* Posts by Mike Scott

14 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Nov 2007

Fatty French Kilogram needs a new-year diet, say Brit boffins

Mike Scott

By definition, it's not possible for the mass of the reference kilogramme to change. Its mass is always exactly 1.0000000000000000000 kg, even if its physical composition changes and it adds or loses atoms.

Dutch operators: Ugh, we really overdid it on the 4G last night...

Mike Scott


What we need (but won't get) from the UK auction is for there to one fewer licences for incumbent companies than there are incumbent companies, so that they all know that someone will be losing out. That will not only give them an incentive to bid the most they can, it will stop them from extracting the cost from their customers, since there will be at least one company with no 4G licences and no licence costs to bear undercutting them on 2G and 3G services.

Glorious silicon globes could hold key to elusive PERFECT kilogram

Mike Scott


The mass of the standard kilogramme can't possibly be changing. Its mass was 1kg when it was made, and its mass is 1kg now, by definition. The number of atoms in it may be changing, resulting in the definition of 1kg changing over time.

Drupal 7: Sooner or later, but hopefully sooner

Mike Scott

Wrong Numbers

Your numbers don't add up. First, 1% of a trillion is 10 billion, not 1 billion.

Second, if there are really a trillion websites then only one site in a million will be in the top million sites. So if 2% of Drupal sites are in the top million, then that's a *fantastic* result -- a Drupal site is *twenty thousand times* as likely to be in the top million as a site chosen at random.

Sony: PS3 leap year glitch caused network lockout

Mike Scott

No Patch

Seems unlikely there'll be a software patch, given that the problem will presumably not re-occur until 2030.

iPhone upgrades - a one-way control-freak street

Mike Scott

Apps can be reverted

You can revert to an earlier version of an app, though it's a bit fiddly. Instructions here (for Mac users): http://www.ipodobserver.com/ipo/article/emoji_and_downgrading_iphone_apps/

Don't panic over the secret copyright treaty

Mike Scott

No, Panic Now

There are at least two perfectly valid reasons for immediate panic, which you do not address, rather disingenuously.

The first is that it is likely that it will be too late to panic when the provisions of the treaty finally become public, as they will already have been agreed behind closed doors.

The second is that ISPs will (allegedly) be required to "proactively" police copyright, which can only happen if prior restraint is applied to user-supplied content -- a very different situation from being required to respond to individual complaints after the fact, as is the case at present.

You are dangerously complacent.

Cisco settles open source case

Mike Scott

Wrong Again

That's not patent infringement, it's copyright infringement. Patents are not involved.

Screeching rails close London Tube station

Mike Scott

Walk up the road

Bank is less than half a mile from St Paul's, also on the Central line. It may be mildly inconvenient for the Central line platforms to be closed, but it's hardly going to stop anyone from getting home.

First Android phone to retail for $199

Mike Scott

It's even worse

That £110 is the price excluding sales tax, so you need to compare £110 (plus tax) with a UK price for the 3G iPhone of £84.26 (plus VAT).

Welsh student exposed to nude webcam operators

Mike Scott

There *is* something wrong with this

Paying commission for this job is probably illegal. It's indirect sex discrimination, as men are unlikely to earn as much commission as equally skilled and qualified women.

New York lawmakers approve 'Amazon Tax'

Mike Scott

Won't Work

It seems more likely that Amazon will ban affiliates who are located in New York state than that they will start to charge sales tax to New York customers, so the state won't actually make any money but will destroy the businesses of a number of its residents.

BBC calls DRM cops on iPlayer download party

Mike Scott

Change the contracts

It's clearly time for the BBC to rewrite its contracts. Where it pays for the full cost of production, then it should insist on retaining the right to make the content available free of charge to license-payers in perpetuity. Obviously, the situation is more complex where it is only buying one-off broadcast rights that do not cover the full production costs.

Going green is good, but is it secure?

Mike Scott


You say early on in this article "Putting nuclear power to one side for now" -- but you never come back to address it. So what you should have said is "Ignoring nuclear power entirely because it suits my argument to do so".