* Posts by Chris Cooke

38 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jun 2007

Mystic Met Office abandons long range forecasts

Chris Cooke

bye bye Met Office

I'd join in the criticism of the Met Office's forecasts, but ever since they decided to distort their maps to shrink Scotland to vanishing point I haven't really been aware of what their forecasts for my part of the world actually *are*.

Cross-platform Safari update shoots down multiple bugs

Chris Cooke

nope - doesn't install

I just tried installing the Safari update on my MacBook but Software Update boaked - says it has the wrong signature, somebody's tampered with it since it was signed by Apple.

Scottish gov to curb personal data collection

Chris Cooke

running "our country"

The proposals sound splendid. I fear they'll be wiped out if/when New Labour gets back in control of Holyrood.

Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity

Chris Cooke

pump storage

This is why we're building new pump storage power stations.

Ryanair trades blows with 'idiot blogger'

Chris Cooke
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Driving DOWN the cost of air travel?

Payment Handling Fee - Per passenger/ Per One Way Flight - £4.75

Airport Check-In Fee - Per passenger/ Per One Way Flight - £4.75 or £9.50

Hold Bag – Per bag/ Per One Way Flight - £9.50 or £19

Second or third bags, each - £19

Excess Baggage Fee - Per Kilo £14

Flight Change Fees - Per Passenger/ Per One Way Flight - £24 or £52

Name Change Fee - Per Passenger - £95 or £142.50


Next-gen Mac mini 'photo' surfaces

Chris Cooke
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if not now, when?

If this isn't the time for the new Mac Mini - or the new iMac for that matter - then when is? The current ones are spectacularly bad value. If the new Macs don't appear soon I'm going to replace my ancient Mac with a Linux PC.

Spotify: We kick the tyres

Chris Cooke
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no interesting music

Signed up, tried it, there's nothing there I want to listen to. Bye.

Obama reverses Dubya's tailpipe emissions

Chris Cooke

they're already doing it, just not in the US

Two of the "big three" already make outstandingly fuel-efficient, stylish, best-selling ranges of cars already. It's just that they do it in Europe, not in the USA. All the USA has to do is make slightly cleaner diesel available and Bob's their uncle, the big three can sell Americans outstandingly powerful turbo-charged beasts that do twice the MPG.

Librarians redubbed 'audience development officers'

Chris Cooke


... of not going shopping often enough in Tesco or Asda, obviously; I'd forgotten that they'd resurrected self service scanners in a new form. Thanks to several people for pointing that out. Doesn't change the fact that the Embra library scanners are more hassle and more slow than the Audience Development Officers though.

Chris Cooke
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the self service machines are crap

I'm a regular user of the Edinburgh libraries, I'm a computer industry professional, and I have trouble using those damn self-service machines :-) so I dread to think how others get on with them. One can manage them with persistence but really it's a lot easier to get the librarian to do it for you. Just as with those self-scanners the supermarkets tried a few years ago - nobody could be bothered with the extra hassle so they died a death. Same here.

Yelpian astroturfers invade Blighty

Chris Cooke
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London only

"Serving England, Scotland, and Wales,..."

No. Serving London only, by the look of the front page. Of no interest to anybody else, unless they have plans to visit London.

Send old Shuttles to Mars, says Scotty ashes prang man

Chris Cooke


If there isn't enough atmosphere for a gliding landing, why would there be enough for a parachute?

Chinese automaker launches plug-in hybrid

Chris Cooke

Do you make this up?

Leccy Lizzie? Do you make this slang up?

Latest Firefox beta gets touchy on Mac

Chris Cooke

wrong way pinching

Surely pinching the fingers together should zoom out, not in? And moving the fingers apart should zoom in? That's the way round it works on the ipod touch?

Scots vote out ID cards

Chris Cooke

not completely futile

The Scottish government can at least refuse to require ID cards when providing services under its jurisdiction though?

Google torches own brand Sadville

Chris Cooke


So you're saying that Google doesn't think there isn't a pot of gold there? Well, that's OK then.

Axon takes 100mpg wonder car for a spin

Chris Cooke
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Crash safety

Remember the Citroen AX? It had plastic body panels and as a result was pretty light and therefore economical for its day: the diesel AX got 75mpg ISTR. Nowadays that isn't allowed because the law insists on far better crash safety than it did in the 80s.

Customs raids tech trade show

Chris Cooke


Sounds like they're doing their best to move the trade shows to other countries.

Virgin customer numbers dip

Chris Cooke

Virgin? Which Virgin?

Virgin Trains? Virgin Mobile? Virgin Blue? Virgin Atlantic? Virgin Money? Virgin Media? Virgin Life Care? etc. etc. Please be more specific in future.

Congestion charge means less traffic, more congestion

Chris Cooke
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great for pedestrians

So congestion's no worse, and now there's a lot more help for pedestrians? Great!

Supercomputer to improve UK weather

Chris Cooke


Much as I'd love to cheer for Edinburgh, the top500.org June 2008 list has Hector as only the second most powerful supercomputer in the UK. The most powerful apparently belongs to the catchily named ECMWF and is in Reading; it's number 18 on the list. HeCToR is at number 29.

Nike pulls Air Stab trainers

Chris Cooke
IT Angle


"They were named before all the recent problems."

Glaswegians know that knife crime has been at a horrific level in the UK for a loooong time. But not in London, apparently, so the parochial London media treats it as a recent phenomenon when it's not.

CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

Chris Cooke

hot jobbies...?


Ingres alumnus joins DBMS scrum

Chris Cooke


I think you mean alumnus. Alumni is plural.

UK electricity crisis over - for now

Chris Cooke

Geographical morons

If Sizewell B is in Suffolk then Longannet is in Fife. Conversely, if Longannet is in Scotland then Sizewell B is in England.

O2 PR calls Reg readers 'techie nerds'

Chris Cooke

If they get fired...

... they could go and work for British Airways. Sounds like they'd fit right in there.

US spooks won't get UK census access

Chris Cooke
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short memories

The UK government says it'll keep data safe, and people *believe* it?

Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!

Chris Cooke

Neelie Kroes

I wonder what the EU competition commissioner will make of this...

Google funds hold Firefox fate (for sure)

Chris Cooke

For sure?

Could someone explain what "for sure" is intended to mean here please? I've only ever heard it uttered on Frank Zappa's "Valley Girls", so I'm at a loss as to its meaning in this context...?

New euro coin stuffs Turkey

Chris Cooke


So? The first euro coin left Norway off the map, did it not, leading to the alarmingly well-endowed Scandinavia depicted here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/2e_comm.png

Turkey at least is off the edge of the map.

Innocent 'terror techie' purges DNA records

Chris Cooke

Scotland's better

In Scotland you have to be convicted for your DNA to be kept on the UK database. If you're acquitted, it's removed. I see from Wikipedia that that's about to change for the worse though.

Voting machines ditch ballots in Scotland

Chris Cooke

So many problems...

The electronic counting of votes was considered necessary because of the complexity of the vote counting mechanisms: the Scottish government election votes were counted both by first past the post and by the D'Hondt system and the council votes were counted by single transferable vote. It was felt by the Scotland Office that results could take days to appear if counted manually.

One big problem though, at least the one reported at the time, seems to have been that the vote counting machines could not cope with ballot papers of more than a certain size - and so many candidates were registered in some regions that there wasn't room on the ballot paper for both the candidates and the instructions on how to fill in the ballot paper correctly. Instead of falling back to manual counting at this point, Douglas Alexander's Scotland Office decided at the last minute to remove the voting instructions from the ballot paper where necessary to make room for the candidates. So in some regions the instructions were left off, or severely curtailed. Those were the regions that had the highest number of spoiled ballots.

Another problem was the bizarre decision, again by Douglas Alexander's Scotland Office, to amalgamate the two separate Scottish government votes on the one piece of paper. Nobody had seen such a ballot paper before and it baffled a lot of people; particularly where the instructions had been removed!

By contrast, the single transferable vote was used in the same election for the very first time for the council ballot, and voters seem to have taken to it like a duck to water; there were almost no spoilt council votes, as I recall. Which is interesting, when one big reason for adopting the bizarre FPTP/D'Hondt system in the first place was that voters were said to be incapable of coping with STV - or so I remember from the late 90s, anyway...

Doctor Who signs up thinking man's crumpet

Chris Cooke

What, Joan Bakewell on Doctor Who?

Oh. Felicity Kendall. Oh well...

'Suspicious looking' man hauled off translatlantic flight

Chris Cooke

Arabs are caucasian, dummy

Arabs *are* caucasian. As are Indians.

El Reg to bite hand that feeds ICT?

Chris Cooke

Can you ban "boffin" too please?

Irritates the hell out of me...

Dublin college introduces video game degree

Chris Cooke

Catching up with Scotland at last

It happened first in Scotland. Or so says the Scottish government, here:


Catherine Tate to accompany Doctor Who

Chris Cooke

Jumping the shark...

Simon, Doctor Who jumped the shark several decades ago! But we don't really mind, as that's part of its charm.

Personally I thought Catherine Tate was rather good in her Christmas episode, and certainly not one dimensional. If the scripts are good (hint, more Steven Moffat please) she'll be excellent.

Gartner reaps iPhone backlash after making business case

Chris Cooke

Only $600?

If $600 is viewed as too pricey, just wait until they hit the UK market at twice that price. I think the must-have frenzy is going to be fairly short-lived unless they make it cheaper.