The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.


[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

17,285 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Fun was my first name this weekend and the little video proofs what I mean. Within the first 200 yards of the participants walking of, this is people from three villages, half of who had never contact or talked to each other, were chatting and having a great time hurtling this rubber ball down a lane.

    There are also some pictures on the local website
    We shall soon have another chukka.

  2. Nevermind, Squonk…

    The link to your fun day isn’t working at my end …it works after copy paste to google though…cheers looks like fun…:)

    Kool experiment by the way….:)

  3. Brian, The link works fine for me if I copy and paste it. I could make it clickable if nevermind wants me to.

    Nevermind, looks like you all had fun!

  4. Having encouraged, funded and supplied the rabble rebels in Syria, Hague and Co are now arresting them returning and also heading out. They now have the heebygeebees that it is all going to come home to these shores.

    20 January 2014 Last updated at 17:51
    Man arrested over terror offences Breaking news
    Man, 21, arrested at Stansted Airport in UK on suspicion of terrorism offences

    More to follow.

  5. Mary…Syria

    You could not make it up….. So at last we have the evil shits admitting Assad is Fighting Mostly non Syrian terrrorists….Supported, and armed by the west… Same as they did in Libya…. Heartbreaking War Crimes…. i wonder when Monbiot or Some Such dude will put up a bounty on Cameron, Cleg ….Sickening bunch.

  6. Awesome, AA. I would ask for the tech know-how but it would be wasted on me. 🙂

    Cheers BrianFujisan.

  7. Ben,

    WordPress will strip the embed codes for ordinary commentators by default, otherwise you would just use the standard embed code for the video provided by Youtube. It doesn’t strip the codes when I edit them in fortunately. I’m sure I could change it to allow all users to embed video. I’ll investigate.

  8. Squonk, I have reservations about you changing WordPress to permit embedding. The confounded Adobe Flash Player is notoriously exploitable by use of crafted videos, and permitting any commenter to embed means that any commenter could embed a malicious video.

    I know, there are only a few of us authorised to comment here, but still…

  9. BrianFujisan, Jan 20, 10:26 pm:

    “So at last we have the evil shits admitting Assad is Fighting Mostly non Syrian terrrorists…”

    Got any links for that please?

    What an admission. Must be because Mary linked to the Twiggy Garcia story: Bliar said “what about Syria?” and suddenly the whole world realised that we must be being lied to.

  10. Clark, I can do it using WordPress “shortcodes” which would limit the source. For example a youtube shortcode would only allow a youtube hosted video to be specified.

    I wasn’t planning on allowing everyone to have full use of embed and iframe. I’m not that daft. 🙂

  11. When I ask Google to find “” it invariably gives me “squonk. org” and “Did you mean”

    No, I meant “ ” , and I have this problem with my keyboard rearranging itself without warning. And I can’t count beyond potato. Thank you so much for your help, Google.

  12. “I have this problem with my keyboard rearranging itself without warning. And I can’t count beyond potato.”

    My problem is a little different. I’m now on a Mac and all was going fine – initially. I put in the pop and smtp settings for my mail. I could send and receive. Great.

    Now – although I’ve changed nothing – haven’t gone near the settings – suddenly I can only receive. I can’t ‘send’ on any of my addresses. Grrrrr!

    Forgot to say Happy New Year all! on CMs blog.

  13. Disregarding the fact that the US has killed, shredded and burnt over a million humans with brown skin over the past two decades, and continues to do so, Caroline Kennedy the US Ambassador to Japan is correct to draw attention to this barbarity. The dolphins are our friends and are fellow mammals although all cruelty to any animal is wrong.

    It is not a one off slaughter. It goes on for six months dependent on weather.

    See The Cove

    and please sign the petition

  14. Dreoilin, I’ve successfully installed Ubuntu GNU/Linux on a MacBook Pro or some such. In case you get really stuck.

    Seconded and amplified:

    Mac OS = ExpensiveBSD which deprives the users’ of freedom!

  15. I’ve just installed Kali on a pendrive…among many other tricks, it’s blindingly fast (xfce). Based on Debian.

  16. “Dreoilin, I’ve successfully installed Ubuntu GNU/Linux on a MacBook Pro or some such. In case you get really stuck.”

    Yes, thanks Clark. I did tell you in the past that I was going to use Ubuntu. But I got into terrible tangles and knots with my laptop after getting a virus (Windows) and being advised to reformat the hard drive and do a reinstall to be sure I was ‘clean’. I had to reinstall XP as I didn’t have enough RAM to install anything higher. Only then I found that I couldn’t update security patches because MS weren’t bothering to facilitate. A terrible mess. Then I was bought a new Mac for Christmas.

    I know I can boot Ubuntu from a disk. I’ll set about getting one from my son, something I had planned to do before!

    BTW, Komodo, thanks again. I didn’t get all the info I needed from that link but it set me on the right path. I ended up having to sort out SSL and ports and stuff, but now my email is working! Phew!

  17. Dreo – if you can stuff XP into your system, you can probably get Linux Mint 14 in. I have it dual booted with an older Ubuntu on a 6-year-old desktop with 4Gb RAM – it will work fine on 2. Fairly stable, and (I’m guessing) the ‘xcfce’ desktop is best. ( I’ve got the KDE variant and it’s annoying.) Latest is Mint 16, but earlier is better. Though not too early or you will have a version of Firefox that gmail turns up its nose at. Alternatively, Ubuntu ‘Q…’ is on long term support I believe, but Clark will know.

  18. I tend to favour Puppy Linux. I do most of my PC stuff on two almost 9 year old laptops with 768 MB memory which are effectively unusable now under Windows. Puppy Linux can boot from flash, CD/DVD or be installed on the hard drive to share with Windows.

    I use Firefox nightly and Google Chrome browsers mainly on Puppy so they are bang up to date. Chrome browser on Linux also includes the latest version of Flash built in for security reasons.

  19. I find that Ubuntu 10.04 (2010) runs fine in 500 meg of RAM. Ubuntu 12.04 (2012) seems to need a gig on some systems.

    Ubuntu is going a bit commercial these days under pressure from Canonical, the company that backs it. I’m moving more towards Debian. Canonical now have ties with Amazon that I’m not too keen on. Try searching on ‘Ubuntu spyware’. It’s nothing like as serious as the problems with proprietary software, but heading in the wrong direction nonetheless.

    Puppy is a lovely little project, though I haven’t tried it since version 4. The freedom of Free Software leads to so much evolution that no one less than an utter obsessive could possibly keep up with all the different distributions. I’d never even heard of Ubuntu Q.

    Dreoilin, grief, what a lot of fuss Windows got you into! You may as well have installed a GNU/Linux system when the hard disk was formatted; ideal time to do it in fact. I just wish the commercial vendors would properly inform their customers of the available options.

    You could still install Debian or Ubuntu on that poor old laptop and keep it as a spare. I bet if you did it’d run faster than your brand new Mac!

  20. The good thing about Puppy Linux is it comes in multiple flavours. The bad thing about Puppy Linux is that it comes in multiple flavours and newbies have no idea which one to install!

    I use the Ubuntu binary based Puppys. My older installation is based on Ubuntu 12..0.4 (Precise Pangolin) and my newer installation is based on Ubuntu 13.0.4 (Raring Ringtail). Both run fine in 768MB RAM

    The squonk server runs Amazon Linux which is based on Red Hat/Centos so it is not as if I have a particular Ubuntu bias.

  21. Mary

    Re The Cove… i seen the documentary a couple of years ago…. with a teary eye… all those intelligent, magnificent Mammals, Knowing whats happening to their family members…. they try to say its a longstanding tradition…but i believe it all started in 1968/9. hard to watch.

  22. I end up using Ubuntu on modern laptops to overcome the lack of Free Software drivers for very recent hardware, or because I’m installing with a limited Internet connection (like up in the wilds of Scotland), and an Ubuntu CD provides an installation source for a complete system.

    I’m now used to the Debian software package management system, so I stick to Debian and its derivatives such as Ubuntu.

  23. AlcAnon Speaking of puppies, may we have a recent photo of the real puppy. Hope is well and growing.

  24. Mary, yes he is very well and growing up nicely. I’ll get another pic without his owner in shot and put it up next time I am there. I was there last night so probably won’t see him for another couple of days.

  25. “Dreoilin, grief, what a lot of fuss Windows got you into!”

    Head wrecking. And after I reinstalled XP, every time I went to Windows Update, the CPU shot up to 100% and stayed there. Flatlined. So I couldn’t do anything else! (But no patches were installing.)

    “You could still install Debian or Ubuntu on that poor old laptop and keep it as a spare. I bet if you did it’d run faster than your brand new Mac!”

    Yes, of course! Now why didn’t I think of that?
    *kicks self*

    By the way, I’ve just come across this, re Syria Chemical Attack:

    (not familiar with the site)

  26. Dreoilin, I’ve seen a lot of problems with Windows Update on XP over the last year or so. I’m pretty certain that Microsoft want rid of XP, and I suspect they’re starting to introduce problems via Windows Update to ‘persuade’ users to replace their computers. iPhone updates are well known for doing this; Microsoft just seem to be a bit less blatant about it.

    Thanks for the link; I’m reading it now.

  27. Komodo,

    It does the same for me. But I also notice Google offers to translate the Latin in the home-page by default. Google voice input can now handle Latin as well but only “Church Latin” pronunciation. Google must be bigger in the Vatican than I would otherwise suspect 🙂

  28. Hullo Squonk

    I’m on windows…is there anything one can do for safety measures…i’m so un techy in these matters…also if what Clark suggests is true, are they already stirring up trouble for users…i find often that youtube is slow, runs fine other times…drive ya mad…

    On a completely separate Note….
    EVERY TIME i read of the horrors going on in Syria, … I scream inside, and my blood boils…i was going over Walid al-Moallem’s Speech at G2…I posted a section over on Craig’s thread….

    Sometimes i feel the need to escape to some of the very beautiful things…Graceful and peaceful things humans are capable of ..if i may, i will share one such example…
    Check out the stunning concentration, and VERY Steady Hand, of Japanese artist Miyoko Shida

  29. BrianFujisan,

    1) Install Firefox as your browser if you haven’t done so already.
    2) Install an AdBlock extension into Firefox – AdBlock Plus, AdBlock Edge, or one of the others. You install these from Firefox’s “Tools” menu; click on “Add-ons”, and then search on “adblock”. A large proportion of malware comes via badly secured advertisement servers.
    3) Install the NoScript Javascript blocking extension into Firefox. Most exploits operate through “active content” such as Adobe Flash video or Java Applets, and all active content is initiated by Javascript.
    4) Next time I’m in Scotland, stop sitting on the fence and get me to visit you! I’ll install Ubuntu or Debian or something.

    Actions 2 and 3 should cut your exposure to malware down to a small proportion of what it was. Many security hobbyists say they feel more secure with NoScript but no anti-virus software than vice-versa.

  30. The trouble with NoScript is that you have to learn to use it. It blocks all Javascript on a page. But some pages need Javascript, so a menu system lets you enable Javascript selectively.

    For instance, this page works fine without Javascript – that’s because our Squonk is a conscientious web master who doesn’t use Javascript where it isn’t needed. But the facility that lets you edit your own recently posted comment does need Javascript; you need to enable scripts from and The embedded videos on this page also need Javascript.

    This may sound a bit complicated, but you soon get used to it. Your browser will run faster because it isn’t interpreting a load of unnecessary scripts. And it’s educational; you find that the more commercial the site, the more sources of Javascript it includes.

  31. Brian,

    Youtube uses Flash and Flash is “flakey” to put it at its best. Therefore crap flash performance doesn’t tell you anything.

  32. Clark, Squonk… Many thanks guys…

    will get onto that tomorrow…. cos of my hearing …youtube is my thing…with headphones…. 100 meter range, cordless off course…round my garden, under stars… wen clouds allow.

    P.s Clark’re ticking off noted… and agreed… And thanks…meet up sounds good…:)

    i would like to suggest a big Doune the hole get to gether

  33. Right click a youtube video and then click “stats for nerd”. Look at the “dropped” count. If it is in the thousands then your PC and/or graphics ( or poor network connection) driver is not up to the job.

  34. Virginmedia…basic package…. i need to fone them fkers …been a lot of complaints from this area….

    Cheers again… and thank you Alcanon for a refuge…as it were. 🙂

  35. About 30% of Internet connected PCs currently run Windows XP

    That must amount to hundreds of millions of computers. And that’s precisely why Microsoft wants to cripple XP.

  36. Clark Ubuntu “Q”…sorry, being lazy and couldn’t remember the issue number, used the initial of the silly animal name. 12.04, I think. The last Ubuntu I used before switching to Mint was 10.10; rock-solid. Agree, Ubuntu’s getting porky and commercial and offensive to terminal-lovers!
    The little Linpus/xfce setup on early Acer 1 Aspire netbooks was extremely good in minimal space – same concept as Puppy. Don’t know if that was maintained/developed further, though.

    Microsucks will be maintaining limited support for XP ATM’s for five years, for the rest it’s “f*** off and buy” (our latest garbage on which none of your old programs will run)

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