From: Big Les Wade on
Mike P <stripeytabby(a)> posted
>On 31 Mar, 09:59, Adrian <toomany2...(a)> wrote:
>> "Ophelia" <Ophe...(a)> gurgled happily, sounding much like
>> they were saying:
>> > Dear G*d!!! �And still they expect us to trust them:( --
>> More worrying still - many people DO, implicitly.
>I am aware it's a serious security breach, but what exactly can the
>data on this memory stick be used for. A bit of ID fraud perhaps, but
>I don't see what other dangers it poses. Am I just being naive?

No, you're right, it doesn't pose any danger. However, it does include
data that people might reasonably want to keep secret, for example that
they are so poor that their children get free dinners. As I said,
schools are required to keep that information confidential.

>example, I can't see what a paedophile could do with it.... kids are
>everywhere, so having a list of them is neither here nor there AFAICT..

You and I know that. But the "Paedos Are Everywhere And It Would Be
Awful If We Let Them Know The Children's Names" excuse is so widely used
by the authorities against the public, that it is nice to be able to
turn the tables for once.

Criticising the government is not illegal, but often on investigation turns out
to be linked to serious offences.
From: Cynic on
On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 12:45:34 +0000 (UTC), boltar2003(a)

>>>I'm not an expert on cameras but I have seen a laser damage one.
>>It must have been something with a bit more oomph than the normal <5mW
>No , was a pointer. I dunno , perhaps he was mistaken in thinking the camera
>was bust. *shrug*
>>Most film cameras may be pointed at the Sun because the mechanism is
>>such that until you operate the shutter, the image is not focussed
>>onto anything opaque, and the shutter is only open for a fraction of a
>>second when you do operate it. A CCD camera is a different thing
>>altogether, because there is no shutter and so the image is
>>continuously focussed onto the CCD while the lens cap is off.
>So in other words all we need is a sunny day and a good mirror and its
>bye bye CCTV camera ;)

Yes, if you mount a largish mirror ridgedly so that the CCTV camera
ends up "looking" at the Sun.


From: Albert T Cone on
boltar2003(a) wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 19:15:46 +0100
> Cynic <cynic_999(a)> wrote:
>> What do you mean *even* the Sun? Try the following: 1) focus a laser
>> beam from a laser pointer onto the back of your hand using a large
>> magnifying glass. 2) Focus the Sun onto the back of your hand using a
>> magnifying glass.
>> You will soon discover why it does so much damage to point a camera at
>> the Sun while the average laser pointer will do no lasting damage at
>> all (though it may well interfere with the exposure system of the
>> camera and render the image unusablewhile it is pointed at the
>> camera).
> I'm not an expert on cameras but I have seen a laser damage one. And the
> sun can't be a complete death zone for cameras or no one would ever be able
> to take photos with it in.

Most cameras will be absolutely fine. Pocket cameras have such small
lenses that the total collected light is small and the focussed spot is
large, so the energy density is low.
SLRs with large lenses are potentially at risk, because they may have
large aperture lenses, so lots of collected light and a small focal spot
and high potential energy density. However, in normal operation they
also have a physical shutter, so the sensor is only exposed for a short
period. The risk of damage occurs if you set them to have a long
exposure *and* point them at the mid-day sun, although why you should do
that, I have no idea.
There is more risk of you damaging your retina by looking through the
viewfinder of an SLR pointed at the sun...
From: Ian on

"Cynic" <cynic_999(a)> wrote in message
> On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 16:49:02 +0000, "steve robinson"
> <steve(a)> wrote:
>>Products (some running into millions of items ) all accessable
>>a few seconds
> A few *seconds* ?
> See if you can time how quickly the till at your local supermarket
> is
> able to index a central database containing at least hundreds of
> thousands of items and extract the description and price of an item
> from its barcode number. I'm pretty certain that you will not
> notice
> any discernable delay between the beep of the scanner and the item
> description and price appearing on the till display.
> If it took as long as a few seconds the supermarket queues would be
> miles long!
I wouldn't trust a supermarket computer any further than I could throw
John Prescott.

In front of me is a shelf label I purloined from Sainsburys a month
ago. It says:


fruit bowl yogurt flakes raisin 5 x 30g


�11.06 per kg


Every week we go and buy a pack

Every week we refuse to pay �1.99 for them, and offer �1.66

Every week we get them for �1.66.

Sainsburys were told of this a month ago (verbally, to customer
service desk)
And again 3 weeks ago (to a "manager", whose action was to scribble
through the figures "�11.06 per kg"
And again 2 weeks ago, written in the Complaints Book (together with
the information that the shelf label would be passed to whatever
Trading Standards call themselves these days).

Trading Standards have been informed.
The local newspaper has been informed (there have been no slow news
days recently.....)

It's STILL mathematical nonsense.


if long gets broke, try and then enter "
fruit bowl yogurt flakes raisin " in the search box

The price of 150g multipack is somewhat higher than 5 individual packs
as well..... whaat's the idea there?

From: Ian on

"Adrian" <toomany2cvs(a)> wrote in message
> Phil Stovell <phil(a)> gurgled happily, sounding
> much
> like they were saying:
>>> Trivial, although Phil's suggested method is completely wrong.
>>> Just
>>> store the raw data, then perform whatever queries you wish at a
>>> later
>>> date.
>> Well, I was thinking of sort/merge and cobol!
> Cobol? Tha don't know tha's born. When ah were a lad, all we 'ad
> were
> Fortran, and a lump o'coal once a month.

dBase III+

With no Clipper.