* Posts by Cheese

29 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Oct 2007

Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit


Gene pool

...and she has passed on her genes at least four times!

Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE


Re: What will the police do with the images they collect?

If we are being pedantic, then you're a bit out of date. Since 1983 (most) British nationals have been citizens (rather than subjects). Check your passport!

Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command


Money Earner

Maybe they can get the contract for the car disabling kit:


'Huawei partner' tried to sell US tech to Iran



Iran is not an Arab state (repressive or otherwise).

Mozilla to auto-block unwanted Firefox add-ons


Addon Stuff

RE: Needs locked down

Toggle xpinstall.enabled to false in about:config.

To prevent users from re-enabling it, read the following article about locking the config file:


RE: About time

Can't you just delete the Kaspersky addons from the global add-on folder?

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extension

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade


Thames freezing

I wish people would stop using the 'Thames freezing' red herring.

This has more to do with tidal reach than solar changes. The old London Bridge acted more like a leaky dam (than the bridge it was supposed to be), meaning that on its non-seaward side the Thames was effectively non-tidal (so prone to some stable freezing).

Once the bridge was demolished in the early 1800s, the frost fairs came to an end (the last freeze being in 1813/14). Indeed, many such freezing events were recorded during the Medieval Warm Period (that preceded the Maunder Minimum).

A more recent example of the tidal/non-tidal divide could be seen during the harsh winter of 1963/64. The Thames froze as far as Teddington; the limit of tidal influence.

You weaken your main argument by using factually incorrect supporting statements. That's a shame, because solar variability is an interesting topic (in the context of climate variability).

I realise that you like to trumpet the "it's an IPCC conspiracy to steal taxpayers money" viewpoint, but the mainstream science community does actually look into such things. If you toned down the red-rage a few notches, then you might even find a few papers to add weight to your thesis. e.g., from that supposed IPCC lackey Science:

Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum, Drew T. Shindell, et al. Science 294, 2149 (2001)

Small changes in solar irradiance lead to small changes in global temperatures BUT larger regional cooling (i.e. 1-2C cooling over the NH). It uses climate models, which I realise will start the rage off again...but there is some straight observed temp/solar proxy regression analysis too.

Apple iCloud: Steve Jobs' own private internet



“We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device – just like an iPad"

Perhaps that will be the case with Macs; luckily Jobs doesn't get to control the general PC market. Thinclients have their place, but does he not realise that some people actually use their computers to .... well compute.

Is this really a return the dumb terminal/mainframe paradigm ... but with a web2.0 gloss? I'm actually interested in peoples views here, as I'm sure that I'm missing something obvious. Cloud computing seems to be mainframe computing plus a lot of network latency effects.

New 'liquid smart metal' can go hard or floppy


Electrorheological fluid

That's what you need for your clutch! I'm pretty sure Tomorrow's World were of the opinion that we'd all be using such 'smart fluids' by now.

Dear Ubuntu: The netbook is toast


RE: Unity

...and to reply to my own post. I didn't mean to sound disparaging towards netbooks ... I'm just fed up with trying to report Unity bugs, only to find out that they are features.


I'm thinking specifically of not being able to reposition the launcher. Mark Shuttleworth says no.

On my system this has the amusing affect of positioning the launcher on the left of my main screen. With my secondary screen to the left, this means that the launcher is in the middle of my combined screen space. To top it all, if I set the launcher to auto-hide, I have to move the cursor all the way over to the left of my secondary screen. I assume this is a bug, and not a feature, but I'm not convinced ;-)

Sorry for the rant




"Canonical now has the Unity interface, which positions the company for the mobile world. It's well done and cool."

Which it is now pushing onto desktop users. Having a multi-screen, multiple-core system act like a toy netbook is great fun.

Gov gone wild: Mad new pub glasses, bread freedom introduced



Carling? That would be Canadian then.

Blighty's stealth robojet rolls out a year late


Re: C17 / Airstrips

Thanks for the sarcasm...I had a specific question as to what you defined to be a "real, heavy aircraft runway".

You seem to imply that flat sea-ice is fine...as is compacted snow...but not flat desert?! Strangely, a quick search on Google comes up with plenty of video clips of the latter.


Re: The Problem With Merkin Weaponry

"C-17: Only useful for real, heavy aircraft runways. "

Not sure what defines such a runway, but the C-17s don't seem to have had many problems landing on the ice (the times I've been in Antarctica). Damn site faster getter there too...when compared to the C130s.

Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses

Black Helicopters


Doesn't anyone else randomize their laptop MAC address when using WiFi hotspots? Or is that just me being paranoid?

I don't have a wireless home base station to worry about.

US X-37B robot minishuttle: 'Secret space warplane'?


Scooping up a target

Wasn't this the theme to an old James Bond movie?

Is Ernst Stavro Blofeld secretly building a X37 launch site inside an old volcano?

Google's Schmidt pitches Chrome OS netbooks



Well I guess so...for a billionaire.

If you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, his wording could be viewed as a referrence to the cloud nature of storage (rather than the financial cost). If you lose the thing, no data is lost: just buy a new device from the local supermarket and plug back into your cloud of apps and data.

Flat-pack plug designer wins top award



It's not just a case of changing the plugs. The reason they are so clunky is that they need to be individually fused...as UK homes normally use a "ring main" electrical supply setup. The main breaker is set to the maximum current for the ring (so this be could be > 30A ).

It all goes back to the UK being blown to s*#t in WWII...and not having much copper for wiring in the rebuild.

Silicon Valley hypegasm for miracle shoebox powerplants

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@Lewis Page: Starvation?

I think you have been reading too many tabloid newspapers Mr Page.

90% of corn production is for use in animal feed, and ethanol production doesn't even remove this product from the market place.

Ethanol is produced using only the corn kernel's starch, and what you have left with is 'distiller grain'. This, in turn, is a highly concentrated protein/nutrient rich food that animals are happy to chomp on.

Sony reveals slim PS3, drops price

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Feature Loss

They have removed the option to install Linux. As my PS3 is only used as a (novel) test-bed for cell-processor scientific programming, the new model is of no interest (I realise that I am in the minority here). This is a repeat of what they did with the PS2. Bugger.

DNA database swells despite human rights ruling


@Alex D

If we take your argument to its extreme logical conclusion...then we end up at the philosophy of Judge Death (from the comic 2000AD): since all crime is committed by the living, life itself is a crime.

"The crime is life, the sentence is death!"

Mine is the one next to the cannister of Boing!

Mystic Met Office predicts neighbourhood Thermageddon


@Chief sub

If you have a problem with the word "probabilistic" then I suggest you consult the OED (not normally an organ of Newspeak). People seem to be quite happy dealing with probabilities when they concern betting odds...what's the difference?

I'd have thought that presenting data with appropriate error bars and uncertainties is an appropriate response to the radicalized (political) language you mention previously. For example, the newest IPCC estimates for cloud feedback on climate range from the negative to the positive...the average being positive. By using probability, the range of uncertainty (betting odds) is shown. You seem to want a deterministic values i.e. the mean or median (the favourite is always going to win in the horse race).


@cornz 1

Of course you're either purposely or mistakenly confusing climate with weather (or signal with noise).

I'm sure most people would be reasonable accurate at predicting their salary for the next year (with different scenarios indicating cut-in-hours/no-raise/medium-raise etc). Making a prediction of their day-to-day incidental expenses would be somewhat harder.

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@Dave Colborne, Charles Manning et al

Thanks for those balanced, insightful, scientific contributions. I'm sure we've all benefited.



"down to a 25km square. You can enter your postcode and find out how your street will be affected by global warming in 2040 or 2080."

No, you can obtain a probabilistic forecast of the mean (monthly/seasonal) climate conditions within that 25km square. The results are available for different emission scenarios, and each has a high level of uncertainty. As others have mentioned, this is a downscaling exercise from the results of lower resolution climate runs (using either statistical techniques or via nested regional models)....downscaled from something like this:


Even the relatively low resolution (3.75deg x 2.5deg) hadcm2/hadcm3 runs provide some measure of UK regional variability...the newer hadGEM is twice this resolution. This will give some indication of the impacts of large scale climatic factors (e.g., general hemispheric warming, changes in the Arctic Oscillation). The downscaling attempts to account for localized forcing/feedbacks (e.g., topography, land use).

NZ cops claim 'first Facebook arrest' of bungling safe-cracker

Paris Hilton

TV News

I'm sure that the TV news services showing the CCTV footage (not just a still) and taking the piss out of the guy probably had something to do with it; he had the balaclava down at first, but pulled it up when he, supposedly, started getting a bit toasty.

Paris, because she also likes peeling off in front of a camera.

Gov backs campaign to save Scott's Antarctic hut


Cruise-ship punters

Maybe they could get some of those cruise-ship visitors to throw a few dollars in the bucket!

They seem to helicopter enough of them in from the ice edge

Press proves immune to FBI's anthrax corrective


Re: Silicon/Silica

Umm...because one is an oxide of the other? i.e. Silica is a common term for silicon dioxide.

I assume the spores sequester silicon from the environment...stored as an oxide.

'Facebook fatigue' kicks in as people tire of social networks


@Guy - Account deletion

Clear your account out, and then email Facebook support. On request, they deleted my account withing a couple of days.

Student taser victim spared electric chair



"The subjects hands were not visible during this entire fiasco"

They seemed to be very visible...was the book he was holding deemed to be a possible weapon? Paper cuts can be pretty nasty.