This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Non emergency 999

Isn't that the number for the local police station - you know, the one that's in the phone book?

Who are these idiots?

The Hootsman would have us believe that the general public are too stupid to look at a phone book... How do people survive in this world if they're phoning 999 to report something that isn't an immediate threat to life or limb? Calling the local police station to report someone trying to nick a bike is a hell of a lot more sensible than calling 999... I would like to have a bit more faith in folk having some common sense, but time after time, I end up being bitterly disappointed.

As for the people who dial 999 to ask the time, ask to get driven home, and all other nonsense... Can we shoot them?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry fucking Christmas

Like the subject says. Merry fucking Christmas to you all...

But not to this boy's mother - it's the comments on the Hootsman article that makes it worth reading.

Anyway, I am about to switch from coffee to booze for the rest of the day. The emergency single malt supply might just be cracked open in a wee while too. Nobody in the house except myself drinks the stuff. Oh dear, a whole bottle to myself. What a shame.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Edinburgh Trams are crap...

...a 111 year old clock agrees, and has taken a stand.

The Edinburgh Evening Hootsman reports that the old clock at the top of Leith Walk has called time on this tram nonsense which is fouling up our fair city.

Sadly, the resistance mounted by the grand old clock is likely to be overcome next month as measures have been taken to avoid damaging the cast iron column that is causing the bother.

Tell me again why we allow Edinburgh Cuntcil to vandalise the city in this way?

Political tampering with the IPCC report...

Viscount Monckton, a contributor to the IPCC reports on climate change, has made a press release saying how unsatisfied he is with the tampering of the report, and pseudo-science contained within. He claims the House of Lords have held two detailed investigations on the IPCC claims, and in both, found them to be wanting. As I have mentioned previously, Monckton of Brenchley is no stranger to scientific argument regarding global warming (or should that be climate change?) arguments.

"The bureaucrats had multiplied the effect of melting ice from the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets by 10."

How can they possibly justify that? Monckton claims the "error" was corrected silently, but worryingly, nobody else noticed...

"So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1 percent, not 20 percent. The IPCC has exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold."

He mentions the lack of the Stefan-Boltzmann law from the 2007 report. This is a fundamental law in climate science, indeed, I used it at University when studying a couple of courses in the climate. Practicality's Blog covers this too.

"For half a century we have been measuring the temperature in the upper atmosphere - and it has been changing no faster than at the surface. The IPCC knows this, too. So it merely declares that its computer predictions are right and the real-world measurements are wrong."

And there was me thinking that observations in science were held as being pretty close to being absolute proof... Unless, of course, there are things interfering with the observations.

"If we deny them the fossil-fuelled growth we have enjoyed, they will remain poor and, paradoxically, their populations will continue to increase, making the world’s carbon footprint very much larger in the long run."

An interesting parallel is drawn between global warming, and the banning of DDT which was used to control Malaria... DDT was dangerous, but Malaria was even worse - as the recent reversal of this decision shows.

Socialism at its finest - keeping the poor in a state of poverty, and keep them dependant on the government to bail them out...

As reported here, scientists are grumpy about the UN plans for a global tax on carbon.

"What we see unfolding in Bali is one of the major final stepping stones on the road to a complete globalist stranglehold on reducing the living standards of everyone in the industrialized world, and a scheme to prevent the third world from ever lifting itself out of poverty."

The overwhelming message from the letter written to the UN, is this: adapt!

"the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions."

NASA has recently come under fire for being crap - oops, there goes the quality control procedures! My favourite line is in the comments...

"If AGW were a company, this is really all I would need to refuse to invest in it, or sell my stock if I held any. For NASA to be in effect leaving its independent role to endorse a partisan site linked to Gore is quite wrong, and undermines its credibility."

The question is really, how to make other folk realise this?

El Reg reports that the famous climate models aren't really modelling the climate as we know it... Pesky reality, not matching the simulations!

That's the trouble with computer models - as Johnny and I have discussed on many occasions, computers just don't work the way we want them to... If observations are just not up to what the models say they should be - what should we believe? Well, as a scientist, I'd go with the observable every time. And when you consider the funding put into the AGW debate, then suddenly everything becomes clear...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Computer skills are undervalued in business

The BBC reports that a survey conducted by Microsoft found that businesses are undervaluing IT skills... (Well, Microsoft would find that, wouldn't they?)

1. Team working and interpersonal skills
2. Initiative
3. Analysing and problem solving
4. Verbal communication
5. Personal planning and organising
6. Flexibility
7. IT skills

I'd have to say that I think IT skills are important, particularly since I am an IT contractor / consultant, however, if you're illiterate, can't work in a team, solve problems, tie your own shoelaces, then you're pretty fucked, and IT skills are the least of your worries.

I think the feeling that IT skills are undervalued stems from businesses typically seeing IT as only an overhead, and not really a core part of enabling folk to get work done. (Whatever the particular work of the company is...) Too many times IT budgets are slashed, support is cut back, and cheap kludges are thrown in to production which is fine when things work, but when they break how many engineers, sales people, widget makers, traders or whomever find they can't do a damn thing until someone comes along to make it all better? These costs will run in to millions of (wo)man hours, and seriously impacts the profitability of a company, not to mention losing your latest CV, and mp3 collection seriously fucks up your Qi. A lot of this is preventable, if the hard headed spreadsheet managers would listen to the actual support requirements of the people that work in the companies...

A happy medium is required, not lowest common denominator.

But then, I was always going to say that. That, and give me a pay rise.

Of all the things to plagiarise...

I was being very vain, and did a quick google for a domain name which I own.

I found a Powerpoint thing I did a couple of years ago for The TARDIS Project, at The University of Edinburgh.

I found that the next link was to some guy somewhere who had gleefully plundered my carefully crafted (made up in an hour or so) DNS and BIND tutorial.

I wouldn't mind so much, but I am not credited in his thievery, although it's rather obvious since he left my username in one of the slides, the donkey fucker, and also there are several references that I wouldn't expect a Redhat monkey to make...

sjh@mccoy:~$ cat /etc/hosts localhost mccoy baker packages

And here's the domain name I was searching for - at the time I wrote the tutorial I didn't have my company:

Fault tolerance? Through nifty DNS hacks 60 IN A 60 IN A 60 IN A

So, M. A. Agheli, whoever you are, it's polite to at least add a link to the thing you're stealing, or at least, don't make it so fucking obvious.

Friday, December 14, 2007

German ingenuity gone a bit awry...

The Register gleefully reports that a 64 year old German drank an entire litre bottle of vodka when he was told that he could not take the bottle on the plane as hand luggage. (No doubt in case of Terrrrrrirrrrrr).

Sadly, the after-effects were not so hot, and a doctor was called who diagnosed alcohol poisoning...

I would be sorely tempted to do that sort of thing myself with a fine bottle of single malt, since one really doesn't want one's fine whisky being thrown about in the hold...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Heavenly Pizzas - Uncommonly good customer care...

Imagine my surprise to receive a telephone call all the way from Aberdeen. Mr James Cummings, MD of Heavenly Pizzas read my blog post and called me about the issues I had posted about.

Clearly I was surprised that someone had (a) found my blog (b) read it and (c) had bothered to get my phone number and call me!

I emailed Mr Cummings, and after a few email volleys, he explained what steps he was taking to ensure that the online ordering system was fixed, and that staff in the Edinburgh branch of Heavenly Pizzas received the appropriate training.

As I said to Mr Cummings, I have continued to use their pizza delivery service because the pizzas are so damn good!

I'd like to make it abundantly clear that I was not asked to make any amendments to my blog post, or to make this one, but because he took the trouble to take customer satisfaction seriously, I felt compelled to make this post. I was so taken aback, since in these modern times most people adopt the "take it or leave it" approach.

So, what had been a not so great experience of Heavenly Pizzas has now been fixed due to them having a boss who cares enough about his business to give things a personal touch, and actually speak to customers, and most importantly, listen to them.

Now, if only the MD of First Scotrail would read my blog...