planet do these people inhabit? When we leave the EU we will be in charge of our own laws. If a substance is dangerous, it will be our decision to ban it. If we want to let the French or Germans work here freely, we can easily let them. The point is that it will be OUR decision, made by considering what is BEST for US. At the moment, if something is seen as good by Brussels, but is obviously bad for us, we are forced to accept it.

As an example, what happened to our fishing fleet...?

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New HTTP error code 451 to signal censorship

Dodgy Geezer

Re: IETF were not persuaded is was a good use of a limited number of status codes

...But what would the browser do?

Start to recite Moby Dick....

"...Call me FireFox..."

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Dodgy Geezer

The last time it was this hot..

...was 2010. And then before it was 1997. Both of these years were MUCH hotter than 2015. According to NOAA's own figures at the time.

This article is a set of lies.

Though I concede that hippos were living in Britain the last time it was as hot (in 1997 and 2010. In Whipsnade...

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Dodgy Geezer

The surprising thing...

...about this 'record'...

...is that it wouldn't have been a record last year. Because it depends, not on the temperature rising, but on the 'adjustments' which are being made to past data. NOAA maths is (intentionally?) difficult to understand, but everyone can remember the huge rise around 1997, when there was a big El Nino?

Looking at the 2016 NOAA figures, 2015 appears to be 1.6 Fdeg above 1997. BUT, looking at the 1997 figures, 1997 appears to be 4 Fdeg ABOVE the currently reported figure for 2015.

This is due to NOAA 'adjustments'. They are adjusting earlier figures downwards, so as to achieve a continual series of 'records'. It is instructive to note that, if you look at the raw data from the US Climate Reference Network (which a sub-set of stations all well placed so that they do not need corrections of any kind) then 2015 is the THIRD hottest year...

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Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Dodgy Geezer

....So, in summary, hackers have never been credited with taking down a power grid...

Why should they worry, when the UK Department of Energy (now driven by climate change activists) is pretty close to taking down the UK power Grid all by itself...?

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BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU

Dodgy Geezer

On the contrary...

...An issue with the device's power supply is the reason for the delay. Which is fair enough as it's all very well to teach kids to hack, but not if they learn what it's like to cop a jolt from the device's batteries along the way....

'Copping a jolt' is an essential part of every electrical engineer's learning experience... and used to be part of every kid's learning experience in the days when science labs still had van de Graff generators...

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BBC shuts off iPlayer to UK VPNs, cutting access to overseas fans

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Foot, meet high kinetic energy lead dispensing device

...Many people make their living from messing around with this stuff....

...and consequently it's not going to change any time soon.

And in those few words lies the secret to why much of human endeavour happens as it does. Wars, for example, happen because a very large number of well-paid and connected people make a very good living from them...

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Stop climate change by drinking Coca-Cola says Oz government

Dodgy Geezer

Re: But...

...He wanted to reduce atmospheric co2...

He's a nutter. If you do that you will kill all life on Earth.

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Dodgy Geezer

...Australia has worked closely with other countries which rely heavily on fossil fuels to investigate opportunities to utilise CO2 in products such as carbonated drinks...

Perhaps this will make more sense if we add a bit of emphasis:

"Australia has worked closely with other countries which rely heavily on fossil fuels TO INVESTIGATE OPPORTUNITIES to utilise CO2 in products such as carbonated drinks..."

You see, this is nothing to do with saving the world, or even science. This is to do with giving environmentalists large lashings of taxpayer money. The environmentalists lobby for huge handouts of our money, and promise the politicians that they won't attack them on social media in return - a bit like a protection racket.

When the money is given, someone has to make up some kind of story to justify it. But because no civil servant understands engineering, and the environmentalists don't care, you end up with this kind of tripe.

In a decent world this would be called out. But people are nowadays too scared to do anything about it...

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Holy litigation, Batman! Custom Batmobile cars nixed by copyright

Dodgy Geezer

Re: So to condense that

...The issue is money. Quel surprise....

Copyright is ONLY about money. The OP got it wrong when it said that no one can make a Batmobile - anyone can. They just can't PROFIT from it by selling it commercially. Copyright is about protecting the original creator's right to make money from his creation.

If you think about it, the original statement would suddenly make all model makers into criminals...

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Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

Dodgy Geezer

Re: in 300 years

...He may be remembered as the designer of a new type of vacuum cleaner....

Oh, dear - moron alert...

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Dodgy Geezer

...Just because somebody is a world expert in [thing A] doesn't mean they're any more of an expert in [thing B] than a random passerby....

Actually, he's the world No. 1 scientist. And so when he says that climate science is not science, he KNOWS what he's talking about...

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Dodgy Geezer

...How about altering spacetime in front of the ship?...

I think I see a problem here.

If you're going to alter spacetime in this dimension, how do you know where the front of the ship is?

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Global warming stopped in 1998? No it didn't. If you say that, you're going to PRISON

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Oh no not again...

...Meanwhile the icecaps, glaciers and permafrosts are pretty obviously melting. ...

Icecaps, glaciers, etc melt ALL THE TIME. The question is whether they are melting more than they did last year, and if so, whether that's within the region of natural variability or not.

Given that several glaciers have melted back and exposed signs of human habitation underneath them, I suspect that the melting we have seen is not as much as there has been in the past...

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Rocketeers aim for the Moon with first-stage £600k tin-rattle

Dodgy Geezer

I would imagine that the Kenyan authorities require a lot more money for greasing palms...

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Dodgy Geezer

Where do I sign?

(just so that I know where to avoid...)

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Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Naaah

It's a recognition of past glories. Or, alternatively, a lot of drinks bought in the present for the Reg team.

Much like the House of Lords...

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Spirit of Steve Fosset lives on as glider is poised to soar to 90,000ft

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Total non-sequitur

That announcement now counts as one of the 97% of papers supporting the concept of man-made dangerous climate change....

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VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

Dodgy Geezer

Re: I give up

Yup - I always use Opera.

/smug

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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Dodgy Geezer

Arrgghhhh..!!!

... deaths from nuclear power accidents in the whole of history are probably less than deaths from alarm clock malfunctions....

We're all going to be killed by alarm clocks! Quick, ban them.....

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Dodgy Geezer

A slight amendment...

...in which the human race is busily poisoning itself in a pretty much pointless quest to cut back on emissions of carbon dioxide...

"...in which the human race is busily poisoning itself in a completely pointless quest to cut back on emissions of carbon dioxide.."

There. Fixed that for you....

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Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

Dodgy Geezer

Re: "it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"

In terms of bragging rights and publicity for the UK around the world, it looks very cheap indeed. Other countries run huge space programs or develop fighter aircraft at a MUCH higher cost....

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