* Posts by Esme

800 posts • joined 24 Oct 2007

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Esme
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@Cynic_999 - you obviously follow the news far closer than I do, as you're talking about a case I haven't heard of - and then abusing it to make an egregrious personal attack on me. Now, I don't claim to always make the best reasoned arguments (I'm not by nature a political animal), but I do at least try.

Anyway, let;s have a look at what you've said - so, the police shot an innocent on one occasion (and if there's been one, there may possibly have been others), but have failed to collar a lot of 'known suspects' of terorism on numerous occasions, until after something tragic has happened. So what's YOUR explanation for this? Do you think that the police en masse don't want to nab terrorists before they hurt someone, but are quite OK with going in guns-blazing against innocents?

Or could it be that one the occasion you speak of a small number of police went off the rails and handled a situation badly whilst elsewhere the bulk of the police - human beings like you and I and just as variable as everyone else in society - are doing their damndest to try to tackle terrorism but can't do so as effectively as they'd like because they are bound by due process of law, which they respect?

You tell me which sounds most logical and likely. Not being in the police force myself, I can only speculate logically on the matter, and might, of course, be wrong. If you have actual information on the subject, let's see it and discuss it reasonably - is that OK with you, or do you just get your jollies flaming folk?

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Esme
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@Graham Cobb - can't give you enough upvotes for that. I was trying to explain to someone yesterday why untrammelled access to our communications isnt going to suddenly make things better, and why it's downright bizarre to think that the correct response to those who'd like us to live in a dystopian police state is to turn ourselves into a dystopian police state...

What's needed is for the legal framework to be in place to allow police (and if necessary, medics) to intervene earlier. It's clear that they know who a lot of the folk likely to do this kind of crap are, and clearly they;d love to collar them - so what's stopping them? It must be the legal framework in which they have to opertate. So instead of trotting out plans to abolish privacy, why don't Parliament get the legal framework the police have to operate looked at and adjusted, where necessary, in order to let them intervene earlier?

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Esme
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Call em a luddite but

I play DVD's on my PC screen. No remotes needed or used (unless you count a mouse on a USB extension cable for when I want to watch from over on the sofa), VLC's sane controls does the trick.

I do have a telly, and it has one (1) remote control, which, every now and then, decides to turn subtitles on unasked for, despite the fact that it stubbornly refuses to give me any options to turn subtitles on or off no matter which buttons I press. I have to reboot my TV and handset to fix that, if I cant be bothered to wait until teh remote automagically decides to remove subtitles on a random whim.

Spawn of Satan, remotes are, and their designers should be lowered slowly toward a vat of boiling oil until they apologise and promise to build something that works properly!

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Intel pitches a Thunderbolt 3-for-all

Esme
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Re: Dare I ask

I know more non-tecchies than tecchies that use Linux (Not claiming that's a general thing,mind, just true in my case). Non-tecchies just want something that works with least hassle, and Linux fits the bill beautifully except for hardcore gamers (and even there things have improved greatly this last few years)

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DARPA orders spaceplane capable of 10 launches in 10 days

Esme
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Ahahahahahaha!

'Boeing', 'cheap', 'reusable' in conjunction with rocketry - funniest joke I've heard in days...

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Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Esme
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We're already being asked for email addresses at the till

Here in the UK some companies are already asking for ones email address at the till. This first happened to me some months ago in Lakeland, but has now happened about a dozen times in various other shops. My response each time is the same - to refuse to give my email address. I'm also increasingly tending to withdraw cash from a cashpoint prior to going shopping, and purchasing with cash, because I strongly object to all this unwanted invasion of privacy.

I'm getting heartily sick of this corrosive invasion of privacy that's taking a stranglehold on society - even Aunty Beeb is at it, saying they're going to make a sign-in a requirement for use of iPlayer, purportedly to give one a personalised experience which personally, I do not want (I've contacted them to ask what the real reason they intend to insist on a sign-up is, as it's onl'y a bonus to users if it's an optional requirement).

In my opinion, governments worldwide need to get a grip on this tendency to corporate snooping, and make it absolutely clear to corporations, via legislation, if necessary, that corporations exist to serve society, NOT the other way around. As for Google they can drop dead and die so far as I'm concerned, the unethical shits.

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IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music

Esme
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Re: Suggestions for tech firms' hold music

Lancia - you and me 'till the wheels fall off - L7

Cadburys - 'Heaven' (far too many to list)

Crapita on behalf of TV Licencing - 'Stand and deliver' by Adam and the Ants

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'Tabby's Star' intrigues astro-boffins with brief 'dimming event'

Esme
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No infrared excess

The problem with notions about either large comets or a planet breaking up (?! What the heck could be causing it to break up!) or an incomplete Dyson spehre is that in such cases radiation from Tabby's star incident on the obscuring objetc(s) should be re-radiated as infrared radiation, thus causing an excess of infrared radiation over what we'd expect to see if Tabby's star is unaccompanied. And thus far, no infrared excess has been seen.

Much as I'd like it to be a Dyson-sphere in the making, it seems rather more likely to be something we simply haven't thought of yet. Assuming it is something orbiting the star that's causing what we're seeing, it's interesting that the period seems to be close to two years, which given the mass of Tabby's star, would put the orbiting body about central to the local 'habitable zone' around the star, if my mental arithmetic is right.

I can't wait to find out what's actually causing the variability in Tabby's star. But until we do, it's certainly fun trying to work out what might be the cause!

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UK Tory party pledges 'digital' charter, wants Verify to back online gov

Esme
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Re: One must ask ones self

I was a recipient of free milk too, and loved it! Never had any problems with milk being off, and I always volunteered to deal with any extras left over, sometimes consuming thee or four bottles of the stuff. Just about the only happy memories I have of school, outside of science lessons.

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Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

Esme
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Re: Headless chickens to a man with much ado about nothing which can be done

Good heavens amanfromMars1 that was nearly entirely coherent! Well done! 8-}

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Esme
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Depends on my mood

I've had about a dozen such calls over the years, and have done everything from simply put the phone down on 'em through to playing dumb as if I were a computer illiterate trying to follow their instructions - which, as I have only run Linux at home for many, many years, are completely impossible to follow anyway (That can be fun, depending on how IT-illiterate and patient the scammer is)

Occasionally I've sworn at them and told 'em I don't talk to criminals (one actually phoned me back to tell me I was rude! Not wanting to disappoint, I was rude again before I put the phone down again), and I've tried telling them politely that they're incorrect as I don't have a Windows PC, I use Linux, only to be told that they can see that I do have a Windows PC, at which point I asked them to tell me where it is then which resulted in about another minutes conversation with an increasingly confused scammer who'd evidently never heard of computers being anything other than Macs if they weren't Windows boxen.

I so hope I get such a caller one I've got a Haiku box up and running... :-)

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Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

Esme
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@JJKing -I can't tell if you're being tongue in cheek with the ridiculous stuff you wrote there or if it;s just that you don't understand the science/numbers well enough.

With regard to the mass of the moon being affected, rock on Earth comes in at about 3-5 times the density of water, so 3-5 tonnes per cubic metre. Let's say that mining operation removed a cubic kilometre of material from the moon - that's be one thousand million cubic metres or about 3-5 thousand million tons or rock excavated. Some (most?) of that wouldn;t be useful material, and would doubtless be piled up in spoil heaps (or used to fill holed made by early mining efforts). But even if it were ALL removed, compare that humoungous amount of material with the bulk of the moon, which is something over 3000km (that's 3million metres) in diamter. The effect of removing an entire cubic kilometre of material of the moon (which really is a staggering amount of material) would be so insignificant that tides on Earth just would not be noticeably affected.

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London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

Esme
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if that's the answer, then someone asked the wrong question

Just like here in Birmingham, where I commute to work every day via train. Centro appear to have actually spent money on providing free streaming wifi, videos and ebooks o the trains, presumably to 'improve the customer experience', when what us reglar commuters actually want is more carriages so we can sit down more of the time, and more staff to deal with miscreants faster (or indeed, at all). Oh, and the last thing we want is even more noise pollution from folk watching films, listening to music on the trains, even in the marked 'quiet areas'. (Hint to Centro - just marking an area as a quite zone doesn't make it so. You have to actually enforce it to make it stick, and you can;t do that without sufficient staff on the trains).

We could do with a few less mindless audio messages at train stations, too, so that we can actually make out the ones we need to listen out for about train problems and platform changes - when the train operators can be bothered to give out such information in a timely manner.

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Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers

Esme
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Seems like they're trying to explain the need for critical thinking, which IMO, if it hasn't been learnt by the time one leaves school is probably not goingto be learnt.

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Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

Esme
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Re: Sun

I thought it was the giant space-goat that ate it...

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Esme
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Re: everything is similar to something else...

-and Magnatune were using 'we are not evil' before Google was (difference being that Magnatune genuinely are not evil).

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Esme
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Re: Extreme response

Thumbs up from me, Tom. My TV is a cheap second-hand 19in flat panel one that I bought merely because I needed something for my Raspberry Pi to be able to output to. It handles Freeview, so a cheap indoor arial and I have TV - just as entertaining (or not) as TV ever is. No internet connection needed. If the signals change such that it can't work as a TV, and if I feel the need for a TV, I'll just buy a TV tuner USB dongle and use it with one of my (also cheap and second hand, aside from my RPi) computers. Otherwise, I'll just drop the TV licence and save myself some money. The internet tends to keep me adequately entertained... :-}

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Cuffing Assange a 'priority' for the USA says attorney-general

Esme
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Re: Assange is not a "leaker"; he's a "leakee"

@AC - and so we are going to see the NSA and GCHQ in the dock for their criminal activities when, exactly?

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Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Esme
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If I have this straight..

to lose mass by eating chocolate, I have to buy kit to cool said chocolate down to a temperature a smidge above 0K, get severe frostbite by then applying tongue to choccy to make it push its way into my mouth which then also gets severe frostbite (when talking chocolate and I, we are NOT talking small quantities, so the thermal inertia of the choccy is likely to be significant), at which point my lower face probably cracks and falls off, so the question of whether and how I manage to swallow the stuff becomes moot?

I think I'll pass!

Interesting boffinry, though...

(reaches for regular bar of favourite vanilla-flavoured white choccy)

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Nuh-uh, Google, you WILL hand over emails stored on foreign servers, says US judge

Esme
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Re: The USA is very insular

Yep. Pretty much like the Roman empire. "We're civilisation and the rest are howling barbarians. Hello, Mr King, nice little country you have here, it'd be a shame if something nasty were to befall it, eh? Why, thank you for funding our defence of your borders! Mr/Miss/Ms Pharaoh - terribly sorry, but your grain supplies are vital to our country and your country is so badly run that I'm afraid we are going to have to step in and take you over as you haven;t been toeing our line. No, no, your children will still be Pharaoh - well, the oens we like will be, anyway. Slave! Throw another few malcontents to the wild anmals in the arena, will you? The plebs are getting restless! "

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This story is no more

Esme
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40ly is practically next door

Sure, it's a huge distance by everyday standards, and we won't be able to get any probes over there any time soon, but as interstellar distances go, that's practically a next-door neighbour, and it'll be MUCH easier to investigate that system with our telescopes than ones hundreds or thousands of ly away.

I look forward to further news on LHS 1140!

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Zuckerberg: Escape from the real world into my goofy make-believe science-fiction fantasy

Esme
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I prefer

communication directed by my brain with sound modulation I/O ports.

It's called talking. As in to a person in my close vicinity. Much more fun.

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Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

Esme
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Re: dummies

-I think that's what the Crash Test Brummies indulge in..

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Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

Esme
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Re: The annoying thing

@Ledswinger -and turning HOTOL or similar into a reality is exactly that - the kickstarter to basic infrastructure to turn space travel from a rare event for the few into something massively more accessible. Get HOTOL to work and spacetravel becomes more like air travel (cheap, open to the masses, and ultimately dull) rather than Soyuz-Apollo-Shuttle era rare and highly expensive. Then there's the ground facilities required, the manufacture of HOTOLs and their refuelling and refurbishment...

I fully agree that infrastructure projects tend to be better value for the economy (but improving the extant rail infrastructure would be better than HS2 IMHO) than most other things, but that's my point - backing Reaction Engines, and thus HOTOL (or similar) is backing the creation of new infrastructure in order to be better able to exploit space.

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Esme
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The annoying thing

- is that if a fraction of the billions poured in the direction of high-speed rail links with no business justification or minimally usable aircraft carriers with no usable planes were instead passed to folk like Reaction Engines, we'd get the money back many times over in a boost to the economy

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Machine vs. machine battle has begun to de-fraud the internet of lies

Esme
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Re: But ... but ... but ...

Spot carried my first email to forn parts, many many moons ago...

(reminiscing about Fidonet, and the Point software I used on my Amiga back then.. ah, happy days!)

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Esme
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Love it!

"my extra-hot fair trade soya decaf caramel mint chocka mocha focka carbonated Bulgarian snow forest chai espresso latte plus vegan sprinkles and a twist of lemming "

It was the twist of lemming wot done it for me. Brilliance, Alastair, well done!

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Microsoft's new hardware: eight x86 cores, 40 GPU cores

Esme
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4K? Meh

If VGA were good enough for me when I were a lass, it's bloody well good enough for t'next generation -erm.. t'next generation's daughters t'work wi'. (Ponders) Bloody 'ell, I bin at this game too long...(pulls on coat, grabs LART, pulls wooly hat down to ears, wanders off in search of a flock of cats requiring a servant...)

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Esme
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It's trust or rust

Non-techhie folk I know are also expressing disquiet about Windows this last few months. Sure, inertia is still gripping some of them but many are heading towards Apple and Android, with the odd curious soul at least taking a look at Linux. Even one of the inveterate gamers I know is talking about installing Linux and is researching just what Windows games can be got to run on Linux via Steam/Wine/PlayOnLinux etc. as well as going dual-boot until they wean themselves off the games that just cant be got to work on Linux. And that's people who, in the past, actually liked Windows.

Personally, I've not liked much about Windows, ever, but in the past I'd happily help non-technical friends with it insofar as I could - until now, where I flatly refuse to touch Windows with a bargepole, even to help a friend, because I just don't trust Microsoft as well as not liking their (IMHO) shoddy and grossly over-priced products. (yes, yes - I don't like/trust Apple and their even more over-priced products either, but as neither I nor my friends have an Apple PC that's never been an issue)

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Jailed biz coach accused of $17.5m HPE fraud writes to fans saying 'join me'

Esme
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Emailing from within prison?

Please pardon my ignorance/naievety here , but how in heck is he emailing folk about anything from within prison? Do they let prisoners have access to the internet these days, then?

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US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

Esme
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This is farcial

"A Department of Homeland Security bigwig said questions could include how they view the treatment of women in society, whether they value the "sanctity of human life," and who they view as a legitimate target in a military operation."

On the matter of the treatment of women in society, I wouldn't want to enter a country full of armed religious bigots and run by a tinpot dictator who thinks it's OK to just grab women by their genitals whenever he chooses. Not that things are perfect in the UK, far from it, but the USA appears to be backwards by comparison, judging by reports. The second question is too poorly defined for me to answer, and so is stupid. The third question is stupid because the answer is obvious - the opposing force in the conflict, which should be waged acording to the rules of war. Terrorists, however, aren't concerned about legitimacy of targets, so if this question is intended to catch potetntial terrorists, it's doubly stupid.

I really, really sympathise for all the decent citizens of the USA who have to endure their current regime. Hoping you get a saner, more intelligent and more humane one next election. All the best!

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

Esme
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Nice one

Although if you'd run it on any day other than 1st April, you'd've got me! (It actually does sound like a decent idea for getting El Reg some moolah (and I'm not technically good enough to know whether it's actually feasible or not), the which I'd not mind at all))

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SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Esme
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@AC - Skylon's something I'm really hoping gets built this time, and teh chances aren;t looking too bad at teh moment with Reaction Engiones actually getting some backing and interest at the moment. But it'll be best at high-frequency low tonnage to LEO scenarios compared to the 'glorified fireworks' that can carry much heavier payloads.

Skylon is a part of what we need for an integrated space transport system (and it'd certainly make getting into orbit a damned sight comfier due to lower G-forces involved such that a large percentage of the population could potentially travel into space, compared with current techniology), but we need the 'glorified fireworks' too, to do the heavy lifting and the interplanetary stuff.

We also need an orbit-to-orbit shuttle (ie: always in space, never lands),/space tug too. It'll come.

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BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

Esme
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Surprised

Lefty lesbian feminist clocking in here - if it's between consenting adults and no-one's permanently damaged (I'd normally say 'no-one gets hurt', but due to my ignorance of BDSM thought maybe that needs a bit of a modification there?) what the heck does it matter what someone gets up to in their private life?

Yes, yes, I know the arguments some extremist idiots give, along the lines of 'well, if they're like that in private, how can they be trusted?' - but that ignores the 'consenting adults' part of the equation. And also ignores the safety valve value of private play between like-minded chums.

If someone likes the idea of BDSM, I'd MUCH rather they go find other like-minded types to play with than try inflicting their play on those who aren't so inclined, just as I'm sure most women would much rather I play cherche la femme in places habituated by other women of my ilk than in my place of work. Not to mention that because most folk have limited free time, don't like causing others upset and/or wish to avoid rejection, that's exactly why folk tend to clump together into like-minded communities when it comes to their private lives.

For a coding project, the criteria should be - 'do they produce good code?' and probably 'do they work tolerably well in a team environmment like a software project?' Can't think of many cases even where they've had a criminal conviction that that'd be relevant (conviction for fraud and wanting to work on banking apps? Nooo, I don;t think so!)

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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

Esme
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Re: IQ tests

@DJO - there are such things as culture-free tests, y'know, and indeed, back when I took the MENSA test, one had to take a battery of tests, and the one you rated highest on was the one they counted as your IQ. I'm pretty sure my IQ result was based on the culture-free test (they don;t actually tell you that), which is based on pattern-recognition, as I very much doubt my IQ would have rated so highly on the other ones. (If you're wondering, I broke the bank on the MENSA test, and so was rated 161 (1 point higher than their test can 'accurately' measure) though some less formal tests I took another time indicated my IQ may be in the 170-175 range, Cattel-3 scale or about 150 Weschler).

I was also the only person a certain borough council had that ever achieved a perfect score on their job entrance test (I was told folk aren't supposed to be able to complete it in time, let alone get all the answers right. Bizarrely, I didn't get the job because they thought I'd be bored. They didn't accept my argument that I'd rather be bored than starving).

That said, I've always thought that what IQ tests are doing is measuring processing power rather than what one might generally think of as 'intelligence'. Certainly, I am NOT as intelligent in the everyday sense as the above would seem to indicate, as anyone that knows me could tell you, and I find it amusing that some (not all) folk with high IQ's put on airs and graces about it. I just seem to be decent at processing data, but garbage in, garbage out and all that... (shrugs) :-}

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Esme
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@AndrueC - much the same problems here - on Linux. I f*****g hate focus-stealing applications...

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Did you know: Crimelords behind DDoS attacks offer customer loyalty points?

Esme
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<sarcasm>Don'tcha just love free-market capitalism at its most rampant and pungent dysfunctional best?</sarcasm>

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Do the numbers, Einstein: AI is more than maths as some know it

Esme
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Nice start to a Friday!

This last several years I've been feeling I'm getting further and further behind most of you clever (and younger, sob!) IT bods that inhabit the commentardiat here, but this article made me feel reasonably clever for as long as it took to read it, as I understood all that back in senior school (indeed, I taught my physics teacher a thing or two about topology - what? No, in an experiment on magnetism involving very long coils and how opposing magnetic fields interact, get your mind out of the gutter, honestly, some people, tsk!).

For a few seconds, I basked in the glow of feeling a little smarter than others. Then Destroy All Monsters brought me back to reality. Sanity is restored. I know my place, etc - so back on with me flat cap, and another day's drudgery at the Helldesk coalface.. (to be followed by a healthful wee bottle of wine with dinner, of course!)

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Esme
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Two whole pints?!

but, but.. but I get tiddly on just three shots of whisky, don;t reckon I could cope with a couple of pints. I'm such a lightweight! :-)

-and for no reason other than that it amuses me mildy, a recital of a pome wot someone else wrote wot I like:

'There are many good reasons for drinking, and one has just entered my head - if a girl can't drink whilst she's living, how the hell can she drink when she's dead?!'

Right - I've had me fruit and veg smoothie for vitamins, now for the whisky chasers for extra healthfulness...

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Esme
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Dear Lloyds Bank

Dear Sirs,

I note with regret that you have decided to 'out-source' your call-centres to India, and your IT staff to IBM. Both actions are, so far as I am concerned, against my best interests as an account-holder with Lloyds, and so I am currently researching where I will out-source my banking requirements to. I will notify you in due course as to where to direct my funds to.

Yours sincerely, etc.

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TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Esme
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AC - if you should happen to claim to be a Christian Fundamentalist (or some other theist fundamentalist) that decries evolution (and please ignore the rest of this if you are not) then please consider this; God is, by definition, ineffable, and limited creatures such as you and I cannot possibly comprehend the limits of God's abilities. To try to claim that God is not capable of doing anything God durned well pleases is, I believe, hubris of the first water in the Christian faith (and several others), and so there is absolutely nothing to prevent God from creating a universe in which evolution is possible, or, indeed, actually happens. To claim otherwise, to try to put bounds upon God, is, frankly, sacrilegous and heretical - therefore, you are no Christian/other Abrahamic faith of choice, QED.

I am deeply religious myself - but I do not and COULD not belong to any faith that dares to try to put limits upon what God could create, because to do so is simply unscientific, and science demonstrably works. And I love science because for me, it is a joy to try to get to know god's creation that little bit better with every new thing that I learn. Go in peace.

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Plusnet slapped with £880k fine for billing ex customers

Esme
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Re: Oh well ....

Same here. I've known Plusnet were owned by BT ever since BT bought Plusnet - and was wary that the quality of service might decline, but it hasn't. Bizarre as it may seem, despite being a subsidiary of BT, Plusnet really do seem to be generally rather better than BT, and I've always found Plusnet service to be very good. Why BT don't take a leaf from Plusnet in terms of customer service is what bemuses me - they can hardlyclaim that they haven't the expertise within the business in order to do the necessary...

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Large Hadron Collider turns up five new particles

Esme
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Re: Strange

- and quite beautiful!

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World's worst botnet fiends switch from ransomware to stock scam spam

Esme
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So maybe that's why

My home inbox received its first scam email in several years, and what a beauty it was, too! It was a rather better example of creative writing than most of my efforts, involving someone whose family has died in Syria, but they're unable to get out themselves and believe they will die there, and they will get their cook to post me a pair of golden clocks which cookie is unaware contain several credit cards each, and I am to withdraw certain amounts and give most to charity becuase the sender believes they will die soon, and they;re such a nice person they want their wealth to do some good, etc. (never mind how postie is to get the parcel out of the country in such dire circumstances).

Honestly, despite its logical flaws and negative verity quotient, it really was quite a good piece of writing, and I cannot help wonder why the writer doesn't instead write for Mills & Boon instead, they'd make far more money , and with no danger of getting collared by the law (although I suppose a visit from The Stig requesting they get off his turf might be a bit of a dissuader...)

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Face down in a Shoreditch gutter: Attack of the kickstarting hipster

Esme
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Re: Hushme the fuck up

Call me amusingly quaint , if you will, but what about their having individual offices if they deal with sensitive information that others in teh same company musn't hear? It involves having those old-fashioned dividery-things, I believe they were called 'walls' with 'doors' in them to section of bits of the workforce from other bits of the workforce.

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Facebook, Google slammed for 'commercial prostitution'

Esme
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Re: Proscription

Yeah, but as with many problems, the best solution may have lain in a past that didn't actually happen, because hindsight, whilst not perfect, tends to be better than foresight. Had entities like todays 'social media' platforms been imagined by legislators worldwide before the internet took off in a big way, then perhaps laws could have been created making it illegal to create such an entity. We'd still have the internet now, and online shopping, but a lot of the rest would doubtless be rather different.

I'm not arguing one way or the other whether that should have happened, incidentally, and I well understand why such pre-emptive laws were not made (hey, I was around pre-internet, and I certainly never imagined the internet of today - so why should I expect legislators to forsee it and pass laws accordingly in the UK, let alone coordinate harmoniously in unison worldwide on the matter?). The problem we actually face is that the cat's out of the bag - we have 'social media' now, so what are we going to do about it? Banning it altogether now would seem to be rather Draconian, even though had laws been passed to prevent its ever appearing I'm unsure whether many would have protested because media (of all types) has drastically changed social mores and norms in the last couple of decades.

I grew up in a world where personal privacy was expected as a right, and voyeurism was seen as a social sin or a kink at best. Blarting one's private life to the world and poking ones nose into others as a form of entertainment on the scale at which it happens now simply wasnt something imagined, and anyone claiming we'd have a future in which that came to pass would have been derided as a fantasist (and possibly a pervert). Then along comes the internet and mobile phones and suddenly it's seen as the norm to not only throw away your own privacy, but that of others too, be they willing or not - and TV programmes are created with voyeurism at their very core. And I can imagine how people would have laughed back when I first got into computing had anyone said that one day telephone companies would ask you to pay the same kind of money as you pay for a desktop computer for a computer that you can put in your pocket which can also make phone calls but over which you would be allowed very little control at all. What? I bought it, MY computer, I'll do what I like with it, thank you very much! Pull the other one! But then the last two or three decades happened...

I'm a pragmatist - whilst I happen to think that in a few places society went down the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time as Sir Pterry would have put it, I don't waste my time trying to turn the clock back. But sometimes I can't help but thinking that it's an embuggerance that we can't actually do so - until I think of the many ways in which the bad guys might have made things even worse with such a facility. Hmmmm..

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

Esme
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Re: "We need to promote women disproportionately, pay them equally or better..."

@solarflare -No, I didn't misunderstand the article, I was replying directly to your earlier post. But that said, I've yet to see any serious study of pay that shows women earning the same as men for equal work, here in the UK, for the population as a whole. Yes, there are indivual cases where what SHOULD be happening IS happening - but overall, it's still the case that if you're born female, chances are strongly in favour of it being the case that you'll end up being paid less for whatever you do than if you were male - this even according to government data, and they've a vested interest in trying to show that things are headed the right way (hey, any government that manages to properly square this particular circle will gain a heck of a lot of kudos, and potentially votes, if they succeed!).

We can agree that deliberate unfair discrimination based on gender is a bad thing under any circumstances, but right here and now it's women that are more commonly discriminated against in a multitude of ways. However - pragmatic equality for ALL is what I want.

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Esme
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Re: "We need to promote women disproportionately, pay them equally or better..."

@solarflare - that's an exact mirror image of how it feels to be a woman in most workplaces. So if you don't like the idea of being of men being treated unfairly at work due to their gender, why would you imagine women would like the idea and experience any better? It's easy to be snarky,but much harder to say ro do something constructive.

Achieving equality is both complex and hard - it isn't a simple case of passing laws, having meetings and corssing our fingers and hoping for the best. And unwontedly confrontational language doesn't help, either. Men in general are neither scum nor the enemy - they're part of the problem, and women are the other part of the problem, because it's men and women that make up society, and it's our society that has for so long treated women much less well than men, in general.

That's not to say that men don't get a raw deal in some respects too, but the whole point of feminism is to work toward a fairer and more equal society for all, so that everyone can have a chance to try for whatever profession they like and be treated fairly within it, according to their ability at it, and NOT be sidelined or paid less well because they are a particular gender.

My grandmother was born into a world in which, legally, she was a chattel. Watching Life on Mars was like watching my childhood, I well remember men behaving just like those portrayed in that programme, and it made the world a scary place to be in. Sure, things are somewhat better now, but as has been pointed out, a minority of men still think its acceptable to behave abhorently toward women and too many people (not just men) stand by and let them get away with it without comment. This needs to change. And if we'd achieved equality, then there would be no pay gap between men and women, but there still is.

We - ALL of us, irrespective of gender - need to work at changing society bit by bit, in our daily lives as much as by conventional politics - to make it clear that all human beings in our society should be treated equally in the workplace, and should not have to live in fear due to their gender, or feel themselves restricted as to what they can do with tehir lives simply because of their gender.

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User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

Esme
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Re: Excel can be used to calculate things?

All entirely credible from my own experience, but guys can be just as dim too., like not knowing how to convert from .xls to .csv, or how to sum a column of number, or even how to change the date format in a column of dates. Also, not realising that in an application with a really long list of choice in a drop-down box that if you typed the first 2-3 characters it would be selected (he was scrolling down to the desired one every time), not realising the difference between an application installed on the PC and one they accessed via a browser, the classic cup-holder stuff, ignorance of what the other mouse button does, power-cycling PCs rather than shutting them down nicely back when power-cycling was a Not Good thing to do. And guys are less likely to listen properly to what you;re telling them, in my experience, and more likely to be overconfident in their abailities.

BUT - the big question is this - why, by all that's holy, are companies NOT ensuring that staff (including Directors) have basic IT literacy skills before letting them loose on IT equipment? Hmmn? Bear in mind, when you consider this, that for most of my working life men have bene far more common in the boardroom than women, so who's been making the bad decisions with regard to IT, eh? (And, yes, I've come across some women that are just as bad, but plenty of blokes are IT numbskulls too!)

I have a lot of sympathy with users that don't understand IT well or at all, provided they're willing to learn, and it's my experience that the majority are quite happy to learn, provided the instruction is in small does and clearly relevant to them getting their job done, or experiencing less hassle in future. The dangerous ones are the ones that won't listen, the more so the higher up the chain they are, because they will not only suffer stupid problems themselves, they will be the cause of stupid problems for others by not understaning that basic IT literacy is a productivity issue, and lack thereof costs companies millions.

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Esme
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Re: Excel art done right

@Naselus - thank you so much for bringing Tatsuo Horiuchi's work to my attention, I love it! Irrespective of how it was created, he's a good artist, but to think he created such beauty with a piece of software I swear at nearly every working day - that makes my heart sing.

Oh, and I foudn Libre Office renders his pictures perfectly welll, even on my rather old desktop PC.

Amazing.

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