* Posts by Wandering Reader

71 posts • joined 15 Jun 2016


After 16 years of hype, graphene finally delivers on its promise – with a cosmetic face mask

Wandering Reader

Re: Manufacturing?

"but isn't graphene production still very manual-intensive and a bit hit-and-miss?"

Well, the failures are a by-product and perfect for the cosmetics industry. Whereas the good stuff can go somewhere that the Graphene properties are relevant and useful.

(I'm guessing)

Hey, Brits. Your Google data is leaving the EU before you are: Hoard to be shipped from Ireland to US next month

Wandering Reader

Re: Convenient BS from Google...

"Under GDPR, my (Republic of Ireland) rights under GDPR remain"

Why? Would your GDPR rights still exist if you lived in Mexico, which is also not in the EU? I.e. - are your rights connected to citizenship rather than country of residence?

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

Wandering Reader

Re: Minimum wage?

Even that's not enough for salary distributions, which tend not to be normally distributed. Demand Skew and Kurtosis as well.

This episode of Black Mirror sucks: London cops boast that facial-recog creepycams will be on the streets this year

Wandering Reader

"the average phuzz is of the opinion that if they look hard enough they can nick anyone. British police make me more nervous than the criminals."

If the laws of the land are such that everyone is a criminal depending on the mercy of their betters to be allowed to get on with their lives in peace, then the police are not the worst problem - politicians are.

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights

Wandering Reader

"Our comfort comes at the price of someone else's discomfort, it's as simple as that."

Those workers would rather be in the factory than back on the farm, and you would deny them that choice?

The developing world is climbing a ladder, each rung better than the last. It will be a while before they reach the conditions of the developed countries, but that's no reason to kick the ladder away.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

Wandering Reader

"The state-of-the-art printer is described in press reports as being 2.1 metres high and 1.9 metres wide, so either there's confusion over the measurements or you need more than 3 metres to negotiate it in."

They should have taken it out of the box.

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election

Wandering Reader

Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

"The impasse of the last few years has been the consequence of the fact that you need a decisive majority for a change that fundamental, say something like 2:1."

Well, you can tell Nicola Sturgeon about your new rules for Indyref 2. I'll hold your coat

Thanks, Brexit. Tesla boss Elon Musk reveals Berlin as location for Euro Gigafactory

Wandering Reader

"Of course not: it was simply a generous bonus given to another party "

It wasn't given to the party, it was given to the Civil Service budget, and allocated between Health, Education and Infrastructure.

Everyone approves of Health, Education and Infrastructure, I assume.

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship

Wandering Reader

Re: I would rent that!

"The problem was that they were NTSC format tapes."

NTSC: Never Twice Same Colo(u)r

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket

Wandering Reader

Re: Would someone explain

"If you have legitimately entered the junction (crossed the line) on amber "

No. The issue is people who entered the junction on green, but couldn't exit the junction before the lights went red. I.e. Amber wasn't long enough before the lights went red.

Amber should last long enough that if you fail to exit the junction in time it's your own damned fault.

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block

Wandering Reader

Re: Woooo woo

-- A joke - possibly told by droll Irish comedian Dave Allen many years ago. "Vote early - vote often".

A politician did actually say, "vote early, work late". That very rapidly transmogrified into the meme. By the time Dave Allen said it, it was pretty much Trad. Arr.

Wandering Reader

Re: Woooo woo

It's amazing how straightforward a workable solution can be:


Apple programs Siri to not bother its pretty little head with questions about feminism

Wandering Reader

No good will come of this...

"A UNESCO study released earlier this year came to that conclusion and suggested broader use of "male" voices for virtual assistants,"

Next month - "Mansplaining - the curse of the virtual assistants."

Now on Amazon Prime: The Amazing Shrinking UK Tax Burden

Wandering Reader

Re: Interesting

"I'm as hypocritical as the next person (unless I'm standing next to a politician) and I buy from Amazon."

It's not really hypocrisy, it's choice. You have decided that your life is better with Amazon's prices, guarantees and convenience than with any of the alternatives. If you sacrifice Amazon on the altar of disapproval, you lose those benefits - you make yourself worse off.

Of course, if you chase Amazon out of the UK, you might get the benefit of tax paid by the alternatives that arise. Yep - tax off cluttered bookshops, failed startups, failing legacy companies, scam artists and cowboy outfits. Don't count on that adding up to very much, though.

Welsh police use of facial recog tech – it's so 'lawful', rules High Court

Wandering Reader

Re: How in the name of sweet beJesis is this legal?

The police have been using facial recognition since forever, with terrible error rates throughout. They could hardly do their job without it.

These days they use cameras and computers to help. It can't really make things any worse.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

Wandering Reader

Re: You'll never get a deal

"Who the hell had the dumb idea that a 52/48 vote should cause you to "Brexit"?"

Well, the same sort of people who thought that 50%+1 would give the Scots the right to independence. Not your sort of people, evidently.

UK cops blasted over 'disproportionate' slurp of years of data from crime victims' phones

Wandering Reader

"The other thing missing is that comm records are going to be symmetric: can the police work, and to what extent, from the defendant’s phone, rather than the victim’s?"

At the very least they need to be able to confirm the real source of the "Great shag last night, thx." text.

If they examine the phone in more detail, they might also find an email "hey crew, I had a great time last night, I'll tell you guys all about it on Friday." That one isn't symmetric.

It's so hot, UK needs to start naming heatwaves like we do when it's a bit windy – climate boffins

Wandering Reader

Re: Names

"An odd list of names. It seems to have been chosen with the laudable intention of including non-English names, but the choices are sometimes puzzling."

It's a combined list from the UK and Irish Met Offices, since we tend to share the same weather.

You'll never guess what US mad lads Throwflame have strapped to a drone (clue: it does exactly what it says on the tin)

Wandering Reader

Re: The numbers don't add up...

American pints are smaller, therefore American gallons are smaller. Compare:

them - "a pint's a pound the world around"

us - "a pint of water is a pound and a quarter"

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone

Wandering Reader

What was that?

Back in 1988, on a transatlantic phone call, trying to sort out a transatlantic data connection, we heard a crashing noise over the phone line. "what was that?" "The server just fell over"

And so it had.

We ain't afraid of no 'ghost user': Infosec world tells GCHQ to GTFO over privacy-busting proposals

Wandering Reader

Re: "...for example to stop terrorists..."

"Add the fact that this whole Brexit effort was engineered by Cambridge Analytica, Brexit fans are definitely on the gullible side. "

You've got your conspiracy memes fuddled. That was Trump, not Brexit.

Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America

Wandering Reader

Re: Still using Google?

"Think about it, those on the breadline who live paycheck to paycheck, will be taxed on 100% of their income"

If they are on the breadline then it is just as well that there is 0% VAT on food.

Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

Wandering Reader

Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

Cat rehomed? Where?

Everyone is after the USB stick on its collar now.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

Wandering Reader

"You cannot claim 45% is a "mandate for change", "

Strangely enough, that is a line favoured by English Remainers but seems to be unpopular with Scotiish Remainers. Can you work out why?

Wandering Reader

Re: Can you blame us?

"Look up their voting records. It's pitiful."

Wouldn't it be in poor taste to try to shape an organisation that we are leaving?

And people complain that UKIP stand for election; or that they turn up when elected; and now the full set - complain when they don't turn up.

Wandering Reader

Re: The only conspiracy

"What it does suggest is that there is more, let's call it, "public concern" over this issue than over any other issue in recent history. "

We already knew that - didn't 33,000,000 travel to the polling station and vote?

I don't hate US tech, snarls Euro monopoly watchdog chief – as Google slapped with €1.49bn megafine

Wandering Reader

Re: At some point Google will do a calculation

"and Google needs to index it."

And so they will. However, it doesn't need to provide the searches in the EU. Vestager could always use a proxy to find out what's going on, assuming that remains legal.

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

Wandering Reader

populace, not populous

I'm not sending corrections from my work email...

The infamous AI gaydar study was repeated – and, no, code can't tell if you're straight or not just from your face

Wandering Reader

"The question is.... WHY?!?!"

If this actually worked, and could be corrected for makeup and tweezers, then it would suggest a genetic link to sexuality, which could be investigated further.

That's valid science.

In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons

Wandering Reader

Re: Perhaps an empty gesture

"After recent changes to the law in England and Wales, libel tourists now head to Belfast rather than London, since the DUP and friends dont always see themselves as an intrinsic and indivisible part of the UK."

Surely in your example it was England and Wales that broke ranks. Must everyone else conform?

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Wandering Reader

Re: The Spaghetti Has Escaped

"Once upon a time we programmed computers using a tangle of patch cords."

Don't forget to use colour film in your backup camera.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Wandering Reader

Not really a crash

It's not really a crash. With the tumblr porn filters on the way, it turns out that 4G just isn't needed any more.

BT pension scheme will stay on RPI interest rates for now

Wandering Reader

Re: Reflections on my pension

(You're me, you are)

We're fortunate, but not as fortunate as our partners. Being in 2 schemes the "death in service" payout for partners is 50% of our DB pension from Section C, plus 10*salary lump sum from the defined contributions scheme.

Ever since my wife found out she has been encouraging me to give up gentle exercise and take up extreme sports. The sooner I retire the safer I will be.

Angry Googlers demand bosses pull the wings off 'Dragonfly' censored Chinese search engine

Wandering Reader

Is there an open letter about this sort of censorship?

"Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe."

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Wandering Reader

Re: RE:So many people, so little understanding

"If your woman is called Alex the stupid cylinder tries to join in with sex almost every time."

It could be worse. Our safe-word is Alexa.

Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

Wandering Reader

They get turned into zombies:


Quote from the episode "shut up and take my money"

Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

Wandering Reader

"If being "earthlike" was enough, this planet would continually be spawning life, as it originally formed. Those "respawns" would then start their own path of evolution. "

No, we have a billion years of evolution behind us - voracious, competitive, cooperative - selective. Any new kid on the block will be devoured by our cousins the bacteria before it gets to form its first cell.

Scrapping Brit cap on nurses, doctors means more room for IT folk

Wandering Reader

Re: More job displacement, yay

"And making things exponentially worse, the fuckwits now expect nurses to pay for the education demanded by a near-monopsony employer, leading to a dramatic reduction in nurse education when we weren't training enough to replace those retiring anyway."

Nursing is the one degree course where a graduate is almost guaranteed a graduate salaried job anywhere in the UK.

Therefore, there is no shortage of applicants for nurse training places, just a shortage of places. So the solution is to spend money on training places, not on bursaries and grants.

Wandering Reader

Re: More job displacement, yay

!It has been the policy of successive governments to run down the training of such staff in the UK (no more grants and bursaries for instance). It has simply been cheaper to bring trained staff in from other countries."

Nursing degree courses are 7 times oversubscribed. If there is money available it should be used to create more training places, not more applications.

US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Wandering Reader

Re: Overreach

If you move house, databases must be updated to reflect your new address, and unless there is a very good reason to hold onto your old address, that should be deleted.<br>

Mr. Cynic. Can you prove to the home office that you have been continuously resident in the UK for the last 25 years?

Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

Wandering Reader

Re: Back to discussing Galileo...

"I may be confused, but aren't there already three competing systems? the US GPS, Glonast and Galileo."<br>

No, only GPS and Glonass. Just to be sure, I went on to Amazon to look for receivers - no Galileo - only GPS and Glonass. Or do you mean BEIDOU?<br>

So we have a chancellor who counts "one, two, many" - no wonder the UK budget is stuffed!<br>

It's important to only count what is there.

Wandering Reader

Despite GPS being global, they are designed to provide maximum coverage is certain geographic areas. The original GPS was designed to cover the northern latitudes for missile launches, Glosnas, the Russian subcontinent, Galileo Europe.<br>

Well, orbital mechanics will tell you that non geosynchronous orbits may give slightly better coverage over a particular range of latitudes, but will certainly not give better coverage over specific longitudes (e.g. time zones). And the Northern hemisphere coverage will be just as good as the southern hemisphere coverage for the corresponding latitudes.

So that's the satellites. Are you talking about the ground stations? Easy to sort out.

Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed

Wandering Reader

"Anyone would think the MET/Home Office had an agenda against a certain section of our society."

Well, quite. Instead of all that police effort at the carnival, send the police round to our street, where some dog walkers don't scoop.

As for facial recognition - the Guardian periodically castigates Google because AI facial recognition isn't good at identifying people with dark skin. Whether it is a programming issue or an AI training issue, it's probably better to try the software out in Notting Hill rather than Inverness, isn't it?

Boffins try to grok dogs using AI, a cyber-brain charter, a bot running for mayor, and more

Wandering Reader

Re: Dogs are a bad start

I think we might be able to make some good narrow-band sensors but you'd need a really wide-band sensor to get an idea of what's really motivating a dog.

"Even the smell of roses, is not what they supposes,

And goodness only knowses, the noselessness of man"

Dog poetry. Sorry - that has stuck in my mind for 40 years after reading one of the Dr Dolittle books...

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Wandering Reader

People may assume you are in the US though and all the lack of data protection and poor consumer protection issues that go with it.<br>


Wandering Reader

Re: No surprise

We had 100% control - we could veto pretty much anything we wanted to.

We still are a member - so we can veto this?

BT: We're shuttering final salary pension scheme

Wandering Reader

Re: summarily terminated

Pension schemes to start hiring hit-men soon? I wonder what the pension scheme for a hit-man is ?

"Don't worry about it. Someone will come round to sort you out later"

'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

Wandering Reader

Voter ID cards supplementing existing forms of photo ID have been in use for 18 Westminster constituencies for many years.


A dog DNA database? You must be barking

Wandering Reader

"A dog DNA database would be ruff justice. FTFY (but someone else used it recently in another thread)"

I think the original poster assumed that everyone would get the joke without your help.

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Wandering Reader

Re: Maybe coming back

"Is it just me or does that trajectory look like it’s coming back to earth eventually?"

It should return to about the same place it was when the boost ended, to complete it's orbit. Except: (1) Perturbations from earth's gravity will affect the orbit further in the first days of travel. (2) It's not orbiting in the plane of the ecliptic. (3) the earth will be somewhere else when it gets back.

So we are probably safe enough.



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