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Comment Re:Need more information (Score 1) 497

I've make a habit of trolling the "There is something wrong with your computer" scams (I get a call ever 3-6 months and string them along for fun/public service)

I'd say about 50% actually know there running a scam, these will put the phone down the moment I start stringing them along (Me:Just a mo while I turn on my computer. Them: [click]). The other %50 act bewildered and answer back when I do the reveal and tell them I know its a scam, if they were in on it they would just ring off and get to the next call.

Its quite interesting to watch how their script develops. Originally they would talk me through opening event viewer so they can show me all the thousands of your computer is going to die warnings.... now they go straight for the logmein and the like. I used to have great fun pertending to boot a Windows 3.1 box and fire up Mosaic (with lots of crashes stringing it out). I'm going to have to perpare a virual machine so the can log in... I'm not sure what theme to go with ... eyewatering medical images for wallpaper, something that looks like a police or gangster computer or perhaps a straight linux box with a windows8 skin on it

Comment Dramatron (Score 1) 246

I built a little sound server for my (tabletop) RPG now my players can summon up dramatic reveal, sad trombone, twilight zone etc at the push of a button (for bonus points I'm now using the same code for a work project)

Comment Re:Nooo!!! (Score 1) 171

I agree. I have never seen the Sky at Night (as I live in the USA), but we have a similar show here on Public Television ("Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer"). When Jack passed away in August 2010, we had guest hosts on the show (myself being one of them) until we could decide on what to do. In October 2011, we modified the format of the show, but kept the same flavor and subject matter. Perhaps the BBC should consider something similar.

Thats pretty much what they did, as Patrick got older they brought in a supporting cast of presenters who have now taken over (Moor also lives on in Jon Culshaw's imporsonations and clips fromt the extensive archives)

Comment Re:bioinformatics (Score 1) 356

Do no underestimate the horror of Biology, nothing is simple, the data is never clean and there are always exceptions to the rule (normally not in a good way:-). I speak from experience

A database of mouse traits could well be a valuable resource and more importantly a cool project, but I would go into that project expecting that the vocabulary of trait descriptions not be controlled, formatted or even spell checked and the gene and strain nomenclature to occasionally out of date, misleading or even flat out wrong.

You could well use up half your time simply massaging the data into a usable format and I suspect you don't get any credit for data munging.

Now I'm not saying don't do it! But this is for a qualification, you want a project that should succeed, so you really need someone knowledgeable about the subject ready to help with terminology and shape the search interface. But more importantly take a really good look at quality of the input data before you take on such a project

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.