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First £1,000 rail fare in history of British train travel

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 19:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


The first £1,000 fare in the history of Britain’s railways has sparked fresh outrage over the “ludicrously” high cost of train travel.

The latest round of price rises means a first-class “walk-on” return from Newquay in Cornwall to Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland is £1,002. Rail experts say it is the first time since services began in 1825 that passengers have been asked to pay “a grand” for a trip entirely in the UK.

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker said: “It is a very unwelcome landmark and will do nothing to encourage people to travel by train.”

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Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 14:23 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!


You’re given a choice between two gifts: $5 and $1,000. You can choose either, but a bystander will give you $1 million if you choose irrationally. Can you do it?

Hm…. let’s see. Without the $1 million option, the irrational choice would be to pick the lower dollar amount, but if you pick that the bystander offering the million will simply claim that you do that to get the million dollars, making it the rational choice.

So, picking either would trigger a claim that your choice is rational, so you might as well disregard the $1 million offer and make the rational choice and pick the $1000. Eh… wait, that would make the $5 irrational, right?

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  1. Flip a coin.

  2. Answer: mug the guy with the million $.

  3. In the moment you started to think about the alternatives “gift of 5$ or 1000$”, you acted rationally. You made a rational consideration which of both choices is irrational. Therefore -> Sorry, no million dollars for you, regardless of your choice.

    To choose irrational would imply that the act of choosing was done without reasoning. The only chance to get the million $ in my view: To immediately grab one of both gifts, without any thinking.

  4. Vote Republican.

  5. Vote Republican?

  6. That would certainly be irrational, with bonus points for it being a choice not offered in the bet.

  7. Mug both the guy with the million and the guy with the 5 and 1000, buy republican senator a male gigolo, use change to invest in new diving gear and boat to go with it. Take long vacation. Far too rational I fear.

  8. I still like my answer the best of the above.

    Here’s another suggestion: the challenge says “you CAN choose either”, it does not say you MUST choose either. Turn both down. Get $1M.

  9. I’m with spaceman.

  10. You can’t possibly get the million, since the rational choice is to try to get it — as John says in the post! So the best you can do is get the $1000. Any other choice is either stupid — in which case, you win the million — or an attempt at the million — in which case you don’t. So be happy with your $1000 and try to make sure our government doesn’t incentivize underachieving.

  11. Ah! The good old self-reference paradox rephrased!

EU Wants to Re-define “Closed” as “Nearly Open” – Community – ComputerworldUK

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 13:46 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) is an important document produced by the “Interoperable delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens” (IDABC) for the European Union.

Version 1 came out in 2004, and since then battles have raged over how Version 2 would address the issue of “openness”. Judging by a leaked version of the near-final result, it looks like the lobbyists acting on the behalf of closed-source software houses have won.


There are varying degrees of openness.

Specifications, software and software development methods that promote collaboration and the results of which can freely be accessed, reused and shared are considered open and lie at one end of the spectrum while non-documented, proprietary specifications, proprietary software and the reluctance or resistance to reuse solutions, i.e. the “not invented here” syndrome, lie at the other end. The spectrum of approaches that lies between these two extremes can be called the openness continuum.

Got that? “Closed” lies at one end of the *open* spectrum, which conveniently means we can *include* closed solutions in the interoperability framework because they are part of that continuum. Indeed, Version 2 goes on to say:

While there is a correlation between openness and interoperability, it is also true that interoperability can be obtained without openness, for example via homogeneity of the ICT systems, which implies that all partners use, or agree to use, the same solution to implement a European Public Service.

According to this line of thinking, if everyone were forced to use Microsoft Word for document interchange, then that would provide interoperability. Except that it wouldn’t, because interoperability implies at least two *different* things are are operating together: self-interoperability is trivial. Version 2’s “homogeneity” is better described as a monopoly and a monoculture – and the last two decades have taught just how dangerous those are.

It’s not hard to see why some companies might prefer the wording of Version 2. Version 1 specifically says: “The intellectual property – i.e. patents possibly present – of (parts of) the standard is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis.” This would allow alternative implementations from the free software community, which is unable to pay royalties. The current wording, which allows patented, proprietary solutions as part of the “open continuum” would mean that free software could not compete. How convenient.

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  1. Well, is it a surprise? The European Union was formed to advance economical and financial interests. It still does.

Study: Lobbyists are quitting at record pace

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 13:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


Lobbyists are quitting the business at a record pace, according to a study released Monday.

Over 1,400 lobbyists “deregistered” with Congress in the second quarter of 2009, according to a study conducted jointly by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) and OMB Watch.

Typically, only a few hundred lobbyists quit each quarter.

The giant spike in resignations came just after the Obama administration instituted strict new rules on lobbyist activity. The White House banned employees from receiving gifts from lobbyists and announced that any lobbyist hired by the executive branch could not work on the same issues on which he or she lobbied.


But the study’s authors warn that not all of the deregistered lobbyists may actually be out of business.

“At the federal level, many people working in the lobbying industry are not registered lobbyists, instead adopting titles such as ‘senior adviser’ or other executive monikers, thereby avoiding federal disclosure requirements under the Lobbying Disclosure Act,” CRP and OMB Watch said in a statement.

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Arar

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 13:29 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


When the history of the Second Circuit is written, the Arar decision will have a prominent place. It offers all the historical foresight of Dred Scott, in which the Court rallied to the cause of slavery, and all the commitment to constitutional principle of the Slaughter-House Cases, in which the Fourteenth Amendment was eviscerated. The Court that once affirmed that those who torture are the “enemies of all mankind” now tells us that U.S. government officials can torture without worry, because the security of our state might some day depend upon it.

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Vitter Refuses To Own Up To His Enabling Of Rape

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 13:06 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


WOMAN: It meant everything to me that I was able to put the person who attacked me [behind bars]. And what allowed me to do that was our judicial process. I showed up in court every day to make sure that happened.

VITTER: And I’m absolutely supportive of any case like that being prosecuted criminally to the full extent of the law.

WOMAN: But there are rape victims who are being kept silent.

WOMAN: But how can you support a company that tells a rape victim that she does not have the right to defend herself?

VITTER: Ma’am The language in question did not say that in any way shape or form.

WOMAN: But it is unconstitutional to have a law that says a woman does not have a right to defend herself.

VITTER: You realize Mr. Obama was against that amendment and his administration was against that amendment

WOMAN: But I’m not asking Obama. I’m asking you.

VITTER: Do you think he’s in favor in rape?

WOMAN: I’m asking you Senator. What if it was your daughter who was raped? Would you tell her to be quiet and take it? Would you tell your daughter to be silent?

Of course the woman never received an answer to her question, because after totally mischaracterizing the President’s view, Vitter ran like a baby looking for his next diaper change.

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“You Lie” Rep. Joe Wilson Blames Obama for H1N1 Vaccine Shortage!

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 13:03 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) voted against a bill in June which contained special funding to combat H1N1 both domestically and internationally.

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  1. i thinck that virus is all a lie…the actual virus is the vacsine itself…combined with the real flu….makes that so caled lethat H1n1
    Another way of the “NWO” to decimate population…so “they” can “take over the world”
    P.S. lol they say they run short of the vacsine….lol BS Propaganda to make H1N1 popular…aka “terorism”

Doug Holtz-Eakin, Republican adviser, faces personal health insurance woes

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 12:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


If history had taken a different course, Doug Holtz-Eakin would be inside the McCain White House driving the Republican president’s domestic agenda, including health-care reform. But now, one year after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lost the presidential election, the man who was by McCain’s side as the campaign’s top health-care guru remains unemployed — and his COBRA health coverage is running out.

Irony of ironies, it gets worse. Holtz-Eakin, who is about to start shopping for insurance on the individual market, is 51. And he has one of those pesky “preexisting conditions” that insurance companies often cite in denying coverage.

If only we had more tax cuts and deregulation, the free market would correct the problem of people being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

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Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation’s Televisions

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 10:32 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Microsoft


According to an FCC report released Monday, a new $300 million Microsoft ad campaign is responsible for causing televisions all across the country to unexpectedly crash.

The Microsoft ads, which began airing earlier this week, are being blamed for generating critical system errors in more than 70 million televisions. In addition, thousands of frustrated Americans said that the ads have caused their TVs to become unresponsive, their screens to turn blue, and a small box with the message “terminal application error” to suddenly appear.

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Senator Hatch: Healthcare reform bills threaten survival of two-party system

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 8:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


The healthcare reform proposals before Congress threaten the existence of the two-party system, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) alleged Monday morning.

Hatch asserted that the health bills, which he believes represent a “step-by-step approach to socialized medicine,” will lead to Americans’ dependence on Democrats for their health and other issues.

“And if they get there, of course, you’re going to have a very rough time having a two-party system in this country, because almost everybody’s going to say, ‘All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party,’ ” Hatch said during an interview with the conservative CNSNews.com.

“That’s their goal,” Hatch added. “That’s what keeps Democrats in power.”

Senator Orin Hatch wants you to go bankrupt and die, so he and the rest of the Republicans can get elected again.

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Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 6:47 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon




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