* Posts by TonyG

38 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Mar 2011

Glider pilot 'swallowed camera memory' say plunge tragedy cops


Re: X-Rays

Yes it's a myth. There's a theoretical potential that X-Rays could knock electrons out but the dosage you'd need for that would be far, far in excess of what's used these days.

Attention swingbellies: Pizza sauce is a healthy vegetable


They tried to but it never made it through to law fortunately.


Deep fried pizza

My local chippy does deep fried pizza cooked in vegetable oil, does this mean it counts as two of my five a day?

German website offers custom cow killing


Depends where in the UK you are

Home slaughter is allowed in England and Scotland (not sure about Wales and NI) for personal and family consumption - you can't sell it on - as long as the animal is slaughtered humanely.

Usual caveats apply about extra risks with home slaughtered food, regulations that require compliance etc.

Personally, I don't notice the difference but I'm only 15 minutes from the abattoir so the stress factor might not be so noticable.

Personal data blaggers should go to jail, MPs say


Isn't this covered by other laws?

Fraud? Obtaining benefit by deception?

There's a raft of laws available which could be used to provide a custodial sentence if used so why do we need another law?

Groupon sues ex-sales heads for defection to Google


Depends on the state

They're not valid in California (for example) but are valid in some other states, such as Illinois.

Even when they are valid there are normally restrictions on them that prevent them from being used to prevent a person earning a living and so on.

I'd expect that Groupon will argue that they can sell other things instead.

UK shamed in high-speed broadband study


As Fat Jez says - if you want to stream TV you'll need more than 1Mbps.

Rough rules of thumb (taken from the BBC) HD requires 3500kbps and SD 1500 kbps so a 1Mbps connection just doesn't cut it these days.

Through contention into the mix and multiple computers in a household even 5Mbps is looking close to the mark for streaming TV.

Royal Navy halts Highlands GPS jamming


@Daniel 4

As you say, as long as they send out the proper notices.

I live over 35 miles away from where the jamming was taking place (well outside of the range that the MoD specified as being affected by the jamming) and my GPS was giving positions about 10-15 meters from true.

So the notices that were issued were inaccurate to say the least.


It would have been nice if that was included in the office notice.

The notice at www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/295194/0120735.doc doesn't mention communications - just blocking GPS.

The Ofcom notice you mention does include these other frequencies but how many people are going to have signed up to this?


Since it seems to be jamming other satellite signals (such as TV) and mobile signals - I'd say yes.


Not quite.

Most fishermen can still navigate without GPS but in a similar way to how most people don't use a map in a car, most fishermen don't use charts now (but still have them onboard in case of failure).

GPS is used for net fishing close to the coast where the accuracy allows the boat to go closer to shore than you'd attempt without GPS.

From what I've heard - there's been outright GPS failure which means you just don't fish there and go for deep water fishing or back to port.

The real problem seems to be cases where the GPS is reporting inaccurate positions so you think you're safe and end up hitting rocks or catching nets - both of which appear to have happened during this exercise.


Living on the isle of Lewis

There's normally an article in the local rag letting people know that an exercise is on it's way - this time they seem to have forgotten.

Normally the jamming isn't a problem as it shouldn't affect the Western Isles (as indicated in the map in your article) and fishermen just avoid the affected areas.

As mentioned in your article, the real worry from the fishermen is that DSC has failed (and well outside the areas specified by NATO). Although DSC does use a different frequency than GPS it stopped working which is worrying as it allows the coastguard to pinpoint the location.

On the island itself we've seen problems with GPS, mobiles (worse than usual), internet connectivity (due to a large percentage of the island using a wireless network) and satellite TV.

In general, a bit of a non-event for people living on the island but worrying for the fishermen especially since there's no emergency tug in the area anymore.

The cat came back: Cubrilovic spots another Facebook 'tracker'


Who's responsible for the cookie legally speaking?

If I have a website in Europe that doesn't set any cookies I don't have to ask the user to allow me to store them. If I add a facebook like button to the site then cookies are created without express permission.

So who is "breaking" the law is it me or facebook?

Gov to spread mobile masts to remote corners of Blighty


Living in a very large not spot.

The major wish for most people here is to have the major routes covered so that if you break down or have an accident you can ring for help otherwise you can be waiting for a very long time for someone to come past and give you a hand.

Of course, if Ofcom forced the operators in the UK to implement the emergency call requirements from the GSM standard (i.e. if you need to make an emergency call you can use any available network not just the one you've subscribed to) then you'd reduce the need for masts across the UK.

The most vocal voices wanting better data coverage are the emergency services not the general populace - these are the people who are saying that lack of 3g and data is a major problem when an emergency happens.

Belgian buccaneers invade Rockall


If I remember correctly

There are outcrops that are more remote from a mainland but not from other islands.

Granted it's more likely poetic licence rather than accurate.


You're thinking of Gruinard island

Which was cleaned from anthrax in 1986.

Electric plane-flinger for US and Royal navies doing well


It was down to cost.

Nuclear power plants were considered but ruled out due to cost rather than environmental considerations.

MPs blast dole-office-online plans


Unfortunately they're also closing libraries.

Ultrabook makers turn to fibreglass to cut costs


Have you seen the price of fibreglass? It's not cheap.

Fibreglass roofs - 20 to 40 year lifespan, so exposure to sunlight isn't necessarily going to be a problem over the lifetime of an ultrabook. (The neighbour has a fibreglass boat that has been in the sea for over 40 years, if something can last that long in those conditions it's good enough for a laptop).

Fibreglass is a nice material, a lot stronger than plastic and if it's done well it doesn't look cheap

If I was buying a helmet, yes I'd choose kevlar - if I'm buying a laptop I'd happily accept fibreglass as it's unlikely I'll be using it to deflect bullets unless I get sent to Libya.

Spamhaus victorious after 5-year fight with mass mailer


In case anyone is interested.

The $3 are nominal damages for tortious interference with contractual relations, claims of defamation and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage (i.e. $1 for each claim).

It's a worrying case as spamhaus is still guilty in the eyes of the court and if e360 had been more reasonable in presenting evidence then damages would have been awarded against them.

Facebook deletes hacked Pages, destroying years of work


File a DMCA request

If there's pictures of you (that you own) then file a DMCA request claiming that the account is infringing copyright and hopefully it'll get taken down.

Not ideal but they'll take more interest in a DMCA request as there's a legal backup (i.e. you can sue facebook) if they don't do anything.

Sea eagles menace Scottish children


What does Sea Eagle Taste like?



Nothing to do with grouse then?

Eagles are known to take rabbit, hares, lambs and grouse. I wonder which one the SGA is concerned about?

Boffin melds quantum processor with quantum RAM


Just need to change encryption techniques

There's a couple of techniques (for example McEliece) which (in theory) allow for cryptography even with quantum computers.


Thank you.

I think that you've eloquently explained why people are afraid of saying what superposition is.

Bury council defends iPads for binmen



I suggest that you mention the "Environmental Protection Act 1990" to your local Councillor.

The collection of green waste, for example, can be classed as discretionary as it's above and beyond the legal requirements of the council but the collection of general waste is covered by the above act.

(Granted there's a lot of get out clauses but in general your councillor is likely talking bollocks).

New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G


Possibly a daft question

Can't they use the physical wires to transmit information rather than relying on a mobile signal?

Will the looters 'loose' their benefits?


Councils don't have to re-house

If you're convicted of anti-social behaviour the council doesn't have to rehouse you - they can refuse to put you on a waiting list and as a lot of social housing has a "good neighbour" clause there's a chance that some people will be finding themselves homeless in the near future.

This also applies if you've been found guilty of serious anti-social behaviour even if you weren't a council tenant at the time (assuming that rioting and or looting count as anti-social behaviour these days).

Source: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Councilandhousingassociationhomes/Councilhousing/Applying/DG_188701

Heavily-looted mobile phone barns issue 'safety first' missives to staff


There is one - sort of.

If I remember correctly there is the CEIR which is run by the GSM but it requires individual operators to sign up - some operators in some countries haven't.


The reason it didn't work.

Not all operators have signed up with the CEIR so if you report it to the first network who isn't on the CEIR it will only be blocked on their network, hence why it'll work on the other two networks.

UK Cops 'duped' into arresting wrong LulzSec suspect



With the state of broadband to most of the Scottish Islands it's doubtful they'd be able to get a stable enough connection (I know of someone who has to schedule meetings based on the tide - at high tide his internet connection drops).

I agree it's a waste of time and resources but as I understand it the SOP is for the investigating force to perform the questioning - so it's either send him down to London or send a team of police to the Shetlands.

Microsoft hit with lawsuit in Kinect tech spat


Don't Microsoft play the same game?

How long had Android been out before Microsoft started hitting on the various handset manufacturers for patent infringement? They're all as bad as each other in this regard.

There seems to be a pattern emerging, wait until a product is successful and then sue rather than when an infringement is noticed.

The real kick in the teeth with all the claims is asking for triple damages for wilful infringement and injunctions against sale when the patent owner has sat on it for a couple of years.

If you've waited a couple of years between noticing an infringement and doing anything about it then surely you've failed to protect your patent and should lose it not get paid a bonus for suing someone?

Biodegradable products are often worse for the planet


...but we do.

Up here on the Isle of Lewis all biodegradable rubbish is collected (so grass, cardboard, wood and so on) and put through a digester at Creed to produce methane which is then either burnt for electricity (or turned into Hydrogen gas) and the remnants is used as compost.

Works well for a pilot scheme.

More information here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/03/20155542/34

Radio 4 bumped off Freeview by Gaelic TV


Not all.

Most people who speak Gaelic do speak English but as a second language, there are children who don't learn English until they reach school.

Gaelic has a number of nuances that make it ideal for discussing certain aspects of life (such as crofting) which are difficult to express correctly in English, it's a language that suits its purpose well.

MIRACULOUS new AIRSHIP set to fly by 2013


More wasteful than party ballons?

All elements are the by-product of radioactive/nuclear processes.

Helium isn't that rare, something like 5% of all natural gas reserves are helium

Granted it is a finite resource as is gas, oil, coal and we don't have a problem using that do we?

Chinese firm accused of mobile malware ruse


...different requirements in China.

There's lots of reasons why the firmware needs tweaking for China (and other countries as well).

One example is cypher indication. In Europe you have to display an indicator when cyphering isn't enabled. In China this isn't displayed so you can't tell if cyphering is active or not...

Dim Brits think TARDIS IS REAL


and they did this by...

Using Mallett's time machine to bring them Back from the Future.