* Posts by bsop

9 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

IT engineer fights spider with improvised flamethrower


Post of the Week!

Absolutely BRILLIANT!

Sir, I salute you!


Swedes decline to FCKU2MF



I'm American, so I shouldn't actually know either....


E II R is the accepted acronym referring to Elizabeth II Regina (Queen of Great Britain) and is used as a brand image for royally approved products. Or something like that.

Alternatively, EIIR is the abbreviation for a think tank - the European Institute of Interdisciplinary Research - which may also be a bit precious about the "branding", but probably with less money and political influence. :-)



Court slaps down coppers in photography case


Policing with Consent...?

DISCLAIMER - I am not involved with any police force nor am I related to anyone working with the police in any capacity. With that out of the way...

Mr Anonymous - I see your point, unbalanced though it is. The police department need to practice what they preach and uphold the law and freedoms they say they defend. They need to work within the law and when they do not this starts looking really badly on them. Of course, that is why we have the Courts and have seen it desirable to balance the power in this democracy between all three pillars of government.

However... this "police with consent" bit. I do not remember passing through Customs when immigrating to this fine land and signing a form giving The Met permission to police. They are there to enforce the law as passed by Parliament. And, I assure you, if the police department failed in that obligation or crumbled into ineffectiveness, an equally “badly behaved” and/or “poorly managed” equivalent organisation would crop up.

Why? Because people like to be protected, to get things done and to see progress over time. All of this required order. Order requires rules. Rules require enforcement. No enforcement equals anarchy. Anarchy is not clever.

So the enforcement must stay, whether it is deemed good or bad, effective or ineffective, liked or disliked. And when individuals within the police get it wrong, we hold them to account – as the Courts have done. This is significantly different than “withdrawing consent” to one of the pillars that support democracy.


Global warming may be normal at this point in glacial cycle



Mr Ralph,

How do I say this nicely?

It may not be big or clever from your point of view to highlight certain aspects of the climate debate. You may, in fact, be right. But that doesn't mean the article lacks credence.

The article may offer a particular point of view - even lean toward a particular point of view. But all humans are biased one way or the other; the article is still worthy of the paper its written on, even if only to highlight the differences in opinion (and in this, it has succeeded). I suspect your opinion is demonstrated nicely in your own post. The fact that it doesn't match with someone else's opinion is why it is called "bias".

And, while we're here, climate may not look like an IT topic to you, but how many computers does it take to model tomorrow's local weather and still get it wrong 52% of the time? Shall we consider next week's national weather? How about the global weather situation? What about tracking hurricanes - you know, those seasonal visitors that wipe out most of Florida every third year or so?

Indeed, _how_ _many_ _computers_ does it take to number-crunch all the data available to manage a best-guess on any aspect of our climate (past, present, future, or prediction)? Any guesses? The fact that the results are then spun and statistics are used to support incorrect assumptions which are then fed to the press does not remove its relevance here. If it takes more than zero computers, it has to do with IT - it belongs here.

You don't like it? You don't think it's big or clever? You don't think it's balanced reporting? You think its cherry picking? Take a moment to consider the title of the article next time and remember that you don't have to read it. That is, unless you want to go the whole hog by unsubscribing and selecting the "balanced reporting" of The Other Red-Topped "Sensationalist" Paper to read instead....

Oh, and have a nice day.


Want Gmail? Best have your mobile handy


Law Enforcement..?

How about a different IT angle...?

In order to use a SIM, even a freebie, you still have to register with a service. On that basis, if the email account "idunno@gmail" was sending spam, the phone number could serve as extra source of information for the police to track and, thereby, address matters of "email courtesy and etiquitte" in the real world. Politely, of course. With the utmost restraint and (self-) control.

It may not help - some people change phone numbers as often as they do socks and emails can be spoofed. I would not want to become a "false-positive" either.

Depending upon the activity on the account (some criminals are criminally stupid), even a PAYG phone could be traced by top-ups and the method of payment for those top-ups. Following the money is fairly easy and it only takes one slip-up for the criminal to be spotted. If law enforcement are going to take the time and dig deep enough to find where the email actually came from, isn't about time they profitted from that effort and found someone they could convict in the real world?


US unemployment rate growth slowed in May


Yes, what about those pesky aliens...?

Dear Anonymous Coward,

What about the aliens...? Yes, what about the aliens? Do you really think getting the aliens out of the United States (or any country) is really going to kick-start the economy?

These persons are not working in IT. Or banking. Or health care. Or social work. There may be plenty of foreign workers in these industries, but these are not illegal immigrants.

Where I come from, illegal immigrants are working primarily in agriculture. They are in the fields starting at 5 in the morning having nothing to look forward to except picking fruits, vegatables and melons in the heat of the day for the next twelve to eighteen hours.

Twelve to eighteen long hours. In the heat of the sun. In the pouring rain. In sleet, snow, wind, hail, and all other flavours of "weather". With few or no breaks. Working with all of the speed, strength, stamina, and accuracy they can muster. And always worried about immigration agents raiding the farms and sending them home where there is (apparently) no work to feed an (equally apparently) starving family.

Could you do that? Could you work those hours in those conditions while fearing deportation and prison? Day after day? Not knowing the local language? Not knowing your rights? Working no matter how you were treated by your employer who cares even less about you than the law of the land?

Would you fill one of those jobs if they became available because all of the "non-citizens" were sent packing? Sir, I have come to understand that the jobs taken by illegal immigrants are often the ones the local "citizens" refuse to fill.

I bid you Good Day, Sir.

DISCLAIMER: Prior to my move across the pond, I worked in Phoenix - about 100 miles north of the greatest migration free-for-all in the West. And I speak as one of those "aliens" (albeit a "legal alien" through marriage and appropriate visas - but not a "citizen" who you state should get all the jobs). And I appreciate you probably were not targetting me personally, but it can be so difficult to be sure given the tone & content of your posting.


Labour isn't working for IT contractors


Re: Giving up work due to fuel costs

This actually is not as unreasonable as it sounds.

I was working as a permie (IT Helpdesk) and the fuel costs slowly made it uneconomical to get to work. Over the two years I worked there, the fuel costs doubled and I was considering leaving the position due to the sheer economics. As it ended up, I was made redundant and found a job much closer to home.

That was about four years ago. Now I drive a third of the distance, spend 10 minutes door-to-door instead of about an hour, and can still afford to keep going to work, even in the face of four years of increasing fuel costs.

If it came to it again, I would be prepared to make the same decision. I do not live to work, I work to live. The jobs are out there. And, should I need to, I will find one that I can do that pays me enough to staive off starvation and not require me to sell off the children as indentured servants.


Taser rolls out taser-on-a-roll, new military zapbomb deal


AC - Keeping Away Visitors

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you were joking.

Your plan is marvelous. I would even be tempted to patent your idea, but, you know, maybe - just maybe - the leather or rubber soles in most shoes would stop the effectiveness of your latest "cunning plan."

PS - Just so you know. There probably are better ways to keep Jehovah's Witnesses at bay. You know, like asking them nicely. Double glazers, on the other hand, I don't know what would keep them away - they're actually SALESMEN...!


EU plans to boost organ donor numbers


Organs Are Funny Things....

Setting aside issues surrounding organ trafficking, Alder Hay Hosptial, infectious diseases, and the potential lifespan of the transplanted organs ("nearly new, pre-owned liver, free to good home")*, I am distinctly of the opinion that organs and tissues for transplantation don't last that long after the clinical death of the host and that this opens up a very short window of opportunity for the transplantation procedure.

* And, no, I'm not trying to be insenstive about the whole matter. Human life is important and needs to be preserved wherever possible.

How does one address things like tissue rejection testing with such little time?

Are we going to end up with (another) highly-secure, multiple-language, EU-wide database linking prospective donors with those with a stated medical need to ensure the organ gets to the right part of the EU in 24 hours or less?

Don't the sheer logistics of the task reduce the liklihood of success?



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