* Posts by HelpfulJohn

413 posts • joined 31 Aug 2012


Annoyed US regulator warns it might knock SpaceX's shiny new Texas tower down


Re: FAA -- Environmental Champions?

"Trains and autos need much more land than aviation."

Roads and car-parks cover vast amounts of land, trains less so and airports even less. It's a question of numbers.

"Aviation is much more fuel efficient than autos per passenger-mile."

Only once airborne. Take-offs apparently burn a lot of juice. Still, aeroplanes do only take-off once per journey and those can be long so that can be a minor consideration for long-haul flights.

"Aircraft and airports are far less noisy than they were a few decades ago."

Very true, especially since they binned my beloved Concorde; that one used to shake the world, lovely though she was. But current designs have a limit to how quiet they can be while remaining profitable enough for the bosses and shareholders. Absent returning to airships with silenced engines, something I would truly love to see, noise is not going away any time soon. Even miles away from their homes, aeroplanes can disturb our Summer afternoons. It's just how the physics works.

"My time living next to a mid-sized airport was far more peaceful than my time living next to train tracks."

That one's down to local conditions. Some railway tracks are used by huge, unending freight trains that are awesomely seismic in their passage, others less so. Some airports are relatively quiet, others are Heathrow. It's like our allotment of Dark Sky, either you are lucky to have some or not. Our experiences of local noise and pollution is spotty, semi-random and not personal. It's just our bad luck if we live near a bad one.

Though I'd imagine Mr. Musty, Mr. Bozo and others have relatively silent skies over each of their many houses.


Re: FAA -- Environmental Champions?

"... is off limits to general aviation so there's little danger of that so what's the beef?"

I assume the area used by SpaceX is large, flat and unobstructed enough to be considered a possible emergency landing site for crippled aircraft? If so, the Air Cops may be thinking of protecting such machines from colliding with high-flying rooves unadorned with flashy red lights. It may indeed be buried somewhere in the rule-book that such a use is mandatory for launching sites whether Old Musty has read those clauses or not.

They do, after all, also like to have red lights on electricity pylons, large radio antennae and other objects that reach to the kies they so lovingly control.

Facebook granted patent for 'artificial reality' baseball cap. Repeat, an 'artificial reality' baseball cap


When I worked, I was in an office with many, many badly tuned fluorescent lighting tubes. I could hear their assorted hums and the flickering, combined with the poor spectrum of radiant energies and, I think, the varying brightnesses, caused me headaches.

I found that dark glasses, sunglasses, helped a lot. What helped even more was something advertised in a sporting-goods shop as a "tennis visor". The green, translucent eye-shade blocked a lot of the harshness from the lamps.

I had entered the sporty shop thinking I might find a baseball-style peaked cap to wear to aid in preventing the pains but the shop assistant advised me to try that visor, instead. His advice was excellent.

Previously to this, I had never even considered entering such an establishment, which only shows that our internal biases, prejudices and ignorance may sometimes be to our personal detriment.

I am sure the tennis visor would be useful in direct sunlight, too, were I ever to venture out of my little house to encounter so dangerous a thing.


Which style would that be? Note, please, that not all of us follow USAlien politics, sports, T.V., movies or mass entertainment so we may not be aware of your more domestically well-know "celebrities". Indeed, some of us don't even follow local ones.

I'm assuming the wearer is wearing the hat with the sun-blocking eye-shade protecting his neck from becoming red, which, while contrary to the prime purpose of protecting one's eyes, is not entirely stupid in warmer regions of the planet.

With the addition of good sunglasses, it is not really a stupid idea at all, though a thin, flexible fabric like a handkerchief would serve the purpose without depriving the wearer of the eye-shade.


Should the surface area of the hat be sufficiently large, it may even be lined with solar cells as an additional albeit minor charging source.

Also, a transparent set of rotating vanes could be used as an additional cooling device.

The skin of the hat could be used to carry some of the electronics while the brim could be the source of the micro-lasers that form the images. Some of the skin might even be used to house antennae for wi-fi and 7- or 8-G.

I am assuming that the read wire is both a power lead and a data-line to a back-pack device like a laptop with shoulder-straps so the main power and processing would not be done by the hat itself but the above suggestion could add functionality to the system.

Army types could even build the additional logics and other bits into hardened helmets.

This isn't so stupid an idea as it first appears. It may even gain Farceboke some much-needed income, especially should they be able to monetise it as yet another advertising platform.

Blessed are the cryptographers, labelling them criminal enablers is just foolish


Re: Peer review

"Any suggestions, please advise."

As you asked for it, have you tried Usenet, the "sci.crypt" newsgroup?

Those guys just love tearing apart new stuff. They see it as fun. A sort of mathematical game.

Lurk for a while, as there are idiots, lack-wits and a couple of trolls you'll likely want not to take advice from but some of them really do know stuff.

It's not really publishing, pre se, but it could lead to it as they also know that end and might help if you ask.

Ah, caveat, if you invite them to look for flaws, they *will* and they can be quite merciless if you promote your stuff as "uncrackable". A thick skin may be useful. :)

Good luck and I hope you succeed. The world can always use good crypto.

NHS Digital booking website had unexpected side effect: It leaked people's jab status


Re: There is no UK vaccine booking website

I'm in England. I didn't use no site. I just got a phone call from a nurse at the local GP practice offering me a slot for each tiny stabbing.

I accepted both with gratitude.

I got poked twice.

Note: the nurse sounded tired and overworked but that may have been me projecting.


Re: people should not be fraudulently using the service

It's actually true, we should never fraudulently use *any* service. Nor should we steal, kill, lie, hurt anyone or do all of the other bad things.

We should, indeed, be excellent to each other.

We should all be wise, honest, truthful, kind, generous and genuinely nice people. Some of us manage this much of the time, some even manage it all of the time. Everyone should.

But that is not the way of the world.

It should be but their are too many evil sods running around loose. That is why a web-site holding private data *must* be tightly secured.

Because not everyone is so nice as us. :)


Re: people should not be fraudulently using the service

A question if I may?

Exactly whom would you sack?

The "policy", if that is the correct description for the ongoing malignant incompetence that is the NHS's method of handling personal information, has been in place for decades, through more than one change of government and quite a few Ministers. It is entirely possible that the Civil Servants implementing said cock-up have also changed, moved to private practice and retired.

So what hot body would you like to sack, jail and otherwise inconvenience?

Hint, it ain't *all* Boris's fault. He may have picked the latest tranche of bosses and he may loosely oversee grand patterns of "policy" but the actual running of the service is a mass, group effort.

So, whom should we go after?

N.B. I love UKLand's N.H.S., they have kept me alive, abated my suffering and helped my loved ones for "free" on many occasions and I genuinely owe them my life. At the receiving end, some of them, many of them, are truly wonderful people. But ... as an organisation it could stand to be improved a little.

Nothing's perfect.


Re: "people should not be using it fraudulently"

"OTOH this is a great opportunity to do a National Identity Card on the cheap without spending millions on yet another useless app and without the peasants noticing and rioting."

There, fixed that one for you.

"Track and Trace" will never go away. "Temporary, Emergency Powers" never seem to.

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

" ... it would have needed an army ..."

Well, to be fair, an army of bureaucrats *did* make the paperwork.

Some of them then destroyed masses of it, too.

It's surprising how much paperwork you can produce when you employ an entire country.


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

Obvious! It's all done with *mirrors*!

And magnets. Maybe some curtains, smoke and fake timers too.

I mean, who really understands what those "astronomers" are pretending to do? I mean, *I* do but it's obvious I'm also getting paid vast sums by the Regulan Illuminati Hybrids.

Anyway, aren't those "reflectors" really just in the Tibetan Tunnels?



. Obvious, that is, to everyone save my bank.


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

Yes, yes they most assuredly are.

And worse.

Have you ever watched them being berated by a bus-driver for hanging their masks under their nostrils? It has been over a *YEAR* and still they can't manage to cover them.

Millions dead from a form of SARS and they still refuse to get vaccinated.

Eating fish-tank cleaners because their Leader For Life told them to.

Yes, people are still that stupid.

Me, I just made some poor jests about it.


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

"Are people really still this thick?"

Have you *met* people?


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

Isn't that some sort of "selfie" shot? Albeit one blocked by a rather large photobombing rock.


Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

"Capricorn One"?

If Hollywood can fake it for a Hollywood production, I am sure Mr. Kubrick could have done it far, far better.

Now, when do we go back to rescue Mr. Damon? :)


Re: The moon orbits the Sun

""Earth and Moon are really a double planet"

Like Pluto?"

Yes, just like the *Planet*, Pluto. :)

The others don't matter, those are mere rocks but Pluto is a planet. The IAU are wrong, idiots and moot.

What's this about a muon experiment potentially upending Standard Model of physics? We speak to one of the scientists involved


Re: Not a scientist


Just "NO!"

We already have six elements named after a tiny village somewhere in the wild woods of Yurp and a whole bunch being named for research institutes and scientists. We don't need to clog up the minds of future generations with piles of themed elements just because their distant, primitive ancestors thought it would be funny.

And, no, a theme of "FaceTwitium", "Googlonium" and "Applium" should never be allowed, either.

"Helium" was cool as a name. We need element names that are independent of the local, the personal and the currently famous.

"Technetium" is a good name as is "Copper" but "Wensleydalium" would be ...... unfortunate.

"Worcestershireium"? For when we run out of cheeses? Though, if we start on the list of French ones, that would be around element number eight hundred-odd.


Re: Particle physicist touting for funding

Well, TaT did "save lives" and "protect the Nation" so it was definitely a worthwhile endeavour and a genuinely wise use of the treasure committed to it.


Re: wonderful

"as Asimov said, discoveries happen when a scientist says "That's odd" ... "

The four-books of "The Skylark Series" begin with a scientist watching the odd result of an experiment and ends with that result taking him on intergalactic journeys that affect the destinies of thousands of species.

The effect he notices is tiny, the ensuing New Physics is astonishingly profound and powerful.

No, I don't expect a Seaton moment from the muons, these things rarely turn out to be anything useful but it is nice to dream.

Another successful flight for SpaceX's Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing


Re: Historical precedent

SF magazines had covers with VTOL phallic rocket-ships on them in the 1930's. Mr. Heinlein wrote SF short and novel-length tales of them from about the 1930's to the 1950's.

It's an idea about as old as Goddard's first launches, maybe older.

The strange aerodynamic StarShips of the 1960's and later are much more recent and a lot less practical for off-world activities. NCC-1701 was just poor designing.


Re: They really need to call it a day...

Re your "1": I'd go. I'm absolutely sure that not even a Texan would eat my remains, it would be far cheaper than any form of funeral and it looks to be a quick exit, probably a warm one, too.

Re your "2": I'd go. Hell, I'd go in a fleet of those space station resupply pods even if I knew it was a high probability of the landing being more of a meteoric display than a gentle bump. It's months without gravity, months without being threatened by SARS III, IV and V and months of being able to see the stars as the elder gods intended - no damned city lights or car headlamps blinding me. Yerp, even as a slow euth. machine, it sounds marvellous and there would always be the possibility of a successful landing, after which I could spend years puttering about fixing Oppy, finding and charging Beagle, looking for the long-buried Old Martian cities and other useful stuff.

I'm surely not doing anything *here* to help Humanity, being Old Elron Musketeer's crash test dummy would at least be a contribution.

How do I sign up?

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage


The article states that 30 plants may be needed for the average user to satisfy his addiction.

At present, growing 30 or more coffee plants may be entirely lawful and allowed but one wonders how long this will obtain? When coffee is so rare as to command prices in the hundreds of dollars per cup, will the Authorities ban growing it as a personal crop? Will it become less lawful, more illegal than that other famous weed? Might the laws be amended to treat home-brew coffee as harshly as home-brew likkers?

Big Coffee, after all, will not wish to lose any profits to Mummy&Daddy micro-breweries any more than the Excise men did to moonshiners.

Ah, yes, I can see the day [sometime in 2023, perhaps?] when the jails are stuffed full of nasty, asocial hippy-types who want to legalise home production of "harmless" drugs like coffee and whose houses are raided on a regular basis.

Fun, yes?

Habitable-zone exoplanet potentially spotted just around the corner in Alpha Centauri using latest telescope technique


Re: a mere 4.3 light years away

"Given we currently can't, and actually never will, travel at the speed of light,........"

That isn't how to do it.

The seeding of the Human Galaxies goes something like this:

In the early 1970's, SkyLabs are built, launched and joined together. An international effort uses this factory and science station to supply skilled labour to buil a city-farm in high orbit. Eventually, the burgeoning offworld economy sends factories to the Belt and the Trojans for metals and ices. Some of the mined stuff is dropped into H.E.O. to create and fuel many more habitats.

The city-farms supply refined metals and foods to the Earth. Mining and farming ends on the Earth. Some of the cities find HEO too restrictive so sprout engines to allow them to drift to Lunar or Martian orbits, some drift off into the Belt, the Trojans and - with enhanced protective shells - to Jovian orbits.

Meta-Law is written to protect the Rings. No exploitation is permitted there.

Some Cities find the inner System too crowded so slowly drift outwards, continuing to trade and communicate with the inner worlds as they go. Eventually, the cometary zone has a non-zero population.

The cometary zone of Sol isn't that much of a jump from the cometary zones of stars like Proxima, Wolf-359 and Barnard so falling away from Sol at glacial velocities becomes falling *towards* nearby stars. Time does not matter when ther is no real destination, when your entire civilisation comes with you and when re-supply and refuelling can be done from both your home-port and your destination by way of robots and trade.

It is not the flight of starships nor is it the falling of intergenerational arks, it is merely life going on as it always has but with the cosmos slowly swimming past your windows.

After many millennia, a refitting, refurbishment and refuelling pit-stop is made relatively near the targeted star and its debris clouds. There is, during the long fall, an opportunity to scan for suitable detritus to use as building materials, soil and other goodies.

The pit-stop may also be an opportunity for the City to breed, to make more of itself, to seed the new planetary system with descendants until some of those, too, drift out into the darkness.

After ten million years, perhaps fewer, Cities full of what once were Men appear at the other edge of this Galaxy.

After maybe two hundred million years, perhaps fewer depending on need, vision and technologies, the alien sons of long-lost Earth walk the worlds of nearby galaxies.

Once a species can build habitats that can be repaired for millennia, ubiquity and eternal existence is inevitable.

If only to get away from the blaring yammering of the home-worlds.

Of course, Humans aren't going to do any of this. Not ever.


Re: Life

Assume the Principle of Mediocrity, so Man is at or near the average of "intelligent" species. Half of all aliens could be dumber than Humans. Some, way, way dumber.

AlfaCent-A-One could be crammed *full* of Trumps.

Or worse.

Cheery thought, yes?


Re: Habitable-zone exoplanet potentially spotted just around the corner in Alpha Centauri...

Why "complicated"?

The star system of Earth, the Solar System, has at least eight, sometimes ten or more prognosticatingly useful worlds and a dozen or so Zodiac signs. AlfaCent-A-One may only have a couple of planets and a second, quite tiny Sun-like object.

Proxima would be brighter to them than it is to us but not overly so. Almost certainly not bright enough to be seen as a "planet" and any planets of Alfa-Cent-B would be invisible from One's surface.

Astrological charts on One might be dead simple.

Which makes them quite generic and lacking in usefulness. The more pointers and markers and "houses" one has the more detailed and differentiated your predictions can be.

Gas-bags floating in the clouds of Jupiter or Saturn could have *incredibly* complex horoscopes tailored to their individualities quite precisely and tuned to very small temporal intervals as their moons have many, many short months.


Re: Quite a challenge

Why would one need to protect the new, man-made air? Just replenish it every so often with falling icebergs from the outer fringes. One mile-wide comet would contain sufficient mass to compensate for decades, maybe millennia of air loss.

And they don't contain only water. Every infall would supply nice, juicy veggie-making fertilisers, too.


Re: Quite a challenge

" Which would mean pretty much manufacturing an entire atmosphere of the right composition and changing the climate completely."

A little while back, a milliard of years or so, little, teeny, tiny bugs managed to do this to the atmosphere of an utterly useless, uninhabitable rock we now call Earth.

Using mosses, lichens and other critters greening Mars shouldn't take more than a century. Maybe less if we dump tons of veggies and fungi all over the place.

Helping it along by dropping icy blobs onto the poles from the Martian skies would be fun, too.

Greening Venus would, however, be easier. Maybe even faster and Venus is *warm*.

It's a shame Man is never, ever, ever going to do any of those nice things.

NASA sends nuclear tank 293 million miles to Mars, misses landing spot by just five metres. Now watch its video


Re: Mars probe success rate

"Does anyone know what the chances of anything coming from Mars are?"

Last week, a billion to one.

This weekend, a million to one.

Yesterday, a hundred to one ........

......and still they come!

Next to "The Songs Of Distant Earth", one of the best musical adaptations of an SF novel.

There's a sequel to "WOTW". It's as good as the original.

There's a sequel to "The Time Machine", too. It, too, is excellent.

Off-topic, yes, but someone might now go looking and find joy.


Their lander cams are massively better than any web-cam I have here in UKland but I do have better digital cameras than those.

I think the little robot's best cameras are better than any of mine and her upload speed is certainly better, even though she has lots of neighbours crowding the same bandwidth.

We should land a radio dish on Mars so we could do Very, Very, Excessively Hugely Long Baseline Interferometry. Maybe drop it onto Mount Olympus? Maybe with an I.R and optical telescope so we could do "stereo" images in co-operating with Hubble or Earth-bound eyes?

I'm sure we could land some in Ikea-flat-pack form and have a little robot snap together all of the bits.

Make them modular and they could even be upgradeable using Gifts From Earth.


An incredibly wonderful technical, engineering and scientific achievement.

When I was born [allegedly, I don't really remember the events happening around me at the time] absolutely no man-made object had orbited the Earth. Today, we're landing alien, semi-autonomous, nuclear-powered robot tanks armed with death-rays on Mars. And helicopters!

Those guys are truly impresive.

I look forward to a Linux patch fixing the audio and the flight of the first extraterrestrial flying machine.

Persevere, little robot and take your human friends to places "where no man - where no *one* - has gone before".

1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?


Hypocrisy, much?

Of course the Very Righteous Register would never have trackers, analytics or other scripts running on its website.

Google-analytics, ads-twitter, doubleclick, amedo, a tagmanager from Google and possibly others that remain hidden.

Not that the Register would *ever* allow such things. Not while berating others for that offence.

Want your broadband fixed? Best write to your MP, UK's Zen Internet tells customer


Re: Lead and Paper.

"... some of that oil is also going into Aquifers, which is definitely not good."

If by "not good", you are implying that the oil may seep into drinking waters would this not be detected fairly rapidly and at non-toxic concentrations by the Quality Control guys at the water companies and rectified with the alacrity UKland always applies to public health issues?

Hero to Jezero: Perseverance, NASA's most advanced geologist rover, lands on Mars, beams back first pics


Re: Life on Mars

"... surely the heat caused as it went through the (then) substantial Martian atmosphere would have rendered it sterile?"

Nope. Truly, the outer crust may get a bit hot but even a brick-sized falling rock could stay frozen at the core or even just a little way into it during the infall. Rocks don't fall through airs like Earth's or Mars's for very long, maybe only five or ten seconds or so, so there isn't time enough for them to be thoroughly cooked all the way through. Massive great boulders would be even more raw until they landed.

Cancel your summer trip to nearby Proxima b. No chance of life, room service, say boffins


Re: New physics

" ... or have elements heavier than uranium which are even more effective for generating a truly monstrous field."

According to the latest research, Einsteinium *might* be magnetic.

Which isn't very useful as it is also rarer that altruistic politicians and just a teentsy bit radioactive.


Re: It's a model

" ... we'll have to wait for JWST to come online ..."

So, maybe, if the USofA gets conquered by some civilisation, sometime in the forty-fifth century?

JWST, flying cars, really useful Asimovan household robots, flying cars and fusion giving us power too cheap to meter.

All coming "soon". All promised "within the next fifty years" for over seventy years.

Voyager 2 receives and executes first command in 11 months as sole antenna that reaches it returns to work


Re: Press any key to continue

In the extremely likely scenario that the Earth is rendered silent by human actions, Voyager should assume that she, herself, is utterly safe as nothing will be coming from Earth for quite some time, if ever and aliens are a poor bet at best.

Whether this translates to "keep sending data as per my last instructions" or "go dark and silent while collecting data for future contacts" or something else depends upon the priorities of the original mission planners and their generations of successors.

When Man takes out his only home, Voyager is rather well insulated from the action by a considerable layer of distance. Few, if any, humans are going to bother to try to hit her with anything when they could be using anything offensive to annihilate one another.

It may be that man's little flotilla of robots will be the last functioning bits of high technology left in the universe at some point.

A thought both thrilling and deeply sad.


Re: It's a different world

Uranium, thorium and plutonium are also "solar" power. More accurately, stellar power; the residues of ancient overly large stars that went boom a long time ago.

Nuclear power is the ultimate in "green" energy.


Re: It's a different world

"Have you seen how people drive on roads?? Do you really want them to be texting while flying?"

On the first hand, why not? Collision avoidance is a job for sensors, relays and "am-i-doing-a-stupid?" softwares.

On the other hand, no, people can't be trusted to keep hold of their precious Veblen Goods while twitting on the pot, dropping one from several kilometres high would test the durability of even a Nokia.

On the gripping hand, there is the constant dread every politician and pontiff must have of disappointed parishioners with grudges and full recta. Sticky commentaries on their job performances delivered from on high may be funny the first few hundred times but would almost certainly get old. Deliveries of things other than sticky blobs, for example fragile bags of contraband pharmaceuticals to enhance the mornings of working politicians or other chemicals to ruin those same mornings, would be rather less amusing.

On the invisible, psychic hand: there may be reasons other than economics, engineering limitations and the Laws Of Physics why flying cars, personal airships and jetpacks are still hypothetical. At least a few of the Elite must be able to see the inevitable consequences of millions of MAGArats and their enemies jousting in the clouds.

6/1/21 could have been very entertaining had everyone had access to cheap, personal flying machinery.

BOFH: Are you a druid? Legally, you have to tell me if you're a druid


Re: Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

"Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's"

I've seen the entire collective in Sainsbury's. One of the bigger ones, not a little one.

They may also be on sale in other places but I don't shop there so I can't definitively confirm this.

From what I remember, they cost about 50p an episode or less but I'm not certain of that, either.

"U.F.O." was also on sale there for a while and may still be. That's the one where they thought we'd have a huge, peopled Moonbase or two in 1980. "Peopled" because they absolutely had lady astronauts. If I recollect correctly they wore silvery dresses and purple wigs for some strange operational reason - or directorial fetish.

I'm fairly sure that I also saw the complete "Captain Scarlet" [that's the one where humans finally reached Mars, came in peace, shot up the place and started a grudge match], too but that's drifting a little far from the killer robot theme.

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem


Re: An elephant in the room

Not true.

I saw, in the wonderful documentary "White House Down", *exactly* how the "Nuclear Footballs" work. For a start, they aren't shaped like *real* footballs, they are not spherical but are more like USAlien handballs in that they are little suitcase-like portable PC's with internal modems or WiFi. They have voices and little screens and cute buttons. At least I think I remember one of them having a nice, gentle lady voice. Maybe I'm conflating that with the P.O.S. robot ladies in my supermarket?

I suppose it is appropriate that they are more USAlien handball shaped as they are intended for use by USAlien Presidents and those guys have possibly never even seen a real football.

Anyway, it doesn't matter whether the President launches a strike as the other, slightly saner guys can blow up the missiles while they are in-flight using the robotic tri-headed doggy, Cerberus. Unless they didn't have the funds to repair it after the documentary?

Maybe the new President should look into that one?


Watchdog urges Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S, X cars to fix knackered NAND flash that borks safety features


Re: Keep retracting.

"... machines are always expected to be 100% infalible."

Well, we've found the guy who has never worked in IT, never owned a computer and never watched a point-of-sale robot decline his card for no reason.

A charmed life he has.

Brexit freezes 81,000 UK-registered .eu domains – and you've all got three months to get them back


Re: This is to punish the UK

"... while you voted in that pig-headed spiv ..."

Some of us tried not to.

It's not my fault that I only get a limited number of votes nor that this number is less than the number of numpties in UKland.

My first ever vote, nearly fifty years back, was to fully join Yurp. I wanted, still want, the lovely and wonderful Queen Lizzy to be the figurehead of a totally united Grosse Europe with things like "France", "England" and "Lichtenbergersteinshire" being no more than postal regions and artefacts of History. It does not look like I will ever get this.

It's ever so sad, wasteful and stupid.

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app


Re: Next: Fingerprints

"You mean you don't have a fingerprint sensor on your phone?"

My phone makes voice calls {anyone else remember those?] and can just about manage texts if I really, really push its limits. It cost £30 a couple of years ago, works fine for the few calls I make and doesn't get software "updates" that break functionality.

I like it. It's peaceful.


Re: Account deleted

The simplest solution to all FarceBoke corporatism issues is the one I use: don't have any friends or family.

No friends, no family no need for any "social medium".

Uhn, does *this* count?

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse


Re: Where's the Lefty Version

"We have non-discrimination rules about everything except handiness, maybe it is time to add that to the list."

Yeah, god luck with that. I tried for decades, it never progressed much further than "Oh, dear, he's whingeing ... again." and that was in a place that was absolutely fantastic for helping with disabilities, differences and illnesses. They were damned good people to work for but chirality did not seem to be a disability they recognised as debilitating. [In a way, it's analogous to back pain. It's a completely invisible dysfunction.]

Not even when I suggested they try spending a week only using their off-hand, their left to experience some of what we sinister gauche people encounter all day. I'm not sure any of them took me up on that challenge but if so nothing came of it.

Me, I adapted, poorly, to a Dexterous world. Still mostly do, as most lefties are required to.


Re: Your Amazon Basics ripoff trackball

" ... If the ball in your trackball sticks, this might be due to the dust ..."

For "dust" read "skin patches coated in salts and oils".

Also micro cats hairs. Micro-hair, not usually micro-cats. Perhaps also breakfast bits that are secondarily transferred by way of fingers, thumbs and pads.

Some actual inorganic dust from soil samples, printer detritus and other sources may also be present but a lot of the clog in mouse-balls is dead bits of users. Humans shed. A lot. It's good for forensics. :)

Cleaning your rat, whether right-side up or dead is often a good move.

Keyboards, too.



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