* Posts by Jon Kale

66 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Sep 2007


Aussie atheists knocked offline

Jon Kale

Fuck me, is it obligatory to be a card-carrying retarded asshat to post here?

... um... yes well...

but Jeebus, the mouthbreathing God-botherers are out in force.

"Atheism is a religion"? How so? Theism is the belief that the entire universe - indeed the whole of reality - can be explained away with the single phrase "Goddidit." Atheism is the rejection of this worldview and the attempt to, y'know, explain shit ourselves rather than appealing to the sky-pixie (and, obviously, not *those* people's sky-pixie - they're all apostates. People who don't believe in our sky-pixie should be dismembered). The post-Renaissance rationalist world-view, of which atheism is a part, is the reason why we're not living in the Middle fucking Ages any more.

"most religions try and spread love and happyness"(sic) - by raw count, or adjusted for number of adherents? I'll not bother enumerating the historical legacy of god-botherers spreading love and happiness with sword or scimitar, but even nowadays we have the C of E - pretty much the wettest of all religions - hating on t3h gayz, along with the left-footers (money quote, ""). We've got the fundigelicals in the States murdering doctors - indeed shooting them in church (no really). The propensity to self-immolation of the nuttier wing of Islam is well-documented, there's a distinctly unhealthy-looking overlap between pagans and Nick Griffin's mob and

any religion which reckons that the only thing to do when hubby dies is to burn yourself alive is, in my view, not spreading love so much as embers...

Mozilla hastily shoves Firefox updates out door

Jon Kale

re Great Support

Preach it, AC.

IE6: released 27 August 2001, supported until 13 Jul 2010

FF2: released 24 October 2006, supported until 16 December 2008

And people wonder why grown-up organisations - who are often squeezed to complete the evaluation, sign-off and rollout of an app in under two years find it hard to take the Mozilla org seriously? We are, after all, talking about an application which famously is about as amenable to centralised management as a pissed-off tomcat.

(aside: where's the Asa-Dotzler-with-horns piccy?)

Yahoo! mocks Google Privacy Theatre

Jon Kale

re: Firefox's anti-phishing and Google

"are Google linking my account ID with what what sites I'm surfing?"

You bet they are. Google's (stated) mission is to know everything about everything and their slightly-less stated rationale is to allow them to sell eyeballs to as many advertisers as is humanly possible for as high a price as they can get. As has been pointed out in these parts previously, when all's said and done, they're the world's biggest small-ads platform. Everything else is just gravy, allowing them to sell more, better-targetted ads.

"I understand it's technically possible - but do they actually do this, or is the relevant privacy policy robust enough to ensure these two things stay entirely separate?"

Ha! Hahah! ROTFLMAO...

Lemme see: respect the users' privacy or -- ooh, a Big Sack O' Cash. Which way would *you* think they'd go? (not to mention that Google, as a publicly traded company, has a fiduciary responsibility to place the interests of the shareholders before those of the users).

Censored scenes from the Congress WMD report

Jon Kale

"it is incredibly easy to engineer chemical or biological weapons on a scale to injure hundreds."


Tried buying half a tonne of Nitram recently?

First steps with offline Silverlight and Live Framework

Jon Kale

XUL+XBL+XPCOM and standards

So, I checked with ISO and ANSI and the BSI, and with the IETF, and the W3C and OASIS and I couldn't find any mention of standards around this technology stack. Want to point me at them?

Or are you just another ignorant Moztard?

MS issues brown alert over unpatched IE 7 flaw

Jon Kale

"Windows isn't usable unless you are logged in as admin"

Can I have some of what you're smoking? Or are you really that much of a fucktard?

Firm touts anti-radiation chip for phones

Jon Kale

Good to see that El Reg's grasp of basic science is as solid as ever...

as with "the Great Global Warming Conspiracy", so too with the "Harmful EM Radiation Shield".

Ever consider hiring at least one hack with a basic grounding in at science and scientific methods? Degree level will do, as long as it's a Real University rather than some jumped-up college of continuing adult education.

ASA slaps beer-punting ladyboy

Jon Kale

... as Trevor Beattie so plangently said,

"FCUK you all"

The Apple Armada - Still worthy of the Jolly Roger?

Jon Kale

re: Mac vs. PC

"come on guys....let's clear up Amiga Vs Atari first :p"

We'll get to that just as soon as we've sorted out Spectrum vs C=64...

Apple updates iPhone firmware

Jon Kale
Thumb Down

"you’ll also have access to public transport and walking directions"

What the article doesn't tell you is that you may wish to disregard the directions: earlier today a cow-orker showed my the suggested route from the office here in Farringdon to his home in West London. While the rest of us would jump on the Tube, a true worshipper of the Jesusphone gets sent via Crawley and Slough (presumably so they can see Gatwick and Heathrow on their way home) - which might put a bit of a kink in any ideas about being home before last orders...

NASA's curious climate capers

Jon Kale

re: Re: 90 stations

must... rush... to... post... uninformed... opinion... can't... wait... to... read... article...

Adobe's Flex Builder to woo Microsoft C# developers

Jon Kale

re: Que?

It means "I don't understand this press-release, so I'm cutting and pasting bits together as fast as I can in the hope no-one will notice."

See also "One possible application: Bringing over games authored in C and C++ to Flash". Adobe's page announcing Alchemy announces (I suspect optimistically), "anywhere from 2-10x slower than native C/C++ code". I for one bow before our new 2 FPS gaming overlords...

Follow the Somali pirate scourge via Google mashup

Jon Kale

re: Lethal detererrent

"When it's understood that piracy doesn't pay but rather gets you killed, they'll stop doing it - simple as that. What's the big flipping problem?"

Um... that it doesn't work?

Proof by contradiction:

* if the world worked the way you claim, no-one would ever commit a capital crime.

* people commit capital crimes

* ergo the world doesn't work the way you claim


Main BBC channels to be broadcast live via web

Jon Kale

Flash isn't a video format

FLV is just a container for audio and video streams. What we the viewing public (or at least the video-encoding nerds, anyway) want to know is whether the content inside be encoded using VP6 or H.264; the former has the unique feature of offering shocking quality at any bitrate but the latter is only supported in recent versions of Flash (v9.something)

US Dept of Agriculture rubbishes Amish anti-RFID push

Jon Kale

re: "The human race has lived long enough without RFID for millennia."

They also coped without indoor lavvies, central heating, clean drinking water and penicillin. Your point was?

Sun pimps out OpenOffice as Microsoft 'clarifies' Office for web

Jon Kale

re: all the "but it's Open Source, I'll fix it" comments

Ever looked at the OOo source tree? I'm assuming not: suffice it to say that it's an excellent counter-example to the oft-stated belief that open source is clean, well-factored and easily comprehended source.

AC@02:11, while I wholeheartedly support your "learn to write code" drive, I'd suggest taking on a slightly more digestible problem first up - porting the Linux kernel to a wristwatch or somesuch ;-)

Nuke plant reborn as 'green' data center

Jon Kale

re: Entropy

The last word on the topic must go to the mighty MC Hawking:

"Creationists always try to use the second law,

to disprove evolution, but their theory has a flaw.

The second law is quite precise about where it applies,

only in a closed system must the entropy count rise.

The earth's not a closed system' it's powered by the sun,

so fuck the damn creationists, Doomsday get my gun!"

MoD seeks 'budding Qs' in SME engagement push

Jon Kale

"a cunning notion to help our boys and girls on the front line come home safely"

How about not fucking starting wars in the first place, especially when it comes to taking on well-armed natives who never wanted you in their country and who'd quite like you out again: after all, over the last 150 years the score is Afghanistan 4 - 0 UK. Sadly, the fuckwits in the forces haven't worked out yet that we never beat the Afghans at their place (and in truth their home record's pretty good all round...)

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

Jon Kale

@ all the "well it's so complex there must be a designer" and similar apologists

To quote William of Ockham (a Franciscan friar, no less, so probably a reasonably Godly man):

"numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate"

If your Latin's not up to it, ask a grown-up to translate.

Swedish transsexuals offered prosthetic todgers

Jon Kale
IT Angle

re: Strapadictomy

Sadly, it's already official. Google it: it's a route on Froggatt Edge put up by (IIRC) John Allen in the mid-70's. A homage to the original ascent can be seen in the legendard Hard Grit video.

No IT angle, obviously :-)

Microsoft's 'M' treads on US veterans' toes

Jon Kale
Gates Halo

re: MUMPS is the first and only language and database management system designed for medical records

Having had, in the course of things, reasons to deal with MUMPS (or rather "the M programming system", as it was by the late 90s), I suspect the reason why it was the *only* system designed for medical records was because everyone since has looked at it, thought "OMFG" and run a mile back to saner environs like COBOL, RPG-II or RPG-400 or one of the various 4GLs. Admittedly, my exposure to it was in a unit trust pricing system and it may be the dog's danglies when dealing with sick people (sick person looks at MUMPS programmer, immediately feels better) but I'd be surprised.

And as has been pointed out elsewhere, the VA should get the rod out their asses (anyway, didn't they steal their acronym from a state on the eastern seaboard? Or was it from the metallurgists?). Channelling Laslow in his V-Rock incarnation, "Damn, vets are so cranky"

Berlin bans handy iPhone metro app

Jon Kale

Re: Sad bunch of twats on this afternoon


"Remember this is not a freetard issue, the data has been paid for from the public purse so it belongs to the public."

So, where do I get my Chieftain? Or my Typhoon? 'cos I paid for them too.

I'm guessing you're a 'Merkin, yes? If that's the case, then you might not be aware that in the UK and, I suspect, in Germany and Holland too the public sector will often contract with the private sector to provide a service on a non-exclusive basis. In this scenario, the state gets the service cheaper than it would on an exclusive basis (thereby providing something that used to be called "best value" until even the Accentards and McKinseytards that drive government thinking in the UK realised what a misnomer this was). The quid pro quo is that the service provider then gets to make up the difference be reselling the service. The logic behind this approach is that if multiple independent entities are allowed to compete to provide the service it'll be provided (by some indeterminate magic) more efficiently than if there were a monopoly provider.

Open-source Silverlight slips into second gear

Jon Kale

re: SIMD in Mono

Remember GCC back when it was just a C compiler and G++ was the C++ frontend? Remember some of its more egregios violations of C90 (nested functions being a particular favourite)? See, it's "E-E-E" when Microsoft do it, but when RMS does it it's a Good Thing.

PS: Jeremy, you're a cock. I know this because you "walk like a cock, talk like a cock and look like a cock..." Fun, this game, innit...

Oxford don offered $10,000 for proof terrorist penned Obama memoir

Jon Kale


Speaking for myself, I'm not laughing at the anti-GOP comments, I'm laughing at the anti-fucktard and anti-asshat comments. That there seem to be an awful lot more of them aimed at Republitards than Demotards is probably something to do with the generally lower IQ of the former group, as evidenced by their almost touching belief in God, Creation and the healing power of heavy weaponry...

so yes, while I align myself with your /plague o' both their houses/ view, it doesn't mean I can't point at their supporters and giggle "I can see the Emperor's willy..."

Apricot drops 'too complicated' Linux from netbook line

Jon Kale

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midlands

[cut to interior shot of Apricot HQ]

Suit 1: Oh noes! What are we going to do? After announcing that we're not going to support Linux there are people - on the Register, no less - saying they won't buy one.

Suit 2: Shit, you're right. That must be - ooh, at least three sales lost and we've only halved our support matrix. Best I cancel that yacht order, and let the foreman know that there's gonna be layoffs...

Both: Ha ha ha...

(man from Mars 'cos we don't have an "I'd like some of what they're smoking" icon)

Android comes with a kill-switch

Jon Kale


Per Secunia:

* IIS6 (5 years old) has been affected by 5 advisories relating to 4 vulnerabilities: all are patched

* IIS7 (1 year old) has been affected by 1 advisory relating to 1 vulnerability, since patched

* Apache 2.2 (3 years old) has been affected by 9 advisories relating to 15 vulnerabilities, of which 2 are unpatched

* Apache 2.0 (6 years old) has been affected by 39 advisories relating to 23 vulnerabilities, of which 4 are unpatched

/me thinks that it may be that some other software development organisations would do well to take notes of the lessons learned by Microsoft in the IIS4 and 5 era.

Lehman Excel snafu could cost Barclays dear

Jon Kale


Forget your history much? Or are you one of those young'uns who thinks the world began in 2000? Ever wonder why 1-2-3 was called 1-2-3? Well, back in [makes wobbly movement with hands] 1982 or so, the integrated package was making its first steps into the world: VisiCorp, flush with cash from VisiCalc, had announced the groundbreaking Visi-On, Ashton-Tate had Framework and Lotus had 1-2-3, so called because "It's a spreadsheet, a database and a charting package." Oh, and for VBA, substitute 1-2-3 macros.

From memory, PHBs moved from 1-2-3 to Excel because Excel was:

a) cheaper

b) worked better on Windows - while Lotus weren't as incompetent as WordPerfect, their Windows version was, in the early 90s, a piece of shit because, after all, OS/2 was what professionals used: IBM said so... - and

c) LDC took their eye off the ball and built Improv - i.e. they built the product they thought people *should* want - rather than improving 1-2-3 - which paying customers *did* want.

Google calls on developers to polish Chrome

Jon Kale

re: Crash? Yes

"As opposed to every other browser where two instances are completely independent processes"

ITYM "as opposed to IE, where two instances started separately are multiple processes" - or you're using a far odder range of browsers than is normal. Neither Firefox nor Opera will allow you to start multiple instances in normal use (tho' Firefox does have the -no-remote command-line switch, or you can set MOZ_NO_REMOTE).

Internet security suites fail to block exploits

Jon Kale

@David Kelly

People have also been predicting that "this is the year of the Linux desktop" for a decade. So far time has proven them wrong too. Ever stop to think that the two facts might be related?

Oh, and in an incidentally-related question, how many ten-year old Mac apps work on OS X 10.5.whatever? And never mind how many binaries (it's unfair: the ABI has changed about half a dozen times, but that's OK 'cos you can compile from source...) - how much source from 1998 compiles, links and runs on 2.6.whatever?

Firefox update fixes critical bug brace

Jon Kale

re: ACIDity

Well, that's just great: with IE I can site and look at a badly rendered ACID 3 page, while with FF3, Chrome, Opera or Safari you can sit and look at a slightly less badly rendered ACID3 page. Yay! for the intertubes, eh. Meanwhile, with the exception of CSS test suites and the odd Freetard trying to "stick it to t3h man", the rest of the web is built to work with IE6 and 7 because that's 85% of the browsers out there.

And I assume that the people who are asking why a FF update's a PITA are managing single-machine sites (mom's basement, perchance?) 'cos managing large installations of Firefox is going to involve a lot of deskside visits, or some degree of skill in packaging it for pushing out through a large AD infrastructure.

MS confirms European Xbox 360 price cuts

Jon Kale

re: It's not a flop, honest

PS2 has done, to date, somewhere in the region of 120 million units worldwide: concurrently its price in the UK has dropped from about £300 to about £80. If Ivana reckons PS2 was a failure, one wonders what in her book would constitute success...

Wall Street shudders under Lehman collapse

Jon Kale

@Anonymous Coward - "If you don't like it, move to Russia"

I think you're mistaking El Reg for Have Your Say. For your information, spEak You’re bRanes can be found at http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com; I suggest you take yourself there to find out the general consensus amongst right-thinking people about half-thought-out ramblings such as your own...

Have a nice day

Microsoft strips Hyper-V of price tag

Jon Kale

re: Free or Not

Not quite.

When it comes to Windows 200x Server, "Each software license allows you to run, at any one time, one instance of the server software in a physical OS environment and up to four instances of the server software in virtual OS environments on a particular server."

This only applies, AFAIK, to VL customers..

Game sharer gets £16K fine

Jon Kale

Mindblowing concept...

This one's for all you staunch defenders of the sharing of copyrighted information. I'll make it simple in the hope you might understand.

If you a) can't afford it or b) don't want to pay for it or c) are worried that it might be a bit shit then DO WITHOUT IT.

It's not that fucking hard now, is it. Or are you claiming that full and unfettered access to all copyrighted material is in fact a fundamental human right?

(aside: on the "stealing a TV means you deprive the owner of it, but this is not the case for software" tip - presumably all those of you rocking this particularly specious line of defence would be more than happy if your spouse was fucking someone else too...)

Microsoft's Vista push probed by Fair Trade Commission

Jon Kale

@Mahou Saru

"Right now HW suppliers in many cases (especially with laptops) will only release drivers for Windows"

And this is Microsoft's fault how? Could it instead be that the hardware vendors have worked out that they can hit 95% of the market for (say) 20% of the effort, and that investing huge chunks of change in making sure that their hardware works with MacOS 9 & X, Linux, xBSD, Solaris and openSolaris, AIX, HP-UX, OpenVMS, ReactOS etc isn't really a worthwhile investment of cash? You want drivers? Either a) write 'em yourself or b) pay someone to write 'em for you.

National DNA database grows on the genes of the innocent

Jon Kale

re: Once Again

FYI: it's the Council of Europe, not the EU, that's responsible for the ECHR (and the associated machinery - the European Court of Human Rights et al). The membership of the EU is a proper subset of the membership of the CE (I *think* that CE membership - involving signing up to such treaties as the ECHR, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse - is mandatory for EU members and candidates), but the CE also includes such countries as Russia, the Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And, incidentally, this is the sort of thing the Council of Europe was originally set up to avoid - so instead of lamenting that we had to go to the Europeans, be glad that we had, in the past, the foresight to set up supranational institutions to restrict the unfettered power of the nation-state over its citizens/subjects (delete as applicable).

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

Jon Kale

@the "No, road usage won't increase" fucktards

The statement that "road usage won't increase if more roads are built because there's only a finite number of drivers" is trivially falsifiable because it assumes axiomatically that all drivers currently spend all their time driving, abandoning all other work and leisure activities to do so.

This, I suspect, is not true.

Instead, what tends to happen when you make getting from A to B easier (quicker, smoother, cheaper, whatever) is that lots of people in A, who previously would have mowed the lawn, gone for a walk, played football, whatever, decide that with the new roads making getting to B easy they might as well go to see Auntie Aggie (who lives just outside B), or go shopping in B (because B's got Monsoon but A's only got Dorothy Perkins) or nip out to the multiplex in B because the choice of films is better or...

Meanwhile, people in B decide that they really should get round to going to A to see the new exhibition, or they use their Choose&Book to get an appointment in the hospital at A rather than waiting to move up the list in B... or they take a job in A because they know that the journey's only 20 minutes now rather than an hour before they built the nice new motorway.

An excellent example of this is what happens in places like Reading: traffic on the M4 is far heavier between Reading West and Reading East junctions than on the sections either side, because people use the M4 to get from one side of Reading to the other (why they're not escaping from Reading completely is an unanswered question - maybe they're trying to avoid the risk of ending up in Slough...).

Me, I'm all for ditching VED (flat taxes tend to be regressive) and upping petrol duty in its place - and I speak as someone who drives a big-ass executive saloon.

Malicious gossip could cost you your job

Jon Kale

@Brev re: Not a free country!

Fortunately, you're at least partly wrong: the much-maligned (by certain pigshit-thick sections of the population) European Convention on Human Rights provides a bunch of fundamental rights - free(ish) expression, privacy, fair trials etc. - which, in the final analysis, can only be rolled back by withdrawing from the Convention. While it might be welcomed by many Daily Fail readers ("Hurrah! Finally evil Eurocrats can't stop us banging up people for being brown in a residential area"), it is in practice very unlikely to happen without Britain withdrawing from the Council of Europe (not to be confused with the EU).

Note that the similarly-maligned HRA simply allows British courts to rule on breaches or otherwise of the ECHR: previously, any cases had to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The HRA was an attempt to make holding the state to the provisions of the ECHR cheaper and quicker: repealing it would simply mean that human rights cases would once again have to go to Strasbourg.

Did we say you can read that?

Jon Kale

@Frank Gerlach, re. Margaret Thatcher

Would that be the same Iron Lady who spent a large chunk of the 80s attempting to force football fans to carry ID cards: no card, no match. Yes? I thought so.

Might it be the case that her antipathy to ID cards only stems from the fact that they might not only be applicable to the Wrong Kind of People: indeed, Our Kind of People would be expected to carry them too and, god forbid, but it might happen that a member of Her Majesty's Constabulary might (in error, obviously) demand that One Of Us present his or her ID card... the effrontery.

Russian push into Georgia could knock Nasa off ISS

Jon Kale

@James Monnett

One final observation to add to the several other rebuttals of your spittle-flecked ranting: a major part of US policy during WWII was the (highly successful) attempt, led by Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau with tacit support from FDR, to turn the UK from a global superpower into a client state - as Peter Clarke puts it, 'the United States had a long-standing antipathy to British imperialism, and Roosevelt was concerned that the American public would think “their boys” had gone to fight in “foreign wars for the British Empire.”'

Fortunately Morgenthau's plan to pastoralise Germany didn't get quite so much traction...

Google tells Congress it's not Phorm

Jon Kale

re: Alexa

You sure you're not confusing IE with the Alexa toolbar? The latter *does* send every URL you visit to Alexa (well, duh) much like the googlebar sends your surfing habits to the Big G but there's never been phone-home-to-Alexa in vanilla IE - if there were, Alexa's rankings would be a lot more realistic...

Carbon Trust: Rooftop windmills are eco own-goal

Jon Kale

@Anonymous Coward - Devil's Advocate

While you're almost certainly right to disbelieve any published numbers for "proven" (meaning "not proven") and "probable" (meaning "wishful") oil reserves (famously, the House of Saud has published near-identical reserves numbers for the last thirty years, implying that, conveniently, they're finding oil as fast as they're pumping it), a more enlightening view of the industry comes from looking at the jobs they're hiring for now, and what those hires are doing.

At a party the other week, I was chatting to a girl who turned out to be an exploration geologist who spent her days inspecting "empty" oil fields to try and work out whether it was worth sinking a butt-load of cash into them to try and recover the last few percent, and what the oil price needed to be to make them profitable. (Precising), her opinion was that from an exploration perspective we hit peak oil several years ago: finding new reserves is becoming harder and harder, they're in ever-more unappealing locations and they're not as big as they used to be.

However, if you fancy a career staring at seismograph plots trying to work out whether there's any Texas T left under them thar hills then this is your time...

Microsoft dyes hair orange to cheer SQL Server 2008 release

Jon Kale

@Kevin Bailey

What, you mean that your customers might expect you to have a working knowledge of how to do your job? Ye gods, the unreasonable bastards. After all, it's not like you'd expect a Ford garage to know whether you'd be better off with a Ka, a Mondeo or a Galaxy.

Unencrypted traveler data laptop disappears then reappears

Jon Kale


FYI, if someone's sold you an encryption tool that doesn't also compress the data then go back to them with a Big Stick and demand your money back. If it's not compressed then there's almost certainly redundancy in the input stream and redundancy is the enemy of effective encryption...

IBM's Ubuntu deal favors the server

Jon Kale

@Goat Jam

"[Notes is] a powerful product that scales well with a horrible, horrible user interface. Let the collective efforts of the OSS propeller heads have a crack at it"

Dawkins wept.

"We've got the world's shittiest UI. How can we persuade people that Bloats is a great product even tho' it makes them want to gouge their eyes out?"

"I know, let's get a load of Flosstards to redesign it. That'll work well. After all, compared to Bloats the Linux desktop is only the second biggest crime against usability ever, so it'll be an immense improvement."

"Great! Trebles and bonuses all round..."

Breaking News

This just in: legendary Year Of The Linux desktop postponed again, now expected to begin 90 days after DNF ships.

Rich data: the dark side to Web 2.0 applications

Jon Kale

Blame the *users*? Blame the USERS? Furrfu...

How is it the user's fault that "web developers" are, for the most part, incompetent knuckle-dragging buffoons. Should users be expected to retrieve and peruse the source (including all the scripts, stylesheets, embedded images, Flash videos, PDFs, QuickTime movies and all the other crap that gets embedded into HTML documents nowadays) for each page and identify whether there may be security issues with it before opening it in a browser? Is it really too much to ask to expect people who are (nominally at least) professional programmers to actually have at least the rudiments of a clue about the job?

I suggest banning Register readers from commenting until they can demonstrate how to comment sensibly (if ever).

Is green storage a dead end?

Jon Kale

"Assuming a perfectly spherical cow..."

Sure, we'd all like unlimited free energy (maybe not Centrica or BP, but you get the idea). Hey, I'd like world peace and a pony. But if this guy reckons that the storage industry will be fine as long as they rewrite most of economics (and, most likely, the laws of physics) then someone should take him to one side and suggest that he go and peddle his ideas with the rest of the nutters on alt.kook.

"The cold, hard truth is that an ample supply of energy is necessary to grow any business over the long-term,... the harsh reality [is] that a sufficient amount of energy is, unfortunately, not available to keep the industry growing."

Can't argue with that. Similarly, the football industry has to handle the harsh reality that there's only one Pele.

But here's the answer: we need to clone Pe... sorry, to "expand the capacity of the power grid" instead of "embracing the energy efficiency paradigm".

Fiat lux indeed.

Driving some value into Google's Street View

Jon Kale

On contour lines...

So, after Ed's comment I went and looked at an area of the UK with which I'm very familiar (the Eastern Peak District) and while there *are* contour lines, they're at best misleading and at worst lethal: knowing the lie of the land at 20m granularity isn't much help when a) a 20m fall will likely kill or seriously dinge you unless you're lucky and b) no-one's thought to mark the cliffs on your map. Compare, for example, http://tinyurl.com/Stanage-OS and http://tinyurl.com/Stanage-FreetardMap and then tell me which one you'd like to be using when you're walking across a misty moor.

(incidentally, many years ago the 1:25000 map of the Scafell region had the crag on the N side of Great End [http://tinyurl.com/GreatEndMap] marked on... upside down. It's been fixed since)

As discussed, probably OK if all you need to do is drive from point a to point b. For outdoor pursuits? Not so much...

Gov pulls plug on prison PlayStations

Jon Kale

@Luke Wells, Sleeping Dragon and the rest of the "Hang 'em and flog ' em" brigade

You're obviously not aware that somewhere north of two-thirds of the people in Britain's fine nicks are in some way, shape or form, completely hatstand - bonkers, absolutely fruit-loop, away with the fairies, call it what you will - while a fifth have gone *way* beyond the insanity horizon ("have four of the five major mental health disorders"[1]).

Fifty years ago, the UK had some 150000 mental health beds: nowadays, the number's about a tenth of that. For a bunch of the people who were in asylums, Care in the Community was the right thing to do - after all they could, when supported, cope in the outside world. However, a significant number of those people who would previously have spent most or all of their lives in an asylum are now mostly in and out of the prison system - which is spectacularly unsuited for them (when what you need is specialist psychiatric care deivered by trained health care professionals, a bunch of over-worked screws isn't really going to cut the mustard).

So: we've got a bunch of people who (essentially) live in prison because there's nowhere else to put them. Assuming for a moment that we're not going down the route of exterminating the feeble-minded, this isn't going to change any time soon. Still feel that they should be sat picking oakum or turning a treadmill?

Reference: [1] Paul Goggins, minister for prisons and probation speaking in a debate on prisons and mental health, Hansard, 17 March 2004. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040317/halltext/40317h03.htm#40317h03_spmin0

The return of Killer Chlorine

Jon Kale

@Steven jones

You've (very carefully) missed my point, tho', so I'll restate it more clearly and see if it gets through this time:

1. Basic scientific method is to construct a verifiable hypothesis based on some theory of causality, construct an experiment or experiments to test the hypothesis and then determine whether the results are consistent with the hypothesis.

2. Epidemiological studies, when done properly (note that I'm not referring to the type of junk science which infests the MSM - the Mail, the BBC, the Reg et al) follow a similar process: the hypothesis is stated and then the generally retrospective data is analysed to see whether the hypothesis is valid: this is the point at which you attempt to make allowances for any confounding factors and then see if the results are significant: p<0.05 is generally taken to suggest that they are.

3. This process should not be confused with data trawling: the latter has value in suggesting correlations which may be explored further, but simply assuming that any correlation is necessarily related to some undetermined causative effect is fallacious (although, again, a greatly popular pastime in the MSM).

Note, by the way, that I happen to share your view of this particular piece of woo: I'm simply suggesting that the blanket statement that p<=0.05 is "an abysmal standard of significance" is, *generally*, crap and that even the most-studied and best-understood results in public health don't have p that much lower - unfortunately that's the nature of large-scale population studies.

Understand now? Or are you philosophically (or otherwise) opposed to epidemiology on other grounds, in which case I'm probably wasting my time...

[mine's the white one with small flecks of rat pre-frontal cortex on it...]