* Posts by Hollerith

92 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Oct 2007


Telegraph falls to the Tw*t-O-Tron


Does Canada want Brit aliens?

Last time I checked out my beloved homeland, we had skills requirements, so it's not clear which Telegraph-readers would get in. When I was still living there, the Brits who had emigrated were heavily resented because (1) they assumed Canada was a place for them to waltz into, being a former colony (2) they bitched and moaned about how Canada was not as good as Britain (3) they accepted jobs at lower wages, therefore 'taking our jobs' and 'thinking they could just freeload on Canadian tax-payers' etc. etc.

Other foot...shoe...

Tory proposes street-legal Segway legalisation


too dangerous

It goes faster than normal London traffic and might frighten drivers.

US Reapers get satnav bombs, deploy on Canadian border


funny how it is...

...that the Americans never wanted the Arctic and indeed signed an international treaty circa 1880 to agree that the UK had given all its lands in the arctic to the new country of Canada. Canadians could have it when it was just snow and seals, but as soon as oil was found in the north, all of a sudden the Arctic areas in Canadian ownership were 'disputed' by the USA. It has practised the 'act as if your version of reality was real' by sailing through Canadian territory waters without permission or notification for decades. Even Russia, then and now, was not so arrogant. Now, of course, foreign ownership of areas America wants to own becomes a 'security risk'. Lots of Canadians don't hate the USA, but I am not one of them.

Mobiles help UK malls track shoppers' every move


hours of fun

Hang an unwanted phone from a string at the back of a display rack in any shop. Ann Summers has been mentioned, and this would work. Or somewhere unobtrusive in a public loo. Then be ostentatiously elsewhere, in view of CCTV. Worth the cost just to b*gger up their surveillance.

Or tin foil around the phone.

Mine's the dirty mac, me acting suspiciously. Or my phone is.

Shuttle astronauts: Aliens are definitely out there


please no

If intelligent life is anything like us, let it please be limited to Earth alone. Keep the torturing, oppression, and suffering limited to this poor planet, where we seem to be fouling our planetary nest with a vigour that even a termite would admire.

Swiss ponder the 'dignity of plants'


on the other hand

Plant enthusiasts in the 1800s and even a far into the 1900s would regularly grub up specimens to take back home. Often they would take the last visible example, knowingly, and I understand that they managed to wipe out a few species. So I can understand 'dignity of plants' as meaning 'have a little respect for the biosphere', although I know this isn't what ou EU masters mean.

DWP still sending out passwords and discs together


but security is work

And having to send discs internally and *then* to send the password means four seconds of thought (I am being generous here) and 20 seconds of physical activity, and both of those just don't happen in government offices. I have been there as a contractor and have seen it.

The AC who said it: could we lay off remarks such as "your data will always be as safe as a faggots arse." It's tiresome that gays are final identifiable group we can be bigoted about. I mean, WTF does that little phrase mean? I assume you are the AC who also denigrates women pretty regularly. Come on, pal, join the grown-ups.

NZ bank robber stashes loot where the sun don't shine


so he took off his clothes

Do we presume he had a change of clothing with him, or was he nicked in the nude? In which case, the police officers should have been able to spot the cash rather sooner than they did.

Presumably now his troubles are over, as he will be vacationing for a couple of years at taxpayers' expense.

But that crisp new NZ currency did not deserve to die.

ITV fined millions for phone fraud


'People's Choice Awards'

These 'awards' have zero validity, importance or interest. It's like the Top 100 Whatever that Channel 5 etc use as schedule fodder. The idea of having to choose between Ant & Dec and Catherine Tate is the choice between eating polyester or nylon. Neither tasty nore good for you.

Canadian toddler dies after VOIP 911 call


your young child is dying...

...and you are terrified and not thinking straight, which is why you can't be expected to give all the details you should, although in this case, they did. There were so many cases where someone ringing could give details (in one case, I believe her throat had actually been cut) that UK emergency services instituted the 'send ambulance upon receipt of call' procedure described in a post above.

But, sadly, it really does take a death before telcos stop pretending they are in communications-lite and take their duties seriously, or are made to do so.

NASA invites you to travel to the Moon



"Everyone who sends their name to the moon ... becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers"

What courage. Scott would be proud. Yes, I climbed Everest, or rather, my name was embroidered on the actual climbers T-shirt -- but that counts!

Shell pulls out of Thames Estuary mega-windfarm


not enough wind in UK for wind turbines alone

The company I work for is into wind farms, but they have done the research and there just isn't enough wind int he UK, even off-shore, for wind farms to be a major source of power here. Now, on the Canadian prairie, there are massive wind farms because the wind blows hard and constantly. In the UK, we need a mosaic of energy sources. Relying on one traditional source, or even two (eg oil and coal) is a bad idea: they will run out, they are killing the planet, the oil-producing countries will have us by the short and curlies... Spreading your bets on solar, tidal, wind, plus nuclear, alongside a phased-out use of fossil fuels, seems the most sensible approach. The potato famine could never have beggared South America as it did Ireland, because they have dozens of varieties. Same deal with energy sources.

How many staff has HMRC caught snooping on records?


not morons

Civil servants are mostly job-protectors and idlers. They do anything to stay in their job and anything to do no work. The 5% of good, intelligent, conscientious ones carry the load for those who surf for holidays and make cups of tea all day. I was a contractor for a few months and the to other contractors and I did all the work. The others either played on the web or chatted or had 'meetings' so they would get biscuits with their tea. I left. Did my head in.

School crossing guards join CCTV panlollycon


surely the point of the story is

...that drivers so need that 20 seconds that they are willing to run down children. Lollipop ladies are at pelican crossings because these are no longer safe for children, as drivers roar through them. Even when kids try to use a crossing properly (and they often don't -- they are just kids), drivers zip through while yakking on a mobile. The need for a driver to be unimpeded does not seem to me to be a burning requirement in anybody's life, and the fact that some git would get out his car to scream abuse at an elderly lady trying to keep children safe from him does boggle the mind.

Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos


what happened to Lesvos?

That is an alternative name for the island, and I thought they were taking this up.

'Lesbian' for women has been used for well over 150 years, so it is a bit late. Barn door, horse, etc., folks. It's like objecting to the word 'gay' being 'hijacked' when it's had the homosexual meaning since the early 1800s, if not earlier.

I also take exception to the idea that having the word 'Lesbian' associated with gay women mans that all residents of the island are suffering from psychological 'rape'. It is only if you think lesbianism is an evil, deranged, poisoned, warped way of life. But surely in the Euro zone, we don't feel that being called 'gay' when we're not is something so terrible that we will be rendered insane.

And fellow El Reg posters -- wouldn't it be wise to assuem that lesbians are amongst you? Would you say some of these posted words to the face of a lesbian colleague?

Men could have kids with chimpanzees - gov must act


Disestablishment - NOW

Why are we allowing these professional religionists space to spout their weird fears? If we listened to the lot of them, we'd have no blood transfusions, innoculations and all the other things the Church and churches have railed against over time.

Given the current situation with the head religionist of Wales (I suspect we'll be asked to 'judge not lest ye be judged') scr*wing around, best that the Church looks to sort out the beam in its own eye before it froths at the mouth over an imaginary mote in science's.

Mel Gibson to star in Edge of Darkness


and the final shoot-out?

Mel in his undershirt with an Uzi in each hand and a headband around his greying locks?

But how can he get that final feel-good, family-reunited moment in this particular story line? Does he team up with an attractive widow with an adorable young son???

Linux guru Hans Reiser convicted of first-degree murder


circumstantial vs...

Eye witness. Very few murderers are convicted by eye-witness evidence.

Amateur murders are usually the most brutal, as it is actually quite hard to kill someone, and there is blood and screaming and agony involved, and your first-timers (as opposed to hit-men) tend to need to use rage to complete the job, meaning excess brutality (ie if the killing weren't bad enough).

The taboo against killing is so strong in humans that armies ahve to semi-brainwash recruits to get them to the killing point. Studies from WWII showed that about 1 in 3 soldiers were ever firing at any time, the others being 'frozen' for periods of a few seconds to a few minutes.

So this murder is nothing to joke about, but the loss of a human being, a mother of two children, for some reason that was not worth a life.

Boffins ponder 100-year archive made of TOMES


better than papyrus

Papyrus isn't too bad, but parchment is even better. I did my thesis based on data from a set of medieval manuscripts and the text was as clear and clean as if it had been written in 1980, not 1180. All you needed to know was Latin.

Sometimes solutions can be too clever.

Welsh student exposed to nude webcam operators


blame her

I was waiting for someone to say 'she must be doing this because she's ugly'. I wonder why this sort of comment is made? If she were a stunner, would she have no objection? If she was gorgeous, she would be happy that the jobs women are offered include semi-soft porn? That all women, if they only had the looks, would leap at the chance to do a demeaning job?

Men, when they are looking for jobs, don't expect to see stuff that is just a few steps away from rent boy, and yet that sort of role is acceptable to be in the range of opportunities open to women.

'Virtual strip search' arrives at JFK and LAX


can't see through skin

I don't want to get down to anatomical details, but anyone who has read the Modesty Blaise novel 'Last Day in Limbo' knows that a woman could still smuggle aboard a weapon of, well, about 8 inches long, even when scanned by the Pervinator.

Gentlemen could do something similar if they were willing to walk gingerly for The Cause.

Friends Reunited killer gets life


get over it

When people walk from the marriage, it's over; they don't belong to you. Sad fokks, but not as sad as actual or intended murder.

YouTube divorce rant vid wows the crowd


divorce drives people crazy. so does money

And together, it's a lethal combination leading to excruciatingly embarrassing online videos that you will spend the rest of your life regretting.

But the misogynist comments above explain why women get so mental. Many marriage amongst the rich are a deal: you look good and give sex on demand, and I will support you. That kind of marriage, and sadly many marriages, are based on that. It is prostitution, and men, being the johns, hold the power.

There are some marriages that are not that, but are unions of two minds, two hearts. Lucky are those who have this. Sad and degrading for all those married people who don't.

Fake subpoenas harpoon 2,100 corporate fat cats


20 watt bulbs

My company gets a regular spam from a purported domain registrar in China who 'has received requests for domain nmes using our company name (trademarked)', and they are courteously notifiying us so that we can buy them first.

The fact that the sender's name is 'Greg' (no surname) and there are all sorted of basic grammar mistakes would, one hopes, have clued in the recipients that this is a scam. But no. Every week I get panicked emails, often from very senior people, including our in-house lawyers, asking me what they should do about this. I now have a pre-written bit of text that I copy and paste into my emails in reply to say, in summary, 'don't worry yourself about this'.

It appears that if it is in an email or on a website and doesn't explicitly say == we are trying to rob you == , people take it as gospel. I so need to find myself a black hat. Untold wealth!!!

Penguin goes electronic


What's more eco-friendly?

More 'green': the paperback book which, once manufactured, can last a hundred years (I have a paperbound book printed 1919), needs no further electrical input or holding device, or a digital book, for which I have to buy a reader, which has many rare and toxic chemicals in it, and which needs constant recharging, and which will eventually be obsolete and need replacing with a new device?

There is a reason the Moog synth didn't replace the orchestra, though it has a minor role elsewhere. There's a reason the digital book will follow the same path.

Wii can conduct an orchestra too


megalomaniacs everywhere: rejoice!

Make mine Brahms' 4th Symphony. The power, the power!!

World wants small, cheap PCs, say makers of small, cheap PCs


babe and box

The eee box looks good to me. Time to enter the world of Linux.

As for the model: she spent an hour at most on the photoshoot and she does not think about it ever again, or the audience for it. She gets no buzz out of the thought that she's seen millions of times. The one professional model I know is glad that people think that women sell technical goods, because she makes a decent living.

Billy Bragg: Why should songwriters starve so others get rich?


Music is not fodder; music is not publicity

As A.C. says, copyright theft is not like ripping off someone's TV from their house. Writing songs, writing books and poems, painting or making an art video, creates more than just a thing. Copyright came about because it was thought that 'ideas' 'words' 'tunes' weren't able to be stolen, only copied, but that this was still a loss.

To lose ownership of one's creations negates and cuts into your creativity.

In my personal ife, I am a novelist and writer. I had one of my online 'how to write' columns blatantly plagarised by another (and more well known) writer on her own website. The damage was just not passing off my work as hers, but a visceral blow, a loss of myself, in a way that is hard to describe. I can only offer to the world my creativity for their delight (I hope) and I don't do this selflessly: I want to be credited, and I would really like to be paid for it. You pay the baker to feed your body, but a musician (and a writer and a poet and an artist) feeds the soul. Just because the tune is an intangible doesn't mean the musician should enrich your life for nothing in return.

When I see website owners insisting that they are giving the musician publicity, I wonder why they think publicity is the musician's goal. The musician wants to be heard and to get a reward. It's not to be 'known' that they record, it's to get people to listen to their music.

But when your life is transformed, even if only for a while, by a magical song, why do you decide that the artist is willing to do this for free for you? That we live on your love alone? I know musicians and writers who were brilliant but crushed by the system. Their potential gifts to the world will now never be. The RIAA is not their friend, but VCs and website owners and those who want to diss The Man are not their friends either.

Courts slam Blair's 'abject surrender' to Saudi prince


workers of Britain: just say no

I remember a couple of decades ago when it was revealed that certain British companies manufactured torture equipment and restraint devices considered illegal in this and most countries. The justification for not letting the protesters close them down was that 'jobs would be lost'. About 200 or 400, I think.

I couldn't see why we should want to support in jobs the sort of person who would knowingly take a job manufacturing torture equipment. I hope I would starve on the dole or clean floors before I would do such a thing, and I have been poor and desperate in my life.

Is it not the same with BAe? Do we want to support these jobs? How much wealth do these jobs create for the nation, as opposed to the executives at BAe? Is it worth it?

How BA handles lost luggage complaints: Shock picture


shocked. Shocked.

Finally this iniquity has been captured on camera. El Reg, you have broken a news story of national importance, and I expect to see this shocking and disturbing image on all the newspapers' front pages this evening and tomorrow. I salute your journalistic integrity.

Hutton: UK must become world No 1 in nuclear power


75,000 years

What politician our businessman cares about what happens 100 years after his death? As long as he gets into the Dictionary of National Biography, the fact that his great great grandchildren will be reading it with their three eyes is no concern of his.

MPs: Axe Nimrod subhunters to balance MoD budget


Totally for binning

The fewer toys we have, the less the temptation to help out our good buddy George. I'd rather have fewer £292m planes and more telescopes.

DIY satellite TV installer shoots wife dead


'Under the impression'

That's all the safety checks he made? Relied on his impression that all his loved ones were safe? Didn't think to, oh, call out and say 'honey, I'm just about to shoot a gun through the wall'. Or peek outside to see if loved ones or even neighbours weren't strolling about.

So someone is dead, because he didn't take two seconds to check. Throw him in jail, because we don't need idiots walking around our streets.

Mobile snap murderer jailed for life


the good thing about cutting off hands and hanging people...

... is that it stops crime. The first time they hanged a man on Tyburn, murder stopped. The first time they branded a man for theft, not only did he stop stealing, but every other thief stopped, both in that generation and forevermore. Brilliant deterence!

Oh, what, you mean that murder and theft and other crimes carried on, in the face of disablement, torture, transportation, and death sentences?

Could that be the lesson of history?


Civil Serf blogger faces disciplinary action


Why can't she be protected by the whistleblower legislation?

Sounds to me as if she was lifting the lid on fraud, corruption and incompetence. Give her a medal.

Religious MPs get free vote on hybrid embryos


Funny the ground on which they decide to plant their flag

Medical science used bits of animals all the time. An empty egg 'shell' from a non-human is about as disturbing as using non-human insulin sources, etc. But this is where the Church decided to make a stand.

It would be nice if they made a stand on child abuse, poverty, war, the dumping of unsafe medicine on the Third World, etc., and pushed it with all the power and fury they are giving to opposing this bill. But no. Last time they made a big fuss was over gay adoption, and then the Government rightly said: if you don't like it, don't get involved in it, and the Church, which (IMHO) had hoped to spearhead a salient into the halls of power on this platform, had to slink away, defeated.

But now they have this new topic. 'Heal the sick' is never on their agenda, the 'purity' of human cells (because, after all, we are not animals like every other Vertebrata) is more sacred than kids getting lousy educations in schools where they are knifed by gangs, to choose one outrage out of so many.

Every time we allow those who oppose a general good to society, such as healing certain diseases through medical research and techniques, we give them power over us, and next time it is a little easier, and finally you are living in the USA.

Awed fraudsters defeated by UK's passport interviews



Why is he not obviously your partner? Can we detect heterosexuality from your sig?

But I agree with your point. I had a neighbour who had to drag herself for an interview and said it was a waste of time; they only wanted to see her guarantor's letter and clearly made no attempt to see if this person was legit.

Germany to Nokia: Give us back our subsidies


Carolina and Dell

I believe it was the state of South Carolina who gave Dell huge tax cuts, subsidies, free land, free lunches, the population's first-born children unto the tenth generation, only to find that Dell did not create enough jobs, the jobs were all so low-wage (a la Walmart) that the state had to cover health and so on, and Dell might even have closed the factory in the end.

If you have to pay people to like you, you will never have friends.

Plastic bag campaign falls apart at the seams


bags in unusual places

I have never seen sea life killed by plastic bags, but I have seen huge 'sargassos' of dead fish, dolphins, chunks of packing foam, seaweed and other crud wrapped in bright fishing nets floating in the sea between Hong Kong and Macau, as they drifted to shore and so came close to human traffic and the human eye. I wondered how many of these floating islands of rot were out beyond the horizon.

I have crossed the Gobi desert and seen, smashed up again the fences that protect the roads and the railway lines, hundreds and hundreds of plastic bags and plastic water bottles, stretching along the fences for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Human habitation was about 500 miles or more apart. This stuff either came from trucks, cars and trains, or had been blowing for thousands of miles to end up against these fences.

The aggregate result of being idle, of chucking stuff away without thought, of not caring about the impact of our actions, came home to me in these two distant places, because it was new and different. Nothing is so invisible as the landfill and litter and sea garbage we choose not to see in our own back yards.

When the music costs nothing, why do freetards prefer to leech?


Special rebels

The freeloaders (lit. and fig.) feel they are Special and deserve to have those things free that peons and those in ruts dutifully pay for, and they also feel that they are sticking it to The Man whenever they do something naughty like stealing.

Same mentality as those who help themselves to free TVs when natural disasters strike. And just as attractive.

Wife rings up £11,000 downloading bill


so if it has been his teenage son?

If the man had given acces to his WORK laptop to his teenage son, and said son thought it was fine to download TV shows, and then Dad was caught by a big bill, does that prove all teenage boys should not be allowed to use computers? And that they should make the tea and give dad some unwilling sex?

Just wondering why the OWNER of the laptop is not somehow wholly responsible.

Iowa man sacked for demanding prostitute


this is a reward?

A casino in IOWA? Hoo-whoooo.

Before I am accused of being anti-Iowan, my reaction would have been the same if it had been in Saskatchewan. Some places just don't have 'sin city' stamped all over them.

US declares 1400-mile Pacific sat-shoot exclusion zone


a good day to bury bad news

And while everyone is observing the exclusion zone, the US can:

1. bury a shed-load of nuclear waste ont he ocean floor

2. test a nuclear device

3. try out that poison that is supposed to work on all life forms

4. depth-sink those videos of CIA torture sessions

'Suspicious comment' provokes LAX terminal evacuation


what was that motto again?

'Land of the free and the home of the brave'?

Now, land of the free and home of the weenies, or more accurately, land of the self-suppressed and home of the we-jump-when-a-canary-says-boo.

I live in London and was here during the busy IRA time in the 80s. There was a real bomb in the tube station just below my building. We were told to stay away from the plate glass windows, and that was that.

The former stoic courage and plegmatic calm of the British was always admirable. I'm sorry that we now see a rise in the flap-doodle, let's-make-everything-a-drama mentality, presumably shipped over from the States.

Forth Bridge painters to down brushes in 2012


and in 2013...

...the pristine condition starts to deteriorate until the Forth Bridge is so rusted and dangerous that it's condemned and removed. Interesting solution.

Invisible-shed spy beam tech detects hidden artworks



The word has a long an honourable history stretching back about 60 years, i.e. from WWII.

And if the problem is that it is 'made up', then whither 'internet' and 'intranet'?

Ton-up electric Reliant Robin offered for '09


What's a car for?

The people I know who drive cars are folks with kids to get to school and back, people who live out in the country, those whose work is in the countryside (farmer, builder, etc.) and salespeople.

What part of a slick three-wheeler works for them? Where is the boot for huge bags of shopping? Where are the seats for kids, relatives, sick lambs, building gear?

Fun little leccy cars are all very well for urban gadgeteers, but if you want the big gas guzzlers/people movers/lorries to stop polluting, you have to give them a powerful electric equivalent, and I don't see such a thing even on the horizon.

Physicists go nuclear with online protest at funding cuts


Didn't I remember something about funding the future?

I recall the Government committing themselves to science because the future lay with technology derived from science. And that bit about being a world leader is scientific culture...

So you close off the tools scientists need to work, which leaves them without grad students, who head elsewhere, which means science departments close down, which means no science undergraduates, which means no science.

All the physics students will head to the USA or France or India or anywhere that respects what they do, and we will have an ocean of media studies graduates.

And then the Government will stop supporting UK film.

Brits can't distinguish history from the TV listings

Dead Vulture

And these are the people...

That a Nobel prize winner thought should be 'told the plain facts' of research into climate change so that they could 'make their own minds up', based on a conscientious and thoughtful study of the scientific findings.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

The dead vulture because I want to die.

UK withdraws from Gemini telescope programme


saving money for a more glorious future

The budget cutters say the saving is good because it is "...preserving the highest priority programmes and providing headroom to pursue the next generation of scientific opportunities..."

And as the last astronomer in the UK turns off the light and closes the door, with a suitcase in hand and bound for Canada or indeed any country where science is valued, where is the next generation of anybody or anything going to come from?