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Comment I've got the list. (Score 1) 70

I was one of the 3,521 who received the email with all 46,000 addresses in the CC field.

It was followed up by an apologetic email explaining what had happened and asking me to delete the original email; and another email sent to all 46,000, again apologising and explaining, and linking to the press release. The Register also promptly reported themselves to the ICO.

My first question to them was 'What mass mailing software or service do you use, and why did it allow this?' Considering the (assumed) IT literacy of The Register's staff, I hope they're at least using some semi-competent service, and not some home-brewed PHP script running a SQL query. They haven't answered this yet.

However, at least they have been honest and apologetic about it - this isn't the first time I've received mass CC'd emails from legitimate businesses, and usually they're a) unaware of it and b) don't really care even when I point it out. Always surprising considering how tight data protection laws are in Europe. (Maybe it's one of those pesky interfering European laws that the Tories want to get rid of, to let good old honest British spammers return to their traditional methods)

Anyway, I haven't deleted the email yet, but will be soon. While I have NO intention of sharing or using the 46k addresses (and have been impressed so far with the lack of replies from any of the other 3,521 along the lines of 'LOLZ!! EL REG FAIL!'), I might do some data analysis (eg. how many use each popular email service, what proportion use throw-away or site-specific addresses, how many apparently use real names) - any suggestions?


Space Photos Taken From Shed Stun Astronomers 149

krou writes "Amateur astronomer Peter Shah has stunned astronomers around the world with amazing photos of the universe taken from his garden shed. Shah spent £20,000 on the equipment, hooking up a telescope in his shed to his home computer, and the results are being compared to images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. 'Most men like to putter about in their garden shed,' said Shah, 'but mine is a bit more high tech than most. I have fitted it with a sliding roof so I can sit in comfort and look at the heavens. I have a very modest set up, but it just goes to show that a window to the universe is there for all of us – even with the smallest budgets. I had to be patient and take the images over a period of several months because the skies in Britain are often clouded over and you need clear conditions.' His images include the Monkey's head nebula, M33 Pinwheel Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy and the Flaming Star Nebula, and are being put together for a book."

Comment Re:Missing option: more than $500 (Score 1) 257

The "tablet" thing is going to be a multitouch-screen netbook without a keyboard.

$500.00 is way too much already for this

Uh, so you're saying that the hardware cost of a multitouch screen should be less than that of a keyboard? I'm not sure if I follow your logic...
I guess you're saying that you value a keyboard more than a multitouch screen. In that case, I don't think you're exactly the target market.

Comment Judging (Score 1) 1049

Yes, people will make snap judgements. Whether that is moral or not is subjective.
People make snap judgements on ethnicity, sex (admit it - how many times have you turned down a girl for an IT position?), name (which might denote ethnicity or class), accent, disability, sexual orientation, looks, smell... all kinds of things which probably bear no relation to how well they might do a job. But... these things CAN be an indication - chances are a guy who turns up smelly to the interview won't get a public relations job, or a slim girl won't get a construction job.
This is why when sorting through applicants, we keep personal details separate from experience details. A lot of UK based universities and employers do this. Applicant A might seem perfect for the job, and I won't be influenced by the fact that Applicant A is an ugly fat black lesbian wheelchair-bound African immigrant. With an AOL address. Even if I had a prejudice against any of those facts.


Ocean-Crossing Dragonflies Discovered 95

grrlscientist writes "While living and working as a marine biologist in Maldives, Charles Anderson noticed sudden explosions of dragonflies at certain times of year. He explains how he carefully tracked the path of a plain, little dragonfly called the Globe Skimmer, Pantala flavescens, only to discover that it had the longest migratory journey of any insect in the world."

Comment Re:all those cards (Score 0, Troll) 297

90 x Christmas cards?

Lets say you bought packs of ten for £3.00 each (and you're British!)
Stamps, second class £0.30 each for 80 British friends, airmail £0.56 each for 10 overseas friends.

That adds up to £56.60 for the chance to communicate "To you, Happy Christmas, love from Me".
Maybe worth it for the non-techy oldies and lonelies who like having cards up; but for pretty much everybody you know, what else is Facebook/Email/Twitter/SMS/Skype/etc for?

Comment Re:Damages? (Score 3, Insightful) 258

Some parts of the world are more used to earthquakes than others, and plan accordingly. I'm guessing (from a quick glance at your blog) that you're in the USA - western? Your houses are probably designed to be quake-proof, and a 3.4 quake will do nothing but rattle your plates. Here in Europe most housing is traditional stone, and earthquakes are something that happens in far-flung corners of the Earth.
Disclaimer - I don't know how severe a 3.4 quake is, maybe it really is inconsequential - but my point still stands in that it probably caused the residents of Basel to shit themselves. (Far from villagers, too, BTW)

Comment Re:Suddenly, everything is a right (Score 2, Informative) 565

This is what amuses me about America. In one post, you argue without a hint of irony that a) rights are endowed by a creator, and not inventions of man; and b) you have the right to bear arms.

But more seriously, I would take exception to your argument that rights are not given by man. It is only by becoming civilised that we can share equal rights. No matter how loudly you shout about your rights, they only exist if others recognise and respect them.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has not only rights to free speech, but rights to housing, food, clothing and clean water. These are commodities. The right to express yourself politically (vote) is also critical; as is the right of equal access to public service in your country. These require a communications network. This means broadband to me. Sure, you don't have to FORCE broadband on somebody; plenty of people don't invoke their right to free speech, but are very glad they have the right should they want to. In the same way, I'm fine with the fact that my parents live in the back of beyond and don't want broadband, but I'm glad that they COULD get it if they need it.


Dead Space 2 Announced 56

Electronic Arts announced on Monday that their popular survival-horror game Dead Space is officially getting a sequel. According to the press release, it's being developed for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. There's speculation that Dead Space 2 may include some form of multiplayer, after an EA job opening was spotted on LinkedIn that mentioned multiplayer level design for the franchise.

Comment Douglas Adams (Score 1) 227

I can think of plenty of (perfectly sane) people who would happily bid for Douglas Adam's Mac. Especially if the files were left intact - some of them were used in constructing the Salmon of Doubt, the novel he was outlining at the time.

A collector's item only needs to be unique - it doesn't matter what it is, physically. Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat is just the same as any other bowler hat - but worth a lot more.

Comment Yeah (Score 5, Interesting) 305

I repeatedly encouraged my girlfriend to store her PhD documents in Google Docs, rather than on her laptop (that she takes everywhere). Eventually she complied; then, after a week or so, all her Google Docs vanished without trace.

No previous versions, nothing. I was at a loss to explain it, and have you tried contacting Google with a tech support request? Not a chance.

She's reverted to her low-tech solution (keep on laptop, occasionally email self with document attachments as a backup). I can't blame her.

I'm not saying this WILL happen to anyone else, but it completely destroyed my faith in 'cloud' storage. I'm quite happy storing documents remotely, when I know where they are, but cloud storage by definition could be anywhere - or nowhere.

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