* Posts by Steve

13 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

Robo-fish to hunt pollution in Spanish seas



What bait would the local anglers use do you think?

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim


@ Carl Zetie

Been done. See, C. Capelli et al.: A Y Chromosome Census of the British Isles, Current Biology, vol. 13, 979-984, 27 May 2003.


Nature sticks entire archive online



Yes, producing a good quality science journal does take money but perhaps not as much as you might think. In many science journals all the reviewing and editorial work is done by academics and they are not paid for this work. On top of that the authors of the science articles are not paid either and furthermore quite a few academic publishers now have page charges so these authors haver to actually pay to have their work published. And while I'm here, there's no royalties either because authors sign over copyright before publication or they don't get published. So costs are fairly minimal.

On the downside, science journals don't sell that many copies which adds significantly to the final price.

While most academics think this voluntary work is all just part of the job of being an academic many are now questioning the prices charged by publishing houses which is limiting the accessibility of the science they have done. Broadly speaking there are two types of organisations in science publishing. First there are the recognised publishing houses which are in it for profit. Second there are the science societies some of which publish in-house journals. The latter aim to make a small profit which is ploughed back into the society. Both get their editorial work done gratis by academics but many are looking at the for-profit publishers and wondering why.

Inevitably institutions conducting research will be looking to publish work online themselves and cut out expensive publishers. In fact this is being done in a limited way already. All that needs to be in place is a rigorous peer review system which validates the scientific merit of the work.


How a bread truck invented the internet



the bread was to dunk in the soup.


Flying cow destroys minivan


What everyone seems to have

missed in all the hilarity is that this Charles Everson, Jr. character continued driving for a mile after being hit by said beast.

I mean wtf! A MILE.

Maybe he was afraid another one was on its way.


Brown will 'scrap ID cards' for UK citizens, claims paper


@anon coward

Hain's Pass Laws is a good analogy and must strike close to the bone. The old farts who read this must remember tha Hain Stopped Play campaign of the 70s.


Lords debate airline liquids ban


@ moronic anonymous yank coward

muriatic acid??

Christ that sounds fucking deadly. In fact, it sounds more fucking deadly than hydrochloric acid. Go on, own up you were trying to be a clever little yank weren't you? And you thought we wouldn't notice.


Europe grows more (and more) GM crops


@GM Labelling and Dunstan Vavasour


Dunstan Vavasour seems to think that modified genes, presumeably in contrast to unmodifed genes although how they are told apart isn't made clear, can, somehow, get "into" cattle which eat GM crops and, somehow, then get out of them into something else which may be us and cause some sort of harm.

Very scary stuff this and if it was true I'd be green and getting my daily grub by photosynthesis. The trouble is some lay folk actually believe this garbage. Presumebaly the same folk who think taking glucosamine tablets makes a difference.


Dead dog floors 68 Namibian villagers


The Janet and John version of "Why it's dangerous to eat diseased meat".

@Anon Coward

I'm guessing that you have taken a food hygiene course because the crap you've written is about the level of the misinformation which springs from this type of course and is passed on to the public through dumbed-down TV cooking programmes and the like.

Let's take a look at:

"Anyway, the main problem is that the kinds of toxins that bacteria pump out are made out of the same kind of stuff (it's called "protein", do read a book one day) as the meat itself."

The most common bacterial (not germ, please) toxin is lipopolysaccahride (LPS), this isn't a protein. Sorry. However, I will grant you that some other bacterial (not germ) toxins are proteins eg botulinum toxin and a number grouped as enterotoxins.

"So even basic reasoning skills should let you see that if the meat isn't "destroyed" by the heat of cooking, there's no reason why the bad stuff left in it by the germs should be."

Wrong. Lay people are often confused on this. There is a difference between being destroyed beyond recognition (TV cooks and food hygienists refer to this as burnt) and being biologically inactivated or denatured as scientists call it. Most proteins are denatured at temps well below 100C. Good example which TV cooks and food hygienists might understand is egg white which is mostly a protein called albumin. This is denatured around 60C which TV cooks and food hygienists recognise as the clear white of an egg going opaque when they cook it. Hint: try cooking an egg in water less than boiling, it just takes longer.

Maybe you should try reading some books beyond Janet and John.

And before you ask: Doctorate in microbial biochemistry


Corporate computing going thin to go green?


@anonymous coward

can't remember the last time our network went down other than for planned maintenance to specific servers which was advertised well ahead of time. But then we have a decent IT dept.

@simon hobson. Surely if you run a corproate network you'll be on Common Desktop or something similar. Network goes down, use your local file copies. Unless you've turned sync off, of course.

Unless you have specific needs for local computing power then thin client has to be the way to go. Power consumption is only part of the story and a small part at that. There's little or no local maintenance, software updates are handled centrally, software auditing ditto, and thin clients are way more resistant to obsolencence than desktops. We are looking at 7 years vs 3 which alone will more than halve our capital expenditure. Factor in reduced maintenance costs and it's a no-brainer.

@Reg: Please can we select more than one image.


Florida man faces trial for feeding homeless


@anonymous coward

see my post about our Vagrancy Act. Too many smug gits round these parts.



Before those of here in the UK

climb too far up the moral high ground let's be aware that the Vagarncy Act of 1864 is still on the statute books. This act, argueably, criminalises the homeless in the UK. Homeless link


are, among others, campaigning for it to be scrapped. OK, we aren't tossing people in clink for feeding the homeless but we aren't saints either.

And can we drop these stupid thumbnails which aren't emoticons ffs.


Lawmaker shows nudie pic to high school seniors



can we please get rid of these puerile images. If some readers can't recognise a joke or irony when they see it then tough. Stick with Postman Pat.