* Posts by Stanislaw

75 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Aug 2010


Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight


Mixed feelings

Whilst I salute the achievement of bacon-on-demand, I find the term Department of Meat Sciences ... disturbing.

Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch


Did you know...

Gary Numan is actually older than Gary Oldman?

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO



Brundle is famous for his "talk to a random person on the grid" spots and minor faux pas are practically the objective, or at least an acceptedly high probability. Nothing unusual in this one at all.

From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop


So Much For Subtlety

Just a GSV having a larf, I expect.

Ex-sperm-inate! Sam the sex-droid 'heavily soiled' in randy nerd rampage


I'm Sorry, I haven't a clue!

"Samantha has to slip out now because she needs to go to the supermarket to buy something for dinner. She's very fond of Mr Sainsbury's steak-in-ale but this evening, by way of a change, she's looking forward to trying Mr Dewhurst's tongue in cider."

Humphrey Lyttelton* 1921-2008, and much missed.

*OK so he won't have written it, but it's all in the delivery.

Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays


"A dipolar component of anisotropy is predicted...

...with an amplitude that exceeds existing bounds at EeV energies"

Been saying that for ages. Only last Friday down the pub, for instance. "Lads, " I said, "there's no way these high-energy particles originate from the Milky Way. You wanna know why? Cos they'd have to have a dipolar component of anisotropy with an amplitude bigger than our galaxy can manage. That's why not. And as for that Donald Trump..."



Re: Life... Or"intelligent" life? Not the same thing.

Dolphins? Surely all they've ever done is muck about in the water having a good time...

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


This is no time for breads


I think you mean a bap (West Midlands) or a cob (East Midlands).

However I'd go for a Staffordshire oatcake every time.

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts


Re: Devil's Advocate

@ ManFromOz

I am familiar with Singer's work. He is indeed a very stimulating read, and I highly recommend anyone to give it a try.

I respectfully disagree with practically everything he has to say.

Just to comment on a single point: I think you'd be doing well to find a measure more objective than whether an organism is H. sapiens or not.

@ Meph

I honestly hadn't considered that and I find it depressing that I might have given PETA more credit than they deserve. You may well be right.


Re: Devil's Advocate

I don't believe this is anything to do with copyright per se. It's PETA's attempt to begin to establish a legal basis for the extension of human rights & freedoms to animals. If you can successfully argue that a monkey can own copyright, you're part way to showing it's a person. You've got the thin end of the wedge in place and can then start hammering away at it, extending the concept to areas such as rights to life, freedom etc.

I find this deeply disturbing. Human rights - which not even all humans currently enjoy, let's not forget - are far too precious and hard-won. They exist precisely to differentiate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. If you grant animals the same rights as humans, you don't raise the animals up - you devalue the lives of humans. This is very dangerous territory.

Protect animals, by all means. Legislate against cruelty. But leave it at that, for all our sakes.

Has AI gone too far? DeepTingle turns El Reg news into terrible erotica


"Ford, there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want us to take a look at this script for Hamlet they've worked out."

Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8


What's not to like?

Heh. Now you're being a little bit naughty, quoting most of my sentence but leaving off the bit at the end. I'm sure Novosibirsk is not only lovely, but also important, and you're a proper scamp for trying to make it look like I think otherwise!


Security is now optional, it seems

On my Windows 7 box KB3179930 - the rollup with the .NET stuff in it - has come up as an optional update, despite the description mentioning that it corrects security issues.

Whereas an update to correct time zone information in Novosibirsk is listed as important despite me being in the UK.

Go figure, I suppose.

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies


Looking for a bunker

You know things are bad when you find yourself really hoping that Theresa May will be the next PM. Sheesh.

UK.gov's hated Care.data project binned



I wonder why they chose today to announce this... oh, hang on...

Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe


Re: Fucking moron

If you haven't a clue what you're up against, then how would you know that you are unprepared?

Because it's a 4000+ft mountain at 57 degrees N on the west coast of Scotland with absolutely nothing to stop the Atlantic weather barrelling in. In March, for pity's sake. None of this is secret information.

In other words: Common Sense.


Re: Fucking moron

"There's nothing wrong with spontaneity."

Just with understanding what the word means, I guess?

Oh please. I can decide, on the spur of the moment, to go climb a very big, tall mountain, and because I am an experienced mountaineer I know I have a reasonable chance of coming back alive.

Equally I could decide, on the spur of the moment, to swim the Channel, which I've never done and have no idea how to do. That would be bloody stupid, wouldn't it?


Re: Fucking moron

So you've never done anything on the spur of the moment.

There's nothing wrong with spontaneity. What is very, very wrong is heading off into a situation when you don't have the first f*#$%ing clue what you're up against. This story serves to illustrate the saying, "fools rush in..." extremely well.

I've climbed Ben Nevis in mid-summer and there was snow, thick fog, and a wind chill to well below zero*. That I came back without assistance is because I knew those conditions were a possibility and I was prepared for it. Nobody should be up there at this time of year without survival gear and at least some training.

* On the plus side, at least there weren't any midges

No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out


They never ever got it, did they?

I have a couple of Nook devices and I love 'em. Really nice little bits of hardware.

They have always been thoroughly, utterly, totally let down by B&N's appalling online store. It does not surprise me one bit to hear they botched their web site relaunch too.

I've been waiting, waiting for them to see the light and realise where they've been going wrong with digital sales, but clearly they never had an inkling.

And I'm sure they'll have to do better than maintaining access to the "vast majority" of what I've bought from them. There must be consumer laws governing this sort of thing?

Computers abort SpaceX Falcon 9 launch


Re: Quite positive really


Yup. Once the SRBs were lit, it was no longer a case of "are we going?" but one of "which direction are we going?"

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries


Is there also a saggy old cloth cat, baggy and a bit loose at the seams?

Don't touch that PDF or webpage until your Windows PC is patched


Re: W10 upgrade sneakies

KB2952664 is a real bastard. It got onto my system a while back - I guess I wasn't paying sufficient attention - and now all efforts to remove it have failed. Every time I uninstall it, it immediately re-installs itself, leading me to think that it never actually uninstalled at all. This must break a pretty basic rule - surely all updates must be removable, in case they disagree with something?

SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work


Cheer up!

I'm not sure why people are being sniffy about this one. SpaceX do appear to have achieved a soft landing almost dead centre on a moving target. The loss of the vehicle seems to be unrelated to the actual landing.

Yes, I know the rocket went boom so the result is the same - but faced with either having to engineer the whole landing system or having to engineer a better landing leg, I know which problem I'd rather have.

Getting metal hunks into orbit used to cost a bomb. Then SpaceX's Falcon 9 landed


Re: Cautious note understood…

This is indeed the point. The Shuttle as a launch system turned out to be a white elephant, but the Shuttle's main engines were, and remain, a miracle of engineering. 46 engines were used in groups of three on a total of 135 flights, so each engine did an average of 8.8 flights - there was only one in-flight failure and seven on-pad failures and as we all know, none of these were catastrophic. All this from engines designed in the 1970s by men (probably were all men then, but I'm happy to be proved wrong) wearing ties and wielding slide rules.

Clearly rocket engines can be re-used regularly and reliably. Given SpaceX's record so far, I'd be surprised (and deeply disappointed) if they couldn't make engines of similar durability, and be able to make the economics work too.

The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites


Re: @Elon Musk

But did you go under bridges and over bridges?

Takes the biscuits, does that. And imagine the commercial possibilities should they succeed in adding a footplate to ride on.

Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P


Re: It's a monolith!

Someone should point something at it pronto, and measure its dimensions. If it turns out to be 1x4x9 (x16x25x36x49x...) then at least we'll know that Philae is currently having a very confusing time in a posh hotel room.

Orion Space shuttle wannabe preps again for test flight


Idle curiosity

Because I am not a rocket scientist, I wonder how many times you can fill & empty the tanks on one of these things before the repeated contraction & expansion degrades something to the point where it's no longer flight-worthy.

Or once on the pad, do they keep the tanks cold all the time (not full - just cold) to prevent such a thing?

FALL of the MACHINES: How to KILL the Google KARATE BOT, by our expert


Not long now (possibly)...

1. Serve the public trust

2. Protect the innocent

3. Uphold the law

4. (Classified)

And all on one leg too. Not bad.

Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please


Re: Why?

Seems to me that B&N have misunderstood the problem entirely. The old tablets were fine, really - and the e-readers were excellent. Nope, the real problem is B&N's woeful attempt at an online store. To say it's clunky would be being rude to clunky things. It's slow, it's ugly, and when you finally give up and go to Google Books or the Kindle store you realise just how poor B&N's is by comparison. Finding things is difficult, and when you do stumble across what you were after, the "more like this" button usually tells you there's nothing more like this - even if you're looking at an Agatha Christie - and no attempt is made to offer things you might be interested in based on your purchase or viewing history. Reviews are sometimes from users, sometimes culled from the press, often not there at all. My wishlist does not sync from my HD+ to my Simple Touch, and is usually completely unavailable anyway. I could go on. And on. In short, B&N's online store appears to utterly miss the point of being online.

Who knows? Maybe if they offered a better shopping experience, they might sell more hardware to shop/read with. It's a shame because we could do with a bit more competition in this area, methinks.

Google Maps adds all UK public transport timetables


Re: Cockfosters?

Sorry I missed the start. Engineering work on the Central Line.

We'll probably need a ruling on this, but I think Ossi needs to re-evaluate his move as I believe he may be straddling, which would render all subsequent moves void.

Unless you're all in Nidd, of course.

Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco


Re: This fits within the definition of engineering

at least you didn't vaporize an entire crew of astronauts because of a problem you'd been explicitly warned about

Yup, a tragic example of politics overriding engineering.

On the other hand, one thing that always deeply impressed me about NASA was that they already had in place their systems - such as the Flight Director polling all the various stations prior to making a major decision like launch/no launch, or of having only one person allowed to talk to the spacecraft - before the first Mercury flights. It all sounds obvious in hindsight but someone, somewhere had to think of all this stuff and then write the manuals. That's proper systems engineering, is that.

So, SPB: on the next live stream I want to hear Lester "Kranz" Haines polling each of his minions and securing a "Go!" from each before leaving hold of the balloon!

Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN


Re: *Glassine, to be precise,

On the contrary - philately with get you nowhere.

Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

Thumb Up


I have often looked up at Mars in the night sky. Kinda cool to think it was looking back at me the other day.

Ancient carving of 'first human-built holy place' = Primitive Vulture Central


Louis Vuitton?

Surely not. Those are clearly primitive beer tankards, laid ceremonially on their sides to indicate that the ritual emptying of their contents is complete.

Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid


What were they thinking?

The whole Windows 8 adventure thoroughly perplexes me.

We all love touchscreens on our mobile devices cos they're great for the odd email or a bit of web browsing. Nobody (who's sane) expects to do much serious work on these devices. So why on Earth MS thought we'd all like to do our word processing, spreadsheets, computational fluid dynamics and so on through a touchscreen is entirely beyond me.

But then I'm not a highly trained, highly paid, top exec in the software industry. Just a guy who uses a PC every day.

Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook


"Netbooks done properly: Cheap, the right size and without Windows"

So, like they were meant to be then? Before some idiot turned them all into small laptops? My cup runneth over.

Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply


Re: Oh crap.

"The ISS is a useless PR stunt. It does nothing to advance space exploration"

A little harsh perhaps, although I see your point - the ISS is a very cut-down version of what was originally meant to happen. However, building the space station has provided various space agencies with vast amounts of data on how to build very large structures in orbit and many hundreds of hours data on space walks. This is important information for anyone planning to go further afield.

Additionally, the resupply contracts have got private enterprise interested in space and that's the really crucial point - I suspect the reason we're not exploring the solar system is that until now, there's been no money to be made up there.

So yes, the direct contribution of the ISS to space exploration has been limited but, as is often the case with this sort of programme, the spin-offs have been good news.

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)


Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing

Nicho makes an important point. Life != intelligence. There's been life on Earth for 3.5 billion years but H. sapiens only appeared 200,000 years ago.

It's also important to note that conditions suitable for life != life. It's true that life on Earth began pretty much as soon as conditions were right, but for all we know this is the only place in the universe where that happened.

However, I'm optimistic that the galaxy is actually teeming with life. Hopefully some of it has better TV than us too.

NASA planning Curiosity v2.0 for Mars touchdown in 2020


Won't somebody think of the middle-aged?

Jolly nice that they're going to build on the technical success of Curiosity (too early to pronounce on the scientific success), but...

"... another significant step toward sending humans there in the 2030s."

So that'll be about ten years after the Chinese then. I'll be almost 70. Looks like I'm never going to get that holiday on Mars promised to me by my Wonder Book Of Science when I was eight and a half.

Astronauts in the US election: No, NOBODY is voting from space


Re: "[...]a routine support mission to the ISS."

Indeed. I seem to remember Reagan et al declared US spaceflight to be "routine" shortly before Challenger's last flight.

LucasArts' Dark Forces



... the best FPS I have ever played.

The graphics are naturally primitive by current standards but for the time they were really good, and what it now lacks visually it even now makes up for in terms of sheer fun. There's a mission progression that actually makes proper logical sense, a coherent plot (unusual for anything Star Wars), intricate levels - some of which require proper problem solving to complete, a real sense of "you're on your own now" in not being able to save progress during a mission, and while the weapons may in themselves be a pretty standard assemblage, there is huge scope for using them creatively to get past the next baddie. It's a shame that as the visuals have improved in more recent FPS, many of these elements seem to have been left out.

iPhone queue ‘superficial and pretentious’ says queuing fangirl


Re: Yawn...

@ Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

Your proposition concerning the infinitude and consequent indivisibility of human idiocy is an exquisitely handsome example of the genre, and I salute it thus!


Re: Yawn...

"there are less obsessive compulsives in Oz"

Should be, "there are fewer obsessive compulsives in Oz"

Pardon me, I have to go and shout at the pigeons in the park now.

Scientists find safer way to store hydrogen


Re: @AC 08:35

>> Sigh. Such a patronising response.

>Deliberately so. Because frankly you're not thinking it through.

Thought so. It smacked of green preaching. However it's my turn now - at least I'm not doing it anonymously - may I point out how muddled your thinking is?

Your solution to the problem of a battery car's short range and long recharge time is to have a second car. Fair enough...

... until you realise that if you're going to have two cars anyway it would always make more sense to buy two hybrids. Same purchase price and you end up with two cars capable of long range, ie better value for your money. The running costs wouldn't be that different given the way the price of electricity is going & the frequency with which you have to recharge a battery.

Nope, there's no good practical or economic argument for a battery car even if they are shiny and new and cutting edge and kind to the environment and everything. If you only have one car, you're stuffed for long range travel. If you have two cars, you get better value for your hard earned with a pair of hybrids (or diesels, or whatever).


@AC 08:35

>(Please re-read that so it sinks in, not everything in the world is designed specifically for you.)

Sigh. Such a patronising response.

These people who commute a short distance every day and for whom a battery car would be ideal - we never take days out? We never go on holiday? We never visit Auntie Jean in Truro for the weekend? We never, ever have an emergency while the car is charging up?

Yes, we could hire something for extra-commuting activities but why should we? Having spent all that money on a car, isn't it reasonable to think it should be able to cope with nearly all one's transport requirements (trips to Ikea excepted maybe)?

Battery cars are - in principle - a very, very good solution for short commutes. school runs etc. But for actual family use, they're not a practical means of transport.


Re: True Cost/Efficiency

You need to look at it not purely from an energy efficiency standpoint, but also from one of practicality.

It takes a couple of minutes to brim my car's fuel tank and then it has a range of about 450 miles. It takes an overnight charge of a battery car to give you a range in the region of 100 miles - so to drive from Manchester to London could easily take two or three days. If a battery-powered car could be produced that gave 450 miles from a three-minute charge, I'd be right there in the queue to buy one. I'm not convinced it's going to happen though.

The fuel cell, whilst certainly less energy-efficient overall, appears to be a more promising line of development from a practicality point of view, offering the possibility of a high-density fuel source that might be safe enough for the likes of us to handle.

Black helicopters circle Street View car crash


Not conclusive, but...

The car has an Indian registration plate, yet appears to be left-hand drive (dashboard cowling just visible in a couple of the stills).

India drives on the left - presumably as a result of the British colonial past - and all new cars there are required to be right-hand drive at registration.

Not completely conclusive, as there are ways it could happen, but Occam's Razor suggests fakery.

How one bad algorithm cost traders $440m


Our robot servants are getting more subtle

Clearly they have decided violence is going to be too wasteful. Economics is faster.

Shouldn't this one be filed under Rise Of The Machines?

SpaceX Dragon, first private ship to the ISS, launched successfully

Thumb Up

Nice one

Interesting that the range was being called in metric. Is it only NASA-built projects that go into space using feet & inches now? Just askin...

Lasers battle cattle farts!


Re: which end of an apatosaurus

All this farting makes me think it's about time we changed Apatosaurus back to Brontosaurus, since "Thunder lizard" has suddenly become even more appropriate.

... unless they liked to launch one and leave, in which case I guess "Deceptive lizard" would work.