* Posts by jsp

88 posts • joined 11 Dec 2008


Drupal 7: Sooner or later, but hopefully sooner



Don't we have way too many content management systems already?

With most of the ones I have looked at, the problem isn't so much that they are buggy [although they usually are], it is the fiendishly complex configuration and lack of documentation that makes them hard to adopt. I haven't looked at Drupal yet, so it would be interesting to know how it scores in this regard.

Cartoon Law goes live


I think you do

It is explaining the character of Rorshach. Luckily my copy disappeared long ago. Now if only I knew who had it, I could stitch them up ...

LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

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Comment of The Week Candidate

"Relativity does not apply to things whose speed is measured in knots, they were excused."


(shame you ruined it later: you mean 12 / root2)

Man gets 30 months in prison for taping nude sportscaster


Pull the pin?

Is that a new euphemism?

Zeus botnets suffer mighty blow after ISP taken offline


Missed the point?

The objective is not just to take bad guys off line, but to make the ISPs actually start taking this seriously and take action themselves. At which point it will be more targeted.

[need an arrow missing the target icon, perhaps]

Global warming may be normal at this point in glacial cycle


Common sense at last

So is it only "rational scientific evidence" when you agree with it?

> when it's clear that GW

Shouldn't that be "if" ?

IEEE names 28-year-old woman its new 'Face of Engineering'



I think you missed the point; it was a reference to the TV ad for long lasting batteries, rather than a sexist comment. But, whatever.

BT blamed for Davina McCall spamcalls


sales != marketing

When I complained about getting sales calls, I was told that "marketing" calls are exempt from TPS. So they can ring you up with a "survey" such as "Do you buy your insurance from X?", "Are you aware of the excellent service and products from X?" and so on. I don't know why marketing morons should be exempt in the first place (if I don't want idiots ringing me, I don't want _any_ idiots ringing me) and I don't why they are allowed to get away with making sales calls under false pretences. Bah!

Airport scanners face double exposure


Ageist, racist and sexist ... and wrong

How long do you think it would take for the terrorists to use people in your "safe" demographics to carry the explosives on board? Oh, that's right. It's already happened.

What do you call the iPad in Arabic?



From a southern Indian language, I think. Via Spanish "naranja". Possibly also via Arabic...


Via Arabic

The word Apricot does originally come from Latin praecocia (because it ripened early in the year).

But this was borrowed by the Arabs as al-barqūq which then came back into Spanish (during the Arab occupation) as albaricoque, which became abercoc in Catalan, which became abricot in French. Which is where we get apricot from.

So, yes. And, indeed, no.

Trouser-bomb clown attacks - how much should we laugh?

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Comedy gold

Another breath of fresh air from Lewis

If we don't laugh at these fools (preferably reporting their antics with the Benny Hill chase theme playing in the background) and instead we act terrified, then the terrorists have achieved their goal: terror.

So come on news media, next time an idiot sets his wig on fire in an attempt to scare people, get the canned laughter track out. And the PMs/Presidents should get their best scriptwriters to craft some oneliners, rather than the ponderous "we will not be defeated" line.

Intel puts cloud on single megachip


Louis is delusional

You should take a look at the rest of Louis' blog - such as the stuff on how all current physics is worng, inertial movement doesn't exist[*] but proper physics can be found in the bible. Yeah... right.

[*] Presumably, we think it does because some higher power keeps things moving when we throw them.

Hacked climate Prof stands aside



Not that old nonsense again. They may be real scientists, but they don't know what they are talking about. This particular argument was settled over 100 years ago (whether you accept AGW or not). This about as bogus as most Creationist arguments.

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm - its a bit long but it explains most of the misconceptions in the paper.


Or not?

> 'tricks' to "hide the [temperature] decline"

As I understand it, this was to remove a set of values, from one source, known to be anomalous for a specific period.

They are "proxy" values, meaning not direct temperature measurements but something else thought to be related to temperature (one source of tree ring data in this case). They are well known to be wrong post-1960 because they disagree with all the other data; that includes other proxies and *actual temperature measurements*. So, sadly, the "decline" you thought they were trying to hide doesn't exist.

But maybe I am wrong about that.

Or maybe I am part of the global marxist conspiracy.


Not all scientists are evil...

> I'm becoming more unconvinced by the "Science" backing this up

This might help:


Cartoon smut law to make life sucky for Olympic organisers


Not up to them

Luckily, it is not up to the government. If someone brings it to the notice of the police, they ahve to act. If they take it to the DPP, they have to act. In theory, at least, the government has no control over this process.

Collisions at LHC! Tevatron record to be broken soon?


Yeah it must be true...

... because there is no mention of it anywhere and so it has obviously been supressed.

Nurse! He's out of bed again.

Gov advisers slate Home Office over innocents' DNA retention


Re: Labour: Everyone is a potential criminal

Reassuringly (slightly) nearly all the comments on the labour list web site are condemming the writer for the moron he is.

Google grabs another ad company


How long...

... before Google buy Phorm?

Oxford American Dictionary dubs 'unfriend' Word of the Year


@Tommy Pock

No, the "correct" form is what people use. But I admire your way of winning an argument...

And @Michael H.F. Wilkinson: did you not learn the difference between verbs and nouns at school then?

Anna Friel spectator brings up his Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Time to let the readers vote on the Headline of The Week. This one gets my vote.

Bono serenades fellow fader, Bill Gates



I shouldn't have read this while eating my lunch...

Scientists flee Home Office after adviser sacking


Re: Class War

Good point, well made.

Unfortunately, I think this government would probably like to make _all_ drugs Class A (and maybe borrow some ideas from Singapore or Saudi Arabia). They are all evil.

Home Office: El Reg may be right on vetting figures


Where will it end?

Sometimes I walk my dog in the park and there are, gasp, children there. Will there be "social pressure" for me to be registered?

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger



"If you're reading this then you ... are the worst man in history.”

Unless he is planning to sell just one copy to the weakest man on earth, then this statement is just stupid and illogical. If the rest of his thesis is as well argued, then maybe that neanderthal woman could whup him in Philosophy 101 as well.

UK fatties demand 'hate crime' status for lardo-baiting



"no special legal protection for fatties as there is for those persecuted on religious, ethnic or sexual grounds"

So all they need to do is claim that their weight is a sign of their religion...

Coin-sized nuclear isotope battery minted


@Matt 89

Wrong and wrong. Time to buy yourself a new dictionary. Even Wikipedia is more accurate than your explanations (where on earth did you find them?)

Dollar is from German thaler via spanish.

Penny is from German pfennig.

Star-watchers: Famous moon left half-smeared by dirty ring



The petition is merely surreal. I assume it was intended as a joke.

This, on the other hand, is truly nuts:




It may be very big, but it is very, very faint because it is so spread out.

Southampton Uni slaps IP notice on FOI requests


But, hang on a minute...

They say "Applicants are entitled to use that information" in any way as long as they don't copy the document. Fine in a ni-picky, pedantic, idiotic kind of way.

But then they say that the reason for all this nonsense is "to protect the privacy of personal information contained in responses". But, if we can do what we want with the *information* how is it protecting the privacy of personal information? This makes no sense. I suspect the dead hand of a team of lawyers behind this.

Secret US spontaneous human combustion beam tested


and not so much as a spent bullet left behind

That's going to make an interesting episode of CSI...

Brit inventor wants prison for patent crims


@Tom 7 and...

Only since the internet that people have been "able to see patents without going bankrupt" ?

Patents have always been published (long before/if they are granted). The internet makes searching easier, but that is all.

And, although I have mixed feelings about patents, they can provide valuable protection for the "little guy". e.g. the guy who invented the intermittent windscreen wiper and demonstrated it to Ford who then proceeded to manufacture it without even a thank you (despite the fact he had had patented it). And I'm sure there are other examples. Yes, the system gets abused but it has value, in principle at least.

Apple VP makes magic real


X-Rated Apps

I have just noticed that several dictionary apps have been rated as "over 17 only" with dire warnings about sexual and violent content. Presumably because they have words like "sex" and "violence" in. Madness.

Bug exposes eight years of Linux kernel



"If someone ever releases a PC running Linux that Joe Average can use to surf the web..."

But that's never going to happen is it. Who is going to put in the effort to make Linux easy to install and use on any arbitrary system with working device drivers for all peripherals.

Hell Freezing Over icon needed. Penguin, because he looks baffled by the needs of normal people.

Ditching ID cards would save £3bn


Re: Lost cards

Quite. Once a card is lost, the entry must be deleted from the database to ensure the card cannot be used. Then the surplus citizen can also be deleted to avoid any further problems.

British boffin named first ever 'doctor of texting'

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Not a complete waste of time

Next time some old fart starts ranting on about "young people nowadays" ... "modern technology" ... "desecrating the language of Shakespeare" or similar tosh in the Daily Mail or on Radio 4, at least we can tell them where to shove it in a scientific, evidence-based way.

LHC rushed back into service at 50% max power

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Behemoth boson botherer

"unprecedentedly puissant particle-punisher"


Feds seek $566m from man in online gambling case



Fraud doesn't necessarily mean the banks lose money. Fraud is basically just being dishonest for gain (he lied to the banks and made money out of it).

> to avoid a stupid law

Unfortunately, the law being stupid is not a valid defense.

Powered robot suits make debut on Tokyo streets



I assume the choice of the name HAL was deliberate as well.

Too-tall terror snapper stopped by cops again



I think the word you are looking for is "suspicious" (well, it is now).

It shouldn't happen to a vetting database


Re: Demolition of Democracy?

> the State ... would have great power to veto those regarded as undesirable

That is a good argument for the fact that MPs should not be checked. But that doesn't mean they should be _specially_ exempt. It would be far more sensible to roll back the checks to the minimal level absolutely essential for maximum protection.

Statistically, this means either check nobody, or just check parents and close family. As neither of those are likely to be acceptable (for some reason) perhaps the threshold should those who are in contact with children all day and every day; e.g. teachers, caretakers, etc. But not occasional visitors (paid or otherwise).



Maybe MPs don't need to be vetted because nobody trusts them. Even kids can see through them.

On the other hand, a spokesman said the other day, that even if authors are infrequent visitors they should be vetted because they might (by chance) meet children who trsut them, outside of the school environment. Well, duh, so might anybody else. If we are worried about kids bumping into people they trust, maybe all TV presenters, actors, musicians, etc should be vetted as well. When I was at school we spent as much time in the local sweet shop as we did in any of our classes. So all the local shopkeepers should be vetted as well. And the bus drivers. And parents. And siblings. And those doing the vetting. And vets. And....

So why not put the entire population, apart form the MPs of course, on the sex offenders register, tag them all and give them a curfew. Job done.

Would you leave your child alone with a cabinet minister?



@Filippo : You need to read the rest of the books. And not just to find out why they are considered anti-religious[*] but because they are worth reading.

@Mage : Because we don't have a separation of church and state and schools teach religion, I don't think it does any harm for children to hear an alternative point of view. And I wouldn't describe his views as "narrow"; he draws on an incredibly rich literary and cultural heritage - another reason the books are well worth reading.

[*] actually, it is subtler than that; he is anti-church rather than anti-God or religion per se.

Spooks' favourite IT firm tells Reg readers to grow up


Is he perhaps...

... related to Aaron Kempf ?

Teen cuffed for bomb threat webcam pay-per-view



Gotta love 'em

Google polishes Chrome into netbook OS


@Darren B 1

> I hope I can replace Chrome with Firefox!

Or IE :-)

Marie Curie voted top female boffin


@Graham B

> it's because less women *want* to do it

Yes, but why is that? It's partly cultural. If you go to some countries, 50% of the engineers are women. So there is no "natural" bias. A project like this can try to change expectations and encourage more women into engineering. Which can only be a good thing (looking around the office here).

Prof: People reject news which conflicts with beliefs




iPhone 3.1 code goes beta


@ Levente Szileszky

As well as FOTW I think El Reg should have ICOTW (Idiotic Comment of the Week). This has to be a contender. Made my day. Thank you.



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