* Posts by Rol

1334 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013

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Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law

Rol

Christian values? By what measure?

For a nation that claims to be devout Christian, I hear less and less the words "What would Jesus do?" but more and more actions akin to what the devil would do. "Love thy neighbour" is seemingly hate speech in some devoutly Christian circles.

Clearview AI fined millions in the UK: No 'lawful reason' to collect Brits' images

Rol

I am not an idiot. Sadly some of my friends are

I have never uploaded my image to the internet, but I have been tagged in photo's by friends and family. They are all very aware now that they were out of order for doing that. The damage was done though and cannot be undone.

It's a bit of a stretch for Clearview to consider that all of the images they gouged from the internet had an implicit agreement behind them, as many like me had no say in whether they could be uploaded. They assume too much.

And if they had approached the custodians of the original images offering money for them, I guess £7 million would be a snip. More like £7 billion for that kind of data.

Your AI can't tell you it's lying if it thinks it's telling the truth. That's a problem

Rol

Re: Truth table?

Sorry for the late post, but this is exactly what I was proposing. Each of the input parameters are changed slightly and run again, to see that they do not give an unusual result.

Rol

Truth table?

Okay, a truth table for all possible inputs to demonstrate the output is correct is practically impossible for large complex stuff like this, but a truth table within the scope of the current input, deviating by just a couple of increments, to test the output is also within a couple of increments would at least suggest all seems well, and assure you this particular scenario of inputs has not triggered a backdoor.

So, I suppose in a real world case, where you have Bobby Bobsworthington-Smythe, white, 35 year old male, single, renting, earning £20,000/annum in a temp role. The test to see if the outcome of his mortgage application follows the algorithm as expected is to tweak one of the inputs slightly and run it again, then repeat with another tweak........ All the outputs should be within the scope of the first output, and if not, flagged for review.

Obviously, the output to this scenario is an instant refusal for a mortgage followed by passing his details on to every credit card company on the planet, for a small fee, as he's clearly open to the prospect of eating today and praying he can pay for it tomorrow - hell he might even turn the economy7 heating on for half an hour to dry the damp ridden walls in his overpriced shithole of a flat...err... sorry what were we talking about? Oh yes AI and how it's going to fuck us all up, and not just those who are already fucked.

Elon Musk's latest launch: An unsolicited Twitter takeover

Rol

Re: Money can't buy maturity

The board offered Elon a seat at the table and he politely declined their offer.

He's offered well above the market price for shares, but he wants them all, so he can pursue his own agenda,

An agenda that might not be very rewarding for investors, but possibly very rewarding for democracy the world over.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

Rol

Not worth the time and effort.

I am happy with the status quo - a small and gradually growing number of Linux users, and a huge number of Window users.

I am equally happy with the knowledge that black hat hackers are doing it for the money and consider Linux users a bit too savvy and the system a bit too robust for it to be worth their time and effort to crank any ill-gotten gains out of it, especially when most of the world are merrily sitting in front of a Windows machine desperately trying to give their money/data away to any passing criminal.

I remember an old friend of the family who was a watch maker and repairer, who had a large collection of antique watches and other valuable trinkets. He was burgled and when the police visited they remarked that none of his priceless collection was stolen, despite them being in a not very secure safe, because next to it was the bundle of cash that did get stolen. They just went for the low hanging fruit. Which is why I am more than happy for Windows to carry on providing their excellent service in distracting criminals from bothering me on my trouble free Linux machine.

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless

Rol

Re: The Old Engineer and the Hammer

Have a cup of tea on me...go on...you will. you will, you will.

Rol

Re: As an ex

Well. Next time call Dave, and after he's destroyed it and finally admitted he doesn't know shit about electrics beyond changing a lightbulb, call me, but I warn you, it will be my usual fee plus the extra to fix what Dave fucked up.

Rol

Re: Seems ok

You're absolutely right. He should have done it as a favour, and then noted he was a bit short of cash at the moment and could you lend me £100 to see me through till payday.

Rol

Re: Seems ok

"So your not happy with my overly generous quote of £50, well...I suppose I could do it at cost"

"Yes, that's more like it"

"OK, so the three years I spent at university, instead of working in a warehouse, earning money I could use to get drunk and party, works out at about £60,000. Add in the 10,000 hours I have spent honing my skills outside of work, which is about £100,000..."

"Okay, okay, here's the fifty quid"

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets

Rol

Conspiracy dead ahead

I bet my life savings this company will be bought out if they ever get close to a functioning product.

It will then be mothballed, save a gaggle of lawyers to ensure no one else threatens the energy status quo with a similarly simple and efficient scheme.

Considering the £trillions the energy market is worth, do you really think big oil/gas/coal/etc will just roll over without a fight - hell, I'd put my school dinner money on the distinct possibility that half of the scientists working on fusion are only there to fuck it up.

EU appeals overturned $1.2b Intel antitrust fine

Rol

So a rebate that is only paid on condition that the consumer cannot buy an AMD computer from your store is in no way an illegal anticompetitive act, until they find 1 of the 20 million customers who is willing to say, "Yes I would have loved to have bought a cheaper, better AMD machine, but they did not have them in stock"

This is just madness.

Why isn't there an anti-justice act that puts the kibosh on such antics.

I'd love the same to be applied in the UK's supermarkets, who have similar deals going with the big brands, denying choice and ultimate competition. The end game being, the price increases massively as the brand has shut out the competition for good.

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license

Rol

Interestingly, I learned the other day that France has the largest economic zone of any country.

That's mainland France, French Guiana, and god knows how many islands dotted around the globe. And obviously the sea extending out from each of those dots on the map, which is the clincher.

And I would guess many of those remote little outpost would find Starlink a God send.

US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list

Rol

It's telling that someone could find your observation worthy of a downvote. It's scary how invasive these corporate shills have been getting.

Time was you could be at a social event and never meet the spawn of the devil, but now they're creeping into every facet of normal decent human life, espousing their heavily sponsored verbiage, like a Judas Iscariot, at a pieces of silver trolley dash.

Of course the outcome of your infrastructure being taken over by an American multinational, is the price will directly match how successful they are at cornering the market and denying you choice.

Down my road there are several Kebab shops - they all charge the same high price and they are all owned by the same extended family. On the face of it, it looks like healthy competition, and the price reluctantly accepted, but dig a little and you find it's at best a cartel, but really a monopoly.

Analysis of leaked Conti files blows lid off ransomware gang

Rol

Re: "Shame they seem to be gullible enough to believe their state media."

It's most likely down to additives in popular multinational fast foods.

I see the usual suspects have a huge high street presence in all the counties that have a populace willing to accept anything they are told by anybody with a social media account.

Flat Earth burger and fried space alien giblets anyone?

Rol

Re: It was a Ukrainian security specialist

I really do hope that is the case, as that little fact would nibble away at any nefarious organisations trust in each other.

Hell! It wouldn't surprise me if undercover operatives, planted in those organisations, outnumber the real criminals. Just like in Tom Sharpe's Riotous Assembly or was it Indecent Exposure, it's been too long. Where undercover South African police end up being the only members of a communist terror gang, all trying to outdo each other in grievous violence, to better their standing in the group. It's hilarious.

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

Rol

You are correct. In the UK, ISP's have to allow ex-customers access to their ISP email address for...oooh, I think a month or maybe 2 months, after ending the contract. Sorry, can't remember.

Some will happily keep the email trundling along indefinitely, provided you access it every now and again.

I ditched Virgin about 8 months ago, due to excessive wallet gouging and my email address with them is still merrily bumbling along. If only they hadn't marked me down as their personal cash cow, I'd still be with them.

I now have exactly the same level of service with my new provider, at a third of the price that Virgin wanted, with assurances that it will increase by only £2 a month once the introductory offer has finished.

Whoopeeee! no more brinkmanship dealings with retention staff every year.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office

Rol

Re: Similar tale in a hospital

I have no doubts that management at some of the places I have worked at considered Mein Kampf an invaluable training manual....alongside Machiavelli's The Prince and "how to fuck things up majestically" by anon

Rol

A company I once worked for introduced flexitime working, which went down a storm, as it ironed out some of the problems parents and the like were having.

A month later the scheme was stopped dead, due to staff abusing it. Turned out every department had welcomed the flexitime, and used it wisely and appropriately, except for one - HR! They alone had taken the piss, and ruined it for everyone.

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

Rol

The whole world knows a patent issued in America isn't worth shit.

The American method is to issue patents left right and centre and let the lawyers fight it out in court. As I've said before, they should just issue them out at petrol stations and grocery stores.

Thank God this model of help feed a lawyer has not been rolled out in the UK, yet, where a patent reflects the time and effort put in to confirm its integrity and worthiness, and is generally not worth challenging in court, as the patent office earns their fee.

UK government told to tighten purse strings or public will have to foot the bill for nuclear decommissioning

Rol

Re: store the fuel safely at Sellafield

A thorium reactor would happily munch its way through the bulk of the spent fuel leaving them with nothing but a few years of half-life left before they are deemed safe, compared to the ten's of thousands of years they would otherwise take.

Problem is, there is no political will behind sane choices such as molten salt reactors, as they can't produce weaponiseable materials. Best we stick to what we have and keep up pretending we're only ten years away from developing fusion.

Google and Facebook's top execs allegedly approved dividing ad market among themselves

Rol

Content Provider

One of my favourite comedians, Stewart Lee, often refers to himself as a content provider. I guess, in no small part, because bootleg videos of his performances are regularly uploaded to you-tube where they generate wealth for all except himself.

I hope to see him do a gig locally, and I have designed a T shirt that suitably rips his merchandise off, which has a silhouette of him labelled "Content Provider", but on the back of mine will be the unmistakable visage of Boris Johnson, labelled "Discontent Provider"

Problem is, by the time he shows up around my neck of the woods to do his stand-up, I think Boris might be history and the joke fall flat.

I'm going to see him next week, so fingers crossed, Boris is still resident in number 10, swigging wine and swapping infections with all the party goers, instead of in his retirement post, smoothing the way through the corridors of power for any company that is willing to pay him in blondes and bags of silver.

US-China chip cold war? It's only helping the Middle Kingdom, silicon makers warn

Rol

Re: Sanctions

It's interesting that a socialist model would have one bureaucratically managed industry, churning out an homogeneous product to meet demand, with little or no choice for the consumer, while the capitalist model seeks the same lack of choice for the consumer by getting rid of the competition by any means.

One model supplies me with what I need at cost plus a small margin, and is overseen by party officials to ensure certain standards are maintained, while the other will only be supplied to me if I am willing to contribute towards the cost of another luxury jet for the directors and accept whatever dross falls off the end of the conveyor belt, because they have already bought and paid for several politicians and a clutch of judges.

We are all too aware of how America will about face on its mantra of free trade when it finds its own industries cannot compete, and will apply any and all measures to stifle international competition. It's like free trade is great, but only if our companies are dominant in the market.

So my Chinese supplied router, might....and that is a really tiny and unproven might, be passing all my details onto the communist party of China, whereas the very fact I live in the "free world" means my data is most definitely being hoovered up by the self appointed custodians of the "free world". One of those parties can have a very huge influence on my life, while the other hasn't, so guess which cheap and reliable router I'd plump for, if I was allowed a choice?

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

Rol

Re: Technically fantastic but...

I imagine just one support vessel carrying a laser could clear the air of dozens of pesky drones every minute, continually, until the nuclear plant ran out out of humph.

Feds charge two men with claiming ownership of others' songs to steal YouTube royalty payments

Rol

Re: YouTube copyright enforcement: extra judicial and surely illegal?

You are talking about a company based in America, where their patent office will merrily grant you a patent on eating food with your mouth.

They take your money and stamp a date on your bonkers mad idea, that's the full extent of the effort they put in. Jeeez - the post office could do that at a fraction of the cost.

So it's no surprise, that a nation that has allowed the bar to be set so low, that other companies will gladly follow suit and risk nothing in the game, while still expecting a slice of the winnings.

All problems get sorted out in court, if you have the money- which in itself is testament to how inequality has been the making of that great nation.

BOFH: What if International Bad Actors designed the vaccine to make us watch more Steven Seagal movies?

Rol

Re: brilliant

"Kin-dza-dza! What you've never heard of it?"

"No, Can't say I have"

"Well the Russians had seen this western conspiracy coming long ago and they made a documentary to better prepare their citizens"

"Oh. Tell me more"

"Well you know how silver is a natural defence for air bourne disease"

"Err...Yes!"

"It turns out that a tiny silver bell clipped to your nostrils is all that is required to ward off this man made pathogen, while also demonstrating to all around that you are savvy and know exactly what's going down"

"I never knew"

"And for good reason, it has been banned by every western country. Here, this is my webpage. I imported loads from Belarus before the USA put a world-wide ban on them and I'm doing my bit to help everyone get a hold of them. Tell your mates!"

"I'm so glad we met. I best buy a few dozen for my Facebook friends"

-

"So, Bob, how's the silver bell business going? Hahaha!"

"I wouldn't laugh, 'coz it's going quite well, I've got a growing number of conspiracy theorists buying them, thinking they ward off all the ills the illuminati can throw at them"

"You're kidding."

"No honestly. Their brain matter is probably mostly lime jelly, they believe anything you tell them, just so long as they didn't hear it on MSM"

"Well, that's good to hear, because your plan to mark all the loons with a branding iron on their foreheads, so society can better avoid them, sounded a bit controversial"

"Yeah. That didn't work out well, but the bell thing is perfect. They even work in the dark"

"Got any more money making schemes that benefit society?"

"You bet. Yellow trousers is my next line"

"What?"

"Seriously. Are you telling me you have never seen one of the greatest low budget sci-fi films ever made? Kin-dza-dza. Watch it. It'll explain everything."

One-character bug gives away $90m in COMP tokens – recipients can keep 10% or consider themselves doxxed

Rol

As the jurisdiction is likely America in this case, I assume the legality of the situation is in favour of whomever has the most money.

Which is fairer than the British system, whereby the legality of many situations are primarily determined by which school you went to, and the social circles you travel in.

Rol

In English law, a contract needs to show consideration from both parties. A contract that gives one party everything while they give nothing back in return, would be deemed invalid, and if challenged in court would result in the court returning both parties to the state they were in before the contract and therefore all monies returned.

So...if someone were to, let's say, bung a load of money into your bank account by accident. They could ask you nicely to return it to them, or if you got a little stupid and tried to keep hold of it, take you to court and get it back. If you went total chav about it and spent the lot of it on shiny things, then the courts are likely as not to bang you away in prison for a while.

Campaigners call on minister to secure funding to protect UK workers' rights

Rol

Re: Popular?

My job was advertised with an hourly rate, that although it wasn't great, was enough to keep me alive.

On getting the job, the agency pointed me towards the umbrella company that was going to sort out my wages.

It was a bit of a shock when I read my first payslip, to discover the advertised hourly rate was made up with my holiday pay being paid by the hour.

I am now earning less today while working as a stressed out, keyboard jockey and general public punching bag, for the council than I did 15 years ago as a stress free, temp, white van man.

As planned, Brexit is only working for the people who wanted the freedom to fuck everyone else, and not be answerable to a bureaucracy they didn't go to school with.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal

Rol

Re: First Ultra, now Arm

Sure, China isn't exactly squeaky clean on the protectionism front, but allowing American capitalism full reign to warp and fiddle with the free market, because Mr Chin has to shop in China's closed market, doesn't sit well with the rest of the planet.

Free thinking people the world over, are sick and fed up of America's never ending crusade to own it all, and then double the price, while halving the quality.

Kraft buying Cadbury, is a perfect example, might also add in Terry's of York, Why don't they just buy Santa's sleigh as well and properly fuck Christmas up for ever.

South Korea to test grenade-launching drones

Rol

Re: Anti-ransomware software ?

A background task constantly reviewing writes to files/databases. Not every write, but polling enough to quickly ascertain whether all is well, or that the last write to field x was outside of the defined parameters for that field and therefore suspect.

This would require a lot of tuning by the system admin for it to work effectively, and hence not something that would be bundled with AV software.

I did have a go myself at protecting a mortgage / customer db from such an attack, which involved an admin machine that checked dummy records, set up at the beginning, end and dotted all over in-between. If the returned dummy record did not fit the algorithm then the administrator would be alerted.

It never came to fruition though as the admin refused to have the surgically implanted electric shocker fitted to their genitalia, and hence would just carry on fiddling with their golf clubs while the db burned.

UKRI denies pulling funding from Newport Wafer Fab over Chinese ownership concerns

Rol

Re: Such victimhood

"We just can't compete with the food stall down the road. They make the best food and far cheaper than us. Just look, everyone on the street is eating their food and not ours"

"Don't worry. I have a plan. I'm going to put up a screen to show crappy old films and stuff in the street, and with the aid of my corrupt mates in the council, cordon the road off, and claim locked in cinema status, where everyone has to eat my overpriced dog shit"

"Do you think that would work?"

"Well, Brexit seems to be having a massive effect on raising the price of everything, and denouncing anything Chinese has certainly helped some struggling industries better sell their overpriced gear, so I guess, yes. It will work"

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon

Rol

Wherever it is written, it's creator has either a blessed gift for these imaginative plots, or under no circumstances should they be approached.

BOFH: But soft! What light through yonder filing cabinet breaks?

Rol

Home to roost

"You may not be aware, but we have been stealthily monitoring you, and we would like to procure your services"...he loomed over me with one of those fox like smiles, that reciprocated an equally deceit laden smile back.

"You see, we have some very sensitive work that requires a very steady hand at the helm. One that can balance moral outcomes with goal achievement. Be impervious to the pleas of inconsequential characters, while seemingly supporting their cause"

I was a little taken aback. I thought my sweep for the boss's, bugs and surveillance devices had been steadfastly comprehensive, but this GCHQ goon was saying not. Must try harder in future. For now, I'll just play along and see if I can dig a little deeper.

"Well. This is a very complicated and devious world we live in, and I for one like to tread lightly and carefully through it, so you will not be surprised if I ask you to prove your credentials" he immediately reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his wallet. Flicking it open revealed an impressive looking photocard, suitably embossed with MI5 insignia. "Err. No. I mean something a bit more convincing and less forgeable"

He again reached into his jacket and pulled out a hand gun. "Whoa! I'll be more specific shall I, before it gets so far that you whip out your government issue M&S underpants. I want you to point out the devices you have been bugging me with, because that, more than anything else in the world, is really bugging me. Literally, bugging me. And if you can do that, then I'll be satisfied that you are who you say you are, and we can then move this conversation forward.

He glanced around the room, eyes darting across my desk and along the cupboards. I got the impression that he hadn't a clue, and I had caught him out. I wasn't being bugged at all, and this was just a shakedown. Probably based on hearsay and the many corpses bound up with LAN cable that find their way to the local dump. All of which I had carefully sanitised with screen cleaner, or never touched at all, in my attempts to de-DNA my victims.

"Ah! Here we go". He pointed to an innocuous coffee jar and then proceeded to unscrew the top, to reveal a coffee jar lid?

"Err, that's a coffee jar lid"

"Well yes, the whole point of covert surveillance is that you haven't the first idea it is happening". He took out a penknife and gouged at one of the edges. Looked intensely at the bit of plastic it had revealed, then gouged some more.

"Here, look at this" The goon took out his mobile and activated what I guess was a microscope app, and focussed it on the lid. "You see that. It's a very, very small microphone, with a tiny power cell, and transmitter" Myself, having something of a history with such things, but never at this scale immediately identified the components and I went pale. The blood had drained to my feet, and I was almost paralysed. Every crime I had committed is probably fully documented on a GCHQ server somewhere, and I could be reeled in on a whim. Oh my God!

"Now don't panic. After all, we're set to be partners, and partners look out for each other"

I was too much in shock to reply. My world and everything in it had just become a toxic mess. I felt sick..,.No, I am going to be sick, and I fell towards the waste-paper bin, my legs incapable of even rudimentary stumbling. Breakfast and lunch was launched into the basket and I remained hunched over it, with no regard for events unfolding behind me.

"Surprise!"

.....

"Surprise. Surprise!"

"Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you..." What the fuck is happening? Where have all these people come from?

"Happy birthday dear BOFH, Happy birthday to you"

In that adrenalin fuelled moment I made out the IT team, the boss, and a few others. Some of whom I had shared some figuratively back-scratching moments with and other's I had ground into the dust, figuratively of course. Not the one's I had literally ground into dust. Although I think that would be more preferable, as that would most likely mean that this is a nightmare I can wake up from.

PFY hopped over, unsuitably attired with a Cheshire cat grin "We didn't think you would appreciate a strippergram, so we came up with something more in your style. Happy birthday BOFH"

"You bastard. You absolute bastard. So the coffee jar isn't bugged?"

The MI5 operative chirped up "I was told to make it convincing The microscope app was just a video of a real covert device, and I'm just an actor trying to stay alive"

"hahaha..." Not one of my most convincing laughs, but it would suffice. "PFY, you couldn't help me to the toilet could you, my legs are still like jelly"

As we left the room I turned and locked the door behind us. My eyes pierced into the PFY's "This is all your fault, and these bodies are all your responsibility"

"What bodies?"

My hand punched at the fire alarm next to the door and the hissing of Halon gas could just be distinguished over the drone of the klaxon.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

Rol

Re: Using it wrongly

I was suggesting a more rigorous approach by indelibly marking known idiots so that the rest of society can go about their business without risk of being confused as one.

Rol

Re: Using it wrongly

In a once quaint English seaside town, there worked a bouncer at one of the resorts many nightclubs.

Based on the antics of those he was throwing out, he might on occasion resort to biting a chunk out of their ear.

This not only quietened them down a tad, but marked them as unwelcome if they attempted to gain entry again over the course of their hedonistic holiday.

By all accounts this worked a treat for several years, and the club gained popularity among those who liked to enjoy themselves on a night out without fear of the knob heads that always ruined it.

These days I tend to go to places frequented by bikers and other misjudged communities, as their ill-informed reputation tends to be an effective barrier to knob heads, who prefer a more cowardly fight with easier vulnerable targets.

This page has been deliberately left blank

Rol

Re: "We are still very keen to donate some of the proceeds to the cause"

Most organisations in the UK with charitable status, are nothing more than tax fiddles, offering highly paid jobs for the connected and contributing as little as they can get away with to the causes they are supposedly championing.

This archaic tax loophole is predominantly used by the grossly rich, who also happen to have the greatest influence in political circles, and hence will never be reviewed.

One person one vote, is a complete myth in the UK. The bigger your portfolio the greater your power to move everything to your favour, including elected officials. And that just stinks.

Rol

Re: Many policemen, most of the judges and prosecutors should have been revoked in 1944

The alternative for Britain post WWII, was to retain the services of the invading Japanese soldiers across a swathe of Asia to maintain some semblance of control in the region.

Rol

At least Lancastrian's are more respectful to tea, and would never stoop so low as to "mash it"

And if Yorkshire ever tried kicking off in Lancashire again, well...be warned, the ancient art of ecky thump, is now a compulsory module in schools, and we'll defend ourselves to the last black pudding.

Microsoft, Google, Citizen Lab blow lid off zero-day bug-exploiting spyware sold to governments

Rol

Hell! There are huge numbers of organisations still running i.e. 6, and unlikely to stop as their legacy software/hardware is deemed too expensive to upgrade. And we're not talking small inconsequential businesses, we're talking international financial institutions, and a smattering of government agencies to boot.

Perhaps, like with Ireland's vehicle scrappage scheme, we could see some form of legislation that forces certain strategic sectors of the economy to upgrade their systems at the barrel of a double chambered punitive fining gun, that gets fired and reloaded with ever bigger charges, until the cost of upgrading becomes less than the fine.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

Rol

Sod the background...

It's the foreground, or more specifically, me, that needs a makeover.

I need an animated me that isn't puffing on a roll-up and slurping crude oil coffee, while sat in his pyjamas at three in the afternoon picking his nose.

If I could fix that, then I'm sure my video connection will stay stable throughout the most tedious of meetings.

Perhaps Pixar or Aardman studios could market their lip-sync software to animate an image of myself talking, along with fidgeting, playing with my imaginary hair, and nodding in agreement at random moments?

Rol

Re: "Set-dressing" has been going on for ages.

"They even had shiny brass fitting in odd places"

Now it seems grave robbers have a secondary market for the discarded coffins.

Science might advance one death at a time, but Leicester University's decor just gets ever creepier.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

Rol

I think I'm too old to eat an Irish breakfast - in my experience it takes about an hour from start to finish and involves everything in the cupboards being on your plate, with an attending elderly lady continually replacing every morsel you eat with more.

The ordeal has to be suffered or you incur the wroth of a mighty woman bearing down on you with a grimace and a boiling kettle of water, that was originally intended for the next 5 gallon of tea, but is going to go over your head unless you quickly restart shovelling food in your mouth.

Honestly, me and my mates first watched Father Ted believing it to be a documentary about life on a small Irish island, because it matched our experience to a T, and more T, you will, you will, you will!!!

I loved living there, and the people were so warm and friendly, but all of them were mad as hatters.

Rol

Re: abbreviated, with substitutes

Blood sausage, I believe is the equivalent in Europe or at least in Italy, when the "Two Fat Ladies" did a bit of cooking and bigged up the idea of using a particular brand of Italian blood sausage, despite the fact they were doing the cooking in England where the gastronomically accepted creme de la creme of black pudding is made just down the road in Bury (Greater Manchester, AKA stolen from Lancashire)

BOFH: Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can listen to you ... It keeps me stable for days

Rol

Sometimes ignorance is preferable, like in when I found the sitcom "President of the United States" to be the most hilarious thing on TV, until I discovered it wasn't a creation of Rickie Gervais, but in fact A reality TV show run by Fox. It was about that time I started stocking up on essentials like bog paper and assorted weapons.

UK gets glowing salute from Bezos-backed General Fusion: Nuclear energy company to build plant in Oxfordshire

Rol

Re: According to General Fusion, just 1kg of fusion fuel can power 10,000 homes for a year.

And how much does the fuel cost? If we're talking Helium 3 then it might be cheaper to run those homes with a conventional plant burning twenty pound notes. (Moon mining is quite expensive)

Like the other commentator, I like the idea of fission, if it's done right. That is - using something that is dirt cheap and far more abundant than uranium. Thorium - which, incidentally, is nowhere near as toxic as spent uranium. Nor can it be weaponised. And the inherent properties of thorium make it ultra safe, as the reaction cannot naturally or even accidentally runaway. Spent uranium can also be added to the fuel, where its half-life of thousands of years can be brought down to a manageable couple of years.

When nuclear scientists first spoke of unmetered electricity for the masses, I think they had thorium in mind - an element that the rare earth industry sees as a problematic by-product, and one that they would merrily pay power companies to take it off of their hands.

New York congressman puts forward federal right-to-repair bill

Rol

I remember an old friend telling me the story of when he went to the British Leyland factory site after a break in. Seems some kids had got in and had a bit of fun driving around in the completed vehicles and smashing them like bumper cars.

He was surprised that the managers were in no way aggrieved at the situation, in fact they looked quite elated.

On asking why, they pointed out that they had met the production quota, and as a result of vandalism, now found themselves with a heap of spare parts that they could sell on to garages for a greater price than they would have originally got for the cars.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

Rol

Re: Worth ?

I don't know. He is a shining example of how not to act. Like the baddies in the old black and white films, that always came unstuck.

Perhaps, one day in the distant future, when shameless is returned to the pedestal from where it fell off, society would again unite in their disgust at such antics, and never more will they big up the wankers that should be spat at in the street.

Rol

Re: Worth ?

Vague, but memorable. I picked it up immediately.

Just love South Park

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility

Rol

The end is not Bill Nighy. Well not yet, that is.

In looking into the problems of protecting life on Earth from interstellar pirates, and also allowing life on Earth to develop naturally without being influenced by concrete evidence of alien life, we hit several problems, that I believe Toyota might also come up against.

Providing a pseudo-real night sky for life that might one day look at it more closely than we would like was a brain ache, but we solved that with quantum physics and some clever faster than light data shifting. Basically the screen, which is a huge globe encompassing the entire Solar system, emits a carefully edited version of what is going on outside, in real time. We edit out the starship battles, exploding planets and Vogon super highways and stream the rest through. But "Ah!", I hear you say. "How do you keep the images relative to all the viewers". Well we scan everyone and everything looking out into the sky and transmit a personalised view to each and everyone of you. I suppose on the simple level that Toyota are working on, they just need to track the eyes of the driver and transmit from the pillar the image on the other side straight to them or via their rear view mirror.

As for the rest of the universe, the Solar system is a dull and uninteresting place, as far as they are concerned. It was a little interesting 500,000 years ago, but we slammed some planets together and sent the Sun into a bit of a spin, where it now glows a violent red and presents nothing but danger to any who might come close. A couple of Vogon surveyors studied the potential for moving the Solar system out of the way of a planned route, by turning it all to dust and hoovering it up, but we arranged a nasty accident with some Vogicidal garden rakes, and that plan was just forgotten about.

So. Everything is safe and well looked after. You have no need to worry about being eaten as a newly discovered snack. All I ask is that you stop fucking the place up, because the parents will be coming home soon, and they'll be mighty pissed to see the mess you've made.

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