* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Iran threatens to chuck sueball at Google over missing gulf

Graham Marsden

Re: Pretty Dumb

"most people know how to pronounce 'Bristol'"

Well, no, they *think* they know how to pronounce it, but it's actually more correctly pronounced "Bristle" (at least by the locals ;-) )

Twitter signs up for Do Not Track

Graham Marsden

So Twitter is going for...

... NoFollow...?

Doesn't that rather defeat the purpose of it?

Crooks sell skint fanbois potatoes instead of iPhones

Graham Marsden

Re: @M. Poolman

To quote from http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/let_the_cat_out_of_the_bag/

"It’s commonly asserted that let the cat out of the bag refers to the cat o’ nine-tails used on board ships as form of punishment. The whip would be kept in a special bag to protect it from the sea air and to let the cat out of the bag was to confess a crime worthy of flogging. A neat tale, except there is absolutely no evidence to connect the phrase with a nautical origin. "

AIUI there wasn't actually a "special cat" that was kept in a bag, rather someone who was due to be flogged would be given a short length of rope and they had to unravel it and actually make the device for their own punishment.

Naval ropes were made from three smaller ropes twisted together, each of which were made, in turn, from three thinner ropes, hence why the Navy Cat had nine tails.

Graham Marsden

@M. Poolman

The problem with the nautical explanation is that it simply doesn't fit with the underlying meaning of the phrase ie to reveal a secret.

Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Graham Marsden

Re: @Some Beggar

I wasn't going to post again, but, really, you are making yourself look ridiculous now.

"Anonymous Interneteer?" Ye gods, you know my name, you can see it on all my posts (unlike you who are hiding behind a pseudonym!). You can see it on the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists Newsletter. I'm an Admin on the SAM Forums, I could post a message for you there. If you want I can also post a picture on there showing myself holding up my Pass Certificate (I can even put a message on it for you!). You can contact Alec Gore, Chief Observer of the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists Group or even PC Phil Pentelow the IAM Examiner and they can confirm I've passed the Test and Phil Pentelow, of course, saw the three car overtake! How much *more* evidence do you want before you are willing to consider that perhaps I am telling the truth???

Alternatively you can speak to your local IAM group and whilst they will never actually say "it's ok to break the speed limit", they will, as I mentioned before, tell you to complete overtakes as promptly and safely as possible.

The IPSGA System the IAM teaches provides *guidelines*, not something to be stuck to rigidly and unthinkingly, blindly adhering to "the rules" and I really am starting to have doubts that you have ever passed an IAM test (even 20 years ago) given that you appear to be unwilling or unableto apply any flexibilty in your thinking.

Now feel free to "bluster" by getting in the last word, because I *really* can't be bothered to waste any more time on this.

Graham Marsden

Re: @Some Beggar

And you can repeat yourself until you're blue in the face, but, whether you like it or not, I have just passed my Advanced Motorcycle test which included at least one manoeuvre which was technically "illegal", yet the IAM examiner who, as I pointed out before, is a serving Class 1 Police Motorcyclist did *NOT* have a problem with.

This is not "bluster", this is a fact. If you cannot deal with that, it's not my problem and I see little point in continuing to discuss this with you, instead, once again I urge you to get an up-to-date assessment of your claimed Advanced Driving skills since it seems that you do not appreciate or understand what Advanced Road Use is about.

Graham Marsden

Re: @Some Beggar

If, as you claim, you passed your Advanced Test "nearly twenty years ago" then I suggest you might like to visit your local IAM group and get yourself an Assessment because you may find that the System and the way it's operated has changed since you last had an Observed Drive.

For instance, were you taught (as was the case) to slow down by changing down through the gears? These days it's "Gears to go, brakes to slow" and then shifting directly to a lower gear to match your engine revs to road speed rather than relying on engine braking since it's cheaper to replace brake pad than a clutch or gear box.

Even if what you are taught is still entirely the same as today, are you sure you're applying IPSGA exactly as you learned it nearly 20 years ago? Any Advanced Road User should always consider whether their skills are up to snuff and would have no problems in getting them checked to either make sure they're still doing it correctly or whether they've fallen into bad habits which could do with rectifying.

BTW whilst no IAM Observer will actually tell you "break the speed limit", the fact is that they will also tell you (as it says in this copy of How to Be a Better Rider I have here) "Does the rider use a 'thinking approach' to their riding?" ie taking into account the road conditions, traffic, hazards etc, or "is the system just slavishly applied?"

Similarly with overtakes, "Are overtakes carried out smoothly, safely and decisively?" As an Advanced Driver, would you start an overtake, accelerate until you reach the speed limit and then hold your speed at that level *increasing* the length of time you are in the opposite carriageway and putting yourself and other road users at risk? Or do you complete the overtake promptly and safely, then return to your own carriageway and reduce your speed back to the prevailing limit? If it's the former, you really have not understood what being an Advanced Road User is about and I *urge* you to get a refresher. If the latter then whilst you may not be driving "legally" according to the letter of the law, provided you do not cause other road users to change their speed or direction and do not do it recklessly or stupidly, no IAM Observer will have a problem.

PS if you *really* still doubt that I have passed my Advanced Test, may I invite you to read the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists May Newsletter at http://www.solent-advanced-motorcyclists.co.uk/images/MAKING_PROGRESS/may_2012.pdf and take a look at the article "Celebrating Success" on page 8 where my name is listed under those who have passed their IAM Test.

Graham Marsden

@Some Beggar

"If it isn't safe to overtake without exceeding the speed limit then you shouldn't be overtaking.

"I can see why you'd be worried about this type of scheme if you've never read the fucking highway code."

I have read the Highway Code. I have also just recently been awarded my IAM Green Badge for passing my Advanced Motorcycle Test, so pardon me if I take issue with your understanding of the subject.

The aim of Advanced Riding (or Driving) is to "make progress" in a way that is safe and responsible and if you can make that progress by overtaking a slower vehicle in front of you, you want to complete that overtake as promptly and safely as possible and looking ahead of you and taking regard of the vehicle you are passing, rather than looking down and checking your speedometer.

Whilst on my Advanced Test on the A32 I completed a three-car overtake and the examiner who is a serving Police Officer and Class 1 rider had *no problems* with the fact that I had most probably exceeded the posted limit when doing so. If, however, I had forced another vehicle to change their speed or direction because of my actions, I would have failed because that would not have been safe.

I recommend visiting the IAM Website and signing up for their Skills for Life Package, it only costs £139 (including the cost of the Test) and you can then actually *learn* something about road use instead of thinking "I've passed my basic test, I know all I need to know" when, in fact, you have only achieved the bare minimum standard to be allowed out on the road in control of a vehicle.

NASA found filming August's Mars landing in California desert

Graham Marsden

Ok, ok...

... I've changed my Downvote back to an Upvote.

Now will the rest of you do the same for the 3 Downvotes I've received?

Graham Marsden

Dear Big Dumb Guy 555

You're not big, it's not clever to write in caps all the time and your trolling is really particularly pathetic.

Graham Marsden

@Gene Cash

I've just downvoted you: 0 Upvotes, 1 Downvote.

Oh, no, I've just switched that: 1 Upvote, 0 Downvotes.

On second thoughts, I'll put it back the way it was: 0 Upvotes, 1 Downvote

Mobile net filters block legit content too – campaign group

Graham Marsden

They block e-mails too

Since I own the domain for my business, it's simple for me to use my Affordable Leather Products address for e-mails because that way it all comes into one Inbox and I can then filter messages into appropriate folders according to which version of the address the sender uses. Similarly I send out e-mails from the business mail server using the same domain.

Recently, however, I had a friend complain that they hadn't had a message from me about an event and only found out about it later when someone else did a "reply to all".

It turns out that, although there was no adult or explicit content in the message, it was being blocked because my *website* is listed as an adult site meaning that I now have to send messages to this friend from a backup e-mail address just to make sure they get them.

Britain has 10 million twits, tweets Twitter

Graham Marsden


... what?

Road deaths spark crackdown on jaywalking texter menace

Graham Marsden

Last night...

... walking back from the pub with a friend, coming the other way on the pavement was a young woman who was clearly *totally* oblivious to our presence because she was so engrossed with her mobile phone's display.

It wasn't until she was about six feet from us that I gave a little whilstle and she suddenly looks up and stops dead, realising that she has almost walked into us.

At least she had the good grace to apologise through her blushes...

Graham Marsden
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Re: Darwin rules

"More than 50% of the motorcyclists I encounter (ie, the majority)"

Or do you mean the ones that you *notice* and remember? You probably don't even notice or remember the ones who are riding responsibily and safely.

Graham Marsden

Re: Darwin rules

> The trouble with motorcyclists is that the the menaces are in a majority.


From the Department of Transport:

* * * * *

4.1 Right of way violations

Of the total cases, 681 (38%) involve ROWVs. However, less than 20% of these involve a motorcyclist who rated as either fully or partly to blame for the accident. The majority of motorcycle ROWVaccidents have been found to be primarily the fault of other motorists.

This is an even higher level of ‘non-blameworthiness’ in ROWVaccidents than that observed in other in-depth studies, e.g. Hurt et al. (1981) The majority of ROWVs occur at T-junctions, which are three times as common as roundabouts or crossroads. This finding is in accordance with the work of Hole, Tyrell and Langham (1996), who found that the majority of such accidents occurred at ‘uncontrolled’ (i.e. no stop light or sign with only give-way markings and/or signs

present) T-junctions in urban environments.

When these cases are examined, it can be seen that the most common failure of other drivers in motorcycle accidents is a failure in the continuity of their observation of the road scene. Over 65% of ROWV accidents where the motorcyclist is not regarded as to blame involve a driver who somehow fails to see a motorcyclist who should be in clear view, and, indeed, frequently is in view to witnesses or other road users in the area. Failures of observation that involve drivers failing to take account of restricted views of one kind or another, and failing to judge the approach speed and/or distance of a motorcyclist, are not included in this category.

Sometimes, accident-involved drivers in motorcycle accidents fail to see riders even when they are verifiably using visibility aids, such as daytime running lights and high-visibility protective clothing. This occurs in over 12% of such cases (but the level of use of these aids to visibility is felt to be under-reported by police).

* * * * *


"Sorry Mate, I Didn't See you" really means "Sorry Mate, I Didn't Bother to LOOK Properly"!

West Midlands plods get mobile fingerprint tech

Graham Marsden

If this uses GPRS...

... I can see problems arising.

I have a mobile credit card processing terminal which often cannot connect to the server due to "network congestion". Apparently GPRS gets the lowest priority from phone masts, so if lots of other people want to connect using 3G etc, GRPS gets bumped to the back of the queue and has to wait.

As more and more people get mobile devices, this can only get worse...

ESA seeks doctor for Antarctic spaceflight sim

Graham Marsden


Not the place to open a Costa's Coffee, then...

Yellow Pages targets zombie survivalist market

Graham Marsden

Simple solution...

... get a load of yellow pages, suspend above zombie and drop at the opportune moment.

Can I have my money, please?

Solving traffic jams with maths

Graham Marsden

Re: Bangor, North Wales

Many years ago, Bristol City Council spent a load of money doing studies and re-designing the Three Lamps junction leading out of Bristol on the A4 because it was a notorious bottle-neck.

Apparently the contractors they hired chucked down some temporary lights whilst they were working and the junction had never flowed more freely!

They told the Council who said "stick with our design" and, when they'd finished, it was as much of a bottle-neck as ever...!

Graham Marsden

Re: These have their flaws, too...

Another flaw is that the induction sensors are sometimes not sensitive to pick up a bicycle and the "camera" sensors occasionally even miss a motorbike meaning two-wheel users end up stuck at the lights until eventually a car pulls up behind them (and, yes, when cycling I *DO* stop at red lights, ok?!)

Ofcom: Now's your chance to make Local TV for Local People

Graham Marsden
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Here are the Local News Headlines:

Mrs Brown of Boring Road has found her lost cat!

Atlassian, Zynga among San Francisco's best town bikes

Graham Marsden

Re: Bicycleistotards ...

@Irongut - No, the OP wanted people to stop RIDING as well.

If more USA-ians got out of their cars and tried riding or walking or using public transport, maybe they wouldn't be such a nation of lard-arses.

Disabled can't 'Go Compare' on price comparison websites

Graham Marsden

Re: RE: Not so easy

The first thing to do is to disable images in your browser and see if you can still navigate the site using your keyboard.

If you can't, fix it.

Facebook tests paid post promotion

Graham Marsden

Re: The Rise and Fail of a Social Network

So Zuckerberg's got the right idea: Cash in by going IPO, then dump all your shares before the bottom drops out of the market, bitch!

Europe must shift R&D from car gizmos to infrastructure, honks wonk

Graham Marsden

Re: Teleworking

@ravenwiz: But how do you get to your office? Walk? Cycle? Bus? Other public transport? Or drive...?

Study reveals high price of porn addiction

Graham Marsden

Post Hoc != Propter Hoc

"Habitual viewers of smut often mess up their lives".


Or perhaps people who have messed up lives become habitual viewers of smut. Or alcoholics. Or drug abusers. Or resort to crime. Or...

The same goes for “excessive users had severe social and relationship problems and had often lost their jobs or been in trouble with the law as a result of their addiction” the conclusion seems to be that it's the porn that caused the problem, rather than the problem being the result of other factors and which is then manifested in this "addiction".

BTW "addiction" is a nicely pejorative term, but whilst drug addicts may mug grannies for their pensions to feed their habits, I don't think I've ever heard of someone doing the same so they can buy another porn mag or download a movie...

Meanwhile, *who* were these "800 habitual online smut viewers"? How were they selected? And if there were "800 habitual online smut viewers" how does that compare with the number of those who also view online smut but do not do it "habitually" (whatever that means, how frequently do you have to do it before it becomes "habitual")?

I found a link to the original survey, but, alas, the survey was no longer available which is a shame, because I'd have loved to see what the questions were and how impartially they had been phrased.

Some other questions:

"30 percent acknowledged that their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing" and how many "habitual" smokers acknowledge that their work suffers due to them gasping for a cigarette?

"20 percent of respondents said they preferred the excitement of watching porn to being sexually intimate with their partner" and what about those geeks out there (of which there are more than a few) who haven't got a partner because aren't good in social situations and, as such, find other ways to relieve sexual tension?

"Around 14 percent had formed a relationship with other online users" which is surely a good thing (but good things don't come from "addictions" do they?)

"18 percent were preoccupied with fantasising when they were not online" and it's only "habitual smut watchers" that have this problem. After all, it's not the same as thinking about the big match you watched yesterday evening or worrying about your financial problems when you should be working or...

And finally ""Watching porn is a learned behaviour and we believe it can be unlearned” says Dr Sitharthan. Why does this sound so disturbingly like the assertion from the last century that "Homosexualiy is a learned behaviour and we believe it can be unlearned”, resulting in attempts to "cure" gays by administering electric shocks for aversion therapy or, even, giving them lobotomies?

I think these researchers had a conclusion and then did their research to prove it.

Billion-dollar high-tech ghost town to run itself without humans

Graham Marsden

Nothing can go wrong...

... go wrong... go wrong...

Scandal ad slingers cough up $100k in 'Facebook clickjack' case

Graham Marsden

So get NoScript...

...and you'll be warned when someone tries to Clickjack you!

Planet systems with 'hot Jupiters' PULVERISE innocent strays

Graham Marsden

Well there goes Tattooine

Going by this article, a binary system is one where the "hot Jupiter" has accumulated even more mass and undergone fusion to be come a sun in its own right.

If that's the case then you'd never see that fancy double sunset because your planet wouldn't exist in the first place.

Intelligence a genetic mistake

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Re: Algernon

@Mike Banahan - You're welcome. Just a couple of weeks ago I re-read it (again), so this story from El Reg was particularly apposite :-)

Graham Marsden

I have a mouse...

... called Algernon here who wants a word with you...

US Judge says IP addresses don't identify pirates

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Bravo Judge Brown!

At least it seems that *someone* in the US Legal System has a clue!

Web super-TV turns EXTREME sports fans into sofa-dwellers

Graham Marsden


Oh, so not the "Adult Version of Tiswas" that Chris Tarrant and Lenny Henry did, then...?

Hunt tosses 27 cities into broadband cash bunfight

Graham Marsden

Re: bunfight?

@asdf - I suggest you look up the term. "Bunfight" has nothing to do with "Bumfight" and, in fact, pre-dates it by a long time.

Whilst it can mean an official (but completely unimportant) event which requires people to dress up in their best finery, it also is used to mean an argument or dispute which is "a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing at all".

Cameron hardens stance on UK web filth block

Graham Marsden

And once again...

... what happens to my business?

As I've posted in the past, I run a legltimate, legal and successful business making affordable leather products for the (ahem!) discerning adult ;-)

I already have my site signed up to Net Nanny, Cybersitter, Surf Watch etc so that *responsible* parents can install appropriate blocking software and stop their children accessing it.

But if this stupid proposal comes into force, I'm probably going to find my business on the blacklist meaning that anyone who wants to be a customer has to ask permission from Nanny first which is not going to be good for trade.

What next? Having to opt-in to being able to visit Ann Summers shop on the high street...??

Graham Marsden

Re: Funny

As I've just posted in another El Reg forum, they did.

See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/bt-blocks-direct-access-to-telephone-porn-lines-personal-code-will-be-needed-for-adult-premium-rate-numbers-1494484.html

It was eventually revoked, but by that time there were other services accessible.

Jolly rogered

Graham Marsden

This nonsense was tried back in the 1980s...

... when it was decided that access to the 0898 "naughty phone lines" should be made opt-in rather than opt-out.

Unsurprisingly, very few people were willing to call up their phone provider and say "Please let me access the smutty message services", meaning that perfectly legal and legitimate businesses suddenly had a massive drop in their income.

Eventually, of course, this decision was reversed, but it just goes to show how stupid the "Won't Someone Think of the Children!" mentality can be.

Graham Marsden

Re: dick?!

I once posted on a forum about the Sci-Fi author Philip K Dick.

His name was (I kid you not) rendered by the forum software as "Philip K masculine area"!!!

Canada failing to sufficiently protect IP rights – US report

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Re: Damn it...

You beat me to it!

UK's new drivers now in safe hands... of laser-wielding robots

Graham Marsden

Will the DVLA remember what vehicles you're allowed to drive/ ride, though?

I know several bikers who, when it comes to licence renewal, have claimed that theirs is "lost" because if they send them back to the DVLA they have a habit of sending new ones *without* the details of said bikers having passed their test and being told they're going to have to re-take it otherwise they'll be riding illegally!

Telly is becoming moving wallpaper for constantly online Brits

Graham Marsden

Re: ****ING Repeats!

In this post, Graham agrees with Big Boomer saying "Yes, you have a point there."

Yes, you have a point there.

Coming up, Graham also thinks that many "documentaries" that last for an hour, could be shown in 30 minutes if they cut out all the padding.

Many "documentaries" that last for an hour, could be shown in 30 minutes if they cut out all the padding.

Wow! Can I get a job in TV?

Britain prepares for government by iPad

Graham Marsden

"They have to agree...

"... to receive documents about parliamentary business on the fondleslabs rather than have that information printed out on paper."

And then they'll dump loads of stuff out to printer anyway, because that's what they're used to...

European Space Agency heads for Jupiter's moons

Graham Marsden

Re: Good choice

"Would we then consider sending probes to the funny little wet blue planet in the inner solar system?"

We did, but we decided the inhabitants were too boring to bother with (apart from some of our Teasers)...

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Hear hear!

But, at present, no large black monoliths have been found...

Why embossed credit cards are here to stay

Graham Marsden

Re: see ID

I run a stall at a market once a month and occasionally I get American customers who haven't bothered to sign their cards because they're so used to handing over their driving licence as proof of ID when they use the card.

In any case, if I have to use the manual backup eg because my GPRS terminal won't connect, I phone for authorisation on any transaction which is above my "floor limit" (amount which my card processing company sets). This doesn't guarantee payment, but at least it means that, at the time of the call, the card hasn't been reported lost or stolen.

iTunes fanbois outraged by Apple's sex-life quiz probe

Graham Marsden

Re: @ Graham Marsden

@Steven Roper

Consider what would Apple would be likely to do you you if you answer "yes" to that question...

Graham Marsden

Re: Surely some better questions for Apple owners.

Or "Have you ever jail-broken an Apple device?"...

Everything Everywhere rolls out the 4G astroturf

Graham Marsden

"leaving one three minutes to build an extra widget"?

Or just more time to download other pointless videos...

No sex please, we're Telstra

Graham Marsden

"we cannot support anything that is sexist or that is inconsistent with our values"

Those "values" are, presumably, to make arbitrary decisions based on anecdotal evidence and to give credence to whinges from the "We don't like this, so you shouldn't be allowed to see it" brigade...

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