* Posts by Dr Patrick J R Harkin

805 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

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Yes! It's the upside down car!

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Ah!

So THAT'S how Agents Jay and Kay got through the tunnel to Queens in the rush hour. At last, the technology of our inverted-car driving overlords is released to us!

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Sony's Rolly mobile music player rolls into Britain

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Wonderful!

Now I can relax and listen to my favourite music while keeping one eye open to make sure 250 quids worth of gadget doesn't walk off the table and land in last night's curry...

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Psychologist invents new uber-wiki

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Ahem.

E

There, I said it, and I claim ownership. All words containing my letter 'e' must now acknowledge their debt to me. Now I'm not greedy, and there will be no charge for using my letter, but I do reserve the right to bundle advertisements with it in future. Or in other words which contain it.

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Biometrics exhibit blushes over email snafu

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Tofu

Ah, yes, the proof that nature abhors a vegan.

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Common usernames get more spam

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So xqqjkl@zjjqxlbxx.com won't get any spam?

But he sends me so much!

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45th Mersenne prime discovered (possibly)

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

9.9 recurring and 10

They're not actually the same, it's just that there's no difference between them.

That statement is either totally trite, or shows a deep understanding of mathematics. And I have no idea which.

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British boffins perfect process to make any item '100% waterproof'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Am I a bad man because my first thought was

Will it work on goldfish?

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Apple slapped for dodgy ads

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Must have been a long afternoon in the ad office...

"OK Steve, we're going to do movie tie-in ads, worked for Orange, it'll work for us! Now imagine, a desert landscape, two suns low on the horizon, little figures in dark robes stand in front of an enormous iPhone mounted on treads, lots of robots lined up out fornt. Alec Guiness voice-overs "These little fellows" (waddya mean he's dead? Offer him double) sorry about that "These little fellows are Javas, they provide the best droids on the intern- oh. It doesn't? You're sure? OK OK OK, I got another one. Space battle! Lasers! Big jock guy, girl dressed in harem gear. Heavy drums on soundtrack DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM FLASH! Ah-ahhhh! Saviour of the inter- it doesn't do that either? What the hell does it do? It makes phone calls and the screen flips when you turn it sideways? Jeez, no wonder you need a decent ad campaign..."

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That 'Elderly Persons' sign: Can you do better?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Surely what we need is...

...a sign which tells us that it isn't anything like as good as the old signs they had before the war.

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Cops cuff anti-drug ninja vigilantes

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Andy Barber

According to the Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words "There is no rule against beginning a sentence with 'and'. And that's all there is to it!"

And 'and' can be preceded by a comma if single items in the list already contain 'and'. Consider these two sentences

"At the party I had pate, salmon, meat and potato pie and custard."

"At the party I had pate, salmon, meat and potato pie, and custard."

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Aussie school trials use of gadgets in exams

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

It's an extension to open book exams

I don't know the quick route for calculating standard deviation any more (though I once did); I'm allowed to use a program written by someone who does. But I am expected to know when it's the right test to do and when it isn't, so if I say a stats test tomorrow, it wouldn't be inappropriate to allow me to use a stats package.

Similarly, in this case I see no reason to prevent the students getting access to the text of the speech and perhaps some background material - but I'm not so sure about 'phone a friend'. Talking to people to report what popular opinion on an issue is would be a reasonable thing to do - but there is the risk of "Hi! Sarah? What do I think about Martin Luther King in about 500 words?" or - far simpler - "Sarah? Can you give me some good search keywords to find out about some American guy who dreamt something?"

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Suicide squirrel knocks out Swiss TV

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

In Switzerland...

...at least you can be sure the squirrels roast on time.

But I for one welcome our new nut-hoarding overlords.

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Breakup with Sadville lion ends in kidnap plot, duct-taped dog

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Id they lock her up here...

...does her avatar have to sit in a virtual cell in SadVille? She could log on each day to stare at the featureless virtual walls.

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Dell 'tattoos' Studio notebooks

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

My eyes....

They burn....

but not as bad as those belonging to the guy sat opposite me on the train!

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Satnav turtle locates cannabis stash

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So that's why...

...they walk so slowly.

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Network Solutions falls off the web

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

If you're not part of Network Solutions...

You're part of the network precipitate.

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Red Devil assaults Burnley FC's stadium roof

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

OK, own up...

Who moved the cross?

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Surveillance Teddy nabs granny-bag robber

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Robobear

"You've come down to the woods today - prepare for a big surprise..."

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Teachers give toilet CCTV top marks

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Schools have money for cameras?

Wonders will never cease.

OTOH, perhaps that's why the kids all go on to do meejah studies rather than english literature; they know all about video but have never seen a book.

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Red rag, meet bull: The software resilience gamble

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Heart

@Anonymous coward

Awww, diddums, didda nasty net admin delete all your pr0n again?

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Psychologists give gaming the thumbs up

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

keyhole surgery being performed “significantly faster”

I can see it now in chatrroms all over the world:

DOOD HW U BT END LVL 4 GALLBLDDR PLZ HLP!!!!!

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MoD judges clone-drone deathmatch

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Ducted Fan Vs Coander Saucer...

<Homer>Duck in coriander sauce mmmaaaahhhhh......</Homer>

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Intel blogger slams employer over G45 IGP issues

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Eric Van Haesendonck

"lack of flexibility (try to play it on a Linux Netbook or transfer it to an ipod) killed all the hype for me. "

Those are very niche activities. I don't think I even know anyone with a notebook with a BluRay drive, let alone one running Linux. And who in their right minds actually watches the sort of media which comes on DVD/BluRay on an iPod? iPods are just about capable of rendering phone camera video, but nothing better.

I think BluRay has a chance of becoming a standard, unless something better comes along soon, before it has got a toe-hold. Putting BluRay in the PS3 was a damn shrewd move of the BluRay lobby. It may not be the greatest player around, but it does give you the option of building up a library of your favourites so that when you do finally stump up from a decent player, you're not reduced to watching the free SpiderMan 3 disc or whatever Blockbuster have in - "High School Musical 8 - For God's sake, we're all 25 working at WalMart now!" anyone?

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Google murders second Anonymous AdSense account

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Unhappy

Fantastic!

In less than 50 postings we've completely lost the trivial Google/Scientology censorship debate and we're back on the vitally important "my speling and grammers gooder than youre's" debate again.

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Olympic Committee wins gold for foot shooting

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Happy

The Great A'Tuin salutes you!

Thank you, Anonymous Coward! I don't suppose you'll be at the Convention next weekend?

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Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Censored

"A More Autonimous Tibet That Retains Territorial Integrity, Protection And Governance Of China Without Sacrificing It's Unique Traditions And Heritage NOW!"

"Steady Progress And Limited Disobedience While Retaining Well-Formulated Good Manners!"

"Gently Push Over The Forces Of Repression!"

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Next Visual Studio going multi-screen?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

It doesn't quite do it now...

YEah, I run VS on two screens; I generally have the code on screen one and the web site on screen two.

But VS is a single-window app; I can't have one of its windows on one monitor and one on another, and hit maximise on either without filling both screens. IIRC one of the bigger apps (Corel? Aldus Pagemaker?) tried a "totally independent window for each control" approach a few years back, but it was too cumbersome.

Oh, and the Hercules setup - ah, happy days! <oldSchool>When I wrote a DOS-based graphical CBL authoring system in the late 80's/early 90's using MS C6, I used to have a three monitor system: EGA for the output, Hercules for debugging and video for the LaserDisc</oldSchool>

And you try to tell the young code monkeys of today that, and they won't believe you...

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Hasbro kills Colonel Mustard in the corporate office with the marketing ploy

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Perhaps the time has come for a merger...

I accuse Colonel Mustard.... in The Old Kent Road... with J on a triple letter score.

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Midwife's lost diary sparks mums and baby alert

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Encryption

Nurses/midwives usually have frighteningly legible handwriting. Now, if they'd nicked my diary, things would have been different! (Actually, I gave up using a paper based diary cos even I can't read my own handwriting)

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The IT Crowd goes west

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

You have all watched it with the leet subtitles, haven't you?

<Jen enters office>Hello?

ping

"I may need my slightly bigger glasses"

glasses++;

"We're watching you"

Jen.AttachObservers(Moss,Roy);

Regrettably, only episode one is worth it - base64 coding was funny, but not for 30 minutes!

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Yes! It's Joyce McKinney, admits Joyce McKinney

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"keeper of cloned canids", "molester of Mormon missionaries"

And El Reg goes for the tricky synchrised triple alliteration, difficulty rating 8.88 - could we be seeing another gold for Team GB here? I don't know, it's 4am by my body clock and I've been watching people running round and round in circles for eleven straight hours and after this I have to go commentate on the rhythmic gymnastics while keeping a straight face and it's back to the studio Harry.

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Teens admit to Grand Theft Auto-inspired petrol bombfest

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Yeah, I stabbed da guy but...

...I learned how by watchin' Macbeth

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Secret of invisibility unravelled by US researchers

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Jamie Kephalas

"There's so many things wrong with this, I give up."

Don't think "invisible" as in "Hollywood invisible", think "a lot harder to spot that usual", i.e. very good camouflage.

There is some lovely footage on YouTube of al alternate take of this: a guy in a highly reflective suit stands in front of a video projector linked to a camera held behind him. He's not "invisible" but he is a lot harder to see! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFGo6kCmf38

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Stretchy 'bucky-gel' promises touchscreen video-stockings

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"or at any rate, video stretchpants"

"You lookin' at my ass?"

"Yes, it's showing the trailer for the new James Bond film"

"What do you think?"

"Some films were just made for widescreen" <SLAP!>

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Analysts slam iPhone security and battery life

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Nic

"I can go at least 1 day syncronising and performing other tasks, phone calls, photos etc without any problem."

At least ONE day? I'm thinking of replacing my old M500 because battery life has dropped to three days. It used to do a week, or even more. Having to recharge daily takes us back to the early 90's!

I really like the interface on the iPhone and was seriously thinking of gettingone to replace the M500 - but not at the expense of a daily recharge. I don't want to have to carry other cables or chargers when i go away overnight.

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Spanish 'electronic tongue' to lick established techniques

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@TeeCee

Umami is a recently discovered fifth flavour receptor. At school, they taught me there were 4 - sour, sweet, salt and bitter - but the fifth "umami" is described as "rich" or "meaty" and is associated with high-protein foods.

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Inside the tent, the best bioterrorist money could buy?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Stave

"If you read any of the blogs of people that knew Irvin, the picture being painted by the government and FBI seems to be completely inconsistent with their opinions of the man."

Yes - but every serial killer I can think of had neighbours who thought he was perfectly normal.

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Stormtrooper helmet sales still legal in Britain

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

<waves hand>

This is not the ruling you're looking for.

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Google: 'Even in the desert, privacy does not exist'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hmmm....

Anyone remember the episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson was showing a car so small he was able to take it INTO the BBC building and attend a meeting whilst inside it?

Any chance we could lay our hands on one of those, duct tape a camera to it and drive it into Google's HQ?

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Misheard song lyrics blamed on technology

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Who remember Neil Diamond (with Barbara Streisand?)

"You don't talk to me any more, when I kung-fu the door at the end of the day"

I remember a few which only made sense to me and my friends, as they referenced people we knew - most notably "Chris Miller! No! We will not let you go!"

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Cash'n'Carrion: A lean, mean, fighting machine

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@alafair

"I NEED a BOFH coffee cup - until I've had my first pot or 2 I'm at my most diabolical."

Me two. Until I've had a few brews I'm Satan incarnate. Then I turn nasty.

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Oz man cracks one off while speeding in drug-packed car

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Anonymous Coward

"if he can manage to hit a rat shooting from a vehicle travelling at 94 mph, while masturbating, then he's rather a good shot."

I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home.

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IT career virgins need a cherry on top

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

C+

It's like C, but the compliler goes up to 11. (Which is 3 in decimal)

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'Series of tubes' senator indicted for false statements

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Series of tubes?

Idiot. It's all transistorised these days...

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UK BOFHs face psychometric dissection

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Richard

"Anyone here serviced one of their users?

I can think of one or two that I'd li....... nah, I won't go there ;-)"

Judy? Julie? Julie? Judy? Juuuuuuudie? Julie? Julie. Judy. Judy?

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Cheque-red flag for Max Mosley

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

£60,000 compensation?

That's just a slap on the wrist...

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Drivers finger satnavs for motoring mishaps

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Anonymous Coward

I have no idea if they use fake roads or not, but if they're dead ends they'll never be chosen for a route. Twisting a roundabout 10 degrees wouldn't affect navigation, but would be detectable on analysis. Or they could mis-spell road names.

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Google penetrates fake sex world with Lively

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I've always wanted to know...

If you're in Second Life, can you get a PC and install Third Life?

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Microsoft pledges to fight Vista 'myths'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I enjoyed the ads but...

I always wanted to hit the Mac guy in the face with a shovel. Not because of the Mac/PC argument, just because he was incredibly smug and irritating.

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Meet the UK's most spammed man

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Do spammers EVER prune their lists?

The pieces of advice "don't unsubscribe" and "don't use out-of-office replies" assume the spammers are thinking "This guy tried to usubscribe - keep - this one sent an O-o-O - keep - but I never heard back from Jimmy@whoopdidoo.com - better take that name of my lists".

Whilst that MIGHT be true for they EveryCommonName@ListOfDomains generated lists, I don't think it's likely to be true for harvested addresses.

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