* Posts by frank

22 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jul 2007

E-cars are a dangerous myth, says top boffin


In other news...

World still a sphere.

No but really, it's like the big energy reality no-on wants to face is that we need to use less energy per person. We've been high on the hog of cheap oil for so long that we can't face the comedown.

What's the alternative?

Renewables? Probably can't supply us with all our energy wants.

More nuclear?

Yeah right. That'll be the one with fuel and by-products that remain toxic for 50,000 years. Or, to put it another way 10x older than Stonehenge, which is already unimaginably old on a human scale.

Sure I trust BNFL and the French, to have made adequate provision for keeping us safe. <wets myself laughing>

Inter alia, mate of mine was stopped by plain clothes coppers in rural Wales last week for taking photos. Turns out he was near a nuclear power station and they get twitchy about people with lenses.

Seriously, we have plain clothes cops permanently hanging out around our nuke plants due to terrorism fears. Well yes, makes sense. Highly vulnerable, tempting target, very toxic materials.

So: Vote nuclear for the surveillance society!

I bet half the people saying 'go noo-klear' on these pages are the ones objecting so vociferously to Phom.

Darling's £0.5bn offshore windfarm 'leccy-bill stealth levy


you say it as though it's a bad thing...

How many billions did Nuclear receive in its early years?

Where did all the basic research funding come from?

Oh yeah.


Did we subsidise the early nukes to a massive degree?


Do we still do so by allowing the massive decommissioning and waste storage costs to appear off balance sheet?


Was the primary aim of nuclear research? Was it generating electricity, or was 'leccy just a handy by-product for selling it to the proles.

Making renewables mainstream should promote innovation and enables economies of scale.

And not before time.

FFS, I know where my money would rather go: chanelled towards renewables or into coal and nuclear.

Cybercrime losses tax UK small business

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Hello, is that the police?

I wonder if you can help. Someone is trying to brute force a form on our server with a dictionary attack. It seems to be coming from a IP address ranges in India and Russia, although the bot herder controlling the zombies could be just about anywhere in the world.

Can you send someone over to take a look?

Maybe track down and arrest the culprits?

Sorry, what do you mean exactly by 'Eh?'

No, I assure you, I am not taking the piss.

No, really officer.

Sooo... we never report being attacked, just pull down the reinforced shutters and hope they arew strong enough keep the outside world at bay.

Phishing? Least of our problems.

Lucky Mancs could get ID cards first, Jacqui declares

Black Helicopters

@evil auditor

Errrmmm... because it's backed by the biggest database of any size made anywhere detailing every breath you take and move you make.

Abbey IT upgrade 'chaos' hits small biz banking


firefox 3

Got through the hoops and was told that firefox 3 isn't supported only firefox 2 is supported, with a link to www.getfirefox.com Wonderful. Links to the firefox 3 download page.


Nissan to debut anti-prang tech next week

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good to see...

That cars are the only road users mentioned

Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcylists: hardly damage your car enough for it to worth avoiding them obviously.

Who's got more cash? Apple or Microsoft?


doesn't microsoft still own a massive chunk of apple

from when they bailed them out a few years back?

No IT budget for faster SME payments

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going in the wrong direction

my subcontracted government work for a certain large corporation with the framework contract for a high profile govt. dept. was just moved to 40 days instead of the previous 30 days.

Oh, no, it didn't cause me any issues at all that everyone's wages for that month were due about, ohhh, 10 days before the cheque came in. No, I **enjoy** fronting ten thousand pounds whilst a global megacorp sits on it's government money a bit longer. It makes me happy.

US Army gets eco-conscious, preps mega solar plant


a good thing

So why the sneering tone of the first paragraph?

It is *possible* to overdo the enviro-scepticism, y'know.

How the fate of the US economy rests on a Dell workstation


scary thing is...

that this is actually a relief to hear after what I read last week.


'In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy. "It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."'

Bosch strategy boutique fails greenwash test



"space-rockets are our best bet for escaping this rotting planet"

We really are completely screwed then.

Poker-faced Ballmer explains Google beating plans


why doesn't ms just buy google?

at least this dreary depressing bitch-fest would draw to a close.

Yeah, i know there are practical problems and annoying little anti-trust issues to overcome, but in the interests of sparing us another emBalmering it has to be a good thing.

Joint Committee gets it (mainly) wrong on human rights


@ bill of responsibilities

"- After a lifetime of drugs, drink, and fags, I shouldn't expect the same healthcare as somebody who was more careful"

Shurely shome mishtake.

"- After a lifetime of drugs, drink, and fags, I should expect to be welcomed into the hospital on a plush red carpet as I have paid the taxes of a dozen of my whingeing teetotal killjoy brethren."

2007 tax revenue from tobacco: £9.3Bn


2007 tax revenue from alcohol: £15Bn


Cost to NHS from tobacco related diseases: £1.5Bn

From same BBC news article

Cost to NHS from alcohol related diseases and accidents: £3Bn


Total revenue: £24.3Bn

Total cost: £4.5Bn

The numbers speak for themselves really.

Heart, because I wouldn't seek to deny NHS treatment to teetotal non-smokers because my sclerotic arteries don't need the additional load of pushing them out of bed.

Why flying cars are better than electric ones


High-powered, serious, arse-kicking technologies like aircraft

C'mon. an aeroplane isn't 'high-powered, serious, arse-kicking technology'.

The power plant, the jet, is a 'burning make air go big and make push' technology.

That's really only one step above banging the rocks together.

Agreed, some of the flight systems to stop the plane falling out the sky or make it go quite fast are clever, but the basic technology isn't.

It's a bit embarrassing really that this is the best we can do as a species. Not something to be terribly proud of.

Baptist church in assault rifle giveaway


Thou shalt not kill*

* terms and conditions apply. The value of this statement may go down as well as up.

'Major' Flash Player beta released


Bells and whistles, but the engine is still rubbish

The flash rendering engine is terrible and really needs an overhaul. Simple, everyday things like bitmap alpha-fades requiring a 2Ghz+ processor to run smoothly, it's just rubbish.

Want to fade a llargish bitmap in flash 9 using the built-in alpha routines? Better not have too much else happnening on the screen or it will slow to a crawl. And don't even look at it on a non-Intel mac. It's like a snail on mogadon. (yeah, I know, 1% of the world, but who do you think the clients are?).

Seriously, people were doing this in Director on 200Mhz PCs. How hard can it be?

Just sorting the basic stuff would save the average web development house literally thousands a year by allowing us to be more productive. I don't NEED sexy new features, I NEED the basic stuff to work right.

Oooh! Does the new flash have a completely revised dev. language in it that's a good idea in theory but makes most of your existing knowledge redundant? Is it full of arbitrary changes and new bugs? Is it? Please sir, please sir, me sir, me sir!

Hutton: UK must become world No 1 in nuclear power

Paris Hilton


- half life of plutonium 239: 24,100 years

and it remains dangerous for several half-lives, requiring long term storage that needs to be entirely stable without any minding for all that time. Say 75,000 years.

We can build facilities with a servicable lifespan of 75,000 years?

Am I missing something really fundamental, something that removes this as a problem?

Darling budget fails to paint Brown government green


energy is far too cheap.

I'm just as bad as everyone else. I use far too much energy. I'm a programmer not a lentil muncher. I drive. I use fossil energy by the tonne.

The difference between you an' me is that I realise just how screwed we are and recognise the need to change.

People don't like change as your comments so amply demonstrate

I also recognise that the only way to get people to change is to make so painful not to change that they have to.

Sad fact of life.


energy is far too cheap.

Assuming global warming is the threat we are told it is, then we need to:

- phase out petrol cars in the next ten years

- phase out fossil-fuel generated electric power in the next ten years.

- return to per capita energy usage levels of the year 1900 or so in the next ten years.

Will any of this happen?

Not a chance.


As these comments show, you'd all rather whine about a few pence on fuel than actually face up to the fact that your entire lifestyle needs to change. Dear sweet lord, it's more than a little pathetic.

Just watch how quickly you'd insulate your home if the heating cost £20 an hour to run. It's entirely possible to insulate most houses so well that you could heat a room with a couple of candles.

Cars are only around 3-4% efficient, which is risible. If petrol were £20 a gallon, just how many fat 4x4s would you see? Petrol in the UK costs several times what it costs in the US, and our cars are several times more fuel effiicient. Funny that.

It's disgusting how sloppy we are in our use of energy.

The human race doesn't have the guts or the intelligence to avoid the oncoming train wreck.

MIA in Iowa - personal data on 3m UK driving test candidates


New register channel

Given that every day seems to bring another confession from a govt. minister that they misplaced some of our data, can we have a new 'data-loss' channel on the register?

There are enough articles on this than almost any other subject at the moment!

Fasthosts update: still above water


still down!

Hmm, they say all servers are up, but in reality: no.

I can't even ping our dedicated box.

I do sympathise with the poor gits in the datacentre trying desperately to fix a mess, but the status feed telling me all the servers are up when they aren't is a bit much.

There's a hundred people awaiting access to their email on this machine and I now have to tell them that Fasthosts is either lying to its customers or... well, I dunno really. Makes it my problem now: 'Yes sir, I know the status feed says it's up, but it quite plainly isn't. Yes, we are working to fix the problem. I'll phone their helpline to be fobbed off *again* shall I'.

Fasthosts hit by severe floods


Not ideal

So, errr, yeah. Um...

Starting to get a little annoyed now because I can't get any description of the problem, an ETA for getting my server back online and

So far, the 100 or so people who rely on that box for email are being understanding, but I can sense patience wearing thing. It seems to me that over 24 hours of downtime to a server without telling me what to expect or even what's wrong in any detail is more than a little poor.

We are reviewing our hosting arrangements. Somewhere a bit higher-up perhaps.