* Posts by R Callan

169 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Feb 2008


Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

R Callan

Re: Impressive???

How a car can be called a "Mini" when physically it is as large as a "Maxi" I do not know. Well not quite, but the current "Mini" is as high as a "Maxi" wider than a "Maxi" and marginally shorter. It also weighs 20% more. The Maxi has(had) far more usable interior space.

The Maxi was of course another parts bin special, poor Issigonis could never persuade the bean counters to let him design from scratch.

Russian hackers target MH17 journalists for embarrassing Putin

R Callan

Am I the only person who finds it strange that the highly skilled "Russian government hackers" use network connections that are easily traced back to Russia? Surely they have some knowledge of VPN's, chained anonymous proxies or even TOR?

All of these claims strike me as being more likely false flag attacks to blame the Russians for all of the ills of the world, just as in the bad old cold war days purely because an expert (hopefully) does not make stupid elementary errors or at least does not continue to make them.

High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

R Callan

Re: "Not my fault..."

Indeed, the Typhoon was intended as a replacement for the Hurricane as a pure fighter. It was in fact quite successful as it was both faster and more manoeuvrable than a FW190, particularly at low altitudes. The thick wing did have the problem of sonic compression at speeds over 500 mph so the aircraft was redesigned with a "thin" wing. Associated changes required meant that the aircraft was different enough to need a new name, thus Tempest.

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

R Callan

Re: alternatively

and if you use sulphite pulp instead or the prescribed sulphate (a.k.a. Kraft) pulp?

End all the 'up to' broadband speed bull. Release proper data – LGA

R Callan

Line speeds

Line speeds, whether theoretical or measured, are completely different to what is actually achievable in actuality. For example, whenever I get a notification that there is an update for my computer I log on for the update. When it is a large update there are a number of files to be downloaded. As the files download there is a display in Apper of the current rate of downloading. This can vary from a few hundred kB/sec to a couple of thousand kB/sec, because the files are not all on the same server!

I doubt that I have ever had a download measured at the rate indicated by line speed checkers.

Pizza delivery by drone 'trialled' in New Zealand

R Callan

Re: Line of sight

That would be most of Auckland then, right?

London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

R Callan

Re: Boff?

Hackney? I thought it was Hamilton.

p.s. thats the NZ version.

£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

R Callan

Perhaps the best idea would be to stop using "drones" and go back to using "queen bees". Queen Bees used a trailing rope with a weight on the end to detect altitude, which then closed the throttle and pulled back the stick. Of course it helped that they (usually) landed on water which tends to have fewer high obstructions than the land.

Vodafone hints at relocation from UK

R Callan

I thought that they had already left Britain. If I have a problem (I became a customer through buyouts and am too lazy to change) I end up talking to someone in the Phillipines, not the U.K. or N.Z. where I reside.

How Nokia is (and isn't) back in the phone business today

R Callan

Re: SMS feature request

But we are not living in the past, irrespective of the old joke.

Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

R Callan

Re: One -- two -- and three

Yes, I vaguely remember seeing the king and his side-kick watching and marveling at the killing of a man who had merely been accused, not charged or convicted, in violation of both U.S. and international law. Even the actual killer (assassin) tacitly admitted to breaking the law in that he was worried about the possibility of local law enforcement personnel arriving during his illegal activity.

What was that comment by tricky Dicky, something like "I'm the president and anything I do is legal". I thought your much vaunted constitution prohibited punishment without fair trial and conviction.

Mercury to transit Sun: Viewer discretion advised

R Callan

So, should I endevour to see this from Mercury Bay, or will there not be enough resolution?

UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

R Callan

Re: Firefly

And of course no-one would ever think of putting 8 oz. of RDX/aluminuim powder on a drone.

Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

R Callan

Re: Thunderbird 2?

More importantly, how did Airbus get a patent for something they patently did not invent, merely copied from fiction?

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

R Callan

Re: The human pilots just do the easy bits...

Close, but no cigar. The first aircraft to do a completely hands off flight was the DH Trident, but regulations did not permit the use of the system as such, and it was only demonstrated on passenger free proving flights. The first hands off landing was done by a Trident in 1965.

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

R Callan

Re: Aiee!

It's worse than you think. As far back as I can detect, all of my deceased relatives, with the exception of a great uncle who snuggled up to an exploding shell in 1915, have died in bed! Perhaps beds (and acceptable substitutes like chairs or floors) should be banned as being far far far too dangerous.

Debian Linux founder Ian Murdock dead at 42

R Callan

Re: Gah.

I am a similar case, except I went from Mepis to Debian. Mepis updates have become non-existant recently and i was a little worried about the lack of security updates particularly.

US Congress grants leftpondians the right to own asteroid booty

R Callan

So, if this is follow up on The Homestead Act of 1862 does this permit USians to again murder and steal from the rightful owners (whoever they may be) because the USian government says they can? That was the result of The Homestead Act of 1862 just ask native Americans.

Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

R Callan

Re: Thinking

Thinking? Yes a distinct lack of it. Every culture and society on Earth has engaged in enslaving other people. The colour of the victims has never been a part of it. It seems that one of the reasons the Romans invaded Briton was to obtain a source of slaves. Anyone was at risk of being enslaved, even Julius Caesar!

All of those poor African slaves that were transported across the world were captured and enslaved by other Africans for sale to the really nasty Europeans. Who are therefore the worst?

Which peoples finally decided that slavery was not really a good idea? That's right, the nasty Europeans. Slavery is still going strong in many non-European cultures.

VW offices, employees' homes raided by German prosecutors

R Callan

It could be a simple instruction like "Under the test conditions". Also how are the regulations worded? If it is again something like "emissions under the test conditions" then there is arguably no case to answer. Like so many things this is politics and loopholes that a bus can be driven through.

Let's NUKE MARS to make it more like home says Elon Musk

R Callan

Re: Greenhouse gas

The partial pressure of CO2 on Mars is higher than it is on Earth. There is more CO2 (In moles/m^3 of atmosphere) than Earth so the present "greenhouse effect" must be higher already.

Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

R Callan

Re: nearly 60 years ago

But a Bloodhound was reputed to go supersonic within 2 body lengths after rocket booster ignition. Cruise, a mere Mach 2.7, was maintained with jet engines of a slightly simpler design. Not bad for 1957!

Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?

R Callan

Re: how was it ever accepted?

Indeed. I can remember television sets from the 1960s that had cases with rounded corners and the screen had rounded corners as well. Can anyone claim that television sets are not electronic devices?

Stop taking drug advice from Kim Kardashian on Twitter, sighs watchdog

R Callan

Re: Drugs for morning sickness...

Agreed, but leprosy is not a very common disease and it is nearly impossible to catch. Even then, non-teretogenic thalidomide is not recomended for use by women of child bearing age.

A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

R Callan

What be this C4 stuff? The explosive is RDX with plasticisers, a copy of the British Plastique from WW2. Just call it RDX and cover all of the possibilities.

BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

R Callan

Re: CRT Monitors...

ATs, you had ATs? Even the head of IT only had an XT. The rest of us serfs only had slightly upgraded PCs, you know 640k, Hercules graphics and enough ports for dot matrix, pen plotter. Those 5.25 discs had huge capacity as well.

'It's better to burn out, than to fade away on worst audio in history'

R Callan

Which gmail is being refered to? Is it g(oogle) mail, an e-mail service provider, or g(nome) mail, an e-mail client. Both utilise, I presume, spam filters.

I am not concerned as I use K(ool) mail as a client and my ISP as the e-mail provider.

Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

R Callan


How can anything be "slowed down (judgement) by “as much as 200 per cent”." If it is slowed down 100% it is stopped totally, completely, absolutely. Anything which makes rediculous statements should be ignorred until the authors learn a language, any language. The fact that HUDs are probably a serious distraction makes the mad claims detract from the important message.

Warning flags were raised over GDS farm payments system – yet it still failed

R Callan

Re: Why do government projects fail?

Because no-one has read the most important works on how the world actually works. They make assumptions that what they have been taught (usually in university by people with no real life experience) is actually true.

The works in question are:

1.. Murphy's Law

2.. The Peter Principle

3... Parkinson's Law

4... Systemantics.

Without knowledge of these basic essentials the people involved are only going to continue wasting other people's money.

GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

R Callan

If we extend your logic, if everyone buys an electric car then no-one pays for the fuel taxes so no-one pays for the roads that are needed to drive all these overweight electric vehicles on. How long do you think your being subsidised by everyone else is going to last? Electric vehicles need to have a milage tax applied to pay for their being on the roads at all, and the tax should take into account the excess weight of the vehicles making them more expensive to fuel than ICE vehicles.

Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed

R Callan

Transmission GRRRRRRRRRR

The transmission of a car is the what is often called the drivetrain, everything from the flywheel to the drive wheels. It is what transmits the power of the engine to the road where it is of most use. The gear box is not the transission!

Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

R Callan

As iodine has been in salt to prevent the occurence of goitre, an iodine deficiency since early in the 20th century your comment does not address my 1960s. You obviously do not know that the contraceptive pill, even in women with normal thyroid function, reduces the production of T4 thyroid hormone. Hence my comments regarding age, residency and gender of the workmates.

p.s. I have to take T3 (thyroxine), not because of any iodine deficiency, but because of the most common auto-immune disease. It was detected by thyroid function tests (T3, T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone levels plus thyroid auto-antibodies). Additional iodine has no effect.

R Callan

The best thing would be to get rid of the defamatory expressions "men's" or "womens". No more mens and womens tennis, golf, football rowing running quotas preferences etc. etc. what a great world we could have.

p.s. I have to agree with Sir Tim. I have seen all of the conditions he described, plus a few more. Having done thyroid function tests on young still living at home female workmates in the 60's it could be embarrassing at the time.

Tech giants gang up on Obama over encryption key demands

R Callan
Black Helicopters

Encryption for criminal or terror purposes is so easy to produce that it is childs play. Public communications are too easily intercepted and read by the real nasties, those who are "protecting us". Secure encryption easy? I hear you say. Too right mate.

Write out an alphabet and underneath it write the numbers 1-0. Repeat the numbers until the alphabet is used up. On the 3rd time through with Roman letters there will be some numbers left over, so add some useful punctuation [space] [comma] [full stop] perhaps ["]. Depending on how you start and the placement of the punctuation we abtain about 100 distinct cyphers which are difficult for simple frequency analysis to break. By itself suitable for casual protection but easily broken by the experts. To make it very hard to break take a book, any book any language and even another alphabet. Use the system outlined above to number the characters in the book starting at a random or carefully defined place. A defined place could be given by date and/or time as prearanged with the recipient. Add these numbers to your initial encryted message rolling the numbers over so that 18 becomes 8 etc. Either send your now secure message as is or repeat using another book. Write the message onto the back of a letter or postcard using invisible ink (lemon juice or milk work very well). Possibly use the outside of the envelope to write your message on.

As long as the startng place in the book is varied for each message it becomes very difficult to decrypt without the key, and even then needs to be done manually because each code number can have 3 different answers or even 4 if digits were included in the original coding format.

Oooops, I've just described a secure coding system for small cells of crims. or t'rists. Do I hear a black chopper?

A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

R Callan

Re: "more than 3,000 forecasts and predictions each day"

At least when they are for 4 days later. Those for the remainder of the century are just very expensive fiction.

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

R Callan

Re: and the electricity?

Do mean it's not? When I bought this (white box even though it's brown) machine many years ago the saving was NZ$169 through not having any MS ware on it. The software has been upgraded many times, including going from 32 bit to 64 bit for a total outlay of ummm nothing.

Long live free software ot to quote Charles "it is a far, far better thing I do ".

Russia's to blame for pro-ISIS megahack on French TV network

R Callan

Of course Cyrillic keyboards are only available in Russia and these highly skilled hackers have never heard of VPNs or anonymous proxies. Also the time stamp of a computer is always exactly the local time.

Please meet me anywhere you like (you are to pay my expenses in advance) because i have some very nice structures for sale e.g. bridges cathedrals castles. Price only on application on site.

Caterham 270S: The automotive equivalent of crack

R Callan

What have you got against the sound of triples. Do you not remember the sound of Tridents or Jotas in race trim? That unearthly howl at high revs. Yumm.

Russia copies EU commissars with own right to be forgotten law

R Callan

Re: Eye for one?

You appear to be taking the after the fact homogenised and adjusted "facts" as being the "truth".

The colonisation of India was not an originally deliberate act by the British government. It came about slowly because of trade. The East India Company wished to trade with the many independant states which made up India. It was normal for caravans of goods to be escorted by armed men becuse of the lawlessness common at the time and place. The company decided it would be more economical and reliable to hire their own permanent guards instead of getting locals in each region on a temporary basis. This guards developed into a company army. The development continued until the company had effectively taken control of much of India. The British government then decided that a British company should not have this sort of control of a foreign region and effectively nationalised the company and in the process turning much of India into British colonies.

What this resulted in was the development of much of India and the suppression of customs which were abhorent to not merely the British, but many of the locals as well. There were indeed things which now would be called oppreseive, but taken in the currency of the times were perfectly normal.

p.s. if you wish to introduce racism to the argument, please remember that racism (frequently called tribalism) is a normal state of mind throughout the world. The slaves exported from Africa to the Americas were after all captured by locals and then sold to the European traders for export. This was usually because the slaves were off a different tribe to the captors and there-fore of no significance.

Chips can kill: Official

R Callan

Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

Nearly true,but a few minor changes required.

When blood glucose levels (produced by the ingestion of almost any carbohydrate) increase insulin is produced. The higher the level of glucose the more insulin production. The glucose is then stored as glycogen. As the (high) level of glucose is rapidily reduced by the insulin there is a tendency for the glucose level to drop too far. This could be corrected by the production glucogon which is the hormone which converts glycogen back into glucose. However, glucogon is produced more slowly than insulin and the high level of insulin wants to convert the just released glucose back into glycogen. The resulting glucose-glycogon-glucose-etc. fight is solved by the person feeling hungry which is simply corrected by eating. But there is now far too much glycogen for the shor term storage to handle so it now is converted to the long term storage medium, fat!

But the insulin-glycogen fight with the resuling hyper/hypo glycaemia is continuing which demands more food so...........etc.

Simple carbohydrates are possibly the most dangerous food compounds available if taken in more than tiny quantities because they are so easily digested and absorbed and then generate the hormonal imbalance described above. Obesity can be possibly controlled by only eating slowly absorbed foods which require a lot of energy to digest, absorb and be converted into a useful energy source.

RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

R Callan

Re: What is so unique about this paint job?

Um no, it was unique to the aircraft, until it was replaced by another aircraft. The first 2 letters in this case GN are the squadron code, and the third letter is the aircraft code. Pilots frequently used different aircraft for different flights.

It is a pity that the replacement for the Hurricane could not have been in the same picture. Are the any Typhoons in existence?

Kiwi company posts job ad for Windows support scammers

R Callan

The problem is that for some tears there have been spam callers doing exactly this in N.Z. When after about 1000 calls the called person gets somewhat irate, then the call and hang up calls start. The only thing common to all of the callers is a distinct sub continental accent.

The advertisers would appear to have shot themselves in both feet.

POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

R Callan

But Mr. Bean was Sharpe.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

R Callan

If it doesn't have John Steed and Mrs. Peel I doubt that it is worth watching :<)

Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

R Callan

Re: @code junky ...Ah

Ah, but which nine mil? The article is lacking that detail. I suppose the most common is 9mm Parabellum but there are also:

Mauser 9mm Export

9mm short (A.C.P .380)

9mm Largo

9mm Makarov

and not forgetting that .38 and .357 are also 9mm

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

R Callan

All tax systems are loopy

Tax systems are designed with one main purpose in mind, to hide from the taxpayer how much they are really paying. The only honest system would be personal income tax ONLY. This would at a stroke remove all of the double treble and more dipping and allow the taxpayer to know exactly how much tax they really pay. It would have side benefits like reducing the size of tax departments and the numbers of accountants needed in both the public and private sectors thus reducing needed tax takes.

Could you imagine the screams if the average taxpayer discovered that thy were paying 80 or 90% of their income in tax (which they in fact do).

BONFIRE of the MEGA-BUCKS: $200m+ BURNED in SECONDS in Antares launch blast

R Callan

Re rocket science

Rocket science is dead easy, little more than f=ma plus a little elementary chemistry (e.g. 2H2+O2=2H2O = heat, lots of heat) The hard part is rocket engineering

IRONY ALERT: Former MI6 chief warns of 'mass snooping' - by PAEDOS

R Callan

Also, it is possible to be precise but not accurate.

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

R Callan

Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

Gmail is not google-Mail, but a mail, contacts and calender application optimised for the Gnome desktop. It also works well on KDE but there is a mail/calender for KDE called KMail. There many other suitable applications for Linux but the problem seems to be that too many people seem to equate computing with Microsoft (Windows etc.) We have therefore a mind-set of users, and possibly admins, that needs to be overcome before Linux is accepted on a commercial or industrial scale.

We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

R Callan

The problem that most people do not acknowledge with electric cars is:

When all cars are electric and no-one pays fuel (road) tax, how are the roads paid for? Is the assumption made that all electricity is used as automotive energy and then taxed at current automotive fuel rates to replace fuel taxes. People without cars might object to having their electricity bills quadruple.