* Posts by breakfast

1282 posts • joined 24 May 2007

Wikipedia Foundation exec: Yes, we've been wasting your money


Re: Parallels with blood donors

The Administrators, who I took the article to be considering paying, are the people who put in their time to managing the content users provide in addition to any content provision they are doing. One would hope that by the time someone was appointed to that role, they would have shown reasonable skill as editors.

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED


Just going to buy some apples

Most of my shopping has gone through now, but I have these apples. No bar code.

Luckily we can add things from the nice list of pictures, but these aren't on the "popular items" page so you get to play the "guess which letter the creator of this list thinks this item begins with" game...

"A" for Apples? What is this? Playgroup? Far too easy.

"B" for Bramley Apples? Of course not.

"C" for Cooking Apples maybe? No.

After a long slog through the alphabet I find them under "Loose Apples ( Bramley)" because "L" is the OBVIOUS LETTER for this product. Fortunately this ridiculously poor usability will be fixed by my next visit. Unfortunately it will be with a swap to another totally incomprehensible letter.

Thanks "Fast" checkout. Really living up to your name there.

Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn


And another thing

A lot of albums ( which were a thing back in the day ) consist of songs in a particular order that the artists who created them felt fitted together in some way to form a whole that exceeds the components from which it is constructed.

It saddens me a little to think how infrequently the care and thought that goes into putting together an album as a whole is noticeable once we get to mp3 players on constant shuffle. I don't know if it will result in fewer great albums being made, but I hope not. ( As an aside there seems now to be such a glut of music that even when great music is made, it is very hard to find )

In spite of this my MP3 player is almost always on shuffle. But I do listen to CDs often too.

Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete


"Lukin, I am your fatherin," surely?

Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware


Re: Old consoles mean games must be dumbed down

Another way of looking at it is that older consoles are the reason that programmers working in game dev have to learn to optimise for their hardware rather than working with the constant assumption that the hardware will be able to handle it by the time they go to release.

Working within constraints often inspires originality and results in interesting work.

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff


Re: EasyJet PR

And yet it seems that EasyJet have denied denying boarding due to comments on social media.

Greece ends extra hols for civil servants forced to use hated computers


Re: Oh, the irony

Is it governmental policies that cause problems in California? I had got the impression they had a problem with too much democracy, where everyone can vote for everything and the outcome is an unplanned hotchpotch of policies with no facility for serious budgeting, but I would be interested to learn more.

Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers


Re: Thanks yes thanks

If you don't like lock-in then write some truly open games that require no kind of lock in at all, distribute them freely across all platforms and change the world. But if you happen to have a massive runaway success and find yourself supporting everyone and their granny installing it on every platform you can imagine and then blaming you because they have a broken hard drive, no video drivers, forgot to plug the computer in or it simply won't run on their Nokia 8210, you might start to like the idea of locking it to a slightly more limited range of platforms too.


Re: In addition to Steam it's also Linux

Since XP I don't think I have had any significant driver problems for Windows, meanwhile I have never been able to get my laptop's built in card reader to work at all under Linux in spite of a few wasted evenings trying to figure out what it is and where to obtain drivers.

RADIATION SNATCHED from leaky microwave ovens to power gadgets


Free energy

The ideal time for this tool would presumably be while grabbing an after-work pint in a local Wetherspoons - if they're preparing food, the microwaves will be going crazy.

Latest Snowden reveal: It was GCHQ that hacked Belgian telco giant


Those with nothing to hide

"Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from Whistleblowers."

One year to go: Can Scotland really declare gov IT independence?


Re: A downside?

Would probably need to be less than 40% as there would presumably be a jump in unemployment resulting from the redundancies.

Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies


Also because we have fewer novel experiences- driving a new route or to a new destination always seems to take ages the first time we do it. I think this is why holidays have so much experiential value- being in a new place and doing new things lays down many more memories than being in the same place doing much the same thing most of the time.

It seems plausible to me that people who seek out novelty most of their lives may well have experientially longer lives than those who have fitted largely into the same activities and the same rhythms.


It would be interesting to research that, actually.

It certainly seems as though big horses react way slower than small ones to most rider cues, but they all react pretty fast if they perceive peril of some kind.

Ghastly! Yahoo! Groups! gripes! grip! grumpy! gremlin! grumblers!


Re: Reminder

The weird thing is there seem to be some pretty awesome engineers at Yahoo! they are just harnessed in the direction of maximum idiocy most of the time.

Yahoo somehow manage to be one of the great online also-rans, never seeming to quite be able to make the most of the talent and user base they have.

OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?


Re: Why?

I tried to transfer away from BT only to realise after waiting 6 weeks to get an unreliable internet connection that my new ISP ( Plusnet ) was in fact wholly owned by BT. Sad times.

ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees


What is a stock market for?

The question that is interesting to me is what stock markets are for?

If they are about providing capital to companies then there really is no place for high frequency trading in them and maybe something like a Tobin Tax or a turn-based market of some kind would help to limit their antics. If they are about creating an interesting and entertaining computer game where different algorithms play against each other then wicked, sounds like this is just the thing!

You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's


Rural communications

Often in yokel country where I reside, it can be a bit tricky to get decent phone signals, so anything that improves communications when near fields could be a boon for farmers.

The bank that likes to say... crash: TSB's online banking goes titsup on launch day


Side question

Can anybody recommend a bank that actually has a modern site and that allows you to do anything interesting/useful with your money that is facilitated by the web instead of just offering some very basic account management functionality.

My bank hasn't changed any aspect of their website in the 8 years I have been with them and I can't help but feel they could have introduced at least *one* new feature in that time...

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: The mobe for CHUCK NORRIS TYPES


Good so far

I got one a couple of weeks ago because I needed something that could survive life around horses and Samsung seem to be doing better than Sony in reviews even where their devices have a lower on-paper spec.

So far it seems pretty good- my last phone is a fairly old Xperia, so I don't really have a modern benchmark, but it does far more than I need a phone to do and the battery life seems quite reasonable- certainly if I forget to leave it on charge overnight my alarm still goes off in the morning, which is a marked improvement over what I had...

Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet


Where do I sign up

Seems like they need someone competent to run it. I may not be the best in the world but compared with the bumbling imbeciles who have been doing this so far I would basically have to be able to do a better job and my rates are probably lower. Who do I write to?


Re: Cost

Oh, Lewis is going to ban you so hard for that one.

Xbox One launch date REVEALED - and it's on the 360's birthday


Re: 8 years

I still think of the 360 as "that new XBox" :(

LOHAN slowly strips lens caps off hi-def imaging arsenal


Re: Product Placement

Maybe the accurate term as it passes through the jet streams is "windbreaking"?

WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module


Peak of the flight?

Cease LOHAN Immediately- Must Abort Xplosively

Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users



And lets face it- anyone who would dedicate the time and effort to do that would have no time for subverting the state and, dare I say it, possibly even be a tiny bit boring so the only secure system in the world would be in the possession of someone nobody would ever want to listen in on.

Obama prepares to crawl up NSA's ass with microscope


It occurs to me that the world - and in particular America - would be a better place if whoever was writing the congressional budget cheques made the same mistake.

Mind-reading MRI reads letters in the brain


Re: “looking up the answer in the back of the book”

It doesn't matter which direction the control is going, but it would be interesting to see what the unmolested data was to see whether human pattern recognition could spot it. If we could, then maybe there's something interesting here.

I suspect that mind control will not be widely used for a wile because it will require exactly the kind of focussed and concentrated thought that our entire culture is training our brains to be incapable of. I suspect it is way easier to type than to concentrate hard and clearly enough to be machine readable and consequently it will also be slower for a very long time.

Thinking really clearly is a non-trivial activity.

In case of LOHAN flight emergency, gobble THIS Iridium-Arduino sandwich

Paris Hilton

Re: Since its a big red button...

Or along very similar lines: Gadzooks! - Space Plane Operation Termination

Fiendish fake Flash plugin squirts grumble-flick ads into kiddies' websites


Weird, thought

Heh, remember when one was more secure using Firefox or Chrome than IE because they were minority browsers?

Second LulzSec Sony website hacker starts a year in the cooler


Re: breakfast It's all good

There is a science called Criminology, which is largely - counter to what popular TV drama would have you believe - a statistical study of criminal behaviour. This is exactly the type of area that criminology takes interest in. Basically any search of criminological literature will find you a lot of papers on the topic of punishment as prevention ( deterrence ) , which will generally concur that making punishment more severe is ineffective with two provisos:

Someone who is in prison cannot commit crimes while they are in prison.

Someone who has been executed cannot commit crimes while they are dead.

Making the punishment for a crime a person doesn't believe they will be caught for more heavy doesn't affect them because they don't believe they will be caught. Making policing more effective so that they believe they will get caught means that they are less likely to commit the crime regardless of what the punishment is.

Introduction to the topic here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deterrence_(legal)


Re: It's all good

One thing that research has proven again and again is that nobody thinks of the consequences of being caught when they commit a crime.

So the concept of punishment of any kind acting as a deterrent is absolutely specious.

Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch


Re: Touch on the desktop? A ways off, I'd say

Given that they seem to have spent their entire existence trying to ape, copy or compete with Apple, you would think they would have learned the lesson that desktops and touch devices are different, which Apple seem well aware of.

Instead they appear to have learned "Apple have phone! Apple phone make money! We like money! Make everything like phone!" When it comes down to it, that's not an enormously profound lesson.

Cameron demands Brits BOYCOTT angry-troll-infested websites


The path to a fractured web

I am increasingly confident that the days of a universal unified anonymous internet are numbered.

It will always exist, no doubt, but increasingly a walled-garden de-anonymised overnet where most people will spend most of their time. Identities will be assured ( although doubtless there will be sneaky troll incursions ) and for most purposes this will be the internet that people use. I suspect becoming the starting point for this is already on Facebook's business plan.

The anonymous part will become a sleazy subnet for trolls, criminals and libertarians, increasingly sidelined and ignored by most users ( except when they are searching for something a bit from the dark side ) but available to those who want it.

Of course, this won't help teenagers because what is more appealing to a teenager than the idea of a sleazy subnet full of trolls, criminals and libertarians?

Obama cancels meeting Putin in Russia, says Snowden 'a factor'


Re: I find it amusingly ironic

It does make any demands the US wants to make about civil life and human rights ring a bit hollow when they are so desperate to arrest a political dissident who has raised issues regarding human rights and civil life of their own citizens.

Brit Skylon spaceplane moves closer to lift-off


Frakking Skylons

It is good that it's getting cheaper and more convenient to put satellites in orbit.

The one doubt I have is that sometimes people involved in spacey type stuff seem to imply that there really isn't that much room out there and we are already starting to jam up orbital space with random junk. Is that actually going to be a problem with more and more delivery systems available?

Penguins, I give you: The SOLAR-POWERED Ubuntu laptop


One improvement

What it really needs is satellite based connectivity so that wherever you are ( except presumably in winter in a polar region ) you also have internet connectivity. Also the acronym would be SOIL.

Then an adapter kit so any laptop could be SOILed would be helpful.

Oi, trolls, BEHAVE! Twitter tweaks rules to tackle abusive twits


I think the optimal solution to this in the majority of cases would be a button that reported a user's twitter history to their mum.


Re: I await your downvotes ...

I think it mostly comes down to the GIFT to be honest, specifically the increased audience that these platforms offer to the determined imbecile.

Big blue Avatar movie spawns THREE SEQUELS


Space Smurfs: IN SPACE!!!! ( 2 )

More space smurfs. Good. I look forward to ignoring these films.

Chubby-chasing sex trolls ran me offline, says fashion blogger


Re: I know I shouldn't say this but

The thing I'm getting from a lot of this is that when this happens, it almost always happens to women.

So what you are really saying is that women shouldn't use the internet. You might not think you are saying that, but it is the effect of your suggestion.


Re: Welcome to the real world, kid.

So why don't men run into as many assholes as women?

New NSA tool exposed: XKeyscore sees 'nearly EVERYTHING you do online'


Most of the time they are nutters, but the ideas of conspiracy would be far less pervasive and there would be far fewer people taking conspiratorial view-points if our governments stopped behaving in such conspiratorial ways.


Re: Wake up call

That's fine, as long as you plan to be a non-entity for your entire life, unremarkable in every respect. A laudable aim in itself, and one that may well bring you happiness.

For anyone who is interested in political change or protest of any kind, for example, this surveillance provides a weapon that the existing establishment will ( not may, or could ) use against them.

Exposed: RSPCA drills into cops' databases, harvests private info



I can only speak from my knowledge, which is more on the small charity side and specific to equines. I'm not suggesting they need to be running holding facilities, but they could occasionally give credit to everyone else who does all the work rather than making out that they are the main charity and everyone else is just living off their leavings. The simple case as I see it is that if the RSPCA didn't exist and their funding was spread between specialist charities doing the same work, more animals would be saved. They actively impede the cause of animal welfare in this country.



Yup, if you are interested in animal welfare you *always* go to a specialist charity and you *never* go to the RSPCA, who simply will not act unless there is a television crew on hand. Even when the RSPCA do intervene they almost always pass on animals they have rescued to other charities to look after- you can see the large scale horse neglect cases may have RSPCA involved in front of the cameras but it is people like World Horse Welfare that do most of the legwork and Redwings who end up looking after the horses. I don't know as much about other animals, but from what I can gather it's pretty much the same all over.

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe


Re: Trekker alert!!

It is a classic philosophical question about personal identity, which I believe was reworked in to a sci fi story, perhaps several times.

There is also a really good book/film where this is an element of the story but I don't want to say which one because if you watched the film it might count as a spoiler and I hate to spoiler people.


Re: Heh heh

So you're proposing that we use genetic engineering to populate Mars with minds immeasurably superior to ours?

WikiLeaker Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy'


Should be quite safe on length of sentence

It's alright, the war criminals responsible for the torture in Abu Ghraib only got 5-7 years, others guilty of killing innocent civilians have received less. Surely there is no way Manning's crimes were remotely as serious or harmful to US interests than any of those, so presumably he'll get a way shorter sentence.

Bank of Thailand bans Bitcoin


Re: mining?

There speaks someone who has never had to work down t' binary pits day in day out wi' nowt but a lamp for company risking the perils of tunnel collapse and stinkdamp to bring home the precious bits that yer family depend on to buy bread and milk.

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