* Posts by Hollerith

239 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jul 2008


LxLabs boss found hanged after vuln wipes websites


what a sad thing

32 years old! No contract is worth a life. I have seen suicide following suicide -- if someone close to you kills yourself, you seem to find it easier to contemplate. But this is always tragic, and the story could have been phrase slightly better, as @Critical has pointed out. Poor chap.

New Labour: Chainsaws out, maybe Contactpoint, too



Didn't he have to stand in a corner for accepting unacceptable loans?

And doesn't he have dubious friends in high places with whom he is all too chummy (I remember a news story about yachts and weekends with those who were then permitted to gorge on the Euro gravy).

Websense blocks Bing in IM snafu


ah Mr Crosby

When the blue of the night meets the gold of the day meets Websense...

Russian blows off ex-boyf's todger with firecrackers


she knew he was a scumbag when he moved in with her...

...deserting a wife and children. Those who dump someone for you tend to dump you for someone.

It sounds amusing, but it's actually appalling. If she had blown off his feet so he couldn't walk out on her, it would have been seen for the crimninal multilation it is.

@The Jase -- why do you think it would have been treated differently if a man had done this to a woman? Anatomically it would have been worse -- a woman would probably die from internal bleeding -- but I think the jokes would have been coarser and crueller.

Tory who claimed brother's tech gear on expenses quits


filling the empty spaces in the quangos

I see comfortable settlements of all these sleazy MPs in quangos (my favorite 'why is it there? What does it do? is NESTA), acting as consultants to all the new MPs, serving as lobbyists, and so on.

The fact that the cozy fees office colluded comfortably with these MPs, nodding off everything but private Lear jets (although I am braced...) does not make it morally right. My own MP is one of the few honest ones. She could have stacked up the schwag, but instead did a decent job with standard expenses for travelling, stationery, etc. Just because a crooked system allows you to claim up the wazoo doesn't mean you need to.

BT Global Services' own Clouseau bags massive bonus


I'll be happy to say yes to everything

At half the salary and a mere percentage of the bonus!

Twitter suffering chronic banality, diagnoses Dr House


you can do more than a haiku

The tweeting of birds is sweetness to the ear

Telling us that Nature is near

Human tweeting is a lesser pleasure

Telling us nothing we treasure

Boffins develop interstellar alien ocean-spotting tool


One pixel. So, in comparative size...

...bigger than the pool of honest MPs in Palriament, then.

Police wrong to spy on peace campaigner


So, let me understand this...

He attended a meeting as a legitimate shareholder to voice his concerns, campaigns for peace, and had to go to court to stop the police holding information on him, on the basis that he had done nothing wrong.

Uh huh. Okay. Anybody not 100% for the Masters is 100% suspicious. He might destroy civilisation as we know it.

I feel for the guy because (1) the police will have a copy of everything (2) now they really hate his guts, for showing them up in public. He is doomed.

Brit hover barges, airships offered to Canadian oilfields


My bet is on Mother Nature

Having been on the rivers in the far north of Alberta -- and it is bloody far north -- I assume the hoverbarges have considered how to deal with snags and other semi-submerged badnesses. Will they only work in the short summer, or will they sail up the rivers of ice throughout the winter -- and, in Spring Breakup, can they ride over the huge shifting slabs of river ice?

I've flown into Ft Chipewyan (there was no road into it then, and maybe only a snowmobile track to it now, in winter) and the wind was rough. I mean rough. We kind of skidding into the gravel-bed airport, the seams of the plane popping. I have to say I wouldn't want to be in a big inflated bladder held place by rotors with a blizzard of minus 70F slamming me in the side.

On the other hand, both blimp and hoverbarge are less damaging to the environment than the monster trucks that endlessly travel up to Ft McMurray and back.

A fond memory of the place in 1973: the local burger joint had a 'papa burger' of three patties, a 'mama burger' of two patties, and an 'animal burger' of five patties. A big seller to the guys who drove those monster trucks and handled that monster equipment. I was r-e-a-l-l-y respectful.

Google: Let us keep search data or die


Oh no!!

If we can't keep these data forever, this puppy will die!!!

Outgoing info chief predicts data collection downturn


What is he on?

Sure, and the Government will realise that it must stop dipping into the tax-payers' pockets, so decides to spend less on quangos for its friends, and so on.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'


The elephant in the room

What is not mentioned is the drinking of alcohol. There are spasmotic outcries about 'binge drinkers' and 'girlies who drink to much--oh the chav shame' and all of that, but the UK has this big cloud of obfuscation where a cold hard look at drinking and its effects on society should be. Violence (in the home and on the street) is hugely alcohol-related, many car accidents are the result of a drunk driver, and I have seen in several companies bad decisions made by managers who are in fact ploughed by 3pm. Then there are the physical effects of drinking, which fill up the hospitals as much as cigarette smoking does.

I'd like to think the decline of the pub relates to the healthier lifestyles of the modern Brit, where spending time with friends happens in homes or parks or other places and doesn't have to involve sitting in a place crafted to make them all drink, drink, drink. The social traditions of drinking (buying rounds, etc.) will also, I hope, slowly wither over time.

Either that, or legalise all mind-altering substances, licence them, and be frank that alcohol, hash, coke etc are all there for people who like their reality fuzzy for a few hours every day.

Lost jungle tribe research: Nice guys can get the girls


Not really a choice

Warlike people enslave the women of the defeated tribe. Violence results in domination. It depends on what you mean by getting the ladies. You can own human beings and subject them to intercourse, giving you servants for life and children, but that's not exactly winning hearts and minds, is it?

Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'



I think you'll find many films of the Church's 'Book': off the top of my head "The Bible: In the Beginning", "The Ten Commandments", "Samson and Delilah", "King of Kings", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "The Passion of the Christ", and a few sequels, e.g. "Ben Hur", "The Robe", "Quo Vadis"...

Victor Mature as Samson will always outrank Tom Hanks. As for Charlton Heston as Moses: heck, he would have been even better as God!

Science tests for 11-year-olds to be scrapped


Education is more than test subjects, but

I'd like to think children could go to school and learn not only the three Rs, but a wider understanding -- not just basic arithmetic, but also the amazing qualities and complex characters of numbers, what maths can do, how it's tied into physics and physics into the greatest and smallest forces and particles. For English, not just spelling and grammar (if they indeed still teach the latter) but the power and beauty of the English language through poetry and prose. And surely science, that explains the world children have so recently entered and love (collecting bugs, learning about dinosaurs, finding out about vacuums and magnetic attraction) all thsi is so wonderful, and schools *could* teach it, with great teachers and a society that valued thinking and connection and appreciation as well as the multiplication tables and 'i-before-e-except-after-c' stuff. >sigh<

Missile data, medical records found on discarded hard disks


Why do I bother?

I used to be embarassed at being so anal as to actually have a shredder that also shredded discs. Excessively focused on the security of my perosnal data and my clients' data. But if Very Large Organisations can dump private data so unsecurely that it ends up being punted on eBay, why do I go to the trouble? These institutions don't seem to suffer nor does anyone seem to lose their jobs. Accountability-free world, and I want to join it!

Conservative US shock-jock to sue Wacky Jacqui


Magna Carta -- erm, didn't Savage rejoice in its downfall?

I am no expert, but I thought Savage was all for ripped up and throwing away Magna Carta in the USA, so as to keep prisoners forever in places where they could be tortured for (apparently) the pleasure of the guards. Magna Carta doesn't cover free speech, and we don't have a First Amendment, although he may be surprised that US law, like US dollars, isn't a universal currency.

As he preaches on a pro-torture, anti-law, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-woman, well, really, anti- anyone but chaps like himself platform, where rights should be removed from all those he detests, then I am glad to say that he doesn't fit here. I am reluctant to support bans on free speech, but there are limits to everything. Just as (I hope) as as a group would protest and silence some nutter in the same room who began spewing anti-semitic or racist garbage in our presence, so we as a society say 'not at our picnic, thanks all the same', especially as it is a bit tough on the victims of the hate speech to have to tolerate being called horrible things without let-up for the greater principle of free speech. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a vicious hate speech, as I have, you know that it is 'assault' in the legal sense of the word, and feels it.

Atomsmasher boffins probe duff whisky deluge


how do they test?

A single rare bottle is broached how before it's put up for auction? Hypodermic through the cork? Would this work for wine? How to you prevent oxidation with real (honest) old wines and malts?

'Miracle' bra saves Detroit woman from robber's bullet


first and only life-saving bra

This survival was due to the bra itself. The Brazilian woman was saved by money. The bra was immaterial. Tsk, let's be clear.

NASA's Kepler dazzles with first pics in new-Earth hunt


all you need

I look at these photo and the immensity, thw wonder and the beauty of reality take my breath away. And we, merely smart monkeys, are clever enough to find ways to peer into this deep space and seek evidence for something as small as our own planet. What religion, what set of stories, can ever achieve the sublime grandeur of what is?

Labour flames whistleblowers in email smear brouhaha


keep it for over a pint, chaps

Any company has policies of 'don't putin an email what you wouldn't want read out in court'-style rules. I certainlt think twice before putting down something that could rebound on me or the company. If I want to slag someone off, I use the phone or talk face to face. Do these SPADS thinks they are in a cone of silence or something?

'If you've nothing to hie, you've nothing to fear', spaddies.

But of course no apology: had they been the sort of person who could apologies, they wouldn't be the sort of person who would have conceived their smear campaign.

Teens reject Microsoft's Zune


A glum Creative Zen owner

As I would rather put my hand in the mouth of a lion than by a Zune, yet don't want to be bound in the duct tape that is iTunes, I opted for Creative Zen, which is a nice little player, but I await the day when someone comes up with software that doesn't require me to jump through 20 hoops in the shape of a pretzel to group my classical music in logical units, eg the three movements of a violin concerto in the right order, one after the other, and to choose to hear the Milstein version rather than the Tetzlaff version, even though both concertos are by Brahms. This seems to baffle all music library software. It's also hard to find a player that doesn't automatically favour a stronger base line, much as I love the cellos.... So, frankly, a curse on all their houses.

Boffins list sci-fi words which wormed their way into dictionary



Where is terraforming???? I am shocked.

GM, Segway to unveil iPhone-driven wheelchair e-car


Two wheels good, four wheels better

Why not give it three or four wheels and do away with all the gyroscopic balance stuff? The Segway technology has to be flogged, I guess.

Enough room for shopping? I'd only have one of these, over a bike or car, to carry loads. Otherwise I could walk.

Balls saves history lessons from Facebook and Twitter


Spelling and reading are both key

If you can't spell or read, you can't use the internet well. I've seen people baffled because they couldn't 'read' a URL, couldn't read (comprehend) instructions, and didn't know how to spell well enough to use text fields and so on with any confidence. Our message board at work has so many sad apologies 9i.e. sp! or equivalent.) Meaning is obscured when people struggle to spell correctly. Teachers can't seem to manage it (they don't know themselves, I find all too often) and it is distressing that we are disenfranchising children, not because we don't teach them Twitter and the like, but because we don't give them the basic building blocks of the Internet, which is reading and writing.

Florida cops taser satnav lake plunge woman


@Sarah Bee

Sarah, surely my many previous posts have let slip the fact that I, too, am female? My partner, also female, suffers badly from PMS, grits her teeth and does a very high-level executive job through it all, and none but myself the wiser. April fool or not, I do tire of PMS being dragged in to explain, even as a joke, woman-on-the-rampage stuff. @Barbara Moore, I will concede that mine is not the only view.


tired of the PMS defence

Only used by women who don't want to admit they can't control their impulses or their temper. Millions of women function perfectly well every single day, no matter what their body is doing. Brings the reputation of women into disrepute. Life is hard enough.

Atlantis trundles to Kennedy launch pad


So that was Atlantis...

...speeding past my London bus this morning. Wondering what was overtaking us!

Dept of Work and Pensions isn't working, says report


It is complex and difficult, but so is running a retail business

Insurance companies, supermarket chains, laptop vendors -- they all have millions of clients/customers and if they are good, they have a good feedback loop to make sure they are pleasing their customers pretty much all of the time. They screw up, too, but we all know that M&S pisses people off less often than DWP, because they can't afford not to. My short time in Govt taught me that if nothing bad will happen to you when you screw up, you will never have a reason to change.

China rubbishes cyber-espionage claims


Pot and kettle

I'm sure China is doing its best to spy on everyone else, just as Russia is and the USA is, and any other country who thinks it can. China as the Evil Empire is true when it comes to human rights, but hardly a stand-out when it comes to dirty dealing. (In fact, when it comes to human rights, Russia and the USA aren't that far behind it...)

Serial killer may have been conjured by DNA blunder


Mr and Mrs Jazdy, with their lovely dog Dingo

Living under the shadow of the space saucers near Roswell.

Street View ghost spooks Cardiff medium


One glance and some historical knowledge...

Even if the viewer had been too stupid to look at what she was seeing and noticed the photo was a composite, the next glance would have revealed things awry with the 'ghost from the past' -- i.e. no gloves and other details that showed that this could not be something from the past. Of course, there was nothing from the past because ghosts don't exist (not in my science book, anyway) and Occam's Razor offers a dozen better solutions.

Jacqui Smith pulls in another TV psych in violence probe


Best possible resource, of course

Good to know that the Gummint is reaching out for the real experts in this field. Maybe raising the question about why men are violent to women, as opposed to guessing it's because women are encouraged to turn themselves into sexual objects (this isn't automatically a reason for attacks) would expose some of the causes. Violence is not about sex but about power. One view is that men attack what is 'lesser' than them to relieve the pressure and tension that they suffer being lower than other men on the pecking order. It's the big boy hits smaller boy, smaller boy hits little boy, little boy kicks the cat. For 'cat' substitute woman' and you pretty much have it. That's only one explanation -- there are others. But a TV pundit is not going to go for the hard isues and big problems around violence in osciety, of which violence towrds women is a sub-set; she or he is going to go for the touchy-feely quick-fix stuff.

'Nanodiamond' asteroid tracked from space to desert impact

Thumb Up

Science showing itself at its finest

A community of professionals and amateurs band together, and then, where the world thinks only mayhem and 'less advanced' third-world conditions exist, local scientists and students take on finding the last piece of the event. I presume the internet played its part...

This is the world I want to live in, one where we are all engaged in reality, marveling at it, studying it, joining hands around the globe to share and help each other in our quest to know more.

Budvar beats Anheuser-Busch in latest Budweiser battle


They keep trying

Anheuser-Busch keep trying to get this trademark, but Budvar prove time and time again that they were there first, and they were, so can the Yanks please stop bullying?

Knee X-ray biometrics plan to fight spoofing


Geez, such simpletons should give their money to that nice lady from Nigeria

I have had knee surgery which radically corrected a problem, and my knees before and after look very different on the X-ray. A quick spot of scalpel-work adding temporary lumps and bumps would be well worth it for terrorists and drug barons. It could even be done key-hole.

I'd also like to see hands-up of all chaps who don't mind a blast of X-rays near the family jewels every time they are off to Marbella.

Police union leader calls for 'killer games' sales ban


So that explains...

All murders that result from domestic discord? All murders done for someone to get their hands on some money?

Before the violent video game, we had toy guns, and these were supposed to make maddened killers of children and adults with impressionable minds. Discouraging the plastic Uzi at ToysRus certainly led to a drop in violence and murders... um, not.

Until we find out via valid research that violent videos are the cause or enhancer of violent feelings, rather than, say, being a symptom of violent feelings that would have erupted anyway, I wouldn't rush out to lock the barn doors.

London health authority put on notice over data breach


High standards are only high if consistent

"NHS Camden sets itself incredibly high standards when it comes to patient confidentiality and data protection," Larkman said. "Unfortunately, on this occasion we fell below our high standards by inadequately disposing of a number of obsolete computers."

It's like saying you have incredibly high personal standards of honesty, but unfortunately on this occasion you fell below your high standards by lying.

Police ad urges: 'Trust no one'


The smiling face of brainwashing

Heard our Jacquie on BBC Radio 4 this morning saying that where they can't nail someone under the law, they will 'challenge' -- the idea she put over very well is that they will bend themselves into pretzels trying to make it look as if some law covers behaviour The Gov't don't like and, if they fail, they will simply put the pressure on, clout the poor sods with anything they find.

Meanwhile, the police will try to reduce us to a mass of gibbering twitching zombies, spying on each other, trusting no one, and supinely obeying every last 'sugestion'. Because that's the way we defend our values.

But the Govt and the police aren't feared of turning the UK into Orwell-land: it's their obvious aim.

Ofcom finds few using e-gov


Tried and find wanting

I've tried to have a go,a nd either got so bogged down in badly-thought-out pages that I gave up, or i looked at the questions they were asking and decided I didn't want to answer them, but had questions they weren't asking that I woudl want to answer, so decided not to help them tick their boxes.

Bush Obama sides with RIAA in P2P fight


Punishment or commensurate restitution?

What were the seven songs worth? What rap-across-the-knuckles dollar amount would be a 'punishment'? $500 seems adequate. $5000 pretty darn steep. But no stolen song is worth $10K and upwards. It's like being hung for stealing a loaf of bread, and that sort of law has been considered draconian for a while.

UK's child protection database delayed again



There you go,then -- the system worked!

Ad-supported webcam border surveillance hits Texas



that's 'wile away'

Google designer quits over performance obsession


Not so much getting user buy-in than too afreaid to make a decision

I've seen whole meetings come to a halt while senior managers fight over their favorite colour combinations. Users don't actually care that much, as long as it's not hideous and they can do what they want to do. But I've also seen senior managers so afraid of making a 'wrong' decision (as if two closely-related blues or greens is goign to make or break a website) that we went out to huge user testing etc. just because someone who gets paid shedloads of money to lead didn't have the cojones to make a choice.

Parents in dark about kids' school life


I ran fast, but my parents ran faster

I was all for hiding from them what was happening at school, but they knew darn well what my motivation was and didn't share it. They made sure the teachers knew that they were going to be 'hands-on' parents who wanted to know, and gawd help any teacher who tried to blind them with edu-speak. So I was not allowed to screw up my life and now, many years later, I wonder at their tenacity and thank them for it. Teenagers naturally want to wrest power from their parents, but the teenage years are not that time. Parents just have to be prepared to work hard and be hated...for a while.

Carbonite tells Promise: You're toast


Carbonite is toast

Tried it, it kept glitching, gave them three times to sort it out, they kept suggesting each time I start again, and I couldn't see why I would. Either it works or it doesn't. To be fair, they credited me my unused money. Decided I didn't need total back-up and my essential docs were safe on Dropsend.

Minister admits thought crime is on the agenda


Any evidence that you are having thoughts is evidence of an evil propensity

If you draw a sketch of a burglar, your mind-set is that of a thief, and it clearly signals that you will (not might) go further with this thought, so the drawing is proof that you have intent to steal and will, in fact, steal. Minority Report without the fancy technology.

Given this is what they are proposing, does playing a game of hangman with someone get you arrested for as-close-as-dammit murder by strangulation, or sectioned for wanting to self-harm (that is, commit suicide)?

World's first proper flying car makes debut flight


Risking life and limb...

...simply to drive a Robin Reliant when it's ont he ground? I don't think so.

Scientology spokesman confirms Xenu story


For a minute I thought 'Xena' and was all for it

But sadly Scientology does not offer a shapely lass with a sword, so I tune out.