* Posts by Chris G

5119 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007

Bratty Uber throws tantrum, threatens to cut off California unless judge does what it says in driver labor rights row

Chris G Silver badge

@A Non e-mouse

That is an excellent read, it looks as though British law has the measure of Uber too, particularly with the Duck Test.

Let's face it, they provide the client to the driver, they are the collectors of the fare and they subsequently pay the driver, sounds like an employer to me.

I have worked as a mini-cab driver in the '80s, in those days a driver would rent a radio from a company (£40 a week) and pick up fares who had called in to the office for a ride, the fare paid the driver who was self employed and paid his own way with regard to insurance, car maintenance etc.

Where Uber falls down is they want to handle the money first and dole it out to the drivers and have control, if they have control they are the employer, if instead they just sold a subscription to the app for a fixed period ( in a similar way to renting a radio) so that drivers and rides can connect, they would have far less overhead and would not be an employer in any way. Might still have to pay VAT in the UK though.

UK.gov to propose new rules for online political campaigns after last election marred by an avalanche of fake news

Chris G Silver badge

Re: So in comes nudge political advertising

You think that isn't being done already? Even many of the comments in these columns could come into that class of political steering, it depends on the reader and their own leanings as to how effective or not such things are.

Re this; "In addition to imprints, the ERS said the UK's "broken" party funding system, and too little transparency over Lords' financial and lobbying interests were other issues that need to be addressed."

Funding in general and favourable financial consideration at all levels needs to be more transparent, how to actually achieve it though will be complex and difficult.

Not only the Lords financial and lobbying interests but those of many political appointment such as those who become heads of for instance the NHS or other parts of the government should be under similar scrutiny, considering they are targeted by business and lobbyists and seem quite often to go on to work for those they have concluded deals with.

What are you gonna do? Give me detention? Illinois schools ban pyjamas in online classes

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Mighty Maxim

@ Jake

20 years ago I lived just up the road in Nevada City, I remember that logo but not the bar, although being in the Gold Country, I suppose that logo in one form or another was everywhere.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: So long as it's not mixed thread...

I stopped going to school when I was fourteen, in the mid sixties. It was a good school but I was bored, didn't like wearing a uniform and tired of being berated for having long hair ( three of us were given red ribbons to wear if we didn't get a hair cut, this in an all boys school. I wore mine and it really annoyed the teachers.)

Instead of GCEs, I waited until I was 35 then got a degree because I was interested and that has always been my beef with schooling, rote lessons taught the same way year in, year out without any effort made to explain why they are teaching you e.g. differential equations and what they are for etc.

I could go on but I'm uneducated.............

Rocket Lab to bounce back from July's orbital fail with bulging payloads and parachuting Electrons

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Don't go to space til we sort out Earth

Going into space actually gives us a far more accurate idea of what we are doing to this planet as well as providing the data that can help to devise mitigations to what we have done and are doing to the planet.

It would be far more helpful if everyone understood the materials used in everything we buy and the potential consequences for the environment and then either simply not buying anything that is detrimental or actively lobbying for alternatives that are not detrimental as well as doing as much as possible to recycle all that can be.

UK lockdown easing heralds the return of burgers... and bork

Chris G Silver badge

Re: clown-based fast-food

It's made from clowns?

That would account for that sort of grease paint flavour, I hope the clowns are ethically farmed.

Chris G Silver badge

Eat out to help out?

This would be an initiative from the same government that has concerns that the health service may soon be overwhelmed by obese diabetics?.

The larger burger flinging chains don't need sny help, it's the smaller establishments that really need the help.

I discovered a new thing about the Happy meal plastic tat the other day, apparently some of it is collectable and there are people who will part with actual money to acquire some pieces.

Uncle Sam says it's perfecting autonomous AI-powered drone, vehicle swarms to 'dominate' battlefields

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Next step: anti-drones drones

I am a fan of the whiff of grape shot but I suspect anyone developing autonomous weapons would also be thinking about defending against that same weapon.

I am guessing here but I would imagine one of the simplest defences to autonomous swarms would be directed EMP, I remember reading papers regarding non nuclear EMP weapons a good ten years ago and functioning weapons being close then.

I just found something called Thor, supposedly a hand held microwave emitter that works in 360 degrees and will apparently take a handful of UAVs at a time.

Failing that, rocket powered bird nets could be handy.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Cool!

Particularly when the 'pigeons' are shooting back at you.

Possibly from several directions at once, you know, like being swarmed.

Chris G Silver badge

Maybe it's time to look at some of the creations of that great aerial innovator Dick Dastardly.

The large flying fly swatter comes to mind.

Otherwise, perhaps these swarms could be countered with other swarms, of smaller cheap suicide drones that can fly into the attackers and disable them.

Either way hierarchical, autonomous swarms of weapons are not going to end well.

We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

Chris G Silver badge

Re: The truth...

SShhhh! The loonies will hear you!

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Coming soon

And millions will think it's a cool way to shop!

India connects submarine cable to islands where some still live in the stone age

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Speck of land....

Sounds like several of the local pubs in Southeast London when I lived there.

Ancestry.com: Let arbitrator decide on auto-enrolling membership lawsuit

Chris G Silver badge

There literally should be a law against auto-renewal.

I always check for it in any paid for service, a lot of insurance companies play that game in Spain.

If you want to change companies you need to send a dead tree letter at least 2 weeks before the renewal date, it has to be worded in a particular way (and they have to receive and read it in time).

If they have taken the money out already if you do it soon enough you can get your Spanish bank to rescind the payment and block further demands, that often leads to letters from a collection agency.

My wife has had the problem twice with different companies.

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

Chris G Silver badge

Re: "Roughneck Dolly" from Wickes. Which is not a sex toy,

"Anything is a sex toy"

Good luck with that Taser and lubed cattle prod!

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Brace yourselves for some wheely bad puns in the comments

Wheel never tire of making shiny things for our fans to buy.

Depending on which side of the pond you are Harbor Freight or B&Q sell those nice little furniture moving platforms for less than twenty smackeroonies.

Search for 'things of value' in a bank: Iowa cops allege this bloke broke into one and decided on ... hand sanitiser

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Hand sanitizer chasers

I was going to make a similar comment but on thinking about it, it's rather sad that anyone should be so desperate for a hit that they would drink hand sanitiser.

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

Chris G Silver badge

Re: It sometimes works the other way

@Doctor Syntax

That has become the standard for the majority of customer service departments the World over.

I think bean counters have realised the cost of actually serving a customer after a sale and have devised the cheapest way of appearing to care without actually having to do much. Most customers lose the will to live fairly rapidly with these systems and just go and buy a new thing.

Success for consumerism!

Chris G Silver badge

Correlation does not equal cause

It's the standard mistake for the ignorant that just because X was fixing their PC/printer/washing machine/car/drains etc, that the next thing to go wrong whether related in any way or not, is X's fault because they 'did something'.

I bet there isn't an engineer, mechanic or other tradesperson who hasn't at some time been blamed by an idiot for the consequences of their own idiocy.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

Chris G Silver badge


Remembering the car thrashing clip, wasn't it a standard rose that Basil used to thrash his car with?

Which begs the question, what is a standard rose and by whose standards is that determined?

Trump administration labels WeChat, TikTok ‘threats’ to national security, bans transactions with both

Chris G Silver badge

Re: The DeathStar analogy is apt...

Darth Vader?

More like Daft Bleeder.

His political manoeuvres are even less subtle, he is more a fan of Piranha Brothers tactics but without the sarcasm. Probably because he can't spell it.

Think carefully about cyber insurance, says NCSC. But don't worry about buying off ransomware crooks

Chris G Silver badge

Basket cases

Insurers, accountants and lawyer mostly all belong in the same basket.

Prefably hanging on a long rope and hanging over a hell mouth.

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Ha!

Considering the number of articles in these pages in recent times, reporting on criticism of Google for not exercising enough vigilance on the Play Store content, I assumed the author of the piece had his tongue firmly in his cheek as he wrote.

Chris G Silver badge

While he is worrying about other people's human rights record, perhaps Mr Pompeo could consider addressing the 49 million food insecure homes in the US (that means they are too poor to eat well Mr Pompeo) or the 16.1 million US children living in poverty. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of Americans used for slave labour in privately owned and run American prisons.

Then of course there are countries like Iraq, Libya Afghanistan etc where thousands of civilians have died in the interest of US politics,......

China re-shapes its silicon industry to boost production

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Ya know that silicone superiority y'all thought you had...

Silicone is the stuff you use to waterproof around your bath or shower or make bigger boobies with, silicon on the other hand is the element used in electronics.

Thinking about it though, the highly synthetic nature of silicone means you were probably right.

Chris G Silver badge

Cue tantrums of 'unfair competition from Chinese State subsidised companies', from the usual quarters.

Backing China into a corner and forcing/encouraging it to become more self sufficient will make it more difficult to compete with them and will make recources like rare earths more more expensive and harder to obtain simply because they are being used in China.

The results are in: Science says the Solar System's magnetic heliosphere looks like a deflated croissant

Chris G Silver badge

The thing with croissants

Is, are they made with butter or margarine?

If the latter, it's not a croissant, ask any Frenchman.

I am guessing, since the observations so far have not been the result of a dedicated craft/study that the shape derived from the computer simulation is likely to change as more and better data becomes available.

Or is the irregular shape due to the current configuration of the planets?

TikTok to splurge €420m on Ireland data centre to get Euro-data into Europe by 2022

Chris G Silver badge

If I were inclined to video blog, I would far sooner do it on Tik Tok than Instagram or YouTube.

Instagram is part of FB, nuff said and You Tube get stranger by the day in the way they treat the creators of their content.

NSA warns that mobile device location services constantly compromise snoops and soldiers

Chris G Silver badge

This, coming from the people who want all of that location and tracking data on the rest of us because, they are apparently the good guys and the rest of us are not.

They say the tooth will set you free... so Brit dentist trade union tells members: 'Bad news – we've been hacked'

Chris G Silver badge

Clearly they need to drill their staff and fill the gaps in their online hygiene.

European Commission: Full-scale probe launched into data-slurping potential of Google's $2.1bn Fitbit buy

Chris G Silver badge

Re: “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads”

Absolutely! Google's business is to profit from the data it acquires, ultimately it will monetise that data and most likey to the detriment of the original providers and owners of that data.

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

It doesn't seem that many people understand why wearing a mask is helpful; a mask will not protect you completely from becoming infected with covid if exposed to it but what it does help with enormously is to reduce your ability to spread it if you are in any way a carrier.

If you are wearing a mask correctly even if it is only a hanky tied around your face, if you sneeze or cough it contains the droplets and prevents spread, add to that the other aspects of basic hygiene like hand cleansers and avoiding proximity and/or contact and you have a significantly reduced spread.

Where I live in Spain (Valencia region) the lockdown has finished but we all take public hygiene and mask wearing seriously, I am not too sure what led to the resurgence in Barcelona and Madrid but it seems likely that everyone relaxed too much too soon.

On a side note: Vitamin D is important regarding resistance to covid as vitamin D binds to the A2 receptors on cells, the same receptors that are targeted by the corona virus so although it wont prevent infection entirely, sufficient D will help to reduce viral load and replication.

That's according to research articles I have read on US and other research; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5aCePGyOgg

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Pilot training

I am inclined to think that type approval and recertification is what should have been persued by the FAA but they are undoubtedly under pressure from Boeing, the US government and presumably the larger Boeing shareholders, to go for the cheapest option that sounds as though they are doing their job.

Time will tell if they went far enough, assuming the max is going to rise phoenix like into the air again, it will be flying without me that's for sure.

Trump bans Feds from contracting H-1B workers and makes telehealth the new normal

Chris G Silver badge

We are talking about the ' Del boy' of US presidents, he likes to show off about what he considers a good deal he has pulled off.

If he could, he would pull out a large wad of cash to show how well he did out of each deal.

The guy is a barrow boy.

Days after President Trump suggests pausing election over security, US House passes $500m for states to shore up election security

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Its too late now

You may like to check out Greg Palast's thoughts on the subject.


Struggling company pleads with landlords to slash rents as COVID-19 batters UK high street. The firm's name? Apple

Chris G Silver badge

We should all pull together

In these dark and difficult times we should be caring about and helping each other.

To that end I suggest we start a Go Fund Me account and all contribute a little something to help Apple out in its time of need.

I have some old roubles and pesetas I am willing to throw in, anybody else?

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

Chris G Silver badge


It is called ' The Art Of The Deal'™

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Chris G Silver badge

Re: force manufacturers to reveal device lifespans

A better legislation would be to enforce a minimum guaranteed lifetime with support, particularly for consumer level products as the buyer is really only interested in buying an item and switching it on. Expecting the average consumer to keep up with security and continuing updates when most of them don't really understand how their electric kettle works, is asking a lot.

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Not really new

Looks like a good reason to have an old fashioned thermostat that prevents the software from allowing the the operating temperature to go beyond a certain threshold.

Too much equipment relies on software for safety critical systems without physical redundancy, some scrote hundreds or thousands of miles away can't hack a physical thermostat.

Voyager 1 cracks yet another barrier: Now 150 Astronomical Units from Sol

Chris G Silver badge

Re: They don't build them like they used to

There was a time when Rolls had that attitude, John Dodd of Merlin engined Roller fame was the engineer of choice for my father when he had gearbox problems with his Rover Coupe.

The Old man took his car to Dodds workshop only to be told 'I can't do the box for a few days, I have to fly to Brazil'.

John Dodd was an accredited Rolls gearbox engineer, they flew him and another mechanic with a gearbox to Brazil to change a broken one for no charge to the owner for the reason stated.


Chris G Silver badge

Re: Imagination and wishful thinking

Perish the thought that the Vogons should find Voyager, they would probably wipe the disc, record some poetry onto it and send it back to Earth.

(Along with a demolition notice)

Two large flightless birds walk into a bar... The pub's owner was not emused *ba-dum tsh*

Chris G Silver badge

I refuse to believe that an outback Australian used a term like 'toileting' to describe a large scraggy bird taking a dump on his bar floor.

Bootnote: I had an acquaintance who farmed in Kent, he tried farming emus and ostriches for a while, he said the biggest advantages over chickens was the eggs made family sized omelettes and if a fox broke in, it didn't stick around for long!

Virgin Galactic reveals giant mirror feature in cabin design for Beardy Branson's space bus

Chris G Silver badge

Re: It's been so long …

Perhaps for those who have passed on while waiting, Virgin could throw them out of the airlock into a decaying orbit.

I am sure the marketing wonks could come up with a good way to sell it.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: That's as it should be.

Well, I hope they serve a decent champagne, oysters and strawberries on the way up so that the passengers (mugs?) have something reassuringly expensive to chuck over their fellow passengers while freefalling.

Chris G Silver badge

Having just watched the awful marketing speak video, I don't need six minutes of micro gravity to achieve a queasy stomach.

If I was offered a seat for free, I would snap it up but even if I had that kind of money I wouldn't part with the equivalent price of a very nice villa with a pool and orange groves where I live.

It occurs to me that as nice and thoughtful as the interior design is in the Spaceship, it made no mention of sick bags or aerial vomit collection.

'I think the police are here...' Feds reveal Skype, text chats of Canadian trio charged with $8m crypto-coin fraud

Chris G Silver badge

It's nice that although they are Canadian operated in Canada and took money from Canadians as well as Americans and others, that all their assets are forfeit to the US.

Face masks hamper the spread of coronavirus. Know what else they hamper? Facial-recognition systems (except China's)

Chris G Silver badge

The digital masks shown in the article all appear to faithfully replicate the jaw line, real masks rend to deform it in some way so I doubt the study has anything useful to say.

Gone in 15 minutes: Qualcomm claims new chargers will fill your smartmobe in a flash

Chris G Silver badge


Have they addressed the problems of reduced battery capacity and overall lifetime, that are caused by fast charging? (https://www.theregister.com/2019/06/05/liion_battery_scan_charging/)

Or perhaps they don't care if your phone needs replacing sooner because it doesn't have a removable battery and the one it has no longer holds a charge for more than a few minutes.

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Hydrogen is not the answer

The problem is the sheer scale of the brine produced, there is only so much use for sea salt, one small plant could produce enough salt to keep you in chips for decades.

Discharging brine into rivers could have serious longterm effects on the ecology and it's balance, possibly causing irreparable damage.

There is a wealth of research into the problems but still with no real answers, each site needs to have a thorough impact study performed because currents vary with topography and season, some site could possibly handle ten times the effluent compared to a similar looking site.

I have been involved in developing a domestic, solar water treatment system for some years, most of the technical problems to produce a product are surmountable, the effluent is one of the most difficult problems to overcome.

Chris G Silver badge

Hydrogen is not the answer

While on the face of it,solar derived hydrogen cells look like a clean, CO2 free solution, making all that 'clean' hydrogen from abundant, free seawater has other consequences

As is becoming clear with the desalination of seawater the byproduct is concentrated brine, denser than normal seawater, if not disposed of correctly it can sink to the ocean floor and kill off everything there.

If we then add to the effluent from desalination by going industrial with solar powered electrolysis of seawater to produce huge amounts of hydrogen, it will be one more major threat to our already highly threatened oceans.

Particularly those areas close to coastlines.


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