* Posts by Tim

61 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Apr 2007


Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'



Most people don't need maths skills for their degree. In Media Studies does it matter if you can solve a hard simultaneous equation, perform a fourier transform? Even Dimensional Analysis is beyond the scope of what most people will use day to day.

I'm an MPhys student. I know my way around maths. If your subject doesn't require it is it important that someone doing a less rigourously mathematical course knows these things.

That said Why is it that these days there are so many people studying subjects that have no need for maths? What value do these degrees have in the world? There can only be so many Sports "Scientists" and other (joke) graduates.

What is going to happen in a few years time when the market is flooded with people with worthless degrees with no maths. Even now I've seen professors of Geography producing graphs without error bars, which are effectively meaningless as a result. Will our standards just get lower to match the graduates, or will they have to go and get proper degrees to be emploed in a decent job?

Nintendo whacked with $5m Wii strap lawsuit



If you're holding onto the remote it CAN'T go through your tv in the first place. The strap is there as backup to ensure if you release the remote it doesn't fly off. If put on properly the force needed to break them is huge. Her tv got broken, she should claim it on accidental damage insurance rather that filing a law suit.

Three found guilty of web extremism plot


Found guilty of...

So he was found guilty of "making a record of information likely to be useful in terrorism". If a terrorist wants to transport his bomb from A to B he would probably need a mode of transportation, does this make all van owners guilty of "owning a vehicle likely to be useful in terrorism". He might even need directions, so best arrest the people at TomTom and google maps to because they're Clearly guilty of "distributing information likely to be useful in terrorism".

Just like playing violent video games don't make people killers doesn't mean that reading instructions on how to make napalm doesn't mean they're going to burn people. A few years ago people would have defended their right to read whatever information they liked, but mention Muslims and now they have to be stopped.

The police don't even need evidence anymore they just have to find a Qur'an and they got them. Yet catch someone with a knife or a gun and they get away without jail time because theres no room.

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away


Time for change.

Yes, the roads are over congested and it's time for some serious changes. Lets ditch Labour and get a government that can see how much the Public Transport network can improve. I mean seriously, who can afford to travel by train? It cost more than the car, takes longer and is often late. Buses are more affordable but slower. There is no suitable alternative to the car for the majority of the population, and now they want to tax us more for working?

Who gains? The only people I can think of who don't drive are the elderly or people on benefits. Great so the only people stupid enough to still vote for Labour after such a terrible move are covered. And there's plenty of budget left to spread plenty of MRSA through the hospitals and to replace Laptops when they get left on trains.

Oh and given the raises in fuel duty they've been implementing (and occasionally delaying) you'd think there'd be plenty of budget for nice smooth roads...but no they're sub-par because the the money is poorly assigned already, who says this extra money would be spent well.

Wind farm wound down on air traffic fears



In the UK we allow the use of a single capital letter, or no capitalisation, I believe in "American English" there are different rules.

As for the radar issue, I understand that the distance between 5 wind turbines could be further than 6 causing less diffraction, or that they might have a risk assessment form where they've predetermined 5 as acceptable, but it's a little disappointing. We're coming up to a massive energy shortage, we need every ounce of power from wind, tidal, and nuclear (ie non-fossil based fuels), and even relatively small projects are being cut back by planning permission.

If we don't build nuclear soon it'll be too late, they take so bloody long to build we'll be caught short when coal supplies slow. Without renewable to bridge the gap I might have to start stockpiling candles

Anti-paedophile group targets child abuse sites



What makes this group think they can handle this problem any better than the police from the various countries involved, and who put them in charge?

If you go out kneecapping sex offenders you'll wind up in jail, if you illegally hack their sights you will too.

These people are actually worse that sex offenders, they break rules and promote it to get others too. Atleast Paedos give out free sweets, what positive things have these people ever done?

Predator kill-machine pilots suffering 'chronic burnout'


It's not the lack of G-Force

The reason they're so "sleepy" is from boredom knowing they don't actually have to do anything. The aircraft flys itself. They've taken people from a job where they have to take important life or death choices while flying and sat them infront of a screen where they can get up and take a wizz without any trouble. I'm sure you'd measure the same levels of sleepyness if you took a London Stockbroaker and put him in charge of running a village fates tombola.

Put someone incharge who's job is to plan logistics and has passed the basic tests to fly, and they'd find it exciting.

Smith plans 300-strong force to tackle UK radicalisation


300 New Police

So they can free up more budget for police officers....why haven't they done it for other things, like drugs smuggling, immigration, untaxed cars/uninsured drivers etc which they claim to be big problems.

Simple - it's for headlines. They've created a token number of new police roles to do what "Community officers" do by visiting schools and taking an assembly to show kids police can be cool.

They take the bobby of the beat (before my time) and then replace them with the "Please like me kids I'm a police officer whos hip and happening" (which didn't work). Then they think that was such a success they'll do the same...but into mosques where people are moaning about how the west tries to control their lives...I'm not sure they understand just how rediculous the idea is.

Deporting 300 illegal imigrants which have out stayed their visa would be better, or even 3 imigrants preaching hate.

Wi-Fi spoofing sends Jesus phone disciples off the true path


It's a computer.

If I had a Wi-Fi based mapping system I'd be amazed if it worked at all...giving the wrong location would get the response "Oh atleast it's doing something". Sat-Nav phones aren't expensive anymore, if you need accurate mapping they're still an option and if you don't it's a bit of a gimmick.

The odds of someone setting up a jamming and spoofing setup telling you to walk through the dark alley with your expensive looking mobile are still very slim, and even slimmer that people wouldn't question it's validity.

Biometric methadone dispensers tested on UK lags



Considering it's about £40k a year to keep someone in prison (Note this value might just be another Daily mail shock figure) The machines seem cheap. Shame they're a bloody stupid idea.

Drug screen everyone in prison monthly or weekly, and then you'll know if they're going cold turkey, give them a reduced sentence to snitch on the guard that smuggled the drugs in, problem solved. By the time the reduced sentence ends the ex-prisoner should have gone cold turkey anyway, so he's clean. None of this Methadone rubbish, what good does it do? sustains the period they're addicted for while reducing some suffering. They're in prison for causing suffering, what goes around comes around, if it's really medically bad a doctor can still perscribe it, dishing it out to everyone isn't helping.

Mr. and Mrs. Boring sue Google over Street View pics


Wrong way to deal with it.

Google remove any pictures people complain about, so if they'd just asked nicely the pictures would have been removed and nobody would have cared about their house.

It's not like google scaled their fence or anything....these pictures are of whats clearly visable to their neighbours when they drive up the road, or anyone taking a wrong turn.

$25,000 looks like it would be alot to these people (enough to paint the house and water the lawn atleast) google won't have to pay it, but if all the people that think google should have to pay each dontated $1 they might be able to put those $4-5 to some antidepresants so they can stop being so miserable.

Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe


End of the world

Sounds like there's a 1 in 20 billion chance that the Swiss might produce a blackhole which could trigger the end of the world (WMD anyone?). I'm supprised the US Congress hasn't passed a bill to start a conflict over it yet. Time to clear out the hospitals and cover up any giant red crosses so the US don't think they're targets.

Bladerunner and biometrics: Heathrow T5 unveiled



I'm all for civil liberties but aslong as people keep voting in MP's (labour) that keep signing our rights away we have to accept that we'll be fingerprinted more and more. Why not make people want to give their fingerprints by providing a service.

If you provide fingerprints when you check in you could get an express lane into the departure lounge and access to posh toilets and navigation computers which when you scan your prints point you to your terminal based on your check-in details.

You don't have to be very smart to realise the public aren't. They'll fill in questionares with sensitive information for a chocolate bar, they'll give their fingerprints to be let into "exclusive" loos.

BBC iPlayer for iPhone and iPod Touch is iGo


Next device

Since the majority of mobile devices which will be able to use this will be phone designed for business men, ie, WiFi equiped with a platform you can modify surely a bigger target audience would be Symbian and Windows mobile, as these have phones (ie the N95 etc and a whole range of Windows mobile ones) have WiFi or can be upgraded via SD-Card expansions. I know many people with N95s but nobody I know directly has an iPhone, thats a 6:0 ratio making the N95 maket alone infinity times larger.

As for running it through a console which is already hooked upto a tv...thats just silly, you're probably within about 4 feet of a computer while on the console anyway.

NASA reveals Moon's rugged south pole


Ok then,

Allow me to be the fist to comment on how cool it is they bounced signals of the moon and got a decent map. That's some pretty impressive physics when you consider the relative motions and other associated errors. I wonder if they're even going to try for something much further away like Mars?

The range seems a bit impractical IF it can't scan past the moon, and requiring a huge radio telescope makes it impractical to send up into space, but I hope the technology gets miniaturised and used on further afield objects.

US scientists puncture the ethanol biofuel bubble


They've missed the point completely

If you're buring a biofuel, you're not burning a fossil fuel which would have previously been burnt. Therefore carbon is staying locked up in the ground rather than in the atmosphere causing global warming.

America came in thought, "if we're not burning fossil fuels we don't have to start as many wars in the middle east", so they are making it, but the same amount of fossil fuels are still being released. When fossil fuel "production" slows in the next few years, replacing it with something which has to be re-newed each year makes it a finite resource, which should spur efficiency in either vehicles or production methods.

This report seems to think that to get enough corn they're going to bulldoze trees. Non-edible crops which can grow in areas which are not currently habitable can be used. Farm cactus in the desert, etc. The yields probably won't be great but you're not destroying anything

London Congestion Charge becomes CO2 tax


Wrong way

He was closer before. It was a charge to stop the whole city being gridlocked and bathed in pollution. Now it seems it's a charge to encourage the use of new cars. With a modification I was running a 2.1TD Citroen Xantia Estate (1998) which was emmiting less pollution than most new smaller cars. The M.O.T reading showed it produced 89% less pollution than the year before unconverted, and it was bellow the M.O.T standard that year also.

Had it been 3 years younger the car may well have qualified for exeption to the congestion charge. Is CO2 less harmful for the environment if it comes out of a newer car? Do old cars produce more toxic fumes, if they do why isn't that the exemption clause?

It seems the Congestion charge is about getting shiny modern cars driving through London, rather than the sort the rest of the country have. Image is everything.

Commuter jetpacks offered: $100k, August delivery



You'd have to drive all the way to the nearest car park and fly the Jetpack to the front door of the office given it's short range. Only really useful if there is a busy road between the car park and work...and people don't mind scortched paintwork on their cars.

Boffin shortage will blight Blighty's prosperity


Soft vs Hard

I'm a Masters Physics student. I had an exam recently on General Relativity with questions such as writing Lagrangians of different descriptions of space. In contrast a friend sitting a computer science degree had the question "How many lectures did this course consist of?"

Employers seem to care less and less about the degree itself, and instead focus on the grade. A first in media studies may land you that job above the guy who "only" got a 2:1 in Physics.

It seems all employers are looking for experienced staff now, which makes it akward to get in the door. On graduation I think the best bet is to join a big company at a low level and transfer around inside for a few years be for moving away for a sensible job.

NASA uses vertical treadmill to simulate zero-G jogging



Wow they've spent probably a small fourtune to find out what it would feel like to be batman in the 70's TV show.

Money well spent.

US navy electro-cannon test successful



It looks extremely cool. Though is a long way from being Battlefield ready. It seems more likely it'll be used for 1 off's like shooting down missiles (or satellites) rather than tanks if it can shoot 4 times, and will take 64megajoules a shot. I guess it won't quite be up to machine gun fire rates.

Straw: Police can bug MPs without asking Cabinet


I'm not really sure...

I assume the MP wasn't guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts etc, so the big deal is about the police daring to bug an MP. But what if an MP is a terrorist? All the anti-terror laws introduced because they are "needed" to catch terrorists would be useless against them.

Like the rest of the country (except maybe the readers of the Sun or Daily Mail who can't think for themselves) I can see these "terror" laws are a waste of time and infringe of civil liberties. If Russia with their stricter regime and mandatory ID cards carried everywhere can't stop terrorists the approach is obviously flawed, unless we want to go more extreme than Russia...anyone want that?

If the MP's had to suffer the same laws they keep forcing on the public maybe they'd read them through before voting on them.

We need to stop with this nonsense...and need to stop sending British citizens to Guantanamo bay just because America asks for them. We just get them back a few years later when the American tire of cutting their genitals with razor blades and water boarding them.

I'm not really sure why we have these new terror laws...it was illegal to blow stuff up before, and I'm not sure why we extradite to a country which actively and openly tortures them

NASA to beam Beatles song into deep space



400 years travelling through an expanding spacetime metric would cause some serious distortion to the signal. The Aliens would have to jump in their ship and fly towards the signal to hear it as we do...assuming they have ears.

Top secret UK data network goes live two years late


How hard can it be...

...to cover this stuff up and pretend they're aleast compitent. I mean they're not even trying. They must have known they were going to loose loads of data it's government procedure, but classify the system and it wouldn't reach the public.

Although I guess they're doing that already with the REALLY important stuff, like uranium going missing, and contained outbreaks of Ebola etc.

Right I'm off, where's my Tin Foil hat? I can't go outside without it.

US military prepares for plummeting spy satellite


Sounds like there's more to it

Satelite the size of a bus that won't burn up in the atmosphere....thats a hell of a camera. I'm not claiming to have built any spy satelites myself but if you're going to build it as big as a bus you might aswell fit it with backup engines.

And why doesn't it have some form of self destruct, wouldn't take much more than just opening it's case as it came in the atmosphere.

French police plan Windows-free jails, offices


Does it say more about...

Is this move more about Ubuntu being a capable trouble free operating system, or Vista being a pain in the arse?

Linux is a bit of a joke, but Vista is a one liner with the punchline being the price.

(I run Ubuntu and Vista on my two computers, and neither are "operating" systems...I don't want locks to be congratulated on boot up "Windows has recovered from a serious error" ...no, I pressed restart. or to have to trawl help sites to get a second monitor running on Ubuntu - I want a file browser, stability and hardware to work when I plug it in.)

Sociologists: Studying engineering turns you into a terrorist


I believe it

For a terrorist to make a name for himself (I'm assuming that there are few if any female terrorists of Musilim background) he has to stay alive long enough to do something useful (Generally Killing Infadels).

I'm fairly sure that saying:

"Not now I'm working on this bomb, I'll come throw rocks at the American tank later" goes down alot better than

"I'm watching this film and contemplating the deeper meaning behind the colour of the sky in the final scene"

I'm also sure the less throwing rocks at tanks you do the longer you live, although not being a scientologist I can't just publish it citing wikipedia, I'd have to actually perform some research.

This leads me to the conclusion you'd make a better terrorist being educated in engineering. Although further research is needed.

Bush orders NSA to snoop on US agencies


Cyber War

Not content with not winning any old fashioned wars in a while, the US government are already gearing up for the next generation of unwinnable wars.

How many innocent CPU's will suffer just so they can save face?

Bank turns London man into RFID-enabled guinea pig


Ripped off.

I'm not an expert on debit card history, but wasn't the chip and pin (fairly) recently developed so even if you managed to steal a card it's effectively useless. Now mugging for debit cards is worthwhile again, before you've been to the police and got a crime number and then called up the bank they could have rattled up £100 in "small" charges, hundereds of copies of the Sun for all their partners and illegitimate children, and if a cunning clothes retailler adopts the scheme they could rake in a fourtune in illegal card purchases if they make Burberry knock-off hats for £9.99.

Whereas before when a Debit card was stolen it was effectively useless, not it'll be usable by any Half-Wit on the street. Lots x £10 is greater than None x Everything you've got (covered generally by fraud protection).

Giant solar plants in Negev could power Israel's future



If you're going to cover 10% of the Sahara in Solar farms I'm assuming that cost is not object, so you don't need storage, you need 5% of the Sahara covered and the remaining surface area can be split over New Mexico and somewhere around the Philippines. Conect them all up with either a Super conductor (which would require <90K temperatures) or a very very long CNT bundle which would act as a Balistic conductor. This way you'd have 24 hour electicity where ever.

(Making the crude approximation that energy requirements of each part of the world are the same...some redistribution of farms might be needed to factor in China).

If that doesn't work treat it like Nuclear and have the excess energy pump water behind a damn and release it when needed. Unfortunately with such a large amount of enery needing to be stored this might cause daily tidal waves.

Dwarves hidden in sports bags target Swedish coaches

Paris Hilton

Easy to solve

In just 20 seconds I've solved this case which has been baffling police. Put a guard outside the men's toilets and stop anyone who walks in with an empty bag, closely followed by a dwarf and then comes out with mysteriously heavy bag.

Failing that an IR camera will show a hot luggage up easily. And everyone knows if luggage is hot it's either carrying a stowed away short in stature criminal, or a celebrities undersized pooch

US boffins create darkest material ever


Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon Nanotubes are great...but being more expensive than gold and depositing them on surfaces in such a manner is generally a lab experiment rather than a production method I don't think this will be seen by the public for a long time.

Good news is since CNTs are so resistant to deformation the coating will last far longer than paint.

(P.S: Marky W, I'm sure they would taste terrible. Definately not worth the cancer you'd get from their carcinogenic properties)

Boffins: Antimatter comes from black holes, neutron stars


The theory of Anti-Matter

The properties of anti-matter are reversed, but NOT mass.

Eg: Electron: Spin: 1/2 Electric charge: -e Mass: Me

Positron: Spin:-1/2 Electric charge: +e Mass: Me

Properties such as Strangeness, Charm, Spin, Charge, Topness, Bottomness, are reversed but mass is always conserved.

This is why a Messon (Such as a Si Messon) A combination of a Charm - Anti-Charm quarks has a mass of 3.1GeV/C^2 (and not Zero).

Looking at Gravity from general relativity it is a curvature in spacetime by matter or energy which means particles follow Geodesics (trajectories) which are the shortest routes (Like straight lines in flat space) this means they're falling in space not transfering force like electromagnetic interactions (photons) between them.

And If you look at it Quantum Mechanically then the whole process involves gravitons, lets wait for them to confirm the existance of these before we start conjuring up anti-gravitons which would mean Messons don't exist.

Bluetooth's coming home



What made them try a cinema as testing ground for a mobile phone based adds? Did they change the message at the beginning of the film to "Please turn your phone to silent and check it regularly"

Killing battery life and phone memory for what you can watch on youtube at 10x the quality, and with reasonable audio, doesn't make a whole load of sense.

PS: as if there aren't enough adverts already.

Clarkson's 'steal my ID' stunt backfires


They could have done it anyway.

The fact he published his bank numbers is besides the point. He was challenging the bank system to proove that there are security measures that stop the leaked data from being useful. Unfortunately UK banks being about 50 years behind acceptable levels of security, and he was prooven wrong.

It's the banks fault NOT his. Numbers that anyone can read from a cheque obviously cannot be verrification, this story just highlights the need for banking reform.

(and again shows how stupid the government were for loosing the disks in the first place)

Germans debut kitesurf-powered autonomous windjammer


@John - jet stream spinnakers

Heliocopters have a maximum horizontal speed. Due to one blade moving forward while the other moves backwards. So when they reach this speed they'll flip. I'm not sure about if it's being dragged by a kite etc, but it will almost certainly proove lethal (which would seem to explain how helicopters don't like heavy winds)

Tasers can be instrument of torture, says UN


No medical background

People die from shock all the time, it's a serious condition. I'm pretty sure repeated jolts of high voltage electricity when applied liberally due to it's "safety" will cause a number of people to go into shock, the signs of which will easily be missed by people stupid enough to misuse the TASER in the first place.

People say it's better than the alternative, but I wonder how many people which are TASERed each day would have been shot in it's place. Batons would most likely be used in it's place, and when you hit someone too hard with that atleast they'd be rushed to a hospital.

When something seems safe people will misuse it. People don't very often unicycle on the edge of a cliff, but they're quite happy to change their stereo while going at 80mph. The unicycling sounds more dangerous but I wonder how many people each year regret changing their stereo.

[Hidden Moral: If it seems dangerous people won't do it unless they have to, but it seems safe people will over do it, and innocent people will die as a result.]

Plastic police to enforce London bag ban?


Not really thought through at all

So they want to stop use of all plastic bags inside the M25. Easy enough, just stop retailers from providing them and the problem will go away over night.

Paper bags will then be used, which will need to cut down more trees for the materials, so CO2 levels absorbed by trees will decrease, while the oil that was locked away in the ground after the bags were thrown away gets burned as fuel. Increasing the overall levels of CO2.

I'm pretty sure this is a bad move. Nobody likes litter but it's a consequence of people not bringing bags with them. Thats what should be addressed. Someone could make a fortune selling a fold-away "bag/box" which sits in the car boot and the trolley which the supermarkets could sell instead of bags for life. Most people take their car with them shopping, so if you've a couple in the boot then you won't need carriers. Pretty much the same as just buying a bag especially for it, but this will be called the "food helper" or something classy. And then people won't forget to put it back in their car.

Wannabe US bank robber fails intelligibility test


Modern World

You can tell things have changed, you can't even rob a bank now-adays without leaving school with an A-Level in Elocution. All the good bank roberies require a 2:1 at degree level.

California clamps down on in-car mobile use


Reaction times

Reaction times while driving reduce with experience. The the more people drive the more they learn to look for the signs, so an experienced driver aged 40 will have a greatly reduced reaction time to that of a 18 yr old just passed their test. Obviously when they get to a certain age their reaction times slow enough to counteract this. This explains the inability to match speed limits, turn of indicators after junctions or notice when it's safe for them to pull out.

Root-locked Linux for the masses


Not the right way of looking at it.

If rather than trying to make a fool-proof computer he was making a system that will manage all your VoIP calls and record your TV channels for you while letting you browse you emails and the internet through your TV I'd say he'd be onto a winner.

You'd get a box that you couldn't mess up (like a sky box/freeview box everything is built in) and they'd push updates to you.

Using the box for anything more complicated would proove limiting. You wouldn't use an XBox to word process or a printer to play videos, why would you use a cut down computer to take the place of the highly versitile desktop pc?

Great British fry-up under threat



I don't have a particuarly huge garden but in it I've got 5 chickens, 4 ducks and 2 geese, plenty of eggs, they live off scraps and laying pellets (which cost very little) and we get all the eggs we can eat, and enough spare that we're well equiped for halloween....ermm, I ment Easter, with the egg painting etc.

If farmers with their scale of feeding and keeping hens in cages rather that roam free like my garden hens do can't provide eggs for a sensible price then I've no idea who they're buying their feed from but I've not noticed any gold nuggets in my eggs, so I'd suggest they're being ripped off.

Apple restricts ringtone rights


Didn't anyone else see this coming?

I'm no fortune teller but I could see Apple with it's highly restricted but "cool" phone doing things like this, why charge once when people will pay twice?

Don't like your wallpaper? Want funky videos to play when someone rings? Want something you got on your old phone? All available through the iTunes store for a very reasonable additional price to the $399 you already forked out.

The more you pay for a product the more you have to pay ontop to get what you want.

Nokia 5300: Ringtones from any track you load on the phone

iPhone: Have to pay extra

Ford folding rear seats: Standard

BMW: Extra

£20 Dvd player: Divx Playback standard

£200 Panasonic: Divx not available, but comes on the £300 model.

It's industry standard (all industries) to squeeze a bit more out, but everytime they do people act suprised and people pay up anyway.

MusicStation arrives, but will we pay for digital music?



People seem to make a big deal out of DRM these days, but put it this way...Each song on iTunes is what 79p? So for £1.99 you'd reach your quota in 3 songs without DRM, which wouldn't be as attractive "buy 3 songs from us, or don't we don't care much either way" would be their slogan. It sounds like they've actually got a winner. An all-in-one music solution where people can get lots of songs without worrying about data costs, track costs etc. And at a decent price.

(People who don't want DRM will already either pirate it, or convert it themselves so I doubt the profits will feel the pain of people who wouldn't use it anyway saying "Nope it's got DRM")

I can see this being bundled with higher end contracts quickly and being quite a success.

Feds tell (other) feds to kill net neutrality


I don't get it...

I pay for the internet, if I pay for 4mb I use more bandwidth than I would with 2mb, but I pay more. Doesn't the difference make up for the increased usage? And if not, how is that my fault?

It seems to me a case of bad planning and madcap schemes to try and get out of admitting that the price they initially offered was too low.

P.S: There are plenty of limited services available for low bandwidth uses not downloading, but isp's don't like saying buy our service that's highly restricted but cheap, hence scrambling around for silly ideas that look ok on paper but never work in real life.

(P.P.S: I'm Britsh, so this doesn't affect me right, the US DOJ, I mean Al Gore did invent the internet will help from superman, but they don't own it do they?)

Top judge: put everyone in UK on the DNA database


REALLY bad idea

This is the sort of suggestion I've come to expect from EU judges. The fact we have someone with such a poor grasp of the concept of law ruling in higher UK courts scares me a little.

All judges must know the concept innocent until prooven guilty, does he issue seach warrants on a whim with the excuse "if he's got nothin to hide..."

I personally think Scotland has it better than us only keeping records of the convicted criminals.

If people are unsafe for release they should not be released, so without more prisons this suggestion would mean either serious criminals released from prison, or newly convicted criminals winding up with a nothing punishment like community service for all but the most serious crimes. And a judge should know both are bad.

Summary: From a Law point: Bad, From a society point: Bad

From a Sci-Fi writters point: Bad (less extreme fictional plot lines available)

From a police point: Bad (Unless they like unemployment)

From the point of view of a crazy misguided judge: Good

Teen sticks Xbox 360 power supply in bowl of water


Water cooled.

You'd think he'd have gradually learnt over time that everytime his mobile phone ("cell phone") got dirty and he gave it a bath it stopped working, and began to slowly lean away from submerging his electronic devices in liquids, even if he wasn't specifically told not to dip the power supply in.

Also why water and not in a bucket of ice...which is colder (I think he might have know this one), or a fan?

Astronauts bring space-grown bugs home



I can see them trying to match the conditions of the lauch by matching the G-Forces the bacteria are exposed to, but using the word "Exact" seems very unscientific, even if the research itself was sound.

"Closely matched" or "simulated the exact" are just two of the possible terms they could have used.

Ban the internet! It's full of worms and iPlayers


Is it just me...

I'm sure he's got alot of good points to make, but I seem to see the name "Anon" in most of the comment sections and not just this week. Has the Reg gone alphabetical in selection of comments?

(I probably only noticed as it's a fairly unusual name but still it struck me)

Disability question turns on employee's abilities


Glass ceiling

"because of the effects of his dyslexia, he would in practice face a glass ceiling..."

If a person has a disability such as Dyslexia why should they be given extra time for an exam designed to pick up how well they would perform the tasks in their new job?

I'm a fan of the laws when they protect discrimination, such as not hiring someone in a wheel chair to answer the phone when being in the wheel chair does not affect the job, that’s a positive step.

I don't however see how giving a dyslexic longer in a test is any advantage if reading and writing are going to be part of their future job, shouldn't they have to perform these well to qualify?

For a qualification such as a degree where the knowledge of the subject is being examined then extra time is again a positive step, as the material is examined.

But if you sit two people down for an job interview for a job which requires reading and writing skills, giving a dyslexic extra time to perform the same task is a bias towards them which seems to serve no purpose, and if the extra time gives that applicant a better score and his job performance is worse (it is quite possible the dyslexia won't affect his/her performance that much, but then why would they need extra time in that case) then the employer is forced to hire the worse candidate.

The use of the anti discrimination laws should be done with the context in mind.