* Posts by Graham Marsden

6882 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Russian regulator bans PornHub for its ‘illegal pornography’

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"Register staff deem site OK"

But then they went back just to check that nothing had changed since they left...

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Drunk Japanese warrior cuffed after NINJA STRIKE on shop robot

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

Creepy...

I just clicked on the link in that article and got an almost full page pic of an office full of those robots!

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URRGH! Evil app WATCHES YOU WATCHING PORN, snaps your grimace

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

It's not a vulnerabilty...

It's a ridiculous short-coming in security!

A user shouldn't have to "ignore the blatant red flag that says "this app requires access to your camera",", they should be able to say "I don't want ANY apps to have access to MY camera unless *I* say they can!"

The default should be opt IN, not "you can only opt-OUT by not installing the app in the first place".

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Boffins feud over Indian PM's Silicon Valley visit

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Re: Rebuttal

> A comprehensive rebuttal

Really? A quick look at his other writing clearly puts Minhaz Merchant over on the political Right for a start, so he's not exactly unbiased.

All through his "rebuttal" are various linguistic sneers, starting in the very first paragraph "It's not difficult to pin down the motive" implying there's something underhand going on, or "Others are filled with empty rhetoric" and "Are these Left-leaning "liberals" - the phrase may be oxymoronic" and "they would risk collateral damage to India just to discredit this particular prime minister?"

He's already planting seeds in the mind of the reader attacking the authors and attempting to devalue their opinions before he even addresses them, a classic debating tactic called Poisoning the Well

He then dismisses their opinions with a hand wave, saying they don't matter: Fortunately, the answer to these questions is that it doesn't matter. America's technology czars are used to receiving open letters or petitions in their inboxes. They have a well-developed antenna for sniffing out those which are motivated and those which are not. The trash bin is the destination for most.

Once he's got that out of the way, he takes a bit of time to big himself up I co-founded and edited a magazine for US CEOs called Innovate. It was written, researched, edited and produced in India and shipped to the US. From there our Boston-based partner couriered copies to America's top CEOs again, telling the reader that *he* is the one who knows what he's talking about.

He finally gets to the point, but not before a couple more last digs: the tone and content of the open letter aimed at smearing the prime minister ahead of his visit to Silicon Valley smacks of both nastiness and pettiness. It deserves to be ignored - but not before it's comprehensively rebutted. and the principal points the five-paragraph open letter tries to establish: ("Tries" to establish, clever...)

Even when he gets to talking about what they've written, he keeps adding more drops of poison to the well referring to "liberal arts academics" (a phrase that always plays well to the Right), "intellectual shallowness", "It rambles on and makes no arguments worthy of serious attention", "language here borders on arrogance",

Other language he uses includes "verbose, poorly written", "slyly", "venemous", "pathological"

Also he goes for a lovely Ad Hominem Tu Quoque with "the US government's digital surveillance is far more intrusive than Digital India's is likely to be. And the latter is still open to discussion and change. America's isn't - a point the US-based academics aren't brave enough to make" in other words because "your government is doing it, and you haven't criticised it here, you can't complain about what we're doing". Note that Merchant *doesn't* actually criticise the idea of widespread digital surveillance...

Finally he gets in a great Straw Man: It tells the CEOs of America's top technology companies that the Modi government should in effect be regarded as untouchable because it has demonstrated a "disregard for human rights and civil liberties" and In order to discredit this prime minister, the (mostly) Indian-origin, US-based academics are prepared to discredit India.

Frankly, if his "factual rebuttal" (see, I can do it too) is so good, why does he need to spend so much time using Ad Hominem attacks, playing the man (well, men and women) rather than the ball and misrepresenting what they've said?

He concludes: As I said at the beginning of this piece, some open letters and petitions end up exposing their intolerant, illiberal and ill-informed petitioners more than their target. This open letter does precisely that.

Pots and kettles come to mind...

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Lawrence Lessig's White House tilt hits crowdfunding goal

Graham Marsden
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Meh

One MEEEEELION Dollars...

... will barely even get you to the start line...

When all was said and done, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the two major party candidates for president in 2012, spent close to $1.12 billion -- not counting the millions more spent by the parties and outside groups. Overall, the presidential race cost more than $2.6 billion in that cycle.

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/

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NASA wants to send HEDGEHOGS to Mars

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"Since you're dying for the video of the NASA test

" – the robots were flown on the microgravity research aircraft, NASA's C-9 (the “vomit comet”) – here it is."

Err, no it isn't. That goes to a video of the possibility of life on Europa (although no black monoliths were involved)

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Google Adblock shock a load of cock – users mock post hoc

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: Simple solution for google

> When is El Reg going to put ads inside the article texts?

That's not what we should be worrying about.

What we really should be Download our new App for all your Computer Needs! worried about is when we get ads in the comments.

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Ofcom issues stern warning over fake caller number ID scam

Graham Marsden
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Meh

Re: Tracing?

I think when then said "can't", what they meant was "can't be bothered to".

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Are you avoiding tax, big tech firm? Not any more you won't, growl MEPs

Graham Marsden
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Devil

I'm sure...

... Tim Worstall will tell them that these companies did no wrong...

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Huge SUPERHENGE erection found near Blighty's Stonehenge

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... have they found the Pandorica in the Underhenge yet?

Mine's the one with the bow tie in the pocket. Bow ties are cool...!

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British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

Graham Marsden
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"police and security services...

"...had stopped at least six terrorist attacks against Britain within the last 12 months"

[citation needed]

(Or, indeed *any* sort of evidence other than his claim which should be taken with a *large* pinch of salt)

PS Before anyone starts making Straw Man arguments about my wanting to weaken national security or give secrets away to the enemy or compromise pending trials or make the country less safe for us or any other such nonsense, I am not saying anything of the sort, merely that past evidence has shown that such claims may not be credible (see the "Ricin Terror Plot" for example).

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Ship-swallowing GREEN BIO-STORM spotted FROM SPAAACE

Graham Marsden
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Alien

That is not dead...

... which can eternal lie...

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Sexy sock puppets seduce security suckers

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Obviously...

... they need to improve their data validation and security.

I suggest that, from now on, all profile pictures should be validated by the profile owner sending in a scan of their driving licence or passport to prove that it's them...

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Squawk, squawk: Today is Vulture Awareness Day

Graham Marsden
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Alert

I recall hearing a story...

... about a hospital in Africa which had a line of trees in the gardens outside.

These were eventually cut down because of the number of vultures roosting in them...

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Google to China: Please Play with us, we promise to respect your strict censorship diet – report

Graham Marsden
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Devil

"five years is a long time not to be making money in China...

"...even if you have to compromise your principles to do so."

FTFY!

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Fiat Chrysler recalls THOUSANDS more cars to swerve hack-my-brakes roadkill

Graham Marsden
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Stop

Re: Cue maliious USB sticks in the Post

As soon as I saw the line "customers [...] will be sent a USB device that they'll be urged to use to upgrade the car's flawed software" I was thinking exactly the same.

The crook fakes up something that appears to come from Ford, gullible owner plugs it into their car (of course there's probably *no* security validation or any sort of checking to make sure it's legit), then, the next night, they walk up to the car, activate the unlock over-ride code that got installed and drive off with a nice shiny nearly new car...

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Pioneer slaps 80s LASERS on cars for driverless push

Graham Marsden
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Alert

@Pascal Monett - Re: "irrational human fear from loss of control"

> given how everything computer-controlled has demonstrated a marked ability to go haywire with, sometimes, dreadful consequences, the fear of loss of control is decidedly not irrational.

Given that people can't even manage to design computer systems to send e-mails safely and securely, I wholeheartedly agree!

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Spaniard trousers €60,000 bank error, proceeds directly to jail

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: One Law for the Rich...

Once, a long time ago, I had a bank put a £35.00 rent cheque (I *said* it was a long time ago) through as £3500.00!

It took almost six months to the fall-out sorted out, even after they'd credited me the money back (which took them over three weeks to "investigate") they then charged me overdraft fees, plus fees for Direct Debits which had failed which then caused me to go overdrawn again...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Rightfully his

"The e-mail is clearly fraudulent as *I* have one from the Prince dated prior to his..."

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Soyuz docks with ISS, delivers trio of fresh 'nauts

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Let's do another orbit...

... and see if we can find somewhere closer to park...

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FTC raps Machinima for paying YouTubers to plug Xbox One

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Re: @Graham

Ah, a Tim Worstall article. Entirely not biased, then...

*cough* Cui bono? *cough*

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Graham Marsden
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Devil

Re: IANAL

No, it's not US only.

What it means is that someone (who is very probably guilty of doing something naughty) has deep enough pockets that they can tie up the regulatory body in litigation for years, although they know that they may well lose in the end.

So they say "look, we give you X amount, you drop the case, but we don't admit that we've done anything wrong, everbody wins" (apart from us, the public, but we don't matter in cases like this...)

See the deals done by Vodafone et al with HM Revenue and Customs for example.

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Brit school claims highest paper plane launch crown

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

"almost five years" since PARIS?

Bloody hell, where does the time go...?

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HMRC breaches job applicants' privacy in mass email spaff

Graham Marsden
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Alert

Re: Human Error

>> "they don't talk back..."

> For the time being.

http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-09-03

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Feeling sweary? Don't tell Google Docs

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Re: "or the Austrian village "Fuck"."

>> "and for mediaeval scholars Gropecunt Lane existed in many English cities; its main trade is obvious"

> Political party HQ?

The one in London is know better known as Threadneedle Street, home of the Bank of England...

(Make of that what you will!)

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

Re: What a load of...

PS (In case anyone was wondering) the words removed from the above post were:

Utter

Nonsense

Go

Away

and:

Jumpers

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

What a load of...

***** ********!

I think that they should just ** **** and stick this up their *******!

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Websites aimed at kids are slurping too much info, finds report

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Here's a great idea...

... let's monetise kids!

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@MJ980 - Re: Huh?

I think it's you who didn't hear the whooshing sound.

Perhaps you need a new Irony Detector...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Shared personal information

> Can it not be argued that it is "identity" theft.

No, because that "theft" is actually "impersonation" and generally "attempting to obtain goods or services by deception". In English Law this has been move from the various Theft Acts to the Fraud Act.

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Almost all dot-science malicious, dot-cricket rigged, researchers find

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"The completely unsurprising findings...

"...published by security firm Blue Coat"

FTFY!

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Graham Marsden
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@Destroy All Monsters - Re: It's All Creaking Under the Strain...

> Thanks for the strawman.

The AC also goes for a nice example of Special Pleading:

"Of course in contrast in countries where the original idea of free speech is not enshrined in law (dictatorships normally) anonymity on the internet does serve a purpose. But that's a completely different use case for the network."

In other words "It's different in this case, because *this* is the one I approve of"

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NHS to go paperless by 2020. No, really, it will, says gros fromage

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Take their printers off them

As Scott Adams had it:

"Goodbye Paperless, hello Clueless"

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Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Stop these oxygen theives...

They don't have a permit, nor are they paying taxes on OUR air!

- Signed: The Legislative Assembly of Alberta

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Oh no, startup Massive Analytic unleashes 'artificial precognition'

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

If the technology is even a fraction as good as advertised...

... then I quickly forsee a lot of El Reg and other online tech-savvy users doing their damndest to poison the database with spurious information, not to mention a massive new market for cookie blockers, script blockers, ad blockers and anything else that will ruin their business plan ASAP...

Signed - Ethel A Aardvark, aged 63, from Tunbridge Wells...

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Google's Chrome to gag noisy tabs until you click on them

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"This cool feature prevents obviously user annoyance"

And *how many* versions of the Browser did it take before they actually got around to *preventing* that annoyance??

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Ex top judge admits he's incapable of reading email, doesn't own a PC

Graham Marsden
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Devil

The "Deluxe" is the one with the real hair...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VgwxKW0J6I

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NASA names New Horizons' next target

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Maybe it's Russel's Teapot (or some other part of his tea service...)

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Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

Nice physics, but so what. The requirement in English Law for a vehicle to be stopped is that its wheels have stopped rotating. Full stop(!)

You can pedant this all you like, but that's it.

> Would you like to see a motorcyclist on heavy bike attempting the same feat in heavy traffic?

I have. It was a Class One Police Rider who was taking me on my Advanced Motorcycle Test.

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Graham Marsden
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@Destroy All Monsters - Re: @Dan Paul

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism

(And, yes, I know it's Wikipedia, but I can't be bothered to do any more searching now)

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> Foot doesn't touch ground? Vehicle not stopped.

I don't know what country you are in, however I was quoting from the article I linked to which was published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK. They *WILL NOT* put their name behind something which is not backed up by the law.

So, sorry, but in the UK, provided the vehicle comes to a complete halt, whether or not the rider puts their foot down, they have complied with the law.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Re: @Dan Paul

Y'know, I find it fascinating (and hilarious) how Right-wing Libertarian Americans are *SO* against additional taxes that affect them, yet, somehow, when it's an issue like this, they're in favour of taxes for *other* people!

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Graham Marsden
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Headphones - Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

Many (many!) years ago I used to do a paper round on a bicycle and (back in the days of the Sony Walkman et al) I used to listen to music on headphones, but I kept the volume down to just above the ambient level of traffic noise, so I was still aware of what was going on.

Now compare that to the idiots who drive around with massive bass bins in their boot who would probably not hear a bomb if it went off outside their car...

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Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> It's not illegal for a car to stop in an advanced stop box,

Fine (this is El Reg I should have expected pedantry!)

*IF* a vehicle has *already* crossed the first Stop line under green and *then* the lights change after they have entered the marked area, but *before* they have crossed the Advanced Stop line then, yes, they are not stopped illegally, although they should not have proceeded across the first Stop line if the junction ahead is blocked.

Highway Code paragraph 178

Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 36(1) & 43(2)

However in the vast majority of cases, it is simply a case of an ignorant (or uncaring) driver stopping at the Advanced Stop line instead of the first one.

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Graham Marsden
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@ravenviz - Re: 15 gears?

> apparently you can weaken the chain links on some combinations

Bicycle chains have a degree of flexibility, but they are really designed to transfer energy in a straight line.

So if you go from, for instance, the left-hand front chainwheel to the right-most sprocket on the rear wheel, you'll be putting a hell of a lot of lateral strain on the chain that it's not meant to take and this will cause excessive wear on it and the sides of the sprockets too.

The point of 12 or 15 (or even 21) gears on a bike is to give a smooth range of gear ratios from low to high, but if you worked out the full range you'd find that, if you wanted to go through all of them, you'd end up having to shift front and rear sprockets repeatedly which is why nobody actually uses all 12/ 15/ 21 gear speeds in real life.

If anyone's interested, they can work out the ratios by simply dividing the number of teeth on each front sprocket by the number of teeth on the rear sprockets. If you multiply those numbers by pi times the diameter of the rear wheel you'll find out how far the bike will move in each gear for a single revolution of the pedals.

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Graham Marsden
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@Alan Brown - Re: Track Stand? Bah.

> If the foot's not on the ground, the cyclist isn't stopped.

That may be the case in your country, however it is not the case in the UK.

To quote from the Institute of Advanced Motorists "Common Confusions" document:

26. Misconception: At STOP lines the rider must place at least one foot onto

the road surface.

There is no specific requirement for the rider to do so. The essential requirement is that a rider’s machine must come to a complete STOP.

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Graham Marsden
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@ElReg!comments!Pierre = Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> Running traffic lights and stops would also allow you to move quicker and make more progress, I fail to see how it can be a justification for what is, in effect, dangerous behaviour

What on earth are you talking about?

Running traffic lights is not only dangerous behaviour, but illegal and, believe me, I have yelled at other cyclists for doing stupid things like that (along with "get some lights you pillock" and other such bon mots). Similarly, by the way, I have also commented to drivers that they must be riding a very nice bicycle because they're (illegally) stopped in the advanced *cycles only* stop area at traffic lights.

Track standing *behind* the Stop line at traffic lights is neither illegal, nor dangerous.

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Graham Marsden
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@LucreLout - Re: This situation would happen anyway

Yes, I'm aware of all that, as I said "Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules".

However where you say "Cyclists are responsible for their own safety" that doesn't mean that other road users shouldn't take equal care. As a motorcyclist as well as a cyclist, I'm very familiar with the words "Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You" uttered by a driver who simply failed to *LOOK*.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: This situation would happen anyway

Fleshbag drivers *should* be cautious when around cyclists, the Highway Code says exactly that:

212 - When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room (see Rules 162 to 167). If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.

213 - Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.

NB Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules, but they are not some sort of second-class road users who should get out of the way of those who "pay to use the road" (nobody has since the Road Fund Licence was abolished before WWII), they have as much right to use the road as anyone else and ALL road users should treat others with courtesy and respect.

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Rosetta probe spots Comet 67P being buzzed by boulder

Graham Marsden
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Alien

It must be...

... Aliens!

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