* Posts by Mike

245 posts • joined 11 Jul 2007


NASA rovers survive five years on Mars


Re: Rover was OK, but futher exploration is pointless..

Here here!

There is nothing close enough* that is survivable without a self sufficient biosphere, there's no point in leaving the planet, even if we screwed this planet up it would be more practical to build biospheres on earth (or under the oceans harvesting geothermal energy).

That said, unmanned space exploration might reveal something useful/interesting/important and theoretically there could be life (Jim, but not as we know it) some kind of ultra extremeophile, even waterbears have survived is similar conditions to Mars, after all, some earth based life doesn't need solar energy to survive, but a manned Mars mission is a terrible idea.

*Unless we travel for several generations, invent a warp drive or suspended animation.

SpaceX assembles Falcon 9 rocket


hehehe... @Aitor

6000Kg for a craft to get to mars and back, using experimental (or nonexistent) engines, working for months without a single new replacement part, if only they had you to design the ISS!

ISS ~ 230,000Kg = living spaces/recyclers/only manouvering engines

Mars mission ~ 6,000Kg = living spaces/totally self sufficient for months/accelerators and retarding/manouvering engines/every single part resilient or redundant, really do ya think? I wonder why the ISS is so big then? ballast? for a laugh?

Probably need nuclear power as that naughty old inverse square law will dramatically reduce the available solar power, plasma/ionic drives offer very low acceleration, therefore read deceleration, you'd need to start deceleraing half way there (unless you have chemical/retro, oh wait they would need to be as powerful as an engine accelerating to that speed)

And "something the size of the space shuttle" doesn't have to look like a space shuttle, fool.

So yet again.... My number are not totally incorrect, please *think* what is needed, not what you would like to need.



>Your figures are obviously complete rubbish. Be emotional if you wish but please don't attempt to lie about the numbers, it's childish.

Eh, OK, maybe they can keep a space station up for more than 10 minutes without maintenance (it should be obvious that 10 mins was a joke), but if you have a look at the paper "Maintenance, reliability and policies for orbital space station life support systems" by James F. Russella and David M. Klausb, their detailed analysis of skylab and the ISS concluded that over 3 hours a day should be reserved for Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) maintenance if you have a crew of 2 or 3 people, think about that, 3 hours a day just to keep people alive on a craft in orbit!

So completely unemotionally, the maintenance required to keep people alive in a space station is significant, and new parts take a while to send up, the risk of a failed part on a mars mission is 100% life threatening when you're minutes away, let alone hours, let alone days or months.

Secondly, it would take approximately 9 months to get to mars (at currently attainable speeds), given, when you start the journey don't forget the earth is moving, so you'll have to wait about 3-4 months for a return window (so the earth will be closest after another 9 months), therefore the mission time is approximately 21-22 months round trip (9 months there, 3-4 months wait and 9 months back).

Important numbers; earth is moving about 100,000Km/h, the fastest manned spacecraft (so far) goes about 40,000Km/h, so you have plan to be where the earth will be, coz you won't catch it.

So all my figures so far are "about right".

I admit a couple of fag packet estimates, there has been about 120 space shuttle missions, these have been a combination of low earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary, LEO is obviously no good for transfer to a space station, geostationary missions with a skeletion crew the space shuttles cargo capacity drops from 25,000kg to less than 4,000kg, given a space shuttle weighs about 2,000,000kg it would take 500 missions to get enough "stuff" in geostationary orbit to build something the size of the space shuttle, so as an estimate I'll imagine that you only need about 500,000kg craft (no large first stage, but a much larger biosphere and lots of redundant equipment, there will be no resupply).

Now, these are all (gu)estimates, but they sound about right, certainly not a factor of 10 out.

Finally (I think), I estmate a 36hour mars mission "point of no return", due to the speed of the earth the only way of getting back (while stll moving relatively and on the earth-moon eliptical) is to sling-shot back round the moon ~36 hours, I am not going to attempt the trig to validate this, but I suspect it's about right.

So, nope, my figures are not "obviously complete rubbish" they are in fact "broadly accurate", for a mars mission we need a much larger cargo capacity, much more reliable technology and a very long time to build it, if we do have a successful mars mission this century (mars and back, still alive), then it will be more costly than you could possibly imagine and do very little for "mans colonisation of space".

Moi childish? I think not baby puppy, the idea of manned mars missions are "childish", for decades to come anyway (unless you add the word "suicidal").


ahhahahhahahahha...... @Tom Cooke

You better be about 5 and expect to live to 200 then, unless we start building a lot more rockets, if you took every single space shuttles cargo space ever used you'd just about have enough supplies for the 22 month round trip, oh and then there's building a craft that could make the journey, we can barely keep space stations working for 10 minutes without needing to fix or resupply, as soon as a mars mission is 36 hours out there'd be no going back for months, even assuming the world could afford such a stupid, pointless thing, just think of Apollo 13, how close that was to earth when it had a problem which would have been trivial to fix on earth but nearly killed everybody onboard.

There's a reason it's called Science Fiction.

Facebook breastfeeding pic takedown gets backs up


@Breasts have been sexualised...

>Yes breasts do perform sexual functions, but they also perform other functions.

So do penises and vaginas, so by your logic a woman squatting over a man urinating on to his (also urinating) penis is fine and dandy, not at all obscene?

Breasts, for most of their lives perform a sexual function of attracting a male, that's why they are large even while not nursing, sometimes, for a few months of a womans life they perform an additional non sexual function, but this is a very small percentage of the time, penises however urinate a few times a day, usually more times per day than having sex, therefore it should be OK to get your cock* out in public?

*I guess any kind of poultry would be OK?

Glastonbury new-agers protest WiFi


@the refuge of the ignorant

Religion needs faith, faith depends on the absence of proof.

Science needs hypothesis, hypothesis needs evidence to become a theory, theories need to be refutable;

>Dark energy? Photon scattering? Quantum gravitational effects? Can't be explained but may exist......

These all have related hypothesis, these have spawned theories, evidence is being gathered, if the LHC doesn't find Higgs then maybe the theory is wrong, if it does then another piece of the puzzle has been found, Science will grow exponentially large as every new fact spawns new things to find, religion otoh says "it's magic, that's all you need to know, don't ask any more questions".

If there is genuinely some relationship between EMF and ley lines, if they can affect each other then surely this effect can be used to measure, detect and identify ley lines, the beardy weirdies should embrace this to prove their belief (oh, wait, proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing, and with that god vanishes in a puff of logic*).

*couldn't be arsed to look up the exact quote, apologies DA rip.



>nutrinos - sound yummy, sure I saw an advert for them somewhere.

hehe.... OK neutrinos, nutrinos are yummy, full of energy but they never fill you up.


@Alan Fisher

>We're quite happy to have radio signals in the magnitude of zag (I copyright the word now) whizzing around our heads 24/7, how can that not be having some effect?

We're also happy to have millions of nutrinos ripping through our bodies at the speed of light every second 24x7 and it makes me angry, perhaps we should stop it?

Although, treating your comment seriously, there have been over the years many, many EMR/EMF doubts (power lines, WiFi, mobile masts, power stations, x-rays, CT scanners etc.) any I completely accept that all of these things can have physical effects (being 60%+ water with impurities makes us a nice conductor) but the quesion has to be asked, why do you feel effects when somebody else doesn't? the answer is simple, you are not as geneticaly suited for the environment, as the environment changes so does physiology (survival of the fittest, "best fit" etc.), I personally can't wait for the day that our cockroach overloads are in charge (or those little water-bear things, ooooh... celebrity deathmatch).

The phenomenon you appear to suffer from is officially known as EMF sensitivity, by the sound of it you could have some typical c-fibre nerve sensitivity, although it would be wise to check for the repeatability of this, sometimes when people have symptoms they incorrectly attribute this to something external, for example one patient complained of headaches that he attributed to eye strain due to working long hours on a PC , so to counter this he took more regular breaks away fro his PC, and hey presto the headaches went away, as it turned out he was actually dehydrated and during his "eye strain" breaks he got a cup of water, we only got to the bottom of this after the urine tests came back (although you could visibly see the difference, no diabeties but high ketones), now he works normally (but has a bottle of water on his desk).

US only kidding about 'clear to fly' January deadline?


@George Schultz

>As for the IRA. I did not fund them. I did not cause the hatred either.

Nope, but your countrymen did, and you don't condem it, you're just as complicit.

>Funny how the cause was the same: "This was because they had been deprived of access to most of the land they had worked in previous centuries and were expected to subsist on very small areas of land."

Nope, in both cases the cause was potato blight, no biological diversity means devastation, people were repressed and bled dry by their landlords, but the famine was caused by the blight, after all the landlords would have prefered their tennants to stay alive and pay their dues, surely?

>My point - which you ignored!

Your point is moot, if you think that colonisation by portugese, french and english 400/300/200/100 years ago somehow justifies the US causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the birthplace of civilization, in modern times, then you need a checkup from the neckup.

We can argue if Handing Hong Kong back to the Chinese is a good or bad thing, we can argue if handing back land to native Africans has been benificial to their country or not, we can argue that the Falklands should be handed (back?) to Argentina, giving back the Elgin marbles etc. but times have changed in the last 400 years, these are modern times, maybe the portugese, french and english did what was appropriate at the time, maybe not, and if not, it as sure as hell isn't appropriate now.


@George Schultz

Thank you for yet again showing that Americans have no idea about the "Troubles", which explains why they funded this terrorism, it's ironic that IRA designed bombs are now killing American troops in Iraq.



Most excellent post, and I agree (almost) completely, I think that we have to temper some of the comments (mind you, you did say it was a rant!), when you said "you brought it on yourself" it's a little unfair, because the American public is so manipulated by government and media that they genuinely think that they have something to fear and are scared, rather than the fact that "it's all about oil", with an average IQ of 98 the american people don't always understand the issues, not what's behind it, and no matter how misguided they are, they are still having loved ones killed, in some respects the US are our idiot cousins, do we condem their deeds or pity their ineptitude?

>its now ok for the british police to shoot unarmed brazilians and get away with it

OK, a bit OT but let's be fair about this, the armed police followed their orders and believed the information they were told, that's why they were not prosecuted (did they shout "armed police"?, maybe not, but that's almost accedemic), if they had the correct information then an innocent man would still be alive, the failing was above them, the system failed them too.

>Please someone... set a real life version of the film 28 days later in America... the rest of the world will be able to sleep safe in their beds.

There are too many people in this world, perhaps it is time, I'd guess that something like this will happen, some kind of mutated gene therapy based on virus delivery, the really scary thing is that it's totally possible (more likely "survivors" than "resident evil" 'tho), what happend to sars and bird flu? that's all gone a bit quiet!



1. Not all Americans are idiots, but the loudest usually are;

AC Posted Tuesday 30th December 2008 16:49 GMT

I really hope this was a troll, if so it was genuinely funny because of the irate responses, if not my head is in my hands.

2. "Bullshit. You Brits send a few troops to hole up in Basra airport and some more to get their arse shot off in Afhganistan until a US helicopter turns up to pull them out. Meanwhile the US fight and die all over Iraq."

178 British troops killed in iraq to date, several suicides, several "friendly fire", several accidents, some natural causes but mainly hostile attacks, mainly Basra, these people are dead, because of a (some would say illegal) war that the US started, compared to approaching 4500 US troops, higher percentage of suicides and "friendly fire".

What does this mean or prove? people are dead, people who don't deserve to die (some estimates, an ORB survey indicates over a million people have died as a result of the war), 9/11 is insignificant compared, statistically, a few of the 3000 9/11 victims were probably a murderers, rapists or paedophiles and perhaps may have deserved to die, over 3000 children die from drinking dirty water every day, liklyhood was they are far more innocent get your head out of your arse, nobody, not even those "evil, muslim speakers*" should die because of foreign policy.

*yup, actually heard this one first hand

Microsoft plague threatens 30GB Zune extinction


2006 is still bleeding edge for M$

My 30Gb iPod Mini is the best Mp3 player I have ever had, excellent battery life (32Gb compact flash, upgraded battery), great sound, doesn't need iTunes (Linux) and very hardy (and only cost £45 to build at the time).

>if it cannot natively play FLAC and OGG VORBIS files then it ain't worth shit.

FLAC is great for multi stage component players/media centres (and lossless illegal downloads), OGG is better than Mp3 Mb for Mb but 160Bps VBR Mp3 is fine for a mobile device, definitely worth more than shit, what about SACD or 7.1 audio, that's better than FLAC, oh wait, it won't turn a rubbish song into a good one, maybe the music is more important than the technlology? and even good music is good on adequate technlogy? Nordrick - lose the technology for technology sake attitude and enjoy the music.

Columbia disaster 'not survivable', NASA concludes


@Fossil fuels? WTF?

>It might have escaped your notice that the space shuttle uses liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Sure fossil fuels were probably used in transport of components etc, but the launch itself uses about as much fossil fuel as walking down to the pub.

For every kilo of hydrogen the manufacturing process generates nine kilos of CO2 (NASA uses catalytic conversion of methane gas as the source for their hydrogen), the processs uses huge amounts of energy (obviously more than burning the hydrogen produces), then you have to cool and compress the hydrogen gas to about 200 bar, again using energy, where do you think this energy comes from?

Given the environmental and resource impact and the terrible waste of money can we justify sending up space craft at all? Satelites for comms/GPS/weather monitoring all have measurable practical benefits, but personally I think we should draw the line at manned space travel, smaller, cheaper, expendable probes work really well for exploring the world around us, but space is just so incomprehensivly big that manned space travel is terribly wasteful, Craig (bless him) and people like him need to look beyond the headlines.


Re: I'd just like to say.

>Putting aside the how and why and who's to blame aspects of this incident for a moment, I'd just like to say that we all owe a debt of gratitude to all those that have given, or continue to risk, their lives for the advancement of the human species into space.

>Thanks space traveller-type folks.

Eh? for what? with risking the "what have the Romans ever done for us", what has manned space travel ever done for us?

1. Used huge amounts of fossil fuels both directly and indirectly to put a spaceship up

2. Wasted massive amounts of cash purely for political reasons

Oooohhh... Mars or Cassini could human support life.... no they couldn't (no atmosphere)

OK, we'll build a biosphere then.... OK why not the moon then? oh, apart from the fact that it cost billions to build the ISS and that's not even self sustaining let alone set down on another moon/planet, imagine trying to build something like the size of the Eden project on the moon, if you thought the ISS was expensive, then imagine trying to build something as big as that and send it to somewhere like Mars, it would take 9 months to get there, with a 26 month launch window you'd want to send as much as possible in one go, but big don't land so well, so multiple landers required, even bigger!

So, best will in the world it would take decades to get a biosphere set up just on the moon, to support 5, maybe 10 people? what happens when the biosphere needs physical maintenance, the equipment would have to come from earth (otherwise where would you get the raw materials? the rare earth metals, plastics, hell, iron? or are you going send a smelting works too?), the moon would be an achieveable, hidiously expensive white elephant, Mars just about possible for an 22 month*, small team, obscenely risky/expensive return jaunt (start building in about 10 years, and another 10 years to get everything you need into space, then another 10 years to replace the worn out stuff, then another 10 years to replace the legacy equipment etc. etc.).

>the advancement of the human species into space.

It's bollocks and will remain so for the foreseeable future, unmanned=good, manned=stupid

Unless we invent warp drive and find a planet with comparable environment to earth then maybe we should spend the effort looking after earth instead?

Where's the foetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?!

*9+9 +4 months waiting for the return window, miss it and you'll never catch the earth.

Terry Pratchett knighted for services to literature



>What, for showing the world that you can still sell even if you lack talent? We have Britney Spears, Robert Ludlum and 50 Cents for that.

50 Cents?

At least his bad spelling and grammar was deliberate, you have no friends here, go away fool.

CastleCops shuts up shop


@A sad loss

>volunteers are free, hosting etc. isn't.

There's loads of free hosting (including forums)! and you can have some serious bandwidth available for hardly any cash, CastleCops is dead because Paul left, volunteers are free but quality, dedicated volunteers can be thin on the ground.

Noise-cancelling headphones head-to-head test



Why do you want noise cancelling? most of the time on a plane, in which case you want small, the 250's are fantastic (4 years old now), the limited test is a bit rubbish apart from only selecting two, they are both more bulky that you want to cart around, maybe in the ear would be better (who knows).

Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C905 eight-megapixel cameraphone


Re: Meaningless megapixels

I wholeheartedly agree, I had a conversation with someone at an airport who said that their 8mp cameraphone produces "almost identical" pictures to my 10mp Canon 400d (and I had my 70-200 F2.8L hanging off it at the time, cheeky get), but he really was convinced.

How about a proper review? take the same photo with several cameraphones over a range of lighting conditions (with/without built in lights) then add these pictures to the article, with some zoomed areas, both native digital zoom and "post production", would take a couple of days to do but it would be worth it.

Virgin Media to dump neutrality and target BitTorrent users


These go to 11

People like Paul don't understand broadband (let alone networks), they'll get 50Mb broadband because it's so much "better" than 2Mb broadband, but to be fair why shouldn't he think this? this is how it *should* be, but this is the real world and it isn't like this, let people like this live in their ignorance.

The "Broad" in broadband can be considered the "Width" of the network traffic, whereas the latency is the speed, compare a wide slow flowing river and a wide fast flowing river, the have the same "Broadness" but deliver different amounts of water, VM can sell 50Mb broadband, and it is 50Mb always, but as soon as the contention stuffs up the latency, the river flow slows down (the slang "internet pipe" is a water based analogy for a reason), it doesn't stop being a 50Mb connection.

My old 64k ISDN line gave me better latency (ping) on network games (CS/HL) than many broadband services gave (and so much better than 56k modem, 5-10 times "faster" despite the 8k difference).

In summary, VM have never "oversold" their bandwidth, but if this bandwith is used anywhere near capacity their latency times increase significantly (not affecting the bandwith, just the speed), you can't atrificially cripple someones latency so they throttle the bandwidth to effectively decrease the latency, better tuning of MTU and using multicast services for live streams (such as iPlayer) may address this immediate issue, but not for ever, you need lower latency on (every part) the backbone which is prohibitively expensive (unless you massively increase the cost of broadband services), but if that happened people would demand 100M/bit ethernet to the home and you have the same problem again, upgrade the backbone, then they demand gigabit etc....

2TB Caviar drive too good to be true?


@Dr. Mouse

>Hasnt this always been the case with harddrives?

Nope, (almost?) everything computery based thing worked on powers of 2 since (al least) the early 80's it wasn't until Apple (I believe bought MiBi sold MB) started using the power of 10 numbering, this made them look better, so the other manufacturers followed (my 20Mb Amiga drive was 20MiBi unformatted i.e. before the KB/KiBi debacle).

I believe that it wan't until 1992 (IEC 60027) that these new definitions were ratified, but I don't know for sure.

Interestingly, this doesn't always happen with flash drives, RAM and other sizings so the HD manufacturers are "all in on it", at least we generally compare apples with apples now.

Indian court urged to 'ban Google Earth'


@Alan Esworthy

>2. A world-renowned advocate of private ownership of firearms was, in fact, an Indian: Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Because if Gandhi said it, it must be true?

A world-renowned advocate racisim was, in fact, an Indian: Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Do you also support race relocation, purity of race? blacks being subhuman?

Alan, you are a fucktard, the kind of person who will use any soundbite or soapbox to spout drivel, shush.... you're a fool.

Raids net police £1m in pirate game and movie discs


Don't forget.....

If they mean "the equivalent street value of the genuine article" then £1m is not too far off (some games being up to £50), but this is just a snapshot, an instant in time, how much money has gone through their hands? in *theory* they could burn ~400 disks an hour, imagine a 24 hour production line with printing at the same speed as burning (10,000 a day?), even at a tenth of that and a fiver a disk it's still £35k a week, approaching £2m a year.

Also, how can you but that many blank disks without raising suspicsion, I wonder if wholesalers are obliged to tip off the police about such things (i.e. a non commercial/not VAT registered outfit buying a *lot* of disks, continuous ink, disk cases, photo paper)

Exam board to hear appeal over format cockup


Re: What no word reader

But they have got the MS Compatibility pack..... which is only usable with MS Office, and as Office isn't on the list it's pointless, notwithstanding *somebody* wasn't paying attention.

007 Warhead screenplay sold for £46K


Never say never again.....

If it's anything like Connerys acting in Never Say Never Again then let's hope it says "escaped".

Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles


@Rick Brasche

American only goes to war when it suits it's purpose, every single conflict could potentially benifit america either directly or indirectly, this includes the conflicts that the american govenment funded or provided other resources such as training, so yes the american policy is either to be a coward or an invader, not that I disagree with this policy, it's understandable, why would you send your men to die unless it's for the good of your country? (or countries in the case of the UN), get over yourselves, there's nothing proud or noble about this.

>The price of freedom, is to allow people you don't agree with to speak.

American laws protecting "freedom of speech" means that you have people inciting racial hatred (such as your modern Nazis), but it's a sham and a charrade, Nazi scum are protected "under the law", yet it's still illegal to maliciously criticise the government (federal sedition act), then the Sedition Act of 1918 meant that 2000 americans were prosecuted for publically arguing against the war (including a minister that got 15 years for saying the war was "unchristian"), look what happened to the japanese americans in ww2, where was their voice? and to bring it bang up to date, the patriot act (a modern sedation act).

>But it's real hard to oppress an armed population. Easy to suppress an unarmed, misinformed one.

Yea, just like France.

The american people are more misinformed than any country in the world and it will stay that way because if you question it the charrade will end and you'll have to accept how suppressed you are, so it's a self perpetuating myth, you don't want the delusion to end because it's comforting. puppet.


Americans are stupid lame cowards

The american "war of independence" was fought by people who constantly changed sides to gain promotions and depending who was winning at the time, the winners were in fact the biggest cowards.

In WW2 the americans did nothing until they were under threat, british technology availble to the germans would have been a serious threat (not just nuclear), the only reason that the war was won was british inteligence (and yes american resources, as by then the germans were overstretched).

The american resources did not come free, and only in the last few years has the financial debt been paid, this has cost the UK billions, america did not 'help out' the UK, the UK paid for a service and as employees of the UK the americans were paid well.

Notwithstanding, there are quid-pro-quo arrangements with are mutually benificial like the vulcan refuling by the US during the falkland island conflict and the SAS giving training to raider battalions.

americans really shouldn't open up the debate to include conflicts;

Who "won" in vietnam?(clue...not america)

Who trained and outfitted afgan terrorists?

Where did most of the foreign money come from funding the irish "troubles" (terrorists)

Iraq (what can I say?)

It's a hall of shame, and turning up late to a war as a hired gun 60 years ago is nothing to be proud about either.

About 15,000 amercans are shot to death every year, statistically most likely by a gun they, or their partner bought, canada does not have the same problem despite having very similar laws and about the same number of guns per capita.

americans; don't believe your own hype, a bear will run off with a loud noise, a wounded bear will kill you (I know this first hand, I have a sister in canada who gets bears in her garden and I've been there), the crap about a mountain lion that jumped over the fence and tood a dog away in 10 seconds.... does this mean you'd have to carry a gun 24x7 and be "quick on the draw" to "handle these varmints"? fools

If you plan for the worst case scenario then you'll see the worse case wherever you look, this is american culture and what's wrong with it.

'Faith-based' investment firm fingers holiday's most sinful games


Re: Do you have children?

>Do any of you actually have children? Or are you simply trying to justify your own game preferences and upbringing through ridiculing this attempt to inform parents?

Yes, and this is not required, all these games have ratings, which irresponsible parents ignore, it only serves to distract from the religious abuse of their own children (anti gay, anti choice, fear etc.).

>For the uninformed out there, children are highly influenced by everything they see, hear, do, eat, drink etc.

Which is why religion tries to "get them early" and brainwash them to remove personal control and choice, indicating prescribed sins like homosexuality, smoking, abortion.

>So the fact that children are influenced by computer games (just as they might be by a book or a film) is indisputable

What do you mean by influenced? I've read "The Female Eunuch" (but I'm not a millitant feminist), I've probably read more of the Bible OT/NT than most Christians (including of the original Hebrew texts, some Torah, Talmud, Quran) and I'm an Atheist - more so because of the reading, I also play counter-strike but have never been a "real" terrorist and killed anyone, I've also never had the urge to kill anyone (and I legally own weapons), I guess the only influence I have had from counter-strike is that my reactions are above average for my age.

From early 80's research onwards there has been absolutely no link found between violence in games and violence in children, a violent child may gravitate to a violent game (but this is not cause and effect), almost every child - even very young will know a game is not "real" and their minds deal with this with logic.

Did Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill all the people at Columbine because of Doom? or was it to do with gun laws, social exclusion, american culture, anti depressants and the slack way that the death threats were dealt with?

And let us not think for a moment about the hipocracy of all this "faith" based moral direction, the priest who in one breath says you'll go to hell for wearing a condom and in another sexualy abuses children, get your own house in order first.

Online payment site hijacked by notorious crime gang


Can't do nuffin.....

The nature of the allconnectedness of the Internet means you can't stop this sort of thing happening, also it's protected by international treaties which prevent "Internet Warfare" (although that remains to be seen).

Basically you have to punish the criminals in their country of origin (where the crime was committed), otherwise what's the difference between blocking a site which the govenment believes to be illegal and one it just doesn't like (i.e. Chinese Internet).

Rule one of secure banking, be very suspicious of anything unusual (certificate warnings esp.)

Then also have a good firewall, up to date virus scanner, latest updates, never use a PC for secure banking that could have been tampered with (cyber cafe, kids/grannies who download without knowing what they are doing etc.), intenet banking *can* be very secure, but it can also be very insecure (if you're ignorant of the issues or slack with your security), perhaps the banks should do more to raise awareness, but doing so without scaring people off is not easy and no bank wants to be the first as it will be seen as *their* bank that is less secure than others that don't try to raise awareness.

Snipers - Cowardly assassins, or surgical soldiers?


@Jesrad @Sillyfellow

Jesrad, the ability to eloquently describe the human condition is nothing more than a trivial observation, Sillyfellow is indeed in a minority, but his core intention is far purer than yours, imagine;

1. Everybody had Sillyfellow attitude

No killing

2. Everybody had Jesrad attitude

You watch the killing from afar, detachment giving the illusion innocence and no responsibility, excusing everything they do "as their nature", this is a vicarious liability that Sillyfellow doesn't have, but you do.

To all those who justify a sniper as "better than the alternative", it's not about that, it's all about having a full range of ordinance, there's no such things as "alternatives"; it's "complementaries", we don't need snipers so we can replace carpet bombs, choices like this are never equal, and those that decide on the ordinance to use will use what they think is most effective and as sniper technology moves on so does everything else, Jarhead might just be a bit of filmotography pap but surgical isn't always seen as effective, and remember the killer is a victim too.

Notwithstanding, don't forget that technlology never stays in the "good guys" hands only.

Rootkit unearthed in network security software


Linux (f)lameboys

Why is a rootkit called a rootkit?

Because it first appeared on UNIX style systems (the "root" part of rootkit..... geddit?).

Not only is Linux/UNIX very vulnerable to this sort of malware, it started there, as KarlTh hints at, the only sure-fire way of detecting one is to mount the hard drive on a system that wasn't booted from it.

I fixed a Linux PC about four months ago that got rooted, it was built specifically (Ubuntu/Open Office) for a novice use and was assured to be 'invulnrable' from viruses (meaning malware), but oddly enough was turned into a spam relay that didn't have any mail relaying processes listed during a ps listing, nor anything in the startup, the files were invisible until you booted off a (in this case) USB Linux boot disk.

There are thousands of pieces of malware (virus/trojan/worm) for Linux/UNIX, if it ever became popular for the home market, which it isn't, then it will be targeted more agressively, more importantly if a single flavour (Ubuntu?) became more popular (like OSX) then then a common set of predictable interfaces (like Win32 has) would mean easier spread.

Vista SP2 to land in April 2009-ish?


Vista is crap.... etc.

Now, nobody has to say it, again... and again.... and again with every news item that mentions Vista.

>let it die with a tiny shred of dignity

Retard; you, like most of the other sheep will buy Vista SP3 (aka Windows 7) and tell everybody how lovely and better than Vista it is.

Porn doctor jailed for 33 years



For having an incurable mental illness?

>DNA is irrefutable!!

Not really, that's why some people get away with it, if you can't prove the DNA is sound, that the amplification methods used were valid for the sample etc. then it becomes inadmisable, and has been.

@If you hate paedos so much, why don't you live there.

>I've never heard a convincing argument for how sharing child porn, for free, on KaZaA supports real abuse

no market=no product=no market=no product

"for free" is a distractor, in a different context "I've never heard a convincing argument for how sharing source code, for free, encourages people to write code" (dumbass)

Personally, I think child abusers should be removed from society perminently, dead or alive I don't care, should they be made to suffer? well, it's not a deterrant, stiffer sentences will only make abusers be more careful, and increase the need for a larger weight of evidence, one argument for increased rape convictions is to lower the sentences for rapists, then the weight of evidence doesn't have to be so great so we get more convictions, lighter sentences, more convictions, but then society gets to judge (jobs, reputation etc.), perhaps a conviction for rape will affect someone for life even with a lighter sentence?

RISC daddy conjures Moore's Lawless parallel universe


Moore's Law is *still* valid

Don't forget the article says *what if* not, *it's not*, I suspect quite strongly that it's going to be valid for some time, but remember it's not about cost or easy availability it's computing power, the Power 6 chip is a good example, notwithstanding perhaps SOI is nearing it's single core day, using doped diamond with it's much better thermal profile could theoritically give us 100Ghz chips, even with no other changes is another 10 years flat.

So, to multi core/thread, does anybody remember the day when ms word didn't spell check as you went along? spreadsheets that didn't recalculate their fields as you went along? or back further when DTP packages weren't wysiwyg? they are/do now as we have more power.

The real question is, as Moore's law gives us more power, is there also a downturn in new added features? the differences between the early versions of ms word were vast, but what new features have been added in the last 5 years? almost none? some new file formats and a argubly inferior interface.

If Moore's law dried up (and for this we'll have to exclude threading), then obviously the programming would become more efficient, after all, you do what you can within the resources available (anyone remember 1k chess on the ZX81?)

On a slight aside, Moore's law was originally about transistor count (stealing the thunder from one of the UKs true heroes Alan Turing's 1950's predictions), not processing power, so cores/threads is valid rather than raw clock speed, and Moore also changed his original prediction, otherwise the law would have been wrong several years ago.

US couple sue over McNudes


Cynical me....

Like the people who plant 'roaches in McD's burgers and then try to sue, the phone was 'accidentlally left' then the pictures appeared.....? it could have been a friend who handed it in to McD's then Mr/Mrs Sherman posted the pictures herself and claimed distress perhaps?

ISS urinal/drinks-machine combo still buggy


I once invented a kettle-jug urine recycling device...

....but it was a piss pour idea.

BNP races to get membership list off the net



>but this isn't Austria, and it isn't illegal to do/be any of those things, and the BNP is a legal political party.

You're right, the BNP is "legal" in the UK, but.....

Nick Griffin said "It is more important to control the streets of a city than its council chambers", he also advised people to use "traditional British methods of the brick, the boot and the fist.", he's also been found guilty of incitement to racial hatred. Joe Owens, Nick Griffins old bodyguard has been in prison for sending razor blades to Jewish people, carrying offensive weapons and he's also been charged with murder (dropped for lack of evidence).

Several organisers (e.g. Kevin Scott, Colin Smith, Tony Wentworth) have many convictions between them for crimes related and un-related to the party, also have a look at the cases of Robert Cottage and Tony Lecomber which makes interesting reading, look at who is attracted to the 'party'.

Do you want people like this running the county? (being in/controlling your police force?)

So yes, you're right, I don't agree with their 'politics', and to answer the AC 20th 9:58, the Holocaust Denial expounded by Nick Griffin is illegal in all these countries you mention.

I'll repeat what I said before, If they did have any (real) power, do you think that their policies would reduce or increase racial tensions? a vote for the BNP is a vote for more hatred.


There's free speech but....

The BNP is not a political party, they are a bunch of racist, sexist, anti gay, holocaust deniers, they would be illegal in some countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland).

If they did have any (real) power, do you think that their policies would reduce or increase racial tensions?

Take away the anti colour, anti jew, anti gay and they have nothing, no other policies (would you want them to decide the future of the UK? health, education, defence?).

So, their policies they have are counter-productive and they don't care about anything else, these are all facts why it make no common sense to listen to them, let alone vote for them.

On an emotional level, the party is all about hate, and that only breeds hate, they are a poison, if you embrace the hate it will destroy you, and you will not enjoy your life, much more is to be gained by being nice to (all) people, nice breeds nice, think about it, you know it makes sense.

The madness of 'king cores


Lovely threads dude

>Unless I'm missing something the vast bulk of existing applications, the stuff we want to run more quickly, are single or single-digit threaded applications.

Sounds like you are missing something.....


It's more about RAM and disk, but more threads means all the oracle processes don't get scheduled off proc (and allows multiple dispatcher rather than shared server).

Not to mention the old Oracle licencing fun and games, more threads less cores means a cheaper licence.


Again, for persistant http/https a hardware thread per software thread keeps the process on proc and makes it very quick.

But you're right, an application has to be written to take advantage of it, there's not a whole lot out there on the home market, it's chicken and egg, I remember playing doom on my old dual processor BP6/Celeron machine, and it used both procs, now the multi/proc/core/thread is here for the home market the software will be written for it (build it and they will come).

Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime



Old PC, XP Pro dual core 1.8Ghz laptop 1.5Gb Ram, cold boot >20 mins

New PC, Vista Business, single core 3Ghz desktop 1Gb Ram, cold boot <3 mins

Obvious differences in machines, so not such a fair comparison (cpu/hd/ram etc.), but Vista boot is much quicker (they shouldn't be ~7 times the boot time different), almost identical applications, I'd use the Vista machine over the old XP laptop any day of the week, both machines logging on to a huge corporate domain, I upgraded from XP because of the boot time.

Anal whitening biz drops one million clams for Vibrators.com


You guys should get out more

Anal bleaching is often used when those who don a G-string do not wish their chocolate starfish to be too obvious during bending maneuvers, and if the summer in the UK lasted more that seven minutes then you too would have the opportunity (not) to see how rusty the sheriffs badge isn't.

Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's


Re: What's the plural of CV

You would think that the plural of CV is CVs, but the plural of curriculum vitae is curricula vitae*, which of course has the initals CV which, therefore, as an abreviation is obviously a plural, (perhaps more correctly C.V. is singular and plural).

* Yes, this is corect before we start a "Life of Brian" argument.

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists


Re: Creation or evolution.

>It is quite amazing that these people who are so positive that evolution is correct are frightened of creationists.

Yes, because they are scary people that cause people to die, quite often creationists are deluded religious fanatics, 5000 american women will die each year from preventable cervical cancer, but they will not recieve the HPV vaxine becuase of religious fanatics who refuse to issue the vaxine in schools (thankfully the UK is saving our daughters lives), 50% of americans are infected with HPV, think of that before you shag one.

>All they seem to able to do is ridicule creationists.

That's because they are stupid (or at least hold stipid beliefs, sod it! nahhh, they are stupid)

>They are so positive that evolution is correct they are frightened to debate creationism in the classroom.

There is no debate, creationism is just wrong, the earth is millions of years old not 6000, FACT.

>The truth is evolution cannot stand up to scrutiny.

Oh yes it does, and it has done, time and time again, go to http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html probably the best detailed scritiny, go there and read, the answers to every question is there.


Happy Friday

I'm an agnostic, dyslexic insomniac.....

.....I lay awake at night wondering if there is a dog.

York council gets sniffy with Street View


Think about the place in history

OK, the Council says that Google should have asked permission for something that they were allowed to do, this would have involved extra pointless work by the Council and Google, if they said no then Google could have said "we'll do it anyway", if they said yes, nothing would have changed, even commenting on it is a waste of the Councils time (aka, your money).

What if Henri Cartier-Bresson asked for permission? if that's what some councils insist on these days what would we have lost to history? we need to protect the rights of Google as these are exactly the same rights of you and me to record history.

Government Gateway login details found in pub car park



Not harsh at all, either your passwords aren't protecting anything important (in which case your post is irrelevant) or you passwords are protecting something important, in which case the password strength is critical to protection of the data you are responsible for (and ultimately your job).

>you have no idea what complexity arrangements are in place

You said 8-10 digit alphanumeric, sounds like you're defining complexity, this obviously excludes special characters, immediately you are revealing some of your complexity arrangements, futhermore in your second post you say "tempt them to reuse the first few characters of the password" this indicates that users are allowed partial re-use, again I can garner some more information about your security (which sounds poor).

User password education is important, but it's not that difficult, give a user the password d0-@Qr-+S1[/^!+vP and you're asking for trouble, but enforce at least one special charater, at least one digit, no position re-use, minimum of 9 you have a strong password, then tell the user how to use word association and phrase acronyms as tecniques to remember them, then they don't do stupid things, if they *have* to write down passwords then educate them to write down something which reminds them of a password, or partial passwords, if the users let you down, it's your poor education, not them, they are like children, take some responsibility man.

This is all by the by anyway, we were talking about the passwords you have to remember, where's your excuse? if you are an admin (like you imply) why are you using and allowing your users to use weak passwords? are aren't you enforcing stronger passwords? (if you're that sloppy I wonder if you even enforce a regular password change or change all your passwords when another admin leaves) hope you work for some noddy organisation that doesn't do anything important or has any external auditing otherwise that job that you haven't been fired from yet could become one that you have been.



>the passwords i have to remember tend to only be 8-10 digit alphanumeric

8-10 digit alphanumeric? let's hope the information protected by the passwords isn't important

>maybe thats why i've never been fired

Perhaps if you has anything to do with the strength of the passwords you should be, anyone so sloppy with their password strengh is probably hemoraging data and doesn't even know.

Data Protection the DVLA Way


Moorcroft (and their likes) aren't to blame

It's the companies that use them, I had a Virgin credit card, missed one £5 payment (completely forgot, my fault) and within 4 weeks a debt collection agency was contacting me, no reminder from Virgin, for £5! I'll never use them again, without people like Virgin you wouldn't have people like Moorcroft.

Police collar kid for Wi-Fi pinching


Check the router instructions [the ones that nobody reads]

At least one I read said something like "enabling encryption will ensure only specific users are allowed to connect" i.e. if you don't enable encryption you are allowing anyone to connect, this would indicate implicit permission for anyone to connect, obviously the wording would have to imply permission, but that's a test case I'd love to see.

Interestingly enough, if you allow a user to use your network you are responsible for what they do, downloading porn, hacking etc. (computer misuse act, vicarious liability), but what if they have implicit use? there's more 'interesting' test cases out there which I'm sure we'll see eventually, and the law just ain't up to speed yet.

New Scientist goes innumerate in 'save the planet' special


@Tim - I'm with the AC

>You are talking shit again.

Or more eruditely, your point while valid, is only very minor, the trend is that increased growth leads to increased consumption, the key thing with economics is that the average standard of living cannot be above average, but that's what we strive for, with anything but communism you end up with a pyramid scheme, no matter how you cut it what something is "worth" depends on how much of it you have.



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