Giant babies kill the floppy disk

And rocket-powered cars

The big news of this week was the release of Vista to the general populus. The operating system was supposed to hit the streets with a bang, but not everyone was caught up in the 'wow':

It was once within the wit of man to tell the story of King Kong in a mere 90 minutes - it now takes three hours. And so, Mr Gates says of Vista, "the ribbon interface would give more power to people to create 21st Century documents." No doubt the meaning moved from one person to another will remain essentially the same but Vista will ensure it takes more resources in energy, time and machine cycles to convey it. And this is a good thing. Infobloat is thus raised to the status of fetish, with Microsoft its most industrious servant. Say no more.

Steve Patient

And on the subject of things that go bang, Vanishing Point, the Microsoft puzzle challenge which offers the winner a trip into space, is over and one lucky person due to be selected. Lucky? With Microsoft in the driving seat?.

knowing how microsoft likes to rush things out in an unfiinished state, does the microsoft prize state the winner will be *returned* from space? :)

So while Microsoft sends a geek to space in a rocket, we reported that Richard Hammond's rocket-powered car crash was one of the leading videos on YouTube, the site that's considering sharing ad revenue with its contributors....except the car wasn't rocket-powered:

Its not a rocket, its a jet engine. The difference is BIG. A rocket has all of the fuel and oxidiser onboard, wheras a jet engine doesn't, also a rocket just throws mass out of one end where as a jet draws air compresses it and explodes it through a turbine, which maintains the compression stage of the reaction, although there are jet engines which don't require a turbine the one in question did. The key point is, that a rocket car generally ends in misery, jet cars are far more stable well apart from when a tyre explodes. Check for more information.

In a week when things seemed to be taking off, PC World crashed the hopes of the dear old floppy disk by announcing its imminent death. So, what to do with leftover stock?

Turn them into a fleet of Starship Enterprises!

Here's what we need to do with all those floppies...

We all* remember the film "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", perhaps most famous for the dress that the costume designer Lizzy Gardiner wore to the Academy Awards made of some 250 or so gold Amex cards. Clearly she needs to do a follow-up in 3.5in floppies. For mass sale by Target or similar.

cheers, Tom *Well, all of us from Australia, anyway.

That, or buy up all the remaining stock.

Death to floppies??

What about us people who have these wonderous things called sata raid? We need our floppies to load the drivers! buy! buy! buy! while you have the chance!


I'm all for the death of floppies... just so long as Microsoft is with me. The last time I built a PC while installing Windows XP it REQUIRED me to create a driver floppy for my RAID HD controller just to install the OS. There were no other options. No USB stick. No insert a driver CD. Not even access a shared network drive. It would ONLY take a floppy. How's that for 'modern' technology from MS? While I sure hope Vista has gotten over that stepping stone, I'm not sure how much good that'll do me as I won't touch Vista with a ten fool pole until at least after SP1. That's a long time still to go with floppies required. Yet I can run Knoppix completely off of a CD. Hmm...

Sincerely, Arah Leonard

The Dutch Joker who nabbed himself an ID card while dressed as Batman's nemesis, visited London this week. But it's not just a matter of clowning around:


The story about the clown ID looks funny on the surface, and it does highlight some issues behind ID cars, but it seems that you may have missed one very important point by mentioning it only in passing: the man was forced to surrender his ID at schipol airport. Am I the only one that read that and wondered just what the hell is actually *right* about that? One of the presumptions of an ID card is that it purports to identify you. By this nature it eventualy becomes the _only_ reliable means to identify you, and consequently you are only identified if you are carrying your ID. If the government can take your ID from you at any time they please then they are effectively capable of making you, as Orwell put it, an "un person". In an ID_based society a man without his ID card will be prevented from taking part in every-day life.

Now, given that our government are so hell-bent on foisting ID cards on us, should we assume that they are also quite keen to take them away from people who aren't behaving the way they want? It might sound obvious, but if you think about it this is the single best way to suppress people who aren't toeing the party line. The implied threat behind an ID card is the ability for the government to take it away, and hence effectively render you unidentified and unidentifiable. Perhaps the realisation of this threat might give flagging campaigners an extra incentive to see this ID travesty stopped once and for all. One would hope they didn't need it, but the government seems to be pressing ahead regardless.

Graham Dawson

And thanks to reader Alaric who sent his own ID card photo, complete with headdress all the way from Mongolia:


I have an even better identity picture - for work, everytime I have to get it out for security it makes them laugh.

The hat was necessary, as the picture was taken while in Mongolia and despite the sun it was minus 5

Cheers Alaric

NB - probably only one animal was hurt during the making of this hat.

Other animals were in the spotlight this week, as a Royal Society report suggested that wolves be reintroduced into the Scottish Highlands to contain rising deer numbers. This generated a lot of huff and puff...over nothing, you say:


Too many deer in Scotland? Hells-bells sounds like more deer than salmon ... hehe. Damnation you'd think the Scots woulda' got tired of hagis and gone on to venison steaks ! All it takes is a 30-30 and a couple kids to kick-the-brush.

Well sure, re-intro the wolves, feed them on local PETA_people thus preserving the sheep.


ray hartman JAX Fl. USA ****************

"80 per cent of sheep deaths in the Highlands of Spain are the result of wolves."

That is just not very true. Using some handwaving, it's something like 98% of deaths are due to butchers, the remaining 1-and-a-bit% being made up of accidents, disease, wolves, and old age (for pet sheep). Given the wolf's penchant for eating weaker sheep (call it lazyness), the chance of death-by-disease goes down as well as the costs of veterinary intervention.

On top of that, any dog killing sheep (many recorded instances, whether feral or domestic dogs) is claimed to be a wolf, as then compensation is received for the loss --- wolf populations as estimated by farmers' compensation or by biologists are wildly different. Likewise the wolf will eat carrion sheep, that get turned into `wolfkill' statistics.

See also the kerfuffle in Belgium two summers ago, when a `wolf' killed several sheep --- bleeding heart dog owners were astonished a nice doggy might have done it. The fact that the kills were for fun (as sheep were hardly eaten) was a giveaway though.

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