* Posts by Scott

46 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof

Scott Silver badge

"engineering students are smart people. So why aren't they working in teams?"

That's why!

I have noticed that the smartest people seem to be working alone. I am not the smartest so I work in a team sometimes and sometimes I work alone where my limited smartness is effective.

Breaking big problems into many little ones is the smart thing to do.

German hacker-tool law snares...no-one

Scott Silver badge

Review Needed

In the UK, we used to have a "second chamber" whose main activity was to review change or block poor legislation.

This second chamber was seen as a bad thing by whichever group was in power. The fact that both conservatives and socialists disliked it proves to me that it was a good thing.

The problem is that since 1997, enormous steps have been taken to disable review, stifle dissent in Parliament and speed up the already huge flow of legislation.

This has given us more and poorer laws than ever before. We have been pushed into an unpopular, arguably illegal, war in Iraq. We have more restrictions on our freedom than ever found in a democratic country before. The world financial system may not be caused by this (left for cleverer people to discuss) but but it will be used for passing some more stupid laws.

The only good news in our politics recently has been that we have all seen what a bunch of arrogant fools those at the top are. This may have been going on for decades. Those of us in the public sector have trouble getting the costs of our training back. How long have we been paying for the cleaning out of their moats?

Who snapped first?

Scott Silver badge

Hidden Cameras

When people are filming something, they need to have a second recording, or even an additional hiddden camera. Perhaps someone has invented a camera that automatically sends all its shots to email, or a website or something?

Then, when the "autorities" require the hand over or deletion of pictures, the world will actually still get a copy of whatever they intend to hide.

Isn't this just a suggestion to the terrorists how to carry out theis plans?

No, Terrorists wiill not even be noticed - usually because they are not even there!

BBC zombie caper slammed by security pros

Scott Silver badge


No, but by the look of things they would get in, start it, roll it up and down the road and then return it undamaged and leave a notice saying how to lock the doors...

BOFH: Aspie no questions

Scott Silver badge

Ass Burgers

I have heard it pronounced that way on occasion. Considering the volume of junk food & coffee that IT workers eat, this may me the right way!

ps - I am not small and was at McDonalds yesterday too...

Windows 7, June 2009 and the technologies of antitrust

Scott Silver badge

I need a feed

At least my MP3 player needs a feed. There is so much stuff available for individual download that I have just given up. I have 2 sorts of .mp3 file - my own CDs and podcasts.

If I can't get it by a podcast client, I will just listen to something else.

Top aero boffin: Green planes will be noisy planes

Scott Silver badge

Noise is not the same as pollution

I think that pollution is stuff left over. Noise does not last. It radiates away and fades out.

CO2, CO, and all the other stuff that staysaround affects the environment. As soon as your ears have stopped ringing, the noise is over.

We need a better way to describe noise pollution.

Daily Mail punts Georgina Baillie filth

Scott Silver badge

I am disgusted

with the Daily Mail.

How many people listened to the original programme - quite a few I believe.

How many of those listeners complained - apparently not many.

The entire furore was caused by the DM. Undoubtedly, Brand and Ross were unnaceptable. They deserve a strong warning or something. Did the offended parties complain? Only their complaints and those of the original listeners should counted.

The Daily Mail needs its editor and other dirtbags like its owner to be severely fined punished etc. The editor behind the fuss should loose their job and Murdoch should be disqualified from owning any media - papers TV or anything else.

BBC clarifies location of England

Scott Silver badge

UK residents need geography lessons too.

I Live near Birmingham in England. This is about 100 miles from the south coast. I think it is about 250 miles from the Scottish borders and about 600 miles from the north coast. Why am I continually told by the locals here that this is the "Midlands". They keep telling me that this is the north-south middle of 'the country'.

The British Midlands are somewhere in the Lake District and even the middle of England is somewhere towards Manchester.

It't not just people from the USA that have no idea about British geography.

Taliban extends mobile shutdown order

Scott Silver badge

Stronger Signals

I was under the impression that, if you are in a no-signal area, your phone battery runs out sooner because it sends out more/stronger signals trying to locate a tower.

Doesn't this mean that turning off the transmitters is a good idea because it will help us find these people more easily.

Oz watchdogs howl over 'Cyber-Safety' net filter

Scott Silver badge
Black Helicopters


If you set up such a system, you would have to do a few things...

Never go to Australia or anywhere they have an extradition treaty with.

Don't get kidnapped by Oz security services and rendered there.

Do not use your own satelites. Too easy to shoot down.

Figure out some sort of payment scheme they can't block - like the US blocks non Mafia gambling sites.

Blu-ray Disc a 'bag of hurt', says Jobs

Scott Silver badge

Stupid Name

I do not feel enthusiastic at the thought of buying anything with such a stupid mispelling of a name.

CD is pronounced "See Dee"

DVD is pronounced "Dee Vee Dee"

Blu Ray looks to me like it is "Bluh Ray"


DVLA: A licence to bill

Scott Silver badge

Off Road

If I am off the public highway, am I actually obliged to display my number plates?

Microsoft's Hotmail hybrid struggles to life

Scott Silver badge
Jobs Horns


I suspect a lot of us, the ones who use MS tools anyway, have to use hotmail. Any time they want to tell me stuff, it goes to hotmail and then gets read about 3 months later. I have several email accounts - work and home and check them regularly. They won't let me use them and keep asking for my "passport" address or something.

Apple recalls iPhone 3G power adaptors

Scott Silver badge

Weird US wiring

As a child, I lived in some 3rd world countries that were unlucky enough to follow American wiring 'standards'.

As far as I could see, the whole system was designed by manufacurers with no input from customers, governments or safety organisations.

I don't think that it is Apples fault that US wiring is inherently shoddy. The good news is that their mains voltage is 110v so that they can avoid having 3 prong plugs. Customers may have had a shock, but they are still alive.

BOFH: Remote access malarkey

Scott Silver badge
Thumb Up

Scarily Familiar

I have had this question so many times that I know the words off by heart...

My answers?

It's not your PC, its ours. If you are polite to us, we will let you borrow it for a while.

We have over 2,500 accounts. I am not going to find much by randomly opening accounts.

We use AD and/or Centennial to automatically check all computers for large ammounts of media files.

If we find stuff (and we will), you had better hope that we just delete it!

AVG update nails down stability bugs

Scott Silver badge

Re: Bit late.....

V8 is completely free - just like its predescessors.

I have been using it for years and saw the same comments about paying when we had to upgrade from 7 to 7.5. People would moan that the free version was coming to an end and what they now had was asking for money.

Of course the free version takes a little digging to find. They are a business and naturally they want to push the pay for version. You have to type "free" into the search box!

Up to 80,000 AOLers face the boot from Carphone network

Scott Silver badge


My point was that the problem was at their end in the first place.

I have had to wipe a couple of peoples PCs that were so ill advised that they ended up installing TT software. Like AOL before it, it can muck things up so badly that the best solution is to back up and reimage. £20 for me to

It is not needed either. Juat plug the ethernet in and you are connected.

Scott Silver badge

Operating Systems?

The ISP has either very little, or no, business in determining the OS that the customer uses.

I recently helped someone deal with TalkTalk who were claiming that the reason for the dead internet connection was that the customer was running linux!

Once their dire software was installed on a laptop, they sorted the problem - at heir end. The PC was connected up and the laptop was taken away and wiped.

I suspect that some ISPs dislike linux for 2 reasons

1. As it is not Windows, it does not run their "special software".

2. As it is not Windows, it is harder for them to spy on.

Hacker murders Facebook word game

Scott Silver badge


These companies are controlled by lawyers and accountants. It looks like the lawyers have the bigger say in this one!

New York pressures more ISPs into child pornography crackdown

Scott Silver badge

Inverted commas needed

These should be used when discussing "pornography crackdown", "intellectual property", "war on terror" and so on.

Not doing this indicates acceptance that those words are the real agenda.

What other subjects should be treated this way?

Granite Jesus, blessed be thy gneiss

Scott Silver badge

It's Harrison Ford

After doing another Indiana Jones film, he is updaing Star Wars. Perhaps the granite is actually metamorphic carbonite.

American auto dealer offers free handguns

Scott Silver badge

Which is better?

To be shot, or to be stabbed?

I am told by people from the US that part of the reason we Europeans have so many rude people is that we don't all carry guns here.They live in a polite society and we live in a repressed one.

I would rather deal with bad manners than guns. If someone decides to mug me, I would rather he did it with a knife. Any idiot can kill someone with a gun. Kives take practice or a degree of ability/luck...

Can't decide how to vote? Publicwhip.org will tell you

Scott Silver badge

Use it as a tool!

I ran it and it seemed to identify my leanings as well. I would think of something like this as a useful tool but I would see a problem as if it caught on, people would just vote exactly as it "told" them to. If that became the case, it is not a good thing.

That said, it is about as useful as having an open and unbiased press (if only), and a lot more democratic than people voting in a particular way because that is what they have always done because they see themselves as in a particular part of society.

It would not be so good if I voted for the people I like and the BNP or National Front may get in. I would like one that would show me the best way to keep the ones I dislike the most out...

Gordon Brown claims a Brit invented the iPod

Scott Silver badge

We invent ideas

In the UK we have invented all sorts of modern ideas. The problem is that other people have made better use of them.

You could list jet engines, WWW, or even taxation without representation. The USA gets rich on Boeing, internet porn and representation without taxation.

A380 passengers to enjoy 'military-style' urinals

Scott Silver badge


Long ago, I flew the atlantic in a USAF Hercules. The toilet facilities were some sort of hole behind a partition. Needless to say, few of our (mixed) unit used it. We all did have a good dump in Goose Bay before the long part of the flight though!

Mr. and Mrs. Boring sue Google over Street View pics

Scott Silver badge

The Streisand Effect

Before they set this case in motion, their lawyer should have told them what happened to Barbara Streisand when she did this sort of thing...


BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike

Scott Silver badge

Am I the only happy NTL user?

Everything "just works". No long outages, duff connectivity or lost mail.

When my original cable modem died after years of use, another was quickly delivered and was working soon after.

OK, they have a call centre but the little use I have made of it was not too bad. The staff were from the UK - maybe Glasgow but its been a while since I last called!

Yes, I would always like to get more for less money but I have no plans to move from what is now Virgin. I think my internet connectivity has been simple and reliable.

Steve Ballmer lies to my mother

Scott Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Indexed? So what?

No form of web-based email can be considered secure so whether it is indexed or not is not a relevant point. What is important is whether it is actually useful.

Gmail gives me storage and functionality. Hotmail gives me some useful newsletters from MS and some interesting adverts for financial things, enhancements and other medical matters...

Like many people, I have accounts on both. I make more actual use of Gmail though. It works better with Firefox too.

I wonder what Paris uses for her mailbox?

Oz admits $85m p0rn filtering FAIL

Scott Silver badge
Black Helicopters

David Wiernicki

You may think that nutcases in the USA are not advocating or planning this sort of thing but I am not so sure.

I believe that there are no depths of stupidity or alarmism that some of those idiots are not capable of plumbing. I also think that where the US leads, others are in danger of being pulled along.

Blighty might have astronauts in future, says UK gov

Scott Silver badge

Machines do not explore

Exploration needs human beings.

Sending unmanned probes, robots etc is valid and important scientific investigation. This country does not participate in exploration and has never done so.

Considering the history of the UK, this is an extreme departure. People from here have been exploring the planet for centuries. We seem to have turned our backs on the past - and the future.

50 years ago, we started to let the USA and USSR explore. The money we "saved" has never been used to feed the poor, house the homeless, the NHS, overseas aid, or any other valid cause. It has been frittered away on beurocrats, big government and political white elephants.

We could put billions into space exploration and worthy causes need not loose out. They could cut back even larger figures from parliament, Whitehall, and other wastes of money. Will they do that though? No chance!

Google in mass 404 land grab

Scott Silver badge

Does that 512 include images?

Or is it just the file size of the .html?

If it includes images, just have your logo at the top of the page. Otherwise, just paste in all your contact details at the bottom of your error page.

Bank turns London man into RFID-enabled guinea pig

Scott Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Belt and Braces

As Sconzey says, 2 seconds in the microwave should cure the RFID but I would suggest the tin foil wallet as well.

Perhaps 2 seconds in the microwave for passports and ID cards as well? If they might fail "naturally", we should just help them and nobody will know the difference...

Mother launches attack on epilepsy inducing video games

Scott Silver badge

This is embarrasing!

I have epilepsy and I object to someone suggesting that I am too stupid to read a warning on the box.

She is probably like the person who recently objected to the word "brainstorming" at a meeting I was at. They were worried in case it offended someone with epilepsy.

I said that the word was fine but I considered the attitude behind wanting to forbid it to be grossly offensive.

New taskforce to discuss why more people aren't turning to digital

Scott Silver badge

There is an alternative already

The only place I regularly listen to the radio is the car. As lots of people here have said, there are no DAB Car radios. Quality is not relevant in a car. I tend to concentrate on driving. Coverage is more important and that seems to be wanting...

At other times, I listen to podcasts. There is excellent quality, enormous choice and I don't have to listen to radio stations that are either striving to keep politicians of all types happy or following the path laid out for them by Rupert Murdoch. I am sure there are pocasts out there that do these. I don't subscribe to them.

If DAB catches up with podcasts, I might be interested but it has to compete on, cost (podcasts are free), variety, sound quality, diversity, freedom from political and big company interference and programme quality. That is a big list and I think we have a long wait.

If my car radio stops working, I will just connect up my iPod and listen to that. I am not going to spend ANY money on a vastly inferior alternative.

Brown will 'scrap ID cards' for UK citizens, claims paper

Scott Silver badge
Black Helicopters


As a British citizen who was born in Scotland, will I be exempt from this nonsense, even if I have been living in England for 20 years and have married a native?

Microsoft shouts 'Long Live XP'

Scott Silver badge

I haven't decided yet

if my next PC be a Mac or Linux only right from the start.

When people want to play games, then Microsoft can get some money for xBox games. There is no reason to run Windows on a PC by anything except by emulation.

Sod robots, send people into space: report

Scott Silver badge

About time!

It has been known for years that "exploring" means someone going somewhere and seeing something. Sending probes and robots somewhere and watching a television signal is investigation, possibly even scientific investigation.

A little bit of the moon has been explored. More has been investigated. Absolutely none of Mars has been explored. The UK has done no space exploration. It is about time we started!

The price quoted could be passed by stopping our help with an illegal war ONE DAY early.

Greens walk out of nuclear debate

Scott Silver badge

Yes they can be dangerous

Wade Burchette thinks that nobody has ever died from nuclear power plants.

I suggest he tells that to the Ukranians. Has he never hear of Chernobyl? So it was badly managed by a bankrupt and morally bankrupt regime but that is not so far from our experiences nowadays.

I am pro nuclear and want these things - I see no alternative but I also want a clear debate. As was said elsewhere, the alternative to Nuclear is not renewables. It is to hugely scale down demand. I don't want my grandchildren to have to live in mud huts, unless they want to!

Apple unveils larger nanos

Scott Silver badge


Can I get podcasts on this thing?

BBC iPlayer launches, but with limited viewer reach

Scott Silver badge

Media Player 10

I have gone out of my way to keep every computer I touch completely clear of Media Player 10. There is enough bad software that you can't avoid without putting this on as well!

So this is not only limited to Windows. It is limited to Windows users who have been uninformed enough to put that piece of software on their systems...

Miss America calls for mandatory internet safety classes

Scott Silver badge


These stories, although true, are very overblown and only published because neither the government or the media really approves of the internet.

The government etc does not approve of it because it is used by people who think differently from how we are supposed to. This includes right wingers, left wingers, atheists, hippies weirdos and Linux users. All of these are not following the official line and must be stopped.

The media does not approve of the internet because we use it to learn and communicate without their say so. We get our news from elsewhere and buy fewer newspapers. We use it to have fun in other ways than sitting on couches consuming their ready made entertainment.

It is in the interests of the state and the media to remind us how the internet has criminals, paedos, terrorists and pirates all over the place. It might encourage some people to think what they are supposed to and only read from "official" sources.

Google in crusade against neckties

Scott Silver badge

Most Problems

in IT are caused by people who wear suits to work that cost more than £150. Maybe the exact figure is open to debate but the guy in the £75 pound one, and me without a tie or jacket, are here to fix things.

Imagine a receiving line with the Queen walking down asking people "and what do you do then?"

I am a developer. I write code and make computers do useful stuff.

I am a floor sweeper. I keep this place clean.

I am a data input clerk, I type stuff into a computer and make the business work.

I am an executive. I wear a suit.

But what to you do?

I wear a suit. That is what I do.

'al-Qaeda' puts on big shoes, red nose, takes custard pie

Scott Silver badge

Petrol Bombs

Perhaps it was a rough boarding school but, in the early '70s, I remember older boys teaching me how to make petrol bombs (using petrol siphoned from teachers cars).

It was demonstrated that too much fuel in the milk bottle and it burned but did not explode. Too little and it just went out. A goodly supply of air and petrol and you get a lovely bang.

The benefits of an English Public School education. Obviously, nobody from AQ at my school!

Woman cleans keyboard... in dishwasher

Scott Silver badge

There are other fluids...

Coffee etc is OK but some fluids write off keyboards because of their acidity!

When this happened where I work, the nurse showed me where the rubber gloves were (I take medium size) and I washed it down in their sluice but uric acid destroys contacts so it was finished...

Say goodbye to Office 2003, Microsoft tells PC builders

Scott Silver badge

Hope For OSS??

I would like to think that Microsofts latest nonsense would give hope to enthusiasts for Open Source software everywhere. Unfortunately, I have my doubts.

The MS marketing dept is the most successful organisation on the planet. They are believed to have the ability to sell sand to Libya, snow to Siberia and poo to pig farmers worldwide.

While this is no doubt an opportunity, it is unlikely to be as effective as making the convicted monopolist obey the laws of the countries they operate in.

MS will not keep the law in Europe, for example, when they know that the worst that will happen is that they will get a measly fine and a stern finger waving. They can buy their way out of problems at home and lobby to get laws changing to what they want.

I'm buying a Mac' net time I need a new computer. More reliable than Windows and less fiddling than Linux or Windows...