* Posts by halfcut

25 posts • joined 1 Jun 2008

Sony demos ultra-expensive, ultra-thin OLED telly



Wer'e appreciating the picture quality run through a video camera; possibly run through a PAL/NTSC conversion; using YouTube compression FFS; and finally viewed through whatever kit we're using at home.

Oh yeah, that works.

Woman jailed for texting while driving



A moment's inattention can be a dangerous thing.

I remember vividly at night coming up to a corner where two lanes merged with a car right up my arse, and having to get out into the lane where the car was. There were crashbarriers to my right and i was trying to get 1 lane to the left; because that was the way the road was. I was watching the car behind me. I gave up being polite and just pulled out with not much room to spare as far as the road markings went. That was quite lucky because there was a WHOLE FAMILY walking on the side of the road inside the crash barriers...including a pushchair. Father; 2 kids; mother; pushchair. I missed the pushchair by -I would guess- 30cm and I was going -another guess- 60Mph. If I had been just a tiny bit more polite on the road, I would have smeared the whole family. As it happened, I took the legally dodgy course of "fuck him, I'm coming out anyway".

Either choice could have ended in disaster and deaths, but I was lucky. That's the first one that came to mind, but there's loads more.

The news story- it doesn't state whether the woman was texting while colliding; and it doesn't state that she had received/sent the 20 texts while driving. Just "Curtis admitted sending text messages while driving" and "The court was told she sent and received more than 20 text messages before the crash."

The first point is that the story is phrased like Philippa Curtis was texting madly throughout her journey and paying no attention to the road whatsoever. This may or may not be true, and that's up to a jury to decide; having weighed the evidence. The story feels like a cut&paste from the Sun, lacking only the photo of the defendant caught halfway through a blink with maybe bags under the eyes added (although the BBC story does manage a splendidly unflattering photo).

The second point is that anyone who drives a car is milliseconds away from disaster all the time. It probably isn't going to happen on that particular journey, but the difference between a smooth journey and an utter fuckup can occur in considerably under your reaction time and can depend upon an almost unlimited amount of random factors. "There but for the grace of dog" etc.

If Philippa Curtis was texting madly and paying no attention to the road; then she deserves to burn. Victoria McBryde is lost to the world, along with whatever she was going to do with her life; not to mention the effect upon friends, family and everyone who knew her.

I was really unimpressed with the article. C'mon Reg, at least give the impression of impartiality. (Except, of course, articles about iPhones etc)

BBC pumps 60 quid a head into Gaelic



Cò an caora sin còmhla riut a chunnaic mi an-raoir?

Israelis offer radical new rat-based urban renewal scheme


So the rats

In New Orleans didn't travel as far? Shirly that means that they were happy where they were. The ones in Manhattan were probably looking for the exit.

Librarians redubbed 'audience development officers'



Call a spade an earth-inverting manually-driven horticultural device

Muslim leader rejects Sony's LittleBigPlanet edit


@ Ascylto

No copyright. Although I do reserve the right to use it as a sig file on Al-Queda messageboards



I like muslims.

More bacon for me.

Bespoke top level domains 'to cost $200,000'


I want .doc

...should be good for a laugh.

Will the cyrillic one be .commie ?

BT's Phorm small print: It's all your fault


Subject: Include me out

Hello Website-exclusion,

I wish my website to be excluded from anything you or associated

companies do; now and in the future. This is because you are a

company of bottom-feeding scumsuckers who have no more right to live

on God's clean earth than a virus. Less, in fact - virii can be

beneficial. You, on the other hand, collect money by illegally

tapping people's personal browsing habits; which has benefit to nobody

but yourselves, and which has the potential to cause inestimable harm

to your "customers"

The website:



is my property and I do not wish you to trespass upon that; either by

referring the poor bastards you're monitoring or by indexing with any

kind of of automated indexing software or by any other method. You

agree that visits to this website will be chargeable at £50 per visit.

Reading this email constitutes agreement to the terms and conditions.

As you read this, please consider getting a proper job and doing

something that even tangentially has some small benefit to any part

of your species.

Legal blather follows:



> The contents of this site, and communications between this site and

> its users, are protected by database right, copyright,

> confidentiality and the right not to be intercepted conferred by

> section 1(3) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

> The use of those contents and communications by Internet Service

> Providers or others to profile or classify users of this site for

> advertising or other purposes is strictly forbidden.


* laser-etching.com *


UN urged to prep for non-fiction Deep Impact



There's no need to break it up, and that's a last resort anyway. You have to detect it far enough away to deflect it off course. The bigger it is, the more time and/or reaction power you'll need. It'll be spinning and it'll be an irregular shape. So. You either need to stop the spin and apply a constant vector or you need to apply thrust every time your rockets/whatever are facing the right way. And there could be a fair amount of energy tied up in the object itself; that could radically change the path of it as it warms up when it gets closer to the sun. You need to account for that.

1) You need a decent detector net, which wouldn't be cheap; although you could let everybody else have the data immediately afterwards which might mitigate some of the costs and would make the project worth doing in it's own right.

2) You need -planning for downtime, maintenance, and "it always happens at the wrong time" syndrome- a minimum of 3 space-going vehicles that will either (1) land on the thing and strap jets and computers to it or (2) apply nuclear missiles from a favourable angle or (3) apply another option. These need to be in orbit with maintenance facilities and ready to rock 365/24/7. And a couple of supply shuttles.

What's the budget? I'll be responsible if it's doable.


A title is required.

>would a high altitude nuclear missile help? we've got a ton of those.

Quite probably not. Unless you could hit it from the side far enough away to deflect the main bulk away from earth. With the sorts of speeds and energy that can be involved, spreading it out can do more harm than good.

Phorm: Our business is fine, honest


An opt-out cookie

...with a 20-foot long serial number to identify you. That'll work.

Cloud computing: A catchphrase in puberty


(required to comment)

"I'm not a geologist but I can tell you- that THIS server... *brandishes*...will save the earth in not less than 30 years or your money back"

Cut to graphs, wobbly CGI and other SCIENCE!

Triumphant whalesong with mumbled "Terms and conditions may apply. May not be true" blended in at just under audible threshold.

Fade out

Red Hat hack prompts critical OpenSSH update


A title is required.

Still two fors. The second one is redundant. Try "I've been waiting for this article for a week".

Mmmm. Pedantry. I feel better now.

Tiffany demands reappraisal of eBay counterfeit decision


In order...

...to police this, eBay would need to know complete details of every product ever; and how to tell fakes from bad photography. That's silly.

Unencrypted traveler data laptop disappears then reappears


>loosing sensitive data

Technically, that's correct. Previously the data was contained, now it's loose.

So there.

NASA: The Moon is not enough


We need to pwn the moon

If we stick to orbital stuff, everything needs to be lifted out of Earth's full-fat gravity well. That's expensive. If we can get some mining and materials processing setup on the moon, there's only 1/6th of the gravity that you need to overcome to lift things into orbit, so it makes sense to get raw materials (steel would be a good start) from the moon and just lift the electronics -and tricky bits that you need a wide industrial base for- from earth. It makes sense in the not-very-long term.

Once you have industry on the moon, that gives you the platform to certainly make use of the solar system, if not beyond quite yet.

Or we could just sit here in our one basket -use the money to fund Botswanan farmers or what ever the cause is this week- and wait for extinction. There will come a point (opinion varies on exactly when) when all the resources we produce will be needed to maintain the population; and we will have lost the option.

And so we begin the tech sector's journey into the Heart of Darkness



Share prices and therefore recessions are psychological. So can you guys please cheer the fuck up.

Baptist church in assault rifle giveaway


How will they choose?

Assault raffle?

MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed



Tandy TRS-80. ZX-80/81. VIC-20. Commodore 64.

Win 3.11 were bloody luxury. We used to have to go 14 miles through snow carrying the family and hopping, because we could only afford one boot, and the nearest source of spares were 3 light-years away. It took so long to get the memory right we used to have to wake up 4 hours before we went to bed. Aye, but we were 'appy. Tell youngsters that today and they won't believe you.

NebuAd makes meal of opt-out cookie



...an opt-out cookie just means they're going to rape your details like normal; but adds the value "yes" into the 'known_to_be_cranky' field

AVG chokes fake traffic spew


AVG gone from my system too

I've got rid of AVG- not just because of the linkscanning- that was silly and I turned it off.

The bit that did it for me -I'm running XP with 500MB RAM- is that when moving files, AVG checked the files and left bits of itself in the directory. This led to constant "Directory not Empty" errors and bailing out of the Move operation. Unsurprisingly, this left files all over the place and took a while to tidy up. The part of AVG responsible was an unkillable process and the only way I found to be able to move files was to uninstall completely.

Gordo's DNA database claims branded 'ridiculous'



@keiron d

> Wonder if they kept my DNA...

> when i got done for drugs offences at 14 years old last year.

> god knows they gave me a hard enough swabbing, twice.

Yes they did. I got done for juvenile naughtiness back in 1985. As it was a juvenile offence, the police were legally obliged to delete the record when the punishment was finished (in this case when the 18 months probation was up). Don't ask me how I know, but the record was still there 10 years later. Once you're in, you're in.


> Obliged?

> Good article. At what point can I be *forced* to have DNA

> swabs/fingerprints taken? I.e. if the bobbies just wanted to

> question me for something I can refuse, but would I lose this right

> when charged or what?

When you're charged of a 'swabworthy' offence. Which is almost everything.

UK prisoners offered data cabling training



"Criminals are criminals. Ex or not. They still did someone to the detriment of society, and it really really pisses me off when they get an easy option"

I'm a convicted criminal. I told a traffic warden to fuck off once. Public Order Offences Act. Photos, fingerprints, DNA, 5 hours in the cells and a £150 fine. And, of course, a criminal record that will never be deleted.

The catchall term criminal can range from people who the Govt disapprove of; through people like me who are not at their most charming on the morning school run before the first coffee of the day; up to full-bore psychopaths. You probably break 50 laws a day yourself. A bit of thought before you go all Daily Mail with terms you obviously dont understand, if you please. Thank you. Same for the rest of you.

NHS IT: what went wrong, what will go wrong


Why not...?

Just use a bulletin board. Separate forums for counties and each person represented with a topic of their NI number. Just post the medical records and update as necessary. No need to worry about security- it's going to get hacked anyway, no matter how much is spent.

I'll just take £1 million for the consultancy, thanks...

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