* Posts by kraut

118 posts • joined 21 Sep 2012


Fancy owning a two-seat Second World War Messerschmitt fighter?


Re: 1969 film

I recall a party where we established that two South African guests had been in the same battle on different sides...

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*


Re: Pandora's box?

There should be an exam on vague familiarity with mythology before you're allowed to give your children mythological names.

I have a friend who's called Cassandra...she doesn't talk about doom. Much. More since the referendum, TBF.


Re: Pandora's box?

Surely, sheep dips are supposed to protect the sheep from diseases? So, while unpleasant, temporarily, they are designed(*) to be beneficial to the sheep.

Another thing I wonder about w.r. to vegans: Why would anyone keep pigs?

* I'll grant they might not be; and organophosphates are certainly not good for the farmer, but the principle stands.


Re: Not much of a chemist then?

Are you suggesting all government decisions should try to appease all bronze age superstitions across the globe?


Re: Not much of a chemist then?

The one problem with US dollars is that they're all the same colour.

The two problem with US dollars is that they're all the same colour and the same size.

The three.... sod it, bring on the cushions.


Re: And yet

Indeed, although parts of the 2nd world *cough* India *cough* are rather touchy about using bits of cow, too.

And I imagine various other parts of the world would get quite upset at finding traces of pork in their money, too.

EU set to bin €500 note


Re: The usual bollocks from the Euros

That would be a 100,000 Reichmark note, not a Deutsche Mark note.

NZ hotel bans cyclists' Lycra-clad loins


Re: @Commswonk

You should try wearing a hi-viz tabbard saying "I'm nice to cyclists when I drive!". And clearly your dogs should wear hi-viz coats - and helmets. And, probably, some blinking lights. The more the better.

That's what cyclists get told all the time - shouldn't it apply to pedestrians and dogs, too?

All I want is for cyclists to offer the same courtesy to me when I am on foot walking the dog and conversing with other dog walkers.

I'm willing to bet a pint that if you put your confirmation bias aside, you'd find that most do. Just as most drivers drive fairly well around cyclists.

But the ones you remember are the ones that don't.

Even in largely pleasant populations you get some arseholes. Like cyclists who don't share shared paths, or dog walkers who believe in the dog poo fairy.

It is also worth remembering that London cyclists* have a fearsome reputation for scattering pedestrians by "furious cycling" on pavements, which is quite simply against the law in the first place....

It's against the law, but supposed to be tolerated - according to numerous relevant ministers - unless done inconsiderately. Now, I've only been in London for 25 years, but I don't recall encountering a cyclist in central London on the pavement - the pavements are usually far too crowded. Out in the sticks^H^H^H^HBarnet you do see it, but then the pavements there are usually a) wide and b) empty.

Nobody walks anywhere in the 'burbs. They have a 4x4 and they will drive it.

Oh and ignoring red lights

It's an absolute disgrace! Most drivers in London now seem to think orange means "put your foot down", and red means "I only have 5 seconds to go!". And don't get me started on the idiots blocking junctions and roundabouts and causing bloody mayhem for everyone else. They've spent all that money on cameras and it doesn't seem to have made a difference...


You're talking about cyclists

Not drivers of cars and HGVs that regularly kill pedestrians?

Have pity. It's a sign of weakness, not a threat*. The ones that constantly RLJ are the ones that aren't fit

enough for a proper interval workout.

* on the whole. There are, rare, occasions when it makes sense to move ahead of the line to get out of the dangerous blind spot of the HGV that pulled up behind you.

Other places doubtless have comparable problems.</quote>

Lots of places have comparable problems to London with respect to air pollution and hit and run drivers; places with decent cycling infrastructure|high cyling mode share tend to have less.

But yeah. Shared use paths are stupid and counterproductive except in very low usage situations. It should be "Pedestrianised; considerate cycling allowed" [ which, e.g. Regents Canal is. But without any enforcement, these kind of regulations tend not to be worth...]

BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it


Re: Tracking

The Home Office is clearly covered under secure mental health units.

Sadly, in this case, it's their security, not ours.

Solution to tech bros' disgust of SF homeless people launched


Unfortunately, there was three separate incidents and countless times that we were approached for money and harassed

There was three separate incidents? What a woeful indictment of whatever "education" system this scrote wiggled through?

The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. Assuming, as seems reasonable from the article, that he's a septic tank: It is extraordinarily difficult to get through the US eduction system without some rudimentary understanding of (aspects of) the constitution, or indeed (smaller aspects of) the philosophy behind it.

Given that he managed it, he's either extremely "precious", or home-schooled, or both. We can apportion blame appopriately.

"[1] I want to apologize for using the term riff raff. It was insensitive and counterproductive."

Oh no, that was one of the - few - well phrased parts of the articles. Don't apologise for the terms you used - apologise for meaning what you meant to say!

Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart


Re: Natural behaviour

We don't usually eat raw meat,

Steak Tartare?

Auto erotica bonk shocker: ja das ist gut, say 56% of Germans


Re: Shagging in Deutschland

One assumes that your extensive knowledge of Germans derives primarily from reruns of 'allo 'allo?


Re: Shagging in Deutschland

Bavaria is not Germany.

That's one of the few things the Bavarians and the Germans agree on. (*)

(*) other things include beer and sausages, but then so does most of central Europe.

Brassiere belays boob-bound bullet, begetting bruised breastbone


Re: Where's Ms Bee when you need her?

Nasty critters, wild pigs are.

Surprisingly tasty, though.

Budget UHD TVs arrive – but were the 4Kasts worth listening to?


Re: Sky and UHD

Do people actually re-watch old games? Surely watching Football is boring enough even if you don't already know the results?

It's Suntory time: Japanese whisky to be distilled in SPAAAAACE


Re: Risky Experiment [Geddit?!]

No, but there is a fair amount of correlation (at least amongst reputable single malts)

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights


Re: Pay your tax like everyone else

I wonder how many people died through a lack of state financing for the NHS, during this scam?

Given that the state had plenty of money to keep financing Trident, not to mention fighting several counterproductive wars (at least one of which was illegal): None.

The Hound of Hounslow: No $40m Wall Street wobbler


Re: If only we could get back to markets being about real value...

That's never been what Equity markets are really about. And if it were, they wouldn't work - you need the speculators to provide the liquidity - and at least that benefits most participants.

Think back how much commission you'd have paid 20 years ago, compare that to now.

So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?


Re: Pratchett

What has Brown done that hasn't been regarded as a mistake?

- resign?

- get rid of Tony as PM.


Re: QE causes deflation....

They propped up the banks at huge expense to the tax payer, whereas they should have let them fail and have the shareholders and bondholders take the losses..


Re: Changing the CPI basket

You can argue at the margins about what the mix should be, but you can't argue about whether the mix or contents needs to be changed as times change.

You can argue about that, indeed, but no one can sensibly argue that excluding housing costs makes sense.


Re: Tons of inflation

There's also the fact that when Labour gave the BoE independence - one of the few(*) good ideas they managed to implement - they tied them to the wrong inflation measure: RPIX, i.e. Retail Price Index Excluding Inflation. Which, in turn, led to interest rates being artificially low during the boom years, fueling house price inflation.

(*) the other one was FOI, and that didn't go far enough. Plus Tony is on record as regretting FOI. As you would, with an illegal war and thousands of deaths on your conscience. You'd regret giving citizens a little bit of insight into the government they pay for.

Chips can kill: Official


Re: Rubbish

True, but how many people have caused house fires by cutting up salads?

Snoopers' Charter queen Theresa May returns to Home Office brief


Re: Jackboots and Jodhpurs anyone?

It plays well amongst their core voters.

TBH, the fate of foxes is the least of my worries for this country over the next five years.

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU


Re: Too right

Indicators have clearly become optional extras, and in these hard economic times, you can hardly blame drivers for spending their cash on a bling paint job rather than an accessory they'd never use.


Re: Anyone else wonder...

I'll agree with the concept of implementing laws at the lowest possible level - in fact, I think in a lot of cases the level should be a lot lower than it currently is. Why should income tax be the same in Newcastle as in London, for example? Or interest rates, for that matter (interest rates appropriate for London are almost certainly too high for Newcastle... but I digress).

Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights? Apart from, possibly, aesthetics, but that's a matter of taste.

E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard


e-voting solves the wrong problem.

The reason people don't vote is, IMHO, because

a) they feel none of the parties represent them (*)

b) their votes, unless in a marginal seat, are essentially wasted anyway.

The solution to this is to

b) change the voting system to proportional representation

a) which would help smaller parties that are more representative to actually get into parliament.

(*) look at https://www.politicalcompass.org/, maybe do the test (anonymously), and see what how your results map on to the parties you could vote for. In my case, there's only one party standing that is even in the right quadrant. YMMV, but it's informative.

Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding


Re: Why does the UK pander dangerous drivers?

Given than over 42 people a day get caught and fined for speeding and that there must be at least two orders of magnitude more people who are either caught and let off or not caught it's pretty much proven that speeding in itself is not dangerous

That does not even remotely follow.

And while I agree that speeding per se isn't always a huge risk, e.g. on motorways(*), in towns it is. Because it's all about breaking distance, reaction time, and severity of impact - all of which are directly proportional to speed.

(*) on motorways it's - IMHO - tailgating. A large proportion of drivers in the UK have no idea what constitutes a safe distance

Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY


Re: Misuse of computers act. No exceptions

I hate to break it to you - when governments act like that, it's the end of the rule of law.

Government agencies are not above the law. They are allowed to do certain things, in certain circumstances, that private citizens are not - but it's not a carte blanche authorisation.

The Netherlands would certainly be well within their rights to prosecute any GCHQ agents they can tie to this break in... and the UK would have to extradite. The US generally considers that only its own laws are valid worldwide, anyway.....


Re: @All Names Taken -- Don't be daft?

Presumably, when you become Prime Minister or Home Secretary you're told the truth about the "Laundry", and that scares the shit out of everyone.

Read Charles Stross. Great non-fiction writer ;)


There's also the pirate party... probably more aligned with reg readers than the slightly luddite greens.

Flies WANT beer booze and now we know why - yeast


Re: Off Topic but important (to me)

If bread causes the problem, it might not be the yeast, but the gluten that's the issue - just a thought. But avoiding grains, except in distilled form, help some people.

World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak


Re: Many legitimate reasons to hold a Swiss bank account?

4. Your savings are in a currency rapidly losing value (Rubel, Drachma, Euro) and you'd like to protect them.

Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban


Re: @kraut

You might want to check the small print. AFAIK RIPA requests do not require any judicial oversight whatsoever. Just a mid-ranking official to sign them off.

But yes, "Using encryption while brown" is bound to get you a visit from the terrorism police....


Re: When we all become suspects, the terrorists have won.

You can't have perfect security, that's true. And most of what we see as "security" is, in Schneier's words, just "security theatre".

But there's precious little evidence that giving up freedoms increases security. And, more importantly, the "security" issue is not actually as important as we think(*). We've all seen the stat that more ppl died from avoiding air travel in the US after 9/11 than died from 9/11.

I haven't triple checked that fact, but I'm pretty damn sure more ppl dies in, say, OZ and UK from perfectly avoidable traffic accidents in the last 12 months than died from terrorism. The reason we focus on terrorism rather than significant risk is because we, as a species, are remarkably bad at intuitive statistics.

IOW, give any "free" nation time, regardless of the safeguards you try to put in place, and it'll eventually collapse from innate human imperfection.

Usually because people give in to authoritarian instincts. Look at Rome.

"Now you see that evil will always triumph...because good is dumb."

If terrorism in the last couple of years has proved anything beyond the barbarity of its perpetrators, it's proven that evil is, on average, way dumber than good.

(*): In most western countries. If you live in Iraq, Syria, or other countries, YMMV.


Do not even people on the reg remember that the last government made it illegal, on pain of a prison sentence, to NOT hand over your keys to the government on bugger all oversight? Hello? RIPA? Do we all have the attention span of goldfish now?


What exactly is the government's thinking for this?

Far be it from me to point out the obviously unwarranted assumption in that statement.

Do they really expect terrorists or child molesters or possessors of abuse photos and videos to go "Better not use encryption. I'll be breaking the law."

That was exactly what Labour expected when they introduced RIPA. "Oh, as a child-molesting, money laundering terrorists I could go to prison for two years if I don't reveal my key and my evil plans...or reveal the key and go down for life. Fair cop, there you go, guvnor, here's me keys". I'm paraphrasing my former Labour MP, only slightly exaggerating for comic effect. She couldn't see the flaw in her logic.. not that her Tory successor is much better.

Didn't work against the bad guys last time. Won't work against the bad guys this time. Much like banning handguns didn't stop crims using them. Does cause a lot of problems and inconvience for law-abiding folks, though.


Re: I wonder...

It's the Sir Humphreys in the Home Office that have been pushing for total surveillance state for the last two decades. Why else would every Home Secretary start spouting the same line once they get into office?

All for dissing Cameron and co, but let's not forget that Labour effectively banned encryption (well, made not handing over your keys punishable by a prison sentence... so baned encryption from the government) with #RIPA, which, they assures us, would stop money laundering, child pornography and terrorism. So be grateful to our political classes that we don't have to worry about those three evils anymore. Particularly not terrorism, since that was all sorted out by Tony!


Re: The Point

Indeed, and why are TTIP negotiations conducted in secret by our civil servants? How can FOI requests be denied to tax payers on grounds of "commercial confidentiality"?

Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told


+1 for fines proportional to income. £X may be a lot or a little to you - £y% of annual income applies the same effect fairly to the whole population.

Fines expressed in day rates are quite common in continental Europe AFAIK.

Left/right lane pacers may be a nuisance to speeders(*), but the real problem in terms of danger are tailgaters. If you can't understand that your distance to the car in front should at the very least be 2 seconds(**), you shouldn't be driving (***)

* fetch me my tiny violin

** for the pedants: "the distance your own car travels in two seconds". Preferably expressed in lightyears for added piquancy(****)

*** anything faster than a mobility scooter.

**** and zeros after the decimal point.

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons


Re: Some problems are just hard

That isn't a hard problem at all. The political will simply isn't there to do it:

Put in dedicated, segregated bike lanes. Dutch-style. That can easily take 30% of the local traffic off the road. If the cycle paths are good enough, and fully segregated, then kids can cycle to school, too, alleviating the dreaded school-run traffic.


Re: There is no "best" form of transport

Name a tube station where there's actually space for more car parking that isn't actually used (for parking or housing). There may be some, but I can't think of one.

There should be more parking at tube stations. But bike parking, not car parking.


The whole point of being a criminal is NOT having to get up that early in the morning.


Re: Buses are like HS2

<blockquote>Without buses the roads would be gridlocked twice a day on every working day</blockquote>

What do you mean, would be gridlocked? They are. Twice a day. Every working day.

Except the Monday before Christmas. That was surprisingly good, traffic wise


Re: Buses are like HS2

I look forward to a careful explanation how uber taxis are going to solve the capacity problem that occurs when you mix London streets with large vehicles taking enormous amounts of road space for a single passenger - in other words: cars. And no, taxis aren't fundamentally different; while they work around the problem of parking, they do that by constantly taking space on the road. There may be a marginal increase in utilisation, but I doubt it's much beyond a rounding error.

So when you're in the back of your uber cab at rush hour, do get started on that essay. You'll have ample time. If you don't get distracted by the cyclists passing you.


Re: The best urban transport

Make the driving test compulsory, and actually lock people up who drive while banned or uninsured.

Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a monster


Re: Charging issues? Range?

responsible owners of high-power cars don't drive aggressively for more than a tiny fraction of the time.

I'm sure both the responsible owners of high powered cars do that.

All the irresponsible twats I see on British roads every day don't....


Re: Only 2 motors

<blockquote> am still not interested in an all electric vehicle - their max range is not much more than where the low fuel warning light comes on in a regular car.</blockquote>

Your low fuel warning light comes on with 400 miles to go?

Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming


Re: As no great lover of Visual Basic

<blockquote>Case statements in C are similarly despised by the purists, since they have the same effect as a GOTO.</blockquote>

Err. No they don't. Case statements are perfectly acceptable even for the most ardent structured programming fanatics.

Of course, all control flow statements are implenmented with gotos under the hood, but they limit where they can jump and make the code more understandable. That applies to switch/case statements as much as if/else or loops.

The one thing people might complain about is the break or (intentional?unintentional?) lack of break at the end of a case...

A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it


Re: Just maybe....

<blockquote>I'm late 40's, have rarely been out of work as a softie, and have just realised I am the oldest one in the new office I have just started in. Not seen any ageism in my career, so, am I lucky, or the norm</blockquote>

So you've not encountered any ageism as a young man? Well, knock me down with a feather! Next you'll be telling us that as a bloke you've not experienced much sexual discrimination, and that white people are rarely at the receiving end of racism....



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