* Posts by squizzar

20 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Nov 2011

Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure


Re: Tell me again

How? The only discrimination is against those who wish to provide a discriminatory service in the first place.

I don't think it's that complicated: If you run a business then it has to be available to everyone regardless. You don't _have_ to run a business at all. You don't _have_ to run a business that disagrees with your religious beliefs. You don't _have_ to work for a business that provides services that disagree with your religious beliefs. You don't _have_ to work for a business that provides services to people that offend your religious beliefs.

What you _have_ to do, as a business, is provide the same service you are willing to offer to one person to everyone. You can't pick your customers for religious reasons. Or racial. Or gender. Or sexuality. Or appearance. Your customers can pick you - so they can maintain their own preferences - but you can't pick them. If you don't want to deal with the public with all the variety of differences between one person and the next implied by that then don't deal with the public - you're free to do that.

Essentially your argument is that one has the right to run a discriminatory business, and an awful lot of people disagree with you there.

'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'


Re: How convenient...

Sellafield is a site dealing with a huge legacy of waste produced during hasty research, a lot of which was generated as part of the race to develop nuclear weapons. It is a huge mess.

It is also completely irrelevant in relation to new nuclear power plants which are constructed with a plan and budget for decommissioning, are operated with oversight and tracing of all nuclear materials, and have the benefit of the knowledge gained from the mistakes of the past.

Bringing it up in such a way as to suggest that all nuclear plants will have similar spiralling costs is hyperbole worthy of the Daily Mail - or a Greenpeace press release.

British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water


Re: What a waste of time and money

You need individual controllable valves for these zones then. You can get wireless TRVs (radiator valves) although they're a bit pricey, and most of them I think will need to connect to a controller from the same manufacturer - I haven't seen an open standard as such. Alternatively just get an electronic timed TRV which are quite a bit cheaper. Get rid of your main thermostat - or put it in a cold part of the house. The alternative is to split your heating into zones but that might involve quite a bit of plumbing. If you're lucky and there's a point where you can split your heating into upstairs/downstairs then put in a mid-position valve and suitable controller and you can select between the zones. A lot of underfloor heating systems seem to be going this way with much more flexible setups and multiple zone controllers.

ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees


Re: Not even fantasy - they are very real parasites

How is it rigged against you by these algorithms? As a human you are not going to be doing microsecond speed trades, but how does the fact that these guys do in any way 'rig the game' against you? If you want to buy a stock you offer a price you are willing to pay. If someone is willing to sell it to you for that price then the deal is done. If someone very fast knows they can buy the stock for a price lower than your offer and sell it to you and pocket the difference you still get the same deal.

The fact that these algorithms exist will close that price gap since both sides now know more: the better they are at it the less they can take off the middle. Either way you still got what you wanted for the price you were willing to pay. When you come to sell said stock you offer it for a price you are willing to accept. Again: it doesn't really matter if some HFT algo in the middle buys it from you knowing it can sell it for a small amount more.

You can happily do your meatspace trading with your knowledge of the longer term trends in pricing, and not make any less money from it than you would if the algo/HFT traders weren't there. The only difference is that there would likely be less liquidity in the market, and bigger bid/ask price spreads to contend with.

Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?


Re: Sad realities

I've still got my multiply-resurrected IHP-140. It's on it's second incarnation (blew one up when I accidentally plugged in a car adapter for one of those dodgy FM transmitters), second HDD (well the one from the first that I blew up), second battery (replacement higher capacity ones are awesome), and second OS (Rockbox).

Having the little remote pod means I can bury the brick in the bottom of a bag with the remote attached to a shoulder strap. All in all a brilliant little device (not that little anymore though!). It will get replaced one day - does anyone have a suggestion for something suitable though? That iRiver never really took off and everyone bought crappy iPods instead (smaller disks, more expensive, less battery life, crap processor that couldn't decode OGG) is one of the reasons I dislike Apple and the legion of 'ooohh shiny' people that buy their products instead of something good.

Scientists find safer way to store hydrogen


Re: "can soak up so much of the stuff ..."

Energy density, not mass-over-volume density. The density of the hydrogen in the storage medium may well be less than that of petrol.

Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims


Re: Confused about what they are buying.

Losing ground.

If anyone needs me I'll be in the angry dome...


This is where it gets ridiculous...

So basically what Apple want is no competition? I'd imagine they've got huge amounts of similar research comparing their prototypes to other phones, not to mention significant amounts of research determining which features of phones are perceived as valuable (e.g. attract a price premium), what design features are popular with end users and countless other things. They aren't powered by divine inspiration - they work hard to get the right ideas. To turn say that anyone else doing the same things is somehow breaking the rules is preposterous.

If Apple are as good as they think they are then they shouldn't need to call the waaaambulance every time one of their competitors does the same as they do and creates a product people want. But the reality is that they aren't _that_ special and that to create products that compete very well with theirs is not beyond the reach of other companies. Instead of doing what they claim to be best at - coming up with something truly innovative and significantly greater than what already exists - they just try and block anyone else from making the incremental improvements that are how most industries operate. If you get ahead, well done. If you can't stay ahead then that's not anyone else's problem.

UK Gov not using six million of its software licences


Re: How many of those are for current products?

So presumably what they should be counting is the value of those licenses, not the number? E.g. a Windows 95 license has a value of nearly zero, a Windows 7 license is still worth what you'd pay for one now. These figures should be obtainable otherwise they'd be telling porkies about the value of their assets by pretending the software doesn't lose value over time.

Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!


Re: Lewis, you do love tilting at windmills don't you?

I'd hazard a guess that it's because:

1 - People listen to them

2 - They're not helping

Like celebrities their ill thought out plans and questionable numbers get given far too much credence and influence. If they were offering a reasonable and practical solution then I'd agree with you, but the whole point of the article is that the very solution they are proposing is prevented by their own requirements. Highlighting the preposterous nature of their proposals means that they might actually get ignored as they should, and maybe make them come up with something useful and factual.

Stupid stuff like this influences public opinion (see Greenpeace vs. Nuclear Power), causes faulty policies to be implemented (see feed in tariffs, excessive constraint payments, the whole wind can power everything idea), and does nothing to humanity.


Re: haha

I suggest you push your way to the front of the long queue of people willing to take themselves out of the equation...

You missed one very good option - lots and lots of Nuclear power. Fusion would be awesome but with some decent breeder reactors we should be alright for quite some time. Also fusion would require quite a lot of energy in research alone to get to a usable stage, so reducing energy usage to a Neanderthal level would probably ensure it never happens.

The way I see it is this: some people have a real complex about themselves and their species, a loathing of all human achievement and endeavour. You would discard the many advances we have made that have allowed us to live longer and healthier. You would prevent any further gains of knowledge and understanding of the reality we inhabit.

To me you are a dead end. You'd never have left your cave. When your neighbour discovered fire and found his food easier to digest you'd have told him it was only for the gods. When your fellow man begun developing tools you'd have told him it was unnecessary. You'd have laughed at the first farmer and carried on hunting and gathering. Your bloodline should have died out when your ancestors decided that having children was a waste of resources, but the odds of them holding true to that are about the same as your sodding off back to the cave you claim we should never have left.

We are what we are because of people who hoped to do more, not less. Because of people who would try and find better ways and better places to live. Because of people who would study and discover how to get more from the world around us. We have many flaws but I still believe that spirit exists and that we should seek to fix our problems and make the world a better place for everyone, not give up on them and make the world equally as bad for all. To give up all we have achieved because we haven't got it perfect yet would be the most heinous waste of resources I can imagine.

Fire because it's pretty, and I know how to make it...

UK government says no to turbo e-bike


Re: dark ages

An electric car that presumably has to pass safety testing and can only be driven someone with a license you mean? If you have a bike that can power itself up to about 25mph then you might as well be on an (electric) scooter, and the rules for one of those should apply to you: license, tax (a paltry £15 for little vehicles like that), MOTs and insurance.

And I do think that a lot of cyclists, mostly for their own benefit, could do with some training on how to use the road. I say that as a daily cyclist myself (and intermittent car driver and motorcyclist).



You need at least the CBT for a 30mph limited scooter (which would cost a lot less than £4500), and a proper helmet etc. My first motorbike cost (brand new) about £2000 by the time I'd bought the bike, protective gear (BTW: I still don't fancy hitting the tarmac at 30mph with that lot on, I really don't fancy coming off my pedal bike at that speed when I'm only wearing a t-shirt and shorts), CBT, insurance etc. Took about £12 to fill the tank (2 gallons) and it would do over 200 miles on it (close to 120 mpg). For the remaining £2500 you could fill the bike 200 times and do 40k miles!

BMW recalls 1.3m motors over fire risk

IT Angle

Re: reliable BMWs (sic)

As I read from someone on a forum somewhere: "It's the ultimate driving machine, not the ultimate reliability machine". On my old 318is the battery is at the front, but I think the 6 cylinder ones had it at the back - countering the extra weight of those two cylinders as I understand it. My girlfriends significantly newer one has no battery to be seen - apparently it will never need replacing... we'll see. It's had the swirl flaps removed though.

For a 20 year old car, my E36 is still one of the best things I've driven and just a really nice car to be in. Much more fun to drive than my much newer and significantly faster A4 - it just doesn't have as much feel as the BMW.

Just for reference: My indicators work, and the mirrors and windows do a perfectly adequate job of allowing me to look before I change lanes. As a cyclist and motorcyclist I'm quite aware of the problem of people who can't be bothered to look where they are going, or so much as flick a switch to let other people see their intentions. It's not BMW driving c**ts that are the problem, or Audi driving c**ts that are the problem, it's just c**ts that are the problem.

Beware Freedom of Info law 'privacy folktale' - ICO chief


Aren't the debates supposed to be public?

Like the houses of parliament? Why would it be such a disaster to have people's thought process laid bare? Yes the press would have a field day, but once everyone cottoned on to their terrible SNR they'd have to tighten up their sensationalism anyway.

The problem is, at the moment, that decisions appear to emerge fully formed, and often without any reliable evidence because the process is not transparent. The extreme example is along the lines of ACTA, which has had next to no public input (and, since you mention democracy, doesn't seem to be prompted by any public desire).

If there is a reason law cannot be engineered rather than seemingly pulled out of some politician's orifice (I think the naval-hatch idea gives many of them too much credit). Every law should have some reasoning behind it, and that reasoning should be clear, fully open and publicly accessible. If I wanted to build a bridge I'd have to show that there was a need for it, that it would correctly support the required load, would handle extreme conditions placed on it, would be built within a specified budget and countless other requirements. Why can't our lawmaking have a similar process? There should be some motivation for it, an analysis of the effects including unintended consequences, there should be a study of redundancy in case the target of this law is already covered by other law.

Yes there will be statements made that will cause outcry, politicians will be heckled for their idiocy and baseless assumptions, but my hope is that two things would occur: One, that the public would learn to differentiate between tabloid hyperbole and something that should genuinely concern them, and two that politicians may become willing to change their minds in the face of clear evidence that the foundations of their arguments are baseless. A more scientific approach, similar to peer review. Surely that would be better than developing the law, the arguments and the facts behind closed doors?

Anonymous releases law firm's emails about Haditha killings


Not so hard to understand...

Why not? The whole point of Anonymous is about hidden identity. It's one of those everyone and no-one things. If it makes it easier, think of it like a representative of the country, or a religion, or anything else.

- Group A supports or performs an action X, Group B opposes or disrupts the same action X.

- Group A and B identify themselves as members of Group C.

- Someone from Group C then says they are a representative of Group C and makes a statement about the intents, workings, philosophy etc. of Group C.

So what do you know about this person from Group C? They could be part of Group A, they could be part of Group B, they could be completely unrelated, they could be doing it for the lolz. They can have it none, both, and several other ways. All entirely intentional: designed to subvert the normal categorization of people as one group or another and in doing so making life very difficult for a lazy media and public that would have to think a lot less hard if they would call themselves A or B.

Anyone can represent Anonymous, but Anonymous is represented by no-one. It's a label, and about as useful as every other sweeping generalisation: Read statements about anonymous and replace it with something equally useless like: People >6ft tall. People who's skin is lighter than Cadbury's Dairy Milk. People who watch television. Suddenly it makes more sense: People who watch television are do/say/believe/support X. Other people who watch television don't do/say/believe/support X. Someone, who claims to represent people who watch television, says that people who watch television have no connection with X, and actually people who watch television do/say/believe/support Y. It's nonsense, but that's kind of the beauty of it - you can't pin it down, you can't label it, and no-one has an identity because they are (big or little a) anonymous.

Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing


Fair point...

Good point. Why is the plastic 'bonded' to the cardboard? If it was a separate bag inside the cardboard it would be easily separable (possibly even mechanically - just cut round the spout and pull the bag free).

The cynic in me expects that it would probably cost a couple more pence a carton though. Fortunately the poor the supermarkets won't mind because they can push that cost onto the immensely profitable dairy farmers...


You're right I don't understand

I presume you are referring to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15691571

Your definition of 'half' if somewhat different to mine...

Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range


Shoe on the other foot

I've been overtaken by cars in residential areas (doing dead on 30 I might add) including on one occasion as I was stopping for one of those choke point traffic evasion measures. Guy stopped about 2 inches from the front of the car coming the other way that he hadn't managed to see. Oh, and that kind of stuff happens when I'm in the car, when I'm on the bike it's the same thing with people pulling out in front of you, cutting you off at roundabouts, blocking you from filtering (which is legal, read the damn highway code if you're not sure) and generally acting like fools. And don't even get me started on people who absolutely _must_ overtake me on my pushbike in the last few meters before a roundabout before slamming on the brakes and pulling over hard to the left hand side because there was someone coming.

The golden rule is that everyone else on the road is a selfish idiot no matter what you're driving. I've seen plenty of stupid motorcyclists, car drivers, cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians and anything else that can be on the road. So because some motorcyclists are idiots you take us all for idiots. By you're own logic I've seen plenty of car drivers that are c**ts, so you must be one as well...

PS: There are plenty of idiots out there who want to hurt themselves, but that doesn't provide an excuse for you to hurt them. You're attitude is equivalent to saying it would be ok for someone to go around setting fire to fat people and drug addicts because they don't deserve sympathy.

IT Angle


Nope. If you take a CBT on a twist-and-go automatic scooter then you are restricted to 50cc and 31mph, if you do it on a manual 125cc bike you are restricted to 11kw/125cc. At 16 you can only do the 50cc version, at 17 you can do either.