* Posts by Allen Versfeld

5 posts • joined 3 Dec 2007

Bill Gates offers big bucks for better condoms

Allen Versfeld

Re: Free cpndoms make safer sex??

In South Africa they are free, wrapped in 10-packs in dispensers all over the place: I've seen them in Corporate, university and government toilets. The dispensers are usually empty, though - demand exceeds supply. Which is weird because they're supplied by the state, meaning lowest cost bidder: Inconsistent lubrication (Often only enough to cover the first 5 cm's or so...), and nice thick latex. Given the choice between sex with one of those babies and no sex at all... well it's not an easy choice.

They do make EXCELLENT water balloons, though - easily take 5 litres without bursting!

Fuel taxes don't hurt the world's poor - they don't have cars

Allen Versfeld

Developing countries

Living in a developing country, I can attest that the vast poor majority travel to work by minibus taxi. They're usually unroadworthy, poorly maintained, overloaded and madly driven and (usually) 15+ years old. They probably use quite a lot of fuel. And every time the fuel price goes up, so do the taxi fares.

As a secondary point, most goods are transported by truck. Increased fuel prices thus spill over into pretty much everything you find on a shop shelf - food, clothes, paraffin...

Comparatively rich buggers like me (My house has windows that open, a bathroom, and is divided into these things called "Rooms") can absorb these extra costs. Poor people can't. But at least they don't own cars, the lucky buggers...

Stars say relativity still works

Allen Versfeld

Reply to Full Mental Jacket

Reddening due to absorption by galactic dust is not the same as redshift. Reddening is a filtering effect - blue light is more likely to scatter, red light less so. More of the original red light reaches us than of the original blue light. In this case, information is lost because light of specific wavelengths never reaches us.

But redshift changes the colour of the light, by lengthening its wavelength. The original information is not lost, merely shifted down the spectrum.

South African wireless traffic lights pillaged by SIM-card thieves

Allen Versfeld

Not a lot of money

A few thousand rand is a few hundred pounds. It would be more, except that south african law requires stolen phones/simcards to be reported to the police and the service provider (within 24 hours, I think). I doubt the cards are being used for any sort of sophisticated fraud - more likely they're being sold on to consumers as "Free phone calls". Reason being both we don't have the sort of expensive premium rate numbers that you've got in .uk, and that the phone bills are so low.

Bluetooth marketing window could be shut

Allen Versfeld


There aren't any such regulations where I live, so a major shopping mall near my home has been using this stuff for the last year or so. Except that it's SO annoying that everybody disables bluetooth on their phones. (Mind you, I've yet to see a phone which ships with it enabled so maybe it was always off...)

So they've now had to put posters up begging the customers to "Switch on your bluetooth and win a prize!"

It's a self-defeating technology. I can't think of any use for having your bluetooth both enabled, and set to allow random connections from anywhere. It's not like a newspaper, or TV show where you put up with the ad to get some other benefit.


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