* Posts by Ed Blackshaw

628 posts • joined 7 Aug 2007

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C language inventor spurns Google's language exam

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Headmaster

Tell his an idiot

what?

Bromsgrove lass slapped with Boozbo

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

Fatal Flaw?

However, the Sun - which has snaps of a fuelled-up Hall here - notes a fatal flaw in the blanket DBO. Rachel Seabrook of the Institute of Alcohol Studies told the paper: "How can a police officer in Wales know this woman has been banned if she turns up in his town?"

How about, if she is then arrested for drunk and disorderly, she'll find herself with a harsh sentence rather than an arbitrary fine?

Zeus spyware pretends to be Royal Mail PDF

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

I've had a load of these over the last couple of months

.zip files containing skypixie-knows-what purporting to be from UPS. They get the usual spam treatment.

Icelandic ash cloud to keep UK skies closed 'til Saturday

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

He is on the TV though

Making 'You Have Been Watching' at the moment, IIRC

Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Troll

@brimful

Are you trying to get someone to invoke Godwin's law? You know it doesn't apply if the comparison to the Nazis is valid don't you?

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Alert

@Scottboy

The way I read it, if the comments are entirely unmoderated, then the person hosting them is not held liable. However, if there is a moderator, then they are liable for what they let through, even if they are letting everything through. The tacit acknowledgement that the comments are being read by a moderator could lead to the argument that they are moderated, in a legal sense. Again, however, IANAL so what do I know?

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Stop

Careful

IANAL, but if you do that, I believe you could be legally liable...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/08/user_comments_ruling/

US gov cries foul on MPAA piracy claims

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Stop

You wouldn't happen to ba a shill for the record industry would you?

"it is YOU who have forced a draconian bill upon us in the UK"

To coin an anlogy, that is akin to a kidnapper saying, "If you don't pay the ransom,. it;s your fault when I post bits of your daughter to you in a jiffy bag".

It is the lobbyists for the record companies, which represent corporate entities, not artists, who have forced this legislation upon us. Failure to change their outmoded business models has resulted in them no longer being able to draw a pension against past works.

You will always get people who do want stuff for free. However, there are a lot more people who do not wish to pay for dross, or over the odds for a couple of hours' entertainment. Home taping didn't kill music, and downloading isn't either.

Your ad-hominem attack against anyone who opposes your viewpoint is not only childish and ill-considered, but smacks of a comment coming from someone with a vested interest.

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Thumb Up

An interesting idea.

Your point about 'perpetual copyright' for Mickey Mouse is a little off the mark though. IMHO, things such as MM should be treated as a corporate trademark. Disney should own the right to profit from commercial ventures using that trademark, such as T-shirts and silly hats.

They shouldn't retain the perpetual right to prevent others from creating new works based upon MM, such as new cartoons. If they want to continue making money from creative works, they should create some new ones, I fail to see why they should continue to draw revenue from the works of someone who is long dead.

The distinction here is between copyright and trademarks. IANAL, but I believe these are treated in fundamentally different ways. Lobbyists deliberately conflate them, in order to extend the length of copyright (which is the area where they can draw the largest profits from what is essentially protectionism).

I have no problem with a corporate entity protecting its trademarks, in order to stop others passing themselves off. If for example, I were to make a cartoon and sell it as a Disney cartoon, in order to up my sales, Disney would be quite rightly able to sue the pants off me.

What I see as unreasonable is the situation where someone might make a short film about Mickey Mouse, and Disney sues them because they are using a copyrighted image. What they are then doing is essentially preventing others form producing creative works.

Shrek's Donkey poses with bustier-clad strumpet

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
WTF?

Why the fuss?

There's nothing particularly risqué about any of those pictures. Seriously, compared to some of the stuff I've been tricked into looking at on the internet, that's nothing. If they'd put Rick Astley in the pictures, I'd be offended...

Anyway, how does that old adage go, 'All publicity is good publicity.' I strongly suspect that they had full knowledge of how the Shrek images would be used and the whole thing is a PR stunt.

Herd of sheep, off tits on drugs, savagely Tased

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Happy

"Metahamphetamine Connoisseurs"

*chortle*

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

You're right, and wrong

Wrong: Methamphetamine is not an opioid, it is an amphetamine (the clue is in the name). These work in a much simpler way. Opioids act differently between species, as they act upon the brain, and mammalian brains tend to vary substantially between species. Amphetamines are smaller molecules that act on the metabolism. There is much less variation in this between species, particularly mammals.

Right: Sheep are not the best model for human physiology. Pigs are better.

Primark pulls 'disgraceful' padded bikini for kiddies

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

Paedophile Pound?

Isn't that where the padeo-finder general* locks up the suspected witc.. erm.. paedos before they are put in the ducking stool... I mean dock?

* name rhymes with Ramble?

Lib Dems demand niceness, ignore technology

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Stop

Stop-on-request

Or even more nitpicking, they will "bring in stop-on-request for night buses. You should be able to ask the driver to let you off between stops, so you’re as close to home as possible".

Well, there's a reason bus drivers don't (or shouldn't) stop on request. Most bus-stops have a raised kerb and lighting, so that people alighting from the bus can see where they are stepping, and know it's on solid gound. The first time a bus driver lets someone off where they want, and they fall down a hole or get hit by another vehicle because they're in the middle of the road, who do you think is going to get sued (hint: it won't be the passenger).

Steve Jobs: 'Pad? That's my word'

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

Sounds like a good name

for an incontinence product

Tories put ID cards, Contactpoint on manifesto hit list

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

NHS reminder letters

These are sent for the very good reason that a large number of people never turn up to hospital appointments. This costs the NHS vast sums of money in lost time, where clinical staff are sat around waiting for patients who never arrive. As a result, it is common practice for NHS trusts to send reminder letters for appointments, often with a paragraph explaining that if the appointment is no longer needed, the patient should let them know. The cost of one or two stamps is far outweighed by the wasted cost of employing two or three highly trained staff for half an hour or more.

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

Just be sure to take Brown and Blair with you when you leave

M'kay?

Facebook rejects CEOP 'panic button' demands (again)

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
WTF?

Nonsequitur

"Putting the button in a safety centre is like putting a burglar alarm inside your house," Gamble said.

Your analogy is like a custard cream biscuit. See title.

Apple in Brazilian iPad shocker

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Joke

Just waiting for the first bettery defect

Where someone gets a shock off their shiny new status symbol, and the Koreans sue them for entering a market where the trademark is already taken...

Freetard-targeting Trojan seeks to scam scaredycats

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Troll

The cynical amongst us might suggest...

...that the only reason that this is considered a scam is that those involved don't have law degrees.

Bribery Act passed by Parliament

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Coat

Hmmm

"The employer of someone engaged in bribery can be held to account for the first time for those acts, even if the company did not condone or even know about it."

Given that MPs are employed by the crown ('Her Majesty's Government'), does this mean that HM can be held responsible for the warren of corruption that is the Palace of Westminster? No? Oh well... Would be nice to see that lot held to account SOME day....

Bloke threatens BT with giant plywood cheque

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

I believe...

It could be read that that standard applies only to cheques which are printed, to be submitted for automated processing, and includes such things as the format, size and spacing of the MICR line (the funny looking numbers printed in magnetic ink at the bottom). The CPAS standard, AFAIK applies to pre-printed cheques provided to you by your bank in the form of a cheque book, and cheques that are printed in bulk to be mailed out, such as payments or refunds from companies, etc.

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Pint

Well done that man

Here's a pint for you

A user's timetable to the Digital Economy Act

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
FAIL

You might have chosen better examples.

Thundercasts for example is available in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thundercats-1-2-Complete-DVD/dp/B001F6Q322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1270816576&sr=8-1

as is Due South:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Due-South-Complete-Boxset-DVD/dp/B000I8OP0K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1270816628&sr=1-1

and if you can't be bothered to pay £2.83 for the x-men original series:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/X-Men-Season-Part-Marvel-Originals/dp/B0017J86DG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1270816696&sr=1-1

then you are part of the problem.

iPhone 4.0: iAds, multitasking, and 98 tweaks

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

ORly?

"I think you'll find that back in the day, all multi tasking was done the same way."

I think you'll find that back in the day, VAXes and other unix-type boxes had proper pre-emptive multitasking. The poster above just chose a bad example in Windows. The distinction being that the old Windows versions essentially 'hibernated' the background taks until they were switched to, whereas other systems employed 'time-slicing' to allow the background tasks to actually get a share of the processor time too.

If we're talking about other things that the iPhone is bringing to the party late, then why not focus on the idea of a hierarchical file system? I mean, it's not like that was invented some time in the 1970s is it?

ICBM lifts Europe's ice-sniffing sat

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

It is worth noting

That the radar altimeter can be used for surfaces other than ice, and that given that it's latitude will vary from -88 to -88 degrees, then it necessarily will cover most of the Earth's surface, really only excluding the poles.

The questions then have to be: What data can it collect, what data will it collect, by whom will those data be collected, and towards what purpose?

I have to confess that I don't know enough about the instruments on board to say how accurate they will be when directed towards other surfaces, but in principle I see no reason why this cannot be used as a general mapping satellite. Does anyone know if there are currently sattelites up there that can map surface details with a centimetre resolution, at least in the vertical dimension?

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
FAIL

Oh FFS,

There's a word commonly used for those that use Twitter. And it isn't polite. Come to think of it, the same word is currently applied to politicians, particulalry clueless ones like this particular entity.

Cartoon Law goes live

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Big Brother

Quick, look busy!

The Paedo-finder General is coming!

Flood, fire at BT Paddington node causes widespread problems

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
FAIL

It probably tells us quite a lot about BT's infrastructure

If data for other parts of the country are being routed via central London, but they can't be more specific about whom or where. I'm just glad I'm no longer a customer of theirs, for so many reasons. This is despite the monthly 'Come Back to BT!' junk mail I seem to receive. Sometimes I don't know how I summon the willpower to overcome its hypnotic effect...

LHC particle-punisher in record 7 TeV hypercollisions

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Happy

Thanks

I did scout around the interweb to find the correct number, but after not finding immediately, and being daunted by the though of having to apply my brain to some hard maths, relented and used the first number I found.

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

A minor correction...

"lightspeed 3.5 tera-electron-volt (TeV) protons"

Well, they can either be at light speed, or have an energy of 3.5 TeV. I'm sure that any physicist will point out to you that the energy of the particles is due to a combination of mass and velocity and, due to relativity, as they approach the speed of light, their mass, and therefore energy, approaches infinity. Hence only massless particles (such as photons) can travel at the speed of light...

As I said, its a minor correction, but an important one. The protons are actually accelerated to around 99.99% the speed of light.

Legal high fire sale starts now

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Coat

But we lost the 'drug war' ages ago...

http://store.theonion.com/product/drugs-win-drug-war-1998,189/

Tinfoil Condition Red! LHC 7 TeV mega-blasts today

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Coat

But there was this one time...

...at band camp...

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Troll

That's right

Mock those whose first language is not the same as yours, structurally, or syntactically. I suspect you can neither write, not converse understandably in Russian. Although if I am subsequently proved incorrect, I apologise profusely.

MSI tells 97,000 customers to 'Read The F***ing Manual'

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Happy

I recently had the misfortune to buy a defective graphics card

Both the manufacturer (XFX) and the retailer (ebuyer) had fast, helpful, and generally excellent customer support, so don't tar all support staff with the same brush. In fact, I'd highly recommend this particular manufacturer on the strength of their tech support, and no, I am not a shill.

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Troll

Well then,

Proofread TFM. Preferably by two different people. With a proper grasp of English grammar.

Boy, 4, presses dad's iPhone, wins £500 eBay auction

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

"Boy, 4, presses dad's iPhone, wins £500 eBay auction"

or...

"Man, drunk, wins ebay auction, sobers up and blames it on child"

You decide...

Aussie smoko-proofing drug prevents ill effects of cigs

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

Hooray, a cure for COPD... No, wait...

So, on the one hand, they have developed a drug that may help prevent the onset of COPD, which is caused by chronic lung inflammation.

HOWEVER, it is not a cure for COPD. COPD is the result of physical damage to the lungs which your body cannot repair. Once you have it, that's it - your lung function is never going to improve barring a transplant from an unlucky motorcyclist.

How many smokers do you think are going to take a pill every day with unknown possible side effects, in the hope that it will prevent them developing a disease that they don't believe they will get in the first place?

And I can make an educated guess at what some side effects may be. The process that this drug blocks - lung inflammation and mucus production - is there for a reason. It is part of your body's defences against foreign material entering the lungs. This response is there to protect your lungs in the short term, it is the longer term overactivation of the inflammation that causes COPD. Without it, the harmful compounds in cigarette smoke (tar, nicotine, etc.) as well as other environmental pollutants (think particulates from diesel exhaust, pollen, oxides of nitrogen from cars, bonfire smoke, etc.) would be more able to enter the body through the lungs. These would most likley lead to an increased risk of other disorders, such as lung, throat and mouth cancer from the increased uptake of toxins into the tissues normally protected by mucus secretions, increased risk of heart disease from the increased amount of nasty chemicals in the blood such as free radicals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and increased allergic responses to things like tree pollen - think hay fever squared...

So yes, the research may be interesting and shows that preventing the over-activation of the body's response that eventually leads to COPD, reduces the incidence of COPD like effects, but I wouldn't say that effetively turning off one of your body's important defence mechanisms is a sensible thing to do...

Facebook faces Home Sec over lack of 'panic button'

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Coat

Good luck with that

"Ahead of the meeting this morning, Allan said he hoped to have a "constructive discussion" with the Home Secretary."

And this afternoon, I am hoping to have constructive discussions with a horse, the sky and the number six.

Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Coat

You seem to be missing a joke icon there

I mean, you can't actually be serious about using a fan on a planetary body (if you count Luna as such) that has no atmosphere for it to blow around?

Googlenet dwarfs all but two of world's ISPs

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

Poink!

Narf.

Manchester's on fire for ID cards, claims ID minister

This post has been deleted by a moderator

ID cards have three databases, says minister

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

Reading between the lines

When Hillier said "9/11 had put the cast on the ID card", what she meant was:

"After 9/11, the populous was sufficiently panicked and easy to mould, that we were then able to sell the concept of an ID card as an anti-terrorist measure, rather than its real purpose as an authoritarian tool to monitor people."

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

Ho ho ho

Has anyone tried explaingin databses to _civil servants_?

I would actually expect the implementation to be three different databases, on different platforms, from three different suppliers, with all the interoperability and security issues that this entails. A typical implementation for these three would be something like:

1) SQL Server on Windows, custom app front-end written in C++

2) MySQL on Linux, web front-end written in PHP

3) Oracle on some custom hardware, data only accessible through stored procedures

Anyone expecting any less of a dogs dinner for such a government led IT project is sadly naïve.

LibDems drop net blocking, blame activists

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Stop

Really?

"Lucas said he'd gone shopping to buy Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, but the first three pages of Google's search results all pointed to illegal versions."

Funny, I put the phrase 'Stephen Fry Reading Harry Potter' into google and hit the 'shopping' link. Lo and behold, a great big long list of completely legal ways to by said audio book.

Even if you look at just the general web search results, the second one is a link to buy the thing on Amazon.

Methinks someone is being a littel disingenuous here, and has maybe searched for a term such as "Stephen Fry reads Harry Potter Free Torrent Download"?

Boffins builds lithium battery that can't explode

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Boffin

However, the IUPAC name is Sulfur

Which just goes to show that our transatlantic cousins have more influence over such matters than they should. Glod alone knows what the RSC were thinking when they accepted this spelling in the UK, over the historical spelling with the ph, which had stood for over 600 years...

Drought effect on rainforests is negligible

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Stop

The IPCC is a political organisation.

The problem is, there is an incompatibility in the level of truth required between politics and science. In order for the scientific message to be put through to politicians, a certain amount of simplification and spin must be applied to avoid the conclusions being downplayed by those adept in the art of lies, err, I mean politics.

There was an excellent article in New Scientist magazine recently regarding the role the IPCC is forced to play, IIRC, so those criticising the mainstream media may want to stop considering the tabloids a primary news source?

Mutated genetic supertrout developed in lab

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
FAIL

A frankentard?

Or someone expressing a legitimate concern that if these fish were released into the wild, they may outcompete the natural species, in much the same way as introducing a foreign species is usually bad for an ecosystem?

So, in response to you calling someone a frankentard, can I take the opportunity to call you a 'tardtard'* for your willingness to stick the suffix 'tard' onto any word?

*Irony is intentional, just in case it doesn't go without saying.

Bloggers spring 'baccy happy landlord from slammer

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
Happy

The moderatrix

Sees All. Knows All.

Be warned...

Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
WTF?

Here's a though, Sarah.

Maybe EVERYONE should have the same rights. You know, smokers, gay people, women, black people, etc. etc. We are rapidly approaching a state where we have laws explicitly banning discrimination against specific groups, whereas the ideal should surely be to ban discrimination against anyone?

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