* Posts by Rick

25 publicly visible posts • joined 25 May 2007

Artist slices gadgets using CT scanner



"X-rays produces much nicer results."

You mean like the x-rays used in a CT scanner?

Retired army generals: Spend Trident money on the army



Your maths is right, but you're missing two very important things. Firstly, each sub has 16 missiles, not 4. Secondly, each missile can have up to 12 separate warheads. By my count that's a maximum of 768 nukes required. Of course, "up to" doesn't mean that every missile actually does have 12 nuclear warheads, so obviously that number will be rather lower, but 250 new warheads doesn't sound at all out of order.

UFO wind turbine prang site sealed


@ Steve Roper

You forgot:

6) Probability of said astronomically rare intelligent starfaring civilizations, having come across our planet or 100-light-year-bubble of radio transmissions in order to detect us, out of all the possible places they could visit or ways they could communicate with or study us, making their first port of call a remote field in England and crashing into a wind turbine.

It's not so much about scepticism as it is about not being severely retarded.

Gov aims to extend dead artists' royalty denial


Music != Art?

A musician records a song and then gets paid every time a copy is played for the next 70 years, even if they're dead (or if, like Cliff Richards, we just wish they were).

An artist paints a picture and doesn't get paid more than once even if the original is later sold on, let alone copies.

I suppose it would be too much to hope for some consistency in intellectual property laws.

Nissan: buy our electric cars... rent our batteries


Nissan Nuvu Photo Gallery

Using "photo" in the sense of "Completely made up computer generated image because we haven't actually started thinking about making this yet, and probably never will.".

Artists impression of a coat that I don't own, probably never will and wouldn't be getting even if I did.

US stocks up on semi-automatic rifles

Paris Hilton

Screw the constitution.

Seriously, what's the name of this thing being argued about? Amendment. As in, it wasn't in the constitution to start with but was added later. So what's the big deal? If taking away guns would be against the 2nd amendment, just make another amendment to get rid of the damn thing. They've done it 27 times already, why not make it 28? Is it just possible that what seemed like good laws 220 years ago might not be the best we can do today?

Well, I did use the word "screw".

Gary Glitter expelled from GCSE paper

Paris Hilton

I am title, hear me roar.

"Boys and girls of 15 or 16 who select this song will go straight to the internet to find Glitter’s music. I dread to think what they may find searching online for him.”

While I agree it would be pretty horrific if they accidentally found some of his music, it seems far more likely that they'll just find news about him being a pedophile.

Seriously though, as a wise man (OK, boy) once said - what's the big fucking deal, bitch? It's not like these are nursery children, GCSE students are plenty old enough to know about things like this. Hell, given that it's a mix of 15 and 16 year olds, half of them are probably technically pedophiles themselves. What exactly is supposed to be achieved by pretending Gary Glitter doesn't exist?

Paris, because they all know about her already.

Sony pitches blue-laser Compact Disc revival


What's a CD?

Seriously, does anyone actually buy CDs anymore? Who cares what lasers they use, it's not going fit into the USB socket on my mp3 player any better.

Feds hamstring world's largest spam gang



OK, I'm not exactly a fan of spam but let's be honest, anyone retarded enough to actually send money to a spammer deserves everything they get.

Feds: Search engine bride was tax evading prostitute


@Am I missing something?

"So prostitution is illegal in the US... yet if you make a lot of money out of it, the government wants some? Surely they can't have it both ways..."

It's the old Al Capone tactic. They can't prove, in a court of law, that she was a prostitute but they can prove that she made a lot of money without paying tax. She's (allegedly) guilty of two separate crimes, but since they can only prove one, that's the one they're going for.

Report: UK physics 'damaged' by budget blunder bloodbath



What nonsense. There were no massive budget overruns at Diamond. There weren't even any small ones. Diamond was completed entirely on budget and on time. All the crap in the media about it were simply the people who screwed up desperately trying to blame it on a scapegoat instead of themselves, which they did by presenting one of the first concept proposals as if it actually had anything to do with the final project.

While there is an awful lot of bullshit and politics involved between Daresbury and RAL, none of it actually means anything at all in relation to British science. The exact location of any particular project has nothing to do with its success or Britain's reputation, it's just pointless economic politics plus a few people whining that the design for a several hundred million pound lab didn't take into account that they want it near their house. Considering that many people here moved from thousands of miles away to work here, the whiners in Daresbury really don't have a leg to stand on.

UK minister looks for delete key on user generated content


Fuck the children.

So let me get this straight. The content in question is perfectly legal, so the logical response to it is to ban it because some children might see. Right. While we're at it, why don't we ban cars as well? Children aren't allowed to drive them but one might get in my car at some point, and we can't be having that now, can we?

Ten of the Best... iPod rivals


Cowon Systems

Reminds me why I like this site, I've never even heard them mentioned anywhere else other than the site I bought mine from, despite them easily making among the best media players around. Support for formats other than mp3 (including FLAC), work as a simple USB drive without any crappy proprietory software, no DRM, simple and obvious interface, very good battery life (at least on music models rather than video ones, I still get well over 25 hours from mine) and sturdy enough to last 5-6 years of being dropped on the floor.

Sure, they don't have touch screens, telepathic routines to sort and choose your music and so on, but so what? I don't want a media player to look pretty or tell me what I can and can't listen to, I just want to plug it in, put music on it and then listen to it. I've never found another company that really comes close. The only problem I've had with it is that the remote died, but considering the abuse it's had, that's not really something I can complain about.

NASA chief: ISS tests for super plasma space drive


@Mike Richards

"large chunks of intensely radioactive material re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, and on one occasion hit Canada."

So where's the cause for concern then?

NASA: Mars is good habitat for Terry Pratchett dragons


Rocket fuel

The only rockets on the Phoenix lander are monopropellant hydrazine thrusters used for the final part of its landing. No perchlorate of any kind could have been brought to Mars by Phoenix.

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban


Quiet carriages

Trains have carriages set aside where you're not allowed to use phones or do other noisy things like having children. Why can't airlines just do the same?

However, I fully support the summary detention, and preferably execution, of anyone using Crazy Frog as a ringtone.

Driving some value into Google's Street View


OS != roads

Others have already mentioned it, but it bears repeating. The author appears to have completely missed the point of OS maps. Google, OSM and whoever else only map roads, and maybe a few other things like bike paths. Which is great, as long as all you want to do is drive, or get an idea of where somewhere is. OS, on the other hand, map everything. And I mean absolutely everything. Roads, paths, buildings, heights, pylons, fences. Everything. Oddly enough, measuring and recording everything in such detail costs money, and involves actually looking at the place rather than just sitting at a computer. Good luck getting that done free over the internet.

Boeing chuffed with latest raygun-jumbo ground tests


@John Robson

It doesn't matter how good a mirror is, it will vapourise instantly when hit with that amount of power (unless it's actually perfect of course, but such a thing doesn't exist). Only a tiny fraction of the pulse would be reflected, and even that would be unfocussed and would be unlikely to even be noticed by the aircraft.

Free for all on London Underground


Re: When people think they won't get caught

"The vast majority of people are thieves (see software music piracy)."

To start with, breach of copyright is not theft. Theft requires something to be taken, not copied. It may be a crime, although many would argue that it shouldn't be, but it is not theft.

"If people really were so honest you would see most shops unmanned including the tills.

People could buy their goods open the till and take the correct change"

Not really comparable situations. If one person sneaks on to a train while everyone else pays, the worst that happen is the train operator loses a few pence. If one person empties the till while everyone else pays honestly, the till is still empty.

BSA: Software piracy's 'tragic' impact on US society


Two rather big problems here:

Firstly, unlicensed != pirated. Pirated means you have purchased an illegal copy off someone. Unlicensed usually just means you've installed more copies of a perfectly legal piece of software than you have licenses for. I'm pretty sure many, if not most, companies have at least some unlicensed software, but I doubt there are very many at all that have pirated software.

Secnodly, "The most tragic aspect is that the lost revenues to tech companies and local governments could be supporting thousands of good jobs and much-needed social services in our communities"

Since when are local governments in the habit of producing and licensing software? They are the users, not the producers. If everyone suddenly decided to properly license all their software, local governements would lose money, not gain it.

Nike pulls Air Stab trainers


"They were named before all the recent problems."?


Yeah, a 10% reduction in crime is such a big problem.

When flash mobs go bad


Leeds is the 3rd biggest city in England?

Well, aside from the fact that there are three cities bigger than it.

Schoolboy's asteroid-strike sums are wrong



"if it is in a zero g environment then it WOULD affect the trajectory according to Newtons laws."

Sure. However, what he meant is that it won't affect the trajectory in any significant way. When you're dealing with tens of thousands and error bars of hundreds of kilometres, a few kilometres either way really don't matter.

"Surely if it passes INSIDE the Geo-stationary orbit it has to pass THROUGH it which means the possibility of a hit"

No. At its closest approach, it will be closer to the Earth than a geostationary orbit. However, at its closest approach it will be near the poles, where there aren't any geostationary sattelites. By the time it reaches the equatorial plane, it will be further away than any sattelites and therefore has zero chance of hitting anything. There is always the possibility of some random junk floating around in its path, but since any junk will be far smaller than a sattelite, the effect will be even less worth considering.

Your space, MySpace, everybody's space


Reason? Who needs reason?

The worst part isn't that they demanded data without authority, or that they criticised MySpace for not caving in. It is that there doesn't seem to be any valid reason for wanting it in the first place. Details of people who can no longer use the site? Who is that going to help? Will it help the police catch people who no longer have the chance to do anything wrong? Will it help parents protect their children from people who they can't talk to anymore anyway?

If they had given some kind of vaild reason for WHY they wanted the data I might have more sympathy. But this just smacks of someone deciding it sounded like a good idea and then throwing a tantrum when they didn't get their way, without ever actually thinking about what they were asking or why they were asking it.

Strange spoofing technique evades anti-phishing filters



As Jeff says, a message appears on the NatWest site which implies something similar is happening there. What is worrying is that this message only appears after you have logged on. It seems they are happy to tell people that they may have already given their details away, but they don't bother warning anyone beforehand so they can avoid doing so.