* Posts by madick

49 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Nov 2011

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: Shame about MPs

I've been advocating random selection for MPs for decades:

a) It's more representative of the general population

b) It reduces the probability that the country's law makers will be a bunch of shysters

c) It may/should lead to the demise of party politics

There would need to be a list of those who were ineligible for selection:

a) Anyone who is or has ever been elected as an MP, MEP, SMP, local government councillor, etc.

b) Anyone who has ever been convicted of a violent crime (defn. required)

c) Add your favourite group of nutters here (e.g. BBC/Guardian journalists, Scientology advocates, etc)

Super Cali goes ballistic, Starbucks is on notice: Expensive milky coffee is something quite cancerous


Yet another health warning

Quote from the Warranty Statement from a recently purchased Buffalo MiniStation:


This product and its components contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling."

1. Is this knowledge confined to the State of California?

2. Would washing one's hands eliminate the risk?

Judge: You can't call someone a c*nt, but a C∀NT is a cunning stunt


Speak or utter

In the context of the Summary Offences Act section 4(2), what's the difference between "speaking" and "uttering"? Judge Scotting obviously thinks there is difference, otherwise he wouldn't have specified both.

Is it even possible to "speak" without "uttering" or to "utter" without "speaking"?

America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit


Re: Agreed [ 0.5*15*(18000^2) = 2.4e9 J]

"The Express commentators would have ..."

"In the Mail ..."

Whereas my first thought was "So If I wanted to get some OSB sheets in there, they'd have go though the hatch diagonally" Hmmm?.

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself


Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

Apple already have a patent on the Moon - it's got rounded corners.

Fire brigade called to free man's bits from titanium ring's grip


Sedated? Who?

From the linked article:

"Under sedation with Ketamine 100mg, Fentanyl 50mcg and Propofol 150mg in divided doses- the Fire Brigade Department divided the penoscrotal constriction device with an electric hand operated axel grinder."

I hope it was the patient that was sedated rather than, as could be inferred from this sentence, the fireman with the grinder.

Incidentally, is an "axel" grinder a specific tool that I've not heard of before, or is it just a 'misspelling' of "angle" grinder.

Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse


Re: six squares ?

There was also a government version of Izal - supplied to loos in MoD and DoT establishments (and probably other ministries departments). Although identical to Izal, it didn't have the brand name, but each sheet was printed with the inspiring slogan "Property of HM Government".

Has your spouse stayed on after Mobile World Congress? This sex doll brothel might be why


Up the clump?

" ... Lumidoll notes on its frequently asked questions page ..."

which is entitled "Preguntas Frecuentes". For those with a very limited Spanish vocabulary, this could be confusing.

BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!


But there isn't a Reg standard for the origin of time, or even a Reg standard for measuring time intervals. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html). If there were, it would be possible to express the frequencies of the bell in sensible units rather than boring old Hertz.

Perhaps time should be measured in b@gg@rs, where 1 b@gg@r equals the time interval between pressing the 'send' button on an email and, on realising that you've sent to the wrong address, shouting "b@gg@r!"

Finally proof that Apple copies Samsung: iPhone 7 Plus halts, catches fire like a Galaxy Note 7


Re: Mechanical damage

Agreed - probably both. Mechanical maltreatment first (sat on or dropped) - which damaged the case seal allowing water to subsequently seep into the phone when it was dropped into the sink or splashed. The damage to the seal may not have been noticed and it could take several minutes for a few drops of water to permeate through the phone's guts before shorting something catastrophic.

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next


Re: Although the burden of proof lies with Love

The relevant bit of badly written legal jargon is Section 53, para 2 of RIPA (2000):

"In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section, if it is shown that that person was in possession of a key to any protected information at any time before the time of the giving of the section 49 notice, that person shall be taken for the purposes of those proceedings to have continued to be in possession of that key at all subsequent times, unless it is shown that the key was not in his possession after the giving of the notice and before the time by which he was required to disclose it."

Which appears to mean that forgetting a key is not a valid defence when charged with failing to supply it.

Para 3 then confirms that anyone trying to use the "Sorry, I can't remember" defence has to produce some (actually "sufficient") evidence to back this up.

"For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key to protected information at a particular time if—

(a) sufficient evidence of that fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and

(b) the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt."

What would count as "sufficient" evidence is a moot point. Would:

"I cannot remember what I had for I had for breakfast yesterday - how do expect me to remember a sequence of 30 random letters and digits that I haven't used in the last three months?" be adequate?

But sub para (b) is similarly badly written - "The prosecution will show, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant can remember his password."

Spied upon by GCHQ? You'll need proof before a court will hear you...


What about Sulla?

He'd slaughtered, banished, or scarred away all his potential opponents and critics before he retired. That left him with nothing to do except petty bureaucracy - either this bored him, or he considered it beneath him.

Auto erotic: Self-driving cars will let occupants bonk on the go


Re: Blobby cars?

There's more than enough space in the back of Fiat 600 Multipla for horizontal dancing.

However, a threesome in the back of Fiat Nuova 500 (http://www.automodely.sk/8488-thickbox/fiat-nuova-500-eco-diorama-1-43.jpg and http://www.automodely.sk/8490-thickbox/fiat-nuova-500-eco-diorama-1-43.jpg) required:

physical dexterity, mutual determination, college student grade stupidity and the roof rolled right back.

The design of the roof was changed on the 500D and later models so that it only opened half way - spoilsports!


Re: That's nothing ...

"Mostly bought in a minimal configuration, then fitted with floor to ceiling shag[0] carpet & futon by the purchaser."

Carried out these mods on Landrover 2A LWB back in 1976. Worked a treat and we're still married.

How innocent people 'of no security interest' are mere keystrokes away in UK's spy databases


"Slag can be used with cement as a component of concrete."

In the concrete industry, the stuff is generally known as ground granulated blast furnace slag - GGBFS or GGFS - sometimes abbreviated to blast furnace slag - BFS. This distinguishes it from other types of industrial waste products which may also be termed as "slag".

Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA


Floppy discs will never replace mylar

For those who don't remember, or perhaps never knew, mylar tape was the industrial/military version of paper tape. Although it wears each time it's read - it starts to look a little frayed after about 1000 passes through a tape reader, it's long term storage potential is pretty good. (Left over from the late 60s, in the back of a drawer, I've still got about 20 yards of mylar tape which shows no signs of degenerating.)

As I recall, a full reel (about 9 inches diameter) typically held 100K bytes. So an exabyte of data on mylar tape would require a mere 3,995,417 Olympic size swimming pools to store it.

Incidentally, for those worried about data retrieval time, a high speed tape reader could whistle through a full reel in just over three minutes. So the 1E byte of data stored on mylar could have been read completely over 217 times since the Big Bang.

'Planet nine' theory boosted by Kuiper Belt Object with odd orbit


...but a stray from somewhere else ...

I think it probably has to be. I don't known of any models on solar system formation that would allow for a planet of that sort of mass (Earth x10) to be formed with that sort of eccentric, inclined orbit.

'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin


Misinformation or just a typographic error?

"As reported by Agence France Presse, the new analysis shows that the skull shares none of the unique characteristics of skulls of genus Homo."

No it doesn't! It reports that "There were no characteristics from our species — that is, Homo sapiens."

There's a big difference between being a different species and being from a different genus.

Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy


Re: Michelson-Morely ?

The basic concept is similar, but the engineering is far more complex - roughly equivalent Stevenson's Rocket vs an MRI scanner.

SPACED OUT: NASA's manned Orion podule pushed back to 2023


A bit odd?

From the NASA statement:

"...and communications designed specifically for the human operation..."

Whereas previously the communications were designed for operation by ...?

Police robot duo storm Colorado house, end four-day siege


Re: What we HAD to do?

" Is this covered by homeowners insurance?"

I don't know about homeowners insurance in the USA, but in the UK, cover would probably depend upon whether or not Jacob Powell had been given a key to his parents' house..

Did you almost prang a 737 jet with a drone over Dallas? The FAA would like a word


Re: Various Intentions.

The Blighter AUDS Anti-UAV Defence System (from your link) appears to be able to "disrupt" the radio control system of these drones but doesn't actually shoot them down.

There's a nice video of this system available here:


What I find surprising is, given this incident happened in Texas, no one tried to blast it out of the sky with an Ar-15.

Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data


Re: Over engineered?

A web reference says that for "ship" should be read "sheep".

Thanks - interesting. I'd always assumed that this proverb referred to ship's caulking, but this reference gives a reasonably complete history.


It appears that misunderstanding arose sometime in the 19th century - Hazlitt (1869) mentions both "ship" and "sheep".

Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official


Re: Read the whole thing

"God is not your personal magician who pulls your ass out of the fire if you bargain with him."

However, according to Genesis 18:22 to 33, Abraham did exactly this.

50 righteous people - OK. So how about 45? Or 40? or 30? or 20? Well how about 10?

Although Abraham lost - he couldn't even find 10 righteous people - the story certainly suggests he was bargaining with God.

UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab


Re: Doesn't add up

Agreed. It doesn't add up.

The NPL report states:

"The electronics industry has a waste problem - currently over 100 million electronic units are discarded annually in the UK alone.... This amounts to around 1 million tonnes in the UK annually"

i.e. 1/100 tonne (about 10kg) per "electronic unit".

A typical laptop weighs about 2.5kg (including its battery and screen) and the electronics inside a typical desktop or tower weigh about the same. Even household electric motors (from tumble dryers, washing machines, fridges and freezers) rarely weigh more than 6kg each. (And they shouldn't count because they're metallic.)

So what are these heavy "electronic units" that push the average weight up to 10kg?

Apple Watch: Exactly how many vids does it take to teach a fanboi to tell the time?


Re: “raise your wrist” to see a message

"... 1974 Vauxhall Viva, in the owners manual ..."

The early Honda C50 owners manual (c1966) - supplied in English but "translated" from Japanese, included, as one of the advantages of this machine:

"Is having large wheels for giving very pleasing sensation when travelling bumpy ground"

Streak life: Oz woman flashes boobs at Google Street View car


Re: Naked he-boobies legal. Naked she-boobies not. Explain.

At the end of the spectrum, wasn't there some suggestion 4 - 5 years ago that Australian censors were to ban A-cup size or smaller, 'cos they might be mistaken for underage girls?

Sounds like a Goldilocks complex - these are too big, these are too small, but these ones are legal.

Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod


Re: That Dutch MEP nailed it pretty much

"... just pay attention to the encrypted communication..."

Fine if you know which messages actually are encrypted. I would assume that most of the "bad guys" are using steganographic methods to hide their (probably encrypted) messages.

Lords take revenge on revenge porn publishers


Out of proportion and completely pointless?

Mug someone for their phone - 4 weeks community service.

Steal a photo from a phone - 2 years in prison.

Apart from that, this new law is pointless - unless the full might of GCHQ is used by the prosecution, it will not be possible to prove who upload the photo. (Standard defence: "I didn't send it. It must have been hacked from my i-cloud account.")

The new law is also unnecessary - the Communications Act 2003, Section 127

Improper use of public electronic communications network

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b) causes any such message or matter to be so sent.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

Dusty pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter laws will do for social media crimes


Old Laws

The existing Act of Parliament that could be used to penalise revenge porn is the Communications Act 2003, Section 127. This states that:

A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b) causes any such message or matter to be so sent.

This legislation has been used successfully against several thousand people who have posted, tweeted etc messages that have been deemed to be "grossly offensive" or "menacing".

Using this legislation to prosecute sending of "indecent" messages or other matter (images), while theoretically possible, would criminalise vitually all internet porn, adult chat-lines etc. This is probably not what Parliament intended, so it would be left to a Judge to sort out the mess. So far, some Judges have shown some reasonable common sense in this - as the Lord Cheif Justice did in the famous "Robin Hood Airport b***" joke tweet, although some judges have made a dog's dinner of it.

A further problem is that the offence relates to the use of a "public electronic communications network" the definition of which is a complete mess. (E.g. Twitter itself is not a PUBLIC electronic communications network, but sending a grossly offensive tweet via, say, Talk-Talk, would be an offence, because, like most ISPs, Talk-Talk is a PUBLIC electronic communications network.)

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't


Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

I've been investing in lampposts for nearly 20 years - I was hoping to sell them at a profit, but if you're willing to do the equivalent job for free, then I'll just have to donate them to a worthy cause.

US Senator introduces 'Patent Abuse Reduction Act'


Patent(ed) Law

Does this Bill have round corners?

Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE


www.lightinthebox.com/Sunglasses-with-4GB-MP3-Player- ...

Not really covert unless your hair is long enough to cover the earphones/microphones and control unit on the arms of these shades. I suppose you could wear a (badly fitting, blonde) wig to conceal these?

Give porno danger classes to Brit kids as young as FIVE - parents


Ben Tasker

"... the parents were probably asked a loaded question ..."

The NAHT survey states that:

80 per cent said they were confident or very confident of protecting their children from the dangers of viewing explicit images of violence or sex online.

So either the parents who answered this survey are all IT experts, or they are very naive.

Website which 'could have prevented Rwandan genocide' goes live


Dubious Definitions

The 4th word in the Hatebase list of recent updates is the common English expletive which is usually sanitised as "see you next Tuesday". The corresponding definition contains the following:

"...For instance, in Commonwealth Countries such as Britain ... it can be, and often is, used to refer positively to someone."

Not in any part of England that I know!

Forget the invisibility cloak: Boffins invent INVISIBILITY FISHNETS


Visible Light Application

If I understood the bit about "scaling" correctly (probably not), I think this implies that the "fishnet" technique will hide objects in the visible spectrum but only if they are so small that you wouldn't be able to see them anyway?

'Look, isn't there some way we can get Julian out of here?'


Re: They are getting him out of there, this is part of the plan,

Good idea, but I think it's too complicated.

How about through the window into a harness hanging from a helicopter with a winch? Then out to sea to a Ecuadorian registered ship outside UK territorial waters.

The helo would be violating airspace restrictions for 2 or 3 minutes whilst over central London, but "they" can hardly shoot it down - even if a Tornedo/Eurofighter could be scrambled and sent to intercept in time.

New laws to shackle and fine the Press? We've got PLENTY already


New Laws already on their way

Defamation Act 2012-13


See section 5, subsection 3. Website operators would be obliged to disclose identity of contributors. If a contributor uses a decent proxy server this would not be possible, thus the website operator becomes liable for any defamation. and unspecified (unlimited?) financial penalty.

A "malicious person" (political activist, state sponsored agent, nutter, etc) could make use of this legislation to bankrupt a website operator, or, for operators outside the UK (Twitter?), the court could force the ISPs to block the websites.

Human Rights Watch proposes new laws of robotics


And naval mines as well.

Legal wigs to sort out rules on internet defamation, contempt


The Hollywood Solution

Would adding the words "All persons mentioned in this post are entirely fictitious and not intended to bear any resemblance to any person alive or dead" to the end of every post avoid the defamation issue?

This seems to work for the film industry. Obviously it would need an abbreviation to be used on Twitter.

Yahoo! To! Sell! Home! Gene! Test! Kit! In! Japan!


Re: Insurance concerns

Many (most?) health and life insurance companies already ask you've ever been screened for an STD, and bump up the premiums even if the test result was negative - presumably on the grounds that if your life style was such that you needed these tests then you are more likely to become infected at some time in the future.

The same "logic" could be applied to genetic testing for a wide variety of other conditions.

Using Facebook causes less eco damage than farting, figures show


So to be really green ...

Does this mean that if one wants to be really eco friendly, one should always ignite one's flatulence immediately after emission?

Would "Dragon's Den" be interested in funding a range of green underwear, where each garment contains a built-in igniter?

And/or, since cows generate more methane than humans, how about a device that clips on to a cow's tail that automatically ignites the animal's farts?

UK's web super-snoop powers could be extended to councils


Re: Big Brother fail

"It's all very well to fear terrorists and to fear espionage, but this won't stop terrorists; they will not be caught out by these regulatory measures. What they will do is circumnavigate them."

Exactly. Probably by using a steganographic method with the resulting pictures containing the hidden text posted on Facebook, a porno site, or an innocent hobby site, thus avoiding detection by traffic analysis.

Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today


Re: Will nobody think of the cheeeeeeeeeeeeeldren?

Totally unquantified? Not quite true; Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (Ceop) report published May 2011:

" ... 513 people arrested and 132 offender networks broken up in the UK in the past year. " (2010)

However, according to May, there were >500,000 requests for intercepts last year (2011). Either this is cr*p success rate, or the intercepts were primarily for other purposes.

You can break EU cookie rules ... if your site breaks without cookies


Best Cookie Warning?

One of better responses to Regulation 6 of the PECR (the Cookie Law) can be found on The Daily Mash website:

" We've updated our privacy policy, not that you care. You can read it or click to get rid of this annoying box and carry on as before. [Whatever] "

Oracle case crippled after judge rules APIs can’t be copyrighted


And so ...

"When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression."

Does this imply that it is not possible to copyright the implementation of an encryption/decryption algorithm?

Bloke with spanners attacks LOHAN's dodgy plumbing


Possible leaks?

Try swapping round the position of the shut-off valve and the gauge. After pumping to minimum pressure, close the shut-off valve. A rising value on the gauge would indicate a leak in the plumbing.

NASA nuclear Mars tank launch delayed by one day


Good luck, but ...

The video suggests that there are far too many moving parts for Curiosity to be reliable. Anyone care to guess at the probabilty of damage on landing, collision damage during use, damage from sand storms and/or ice, or just good old-fashioned mechanical or electro-mechanical failure?

Results in on why life, the universe and everything exists

Thumb Up

Precisely! The research experiments described in the article attempted to provide some of the answers to the "how" question.

Including the "why" question in the article's subtitle was simply misleading.