* Posts by Muscleguy

795 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008


Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline

Muscleguy Silver badge

It seems rather nerdlike in the dog answer, too much information dude. A domesticated animal of the order carnivora would suffice.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

Muscleguy Silver badge

Get Informed

It has been found recently that giant pandas are still bears. They supplement their bamboo diet with eggs, nestlings and any other sort of meat bag animals they can catch when they need some haem iron.

I can guarantee the panda keepers knew this piece of modern biological knowledge which is why they were so concerned and urgently went to rescue her. Because the chances of injury were non zero and understood.

But then if El Reg understood this then this clickbait article would not be clickbait and nobody would get paid so ignorance is okay then. I despair.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

Muscleguy Silver badge

Hoots Mon

Oh as a Scottish Independence campaigner this is just yet another thing about the UK I can use to persuade people to support independence.

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

Muscleguy Silver badge

Also the possibility of phones we carry around in our dirty pockets, maybe with our used hankies etc. etc. But fortunately evolution equipped us with a layered immune system isn't it?

Advances in hygiene and sanitation have lengthened human life considerably from what pertained previously. But how a virulent disease can spread from telephone use is beyond me. I have a modicum of understanding of disease spread and I know the infecton for norovirus is as low as 7 virions but unless I share my phone with lots of people it is unlikely to spread.

If it spreads on human hands the telephones are an extremely minor part of the infection spread and it assumes nobody will retain immunity once exposed and will keep being reinfected by the phones. Note there is very little food on a phone so evolution to evade our immune systems is very unlikely.

Just practice safe phone use and wash AND dry our hands periodically and we'll be fine.

However dirty keyboards/mice/trackpads should keep you awake at nights.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: "reality TV "stars" dying from crash landing, habitat failure, or slow suffocation. "

i have a science PhD and I'm very fit but I did not even consider applying since I'm not naive but I know plenty of more Ivory Towered colleagues who could be described as naive. The process required to gain a PhD can insulate the student from various aspects of 'real life'.

I somewhat avoided that fate by getting married and reproducing while an undergrad and a young family and their needs will ground you pretty hard. Note some of the most naive people I knew were also the smartest.

Thanks for the general description of us folks as some sort of elite who could not be naive or stupid outside of our specialisations. I'll leave you with a good general rule of thumb: if a PhD is pontificating outside of his or her specialised area treat what they say with extra grains of salt. Assuming they must know what they are doing/saying because they are smart in one area is a dangerous assumption.

Also always ask to see their working and remember you can get a PhD in lots of non science subjects and these days medics who want to be Consultants do PhD's and remember medicine is trying hard and there are good areas but it still does not qualify as a science.

Object-recognition AI – the dumb program's idea of a smart program: How neural nets are really just looking at textures

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: "It's fake smart."

Mind you dense swirling snow is testing for human drivers. I live in Dundee Scotland and absent the last two winters (more severe in England) such challenges are common. Sensible drivers in those conditions slow down since their visual distance is much reduced.

Note snow at night can be both easier and more difficult depending on the type of snow and its direction. Snow flurries you cannot see until they are just in front of your windscreen in the dark are nasty. You have to constantly never yourself not to flinch.

A camera lens is subject to the same sorts of problems even if it works and reacts faster. If the snow is the wrong sort from the wrong direction it might even obscure all or part of the view, much like peering through frantically whirling wipers.

I'm prepared to accept that tech like lidar and radar might be relatively immune to such issues but they will be susceptible to others and that then creates the problem of which viewing method to prefer if they all differ?

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Muscleguy Silver badge

Indeed and I can carry maps in my head. I once drove my aged mother from here in Dundee to my cousin's place in the countryside south of Macclesfield entirely on having looked up the route and used Google Earth to Street View the actual house so I would recognise it. Worked very well, there, and back again.

I frequently put maps in my head. On any number of occasions I have run a new running route by memorising the map, including in foreign cities. It is hard to run while looking at a map on your phone and I refuse to use earphones while running and often I don't even take my phone with me (extra weight, the arm wallet is uncomfortable).

Apart from mistaking a frozen stream for a path in a very snowbound park in Ljubljana I have not gone wrong.

We have had any number of cautionary tales of relying on a satnav instead of using our brains. If you never navigate by your own wits and knowledge that ability will atrophy. Google Earth is damned useful but I have a drawer full of paper maps which I also use as they encode details Earth often doesn't.

AI gets carded, China and US agree on robot wars, Amazon claims Rekognition is just fine

Muscleguy Silver badge

If no human lives are at risk then war becomes much more likely. That is the risk of taking humans out of the battlefield.

Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court

Muscleguy Silver badge

Seized drug paraphernalia are not usually returned. But have you sent them a stern letter at least? Probably got sold at auction to fund the police benefit. You should have been checking the charity shops and seizing it as stolen goods.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: "Britain's FBI"

You would think the existence of a separate and distinct legal system and practice here in Scotland in their own polity would make them wise to the possibility. Let alone travel in modern Europe where there's little except a sign to indicate a border now.

But then we still get people from south of the border surprised at the fact. They think that our Sheriffs and Procurator Fiscals are just quaint names and the law is the same.

The Welsh, since Devolution, have built up a sufficient corpus of different Welsh law that they are thinking about separating out their legal system from England's for the first time since the 15thC.

And I haven't even mentioned the Channel Islands, Man and NI.

So really there is no excuse.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Confiscated 5 years ago?

How exactly does one spot an NSA rootkit? Asking for a friend . . .

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

Muscleguy Silver badge

Had to happen

Nowadays 18 year olds are not allowed to attend university open days on their own any more, Mom and Pop have to tail along as well, including trying to get into interviews etc. My wife works in admissions and recruitments and has to field calls from parents wanting to know stuff like what mark did Jr get on the term test but have to be told that Privacy Law means they cannot be told and since Jr is over 18 they are an adult now.

So it was only a matter of time for this sort of thing to happen. Just wait until both sets of parents insist on being there for the first sexual encounter to offer tips and commentary.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

Muscleguy Silver badge


I agree on the not learning thing, when our eldest first got rat arsed the next morning, Saturday my wife got the youngest to march up and down the hall outside her bedroom playing the bagpipes (great pipes, all drones unplugged for those in the know) then eldest got dragged into town clothes shopping.

Didnae work. Eldest is a Sommelier, deep into el vino.

The old Scotsman's preventative of necking as much water as you can hold just before you flop into bed is good advice though. Moderates the dehydration and gets you up the next day through a very strong need to pee.

I used to swear by a 9mile run the day after, you reach a point where the effects of the hangover intersect with the normal effects of the run and equalise out. You have to have taken heed of the Scotsman first though and necked or taken some water/dilute sports drink with you. But last I tried it age intervened and I could only manage 6.6 miles.

Instead I stop drinking before I'm drunk enough for a proper hangover. But if I go for a run next morning anyway I feel any drink I've had the night before.

Since I value the running and the health and wellbeing it brings very highly this limits my alcoholic intake to healthy levels.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

Muscleguy Silver badge

I refer you to the work of Prof Richard Murphy. It works like this, governments with fiat currencies create money and then spend it in the economy, they get it back via taxes. The taxes don't pay for anything, the money creation does.

BTW under this understanding deficits for fiat governments are good because they represent money out there in the economy. Governments who balance the books or run a surplus are bad because that represents govt taking money out of the economy.

Which is part of why Norway squirrels its oil money away in its Sovereign Wealth Fund with strict rules around what the income from it can be used for and the Norwegian govt runs a sensible deficit.

Most people's understandings of tax stem from the days of the gold standard and monetary control and they no longer apply under a fiat currency.

This does not mean govts can just create lots of money with no consequences. The UK govt's quantitative easing dropped the value of the pound significantly. Since they had nothing to turn around the UK's large current account deficit this fuelled inflation as imports cost more which was not countered by greater export earnings as the economy was depressed by witless austerity.

Interest rates are so low those buying gilts for security are effectively paying HMG for the privilege. When such situations pertain you borrow to invest to boost the economy. Instead we have austerity.

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Last-decade ?

Happens all over, walk around St Andrews at the end of Fife here in Scotland. Note the ruined Abbey and Cathedral at the end of the main streets. Now wander about the older parts of town looking at building walls and you will notice odd stones in them.

After the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries (which happened in Independent Scotland just like in England (and Wales) the good burghers of St Andrews used the good, well dressed masonry of the ecclesiastical buildings as a quarry.

Good Scottish thriftiness you might say, but it happened all over, why most of such sights are thorough ruins. It's just in St Andrews the Medieval town is still largely there and in close proximity to the 'quarry'.

BTW the Castle is still rather more intact and well worth a visit, it has a still intact mine and counter mine from a siege and you can go down it with modern hand rails and electric lighting to help with the claustrophobia.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Backward compatibility

That is not bad, I 'think' I have my original PhD files still somewhere that isn't an insertable I can't use any more. I submitted in early '93 . . .

Leaky child-tracking smartwatch maker hits back at bad PR

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Watching your kid is good

Speaking more generally one of the problems in the modern world is not enough eyes out there, by which I mean other kids. Back in the day when I was a wean then a sprog aged about 8 I would take myself down the docks for a spot of fishing. There would always be other boys there, older as well and there was a rough sort of care going on. Older boys would offer advice and give tips and ask where you were going if you got up to move further along the wharf for eg.

There were lots of kids about, lots of eyes watching and we would often have three 2c pieces for the payphone or scrounging some discarded pop bottles for the deposit would soon garner them. Not quite cellphone like but anyone causing a worry would know a phone call to the cops by eyes bearers was a possibility.

Now kids on their own out and about stick out like sore thumbs and all sorts of people rush towards them and how do you know if their intentions are benign?

Back in the '90s in Outer London we would let out tweenage kids go round the end of the road on their bikes to the recycling bins, because we were NZ parents eager to give our kids responsibility and some freedom. The youngest came of her bike and just skinned a knee. Some busybody woman wouldn't let just come home and insisted her elder sister come and get us, leaving the youngest with this stranger woman. The eldest came back in a fluster 'a strange woman won't let her leave'. We hot footed it over there and she tried to tell us off for letting our kids out of our sight and we stopped her and made it plain that abducting our daughter was not on.

If there had been legions of spawn on bikes, scooters or afoot they instead of her would have gathered round, decided a skinned knee was no odds and put her back on her bike.

Was a it a Black Mirror episode I saw recently where a woman had a tracker put in her daughter's head connected to a tablet which in the end caused the teenage daughter to leave home for good after smashing the tablet. A scenario the mother had sought to avoid by wrapping her daughter in digital cotton wool. The neuroscience of it was pretty dodgy but the point was well made.

We now have 18 year olds taken to University open days by their parents. My wife who does admissions and recruitment tells of how she regularly has to tell parents that privacy legislation means she is unable to tell them their spawn's test results or anything.

Then we have the phenomenon of young people allowed away on their own for the first time and injuring and killing themselves in over risky situations because they have never been allowed to risk themselves in things like climbing trees etc so don't know how to assess risk in the way we did through bruises, skinned knees and even broken bones. The phenomenon of a classmate with a cast you could sign was a staple, worn as a badge of pride. I never managed one, perhaps because I have loose joints so tend to land floppier than most. I can also pop my shoulders out and back in again in flash of pain but no damage done. I did that a few times, x-rays and examinations showing the shoulder was back in while I knew for a fact it had popped out, I felt it.

So no casts for me but plenty of personal risk assessment.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Remember Y2K?

"But two bytes gives you a 65536-year range. Shouldn't have been a problem before 67000-ish."

Evidence that the Maya not only had computers but they were limited to 2 bytes for year storage.

Pants-purveyor in plea for popularity: It's not just any pork push... it's an M&S 'love sausage'

Muscleguy Silver badge

I make my own sausages, gluten free and generally nicer than most supermarket versions. I had two pork with cider soaked apples with mash, 'shrooms and veg for my tea last night. I can see how you could make one of these. Having filled your casings instead of making standard links you make long links and mould them thus letting them sit for a few hours as you would with normal links to allow them to 'set'. Then wrap with bacon and et voila! the constituents of a 'love sausage'. Should you feel the urge to go there.

Note if using natural pork casings you would use the natural curve of these in forming the shapes. Failure to do so would I expect result in unpleasant reshaping during the heat of preparation. I would use natural casings for this purpose for that very reason, reasoning that meat eaters happy with extra porky goodness in the bacon wrappings would not be put off by that. M&S in their tradition keeping mode would also be more likely to got there than say Tesco or Asda who have to worry about worried customers with queasier stomachs.

Besides I find natural casings much easier to work with than the collagen or vegetarian equivalents.

If I can find sufficient cheap short date chook I might make some more of my Thai style chicken bangers, modelled on ones I had back in Auckland, NZ. Nicely spicy hot with lemongrass, galangal and fish sauce. Those I do put in collagen casings as I think they work best as straight sausages.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Sucked back in

See this is where the modern gimp engineer is in the know. You see modern exercise wear now comes in 'extra smooth fibre' mode, clothes made with fibres so nano level smooth that bacteria cannot cling to them. Since the smell from sweat comes from bacterial action on the sweat this lets you sweat, even repeatedly into it without it, or you smelling.

I have a modicum amount of it, UA shirts as undershirts for normal daywear and HH long sleeved tops for cool and cold weather running. I reuse these where I would put out for the wash others after one use. They do eventually begin to whiff slightly but it can take a week of daywear or three runs.

Wearing technical t-shirts as undershirts is fantastic, both cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so comfortable. I'm so taken with it I have technical polo shirts for wear in the warmer months. They are sold as tennis or golf shirts and they wick sweat and are slow to wet in the rain etc like running gear.

Modern tech extends to clothing you know. If money were no object I would ditch my M&S briefs for the technical ones I have for wearing under leggings in the winter they are that comfortable. But at £10 a pair and I expect their wear resistance is not high makes them something I keep for running or other exercising in.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Surely foreplay can take many forms?

Tell NASA to grab the margarita mix – a sextillion-kg salty ring found floating in space

Muscleguy Silver badge

I have postural hypotension, if I sit or crouch for too long or at all in hot weather and then stand up I get all dizzy because my blood pressure doesn't rise like it should. Can I have a smidgeon of some of that please, especially if it's mildly iodised. Got to keep the thyroid ticking over.

Freedom! Diodes Inc saves Scottish fab from closure in £50m buyout

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Worked there..

Indeed just like what remains of our Steel industry was saved by ScotGov buying it then offloading it to Mittal and Tatta. And just like they banged heads together to get that engineering fab in Fife paid by its clients to keep it running, for a while.

Companies not being paid on time, most especially by local and central govt is a major cause of failures, especially of building firms. ScotGov says it is working on it but compliance to the rules seems to be patchy at best. Unfortunately unionist run councils specialise in frustrating ScotGov efforts because SNP Baaaaaaaaaad. It would be funny if it didn't involve people's livelihoods.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Only if it's military spec as that is about all the shipyards built back then. ScotGov via the wholly public owned CalMac is trying with new ferry builds but that has run into problems and looks like heading into the courts. Fixed price contract says ScotGov, the spec was changed say the yard, not so says CalMac. The lawyers seem doomed to have to sort it.

But the point is that HMG did feck all to support the yard(s) on the Clyde but ScotGov is trying.

Pixaaaarrrrrrghh! Mars-snapping CubeSats Wall-E and Eve declared dead (for now) by NASA bods

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: They did their intended job

They did not get released until the lander did, iow they all packaged up with the lander. Not even NASA is up to firing naked cubesats at probe gobbling Mars all on their own.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

Muscleguy Silver badge

But what if you have a dicky ticker and you have constipation? the latter is common amongst the older persons.

And what about us athletic types. I have a large, healthy, well used heart with athletic syndrome which means it has the luxury of getting funky at rest with re-entrant phenomena quite common. Passing solids is a parasympathetic thing, you have to be relaxed or nothing happens so such a device is guaranteed to finger my ticker as delinquent.

I had it checked out fairly recently by 24hr ECG because the funkiness had changed, fewer extrasystoles and more atrial flutters. Just an age thing with athletic hearts was the verdict. I can still thrash myself hard up steep hills and 220 minus age for maximum heart rate is still a fiction for me. My running watch keeps putting me there every birthday and I have to put it back up to reality or those hills will have me at 120% heart rate.

Bug-hunter faces jail for vulnerability reports, DuckDuckPwn (almost), family spied on via Nest gizmo, and more

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Over a week? What were they thinking?

The thing about a lot of these internet connected things is there is NO manual over ride. So if you pull the plug then nothing works at all so you go from 32C heating to no heating.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Header pic

Next time you fly take a look a the side of your seat. Extending under all the applied soft furnishings are sturdy, strutted metal legs. Wishing a suitable surface to break a bottle in a plane (not that I would ever do such a thing) I would use that.

The thing about the bottles is not so much their lethality as sharp objects but their utility as blunt force clubs. If the bottle should break to sharp lethality on someone's head that would be all to the good to a miscreant would it not?

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Well helloooooo.

I agree an think you are wrong. Everyone has to include the Feds, the police etc. Think about it, you have a John or Jane Doe in the hospital, they are comatose and have no ID on them. How do you find out who they are and who their next of kin might be? maybe someone is missing them?

Maybe they die and there is nobody to notify. If they have never come to the attention of the authorities they won't have their fingerprints on file, like that shearer in Southern Australia recently. But a DNA database like this could find a relative. But that would take investigators with suitable legal powers would it not?

If you allow those scenarios and I think you have to then you have to allow law enforcement, and they come with court orders and subpoenas, so there is independent oversight and comeback if the application is trivial or malign. What exactly is the problem?

Also if you live in or have lived in and been fingered in England and Wales your DNA is on the Police National Database and good luck getting it off even if you are not charged and are innocent. This is by design.

Here in Scotland if you are not charged or are found innocent both the record and the sample are removed and destroyed.

So if you live in England or Wales your DNA is at much greater risk than those customers in the US.

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Yeah - but if I am a "common criminal" I'll definitely find another non-indiegogo to pawn

Reminds me of the blue English setter we had when I was a teenager. Almost never barked but when he did it was this huge, deep, menacing thing.

The main deterrent factor of a dog, at least when you have neighbours, is that it will bark and both ultra friendly and very nasty dogs will bark. I know a super soppy labradoodle who makes all manner of noises including barking when he meets me as he likes me a lot. When I look after him he barks at all visitors and when I change the batteries in the slave door chime, making it chime.

When you're out a pooch will ensure your entry to the property will be suitably advertised to all and sundry even if the burglar then gets licked to death.

Musk shows off the latest power plant for Starship, replaces Tesla CFO with a millennial

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Pedantry: thrust units.

Except if it is weight instead of mass then g which is in m/s/2 so an acceleration counts. You have to imagine the engine is pushing against a giant, heavily resistant scales which is deflected so measuring the weight of the thrust. Much like the bathroom scales do due to your weight.

Your confusion is to forget that the measure in question means BOTH mass and weight. You assumed the first when the second is obviously in play.

Iceland starts planning for new undersea internet cable to Europe

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: The Internet treats Brexit as damage and routes around it

Though if Scotland becomes Independent as the polls showing mid 50's support post Brexit we could always lay an extra cable to Ireland and just leave Little Britain to your own devices. BTW the EU is building an HVDC interlink betwixt Aberdeen and Western Norway. Which means post Indy our vast and then much increasing renewable power excess can be sold elsewhere rather than just south of the Border as now. Meaning we can charge proper megabucks for it.

BTW we can sell you water as well, we'll build a pipe to the border near Kielder, with a meter on it, and you can figure out how to get it to Kent.

Under Armour and Virgin Galactic team up so tourists can stay on-trend throughout white-knuckle ride into space

Muscleguy Silver badge

Comfort is important

I don't exercise in it and I don't frequent gyms, I'm a distance runner out in the weather (sleet on Monday). But I wear technical t-shirts as undershirts because they are so damn comfortable and I can sweat and not show sweat patches. Also the UA ones I have are made with those ultra smooth fibres so they can be sweated into a few times before beginning to smell of anything at all. In the interests of fairness HH and others use those fibres too. Those I do run in, twice before washing.

As a lifelong distance runner of some vintage I can remember what it was to run in nylon split shorts and cotton singlets and t-shirts in the muggy heat of Auckland, NZ and let me tell you the advent of technical sweat wicking gear has been an absolute godsend. I give the vast majority of it the ultimate accolade: I don't notice I'm wearing it. Whether that be in what passes for heat here in Dundee in the Non Winter or when the mercury is firmly sub zero with added windchill (oh yes). Technical gear is more wind resistant than other stuff and slow to wet and quick to dry and unlike cotton doesn't get heavy when damp.

Oh and I bought my UA stuff cheap on Amazon as remaindered stock. I did not pay top dollar for it.

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Hospitals

I used to work in the research labs up at the hospital and the route in from the carpark was past the limb fitting centre. Before they banned smoking anywhere on the large site you would see literally grey skinned people sitting outside even in the Dundee winter, in wheelchairs with lower limbs missing or ambulatory with upper limb amputations all caused by smoking (deep vein thrombosis causes blockages in limb vessels leading to gangrene so has to come off. They’ve lost a limb or several but there they were so addicted still smoking.

The hospital back then employed people to move on the smokers who congregated outside the main entrance causing you to have to run the gauntlet. They got sick of that so banned smoking anywhere on site, thanks to Scottish govt anti smoking legislation giving them the power to do so.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Workplace Darwin Awards?

Scene: a 4 desk office of Biology lab space around 2000ish. I was, honest guv, genuinely seeking more up to date figures on variations in muscle anatomy in humans than contained in the lab's very ancient copy of Grey's Anatomy (the anatomy tome, not the later cop show). I put 'Human Anatomy' into a search engine and clicked a likely looking link and my browser was suddenly filled with multiplying pages of PRON!

Fortunately I was alone in the office at the time and none of my female officemates was there. I hurriedly reached under the desk and hit the power button on my G4 power mac. A close run thing.

Though I did have a colleague in mid 90s who was fond of looking up humans and animals doing naughty things in the middle of the lab. He's probably a Consultant in a hospital near you about now.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Muscleguy Silver badge


Of opening the door on most lightweight helicopters. A story from NZ of analysis of a fatal crash of a Hughes 500 helicopter reckons a pair of overtrousers flew out of the cabin through an open door and into the tail rotor, stalling it and causing the crash. There are lots of reports of doors opening by themselves on flights of Hughes 500 helicopters.

Sure if its a big old Apache with a side gunner then for it, but for net throwing from a small one you want to be very careful. For a start what if your net gets tangled in one of the rotors?

Be careful out there.

Ding dong merrily on high. In Berkeley, the bots are singeing: Self-driving college cooler droid goes up in flames

Muscleguy Silver badge


WTF has this thing got to do with a kiwi? It doesn’t look or act like one. This is theft of Maori words.

Note most of the birds in NZ will tell you what their names are, the kiwi really does go ‘ki-wi’. When the Maori arrived they sensibly took the names the birds told them and used them. btw the native owl though is heard differently by different races. Us Europeans hear it saying ‘More Pork’ so we call it the Morepork. To Maori it’s the ruru which it definitely doesn’t say. The rule is not absolute.

Bloody Yanks going about stealing other people’s IP. Mind you a certain brand of British shoe polish started it.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: How to sell this

Agreed, I’m one of those who still cooks from scratch and I mean making my own pasta for a lasagne from scratch. I make my own sausages, including black pudding. Local Chinese supermarket has 550g packs of frozen pig’s blood for cheap so why not?

I also do pickles, some work really well, some are just pretty good and some I’m not touching until gone New Year in hope the vinegar has moderated. But the point is you don’t have to buy everything pre made or convenient.

I also don’t want something to do it for me. Okay I have an ice cream maker to do the churning while freezing bit but I’ve still made the sorbet (lychee and lime) from cheap tins of lychees from said supermarket. Try buying that. Jackfruit and lime is pretty good as well. I have a spiced chestnut ice cream for Xmas day to have with the fig clafoutis I shall make.

Now if you will excuse me I have some bread to put on: Gluten free sourdough buckwheat and 3 seed bread. My staple. Makes utterly fantastic toast. Training any sort of butler to do that would be a nightmare.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re Windows

I had to get seriously shirty with the company we bought new windows off. They kept ringing to ask if we needed new windows or doors. I kept explaining we haven’t built and extension so haven’t aquired new windows and doors so no. It took 3 or 4 rounds of me formally requesting they remove me from their database as I’m legally allowed to before they eventually did.

This was on the landline, now disconnected. Only people calling it were marketers cocking a snook at the regulations.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Yup, one set of lights keeps going out because the fuse blows. This includes the kitchen. This causes me to get the head torch out. The neighbours have resolutely failed to call the cops due to torchlight coming from the interior of my house.

I think it’s the kitchen light fitting. Going to have a look tomorrow in the daylight. I expect a plastic connector has partly melted etc or cooking greases have congealed and are conducting electrickery or some such thing.

Boffins don't give a sh!t, slap Trump's face on a turd in science journal

Muscleguy Silver badge

Humour in Science

I have a slide of a maturing secondary myotube (immature embyronic muscle fibre) in cross-section in the electron microscope. I talk about the fact it is a maturing secondary, then pause and say ‘it’s also a duck in an egg’ which lets the audience laugh. The nucleus has in x-section taken on the shape of a duck (rubber variety) sitting in an egg shaped cell. It even has an eye spot, condensed chromatin (protein wrapped dan) is dark and a spot of it is in the right place for an eye.

I have a set of large format negatives, all show different nucleus animals, I have a goldfish with flowing fins and a rhinoceros amongst others. All were found in muscle cross sections of the mouse mutant I was studying. So they are my micro mutant muscle menagerie.

It demonstrates the human tendency to pareidolia and that if you never see the light side of life in your work you are a very sad sap.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20

Muscleguy Silver badge

Not just fantasy

As an old school wargamer (New Kingdom Egyptians, 1812 Russians and Naval Warfare Pacific 1939-45) 20 sided die are common as well as average dice and 10sided as well under some rules.

Fantasy did not have the strange die all to themselves.

I made average die by drilling an exta two holes either side of the 1 and filling in the 1 and partial filling and redriling of the 6. Testing showed it worked well. Nobody ever complained about it.

My Russians kicked bottom, infantry who had a morale bonus under artillery fire and cossacks who could move and charge very fast and therefore long distance. Yet if charged by regular cavalry they could effectively evade. If flank marched they were an artillery battery (from behind) killers.

Apple iPhone X screen falls short of promises, lawsuit says

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Frivolity

Just looked at my cheap Moto and it doesn’t have a chin, so I’m not sure what you mean. If it’s the home, back and whats running buttons at the bottom that is still usable screen space and I have several apps and games which use the whole screen and you have to swipe up to see the controls.

The notch is not usable real estate so I don’t see the comparison.

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Funding cuts lead to this

Not here in Scotland where police numbers are actually rising and crime rates are also falling.

It is only happening in England and Wales. You get what you vote for. We vote SNP/Green and see what we get.

The 'roid in Spain drills mainly on the plain: Plucky Brit Mars robot laps up sun, sand and, er, simulated science

Muscleguy Silver badge


I would think the dry valleys in Antarctica are a better fit for Mars given they are freakin cold as well as some of the driest places on earth. They are dry because snow sublimates away.

However I suspect Atacama is logistically more tractable. The US has used the lava fields on Hawai'i in the past for such things as well. But the dry valleys, while not as cold as Mars are pretty damn cold.

Yes, Americans, you can break anti-piracy DRM if you want to repair some of your kit – US govt

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: What does that really mean?

It can be done to a mouse as well. Male ones anyway, uncross your legs chaps. I was once instructed on how to do it, it requires a soldering iron (cauteriser).

Vasectomised male meeces are required for making transgenics and knockouts. Females go into Pseudopregnancy when mated. So you mate females to Vas males to produce ready recipients for your genetically altered eggs/blastocysts.

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

Muscleguy Silver badge

Our youngest is arachnophobic and was from a young age. A cry of horror would bring me upstairs to be presented with what the rest of us would all a money spider but to her had assumed the threat of a giant tarantula.

I would dutifully evict these arachnids outside, until my scientific interest brought me to a study showing house spiders evicted almost always die. Either the cold gets them, birds get them or other spiders get them. Outside is a patchwork of abutting spider territories and an evicted house spider has to navigate that without becoming lunch, most fail.

I would also find the occasional silverfish and with those two concerns combined I refused any further spider evictions and instead pointed out to said offspring that the piles of mess on her floor were ideal spider habitat and if she cleared up she would have fewer spiders.

Which had the effect of making her too scared to go near them . . .

She was the offspring who failed to notice the wasps buzzing and dying between the window and the secondary glazing, both shut (so how did they get there?). Turned out they had burrowed into the sill etc and were flying about so I had to be up a ladder with wasp killer spraying all access holes and later with the caulking gun blocking them all with tinted silicone.

When the double glazing installers got to that window I warned them they might find gruesome things.

We get a lot fewer spiders since the two offspring finally moved out (they both boomeranged).

The irony? said offspring now lives in NZ which has an actual slightly venomous native spider, the katipo. Except it is kin to the Aussie redback some of which have made the jump across the Tasman by inadvertent (we hope) human agency and they have interbred . . .

British Airways: If you're feeling left out of our 380,000 passenger hack, then you may be one of another 185,000 victims

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Experian---

These free offers rely on you not setting or paying attention to a reminder to cancel just before payment starts to be extracted. I just cancelled my Free Netflix month early, before my reminder kicks in because I couldn't find anything else I wanted to watch. Just got an email, watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I'm 52 . . .

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

Hmm, I have just Autumn cleaned my spam folder and I have absolutely NOTHING of this sort. I think it's a generational thing. I'm a crusty 52 and can remember the web being invented and what went before like Fetch.

My eldest was always complaining her email accounts kept being unusable because of spam but she was the only family member so afflicted. We all had addresses on the same ISP, all dependent on my main account but only her's was so afflicted.

I take perverse pleasure in going elsewhere if you require me to create login just to browse and get uppity on there not being a guest login feature.

Also I use a different password for each site, they are all phrase initials and I use a variety of them. Except my banking logins are different again, they are quite abstruse.

It's like sex and disk sanitation back when we were always putting discs into machines. I remember when AIDS developed as well as nVir (so date me).

As a matter of interest my login here is really ancient, from way back before I got all initialised. Knowing that one will only allow you to impersonate me on here. Others of that vintage are probably associated with work email addresses long defunct so no use to man, beast or cybercrook.

I remember when, having JANET accounts (Big Fat Pipe) we used to threaten spammers with humungous email files unless they desisted. How the world changes.

Belgium: Oi, Brits, explain why Belgacom hack IPs pointed at you and your GCHQ

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: All true.....but.........

Indeed, just as war is politics by other means cyber attacks are war by other means.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019