* Posts by Alister

3424 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Self-planting plant discovered in Brazil

Alister Silver badge


Does this plant have little stems each side of the main bole, and a long whippy tendril thing at the top?

And does it rattle to itself at night??


MPs: 999 HQ revamp FAIL cost £469m

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"It’s a shame that this failed as the idea of reducing the number of control rooms was a good one, (why are there 45 control rooms!?) "

There speaks the voice of an idiot.

Local knowledge is essential for quick dispatch of emergency service vehicles to the correct place. As various others have posted, if all you get in a phone call is "The New Tesco" then no amount of clever interactive maps and databases is going to find that location quickly.

Centralising control means control staff who don't know the area where the call is coming from, which is the nearest station to the incident, etc, etc.

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial

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No not the whole world, but anyone who chooses to do the ICT curriculum should be taught programming, just as those who choose to do "Design Technology" or whatever metalwork's modern equivalent is, should be taught how to do basic car maintenance, those that choose physics can be taught how televisions work and those that choose "Domestic Science" should learn how to cook.

It seems that modern school education doesn't teach any practical skills like this.

Maybe this is why this country has lost the innovative, inventive lead in technology that it used to have.

NASA offers space shuttle food and tiles to schools

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"a future generation of astronauts and space engineers."

I hope they don't expect to get out of Low Earth Orbit in their lifetime, cos I don't think Nasa will be going anywhere much.

Google greedily goobles foodie guide Zagat

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RE: Possibly a pun

No, really?

possibly missed the sarcasm...

Alister Silver badge

Google greedily goobles foodie guide Zagat

Google greedily gobbles foodie guide Zagat

There, fixed that for ya...

The Reg dips toe into social media ocean

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Re: Re Knitting

"I can't answer for Lewis. But I have seen Lester whip out sewing machine and run up some curtains."

Did you get him to come down again?

Ofcom misses deadline: but on Sitefinder, not 4G

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Oop North

"glancing out of Vulture Towers I see nary a leaf has fallen and the sun is still shining. "

Lucky you, here in T'north (Derbyshire) the leaves started falling a fortnight ago, and it's cold, wet and windy.

Schmidt bewails Blighty's boffin-v-luvvie culture clash

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The title...

"Schmidt's speechwriter – and one sees the work of the wondrous Sarah Hunter in this – fails to realise that while "luvvie" is always used pejoratively, "boffin" is almost always used affectionately. "Trick cyclist", if anything, is the pejorative equivalent."

What rubbish, trick-cyclist is the pejorative for a psychiatrist.

I've never known it used to describe any other science or engineering profession. Or are the reg doing their own thing with the english language again?

A common pejorative would be egghead, perhaps?

Here lies /^v.+b$/i

Alister Silver badge

Object reference not set to an instance of an object

That is all

Giant iPhone 4 brings Mac OS X to the table

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Collective noun

... a corruption of lawyers?

Alister Silver badge

"look and feel"

...and "i" name, yep, he's in trouble now.

Unless his Jobness still retains some semblance of a sense of humour, in which case he may get away with it.


Alister Silver badge

object reference not set to an instance of an object

object Post not recognised

US robochopper cargo skyhook gets another $47m

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Jumping ahead of yourself

"...lead on to robotic casualty evacuation, which would remove one of the main ways for a chopper pilot to win a medal for going in under fire."

Yes, because we already have robotic medical staff, don't we.

Come on Lewis, cas-evac is going to require real life meatsacks in the back for a long, long time, unless you think they just sling a grappling hook round the casualty and drag them up into the air?

Murdoch muscles BBC out of Formula One driving seat

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...words out of my mouth

Exactly what I was going to say - F1 viewing figures will drop next year, I guarantee.

With the Beeb, not only did you have a good team presenting (who may migrate to sky, I suppose) but the best thing, which carries the most weight with viewers NO ADVERTS.

After the pain of the ITV years, where they once even went for an Ad break on the last lap, if I remember correctly, it's no wonder viewing figures increased when the Beeb got the franchise.

Legal expert: Letters can be evidence, so can Facebook

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@AC Proper discovery

Whilst i don't condone what happened in this case, I would contrast your idea of the criteria and scope being limited with the increasingly common practice of seizing a person's computer in criminal cases where there is believed to be data which could be used as evidence. In those cases, they certainly don't limit their search and access to just the relevent data.

Being a Brit, I don't know if federal and criminal law have differing rules about evidence seizure compared to civil law in the US?

There was also the recent well publicised case where Federal officials removed a whole rack of servers from a data center although the evidence they were after was confined to only a single virtual host running on the shared hardware.

To use your analogy, that would be like handing over the keys to a whole apartment block, instead of just the apartment of the accused.

Sorry, time travelers, you’re still just fiction

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And how is it propagated?

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Your phrase...

"You can only prove that under repeatable conditions a repeatable answer will occur"

Reminds me of the Harvard Law:

"Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, humidity, and other variables, the test organism will do as it damn well pleases."

Alister Silver badge

never mind computers...

There were still people even AFTER the Wright brothers flew who were saying that heavier-than-air flight was impossible... and people who said the human body could not survive rail travel at speeds faster than 20 miles an hour...

LOHAN: She's low orbit and helium assisted

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nice graphic

Very 1930's sci-fi...

Just need a tag-line to go with it...

"Once it was human, but now... LOHAN, the Thing from Outer Space!!"

Microsoft previews 'Juneau' SQL Server tools

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freudian slip

I first read the codename as "Denial"

Dunno why?

Atlantis computer goes down: Fixed by 'nauts

Alister Silver badge

Turned it off and on again?

See, you lot may mock, but it works a lot of the time...

Oh, and after "Windows for Warships" (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/05/windows_for_warships_hits_type_23s/) I was hoping to see Windows for Spaceships, I really was...

Glasgow cammer not thrown in slammer

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@frank ly

There has been an existing body of law (The 1988 copright Act) which covers this, however in 2003 it was amended and clarified:

"The infringement of copyright or performer's rights by making a work available to the public in the course of a business or to an extent which prejudicially affects the copyright owner becomes a criminal offense (reg. 26; new s. 107(2A) of the 1988 Act)"

Anonymous claims LulzSec merger

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Popular front?

Nah, He's over there...

Fridge-sized war raygun for US bombers gets $40m

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@Inventor of the Marmite Laser

you either love it...

FBI fat-thumbs data centre raid

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Amazon don't need the FBI's help, they can bugger the AWS up on their own.

Network Solutions battered by DDoS and period features

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whatever next...

blame it on running DNS servers on x86 architrave?

Perhaps they're skirting the issue, and really aren't coping...

Ten thousand OLEDs unite in live Earth replica

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10,000 OLEDs

...immediately made me think of "It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife ..."

No idea why...

Just saying...

Alister Silver badge

Martians on the moon?

And just why would they be there? Have the Lunarites done a timeshare swap?

(anyway, there can't be Martians on the Moon, the Lunar Interceptors would have blown them all up!)

BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse

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enhance square echo two

...and why do they always use the keyboard when they're doing these things? If it's a GUI can't they do it with the mouse?

"enhance square echo two..."


"and zoom in..."


It's like a touch typist updating their CV, FFS.

The world wants cloud coders. Where are the cloud coders?

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I agree with the other posters. Unless you are developing a hypervisor, then application development shouldn't need to take into account the distributed system at all. You shouldn't be handling that stuff at the application layer, it should be transparent to the application.

I don't see that being an application developer is any different "in the cloud" to what it would be on a privately owned bunch of blades in a datacentre somewhere, which is something an awful lot of developers have been doing for years. Being a "Cloud Developer" is just marketing speak, not a different skill set.

Brit CompSci student faces extradition to US over link site

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Not in this case...

As far as I can see, non of the points mentioned in the article you link too apply in this particular case, and therefore he has no criminal case to answer.

Boffins brew up formula for consummate cuppa

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I claim five pounds...

for acknowledging the Douglas Adams quote...

Cambridge startup launches world's first white space radio

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Quite obviously...

...you are holding your basement incorrectly.

Not that big of a deal...

Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

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no Yanks?

@AC 11:02

"Come on, it's a British-based story, no Yanks involved."

There were a number of American aircrew involved in the Dams raid, particularly Joe McCarthy - born and raised in Long Island, New York.

Can cloud save the NHS?

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Can cloud save the NHS?


that is all...

London Ambulance Service downed by upgrade cockup

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understanding fail

"Curiously the Ambulance Service has the most to gain from computerisation because it has a fairly small, well defined, set of things it must do: take a call, send an ambulance, deal with the problem on arrival and either go to a hospital or back to a standby point. There is a simplish state machine and in a well run control centre, an average ambulance will need to resort to voice once or twice a day at most"

You really have no clue about Ambulance Service work, do you?

Firstly, it's very common for the reported illness / injury to be nothing like what the crew find on the scene. Also, Ambulance crews are called to assaults in pubs, houses, and in the street, just like the police, and have no idea what they may be walking into.

Secondly, as you note for the Police Service, a proportion of calls - road accidents, collapses in the street, leisure pursuit injuries - have no fixed address, and in the latter case can be some distance from accessible roads, particularly in rural areas, and may require coordination of other rescue services, such as Mountain Rescue or helicopter evacuation.

Your glib assessment of the command and control needs of the different services is sadly wrong.

Spot-the-fake site launched

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Mr Jobs may object.

Does he not claim rights to the letter i

Yahoo! downs! mail! servers! for! essential! and extensive! work!

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El Reg fail?

"We've asked Yahoo! to comment on this story, but it hadn't immediately got back to us at time of publication."

You e-mailed them, didn't you? go on, admit it...

WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'

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As a former naval ossifer

you should know better, Lewis:

<The idea behind dazzle-cam is not to avoid being seen, but to make oneself harder to hit once one has been seen. It was originally meant to prevent German submarines getting an accurate idea of a warship's range, speed and heading, so causing difficulties in getting a hit with a visually aimed dumb torpedo.

From this study it becomes apparent that it never worked in the matter of causing a speed-estimation error, as warships don't go fast enough for the effect to kick in.>

It did work, quite well, in the middle of a large expanse of water with no other reference points, especially when viewed through a water streaked periscope lens 2 foot above the water line.

However, I agree, it won't work very well on a small vehicle on land.

Stealth hovercraft armada poised to invade South Korea

Alister Silver badge


I have personally used a hoover which hovers, so don't be so quick to damn him :-)

Barnsley clamps down on foul-mouthed fu*king locals

Alister Silver badge

Nar Im gunna tek me whippet art and get back darn t'pit afterward! See thi!

WHAT! you still have a pit in Barnsley?

Blimey, thought they'd all closed long ago...

World Health Organization: Mobile phone cancer risk 'possible'

Alister Silver badge

And just how...

...did you discover this phenomenon then? Were you shaving whilst chatting on the phone?

Yes, I can explain it, and no you shouldn't be worried...

Linguists use sounds to bypass Skype crypto

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Alister Silver badge

anyone know

where I can get a text-to-speech engine with a geordie accent?

Yanks officially recognise the word 'boffin'

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I stand to be corrected on this...

but in common use in our family and in this area of England I have always understood the word chunter to mean "to grumble under one's breath", rather than to denote movement in some way, although I suspect that - like grumble - it could be used expressively: as in, "the overloaded train grumbled up the long hill to the summit"

Reindeer can see in ultraviolet, say boffins

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almost correct

As mentioned above, it is a recognised consequence of surgery to the lens or capsule of the eye - for instance, cataract surgery - that the person can see an enlarged spectrum which may extend into both IR and UV, as there are natural filters built into the front of the eye.

I am aware of anecdotal evidence from a lady who had cataract surgery who sees colours on flowers that are not visible to other people, and it is now accepted that the artist Claude Monet experienced the same thing.

NASA kills comms with deceased Mars rover

Alister Silver badge


"We could populate antarctica , the sahara and pretty much any barren wasteland on earth and it would still be better and cheaper."

Yes, and it would still be on one, single, vulnerable planet...

The only way of ensuring that the human race can survive, is to not have all our eggs in one basket.

ESA: British Skylon spaceplane seems perfectly possible

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It's a shame...

That like a lot of truly innovative ideas from British designers and Engineers in recent history, this will probably need massive private investment or foreign support to actually come to fruition.

Star probe Kepler finds many multi-world alien suns

Alister Silver badge


"Jupiters are the 800-pound gorillas stirring things up during the early history of these systems," explained Latham.

I for one would like to welcome our new 800-pound Space Gorilla overlords...

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