* Posts by Onionman

124 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


Post Office aims to collect ID card fingerprints?

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Even longer queues

So, they've closed all three of my local sub-offices (generally small queues, if any) and replaced them with long queues at my local big office (one desk open at 3:45 last Friday afternoon - 20 mins wait). Now they are all going to take fingerprints with all the delay that implies?

You really could not make this up.


Dissolving the plastic bag problem


1000 years?

Given my personal experience of bags falling to bits pretty quickly, I suspect this is an "In perfect circumstances, their life could be as much as" figure that has become a universally quoted (but unqualified) number. Oddly, it's normally quoted like this by greens.

In the interests of balance, this is just like the "one CCTV per 14 people across the UK" figure that proves to be based upon a survey of a couple of shopping streets in South London. This number is typically quoted by civil libertarians.

Received wisdom is a strange thing. Don't believe everything you're told by someone with an agenda.


God makes you stupid, researchers claim


@Dave Oldham

You say: "The atheist position is quite simple; you live, you die, you decompose, the end. They claim that they "KNOW THIS FOR A FACT." They build easily knock-down able straw man arguments and think that they are clever. "

Well, not really so.

I suggest most atheists (and probably most scientists) would say something more like:

You live you die, you decompose, then end. At the moment, and given the currently available evidence, this is a hypothesis that is viable, as there is no evidence to disprove it. However, if evidence were to appear that there is more than this, we would be forced to review the hypothesis.

I really think you'd find few of them saying they "KNOW THIS FOR A FACT" as that would be blind faith, something I'd probably be surprised to find in an atheist.

Talk about putting up straw men...


PS, Is this "spitting venom" or a rational argument? I'm confused.

9/11 an inside job, says Irish pop folkster



"The towers fell down from an event the designers had designed this building to withstand"

Now I'm going to make an unsupportable claim, and I'm sorry to have to do so. You'll have to trust my memory of this.

About a year after the attacks, one of the senior architects of the WTC was interviewed by the Daily Telegraph. He said that from their offices they had a view of the WTC and saw the second hit. He immediately tried to call the Fire Department to tell them to evacuate the buildings rather than trying to put out the fires, as he knew 100% that they would collapse. He couldn't get through as the lines were jammed. He's suffered terrible guilt ever since. The unsupportable bit is that I can't remember his name.

The buildings had been designed with a plane hit in mind, true. But the engineering was based upon an aircraft low on fuel blundering at low speed into the building, not one nearly full of fuel hitting at full speed.

Anyway, I suspect this is all academic to you. You are, quite literally unpersuadable. Me too. So I'll leave it there, with a man who would know what he is talking about suffering terrible guilt because he knew the impacts would cause a collapse and couldn't do a thing. Meanwhile, you can carry on spouting whatever nonsense comes to your mind about how the buildings MUST have been demolished without feeling any twinge of guilt.

Keep up the good work.




"I think you're incompetent and (sic) keeping an english (sic) sentance (sic) together."

I laughed so hard that tea came down my nose.



The plot thickens

Wayland - I'm sure no amount of searching by me could possibly lead me to your conclusions, as I retain at least a semblance of rationality in my life.

As for the pseudonym, I use it for all posts, not just ones in response to psycho-babble conspiracy nutters. That'll be because I have a very identifiable real name and I'm scared the lizards who run the New World Order will get me.

Anyway, 'nuff said. I understand they will get you if you even hint as to their plan. Keep shtum.



The real motive...

Wayland Sothcott: "By the way, it has been discovered, dummy. It's just too unbelievable due to it's scale and implications."

Please tell us. If you're not scared of "them" getting you, of course.



Occam's razor

Approximates to: "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."

Guys flew planes into buildings (that collapsed subsequently) as a simple way of killing people.


Guys flew planes into buildings that collapsed.

Buildings had been wired and cabled for demolition

Such wiring had been hidden

Missile (not plane) attack on Pentagon

Murder of plane passengers on "Pentagon flight"

All evidence of such plan kept secret by the hundreds of people involved

Etc, etc with all the embellishments of the theorists.

No doubt I'm wrong, but at the highest level that looks OK to me. But the joy of conspiracy theories is that they can NEVER, EVER be disproven. Even if 100% positive evidence could be produced, say a verifiable video of one of the perpetrators saying he was going to do it and explaining every detail with perfect accuracy, all the theorists would need to say is "it's fake" and the theories could carry on.


PS, Mine's the one with the so-called "lunar module" in the pocket

UK electricity crisis over - for now

Dead Vulture


Your quoted link:

Quoted from http://www.fraw.org.uk/mobbsey/papers/oies_article.html

leads to "The Free Range Acvitism (sic) Website". Hence the dead (free range) chicken.

That'll be a nice, neutral view, then.

Also, ref burying nuclear waste. Do people think you really dig a hole, pour it down and walk away? Think of a long, underground tunnel with side storage rooms off it, manned and monitored. Not quite as daft now, is it?


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"Green" propaganda coming home to roost

For yonks the Greenies have been telling us that Nuclear power will cause our kids to have two heads, whereas factually, every single X-ray dept (several hundred) in the UK releases a similar amount of radiation as a typical nuclear plant with no apparent outcry.

This, er, misunderstanding of the facts by the greenies has paralysed the government for fear of scaring voters. So we end up in the mire once again thanks to a combination of lying greenies and terrified politicians.

What we need is a bundle of nuclear plants. What we'll get, no doubt, is a rush of Russian-gas-powered generators.

I despair.


Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler?



Acid rain will kill all the forests... -> Yes, until people realised this and started fitting FGD to heavily sulphur-emitting plant. So it didn't come to pass because *something was done about it* TRIPE - it turns out that forest death never actually affected more than 0.5% at most of the overall European Forest are (source: Gundersen et al 1998) NAPAP tested growth of trees in acid and found no acid rain effect on trees at all (part of half a billion dollars of research). So, your facts are incorrect.

GM crops will kill you... -> Not yet... Of course if something goes wrong it'll be really easy to stop the seeds spreading all over the place and contaminating normal farmland. Of course, not so much in Europe.. TRIPE. They have not killed anyone. Show me something that says they have. Also, they will not "contaminate farmland". Weeds will always out evolve something introduced, whether selectively bred or GM, so try readin up a little elementary biology. So, your facts are incorrect.

The hole in the ozone layer's will kill you... -> It certainly doesn't do you any good. Again, the agreement to ban CFCs dealt with that one, so, er, because *something was done about it* TRUE. And how bad was the problem? The increase in UV at its peak was about the same as moving from Manchester to London (Source: Chakrovarty et al, 1997). Hardly "killing", is it? But you would never have got that info from Greenpeace of FoE, would you?

You've done what the green apologists always do; you've taken my statements (will kill you/forests) which we were told at the time and come up with some different points at least two of which are based upon factual inaccuracies. Keep on bleating about the planet dying. Instead of ever saying "things may get a little worse or better", your kind of mentality is the one that always predicts catastrophe.

And then, when your type predicts catastrophe from Global warming, you wonder why you're ignored. (e.g. Al Gore, sea levels up by 20 ft. IPCC, sea levels up by max 2 ft). Has it occurred to you that things might just change a little rather than always being the END OF THE WORLD? Ever heard of the boy who cried "wolf"?



And the list just gets longer...

Ice age's a comin...

Oil will run out in 2000....

Acid rain will kill all the forests...

GM crops will kill you...

The hole in the ozone layer's will kill you...

Pesticides will mean a Silent Spring...

Brent Spar contains hundreds of tons of toxins...

Which of these life threatening dramas came to pass? All in my life time, all false.


Colliding galaxies mark Hubble anniversary

Paris Hilton

@AC, who doesn't understand

The expansion of the universe is tough to grasp. The best explanation I have had is by analogy. Try to imagine a two dimensional man who lives in a two dimensional world on the surface of a balloon which is slowly being inflated.

As far as he's concerned, his entire (2 dimensional universe) is expanding. As he's only two dimensional, he has no concept of up or down, so there's no central point from which his universe expands; it just keeps getting bigger, seemingly from nowhere.

All the time this expansion is going on, he lives his life normally. In fact, his two dimensional glaxy attracts nearby two dimensional galaxies exactly as if the universe were not expanding (OK, it's a BIG balloon). They are still attracted to each other, even thought the balloon is getting bigger.

We're just the same, except that we're clearly three-or four dimensional aware, and the expansion is occurring at right angles to OUR reality.

Paris, because she's the one who explained this to me.


IBM smacks rivals with 5.0GHz Power6 beast


@Valdis Filks

"...but not one post has explained the advantages yet..."

This is the last refuge of the unconvertable. To suggest that there are no posts above giving advantages to water cooling is ridiculous. One advantage, stated clearly, is that water will carry away more heat per litre (and per kg) than air.

This style is not uncommon in Internet debates.

poster 1: "I think x is rubbish"

posters 2,3,4,...100: "Ah, but there are these reasons your view might be faulty"

poster 1: "I've not seen a single reason to change my views"

repeat, ad nauseam.

If you're interested in searching for the truth, Valdis, try READING the responses and see if there just might be some truth in them.

BTW, I speak as someone with no interest whatsoever in the facts of this case. I merely note a style of response that irritates every time.


Naomi Campbell cuffed in Heathrow Terminal 5

IT Angle

IT angle

None whatsoever. This is tabloid-fodder.

UK postal vote system 'not fit for purpose'



> The ideal democracy is one where participation is effortless.

On what logical basis do you make such a sweeping statement? Give a reason. It's just as valid to say that "the ideal democracy is one where participation is as difficult as possible." With no argument to support it, it's equally valid.

It never fails to amaze me: Across the world people will queue, sometimes for days, to vote, yet in the UK where it's beautifully easy - OK, 800 yards to the polling station isn't *literally* effortless - people don't bother. I know people who don't vote, then think they have the right to whinge about the cretins who get in - not near me, they don't.



Postal voting inherently dangerous

There is an inherent fault with mass postal voting.

Under the standard voting system, it's impossible to buy a vote. For example, you offer me £100 to vote for the candidate of your choice. I go into the booth, vote for a different candidate, lie to you and collect £100. Not so with postal voting, as you can prove whether I did what you asked. For that reason alone, let alone the reasons outlined above, postal voting should be kept to a minimum. We should go back to the old rules, namely that you had to have a good reason for a postal vote.

If you are able but can't be bothered to walk a few hundred yards to vote, you deserve the government you get; it shouldn't be made easier for you.


Bill Gates loses richest man crown


@perpetual cyclist ref "Peak Oil"

Peak Oil? What a joke.


For those critical of Buffet, you really should read more. His company state publicly that they carry out no activities at all aimed at artificially reducing their tax bill. He does indeed live in a house he's always lived in. He buys companies run by people who he thinks have a 100 year horizon when they are investing. He is the nicest face of capitalism you could wish for.

And he's planning to give the lot away. What more could you want?


Bush orders US Navy to shoot down rogue spy sat


Will it hit Blighty

You might think the chances of this hitting anyone are slim, but as a sufferer of keraunothnetophobia* I can assure you that some of us have cause to worry.



* Look it up yourself. I had to.

All blue-eyed people share one common ancestor

Paris Hilton

Reproduction is what matters.

It doesn't need to affect your ability to survive to keep going; it needs to affect your ability to survive long enough to reproduce. You can survive to be a hundred, but if you don't reproduce, the mutation will die out.

So, the first blue eyed person, despite looking VERY weird if everyone else had brown eyes, must have got their leg over, thus proving that blue eyed boys get the girls. Or vice versa. Or something.

PS. Paris Hilton. Blue eyes. Mutant. QED.

Pirate Bay hits ten million peers, one million torrents



I object to your suggestion that the good guy always wins in Tom and Jerry. In plenty of episodes, Jerry gets a final comeuppance that somewhat balances the indignities suffered by Tom. As early as "'Fraidy cat, " (number four) the final laugh is on Jerry.

I'll get me coat.

UK withdraws from Gemini telescope programme


Galileo would be turning in his grave

Where's the logic in bumping this when we're still pouring £2Bn (elsewhere on el Reg) into the fleet of white elephants named after someone who would know the value of this, namely Galileo.

Words fail me.

Bank turns London man into RFID-enabled guinea pig


To all the people who think someone else will pay

There have been a few responses here along the lines of "I won't have to pay if these cards are skimmed for cash".

So, if the banks start losing money on this, where will they get it back? Yes, you. One of the reasons interest charges are so high on CCs is that fraud is just another cost of business to be passed to the customer.

If retailers are somehow found to be liable, who's going to pay? Yes, you. Prices will go up to compensate.

So, switch off your complacency; you'll end up forking out if this all goes wrong.

Video game ad banned for 'realistic' violence

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A three-year-old still watching TV and seeing an ad after 7:30pm? Sounds to me like the kid has bigger problems to come than the effect of this ad.


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