Colin Watson

Colin Watson

  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    ... especially because that's explicitly listed as an option in the case of learning difficulties, so clearly something they already adjust for in a candidate-specific way in some cases....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    There are adjustments for disabilities. They should really give some more concrete idea of what might be available there, but I'd be surprised if e.g. "I'm deaf and can't handle a satnav as a result, please use the other option...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    MediaWiki and its wiki syntax predate Markdown by a couple of years. It looks somewhat similar because they both came out of the same primordial stew of people trying to figure out ways to write markup with a different trade-off...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    I think it's peat-fuelled power station singular at this point; two were refused permission to continue burning peat and shut down in 2020, and the remaining one (Edenderry) is much of the way through converting to burning biomass instead....
  • Commented on Behind the Ukraine war
    It's a natural thing to do when you're dealing with literary traditions that involve substantial amounts of wordplay (much of which, of course, is easily lost in translation)....
  • Commented on Behind the Ukraine war
    Sadly for the humorous potential, I don't think this one really stands up, because Hebrew has the same business of having one word commonly used for both sky and heaven (שָׁמַיִם, shamayim; the Aramaic word is just a regular sound...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    Oops, the comment parser broke my link. Here's a fixed one: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    The main HoC report that comes to mind regarding social media interference was https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf. About half of it is spent on Facebook et al and so did have US involvement in the form of tech companies, as well as companies...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    My wife has had a cargo trike for many years, and it was useful for me to learn to ride it as well as my usual bike for kid-ferrying purposes. You're right that there are significant differences from riding a...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    My home dialect favours "yous", and I've been trying to consciously restore it to my idiolect in recent years after getting a bit annoyed at just how much I'd adapted the way I speak to living in southern England. I...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    That particular variation is unlikely to have originated with translation from Greek to Latin. The Greek bishop Irenaeus, writing in Greek around the year 180, wrote that the correct text said 666 and speculated that 616 was probably a copying...
  • Commented on Empire Games (and Merchant Princes): the inevitable spoiler thread!
    This was excellent fun, thank you. I think the only question I have is: how much did you cackle gleefully at the point when you realized that you had a great excuse to write a para-time Project Orion battlecruiser attack?...
  • Commented on Empire Games (and Merchant Princes): the inevitable spoiler thread!
    You could translate "Wiedervereinigung" either way, but "reunification" is a fairly conventional term for the process in English-language German history (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_reunification - both terms are used there)....
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Does oral mRNA vaccine delivery make it easier? I believe some of the relevant pharmaceutical companies are already working on that for SARS-CoV-2, and that delivery mechanism would seem a lot more likely to have taken hold by 2070 as...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Compose key systems are absolutely great for this - so much easier to remember. It's a shame they haven't become standard on more OSes....
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Basically all those phonological terms have decent Wikipedia pages, so they're pretty easy to look up. Of course most people speak without really thinking about the physical processes involved. Alveolus just means "cavity", and you have more than your pulmonary...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    In England and Wales? More like first and second class. Grade 1 is "exceptional interest" and grade 2 is "special interest"....
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    The "r" sound is technically an alveolar tap with a palatal offglide, though a lot of people render that consonant more like an English "r". I think it depends on your dialect a bit (there are three major ones, with...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    The claim that the UK government's long-term failure to acknowledge the civil rights of NI nationalists isn't associated with oppression is at best a startling and ahistorical one, and whether you like it or not that's what the insistence on...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Incidentally, actual unionists in actual Northern Ireland don't typically say "Eire". They'll normally say something like "the Republic of Ireland" (which only a small number of pedants will object to - it's in Irish statute law as the "description" of...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    NI already has a pretty stable temperate climate, but you do rather have to like rain. Fianna Fáil put out a white paper a while back proposing a federal Ireland with substantial autonomy for Stormont, basically switching the roles of...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    In fact I grew up in Belfast to mixed Protestant/Catholic parents, and as a result inherited a strong aversion to both sets of hardliners and an inclination to try to find compromise positions - I think it's likely I'm more...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    My first serious summer job (also telephony) had somewhat similar requirements. There's a hell of a lot less code involved in stacks that need six nines of uptime, though! And having to testify to Congress if you miss your requirements...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    One can livepatch quite a few kernel security issues these days; my employer offers that as a service for our Linux distribution. We've had one or two outages internally that ended up being due to a bad livepatch, but on...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Since we're on education: a number of Irish people consider "Eire" to be an impolite way to refer to Ireland in English. The country's constitution says that the name of the country is "Éire" in Irish, or "Ireland" in English....
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    Fianna Fáil (junior confidence-and-supply partner) put out a white paper on how Irish reunification might work a couple of years ago. As far as I remember, it was essentially a proposal for a federal Ireland: keep the North as a...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    It's great schadenfreude, but that incident was from last summer's flooding, not from Harvey. Check the article date....
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