* Posts by Ian 49

12 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Sep 2009

'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

Ian 49

130,000 knife DEATHS in the UK, SuccessCase? Really? Evidence please.

"NHS data suggests there were 4,490 people admitted to English hospitals in 2011/12 due to assault by a sharp object. The lowest level since 2002/03."


In 2003, according to a news article found on the same quick search to check, found 332 knife deaths in that year. As the source was a campaign piece in The Sun, however, that's less than authoritative. In context, however, they are most likely to over-, not under-report the numbers.

FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

Ian 49

FMS routing changes

Has anyone here actually considered that when changes in flightplan/cruise level, etc. are sent to an aircraft's systems, they do not "just happen" and require the crew to accept them before they take effect?

The crew are flying along towards Miami and suddenly the FMS brings up altered flightplan information redirecting them to Havana. They look at the displays, scratch their heads briefly (the aircraft at this point is still following the original flight plan), talk to Centre/Center, then say "stuff that" in an American accent and press "cancel", causing the aircraft to keep following the original accepted flight plan to Miami.

Yes, if you hacked enough systems, you could probably bypass that, but it would take a lot more than just injecting new information via the ground-to-air link through ACARS which is what I understand this "hack" does from the information provided.

MEGAGRAPH: 1983's UK home computer chart toppers

Ian 49

C64 user here

And despite being in my final year at primary school, I spent more time doing computer support for the completely computer illiterate school staff on the three trolley-mounted BBCs than I did learning anything.

I've spent the rest of my life trying to fix peoples' problems with computers. It's getting old now.

Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

Ian 49

First hand experience

Part of the problem is the age of aircraft.

Until I had a kid, I used to fly leased/club C152s and PA-28s. One one training flight for my IMC rating, we were getting very significant problems with the ADF/NDB equipment giving misleading readings. We landed to investigate, during which time my Blackberry, which I had thought I had turned off, was found turned on in my flightbag. Turn it off, problem resolved. Turn it on, problem occurred.

The aircraft went to the maintenance company at the end of the day to have the connections to the NDB receiver checked. The wiring was fine - it was the NDB receiver itself that was being interfered with. Being an older unit, the club had updated it to a new shiny one before I had to stop flying.

Yes it was a training aircraft, not an airliner, it's first hand evidence that it can happen.

Dirt 3

Ian 49

Yes, Brian 59...

...you are playing a different game. The gymkhana IS a requirement to move off the first tier. At least on PC, I can't comment on consoles. You cannot advance without completing each of the "skill" lessons and the "competition" at the end, which I got through has fast as possible and with as little effort as possible. After that, as I said above, you can dodge them in the seasons if you prefer.

Regarding vehicle handling alterations and tuning, there are six massively over-simplistic sliders you can move, which you can use to make your car utterly uncontrollable if you like, but none of them allow anywhere near the amount of alteration you could manage even in the original Dirt, let alone a "proper driving sim". Doesn't bother me massively, although I'd much prefer a couple more, but it does put this firmly into "game" and out of "sim".

As others have said, Dirt3 is dumbed down like mad for the console kid crowd, whether they be 14 or 41. I'd probably rate it closer to 70 than 90. Fun, pretty, but far from groundbreaking and not what they advertised (which I never expected it to be, personally).

Scissorhands: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobil-Rally-Championship-PC-CD/dp/B0000CFU5F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306515102&sr=1-1

Available in bargain buckets all over the place for about two fifty and working fine on my Windows 7 64 Home Premium rig. I think I had to use a third-party installer to make it actually work, but may be wrong on that. I've had it installed for so long I can't remember!

Boffin icon because I actually know what roll bars, brake balance, toe-in etc. do, even if Dirt3 won't let me loose on them with a virtual spanner.

Ian 49

But indeed

I actually don't mind the Drift and Gymkhana events - Dirt stopped being a rally title years ago (I still have a Rally Championship installed for proper rallying, which now works brilliantly with the Logitech G25) - but the fact that you *have* to do the Gymkhana to advance from tier one racing is a pretty poor show.

I quite like the off-road racing aspect and am enjoying the game, but couldn't be bothered with the gymkhana stuff and while you can get enough points to avoid drift and gymkhana events in the seasons, you can't get out of that initial yawn-inducing school and event to get past first tier without doing the DiRTy "gymkhana" deed.

TBH, I'd prefer Dirt2 with updated graphics to this latest offering. It's fun, but so far I preferred its predecessor. In spite of being a stuffy middle class Brit, I don't mind a bit of fun every now and then and that's what these games offer. Then I can go back to the Welsh forests and wreck some poor unsuspecting virtual 106 or Escort or something in Rally Championship.

South West Trains puts squeeze on commuters

Ian 49
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So what's new?

Our Regional Railways sorry Centro sorry Central Trains sorry London Midland sorry network West Midlands (with a small "n") branded Class 150s and 323s have had 2-3 seating that no-one can sit on the middle seat of since the 1980s. Hence most people stand at rush hour.

Chiltern offer seats that people can sit on... So most people still stand at rush hour.

Where's the news in this, exactly? The fact that it has happened in the South and South East to catch up (down?) with the rest of us?

Speed cameras slide out of LibCon budget

Ian 49
Black Helicopters

But then of course...

...if you really wanted to lower accidents and serious incidents on the roads, you'd increase the number of specially trained personnel, able to see and respond to them.

You could call them, say, "Traffic Police"... something like that?

But they cost money, they don't bring it in, don't they. Never going to happen then.

Black helicopter icon to represent the blue and yellow EC135 that seems to have taken a liking to hovering near our house, of late.

Dirty, dirty PCs: The X-rated picture guide

Ian 49

Best one I've ever met

was back in the early 90s when the company I was working for had supplied PCs to a local foundry (yes, we still had one back then - a whole real factory too!) for admin purposes. We'd built them a network in the offices, plugged all the machines in and agreed to attend when one failed a few weeks later.

They'd picked it up and moved it out (with a BNC network extension) into the foundry area itself. In less than two weeks the entire PC was choked with residue to the point at which you could no longer see the motherboard components and the RAM sticks looked like those wooden constructions they use to stop sand eroding away from coastlines. The PC was totally dead, wouldn't even spin up the power supply after being cleaned out (and this was an AT supply, well before soft switching).

We sold them a new PC. They agreed to keep it in the office area.

Tories may cut Met Office funding

Ian 49

Off Topic, but Endurance...

...was *planned to be decommissioned* by the Thatcher Government, which was one of the things that the Argentine Junta took as showing a lack of British interest in the islands, thus opening the way for their attack. The fact that an effectively unarmed (and bright red hulled) ice patrol ship specifically wasn't scrapped at that point is slightly irrelevent, considering that the Royal Navy had to take combat vessels that had been sold to other nations back over on the high seas to return them to the UK, rearm them and sail as part of the Task Force. The landing ship HMS Intrepid, if memory serves, was one of these. HMS Hermes, which served as the Task Force flagship, was also on the market to be sold (and was, soon afterwards, to India).

The Met Office provides huge amounts of specialist information, accurate or otherwise, to a wide array of users from farmers, through sailors and pilots, mountaineers and hill climbers (and mountain rescue teams) to the aforementioned military forces. It is essential to many of those people, a lot of whom will be seen as easy cash cows by the private sector in the same way that rail passengers and similar are now by other privatised industries. The service won't get better, but the costs will increase massively, because the priority of the organisation is no longer the service, it's making money.

Selling the country to the lowest bidder at great expense still seems to be a priority to those who read the potted jingoistic version of British history. Maybe forcing Politicians to study history rather than law might help? I doubt it. They'd just convince themselves that history never happened, to prove that they are somehow right, in the face of all the evidence.

Ian 49

You mean...

...the Tories have found a service they didn't manage to sell off last time, so they have to get it through quickly this time, don't you?

After all. The previous national services sold off have performed SO much better in private hands, haven't they?

Of course private industry will be utterly impartial without serving its own interests, supply equally to all "partners" and charge the Government less than they currently pay for the services they currently receive... right?

The Government has its own agenda, private industry will have its own agenda. This has nothing to do with that. This is all about the money.

Google Maps reborn as world's largest Monopoly board

Ian 49
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You're welcome to Bell End... As long as you also take Mincing Lane, which it runs on to.