* Posts by rpjs

122 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

Naturist club objects to erection of five storey tower block


"have reacted with fury"

Uh, has El Reg started hiring Daily Mail hacks or something?

What does the Hurd mentality bring to Oracle?



Anyone else having visions of an Ellison/Stallman marriage from hell from the headline?

Actually, wouldn't that be like bringing matter and antimatter together?

Apple Ping unfriends meanie Facebook


"Onerous terms"

Gosh, I'm reminded of a metaphor here. Something to do with vessels for heating water for cooking or making hot drinks. If only I could remember it...

Bye-bye to bizarro bye-laws, says UK.gov



In the US, every level of government is empowered to legislate within its competence, without having to get sign-off from the next level up, so why not here? I suppose we will need to define what each level's competence is though.

Porn and pirates hide Android's money maker


I guess we really will see which is best now...

...the Cathedral or the Bazaar

Home Office unveils new UK passport


Surely most travellers

Open their passports to the photo page before handing them over to check-in/passport control staff. I know I do.

Skeletal scanner would ID terrorists from 50 meters


Good job Labour lost the election

Or they'd have these things on every street corner by the time of the next one.

IT council chiefs ditch Sadville after splurging £36k


It was

It was certainly seven years for financial records back in the 90s when I worked in local government.

Perhaps someone should do an FoI request as to how long they usually keep emails for.


To be fair...

I used to work in local government IT and we were one of the first councils in the UK to have a website, back in 1995 or thereabouts, and the same criticisms about whether it was a legitimate use of public money were raised then. I don't think anyone would argue that councils shouldn't have websites today.

On the other hand, Sadville is *so* 2005, so wtf Tameside were doing playing about on it in 2009 is another matter - don't they know the cool kids all have Facebook profiles these days?

Underground tunnel complexes FOUND ON MOON


I think you need to clarify one sentence

"President Obama has lately stated that there will be no manned return to the Moon"

ITYM "no *American* manned return to the Moon", or at least not until after the Chinese get there.

LPG lake on Titan evaporating in scorchio -180°C heatwave


In related news...

Titanian Methane have announced a hosepipe ban for all Antarctic region customers.

Job sites slam domain name land grab


Have Apple...

...pre-registered steve.jobs?

Romford coppers try to stopper young snapper


[citation needed]

Nope, sorry not accepting your kneejerk xenophobia until you show me where it is wriiten in Roman Law or any subsequent statute that "everything is forbidden excepting that which is expressly permitted"

Wannabe Jedi drool over potent laser 'lightsabre'


When lightsabres are banned...

...only criminals will have lightsabres!

Google to Commies: We’ll make censorship illegal


What sort of censorship?

I mean, pols all over the "free" and not-even-pretending-to-be-free worlds have been falling over themselves to ban internet smut recently

UK.gov issues death warrant for ID cards


Not just Japan

but the US, the UK since c.1920 (albeit previously in the form of a passport endorsement) and oh, just about every country in the world. In fact, if you know of a country[1] that *doesn't* require foreign residents to hold some form of documentation of such status, please let me know. If it's warm and reasonably peaceful I might consider moving there.

[1] By which I mean one with a functioning government. Somalia doesn't count


That's right

Non-EU resident foreigners previously had to have a residency permit applied to their passport, now they get it as a separate card instead, just like the US "Green Card". Personally I'd prefer the foreign resident ID Card be renamed something like a Residency Card, simply so all mention of "ID cards" can be removed from the political lexicon, but I suspect most resident foreigners will prefer a card to carting their passport around.

No refunds for ID card pioneers


And to be fair

All the ID cards for non-EU nationals are is their old residence permits that are now a plastic card rather than a sticker in their passport.

Norks 'have answer to humanity's greatest problem'


I wonder if

Someone smuggled a copy of Ken MacLeod's /The Execution Channel/ into the DPRK and someone there read it and thought "hmm". In this novel a consortium of the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans make a huge technological breakthrough and literally leapfrog the rest of the world (to say any more would be a spoiler).

However in the novel, they actually *have* the breakthrough technology...

Voting chaos in not-fit-for-purpose electoral system



The great thing about our manual polling system is that it's pretty difficult to fiddle. Yes, you could fiddle it, there a lots of ways, but most ways require a lot of warm bodies to help pull it off, and the more people up to no good, the more likely someone else will notice, or someone involved will blab.

Voting online, you'd just be voting into the cloud. There's no transparency, and a whole lot of points where those with malicious intent can interfere. What's more, another good thing about the current system (admittedly diluted by the recent change to postal votes on demand) is that no-one can buy, unduly influence or extort your vote because *no-one can see who you voted for*. Voting online means that anyone in the room with you, whether your husband/wife, parent, church elder, boss, shop steward or party boss can see who you voted for.

It's not perfect, and I suspect the problems this time have come about due to returning officers expecting a lower turnout than they got being caught out with not enough resources, but like democracy itself it remains the worst system apart from all the others.

Britain and Israel in stand-off over Mossad officer


And of course

No MI6 agent has EVER used a dodgy non-British passport.

Times websites want £1 a day from June



I used to buy the Grauniad daily, until the cover price hit £1 and I decided it was just too expensive.

I now read it through their iPhone app, which was (IIRC) priced around £2 with all content free. (I find their iPhone app very useful as it allows batch downloads for off-line reading and my commute involves a lot of travelling through tunnels where there's no internet access)

I'd happlly pay per article, say a penny or two per read as I don;t think I come close to reading 100 articles each day. Just so long as I can download the data for offline reading and have the micropayments for what I actually read processed next time I'm online.

Dell Mini 10


What a shame

We have a Ubuntu SSD Mini 10v, and it's perfect for day to day surfing and basic productivity tasks like writing docs (wifey uses it on the train into work sometimes). Being just below the £200 mark it was a no-brainer to buy, and being SSD it can survive being (frequently) knocked off the coffee table by the cat. I even used it to do some MySQL development for my sister-in-law.

So what do we have now? Costs more than the what-the-hell-why-not price point of £200. Windows (bleck, but I at least would be happy to have XP, rather than Vista+) and no SSD. FAIL on all counts.

Train rebrand costs us dear


Contractual requirement

Even if a franchisee forfeits their franchise, they have the right to have their trademarks removed within a short period of time (just a few weeks I think). The same thing happened when Connex lost the Southeastern franchise a few years back. All mention of Connex was removed within a few weeks from all the stations and trains. And a good thing too as they were terrible, although the current mob (GoVia) aren't much better. Bring back the nationalised South Eastern Trains!

US Navy plans self-building floating fortresses



Floating fortresses are exactly what we need in the war against Eurasia, er I mean Eastasia comrade!

Pirate Party UK launches manifesto



I don't care if they only thing they keep on the NIR about me is my favourite colour. I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON IT.

EU approves on-board GSM for cruisers


GSM range can be impressive

Last year we took a med cruise and I was surprised to find that out on the sea between Barcelona and Villefranche (near Nice) I could pick up an Algerian network when I ran a network detect. I also got Tunisian networks while sailing around Sicily on the way to Santorini..

And now - new stealth jumpjet makes first hover landing


Good grief

So what you're saying is "Eyewateringly expensive piece of new defence kit in 'works better than expected' shocker?"

That's not something you see every day.

'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'


I don't like to give comfort to tinfoilers

But it would be an elegant solution to the Fermi Paradox. Any sufficiently advanced species starts mucking about with particle accelerators and soon builds one that gobbles them up.

Street View plays spot the army numberplate


Possibly just the military

The old Routemasters still running on a couple of "heritage" routes in London have white on black numberplates. After much street viewing along Cannon Street, Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street, I found this fine example on the Strand that does show its numberplate blurred: http://bit.ly/b8Y6S0

Mole-cruiser planned to attack Iranian nuke bunkers


Reminds me

Of a 60s SF movie where the perfidious Chinese were tunnelling across the Pacific to place nukes under American cities, and only a lone scientist realises what they're up to and has to convince the Pentagon that he's not crazy.

'Health and safety killjoys' kill cheese-rolling race


Didn't this happen before?

And the local people ignored the "cancellation" and went and did it anyway.

German geeks invade Australia

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Why would any techie

want to go to a country that sees China as a role model for Internet governance?

Premium line complaints drop by more than half


Regulation working?

Or is that most people don't realise that "PhonePayplus" is actually the regulator to which they can complain and not some sort of advocacy group for the trade?

US unveils planet-hugging London embassy

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Yet another reason why I love El Reg!

iPad forces operators to shave their SIMs



Wait (approx 5 seconds) for Taiwan, China and their dogs to start selling microSIM adapters, like the ones you can get for SD cards?

UK.gov unmoved by Internet Explorer 6 security concerns



At what point does Admiral West say he's happy with IE6? He says "There is no evidence that moving from the latest fully patched versions of Internet Explorer to other browsers will make users more secure." which suggests he expects departments to be using IE8 to me.

Germans unveil robots 'controlled by chaos itself'


I, for one...

...welcome our new Erisian robotic overlords.

Hail Eris!

National space agency for Blighty, says Drayson


Other suggestions:

Interplanetary Space Fleet

Ministry of Space

Space Corps

2009's Top Nas boxes


Do any of them

Support an existing-formatted Mac HFS+ disk? I have a dead MacBook that I'd like to rescuew the HDD from...

Last patch train of the decade rolls in from Redmond


Inevitable pedantry

Last patch train of the year maybe, but in my calendar the first decade of the 21st century still has another year to run.

LHC pulverises previous record: 2.36 TeV surprise collision!


What I still want to know...

Is the LHC a Hadron Collider which is Large, or a Collider of Large Hadrons?

LHC knocked out by ANOTHER power failure


If the LHC is going to kill us all...

...I will die happy knowing that there is still one other person in the English-speaking word who knows the correct meaning of "presently". Top hole Lewis!

UK.gov may abolish edited electoral roll


No mention of credit checks?

As I understand it, credit reference agencies get access to the *full*, not edited register. I've always felt that this is an abuse of the register. Somehow I expect the agencies will continue to get full access no matter what.

Gov targets boozers as Manc ID card scheme launches

Big Brother

Oh lord

"tough legislation introduced this month to clamp down on underage drinking"

What new assault on liberty and sanity does this entail I wonder?

BBC storm cockup: Wrong day's shipping forecast read



The Shipping Forecast today has nothing to do with providing weather information to mariners, if it ever did. Its actual purpose is to allow Middle England to pretend it's still 1936, and be able to go to sleep secure in the knowledge that for tonight, Johnny Foreigner is being kept from our scepter'd shores by force 7 gales in sea areas Portland, Wight, Dover and Thames.

Combat games disrespect war laws, report claims


Better ban Civilization then

You can commit genocide in that.

Is data overload killing off human initiative?


We are humans

We are the dominant species on this planet - we have a larger range than any other creature in the world, bar a few bacteria we've taken on our adventures with us.

Why? Because we have intelligence (allegedly), and that gives us the ability to adapt. And we will adapt to to this too, just like we adapted to the invention of cooking, of agriculture. of settlement and everything else.

Yes it's sad that a trainee teacher lost her job because of an embarrassing Facebook picture, but if the education authorities are going to insist on taking that line, they're going to be even more short of new teachers than they are already. They're just going to have to adapt.

Apple iPad to get OLED screen


But if there's to be two models

...an LCD and an OLED one, why delay the LCD version until the OLED one is ready? It's not like the fanbois won't buy both anyway.

MoD redefines 'public' with online poll

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I agree, I voted "no threat" for all of them.