* Posts by Alistair

225 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2007


Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof


OK I admit it

I am a lazy egotistical loner. That's why I chose engineering as a career. I am a social misfit and a wierdo too and sometime I have poor personal hygiene. But I need to pay the mortgage and save up for my next car, so can I please keep the job I have already, without any extra team-working meetings and other boring time-wasting frustrations? No you can't play with my Lego.

Yes I am smarter than you, and if you want to know the answer to that great question "if you're so smart, how come you ain't rich?" its because my people skills are really very poor indeed!! (see above)

@Dave: Hey mate how are you doing?

Murky world of recruitment gets DoJ probe


Restraint of trade

I believe its called. Basically such a contractual clause under UK law cannot be enforced because it seeks to restrict an individuals right to earn a living by plying his trade.

A basic principle of contract law is that terms which are unlawful cannot be enforced.

I may be wrong though

Israeli TV star ordered execs beaten up



It seems a shame they are no longer allowed in the contest.

Audi working on electric R8?


They have hairdressers in London now?

I for one would welcome this development, as long as it is powered by a very cheap DC motor from a washing machine, and has pedals for when the cheap and heavy lead-acid battery runs flat.

OK four motors for the full '80s "Quattro" effect.

Sharp creates true-hue five-colours-per-pixel LCD

Paris Hilton

sure we need it

But we also need cameras that take a similarly inclusive approach to colour capture and rendition.

See what I did there with the terrist angle?

NASA explores 'Curiosity' for nuclear-powered Mars rover


Its not curiosity in my house

Oh no. Its not curiosity that wakes me up every frickin' morning. Its the cat.

'Supermodel' glow-in-the-dark pocket monkeys created


Woo big long scary words

Inexorable? Vivisection? What does it all mean?

I for one would welcome our new easy-to-hunt dayglo prey animals. Mmm delicious juicy marmoset.

Ketchup on standby.

Western Digital slips todger to horrified Brit


Cactus with a hard hat

At least I think that's what it is.

I recognize the style, I think the artist almost certainly went to my school.

'Thieving' sperm whale caught on CCTV


@AC @squid guy

I would postulate that the distribution of size among the squid species may give a clue as to how big a squid needs to be before he becomes too much for your average sperm whale to snaffle. But WTF do I know?

Sorry to carp on ...

Charges against London tube tourist snapper thrown out


Seems to me

Very much like the complainant wasn't in fact the childs father, but rather an interfering busybody. When the police/CPO checked the evidence before the hearing, and detected his lie, they were faced with a possibly perjury or perverting the course of justice prosecution. Better to just let the matter drop.

Luckily Stavros Wassisnamiou will now be DNA fingerprinted.

God save us.

Final Hubble spacewalk done and dusted



Well done you clever and brave chaps.

Taser use still plateau'd among firearms cops



Looks like I'll have to step up my efforts to get a right royal electroshock tasering at the hands of plod.

Swedish couple demand right to name baby 'Q'



After the quantum-bit and the first recorded unit of length (about 52cm apparently).

Then your offspring has career opportunities in both IT and hip-hop.

Firefox finds more pesky bugs


Please don't call it a "glitch"

El Reg, you are catching the beeb disease.

A glitch is a transient analogue phenomenon that effects electronic circuits. What the Firefox crew inserted is what's technically known as a bug. Although these days the term "pepperoni slice" would be more appropriate.

Please make better use of your NUJ-issue thesaurus.

Koreans cook up glow-in-the-dark beagles

IT Angle

But it tastes great!

All we need now is glow-in-the-dark fermented cabbage.

Euro space 'scopes go for 14 May launch



A great bit of science there, well done ESA.

Fingers crossed for the launch, eh?

UK graduates face bleak future as teachers


@AC: 13:07

We had two come through our company last year, one was a postgrad student and the other was starting on a DEng scheme, no less. They both left to go work for a "financial start-up" or some such. I wonder where they are now ..?

Sure enough, if I had been brought up to think that money is everything, if I owed tens of thousands after graduation instead of just a couple, and if derivatives trading was in the "in thing" in the early 90's, then I may have taken the same route. Instead of slogging my guts out in engineering.

DARPA at Phase 3 on solar powered surveillance strato-ship

Paris Hilton

What a load of hot air

But wait - could one of these, or a less futuristic but still blimp-based craft be used by our future pocket aircraft carriers as a badly needed airborne early-warning platform?

One has to hope so.

Paris because she recognizes a sitting duck when she sees one.

Yorkshire man wakes up Irish after brain surgery


Wasn't dere dat football manager now?

Sorry not into the hoofing game but I remember seeing this daft english football manager who had landed a job in Holland being interviewed by dutch TV - in english - and putting on a comedy-piss take dutch akshent for the benefit of the viewers! Goes to show the requirements for the job being a preemptive lobotomy. To be sure.

Liquid crystals - Display genius no match for petty politics


Office politics

Sure enough his career carried on fine after he'd left RCA.

From my impressions of working in American-run companies, all the managers are really interesting in is their own careers. Making themselves look good and avoiding any risk of being associated with failure are the orders of the day.

Supersonic stealth jumpjet passes hover thrust test


As someone already said

We still need an airborne radar platform. Without that its too dangerous to send any planes up anyway.

Ireland scraps e-voting in favour of 'stupid old pencils'


Separation of gubmint and hard working taxpayers

How often journos cast one against the other. Its either "the taxpayer is going to have to bail out the gubmint" or vice-versa. Of course creating a conflict like this makes the story a lot more interesting.

We are all in the same car, and there is limited choice over which direction we can take or how hard we press the accelerator pedal to the metal. Its just that every four years or so we get to choose which of the two drivers sits at the controls.

Gov figures show IT jobs crisis


I refuse to call them "consultants"

Those recruitment people are to blame and no they're not "recruitment consultants" any more than bookies are "turf accountants". They are employment agents. I seriously regret ever having put my career in the hands of these fly-by-night shysters.

And just because a job is advertised, doesn't mean the job exists.

MS opens kimono on Windows 7 security features

Paris Hilton

The road ahead

So does Windaz-7 usher in the new age of ubiquitous 64-bit secure computing?

No, I thought not. Paris because she has a better grasp of things to come

DARPA gives Cal Tech boffin $6m 'to save Moore's Law'


Six million dollar man

You can make me one if you want - just give me six million dollars and I'll make up any crap that you want me to make up.

Yes redundancy as we call it is already used in memory chip manufacture. During factory test, the broken memory lines/towers/arrays are swapped out for spare ones by setting one-time-programmable switches on the chip. It increases the yield (percentage of chips on a wafer that work) so even though it decreases the number of chips per wafer (because each one is a big bigger than it would be without redundancy), it maximizes the number of working chips produced for a given wafer cost.

Mines the one with the matching cleanroom booties, ta.

Russian schoolgirl invents inertioid-driven Venus rover


I could do with some new vibrations

I for one would welcome our new indigo aura enabled overlords.

Ad watchdog gives thumbs up for female TV orgasms


I'll buy that for a dollar

But I thought that love was all you need ..?

Can't get a job? Try plastic surgery


But seriously folks

Makes a funny story but think about it, faced with a dozen sharp-dressed final round candidates, which would you select, the chubby ugly slob or the Tony Curtis lookalike? Nobody ever got fired for hiring a "stunna".

From experience in the job market of a few years back, I believe you may be able to increase your chances in this shallow image-obsessed world by going on a diet.

As for me, I'd rather be fat and idle

EC blasts mobile masts away from schools and hospitals


@H Kaker

Your crippled logic is clearly not up to the task of understanding mobile telephone systems or radio wave propagation physics. The Sh!t you refer to is in fact very weak EM radiation, that cannot affect living tissue in any way known to science apart from the absorption heating effect, and that is too weak to be either measurable or feasibly harmful.

Just trust us that know, its safe, okay?

Photocops: Home Office concedes concern


That guy who died in the demonstrations last week

I just think its somewhat ironic that the Met are asking if anyone managed to photograph that poor fellow who died of a heart attack after being caught up in the heavy-handed policing of last weeks peaceful demonstrations.

It would have been illegal to take a photograph of the police stomping him to death.

Boffin: Titan moon largely made of LPG, not cheese


Boffin FAIL

I can understand there being some excitement in extraterrestrial planetary boffin circles over results from Cassini/Huygens but this one seems to have shot his bolt early.

Any liquid on the surface will be subject to the same gravitation and rotation as the rest of the body, same as on Earth, so will not adopt a different shape.

Motorola spends $216m on money-saving job cuts


If only ...

If only they could have made a phone that actually charges the battery when you plug the effing thing in to the adapter! Then I would have got another.

Ofcom gets puffed out over wind turbines

Thumb Down

Lets try to avoid stirring up hysteria, please

I'd prefer this article if it had not used the word "safe" in the leading paragraph. Many of the less-well technically educated masses who naturally fear the things they don't understand, are very scared of microwaves. And wind turbines. Would be better if you just mentioned the risk of screwing up the microwave links.

Secondly, I thought those things used composite blades? Perhaps this should be mandatory.

And finally @Luther, you have just failed the Turing test.

Bondage bonzer for bonding, beam boffins


In other news from New Scientist

The Newsci hacks can in fact reveal that bears defecate in the woods and that the pontiff is catholic.

Its true because they read it in someone else's report on an internet forum that quoted someone's press release. Allegedly.

Honda creates thought-controlled android


Is this the new Fireblade?

I for one welcome - oh stuff this I'm off on my bike. See ya!

Israelis' invulnerable, 60-tonne robot bulldozer force to double


Clearing mines etc

More like bulldozing refugee camps while the occupants are still inside. Nice one IDF.

Playboy TV offers 'Jacq off' special package

Paris Hilton

I think its fine

As long as he has to pay tax and NI contributions on his masturbatory material.

Westminster forced to switch off digital CCTV cameras

Paris Hilton

Geoff Hoon

This is an example why he's not allowed to play with the armed forces anymore.

Jeez you poor Laarndarnarrs having to pay to park your bikes.

Smirking smiley overruled by the famous bike herself

Isle of Man e-bike trial loses racers

Thumb Up


Seems odd to think that an electric battery powered race bike would look anything like a '90s superbike.

I much prefer the feet-forward bike!

Samsung B2700 Bound rugged mobile phone

Thumb Up

I like it

Its a basic phone that will last.

And I like the sexy name.

Will Jennifer Tilley get one?

Emotional arguments do not make Street View illegal

Paris Hilton

People hate it

When you take photographs of them in the street.

What are you doing? What are you going to do with the pictures? Etc.

Then if they can't come up with a valid or real reason for you not to take their picture, such as being on private land such as a shopping mall, they will accuse you of all sorts of things.

Its just a basic defensive response, to something they/we don't understand. The Dilbert Principle in action, if you will.

Paris because everyone's seen a photograph of her street

Hefty 'battle strength' electro-laser breaks 100kW barrier


Phased plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range

As any fule kno, lasers are not the weapon of choice for our future exoskeleton-enabled death-dispensing overlords. What they need are plasma beams, disruptor arrays or even photon torpedoes.

Rest assured my fellow meatsack underlings, we are safe for the time being.

Jaguar-Land Rover to develop F1-style energy recovery tech


Been tried before

The flywheel type of KERS has been tried before in busses and so on. It sort of works but you need a big heavy flywheel running very fast to be any good, which makes it both expensive and difficult to use, and the added weight puts it at a disadvantage.

Maybe it can be made to work better with some very clever computer controls that those F1 transmission jonnies have proven themselves so good at.

But surely the best way forward is to have electrical (battery) storage for recovered kinetic energy in an electric/hybrid vehicle.

ISS space bio-experiment freezer to return on Discovery


Shame on you El Reg

You obviously never served time in one of our fine higher education establishments. If you had you would have known how the contents of your average student house fridge can mutate, over time, into the most hideously deformed and unidentifiable biological waste of the lowest order.

Mines the one with my name stitched into the laundry label by my mum ..

Right-wing Oz politico in nude snaps rumpus


Jack Johnson

I was wondering what he's been up to recently.

Unless thats another euphemism.

China bars WoW expansion for showing bone


"Wrath of the Lich King"

I think their problem stems chiefly not from the gratuitous showing of skeletal remains, but rather from the very idea that a rich foreign ruler might possess metal-turning equipment.

Mines the one with the measuring spanner in the top front pocket.

Ofcom slaps Bristol radio for uncoolness

IT Angle

Ringtones and all that

Is there anything recorded in the last few years that has been anything more than a ringtone?

How can the company survive if they are condemned to playing the trash that masquerades as music these days?

Although, I've been told that the Saturdays are rather hot at the moment

ISS crew flees flying space junk



Your best approach is a divide-and-conquer solution.

1) big things: track them continuously and take evasive manouvers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H action

2) medium things: pray

3) small things: vaporize on final approach

So that's one out of three covered so far.

Of course, we could just give up on manned space flight.

Paris Hilton

Should've stuck it further up

So they are tracking the bigger than 10cm objects. That's not to say that a 1cm or even 1mm chunk of alloy traveling at 20,000mphs won't give them a seriously bad day.

Paris because, well its Friday okay? Do I need a proper reason?

Jungle Jane pump-and-dumper claims 'pretty healthy' sex life


All Aussies

They all claim to have marvellous sex lives. Have you ever met one who hasn't?

I wouldn't mind so much if they didn't keep banging on about it.