* Posts by kempsy

39 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jan 2008

All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight


ESA flight

An interesting video on the ESA flight, where you can see the 3 pilots in action, can be seen via the youtube link below -


Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital


You chant "Exit means exit" and leave the room. You appear in a dark space without a source of light and are eaten by a grue.

UK competition watchdog gripes to Brussels about Three-O2 merger



Because BT was not a mobile network operator at the time I suspect.

Google offers sweet new SDK to let Android devs join 'Lollipop' guild


They're off to see the Wizard

If Android developers are in the Lollipop guild, does that mean they're friends of Dorothy as well?

Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy


Project Cybersyn

All this talk of the unworkability of planned economies given the lack of technology and no mention of Project Cybersyn - by a British scientist no less - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Cybersyn

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Big Brother


Might want to look into this as well. No point going to all the trouble of encrypting your files for transport if the NSA can read them off your screen and/or keyboard as you edit the them.

Signing out of a broken Britain: The final Quatermass serial


Current British science fiction writer

From the British SF writers I quite like Charles Stross, with "Halting State" and "Rule 34" being particularly good examples of near future british science fiction. Ken McLeod is generally worth a read as well.

You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY


Turning it all the way to 0

I avoid the problem completely by just turning the volume off, only turning it back on when I wish to watch/listen to something. Completely avoids the annoying online equivalents to "I'M BARRY SCOTT...".

PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister


Allowing the children unsupervised on the internet is akin to letting them roam the streets unsupervised, perfectly possible but it relies on every other member of society being a nice and reasonable person and children having the common sense not to wander into unsuitable areas.

Graphene QUILT: A good trampoline for elephants in stiletto heels


Re: P-P-P-P-P-P-P-

Page provided perfect prose pondering performing pachyderms perched precariously on pencil proof planar products

Builder-in-a-hole outrage sparks Special Projects Bureau safety probe


It's all good fun until somebody dies

We have had two deaths around here (pop. approx 85,000) in the last six months due to people being buried in holes/trenches - one of which was in a trench only about 4 foot deep. A nasty statistical blip I am sure you would agree, but one that does make you more sensitive about the risks. It might be common sense to know when to enter such a hole and when not to, unfortunately common sense ain't that common.

Amazon: We're expanding into TWO HUNDRED countries


200 huh?

Well I don't know about the other 199 countries, but if Amazon allow apps to be sold to devices the Isle of Man that is more than Google has managed to do with its play store. The BBC iPlayer and Sky Go apps being particularly annonying in not installing, and I can't even get access to the store to buy devices directly (although VPNs are your friend in all of these circumstances).

Readers: Choose the proper new name for Everything Everywhere

Paris Hilton

How about "Anything, Anywhere" because mobile telephony should be just that easy. Paris as she agrees.

Assange's fate to be revealed at high noon


Re: They've given him asylum

Not only that, from what I'm following on the BBC live feed, they are going to treat him as a diplomat and seek his accreditation as such with the UK. Seems the UK Government has managed to provoke the Ecuadorians into taking this action with that letter.

So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down


Preparation is the key

Looks like good advice. I would also suggest you make sure you are really prepared before heading into any meeting like this. Make sure you have copies of key e-mails, have througly reviewed any files before the meeting and have prepared answers to any of the questions which may be asked. Don't be fooled by the convivial atmosphere, anything you say here could form part of a later disciplinary.

As the tone of the article suggests, the aim of such an investigation is to assign blame. Usually there will be enough to go around and you just need to make sure it isn't disproportionately dumped on you.

Sky wins TV riot battle


More info than just Sky

Seems this website has some useful info on this - I suspect on this basis the Sky reporter was lucky...


Name that donkey: Barbarella battles Bathsheba


My vote...

... is for Booty, a fine name for an Ass methinks!

As for the fourth dog why didn't you name her "Wellard"?

Channel VAT loophole shrunk, not shut


Why the loophole?

Why not just require businesses exporting from the Channel Islands to the UK to register for VAT purposes with Customs and Excise, and only allow such businesses to be registered that are relevant to the "native industries of the channel islands" - i.e. not the big warehouses exporting DVDs!

Of course I can think of a couple of other legal problems with that but they can change the law can't thet?

End of the line for ID cards


£400,000 for...

.... CTRL+A then DELETE? Nice work if you can get it! :-)

Apple 4 Verizon. True


Missed opportunity for a headline perhaps?

"the Jesus phone's second coming" :-)

Breaking the habit

Gates Horns

Upgrade from Occive 2003 to 2007

I would disagree with phuzz, having been part of an organisation that "upgraded" from Office 2003 to Office 2007 I wouldn't say that people would be terribly unhappy if they want back to 2003.

Indeed, juding by the still frequent comments (after over 12 months) of "where the hell is this" and "why can't i open/print that", I would take 2003 back in a heartbeat - if only for the peace and quiet!

I would agree with you on the upgrade from XP to Vista/7, although thats more down to the users not really interacting (or needing to anything more than a basic level) with the operating system as a whole.

Blog service shut down by order of US law enforcement


Apple related?

Could they have details of the new iPhone 5 on there? Maybe Apple are getting a bit more draconian after the Gizmodo episode?

Tesla Motors: Elon Musk's divorce won't sink us


Performance bootnote

Noting that it is based on a Lotus Elise chassis I've just had a quick look at the spec for the 2011 Lotus Elise. This new model has a top speed of 124mph, a 0-60 of 6.4 seconds all from a 1.6l 6 speed petrol engine at a cost of £26,550. Is it really worth the extra £40,000 or so grand for the Tesla's 'green' credentials?

http://www.topspeed.com/cars/lotus/2011-lotus-elise-ar85080.html - Lotus article if anyone is interested

Apple iPod Shuffle 3G


Can't change earphones easily - Fail

I like my old 2G version of the shuffle precisly because it would allow me to change headphones easily to suit the activity I was doing.

Limiting this ability, or making it too expensive with an after market add-on, just seems to be an epic design failure to me.

Hopefully they will make the future 4G version more like the 2G version.

Bus driver becomes Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov



I thought you crossed "Highlander" out because there can be only one?

Mines the one with the scabbard in the back ta.

Model-slag blogger sues Google for blowing her cover


Suing for not being adequately defended

Quoting from the New York Post's article :

"In her suit, she'll charge Google "breached its fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity," said her high-powered attorney Salvatore Strazzullo."

I ain't no lawyer but it would seem to my interpretation of that is that she intends to sue Google for inadequately defending against the case put forward by Ms Cohen and that by failing to do so the company acted negligently, thus making Google liable for compensation.

As the end result of possible decision for Ms Port in this case would seem to be that Google's lawyers had acted negligently I expect the lawyers themselves would strongly defend the matter as if nothing else a guilty verdict would open them up to a mlapractice suit from Google themselves!

FAIL - cos that's what i expect will happen to Ms Port's suit.

Microsoft's Google challenger is not a search engine


Checks for other uses of Bing

Did they google it? Or did they rely on their own search engine to check for any previous uses of "Bing" (i.e. Bollocks Its No Good)

Ofcom gets puffed out over wind turbines


Silly question?

Could we not just put Microwave repeater stations throughout the wind farm to aid the propogation of the signal?

In these cases wouldn't the fresnel zone be small and limited to the spaces between the turbines and thus suffer no interference?

I suppose this could either be hideously expensive and/or complicated if it were possible.

Apple restyles iPod Shuffle


Step backward in design

It seems the Apple have made a mess of the shuffle design now. Putting the controls on the earbud cords seems to mean that you have to use Apple's dedicated earbuds only for the player to work.

Of course if your supplied earbuds break you will be tied into buying expensive replacements from Apple to get your shuffle working again.

Not being able to uise your own earbuds, which are usually better than the distinctly average ones that Apple supply, will also be a disadvantage; as will not being able to use it with the car stereo.

Finally, locating the controls away from the body of the player will mean you are forever faffing around trying to find the bit of the headphone cable with the damn dongle on whenever you want to alter a setting. Currently I place my shuffle within quick grasp of my hand, usually a trouser pocket, so moving the control all the way up there is a pain in the neck and will get old quick.

I am sure someone will love it, personally I am glad I got my 2G Shuffle before this piece of crap!

OLPC designer styles goes-like-stink electric motorbike

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Perfectly Possible

From our local media reports (http://www.iomtoday.co.im/video/Our-man-takes-39Green-TT39.4942343.jp) it seems that even the early prototypes handle reasonably well. It really will be a question of how the batteries hold out it seems.

I look forward to seeing them racing next year.

Satanic net neologisms - nominations invited


2.0 on the end of everything

A label that is getting me very annoyed as it usally equates to a thick piece of gilding on a very stinky old turd.

Oz man cracks one off while speeding in drug-packed car


Pricey drugs in Australia?!

Hang on lets do the maths here.

1/8 = 3.5g

According to the news report these drugs were valued at AU$27 per gram.

That means for a standard eighth by this figure the Auzzies have to pay around AU$96 or £45 - a lot more than the £15-20 (according to Google) the average user in the UK pays.

Can any Aussie readers let us know if this is right or are the Aussie police massaging their drug seizure figures?

Home Office minister gets tough, then gets stuck


The Sun

Have they been hiring Sun journalists as Press Officers?

BT: 'We did not let anyone down over Phorm... it was not illegal'

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@ kempsy

Hi Darren

Thanks for that, I still maintain that it is interesting that you have to dig through that many webpages to find a mention of Phorm and you certainly can't find it on a search of the website - especally of BT's recent press releases.


Are BT so proud about Phorm

Just had a look on the BT website (www.bt.com) and found no mention of Phorm at all. If BT were so proud of their relationship with this company and the 'benefits' it brings why isn't this on their website.

A bit of news from BT about this supposed new 'trial' for the 10,000 selected victims, sorry, customers, would not go amiss either.

Microhoo! or YahSoft!? The! people! must! decide!

Gates Halo

Another possibility

Considering Microsoft's liking for abbreiviations (e.g. MSN) how about MY! (Microsoft - Yahoo!)

Saint Bill for "saving" Yahoo!

US Navy to test fire electric hypercannon

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Gun accuracy at sea

With regard to the gun supposedly bobbing up and down while at sea I can't see that being too much of a problem.

Firstly big ships are reasonably stable in all but the roughest weather, although I agree there will still be some movement.

Secondly, if BAE are making it they could just mount it on a gyroscopically stablised platform, much like the one used for the main gun on the Challenger 2 tank.

If they resolve the issues of the barrel's longevity and the rate of fire I suspect it will be quite an effective weapon. Certainly I would not like to think of a hail of Mach 5 rounds heading towards me!

Smith says answer to knife crime is through the arch window

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completely completely pointless

Why take your knife into school through a detector when you could just get it passed through the fence into the playground or through a window into the school itself?

Short of turning schools into prisons this measure willl most likely have little action on actually preventing knife crime in schools, except from catching some of the more stupid thugs that carry them.

All in all a typical knee-jerk reaction showing something is being done even when it has all the effectiveness of a chocolate fireguard.

Apple cuts UK iTunes prices

Dead Vulture

Consumer pay the same prices in which countries again?

"Consumers pay the same price in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. European consumers, identified by the address on their credit card, pay 99 Euro cents while UK users pay 79 pence."

Thats a neat trick getting people from Denmark, Norway and Switzerland to pay in Euros as they have not joined the single currency yet!