Saturday, 29 April 2017

Find a problem, report it: get prosecuted!

Last year, Mats Järlström was fined $500 for revealing troubling flaws in the mathematical formula used to govern the timing of US traffic lights.

Järlström, a Swedish electronics engineer who has lived in America for more than two decades, realized there was a design fault in traffic systems after his wife got a ticket from an automated traffic camera in Beaverton, Oregon.

However, for communicating his findings in five emails, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying in March, 2015 opened an investigation. In August 2016, the rules body found that Järlström had engaged in unlicensed engineering and assessed a $500 fine.

Järlström paid the fine but fears his ongoing interest in traffic light timing will lead to further penalties. Violating the Act could subject him to $1,000 in civil penalties, $6,250 in criminal fines, and as much as a year in jail.

A spokesperson for Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying said, "At this time we are not providing comment on the current open litigation."

Friday, 28 April 2017

"Moby Dick" Brough Superior going on sale next month for £600,000!

One of the most valuable motorcycles in the world is going to auction in Italy next month and it’s being estimated by the auction house to sell for nearly £600,000.

The Brough Superior SS100, nicknamed ‘Moby Dick’ by Motor Cycling magazine in 1931 was known as: “The fastest privately owned machine in the world,” at that time. During that motorcycle magazine test in 1931, Moby Dick was timed at 106mph, with further tuning of the 1,142cc v-twin engine later raising that figure to 115mph in top (third) gear.

The bike was sold by Bonhams for £210,500 in 2011 making it one of the top ten most valuable motorcycles ever sold. This time around auctioneer RM-Sothebys says that it expects the bike to sell for between 500,000 and 700,000 Euro (£579,000).

Moby Dick is one of five Brough Superiors headed for RM-Sothebys’ Villa Erba sale on May 27, with all of them expected to fetch more than £100,000.

Apple fanbois are officially sheeple! Offended? Blame Merriam-Webster...

Apple fanbois are officially sheeple. So says American dictionary Merriam-Webster.

The American lexicologists added the term of endearment to their tome yesterday, a mere 72 years after its first recorded use in the English language.

Helpfully, and entirely non-inflammatorily, Merriam-Webster's people gave two examples of "sheeple" being used in a sentence. The first was a fairly neutral example of a farmer being rude to his neighbours. The second... well, here it is for your amusement/enragement (delete as appropriate):

Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone – an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mexican bank intervenes after woman, 116, deemed 'too old' for card

Born at the turn of the past century, Maria Félix is old enough to remember the Mexican Revolution – but too old to get the bank card needed to collect her monthly 1,200 pesos ($63) welfare payment. Félix turns 117 in July, according to her birth certificate, which local authorities recognise as authentic. That would put her in the ranks of the world’s oldest living people.

She went three months without state support for poor elderly Mexicans after she was turned away from a branch of Citibanamex in the city of Guadalajara for being too old, said Miguel Castro, development secretary for the state of Jalisco. Welfare beneficiaries now need individual bank accounts because of new transparency rules, Castro said.

They told me the limit was 110 years,” Félix said with a smile in the plant-filled courtyard of her small house in Guadalajara.

Félix, who sells candies from a stand outside her home, got by on her modest sales but was delighted when Castro became aware of her case, delivering a cheque and an apology to her in person. “Sooner or later, God provides,” said Felix, waving a hand. “Here I am.“

In an emailed statement, Citibanamex, a unit of Citigroup Inc, said Félix’s age exceeded the “calibration limits” of its system and it was working to get her the bank card as soon as possible. It said it was adjusting its systems to avoid a repeat of the situation.

Upcycle 2017: Street Pastors cycling Northern Ireland!

Upcycle 2017: Join in with Les Isaac, Street Pastors and fellow friends and supporters of Ascension Trust as we get on our bikes and cycle across the miles in Northern Ireland over three days to raise funds to help meet the practical needs of local communities.
Funds raised will help increase our impact in communities by increasing the safety we provide in and around our schools, colleges, night life, railways and national emergencies.
Event dates: 28-April-2017 to 30-April-2017

Help us to raise £10,000 which will help to:
Increase the number of volunteers we train as Street, School, College, Prayer, Rail and Response Pastors
Increase our partnerships with churches, the Police, local authorities and the night-time economy for the benefit of public safety
Further develop and implement practical and effective strategies to transform lives

Alien: Covenant. Prologue: The Crossing

The Crossing, an official prologue short to Alien: Covenant, reveals what happened to crew members Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the synthetic David after the events of Prometheus. Set aboard an abandoned Engineer vessel, Dr. Shaw repairs David as they continue their search for humanity’s creators. 

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

See Alien: Covenant in Theaters - 19th May 2017

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Advance Notification! Beer Day Britain: June 15th

What is Beer Day Britain?
Beer Day Britain is the UK’s annual national beer day when people celebrate the
national drink.

What is the purpose of Beer Day Britain?
• To encourage people to drink beer and join the national party.
• To raise the profile of beer as Britain's national drink and increase beer sales.
• To celebrate Britain's amazing brewing scene and heritage in spreading the
love and knowledge of beer around the world.

Why June 15th?
Beer Day Britain is the UK’s national beer day and it happens on June 15th. This date
is significant because it is also the date that Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Ale is
mentioned in Magna Carta. Clause 35 of the great charter stated:
'Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single
measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely the London quarter’.
Having the Magna Carta connection with Beer Day Britain makes people appreciate
that for centuries ale has played a central role in this country.