* Posts by Wile E. Veteran

230 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Sep 2007


The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

Wile E. Veteran

Tablet vs laptop/desktop

I've seen few "ordinary" people purchase a fondleslab as the tool they intend to do creative work on or as a productivity tool. The majority use theirs to consume content. Fondleslabs exist *primarily* for that purpose. Fondleslabs consume content but _can_ be used for creative/productivity tasks, just not as conveniently. Desktops and laptops, on the other hand, are first and foremost creation/productivity platforms but _can_ consume content, just not as conveniently.

Though the purposes are not in opposition, they are far from the same thing. As long as it provides a convenient and easy way to fulfill its purpose, each platform will succeed in its own space. Artists, musicians and writers have always been only a small percentage of the population and I see nothing in society or evolution that has changed that fact.

The general market doesn't give a shit what's running under the hood, only how convenient to use the UI is. Since the UI on *nix is just another process running on the core, it is only the perceived lack of a convenient and easy UI that keeps "Linux" (per se) off the fondleslab (Android notwithstanding) and that can be remedied by "somebody else" at any time.

Report: US telcos cashing in on data caps and poor competition

Wile E. Veteran

Repeat after me

"Corporations are people"

"Campaign contributions have no effect on policy"

"Pigs fly"

The US has the best government money can buy.

Facebook ditches mobile HTML with native Android app

Wile E. Veteran


I tried one of the FB apps just for grins and giggles. The biggest thing I noted was a marked increase in advertising presented relative to the mobile web version.


Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Wile E. Veteran

Oh, my. What will they think of next?

The illustration from the patent app is a simple parallel resonant circuit. Tunable because of the variable capacitor. Uses an inductor with a core, presumably iron given the frequencies involved. Goes back to Marconi and before.

Magnetic coupling ain't new. That's how a transformer works. "At a distance?" -- depends on the distance. Air-gap transformers are pretty common in a lot of applications, particularly at RF. "Transfer of power?" Any audio or RF device does that. Only the power level varies.

Unless Apple has discovered a new law of physics there is nothing new here. At best it is a development of existing ideas and technology, not a non-obvious invention.

The USPTO is out of control and works only as a shill of the highest-paying entity. Time for major reform.

What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?

Wile E. Veteran
Thumb Up

For us old farts

Ah, Modesty Blaise, how I miss thee and Willie.

Steve Canyon? Terry and the Pirates?

Even in photography, it's generally true a well-crafted black & white photo has more emotional power than a color photo of the same subject.

Microsoft and NYPD install big data crime-fighting system

Wile E. Veteran

Sees everything?

Wouldn't it just be easier to ask Mr. Finch and Mr. Reese to take care of things?

Apple: Samsung was in 'crisis' over our iPhone awesomeness

Wile E. Veteran

What are they smoking?

That must be some powerful drug the Apple folks are on.

Certainly competitors are concerned when someone introduces a new product that upsets their market but this claim is childish, ridiculous and delusional.

I still say my 1997 Palm Pilot Pro does everthing the iWhatever does, just in a cruder, more limited way dictated by the technology available in 1997. Wifi did not exist then, 3G did not exist then, Bluetooth did not exist then, USB did not exist then and capacitive touch screens were prohibitively expensive as were color LCD displays. Now those technologies are ubiquitous and incorporating them in a recent product is a no-brainer.

Microsoft tightens grip on OEM Windows 8 licensing

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Well you are overlooking something

In truth, most people (90+%) dont't give a red rat's ass what OS the laptop/tablet/whatever they are about to buy has. Only a few hobbyists and techies do. Indeed, most don't even know whan an OS is.

People buy computers to perform some particular task or set of tasks. If a particular computer accomplishes that well, that's the one they buy. Technical arughuments fall on deaf ears because they don't understand or, even if they do, don't care.

As far as the "Microsoft tax" goes, most people don't care about that, either. If a particular laptop costs $XXX(X) then that's how much it costs. What individual components (including the OS) cost is of no concern at all, just whether or not the end price fits within what they are willing to pay. Do you care what the software that runs the engine-control computer in your car costs? Do you care what software your digital camera uses or do you only care how well it takes pictures under your picture-taking conditions? Do you care which RTOS (if any) the manufacturer of your refrigerator, washer, dryer, heating and air-conditionong unit or other appliance with an embedded controller chose or do you just care if the appliance works?

To most people, a computer is an appliance, no more.

For the fanbois and linuxtards, I did wipe Windows and install Xubuntu. On the other hand, I am a techie and the tasks I wish to run happen to run much better under *nix/*nux than their Windows or OSX ports. Most people I know, however, are a different story.

I've been a user, developer, BOFH, DBA and lover of Unix and Unix-like systems all the way back to Bell Labs Version 7 Wrote a couple of purpose-specific RTOSs, too.

New version of Chrome can WATCH and LISTEN

Wile E. Veteran

Am I wrong?

I thought Chromium was the Open Source version with all the "call home" stuff in Google Chrome taken out by the Open Source community.

Go Daddy big daddy gone

Wile E. Veteran


Not even going into their tastless, sexis, exploitative advertising methods, I think they're scumbags, period.

I did an "is this domain available" search from my own provider one day but didn't order it right then. The next day it wasn't available. When I checked, I found it was "parked" by Go Daddy and I could have it if and only if I used Go Daddy to register it.

I used a ".net" variation instead of ".com"

Registrars "parking" domains is no different than typosquatting in my book.

Skype denies system upgrade enables in-call spying

Wile E. Veteran
Big Brother


This is the same company that wants to monitor your traffic in order to deliver in-call targeted advertising. Why would giving data to <insert government here> be much different? Either way, you are being profiled.

Google adds handwriting to mobile search site

Wile E. Veteran
Black Helicopters

How long?

How long will it be before Google adds handwriting analysis to their "targeted advertising" profile generators?

Oh, Mr. Smith. I see you are an introvert. May I suggest these celf-help courses to help you overcome your social anxiety? The shakiness of your writing indicates you have trouble communicating even to a computer.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Time to head for the Montana bunker.

Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

Wile E. Veteran

I am holding in my hand...

... an original Palm Pilot from the 1990's. It's rectangular. The corners aren't quite as round as on a fruity tablet but they;re not sharp, either. In woodworking it's called "breaking the arrises." This device has a touch-sensitive screen and uses taps and gestures to enter data and navigate through the system. It can have additional "apps" loaded onto it to perform various functions in addition to the ones provided by the factory. Using two AAA-size disposible batteries it can run for several weeks in normal daily use. It has a backlit screen, too.

A fruity tablet is just an evolution of this device. What has been invented and deemed patent-worthy, exactly? I must have missed it.

"The best government money can buy."

Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Wile E. Veteran

But it's from Google

How much built-in behavioral tracking is there? I mean besides "Now" of course.

Google has proven to be especially untrustworthy in that respect which is one reason the only "tablet" I have is a Nook e-ink reader and I keep the WiFi off. Lots 'n' lots of good reading on Project Gutenberg without needing to access BN, Amazon or Google. I don't watch many movies or TV shows anyway but watching on a 7in screen sounds like a good definition of Hell to me.

Let the downvotes begin.

Comcast makes up with Boxee after cable encryption spat

Wile E. Veteran
Big Brother

Just an excuse to force set-top boxes

Once a set-top box is in place, it is no stretch at all to expect the boxes to report your viewing habits back to the operator allowing yet more "targeted" advertising,

We live in a society world where our every move is tracked for the benefit of the plutocrats who actually own the governments. It's not the "state" that is really interested in tracking people, it's their corporate masters.

George Orwell simply had the date wrong.

Did your iPhone 'just stop working' - or did you drop it in your BEER?

Wile E. Veteran

Yet another Apple patent fraud

Water/temperature/shock sensors have been around for decades, I lot count of the number of times I used Tempil sticks or tape to see if a piece of industrial equipment exceeded a particular temperature. Water detection? Not a problem. I even remember a 1950's water detection device for a homebrew basement-flood alarm consisting of contacts on the inner face of a spring-style clothespin. The clothespin was held open with an aspirin tablet that dissolved shortly after being immersed allowing the clothespin to close and the contacts to touch. Bah!

Too bad modern electronics can't be made like old Textronix scopes and 4010-series graphic display. SOP for something sent to Tek for service was to take the covers off and wash the damned thing with a low-pressure power-washer (like a do-it-yourself car wash). A two-hour bake at a temp in the lower 100's to dry it out and it was easy for the technician to work on it. THAT's waterproof!


Android Firefox: Screaming, awesome, you'll go blind etc

Wile E. Veteran

Re: "Fu** the trackers!"

Statement was generic, not an implication the built-in doesn't do tracking.

I dropped my Android phone for a "feature" phone. Only use the old Android as a FLAC audio player and pocketable ebook reader. via DeaDBeeF and FBReader. (both open-source so no tracking.

Phone turned off? Check.

WiFi turned off? Check.

Keep music & books on SD card? Check

Copy music & epub files from BSD system via SD card? Check.

Do ALL my email & web browsing from a BSD system? Check

Not terribly cooperative I would say.

Wile E. Veteran
Big Brother

Re: Dolphin's great? -Ever read the license?

I installed Dolphin once. When I tried to use it, though, I was presented with a dialog informing me that in using it I was agreeing to run a "background" task which would do behavioral tracking ala' Phorm.

Don't know if it's still that way but I quit immediately and uninstalled it. Fu** the trackers!

Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

Wile E. Veteran
Thumb Down

Re: Google Now

"Google Now learns the user's interests from their search terms as well as their location, and suggests real-time data on things like the daily sports scores and commuting times."

That's a total deal-killer for me. I, too, have a basic privacy instinct.

Gigapixel camera heralds new world of snoopery

Wile E. Veteran
Big Brother

Secret payload revealed?

Now we know what the X37B was testing in orbit,

Mad Apple patent: Cloneware to convince trackers you don't like porn

Wile E. Veteran

How is that different?

Couldn't the same effect be achieved using a shell script running wget?

Put it under a fake user account, create a dummy email address on gmail, hotmail, yahoo or whatever then have it run at random times using a list of "acceptable" web sites.

Whatever happened to "not obvious" in the patent requirements?

Microsoft develops mood-matching ad engine

Wile E. Veteran
Black Helicopters

Be afraid

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Time to head for the bunker.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 'a harmful drug', says Apple in ban bid fail

Wile E. Veteran


If anything, Apple is the dangerous drug:

* It looks appealing

* It is available in many places

* It gives great pleasure when you first take it

* Pleasure decreases with time but one "has to have it" to function normally.

* You always need more but there is only one place to get your app fix

* Once you realize you're addicted it requires a lot of willpower and help to get off it

* The chance of relapse remains very high

Oooh, shiny, shiny, must have shiny.

Android sucks but it's easier to get off of and is not so addicting.

(Watch the fanbois downvote this post)

US military gives NASA two better-than-Hubble telescopes

Wile E. Veteran


Future payloads for the Space-X Falcon Heavy?

Sharp to show OLED 'retina' display for laptops

Wile E. Veteran
Thumb Up

Not general-purpose but...

Sounds like something for the number freaks when used as a general-purpose lappie display but for graphic designers, photo-editors, typographers and so forth, it should be wonderful for an even closer approximation of a properly set printed page.

1 in 6 Windows PCs naked as a jaybird online

Wile E. Veteran

Better questions:

* Why isn't every network modem (cable, DSL or whatever) equipped with a built-in firewall with reasonable defaults for the technically clueless (might be a genius in some other area) but changeable for the techie expert?

* Why doesn't every PC come with an SoC firewall/filter between the network connector and the main system?

* Why don't ISPs include filtering in their own routers between "the internet" and the local addresses?

* Why isn't the OS on the PC more immune against malware?

Oh, wait. We're talking about steps that might add a few dollars to the price of a PC or network service, prevent the "sponsor's" spyware from feeding back behavioral-tracking information and might require the dominant software supplier to put security high in the requirements list as they develop the "next" OS version.

Microsoft forbids class actions in new Windows licence

Wile E. Veteran

Re: How on earth did doing this become legal?

The US Government: the best government money can buy. And did.

Mine's the one with the Beastie doll hanging out of the pocket.

Facebook needs Opera - to rescue it from dependence on Apple

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Why should I care?

Nice to see all the Opera fanbois downvoting my post. Keep at it guys.

Wile E. Veteran

Why should I care?

I don't use Facebook, have tried every major Opera revision and gone back to Firefox every time, I don't use Windows or Linux or Mac OSX.

I am already limited more by network latency and webserver response than I am by local rendering speed and I'm not expecting that to change any time soon.

This is on an old P4M at 1.7 GHz with a chipset that caps out memory at 1GB for crying out loud.

Steve Jobs' death clears way for vibrating Apple tool

Wile E. Veteran

New and innovative technology!

NOT Light pens which figure out position based on the current position of a CRT's electron beam have been around since the dawn of computing. Only thing "new" here is using Bluetooth or equivalent instead of a wire from the pen to the computer. That was probably done long ago, too - I just haven't been around users of such devices for several years.

I wonder how many patents Wacom has on everything else in Apple's laughable patent application?

Vatican in pact with Microsoft to initiate world's youths into Office

Wile E. Veteran

I said good bye and now I know why

I recently left the Catholic church after forty years and 26 years as an ordained deacon. Thank God I left!

FreeBSD may have daemons but it isn't evil.

Motorola Mobility loses to Microsoft in German patent battle

Wile E. Veteran

Breaking up something large is PATENTED?

Omigod, TCP/IP has been patented by M$! Breaking up a large message into smaller bits of a specified length must be covered, right? Therefore packets must be covered, right? M$ OWNS THE INTERNET! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

Mars rover Opportunity spots WALL-E in crater ramble

Wile E. Veteran

Not a Disney/Pixar design!

WALL-E was patterned (strongly) after the "Johnny 5" robot in the earlier film, "Short Circuit." It is not a "Disney/Pixar" design.

I have great respect for the Pixar folks who happily admit their inspirations but none at all for Disney who has been ripping off the public treasury of tales, slapping their name in front of it and promoting it as if it were their own original creation since the 1940's.

Local classical music station ran a program about movies using unattributed classical compositions to make their "own" movie music. Guess which company supplied most of the examples? The melody of "Hi-ho, hi-ho it's off to work we go ...." was written by Mozart. Yes, that Mozart.

Boffins develop nanoscale vacuum tube running at .46 THz

Wile E. Veteran

Nothing to see here, move along.

This page is from several years ago.


Facebook IPO plunge sparks tidal wave of lawsuits

Wile E. Veteran


Typical modern Wall Street scum. Make a bad bet then expect someone else to bail them out.

The stock exchanges are simply casinos for the ultra-rich. For the rest of us, they are a great way to lose our money.

iPad grabs lunch money from mobile PCs, pushes them in the stingers

Wile E. Veteran

Good effect on the market?

Maybe this will depress notebook prices enough I can afford to get a new one to replace this ancient Dell. Of course, it will never even boot M$ Windoze. The FreeBSD install disk will be in the optical drive on the first boot.

Ballmer says 500 MILLION 'users' to 'have' Windows 8 in 2013

Wile E. Veteran

I want some

Some of whatever it is he's smoking, that is. Must be more powerful than LSD!

VIA outs $49 Raspberry Pi-alike

Wile E. Veteran
Thumb Up

Looks like fun

Sill, (Net | Free} BSD si! Android, No!

Don't much care about media capability, especially video, but ability to make a tiny NAS or some amateur-radio-related projects is rather intriguing

Backdoor sniffed in ZTE's US Android smartphones

Wile E. Veteran

Every day

Every day another reason to be glad I dumped my smartphone for a good old feature phone. I'm simply not missing any "apps" since I can still make voice calls (better voice quality than the smartphone), send/receive texts (SMS), send/receive MMS, do email from my IMAP4 accounts, get the weather via the little built-in web browser and use Mobile Twitter. There's enough of a calendar to keep track of my personal appointments, too.

Yeah, there's a camera but I've yet to see a camera on a phone usable for anything more than "Look how wasted I was last night." pictures.

Smartphones - who needs them?

Microsoft to devs: Don't ruin Win 8 launch with crap code

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Marketing is working

I'm in no hurry to buy a new PC. BSD and Linux will be available and easy to get for quite some time to come.

Well, somebody had to say it!

Sony outs 1080p skinny laptops

Wile E. Veteran

Looks like....

Laptops are following the lead of fondleslabs and becoming primarily Media Consumption Devices instead of portable power tools for the creation and maintenance of knowledge, commerce and other societal goods for the benefit of the many instead of the few.

Why do I keep having visions of the old Max Headroom dystopia with TYs everywhere and instant polling (aka behavioral tracking) providing feedback to the corporate masters who really run the world through sham, bought-and-paid-for governments?

Facebook tests paid post promotion

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Remember AOL?

Sure. Not all my friends have saucers or coasters for my tea/coffee cup when I (*shock*) atually visit them. I don't want to mar their furniture..

Wile E. Veteran

Remember AOL?

Anyone remember when AOL was the "cool" place to be and all the corporate types advertised "Find us on AOL?"

Look at AOL now. 'nuff said.

Farcebook faces the same future.

Time wounds all heels.

Mine is the one with the pocket full of AOL CDs I use for coasters.

Wile E. Veteran

Drug dealer approach?

First, the free stuff, followed by the "nominal fee" stuff then the "pay through the nose" stuff you cannot live without ending with Hotel California.

"Monetize" is such an awful word.

Adobe backs down, patches critical Photoshop CS5 hole

Wile E. Veteran

It's time

Time to switch to the GIMP, Scribus and Inkscape instead of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Pay big bucks for crap products over and over again? Not this boy.

Sure wish El Reg had a Gnu icon or a Beastie icon.

Dell puts Sputnik open-source laptop on launch pad

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Why play with penguins...

Yay! The Wacom driver has been fixed. Last time I looked (a couple of months back) it was still marked as "BROKEN" but the current version is fine. Thanks for the tip.

As to Linux, the boot simply goes off into never-never land. No error messages. Same thing under 11.04 and 11.10. Not interested in doing any additional diagnostics

Wile E. Veteran

Why play with penguins...

When you can dance with daemons?

I'm running an old Dell C840 with FreeBSD 9.0 as I type this. No worries with the add-in Broadcom mini-PCI WiFi card since the BSD folks do not have the "problem" with loading proprietary firmware to it, unlike the purists at Debian.

Ran very well with GNOME 2, even better with Fluxbox. I can have more Emacs buffers than you can shake a big stick at, multiple frames on multiple workspaces all while running Firefox and Thunderbird. "Only" a 1.7 GHz P4M and "only" 1 GB of RAM.

Solid as a rock, too.

I also have an old Acer tower with an Athlon64 X2. Xubuntu ran ok when I only had 1 GB RAM in it but will not even boot now that I have 4 GB in it. FreeBSD says, "Oh, goodie! 4 GB!" then boots in no time and blows the doors off my son-in-law's quad-core Win 7 machine with one core behind its back. :-)

Only thing that doesn't work is my Wacom tablet. Xorg driver has not kept pace with the FreeBSD kernel.

Avatar is the closest thing El Reg has to Beastie.

Watch the Linux fanbois downvote this post.

Google KNEW Street View cars were slurping Wi-Fi

Wile E. Veteran

Re: Sure am glad.

ACK! I meant *WPA2* not WEP2. I am so embarrassed. Must have been a brain fart.

Wile E. Veteran
Thumb Down

Sure am glad.

I dumped my Android smartphone for my daughter's old BREW feature phone.

My WiFi is as secure as the embedded firmware will let me make it (WEP2)

I only use Gmail for mailing lists like AUCTeX and ConTeXt.

I only post bland topics of no personal import on G+ Does Google or its advertiser customer base care about Emacs, TeX & friends, the Open Clip Art Library, the Open Fort Library or such?

I only ever put pictures of my cats and a couple of nature photos on Picasa,

Just because I'm paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me. I sure miss the days of UUCP, bang paths and spamless USENET.

Microsoft stuffs $300m into Nook, bolts B&N app to Windows 8

Wile E. Veteran


Buy, embrace and extend. Sure glad I've only bought one ebook for my Nook (an NRSV Bible). Everything else is from Project Gutenberg or PDFs of TeX & friends documentation.

Where the heck is the Beastie icon for us BSD users/fans?

Mine's the one with the LaTeX book in the pocket.