* Posts by John Ferris

25 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2007

Crash grounds RAF Eurofighters - for Battle of Britain Day!

John Ferris

I've heard of the few...


Some of us at least will have felt, if not safer, then at any rate more cheerful to be protected as we were last month - by a trusty Spitfire


but this is ridiculous.

Infinite Beer for the veteran pilots. They damn well earned every molecule.

Agincourt actually an even scrap, historians claim

John Ferris

But they still agree...

...that we still won? Didn't they?

SA pigeon outpaces broadband

John Ferris

Loved the ISP Comment...

This must be the ultimate "blame the customer" response by an ISP.

I Doubt Carrier Pigeon based ISP's will take off in the UK. The latency issue for online gaming would be a major problem.

Tokyo battles monstrous murder of crows

John Ferris

Where is...

Godzilla when you really need him?

Orange introduces mini-SIM

John Ferris

If Microsoft were to make SIMS...

...they would probably be triangular. They'd expect everyone to change to suit them.

Anyway, you'd hardly be able to make a call as your phone will be almost constantly engaged as the SIM is dialling the MS upgrade server for upgrades, bug fixes and security patches.

'First-ever' flight of robotic ornithopter announced

John Ferris

@Dr Harkin

Thanks Doc, coffee on keyboard and screen moment there.

Great Panjandrum menaces North Devon

John Ferris

It features on the BBC website.

To be honest, it is completely underwhelming. Plenty of sparks and flames as it crawls along the beach at speeds of up to perhaps 10mph. Although even at this speed, the camera operator can hardly keep up.

I don't think the Talaban or the local terrorist branch will be too concerned.

KOffice 2.0 available for early adopters

John Ferris

It would be nice if...

...I could get Koffice 1.x to install on my Kumbuntu install, but it always hangs there looking for dependencies, I've left it trying for 2 hours with no result. If it won't install, then it is useless, end of story. KO2 might install, will give it a go when I have a spare 2 hours...

OpenOffice works nicely and is fine if you don't need 100% compatibility with other people's MSOffice files. If you do, then I'm afraid that MSOffice is the only way to go. It might be big, lumpy, have strange new user interfaces and expensive for the person on the street (but M$ sell legal copies for as little as £20 if you are in the right job) but it works.

Wordperfect 7. Now that was a wordprocessor. Anyone remember Displaywrite 4?

Connecticut cop forced to shoot chimp

John Ferris

Some people forget...

...that a wild animal is always a wild animal. No matter how they have been trained, conditioned or reared, there is still the natural instinct in there somewhere, waiting for the right trigger. As numerous owners, circus performers and zookeepers have found out to their cost over the years.

US Navy SEALs buy twin-screen laptops, refuse Vista

John Ferris

Who needs string...

and oriental grappling techniques? I'm sure our SAS lads can dispose of terrorists equally silently with nothing more than a blade of grass, using techniques that most Glaswegians could teach you if you annoyed them enough (i.e. speak with an English Accent)

Vikings' bleeding-edge tech came from Afghanistan

John Ferris
IT Angle

Re: Old News

This story was reported in part in the Guardian in the last week of last year. Nice to see Lewis is keeping up to speed.

The thrust of the Guardian story was that the Vikings suffered from fake designer swords, which looked like the proper Afgan deal, with the right designer label of the swordsmith, and a really good edge. The problem was, when the punter used it in battle, they shattered easily. It's hard to contact Viking Trading Standards if you have been hacked to death.

They also included the idea that most of the good swords found were in river beds, which they postulated may have been lost when Erik the Viking was returning from the local ale house worse for wear on viking real ale.

Dunno what the IT angle is. But I guess IT bods love beer.

Attack of the quarter-ton, 'fridge-sized' killer jellyfish

John Ferris
Black Helicopters

I for one...

would like to welcome our new gelatinous overlords.

BBC relives The Day of The Triffids

John Ferris
IT Angle

You missed one...

How could you NOT suggest a remake of Space 1999? Call it Space 2099, call in all the actors and writers from Dr Who and Torchwood, all the characters / aliens must exhibit some form of latent homosexuality so to match the PC view of the world and Mia gets to change into a different ethnic minority every episode.

The moon could be blown from it's orbit following a fire in the toxic waste / recycled paper that was dumped on the moon because Africa/ India was full, the fire being started due to friendly fire from a US anti-insurgent strike on the moon, considering they had ran out of countries on the Earth to invade and turn into hell-holes.

Hey, this is sounding good, I might write a script. But it mustn't run for more than 20 minutes, must have a Deus Ex Machina ending and recycle loads of old ideas with Daleks and John Barroman if at all possible.

And triffids.

IT angle? I@ waiting for Auntie to Announce they are relaunching the BBC Micro...

Shocker DNS spoofing vuln discovered three years ago by a student

John Ferris

@Jack Garnham

Fellow attic dwellers include the M$ Vista development team...

Come one, someone was going to say it. OK, coat got.

Cambridge woman in £90m 'leccy bill shocker

John Ferris

You might laugh...

but one day in the future all monthly bills will be this high.

We're doomed, doomed I tells yah!

'Humvee of the Skies' robot air-car design unveiled

John Ferris

is it me or...

does the design look a bit like Thunderbird 2?

Heathrow T5 security tackles Transformers t-shirt threat

John Ferris
Dead Vulture

Might be Americans Aboard

...and according to the picture, the gentleman wearing the allegedly dangerous T-shirt had a darker than white skin-tone and so the combination would have resulted in panic and hysteria amongst the American passengers.

I wonder what the response would have been if he had been, say, a redhead?

Though I would have asked him to remove it simply because it's a naff bit of clothing.

Dead bird because common sense seems to have joined it.

US war robots in Iraq 'turned guns' on fleshy comrades

John Ferris

Well, they are American Machines!

I think the machines were only emulating thier fleshy counterparts. As we know, the yanks have a tendancy to attack their allies and the occasional Chinese embassy in a different country to the one they are trying to bomb or even the odd civillian airliner.

The machines probably worked out that allied troops tend to be easier to hit and generally don't try and hide and shoot back like the enemy does. So they decided it would be quicker and easier to empty the guns into friendly fleshies and hightail it back to the safety of the base and a pint of WD40.

Mine's the coat with the bullet proof armour built in.

Arthur C. Clarke dead at 90

John Ferris

My First Sci-Fi Author

I first found ACC's books in the school library all those years ago, my first taste of proper science fiction. They made me think, for the first time, about what I was reading.

I enjoyed them and they started me off on reading Sci-Fi.

Arthur C. Clarke. An author who had a small but positive influence on my life.

Piscine killer menaces UK rivers

John Ferris
Gates Horns

Gratuitous M$ Bashing...

[highly-invasive...will reportedly eat anything which crosses its path]

Rather like Microsoft Operating Systems and hard disk space...

Come on, guys, trying for an IT angle. Angle? Angle?

Huh, I'm wasted on here...

Fire extinguisher resolves German smoking dispute

John Ferris

I would have more than cuffed him

Yes, dry powder extinguishers are messy, you will be hoovering the carpets for weeks. Yes they are the worst thing to use on electrical fires because as someone said it makes sure that nothing is worth salvaging.

What a lot of people don't know is that the powder itself isn't the nicest thing to have sprayed on you and presumably being breathed in in relatively large abounts. If someone attacked me with a hazardous chemical I would definitly be calling the police.

As far as CO2 extinguishers and global warming goes, they won't be banned as there is no suitable alternative, in fact use of CO2 has increased since the banning of halon extinguishers. CO2 is produced as a byproduct of other industrial processes, but instead of being lost up a chimney, it is collected and used. So your CO2 fire extinguisher is actually reducing the amount of the gas in the air by keeping it in a cylinder.

OK, I've got my coat.

NASA to beam Beatles song into deep space

John Ferris

MPAA / RIAA to Sue Universe

I see it all now. We beam copyrighted music into the universe, then when our alien visitors arrive with it stored on alien aPod things, and tell us that there are millions of copies in alien schools and libraies and universities, the RIAA slap a wodging great lawsuit on them.

US Army proto-Dalek combat robots enter testing

John Ferris

Umm, even sadder

[verysad] And as far as the Daleks are concerned, they were deliberately mutated by Davros, a research scientist, in order to achieve his aims. Now makes me wonder about all this human / animal embryo work they are looking at. At least the US is ahead of Davros in one thing, his daleks took about 10 series to learn to fly...


Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

John Ferris

XP can take ages as well

especially from USB memory sticks.

The problem is trying to read or write from the USB while trying to access the memory for other reasons, like downloading thumbnails. Trying to copy two files separately causes a loooong wait.

No problems copying in serial, but trying to access more than one file at the same time freaks it out. I guess this might be what happens with Vista.

Before you flame me, I haven't read every single comment before this.

But where is the Paris Hilton angle?

Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt

John Ferris

Madness, or thin edge of the wedge

Fire stations are working environments, opening them to communities would create a huge raft of problems regarding health and safety and security. Currently, visits by the public are suitably controlled and supervised for the safety of all concerned. Having them turned into some form of community centre would require more non operational staff being taken on to look after these services. Considering Fire Services are under financial pressure to cut costs, there is no way the budgets would stretch to this.

Environmentally, until some better vehicle option comes along, big diesel engined fire appliances will still be needed. But the number of these vehicles is miniscule compared to the number of lorries, 4x4 and luxury 5litre cars on our roads. Fire services have made real measurable improvements in environmental impact in the materials and vehicles they use. Firefighters are trained to protect the environment during incidents, reducing the impact from chemical spills and run-off water.

The concern is the wish to remove fire stations, on a "green" pretext, and build fewer replacement buildings that may mean cover in some areas may be less than before.

But believe me, Fire Services WANT to provide the best service possible to the public. They don't want to make cuts, they would love to expand the services they provide. But in the end, they have to work with the budget they are given.