* Posts by The old man from scene 24

70 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed

The old man from scene 24

Yes, but...

...how does it work? I really don't care about the marketing bumph saying how clever it is - I want to see for myself!

Moses' parting of the Red Sea: New sim explains whole thing

The old man from scene 24

"the fact that the Bible is a work of fiction"?

Is that a "fact" like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is a "fact"? And do you mean that all 66 books of the Bible written at different times by different people with different world-views and different intentions, some of them explicitly claiming to be historical truth are fiction, or just some bits? I know people argue that Jonah, or Job for example, are historical fiction but would you claim that the bits attested to by archaeology (like Pontius Pilate, to pick a random example) are fiction? And what do you mean by "fiction", anyway? If a story demonstrates a true principle or moral, but isn't actually a historical record is it fact or fiction?

Just asking.

Bacon thief leaves rasher on door knob

The old man from scene 24


“The victims are at a loss to understand why someone would break-in to their house and steal a packet of bacon"

I think the technical name is CH3–CH2–OH.

Vulture 1: Plane plans planned

The old man from scene 24

Nuclear powered

I hope

'Spintronic' computing gets closer with laser 'lectron discovery

The old man from scene 24

Well, I wasn't sure

But then when you said "it stands to reason", I realise you must be right :)

The old man from scene 24


The art of writing press releases about speculative technologies.

PARIS team cracks Vulture 1-X wing

The old man from scene 24

Are you going to...

..build a straw man to put inside the craft?

Australian cave tour guide offered in Klingon

The old man from scene 24

In other news

Rescue team gives up search for wannabe trekkie tourist whose command of directions in Klingon turn out not to be as good as he thought.

Japanese press step into execution chamber

The old man from scene 24

And there's the rub

If we justify cruelty on the basis that someone else did it first, then we propagate an unending cycle of atrocity of mankind against his fellow mankind. Subhuman? Perhaps, but to respond in like manner is similarly subhuman.

Nude trampolinist bounces free from court

The old man from scene 24

Playmobile reconstruction, etc.

Really, I mean it. There are important questions that need answering. Like what kind of loser calls the police rather than just going back to bed and forgetting about it?

UK Skylon spaceplane set for engine test in '3-4 years'

The old man from scene 24


"Having placed the satellite, the SUS can then return to rendezvous with the Skylon and be stowed away again in the payload bay for return to Earth, refuelling and re-use."

The SUS will have quite a lot more kinetic energy than the SKYLON at this point. It's going to "rendezvous" and be "stowed" much like the SM-3 missile that rendezvoused with and was stowed in satellite USA-193.

iPhone thief nabbed by GPS, cops say

The old man from scene 24

Mind the gap

So, two conducting strips with a small gap? I reckon there's a gap in the iPhone portfolio - remotely activated high voltage generator. Call it iTaser.

IT council chiefs ditch Sadville after splurging £36k

The old man from scene 24

Re: Moron?

I'm with AC. It's like an average person who earns, say, £30k a year splurging £2.16 on a whacky idea just in case it has wings. No biggy, nothing to see.

The Register comment guidelines 2010

The old man from scene 24

So who had the balls...

...to report AC's post?

Our Vulture 1 aircraft begins to take shape

The old man from scene 24

Mass & balance

Any idea whether the mass & balance envelopes will fit the placement of the electronic kit?

Digital ad portrayed Catholic Queen as 'flesh-eating zombie'

The old man from scene 24

Yes, this is a real religious persecution story...

Honestly. Really. Take our word for it.

The Anglican and Roman churches will be up in arms about it any time now... wait for it... wait for it...

Wait, come back! Look, women bishops!

iPhone 4G blingmobe: Yours for £13k

The old man from scene 24


The iPhone is the ultimate throw away toy (gauging from the popularity of every new version) and diamond are forever.

What gives?

Feed curry to sheep, boffins suggest

The old man from scene 24

Ginger is supposed to calm an upset tummy...

...but if it isn't successful, it burns like the blazes coming back up.

Fanbois love sex toys: Official

The old man from scene 24

"iPad users whip Windows lusers"

Did anyone else read "Windows lusters"?

Seoul police crack down on Holy Water filter prof

The old man from scene 24


I don't really care to argue a specific proposition. If I did, then yes the burden of proof (or at least reasonable evidence) would be on me. Likewise, if you wished to convince me of a proposition (be it a negative or positive assertion), then you would be the one who needed to come up with the goods.

My original assertion was that I recommend one not dismiss the possibility of miracles at Lourdes on the basis of assumption. That's still my recommendation, but no one is under any obligation to take my advice. Or to draw any particular conclusion if they do decide to investigate further.

As for the smilies, I thought they might have taken some of the sting out of my sarcasm - keep it light rather than descending into character assassination. I was surprised at your insistence that you didn't want to look at any evidence before forming an opinion, you see. Anyway, either I misunderstood you or the humour didn't work, whatever.

So, sorry about that. Peace?

The old man from scene 24


Seriously this time, reading my previous post, it could have done with a few smileys.

The old man from scene 24

@Marcus dubious


Please don’t make assumptions.

I looked up the number just before I posted in order to add weight to my argument that miracle healing is bunkum not out of curiosity as to its validity.


Apologies for the assumption. I hope I can make it right by complimenting you on your observance of the fine and honourable tradition of finding your forgone conclusion in the data. I had previously wrongly supposed that you had committed the despicable act of weighing the data and allowing it to inform your opinion.

The old man from scene 24

How about growing back a missing hip joint?

Google Vittorio Micheli.

Be that as it may, being able to quote numbers like that means that you haven't dismissed the question out of hand Marcus, so I have no argument with you.

The old man from scene 24

@Geoff Mackenzie

You do parochial narrow-mindedness so well, you should try religion.

The old man from scene 24

Miracles at Lourdes

get some severely critical scrutiny before being acknowledged. Personally I'm unconvinced on theological grounds that Lourdes should be somehow special. But when I looked into it some time ago I was surprised to find that my scepticism didn't fit well with the actual outcomes.

Anyway, I'd recommend caution rather than dismissing the whole thing out of hand.

The old man from scene 24

They check with who?

"The police in turn checked in with the Seoul National University and Korean Institute of Science and Technology"

It really doesn't matter what the science crowd say. A theological claim is being made, not a scientific one, so the authority consulted ought to be a theologian.

I'm gonna get flamed/downvoted for this, I know.

US authorities shutdown websites accused of movie piracy

The old man from scene 24

I don't really hold with piracy, but...

...I'm still not stupid enough to confuse infringement of intellectual property rights with theft. In fact, if anything, over-zealous use of IP is more like theft than piracy is because the great effect of theft is that it unilaterally restricts use of an item.

Just thought that had to be said rather than allowing the notion to slip under the radar into our global consciousness with lines like the following:

"The net seizures came just one week after the White House announced its enforcement plan for confronting theft of intellectual property."

New surveillance-CSI method: Beverage hair-isotope trail

The old man from scene 24

Nicely done Mr Page

But as to the claim that one's short term presence in a location can be traced from isotopes in hair, I call bullshit. I'm pretty sure you need a largish sample with fairly uniform isotope distribution to get any decent fix. My hair just doesn't grow quickly enough for that.

German arrested for Adolf Hitler ringtone

The old man from scene 24


Is it 2010 already? Make that eighty years.

The old man from scene 24

Nothing has really changed

Sixty years ago the same basic kind of people helped Hitler form a police state which suppressed Jews (and others). Today the people aid the police in suppressing Nazi supporters. The only difference in the people is that they grew up under different presuppositions about who is good and who is bad. No one seems to realise that there is a problem with presuppositions that it's okay to suppress people. Of course, freedom of speech has its problems, but I'll take it over totalitarianism any day.

Secret ancient code, basis of all modern civilisation, cracked

The old man from scene 24

That depends on what you mean by "religion"

If you mean unquestioning acceptance of a large accrual of tosh, then no you cannot reconcile religion with science. But then under this definition, Christianity doesn't count as a religion (although that doesn't stop a lot of Christians from being "religious").

If you want a definition of "religion" that includes Christianity, then you're going to have to drop the 6000 years since creation claim and the false dichotomy between "creation" and "evolution". These simply are not affirmed by any core Christian doctrine. To whit, I direct you to the Nicene and Apostles creeds (google them), which say nothing about 6000 years or the mechanism by which biodiversity occurred.

Under this latter definition, there really isn't anything to reconcile.

Future quantum computers could be made of... silicon?

The old man from scene 24

Re: Only if you look at it

Sounds remarkably like the new iPhone.

The old man from scene 24

Another qubit discovered?

Soon we'll have enough for a whole qubyte!

Ah, this takes me back to the heady days of non-quantum computing when researchers were coming up almost daily with new kinds of bit. Who could forget, for example, the hole in a piece of cardboard or the fiendishly clever toggle switch?

Bloody George's Budget: How bad is it really?

The old man from scene 24

Just to try out an idea...

Why not scrap taxation altogether and simply agree that the government will print a certain amount of money each year for government expenses? Just think - no more tax returns, no more money spent on policing taxation, no more slipping through the cracks with tax free dividend & CGT income, no more low income traps, easily predictable inflation, ...

It seems like such a good idea that we'd already be doing it if there wasn't some disastrous downside. So what *is* the downside?

Utah Attorney General tweets execution go-ahead

The old man from scene 24

Exodus 20:13

Is about murder. Good luck convincing everyone who supports the death penalty that execution is murder.

NASA: Civilization will end in 2013 (possibly)

The old man from scene 24

Re: Erm...

No, I'm pretty sure it's safe. It certainly worked that time I was almost abducted by a UFO.

The old man from scene 24

Not a problem here

My tinfoil hat will keep me safe.

$11.7m judgment against Spamhaus slashed to $27,000

The old man from scene 24

In other news

Pepper spray manufacturers are found guilty of interfering with muggers carrying out their business.

BP targets Twitter to clean up oil spill

The old man from scene 24

New campaign: boycott everyone else

I think I'm going to start making a point of buying fuel exclusively from BP. They need some level-headed customers to redress the balance.

Amazing 'pulse of darkness' ray tech birthed in US gov labs

The old man from scene 24

Are you sure?

I thought it was talking about a laser capable of emitting a beam of pure anti-matter.

Plucky Finn attempts to drive length of Finland in small digger

The old man from scene 24

Enough of this insanity

What will these buffoons do next? Release a paper aeroplane from space?

BP grabs 'oil spill' keywords on Google

The old man from scene 24


Of course BP is trying to control the reputational damage and have their angle represented. This is hardly evil - it's common sense. What are we going to do next, condemn them for spending $1.5bn and rising on the cleanup and containment effort because it's just a cynical ploy to win our affections?

Seriously, the motivations that need questioning are the ones behind the people who are reporting this "news" and manipulating the public to think that BP are evil as a result.

That's not to say BP aren't evil, there are already allegations that their safety standards weren't very good, but this will all come out in the wash eventually and when it does we'll be able to rationally decide how honourably they've behaved.

Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake

The old man from scene 24

I quite liked the article

I thought that was one of the most beautifully constructed piece of irony I've seen all year, Andrew. Frankly I don't care which sacred cows you trampled, given how well you did it.

Supercomputer oil slick sims predict greasy Atlantic

The old man from scene 24

Oil is a bit like volcanic dust

Its concentration decreases the more you spread it out. So mixing this stuff with the loop current sounds like it could be a great idea. Wouldn't it, just perhaps, have been useful if the computer model in question also gave and estimate of concentration and compared that to some reasonably safe level? You know, to give us an upper bound on the extent of the disaster.

South African Bill to block all porn

The old man from scene 24

Malusi Gigaba?

Or "make less the gigabytes"?

Mines the one with the pornography detecting packet sniffer in the pocket.

Dolphin talks to humans – but does he love Toughbook or iPad?

The old man from scene 24


‘Don’t eat me’ - seriously - you chose that over 'So long and thanks for all the fish'?

Google blames Wi-Fi snooping on rogue engineer

The old man from scene 24


"He told the FT that Google will begin handing over the intercepted payload data to German, French, Spanish and Italian regulators within the next two days."

It's not something physical that needs handing back. Why on Earth do regulators now need a copy of people's snooped data?

EU Parliament plans Google-powered paedo detector

The old man from scene 24

My wife's old school had "girls college" as part of its name...

...and I absent mindedly searched for it once - back before safe search had ever been invented.

The old man from scene 24

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Surprise is our greatest weapon! Surprise and fear and internet search logs.

Met lab claims 'biggest breakthrough since Watergate'

The old man from scene 24

I call BS too

And in addition I want to know what happens if you record something and then subsequently record a playback of it. Which "time signature" triumphs?



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