* Posts by Richard

27 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2007

Top British boffin: Time to ditch the climate consensus


Science? Yes please!

I wish people would distinguish between scientific deniers (of which there are about 3) and other deniers (of which there are loads, and they all read the Reg).

Also, if you're worried about large industries lobbying Governments, I would worry about the oil industry. They have got money - fecking loads of it - and they're spending it with the same PR companies that for years quietly used FUD to say that there was no proven link between smoking and lung cancer.

Isle of Man KKK burns cross on Facebook


What have they got against combovers?

I just thought it was time someone made that joke again.

Can you talk and drive?

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So many idiots

Why do people think that it's acceptable to not give the road their full attention.

It's not rocket science that the human brain has limited ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. When the consequences can mean people being killed, then we should try and reduce distractions.

The issue with using a mobile is that the sound quality is poor. Your brain has to do extra work to fill in the gaps, thus removing your attention from the road. (I think this appeared in an Australian study, but was quoted in New Scientist.)

Also, when talking to a passenger in the car, there's a shared understanding of when the driver needs to concentrate. Someone on the other end of the phone wouldn't have that.

Although it's not ideal for the emergency services (or taxi firms) to use radio:

1 - They don't have long conversations.

2 - They do it because they have to be able to communicate with HQ.

3 - The device is loud and easy-to-use (ie one button) which is less distracting than using a mobile, and much less distracting than texting.

None of those points really to normal mobile use.

Apple power brick sparks lawsuit

Paris Hilton

Francis Vaughan's post

Read Francis Vaughan's post.

It's exactly the kind of thing I would say if I knew what I was talking about.

British film board rejects 'disturbing' sexual torture film


Why, oh why?

Do people so often think that when the BBFC refuses to classify something (effectively banning it), that this will have no effect - or even become more 'popular'? (E.G. see post #7)

When the BBFC does this, fewer people see it as a result. (A bit like prohibition in the States. OK, it didn't stop alcohol consumption altogether, but it significantly reduced it.)

Freedom of speech is important, but not important enough. There is plenty of rape and sexual violence in the UK, so despite protestations that the film wasn't meant to be sexual, some people would be aroused by the film. This would be bad if it led to copycat behaviour.

Ben Goldacre has written a very interesting (and relevant) article on copycat suicides: http://www.badscience.net/2009/03/suicide/#more-1061.

There is the same effect when newspapers report on mass killings (eg Columbine). As the gore and sensationalism increases in the report, the chances of another massacre happening in the next few days goes through the roof.

Why the avatar of the penguin? Because all the best extreme porn features a bit of penguin. (And no Paris.)

Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

IT Angle

Another one to check out

What about Koss Plugs?

My review would be: Less than £15 and incredible bass and they come with a lifetime warranty. You need to work out how to insert them properly. As soon as you do, you get the booming bass and you understand why they're good.

Negative: They fall out quite easily.

A few times I've sent them off to the UK distributor (Hama), included three or four quid, and I've got a shiny new pair back in the post. Sweet!

Anyone that spends over £50 for a pair of earphones is either very very rich, or very very idiotic.

And on a related note, very few people care how good Shure SE310s are, £170 is not affordable for a sodding pair of earphones!

First case of sleep emailing documented


Two nitpicks...

I think she probably checked her sent items, not her inbox.

Also, there are plenty of examples of "complex nonviolent cognitive behavior" (during sleep), but certainly this must be more complex than most.

One horrifying documented story was about a guy in his 30's who slept-killed-his-dad. (His dad had moved in with him.) IIRC there was a trail of destruction round the house as the son chased him from room-to-room. He finally managed to beat him to death on the lawn. The son rinsed his bloodstained clothes in the bath, hung them up to dry and went back to bed. The next thing he knows he's got a visit by the police.

Assuming it was out of character - which was his successful defence in court - this makes me think that people can do stuff in their sleep, (and not just half-awake and not remembering it.)

Damien Hirst buys Paris porn collage


As Banksy said:

If artists are prepared to suffer for what they do, why don't they learn to paint?

PS - My pet ferret is called Banksy. Fact.

Right: Which one of you lot invented 'tw*tdangle', eh?


A serious request

Please could the other Richard who isn't me stop calling himself 'Richard'.

Much obliged.

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It was nearly me...

My email address, (which due to a dislike of spam I won't disclose) is nearly very close to 'twatda*gle'.


Linux guru Hans Reiser convicted of first-degree murder



It's already been said, but it's perfectly true. There is nothing wrong with circumstantial.

200 unlikely coincidences pointing to someone's guilt shouldn't be ignored. It's up to the jury to decide how incriminating each piece of evidence is and whether it's believable when the defence says "That wasn't her blood in his car from when she was murdered, it was just that she had the painters in."

HTC Touch Dual smartphone

Gates Horns

For me

The real killer is the lack of a 3.5mm earphone socket.

I mean why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why would you make a phone that was good at playing music and video, and then cripple the sound by forcing the owner use the God-awful supplied earbuds?

Why do you do that, HTC? Is it stupidity or sadism?

HSBC e-payments system limps back online


This is my title

Typical. They don't have any DR. Not the teeniest little amount. Also, this is what you get for having a system that runs VB code, meaning that this situation was entirely avoidable.

Now - Did anyone apart from "First Direct" Fraser understand that?

The Guardian ditches Phorm


The UK liberal's newspaper of choice?

Maybe, but what about the Indie? Or are they the UK's libertarian newspaper of choice?

The 'green' car tax grabs that don't add up


All hail the smart one!

Mike Richards (AKA Kramer) was spot on about the Adam Smith Institute.

When I was a nipper, we had a guy (Perry something, I think) from the ASI come talk to our school.

My post was going to be a long and rambling story, but the point was this, the ASI is a group of selfish, 'there is no such thing as society' fascists.

The End

Smut peddlers and spammers invade Google Groups


To M 'Simplistic' Room

Unfortunately laws and awareness don't count for much because spamming is so incredibly cheap to carry out.

It only needs to work 0.05% of the time, and it will be profitable ...

EU to ban the patio heaters that ate the planet. Not.


To Chris G:

I *luuuuurve* that you're concerned about the environment, and that this concern came about having "flown over a fair number of different parts of the world". Brilliant!

Also, a huge project to arm everyone would reduce the criminal and non-criminal population alike.

In a legalistic sense, you can't define whether patio heaters are efficient or not (except comparing between different types). But to me they scream an arrogance wastefulness that means I wouldn't mourn their passing...

Honest startups versus City bastards - the CGT conundrum


So, in summary:

Progressive tax bad. Regressive tax good.

Clarkson's 'steal my ID' stunt backfires



Just to balance the argument.

I hate Clarkson. Even though he makes me laugh, he's a reactionary, arrogant, shouty tit.

Also, beacause he's a rich car-owning, male WASP with a small mansion in the home counties he *genuinely* believes that he gets it tough.

He doesn't realise that he's top of the pile...

Child protection site to show Scottish sex offenders



One of the arguments given by the NSPCC (and many other child protection organisations) against publishing pictures of known offenders is that it's more likely to drive them underground and out of the sight of the police.

I guess that argument doesn't really apply when the offender is already underground or on the run...

Girls' school head condemns bubblewrapping of kids


Let's point the finger of blame at the States...

The UK has become more litigious, and that is part of the reason that children are not allowed to take risks - because corporations and local councils and the Government don't like being sued, or the thought of being sued, and so are becoming more risk-averse.

(On the plus side, a litigious society means you're less likely to have a bit of scaffolding hit you on the head...)

I was told that in the States, the emotional and naive jury would set the level of fines/compensation. In the UK, the tired and jaded (and learned) m'lud would do it.

This should mean that under the UK system we should never have the insane level of suings that exist in the States.

Stem cells from testicles offer organ bonanza


Translation from British

Don't worry - if you only understood one paragraph from that article, you've understood the whole thing. (It was very repetitive.)

In order for you to gain comprehension of the story in its entirety, you need only assimilate a few sentences. (It was very repetitive.)

Fret not - Understanding of the whole can be achieved by reading a small part of it. (It was very repetitive.)

Google gloats over ISO's OOXML rejection


FAO: The Anonymous Pedant

Well put!

Greens walk out of nuclear debate



I use the word 'unanimous' advisedly.

Quoting an Inconvenient Truth: A meta-study of studies into climate change was carried out. Of the 600-ish *peer-reviewed* papers into climate change, guess how many dissented from the view climate change was happening and caused by man. Zero. They all agreed that climate change was happening, and that it was our fault. Not unanimous enough for you?

How about the IPCC - a panel of 1,000 climate scientists - guess what they concluded:

# Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

# Most of (>50% of) the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (confidence level >90%) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations.

If that's not unanimous enough for you, you're either stupid or trolling.


So many idiots out there...

Why are those idiotic greenies moaning about the consultation. It was not biased at all. It asked the simple question:

"In the context of tackling climate change and ensuring energy security, do you agree or disagree that it would be in the public interest to give energy companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations?"

Although that could not be more even-handed, I still propose this slight re-wording:

"In the context of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and organised Jihadists: Do you think that the responsibility of processing, transporting and disposing of the most dangerous substance known to humanity should be given to organisations whose primary motivation is to increase their share values?"

A similar survey was carried out to see if people were in favour of a project to celebrate the new millenium (ie The Dome). The question essentially asked:

"Should we celebrate this event that only happens once every thousand years with a monument to collaboration and the future, OR: Should all first born children be kicked to death by paedophiles in Mr Blobby suits."

Guess what - the question got the answer they wanted!

PS - To those people who say greenies ignore science (and then quote some research paid for by Esso):

You're lying, self-delusional tossers - You really are! You hide your ignorance by ignoring unanimous scientific opinion. Read the science, then come back and play.

Religious hatred a crime from October, but exemptions are wide


Please, please, please, please, please....

Could *all* of Jim Davidson's material be made illegal.

Intel consigns Cornish town to oblivion


Here's my two Penrynce's worth...

An Intel spokesperson said, ""It's just a codename that we're using - we have no plans whatsoever to use it as a brand. Once we start using the official product name of 'Newquay', everything will calm down for the locals there."