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Comment Re:First post (Score 1) 141

Some people find joking helps them feel better about bad things.

I'd say that most do, although many won't admit that in public. In fact, isn't this an established result in human psychology, that hysterical laughter is an escape mechanism in stressful situations, or something like that?

Laughter is the best form of medicine

Comment Sad news (Score -1) 141

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Sci Fi writer Iain M Banks was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Comment Re:First post (Score 3, Funny) 141

If you ever had cancer yourself you would not make unfunny, insensitive comments.

True, he'd say something like

Yeah! And bladder cancer no less. If I had it, it'd really piss me off! Although, I understand it's not as much of a pain in the ass as rectal cancer.

Some people find joking helps them feel better about bad things.

Comment Re: Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

Crap that's in America? Again with the attacks on amercian commercials. Come on, where else can you get a food company attacking vegans or a goat who stands with blacks and says common rap lyrics to a battered women like snitchs get stitches? And we even have a company that markets big fuel savings and online shipment of pants by making you think they are cursing. All you have is footie and Dr who. (althought I still love you all for your stellar Olympics coverage. I actually considered paying you'll if Iplayer would have let me. since it didn't the pirates were more than welcome to help)

It's not the contents of the adverts (well those political attack adverts are depressing, but then the adverts for "using our product will cause impotence, sterility and brain tumors" makes up for it), it's their placement in the programs.

It's far nicer to watch something like American Dad on Fox UK than in the U.S.

Comment Re: Not-so-accurate source (Score 3, Informative) 487

They will try to strong arm you... However, as long as your TV set is not logically set up to view television (not close to a socket or with a cable simply disconnected and laying there for the sake of the visit). You do NOT need to pay a penny!

Technically they have to prove you were using the set to watch TV in a court. As a civil case that's a balance of probabilities rather than beyond-all-doubt.

Basically, if you use it to watch TV (Even if you "only watch sky"), you should buy a license. If you don't you've got my full support against the bully-boy tactics of capita. I despise the few that try to evade paying the license. Just like the tax it really is, avoid it all you want by not using a TV, but don't evade paying it on some technicality.

P.S. In case anyone wonders, sky benefit a lot from the license fee as they poach staff from the bbc, who train a hell of a lot more, and their viewers benefit form the competition, just like a iphone user benefits from android competition

I shudder to think what British TV would be like if it degenerated to the crap that's in America. It's not the content that's bad in the U.S. It's the presentation. The adverts on sky would get far more obnoxious without the BBC.

(disclaimer, I work for the BBC -- not in online though -- views my own etc)

Comment Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

It doesn't matter if the local clock is wrong. You get the server time once and calculate the offset. To keep showing server time, keep subtracting that offset from the local time. Unless there is a huge clock skew, the absolute local time doesn't matter, as it is accounted for just like the timezone is accounted for by the initial offset calculation.

Which of course is the problem.

So Server time says 13:50 GMT
Local clock says 19:35

Is the local clock
- 15 minutes fast, it's based in India, where the time is 19:20
- bang on, it's based in Nepal, where the time is 19:35
- 15 minutes slow, it's based in Burma, where the time is 19:50
- Way out, it's based in Kenya where the time is 16:50

So you're putting a lot of server resources (eliminating caching on one of the busiest sites on the web) to potentially reduce the problem.

You could replace the clock with just "13:50 GMT", however then the UK population will complain that it's an hour out (because it's 14:50 BST, but the average Brit doesn't think about that and just things "GMT == UK Time"), which again requires a lot more money to be spent on server hardware.

Or you could remove the clock, solving the problem once and for all.

Comment Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

Time on the web page only makes sense if there is some significance to it being a particular time, in this case BBC time. There are times and dates on the BBC website, and those are all given in one particular timezone, that which the BBC uses. The time on the web site would therefore show that particular timezone as well, so that if there is "talks have been delayed until 5 p.m." on the web site, you can glance at the clock and understand when that is.

You could get the BBC time once, calculate the offset to the local clock and then

You get in trouble for not realising the local clock was wrong.

Your point about times though is valid. I wish there was a HTML tag which went something like


Which browsers would resolve a long the lines of
UK user (Daylight saving): "15:00"
US West Coast: 7AM
India: "21:30"
Sydney: "Midnight"

The tag could be as specific as you wanted, so "GMT=2013-01-03T15:02:34Z" or something

Comment Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

I'm not sure I can trust a source which says "it has been stated that it would take 100 programmer hours to fix" then quotes a paragraph stating 100 staff days.

Sounds like the BBC to me. 100 hours of useful work, 700 hours of meetings, project managers, product managers, and executive product managers talking about it.

Comment Re: Not-so-accurate source (Score 4, Informative) 487

The License Fee MUST be paid if you won a TV set

-- its a tax by any other name

Wrong. The License Fee MUST be paid if you use a device to receive and decoder television transmissions, the medium could be Terrestial, Cable, Satelite, or IP.

You don't need a license if you own a TV. You don't need one if you use things like iplayer on catchup. You only need one if you watching live tv.

Comment Re:Overseas laws (Score 1) 78

Lee was interviewed on Terry Gross and he defended his human rights violations

I am not here to defend Lee, nor Singapore

All I want to point up is, when you are looking at the map of Singapore, try look at which country is at the North of the island of Singapore

There, you will find a place where Apartheid is still officially sanctioned

If you ever thought that Apartheid is dead when South Africa's racist government collapsed and when Mandela was released from jail, all you need to remember is to point your finger at the map of Singapore, and then, move your finger a bit, to the North

Israel is far west of Singapore, not north

Comment Re:Pretty, but is it real? (Score 1) 93

Also, all the lines appear to be simple geodesics rather than the actual path taken by the flights, which would have been much more interesting to see (though perhaps a bit harder to come by). It would be neat to have a world map of passenger-time per area by means of transportation.

Neigh-on impossible. Obviously long haul flights tend to approximate great circles, however ETOPS considerations come into it, and jet streams move on a daily basis. I believe the SIN-EWR service doesn't follow the great circle (which puts it withing 143 miles of the north pole), but follows jet streams, flying over northern europe on the to-SIN leg, over alaska on the to-NY leg. The Atlantic tracks between Europe and the North East vary on a day-by-day basis for a similar reason.

QF63/64 JNB-SYD tracks north of the great circle, despite being operated by a 744 which can ignore ETOPS

Intra-euro flights follow air lanes. I know my semi-frequent MAN-BRU flight tends to fly via Epping rather than a direct route further north.

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