* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5819 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

https on thereg

I ain't Spartacus
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Just had to test one other thing. Did the downvote button also work the same? Yes. All is tickety-boo for me.

I should change that downvote to an upvote, but it's funnier not to...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Yup, so far. Went to El Reg home, normal http. Clicked on the forums link, and it's been all https gravy ever since. Including preview.

Will edit to see if this is true on hitting post.

Yes, post, upvote and edit all keep the https flag flying.

As do links to article forums, not just the non-article ones.

This is on the work PC, Win 10 and Firefox. Just got out the iPad (latest Safari) and it also works the same.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

I've seen no errors so far. Will have a pay with the iPad later, and see if Safari can cock things up...

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I ain't Spartacus
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OK. So preview kept me in S-land, but when I hit post I was booted back to plain http.

Also, when I re-essed myself and upvoted your post, I also went from https to http.

BTW sorry for not emailing, but I'm on the work PC - so it's a bit of a faff to use the non-work email address - and therefore a lot easier to just reply in the forum.

Edit: Amusingly hitting edit also keeps me in https land, but I assume when I submit this that I'll be booted back to the land of the insecure.

Edit 2: I was. Preview and edit keep your S status, submit and votes don't.

Otherwise I've noticed no errors. I'm in Win 10 on the latest build of Firefox. When I get home I'll have a quick play with the iPad.

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I ain't Spartacus
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OK, the https follows me round the forums. But only sometimes.

So if when I read your post, I typed the https into the address bar. Then clicked on My posts, and got there in https.

However, when I clicked on the timestamp of one of my posts, to see if I'd had a reply, I went to the article forum thread in normal http.

I then went back to my posts and https-ed myself again. Then clicked on the timestamp for my above post - to see if the User Topics forums behaved differently to the article ones. And it doesn't, I also lost my https.

When I re-ss-ed myself and went back to My posts, I then tried the long way. So clicked on User Topics, El Reg Mattters and so on - and got here all the way in https.

Preview kept me in https-land.

I'm now going to hit post and see what happens.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Have done a bit of wandering around and all seems tickety-boo so far. When I tapped in https, the pages reloaded, seemingly with all ads and sidebars intact and the same shape.

Forum pages worked, and when I upvoted someone, it also worked. With only the hiccup that I got the rude message telling me I was sending data on an insecure connection and was then back on the normal http page. Which I assume is expected behaviour?

My only concern is the very worrying fact that of all the pages I visited this morning, only one spontaneously was an https page, without me having to type it in. And that was the story on Julian Assange. Is El Reg trying to tell me something...

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

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Trollface

Re: The time has come .......

So she actually got a day in court, and got three thousand for being hit by a piece of fruit.

Ah, but you have to understand this is Scotland. The poor lass wasn't traumatised by fighting, or having something heavy and sharp thrown at her. This was in Glasgow for heaven's sake.

No the trauma was caused because an innocent Scotswoman was forced to come into contact with fruit! Worse, it hadn't even been deep fried! There might even have been... vitamins!

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Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

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Re: @Harmony A pardon?

Now what exactly did Assange do that would warrant a pardon?

This goes back to Chelsea Manning.

Part of the prosecution documents at the trial alleged that Assange didn't just take the documents but was giving Manning advice via IRC on how to get the info off the computers and to Wikileaks.

The IRC was obviously under a pseudonym, and I don't recall any info on whether they had electronic proof this was Assange, or whether it was something Manning said under questioning or agreed to.

If Wikileaks just got the data and published it, then presumably they're just being journalists and have immunity from prosecution. If, on the other hand, Assange was actively helping to get that data, then he may be at risk of prosection for hacking, or even something really nasty like espionage.

Hence the desire for a pardon. He wants assurances from European countries that they won't extradite him to the US on unspecified future charges that it would be illegal for them to give. Ministers aren't supposed to tell courts what to rule. Hence he won't get them. It may be of course that this is the reason he's asked for them, as it gives him cover for not facing the rape charge. But the US Pres can pardon someone, even for something they've not yet been charged for apparently.

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Jokes of no more than 2 lines

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Happy

Ah bad jokes...

I have developed an irrational fear of enclosed grottoes.

Yes, I suffer from santaclaustrophobia.

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My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

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Re: If I could prepare proper meals every day I would

Good grief. The judgemental grumpy-arses seem to be out in force today.

I had a pretty cynical view of the stuff, given that my only knowledge of it was Dave Gorman taking the piss and the stories I have read about Soylent. Which as well as having an awful name, doesn't appear to have done much in the way of nutritional balancing. If this stuff is being made by properly qualified people, and they've made serious efforts to put in trace minerals and vitamins and all that good stuff (I admit I'm too lazy to check), then that's not an altogether bad thing. And if it helps someone to have make their life better, than who am I to sit on the sidelines bitching? Even if I think it's a bad idea, it's still better than not getting a balanced meal anyway because you're too knackered to cook.

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Devil

I think it's more sinister than Dave Gorman's Hipster Gruel. It does mean Human Gruel, but the point is that it's not for humans, but made of them. Huel is people!

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The Life and Times of Lester Haines

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Re: The reminder we needed

Neil,

Good point that man! We didn't do the quid-a-day nosh posse last year and so I think we should do a Lester memorial one in 2017.

I guess we could call it the Lester Eat More to Give nosh posse? I should probably apologise for my awful pun, but stuff it. I like puns, and I'm sure he'd forgive me.

Anyway I didn't get to partake fully in the last one, as I was so busy at the time that I actually bought my week's food on the way home from work on the first day. Hence I didn't have time to email in my menu/plan. I was pleased, doing the spreadsheet afterwards, that I spent £5.08. Not bad for budgeting in my head as I went along. Anyway I'd like to do it again properly, and this time no chickpeas!

I always enjoyed Lester's articles, and I also found it particularly pleasing that he'd come and join the fun-and-games in the comments. Thus making the comments more fun, and adding to the games.

Thanks to El Reg for the great article.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

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Re: How many Stormtroopers does it take to...?

The Empire are the baddies. Therefore their troops have to be crap, but there be loads and loads of them. It's the rules of narrative whatsit.

You only fight the elite guys at the end, once you've finished with most of the crap troops and got your rebel elite trained up to be just as good, or better. Which is why the Sardaukar don't turn up until the very end of Dune for the final showdown.

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Devil

Re: It feels like Star Wars but...

Rouge One is the next film in the sequence. It's set in the Imperial Brothel, where the storm troopers are sent for their annual R&R. The Rebels infiltrate and try to break Imperial morale by planting poisoned make-up, so that all the space hookers die, and then the storm troopers will rebel agains the Emperor out of sheer sexual frustration.

My brain is now filling up with jokes about Vader and the Emperor's new force powers used to relieve their poor, sex-starved army, such as force-lightning powered vibrators or somesuch, so I'm going to stopy typing before I incriminate myself further...

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Re: Critique

The guy isn't playing the Han Solo role. He doesn't do any wise-cracking, and he's far more morally ambiguous. Solo is your basic happy-go-lucky cheeky chappy, duckin' and divin', bobbin' and weavin'.

The droid is the only real source of humour in the film. And he's not playing it as slapstick, like the droids in many of the other films. He's a sarcastic bugger instead.

I think the reason for the difference is that this isn't a family film. It's not aimed at ten year olds as well as adults. We really ought to have a 12 and a 12A certificate in the UK. 12A is under 12 if accompanied, but the BBFC recomomend 8 is about the youngest you should take. 12 should mean, no under 12s. This is a war film, that's set in the Star Wars universe. So it's playing with some of the moral questions that war films tend to address. It's also got a lot less of the 5 minute sequences where you set up jeopardy, then chase/fight, escape/get saved, then tension relieving joke, that you tend to get in action films aimed at families.

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Happy

The Death Star doesn't need planning permission, as it's a non-permanent (moveable) structure.

Thus it would be a rather short film. Anyway, as a certain scene in Rogue One shows, you can't play committee politics with Lord Vader. He has a very direct approach when it comes to office politics. He's one of life's problem solvers.

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No Soylent for Santa after key ingredient supply is choked off

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FAIL

Re: It's pooople.

Should they perhaps change the name to Soylent Brown?

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View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

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Re: Private market undermines social change

The changes have gone through. You pay extra stamp duty on sales of second properties - and can't claim tax relief on interest payments. The second I agree with, but is sort of unfair, in that property companies can take interest costs from profit. Just not the people who buy one or two flats as an investment. However it's to disincentivise people from becoming amateur landlords, as it distorts the whole property market - as well as being an extra risk to the economy during recessions.

You've always paid capital gains tax on the proift you make selling a house you don't live in.

But you won't solve the rise in house prices by moaning about it, and you don't solve any problem by price fixing. Prices have risen because we restrict the building of more houses in the places that people want to live. If you restrict the supply of something people want, then they'll pay more in order to get it.

One solution the last Labour government tried was to encourage more people to live in flats, to increase the density of living in popular areas. That had some effect, but most people don't want to live in flats. It could just be a cultural thing. When I lived in Brussels it was quite normal to live in apartments in the city. Even families. But in Brussels you could get a whole range of apartments, including ones with 3 decent sized bedrooms, a large sitting room and separate dining room. Too many flats in this country are too small to be comfortable, so most people that live in them would prefer to have a small house - putting further upward pressure on prices.

In the brave new world of perpetual growth of property values, the rent doesn't need to help pay off the capital, it just needs to cover the real costs (maintenance etc) plus a contribution to any applicable mortgage interest (why should the renter pay all the interest when the owner gets by far the biggest part of the benefit).

Economics is more complex than that. If property prices didn't change, but inflation was 2% a year, then the money you spent on buying your rental would become less valuable every year. Hence we will always have rising property prices. This is much more a problem in popular areas, where we need to find ways to either build more housing, or persuade people to live in other areas.

You also assume that all rentals will rise in value. Which is what caused the last property crash. They have (with crashes) for the last few decades, but that's not certain and not a sensible way to invest. So rent has to cover the cost of capital. If I bung £200k on the stock market (in a pension say) then I'd hope to get maybe inflation + 5% a year, over my lifetime. So £200k buying a flat needs to promise a similar income, or you're better off buying into a tracker fund. So yes, the renter needs to cover all the interest and all the other costs, and a bit on top to cover the cost of capital, or renting won't be profitable, and people will put up the rents. Or do less maintenance. If you don't have interest to pay then you'll make more profit as a landlord.

Finally to give you some numbers for when I was flat hunting in 2012. A nice 2 bed flat in my area was £160k. On which you could charge about £800pm rent. A repament mortgage on that, with 20% deposit was a similar amount to the rent. Interest only (with 20% deposit) would be about £320. Add in insurance of £100 + ground rent of £150 that's £570 before maintenance. Add in one month per year of lost rent due to tenancy changes and £50 a month maintenance means you're making £700 costs, so you're making £100 a month profit.

So £32k investment (20% deposit) would earn you £1,600 at 5% interest, on that investment in property you're only making about £1,200 a year - with the hope of capital gains.

Buy outright, and you're saving £320 interest, however 5% on £160k investment is £8,000 - and you're now only earning £5,000 on your investment.

Which is why amateurs should stay out of being landlords, because you're basically just keeping your capital warm and hoping for huge capital gains.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: The Amish

Dave 126,

The Amish are happy, perhaps because the ones who aren't are free to leave. And join a modern economy, with all the shinies that they could want. I don't know what their rules are on medical care, but they benefit from the science that modern societies have generated - even if they don't use all the drugs.

That kind of society can happily exist. But it can't cope with running cities - and if you're going to have a global population of 7bn, you're going to need cities.

And if you're going to have a UBI to support people living the Amish type of lifestyle, you're going to need a bunch of far richer taxpayers in order to support it. Which is fine, one of the points of the policy is to allow people choice.

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Re: Private market undermines social change

Buy-to-let should still have the same basic cost of capital. Sure, it's done on interest-only mortgages. But you still have to find the deposit, and if you want to pay off the mortgage and get out from under the interest payments, you've also got to earn enough to pay the principal. Obviously if house prices zoom up, then you're quids in - hooray! But if you're in a more stable area, that's not quite the case. And you're taking a risk on them going down - especially if you're not making the profits required to cover you in downturns, where selling is a loss-making option.

Add in maintenance, repairs, insurance, loss of earnings from gaps between tenancies etc.

Also, rent is decided by a market. So landlords will charge what they can get away with - i.e. what the market will bear. They'll then provide properties of the quality that they can afford at those prices, so as rents fall, so will either prices or quality of rental properties. As the alternative to renting is buying, the prices are likely to remain strongly linked.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Tax workaholics.

I'm not sure how possible it is. My experience of the kind of people who work stupid hours and make serious money is that they're too driven to stop. And if they do stop, will just find other things to fill the time, like charity/church/club/steam railway work. Or consult at what they did before.

They seem to be the kind of people who rarely sit down and read a book, or watch telly, but still manage to fit in quite an active social life, even with the mad levels of work. Then when they retire, the pace stays the same.

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Re: No basic income without basic accommodation

There are several immediate problems with this.

1. If you crash house prices too fast, the economy is in trouble. My flat has gone up a lot since I bought it, so I can cope with prices halving. I'd be worse off, but it wouldn't financially knacker me. 60-something % of houses are owner-occupied (most with mortgages). If you put millions of people into negative equity, that really will have a huge effect, they'll all have to sell up or stop spending on almost everything but paying down their mortgages. Or the banks will take massive losses, and knacker our economy. Or both.

2. Fairness. Even after WWII I think we were only building about 400k homes a year. There are 30million odd households, so 18m (ish - sorry while I scrawl on the back of this envelope) owner-occupied. Are you leaving them in them, or confiscating? It'll take you a while to get the other 12m into government housing. In the meantime some people are getting massively subsidised housing, some are getting financially hammered. Erm, the ones getting hammered are more likely to vote. How do you get them to vote for this?

3. If you offer a cheap government home to all, what will demand be? I've seen recent UK population estimates that we'll have 85m people by 2050 (70m by 2030) up from 64m million now. To be fair that was before Brexit, so assuming a large figure for immigration, but I doubt that's going to drop as much as some hope, and the birth-rate is also going up. Estimates are we need a couple of million homes now, to make up for crap building rates up to now, plus another say 3m by 2030. Can we build 5m homes in 15 years? Yes. Can government finance that? Hmmmm...

4. Planning. Where do you put another half London? And how do you get the people who live there to let you? And where do you put the roads and railways?

6. £100k per house x 5m = £5tn = c.2.5 years of our total economic output.

It's all doable. But not by government alone I think.

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The problem with France is people don't want to employ people, because it's so hard to get rid of them.

The US have tended to recover faster from recessions than Europe in the last 50 year (massive generalisation but basically true), and I suspect this is because you can easily sack people - so it's much less risk to rehire staff early. The downside of this is obviously less job security in the good times.

Also the US rely less on their banks for business lending - and more companies get cash from the bond markets. Banks tend to be over-generous in the boom and over-cautious in the bust (pro-cyclical).

The Scandinavians therefore have very free market economies, easy to do business/easy to sack/easy to hire. But very generous benefits, which are contributory. So you get high unemployment benefit, a percentage of your wage - which means you can afford to risk a mortgage even if you have much less job security. Maybe this only works for them because they're small countries with (until recently) relatively homogenous populations? Or maybe it's a model we should borrow more from?

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Happy

Re: Let's try it... dev style!

Test it on the people whose surnames begin with Z. There's fewer of them to screw up...

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Re: Private market undermines social change

Rent will always be higher/similar to mortgage costs. Becuase the landlords have to be able to buy the property in order to rent it out. And they're not charities.

Admittedly you can get round that with social housing. But there you're just moving the costs to taxpayers. Admittedly you could go for a system of everyone in the country having a council house - but it would take generations to do. And in the meantime, there's an unfairness of the ones left paying market rents and mortgages for their whole lives while others are moved across to state housing. That'll be hard to sell in a democracy.

If rents were massively lower than mortgages though, they'd be pushed back up by market forces. Either people would stop buying houses and rent, the extra demand pushing the rents up. Or landlords would stop buying properties to rent out, as they wouldn't be able to turn a profit, restricting the supply of rental properties. And thus pushing rents up...

Basically fixing prices is a shit idea. Economically speaking it always screws up. What you need to do is fix the underlying problems. In the UK that means building more houses, as our population is rising - which means fixing the planning system. And also trying to rebalance the economy so there are more jobs not in the South East, so that we can get more people living in areas where population density is lower. Which makes infrastructure easier and cheaper and people might be less resistant to building near them.

Also better housing would help. If you're going to have more flats, don't make them all rabbit hutches with 10'x10' rooms. Give them dining rooms, and slightly bigger rooms, they'll still be far more dense than housing, but then more people will want to live in them.

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Re: I'm a fan of UBI, but...

The problem is we do care about "scroungers". Or, at least, enough of us do. And if enough people care about something in a democracy, they have the means to force change eventually. It's one of the bits of faulty thinking on the left of politics, at least in my opinion. They talk about fairness when it comes to spending money - but often forget it when it comes to taxing money. We seem to be wired to dislike having stuff taken away from us more that we like the promise of stuff being given to us. Which is why lots of research suggests that paying people bonuses at work is very ineffective, you'd actually be better to pay them the bonus and take stuff away if they fail to achieve it. Not that this is a feasible or sensible, but it would be more effective.

Anyway if someone is "just getting by" in their opinion, and working hard, they're going to resent paying tax to people who don't seem to have much less stuff than them, but aren't working for it. Whether that's fair or not. This is always going to be a huge problem with UBI.

I also think some people get all utiopian, Star Trek / Culture about it sometimes. It'll be a long time before we can let the robots run the economy, and all pay ourselves a comfortable wage, so that money ceases to matter.

What UBI can do is replace a lot of benefits. And also help alleviate the poverty trap, where people on a mix of benefits and salary no longer get screwed for daring to earn an extra couple of quid - and sometimes lose more in benefits than they've just earned. So we could maybe pay it at around £100 a week, but I really doubt it could be high enough (at least at first) to replace things like housing benefit. And of course taxes would have to go up on everyone to pay for it.

We also aren't going to be able to get rid of disability benefits. Some people need full time care. That's very expensive indeed. Plus things like adapted homes/cars are also bloody expensive.

Society is paying for shovelling too many people onto long-term disability benefits over the last 30-40 years to get them off the unemployment stats. But also I think there's a change - lots more people are living much better lives (or even living at all) with modern medical care. They may not be doing well enough to work regularly, but many are close to it, who didn't used to be. And I don't think government have quite realised that change has happened, so look at the large rises in people on disability as if we've suddenly got a few million malingerers we didn't used to have.

There's also the usual bureaucratic bollocks. I have a long term disability. I gave up claiming the benefit I was entitled to 15 years ago. I had to fill out a 60 page form every year to claim it, the form always changed. I have a genetic condition. There is no cure. It won't magically get better. I'm stuck with it being the same until it interacts with normal ageing and the two will make each other that bit worse. Until then, why am I filling out this poxy form, and wasting all this admin time year after year? It was probably costing 2-3 months of the little money I got just to process the damned form each year.

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It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

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Re: Insert a new disk and press Return

A colleage last week asked me what the message, "full search results may not appear due to server connection problems" meant. This was on Office 365. To me, that's a pretty self-explanatory message - but I suppose to her, although she's been told we have a remote Exchange server she's probably forgotten. So it's just gobbledegook.

But it's very hard to write outside your own assumptions. Or at least, it takes practise.

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I still look both ways crossing any road. I tell myself it's for that reason. Plus I when being taught to cross roads I said, "I have right of way" when stepping onto a crossing - only to be told, "and do you want those to be your last words?"

I've always been quite careful, but it really became a tic after I moved abroad. I was OK on arrival in Belgium, where the cars are on the wrong side of the road. Even on my first trip out there for the job interview I instantly looked the correct way for oncoming traffic. No problems at all. Once I'd moved, the first time I came back to Blighty - total confusion. I couldn't work out which way to look, had to think about it each time, and then just thought sod it and looked both ways each time.

I was fine when I went back again. But when I came to live in the UK again it took me a couple of months to be able to automatically look the right way if there wasn't an arrow. By which point I'd built up the habit of looking both ways to such an extent I can't get rid of it.

The weirdest thing is that when I go abroad for holidays, I have no problems at all.

My brain probably needs a firmware update. Where's the right place to stick the floppy?

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I envisage that scene a bit like the standard war film cliche. The scout has just stepped on something that's gone "ping" - and now can't move his foot until someone comes along and deactivates the mine.

I don't see why the bloke couldn't have just sat there with his finger on the button until the end of the day... Or until someone comes along and slides a spring-loaded doohicked under this finger to hold the button closed, until the patrol can get to safety and then mine can go up when they're someonewhere else.

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TeeCee,

I don't know about others, but I learnt on a typewriter. And I'm only in my early 40s. It was a hulking great old Imperial too, and not electric, so I had to learn to stop hammering the keys when I moved to computers. Fortunately playing the piano helps with that, as you tend to play with the pads of your fingers and not the tips, so it's a useful movement to adapt for typing.

And of course, the problem is that I learnt the old fashioned way, by continual repetition. That 'muscle memory' is very hard to unlearn. Such that I still automatically hit space twice after hitting a full stop without thinking, and get horribly annoyed by word processors that try to do that for you automatically.

Obviously for an important document, that's large or will require editing in future, I do things properly. But if I'm knocking up a quick letter for one-off use, it's as quick to paginate myself with tabs, as it is to take my hands off the keyboard and reach for the mouse to do it the proper way.

It was a right pain in the arse working in Belgium, when you got onto someone else's computer with a nasty AZERTY keyboard.

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Uber to Cali DMV: Back off, pal, our 'self-driving cars' aren't self driving

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Happy

Re: The amazing thing...

What's a fax Grandpa?

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Meat pies in SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!

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No, they should send up an apple pie, and dock it with a custard cloud.

Mmmmm custard.

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

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Re: Good stuff - but....

It'll be down to payload weight, as well as desired height. If you're using micro-satellites you don't need as much fuel to get them up to orbital velocity, so you don't need a bloody great rocket that's too heavy for the plane to carry up to 40,000 feet.

I might be off my my numbers as it's a long time since I read about it, but the Redstone rockets that the US used to launch the first couple of Mercury flights could only get something silly like 7kg into orbit. i.e. a uselessly small amount. Which is why Shepard and Grissom flew sub-orbital hops and why Glenn was their first orbit on Mercury-Atlas.

They had to use Redstone first as the Atlas ones kept blowing up.

Then again the Russians did an early test mission of the R7 with a live nuke on board - the previous launch having gone 200 miles off course and having had to be destroyed by range safety. This was a full nuke test, where they flew it to some even more uninhabited bit of Siberia than usual, and actually nuked it. I'm assuming the KGB had shot all the health and safety officers...

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WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

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Re: My lottery strategy

Snap! It's also the code to the vault where I work at the Bank of England.

Then again, as Parker once picked the lock with one of Lady Penelope's hairpins, it's not like we're particularly worried about security.

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Re: To win

Fleet Sevastopol tries to hold,

Fleet St Petersburg catches a cold.

Atchoo! Atchoo! It's 1902.

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Re: No need for strategy

Not sure about Secret Hitler. Though I've only played it twice. But you can get into situations where even though you know who the bad guys are - there's nothing you can do to stop them. Which I think is a design failure. It's got some good game mechanics though.

I think my favourite game of that type is till Avalon: The Resistance, because it seems to work best at allowing everyone a fair crack of the whip - and gives enough information to actually make intelligent decisions.

Werewolf is too random, Battlestar Galactica is too bloody long, I haven't played Two Rooms and a Boom - but I've heard it basically all comes down to one decision - though I imagine it's also funny.

Spyfall is excellent because of the opportunities for jokes and running gags. And the simplicity.

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Re: Poker with Maltesers

That's a game where I'd want to get into an early lead, then just eat. Although the downsides of handling the stakes is they become rather icky.

I remember playing once with Fruit Polos. And they stuck together into stacks, so you might be forced to raise more than you wanted just because you couldn't separate them, and wanted to keep the untouched ones to eat.

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Re: I still play Risk...

The problem with Risk is that it's always better to attack than defend - but if people haven't worked that out you can intimidate them with a big stack of units at a choke-point.

If you like it though, there's a nice website out there called Conquer Club - that have loads of variants, of which my favourite was the New World one (I think it was called) where you're colonising the Americas. Which only works because you play it hidden movement.

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Re: It's not Christmas without a game of...

Is Esacpe from Colditz any good though? I have nostalgic memories of playing it, but that was over 30 years ago, so although I recently found a copy, I've not played it yet.

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Re: No need for strategy

That's the problem with Monopoly being so rubbish. Not only is there almost no strategy involved, but worse, it's also long. At least Connect 4 is over quickly - and is quite fun for a while if you're thinking 5 moves ahead. Even a long game like chess is fun if played quickly - if you haven't got a clock just sing the Countdown song at people, and disqalify them if they haven't moved by the end. The annoyance of that adds to the pressure to keep moving...

There's some great games out there nowadays. From the simple and silly to the long and complex.

I like the new version of Junta, where on election as El Presidente you get to wear the dark glasses of office. Until you're assassinated... Then you hand them over, and start plotting your revenge. I would have won, but accidentally murdered the President one turn too early. Ooops.

Avalon: The Resistance, Spyfall, Cash n Guns are all good I'm not a fan of the Werewolf games as they're too random - but it's still fun to accuse your friends of being a secret werewolf, then having to act all apologetic after lynching them only to find out they were innocent after all.

One of my favourite simple games is No Thanks. A bit like poker, there's a roughly optimal strategy to play the precentages, but then you have to deal with the fact that the people around you know that too.

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Re: co-op games

I was a zombie in the graveyard in Spyfall 2 last week. You cannot imagine how hard it is not to just blurt out BRAAAAIINNZZZ for the cheap laugh, and give the whole game away. The other locations make sense, just not the graveyard - exactly what are you spying on there? Then again, how many spies are sent to amusement parks or theatres...

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The way to win at Diplomacy is to be really open, helpful and nice to everybody - right up to the point when you apologetically stab them in the back - explaining how it hurts you more than it hurts them, but that it's your only logical move. This helps them to keep feeling that you're honest in future.

It's also really helpful to be able to lie with frightening consistency.

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

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Re: Current location - AIS

It's a long way to Turkey, at walking pace.

Couldn't they mount rotors on the side, like in that documentary Avengers Assemble, and fly it there?

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Re: Maybe on the way to Turkey...

The problem for the Russians is they don't do year-round carrier operations. They can't afford it. Well either that, or the old rust-bucket is too knackered and they were running out of spares for the old planes - hence ordering these new MiG29s - which they've lost one of almost immediately.

If you don't do year-round carrier ops, your pilots aren't fully in practise, and make mistakes like falling off the end of the deck.

Someone apparently put heart monitors on US carrier pilots in Vietnam, and they were more scared doing night carrier landings than when they were being shot at.

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$17k win for man falsely accused of a terrible crime: Downloading an Adam Sandler movie

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Re: has the mouthbreather market locked up

What about Steven Seagall? Isn't he still making 2 straight to DVD productions a year?

At least they've got funnier dialogue than Adam Sandler movies - even if it is questionable whether that's deliberate...

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Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea

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Re: WTF

"Well, my Tissot steel watch tells the time, too. It is on its third battery in the 25 years I've owned it,"

I've had my Citizen Ecodrive for 10 years.....whats a battery replacement?

I've had my wrist-mounted portable sundial for over 5,000 years now.

What's a battery?

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Re: No support or warranties, threat of it turning into a dumbwatch

Under UK law, if you bought from Pebble direct and they're dead, then obviously they can't refund. But remember that your credit card company are also jointly liable for purchases more than £100. This is your Section 75 rights. For example this means that after reasonable efforts to get a refund you can just demand it off your card company and they'll go and sue the scrotes in question for you. If a company has gone bankrupt that means you're also covered. So I believe that gets you a 12 month guarantee. But I don't know the legal implications if the hardware works fine, but the support servers have gone pop.

It may be a worth looking at moneysavingexpert.com for details, as they've got good info on consumer rights.

You'd have thought that saving the servers would be some excellent cheap godwill for fitbit - especially if they form part of the software ecosystem that they're buying into.

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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

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Re: It doesn't make sense

Just done that test. None of the BCC recepients were revealed. Is there some specific condition that has to occur for this to happen, or is it a bug that's now been fixed?

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Re: It doesn't make sense

No, Cloud for small business makes no sense except for a website or ecommerce online. Subscriptions are a rip off.

That is a ludicrously absolute statement.

We're a small business. We use MS Office 365. Why? Because it's cheap. £12 a month per user. For which we no longer have to buy copies of office, or deal with upgrades and everyone having different versions. In the past it was new office with new computer. We also get an Exchange server with mobile access run by someone competent. I can't run a server, well I'm sure I could I just never have. I don't have the time, and I'd run it vaguely OK, not well. Anyway our office has crap connectivity - so if we put a server in it and the internet goes down, we're screwed. Now we can just go and work from home - or use a backup 3G router. We've also got backups on each computer. As well as MS doing it.

If we had particularly sensitive email, then we'd have to do it in-house. But the balance of risks tells me that MS are less likely to screw-up than us, and we've got ways to recover from screw-ups anyway.

We also use remote CRM, which I'm less happy about the robustness of. It would cost us more time, money and effort to recover from a disaster to or the loss of that supplier. But again, the costs are less than running it ourselves, and because only one of us is 100% office based - we'd need to locate a server somewhere not here. And then run it. And running your own infrastructure is not risk free either.

So on balance Cloud is cheaper and better than what we can do for ourselves. Short of spending half the profits on IT - which is probably more in one year than it would cost us to recover from both MS and our CRM supplier going titsup simultaneously.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

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Yes, MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solanum tuberosum Expert

But people aren't comfortable with latin, so they changed it.

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