All 7 entries tagged Idiocy

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June 04, 2008

I'm With Stupid →

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7435752.stm

It's embarassing to think I share a country with ignorant pricks like these...


May 20, 2008

'Phone calls database considered'

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7409593.stm

Oh for the love of all that's sane. Where to begin? No...all right? Just "No".

This kind of shit is why I have less than no faith in politics.

It was a stupid idea before, it's still a stupid idea, it won't work, it'll be too easily abused, and I seriously doubt it'll catch any real dingleberries.

Whatever happened to privacy?

Whatever happened to this being a free country?

What makes the government think they can protect this data? They don't exactly have a good track record...


November 28, 2007

Missing Data on 25 Million People

Since I first heard about it, I've been wondering just how much data on 25,000,000 people can fit on two "discs". I don't know for certain what type of "disc" they are, but for the purposes of the maths I'm going to assume they were single-layer DVDs.

Taking the capacity of a DVD as 4.7GB, this makes about 403 bytes per person. This might not sound much, but for reference the following block of text (labels included) is only 224 bytes:

Name: The University of Warwick
Address: University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 3523
Fax: +44 (0)24 7646 1606
Established: 1964
Dummy bank details: XXXXXXXX XX-XX-XX
URL: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/

So the amount of data on each person would be about double that.

However if the Government isn't keeping up with the times, then 2 CDs at - let's say - 700MB each would give only 58 bytes per person, which is about this much:

The University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL 024 7652 3523

That's assuming the data wasn't compressed, of course, which since it was unencrypted wouldn't be unreasonable to assume.

The second block (including spaces) should be exactly 58 bytes. Since I ran out of ideas for real data for the first block, here's a string of Xs and spaces that is exactly 403 bytes:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX

So whatever details about you you can fit in that number of characters (403 including spaces, unsurprisingly) may have been misplaced by the Government in an easily-readable form. If they had any business rivals I'd consider taking my custom elsewhere...


March 26, 2007

"BBC defends early Easter filming

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6494831.stm

I've just come across an article on BBC News about the BBC receiving criticism for filming their Easter Special of Songs of Praise at Christmas. I mean, come on! Do these people really think they film everything at the time?

Several newspapers have accused the BBC of "tricking" fans of Songs of Praise, just weeks after Blue Peter apologised for faking the result of a competition in November.

Because, of course, those two events are exactly the same - on the one hand, you have standard industry practice that is economical, harmless and an intelligent use of resources; and on the other hand, you have people lying about the very nature of a competition. I certainly can't see a difference between them...

I feel, as a public service, that I need to point out a few things to these people that are up in arms about the fact the show was filmed months ago:

  • The TARDIS doesn't really travel through time - it's just a box, it doesn't even had the console inside it; that's a set.
  • When game show hosts say "See you next week", 'next week' is probably filmed a few minutes later.
  • KITT from Knight Rider couldn't really drive himself - it was a man hidden in the modified driver's seat, which was a clever way to do it because 'Michael' (who is really David Hasselhoff) could just jump in the car and take over without anything fancy happening.
  • Crop Circles aren't aliens; they're guys with planks and too much time on their hands. I mean what kind of stupid alien race would design ships with such complicated undersides? They'd all have "teleporters" anyway...
  • A scene from (I believe) Attack of the Clones was actually filmed during Phantom Menace because it would save them having to go back out the the location. (Maybe you should complain to them, too?)
  • The Lord of the Rings films weren't actually in Middle Earth - they were in New Zealand.
  • I'm not actually writing this - I have a small team of an infinite number of monkeys to whom I dictate. Eventually they come up with the blog entry...

I could go on, but I won't...


January 16, 2006

How to create a queue in Costcutter…

To get a queue to form behind you in Costcutter, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Take out a mobile phone contract for at least a year, or until you've forgotten some of the subtleties of Pay As You Go.
  2. Drop back down to a Pay As You Go tariff at the end of the contract.
  3. Forget that you have to link your new e–top–up card to your phone.
  4. Pick out some food and try to top–up using the card when you go to the appropriate checkout (i.e. the ones by the alcohol that have the top–up machines).
  5. Be prudent and check the top–up recipt, only to discover that's it's failed and you need to register it.
  6. Have a manager called over to refund your twenty pounds.
  7. Take two steps towards the door before remembering you should have a carrier bag.
  8. Reach back and grab your shopping
  9. Leave the store, patting your pockets and checking your wallet to make sure you haven't forgotten anything else.

All in all, a pretty good day…


May 14, 2005

This is ridiculous…

Follow-up to It's because you're an idiot, that's why… from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

It's taking far too long; I've given up and I'm going home.

I should have done this at 2…


It's because you're an idiot, that's why…

Why am I still on campus! It's not as if I met anyone or have done anything; I've just been sitting here waiting for my computer to finish what it was doing, which is taking too bloody long. I should have gone straight home after Crash.
I guess it was because I was feeling a little mopey, so just sat down infront of the computer instead of packing it up and going home.
And now here I am…
I never learn; my laptop is always slow; I should have stopped it, taken it home, and continued there where I could sleep while it pootled away.
Stupid pile of crap, and the laptop's just as bad; but maybe that's just my low self–esteem talking…

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