* Posts by Nicholas Ettel

108 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Oct 2007


Microsoft: Oracle will take us back to 1970s hell

Nicholas Ettel


Right, because Microsoft knows nothing about an integrated and proprietary architecture OR denying customer choice.

Open sourcers aim selves at US gov

Nicholas Ettel


I hate to be a pedant (actually, I lie, I love it), but the acronym for Open Source for America is OSFA, not OSA (http://www.opensourceforamerica.org). Normally, not a big deal, but this is a proper noun acronym.

Philips refutes EU LCD cartel charges

Nicholas Ettel

@Captain Hogwash

Actually, I got my definition from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refute

Nicholas Ettel

re*fute -- transitive verb

Main Entry: re·fute

Pronunciation: \ri-ˈfyüt\

Function: transitive verb

1 : to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous

2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of <refuted the allegations>

Dear Captain Hogwash,

I refute your rant. Please see, especially, definition 2 posted above (however, definition 1 also applies to my example). Thanks.

'Overweight' people live longer than those of 'ideal' weight

Nicholas Ettel

Mass vs Weight

@Stuart 2

"BMI assumes that weight is proportional to volume.

Then weight/height^2 is proportional to the radius of a person, i.e. how fat they are."

But weight is NOT proportional to volume - mass is. Mass /= weight. Weight = mass * gravity; and, consequently, my weight in New Orleans is NOT equal to my weight in Denver... which means that my BMI in New Orleans MUST be different than my BMI in Denver. Therefore, the only conclusion is that BMI, not being an absolute measurement, is extremely flawed.

Density = mass / volume;

mass / volume /= mass * gravity / volume

A 6'4" person with 5% body fat weighing 224 lbs WILL NOT have the same density or volume as a 6'4" person with 30% body fat weighing 224 lbs, but they WILL have the same BMI. How does this make any sense whatsoever?

It's really, really irritating when people believe that mass and weight are the same "measurements" but in different units.

Germany poised to impose police-run block list

Nicholas Ettel
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@Grease Monkey

Not to mention that a filtering solution such as this will have very little to absolutely no affect on Tor or other Dark/Shadow nets.

A "solution" such as this only treats the symptoms and not the disease... any medical professional will tell you that this type of solution simply does not work. And the analogy is completely transferrable to this situation.

Gay animals going at it like rabbits

Nicholas Ettel

Fantastic bootnotes

If I had been drinking my coffee at the time of reading, disaster would have surely ensued. Purely fantastic - bravo, Lester.

US lawmakers call for AppleT&T probe

Nicholas Ettel

Subsidized prices and carrier signals

@Robert Hill - You're possibly right, but there's another possibility you're missing: the fundamental rule of price & demand in free market economies. Right now, Apple tell you that the iPhone is worth 600-700 Euros, but they're "nice enough" to sell it to you for a subsidized price that's easier to swallow for the consumer. But, just because Apple tell you the iPhone is worth 600-700 Euros doesn't make it so; in fact, it's actually worth the subsidized price because that's the price at which most people are purchasing them. Now, if subsidies cease, and Apple raise the price to 600-700 Euros how many people are going to buy those iPhones? Certainly not as many as would buy it at the lower, "subsidized" price... but, certainly, some still would because it's an Apple product and namebrands sell. However, I believe it's equally possible for Apple to instead be forced to sell iPhones at the previous subsidized prices due to concurrent lack of demand.

@Brett Brennan 1 - You certainly pointed out an issue between CDMA and GSM carriers, but isn't it possible that it would force manufacturers to produce products with both CDMA AND GSM receivers? AT&T isn't the dominant provider in every market, and I don't think many manufactures would risk losing out on good customer markets because of different carrier signals. Now, it's true that they could manufacture two handsets, one with GSM and one with CDMA, but it would be vastly more cost effective to produce one product with both receivers coming standard. And, in that case, it would only increase competition between all mobile companies as they're no longer fighting only for the hippest, newest product, but for total market share.

Microsoft's Google challenger is not a search engine

Nicholas Ettel


Perhaps, instead of Mr. Chandler Bing, they've named this "decision engine" after the cherry. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to pop Mr. Ballmer's Bing?!

Hackintosh maker files for bankruptcy

Nicholas Ettel

Like the hydra...

Where one clone company falls, two more grow out of its ashes... or close enough anyway. PCMag is reporting that there are two new Mac clone makers, one in the UK and one in Russia: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347470,00.asp.

Debbie Gibson battles Mega Shark and Giant Octopus

Nicholas Ettel


The octopus would definitely not win if the mega shark had a laser, obviously. And if the octopus's tenticles were anacondas, how would it hold the guns AND pull the trigger?

And... seriously... did you just say "octopuses?" That's horrible.

'Della': Dell's very special site for women

Nicholas Ettel
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Let me get this straight: According to Dell a woman only needs a computer to gossip with her friends (email), learn more about cooking and providing the male population with dinner by the time he comes home from work, dieting (because all women are apparently fat), and learning how to be more materialistic... er "posh?"

That's pretty sweet. Who thought up this garbage?

Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'

Nicholas Ettel

Straw Man vs Straw Bear

Seriously... who'd win in a fight between a Straw Man and a Straw Bear... pretty obvious, imo.

Though, perhaps it should be a Straw Bear E.

Sorry... where's my coat?

Supersonic stealth jumpjet passes hover thrust test

Nicholas Ettel

Hi Res ???

Not just the static heat of Texas, but I'd also assume that there's a generous bit of exhaust heat as well, being that this picture was presumably taken during a vertical thrust test.

I did originally think the same about it being a painting, though.

Ballmer disses Oracle's decision to buy Sun

Nicholas Ettel


"I have no idea why a software company would buy a hardware company. We don't want to buy any hardware companies," Ballmer said.

Rightly so. There couldn't POSSIBLY be any advantage in a company that designs and markets a cradle-to-grave software/hardware package. *cough*Apple*cough* (though, granted, the 'package' would be slightly different in scope and (cap)abilities.)

ps. I'm not an Apple fan.

Microsoft security chief trapped in endless identity sales pitch

Nicholas Ettel

We're serious!

""Initially, my friends laughed because I used Microsoft and security in the same sentence," he said. "But it turns out in the years that followed I think we've proven we're very serious about security." "

Being serious about security, and being good at it are not one and the same... and vice versa.

Lotus offers to end e-car silent running

Nicholas Ettel

Sound like a TIE fighter?!

"According to Lotus, “more futuristic sounds for electric vehicles can be created using sampled sounds and generated waveforms”, which will be handy for those who want their Tesla Roadster to sound like a TIE fighter."

Sorry to burst all the nerdbubbles (and, yes, I'm fan of Star Wars, too), but there is no sound in space, therefore TIE fighters don't make a sound.

Swedish woman charged over 'stun gun castration attempt'

Nicholas Ettel

Lunge, feint, flick, riposte, retreat

"However, a prompt backwards lunge saved the man from a painful volting."

The lunge is distinctly a forward movement, the retreat is a backwards movement.

Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fencing_terms for proper fencing terminology.

And if you don't believe me that fencing terms are appropriate, then answer me what terms are more appropriate when battling for or with your sabre/Épée/foil/penis.

Mine's in my coat pocket ready for the next duel.

Twitter worm author gets security job

Nicholas Ettel

The grey line of irresponsibility

""Mikeyy didn't just waste the time of thousands of Twitter users - he also put them at considerable risk," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Imagine if financially-motivated hackers had seen what Mikeyy was doing and used the XSS flaw to steal identities and install malware, as Twitter scrabbled to get the problem fixed."

"So, Mikeyy proved two things with his worms. One was that there was a problem with Twitter. The other was that Mikeyy Mooney had no problem with acting irresponsibly. He may very well be skilled in some aspects of computing, but there are plenty of other people out there with those skills who have not shown themselves to have such questionable judgment," he added."

You can argue the sematics of this round and round, but the fact is that if he was as malicious and irresponsible as Mr. Cluley seems to think, then Mikeyy himself would have been using his worm to steal identities, installing malware AND making the supposed financial gain. But he didn't.

So, was Mikeyy's method of revealing the vulnerability irresponsible? Perhaps. But if he made a sincere effort to warn Twitter of their insecurity and they didn't acknowledge his finding, then his method is certainly more acceptable. There's not a huge difference between what he did, and what happens when people reveal security flaws for the first time at hacker/security conventions -- he just put his find in the wild, instead of in a contained environment. But as he's only 17 and had no professional experience, he didn't have much of a choice.

All I'm saying is that he probably could have caused a whole lot more damage and strife than what he did. But it seems he consciously chose not to, which shows at least a modicum of sense of responsibility.

Google money machine records Q1 choking sound

Nicholas Ettel


I have to agree. The "chocolate factory" joke has more than run its course; it has long since become annoying. I suggest tasking Ms. Bee with finding a new punny term - she seems to be quite adept at sarcasm and innuendo.

Fourth antivirus firm buys into behavioural blocking

Nicholas Ettel
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Wtf is 8e6? Some kind of damned internet colloquialism for eight-ee-six (ie 86)? I automatically will not use their products due to their absolutely ridiculous name. Not to mention, I've never even heard of them or Marshal. I sincerely hope their products are good; they're going to need something incredible to get past their absurd name.

Apple ogles location-based iPhone ads

Nicholas Ettel
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Finding music

"Or hearing a tune in a coffee shop, and rather than going crazy trying to remember its name, tapping your iPhone and being told the song's name, the artist who's performing it, what album it's from, when it was released, and who that kick-ass bass player is on that particular session."

It's already here. It's called Shazam (www.shazam.com; and available for both the iPhone and G1) and it listens to and analyzes songs, and in about 30 seconds' time will tell you who the artist is, what song it is, what album it's off AND provide a link to the applicable music store (iTunes for the iPhone, Amazon mp3 for the G1). However, the service is only as good as the music store - the bigger the music collection, the better chances you have for identifying those crazy, obscure songs.

Twitter users hit by smut spam hack attack

Nicholas Ettel
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Security Gnomes

"It's unclear how the compromised accounts were hacked in the first place. Twitter's security gnomes are investigating the attack."

Ahhh so Twitter's security involes imaginary creatures and "magic," then, eh? Sounds about right for such a twatterific waste-of-time website.

Illinois restores Pluto's planetary status

Nicholas Ettel
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Astronomy? What's that?

Fuck the international consensus of PhD-wielding, legitimate astronomers, astrophysicists, etc - we make our own science!

I hate the state of Illinois. Were it not for some favourite family members of mine, I would enjoy if it fell off the face of the planet... we'd all be better off.

Fanbois will abandon iPhone for Palm, says Wikisugardaddy

Nicholas Ettel

iPhone vs Pre

I'm taking bets right now on who wins this show down. I'm not voting for Palm - it might be a stellar product, but it's two years too late. I highly doubt Apple's market share will be greatly affected.

(PS I don't even like the iPhone; I rather enjoy my G1.)

Firefox went ton up in bugs in 2008

Nicholas Ettel


As always, this sort of thing is horribly misreported. Firefox did not "have more" vulnerabilities than IE, Opera or Safari - it *fixed* more vulnerabilities. Fixing vulnerabilities is a good thing. But it could mean one of two things: 1) the product actually has more vulnerabilities; or 2) the company is more actively involved in trying to fix it's product. No company or product will ever be perfect, but taking an active approach to making it better is not only commendable, but a good business practice.

The only way to prove that one product has more vulnerabilities than another is to count them. But there's one problem: no one knows how many unknown vulnerabilities there are, and no one will ever know. So, we can only report on the amount of *known* vulnerabilities, which is ambiguous in and of itself - how many vulnerabilities were fixed that weren't divulged?

Instead, the article should only report on how many vulnerabilities have been publicly fixed thusfar, but NEVER how many total vulnerabilities there are. Just stick to the facts, Jack.

Microsoft courts enterprises with Windows 7

Nicholas Ettel
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"We're convinced Windows 7 has [sic] an exciting and powerful offering for our business customers, but we want to hear from you," Schuster wrote.

I see nothing grammatically wrong with that sentence.

Asus cracks out of its shell with Air-esque Eee PC

Nicholas Ettel
Paris Hilton

She doesn't include...

"A description which could equally be applied to the model the vendor had parading the device in front of journalists at Cebit. However, she doesn't include a digital array mic, SRS Premium Sound, 1.3Mp camera, or 802.11n, Bluetooth and WiMax connectivity."

Perhaps those are true, but I bet she still has her standard female-connection I/O port. Whereas, I have my standard male-connection I/O plug.

PH: she knows all about male-to-female connections.

NASA teams with Cisco to track carbon in 'near real-time'

Nicholas Ettel

Carbon footprint

"The US space agency says it's teaming with Cisco to create a network of satellite-, airborne-, sea-, and land-based sensors to update Earth's environmental status as the world turns."

Are these sensors going to pick up their own, inevitable carbon emissions and report those?

And how are they going to get sufficient coverage in the rain forest? Cut down a bunch of trees so that they can erect and place the sensor and it's necessarily large transmitter for global communications?

And there's always been something odd about NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - note the lack of the word weather or atmosphere in the name) "collecting and reporting" on the weather. Why isn't NWA (National Weather Agency), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency - who run the National Weather Service) the lead agency for *gasp* the weather (in the US)?

Right, grabbing my poncho with the new weather sensor in it.

Portuguese open sourcers decry MS-only gov eProcurement

Nicholas Ettel


"This situation gives rise to a direct interference in the software options of end-costumers...."

Surely, the ones who dress up as Stormtroopers or Klingons, then, right?

I'm not even sure what an "end-costumer" is, really.

Simple typos are fun, especially when they turn into other, real words, but have TOTALLY different meanings. :P

Grabbing my taco... er... coat.

Intel preps ultra-thin notebook chips

Nicholas Ettel
Paris Hilton

You can't be too rich or too ultra-thin

Something PH knows all too much about, surely.

DARPA orders 'Katana' monoblade nano-copter

Nicholas Ettel


"*In old-time Japan the Katana was the long sword of the Samurai warrior, of course."

Incorrect. Or, at least, partially inaccurate.

The Katana was the standard sword (and almost always paired with an identical wakizashi/short sword)used by Samurai, correct, but it was not a long sword. The Japanese longsword is the nodachi, but was mainly an infantry/field weapon (and not used often anyway as it was far more difficult to forge, required significantly more strength and dexterity to wield, and was at least equally matched in capability by the naginata and nagamaki).

So, yes it was the sword most commonly identified with Samurai, but it was not a long sword.

Obama says his new chopper is 'procurement gone amuck'

Nicholas Ettel

@David Wiernicki

I whole-heartedly agree.

This calls for popcorn. And the icon? It's my robe, not a coat - I'm getting comfortable. Should be a good show. :D

(PS heli physics is actually interesting to me - as is all aeronautical physics - but that's an aside to how fun watching nerd fights can be.)

UK kiddies cop a righteous tasering

Nicholas Ettel
Paris Hilton

"What these kids need..."

"...is . . . a lick o' the cat and a touch of the birch."

Did anyone else take that in the entirely dirty way?

Paris, because she likes the "touch of a birch," too.

Super Micro squeezes four servers into one chassis

Nicholas Ettel

Where have all the editors gone?

Mr. Morgan, your editor has failed you miserably. Please see the first two paragraphs of your article for details.

Yahoo! mines search logs for banner ad targeting

Nicholas Ettel

Scale and expertise

Carol Bartz says: "Yahoo! remains incredibly well positioned to meet the growing advertiser demand for performance marketing offerings, and no other company can provide marketers with such scale and expertise across search and display advertising."

El Reg says: "Google might argue with that."

I say that Carol Bartz is entirely accurate. Yahoo! is a unique company offering a unique service and employing unique individuals each with their own unique expertise and capabilities. Yahoo! isn't in an unique business, but they do it like no one else does - every other company is either worse, or better than Yahoo! and that's an arugable, debatable opinion, really.

Microsoft courts customers for search help

Nicholas Ettel

@AC 10:56 GMT

What does Friday have to do with anything?

Beer now please, preferably an IPA or belgian wheat. :D

Tux, because he drinks like a fish, too.

Conficker variant dispenses with need to phone home

Nicholas Ettel

@Gerrit Hoekstra

Your supposition is amazing its ignorance. Microsoft fixed the vulnerability being exploited by Conficker/Downadup last October - specifically, 15 Oct 08 with patch MS08-067. Not to mention that removal tools have been available from Microsoft, Symantec, Sophos, Kaspersky Labs and McAfee for almost as long. However, there are apparently ~10 million ignorant/stupid users (as well as corporate IT admins) that haven't patched their systems. So, sure, blame Microsoft for allowing a vulnerability in their OS if you want (because, you know, no other OS has any vulnerabilities whatsoever), but blame the users, too, who have failed their part of the security cycle.

At least something was being done to frustrate the virus that's out there, to help the users when they can't/won't help themselves. For all of Microsoft's vile business practices and software asshat-ery, at least they're pretty damned quick to respond to vulnerabilities such as this and fairly transparent/open in the process (at least, on the outside).

Irish cops tripped up by Prawo Jazdy dragnet

Nicholas Ettel
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Intelligence FAIL!

@ AC 14:01 GMT --

All those words are spelled correctly, and, as such, wouldn't be caught by spellcheck. It is, however, grammatically incorrect, whereby a grammar checker would/might catch that. Thanks for playing the game, but you lose.

Pirate Bay supporters ram Swedish IFPI website

Nicholas Ettel

@ Lionel Hicks

You didn't read very closely, did you? That "declaration of war" was posted by the hackers that commandeered the ifpi.se website. It was NOT a statement by Peter Sunde.

Airline pilots told to switch off mobile phones

Nicholas Ettel

@ Jimmy Floyd

You're partially correct. Initially, mobile electronic devices WERE banned because, apparently, the FAA couldn't hire enough competent electrical/electronic engineers to determine the true threat of any cross-talk interference with in-flight systems -- there WAS a percieved threat of airplane systems interference. If there weren't a percieved threat to airplane systems, why would it be a FAA regulation as opposed to a FCC regulation, which would make more sense if the regulation were looking out purely for base-station confusion -- the FAA cares about their planes and the safety involved in operating those planes; they couldn't give two shits about a mobile operator's safety and operation, nor is it in their purview to impose restrictions thereupon.

Now, it's an almost draconic regulation that they refuse to update -- except that there ARE legitimate reasons to keep it: 1) They need the passengers to pay attention, especially during taxi and take-off, for in-flight safety messages and in case of emergencies; 2) using a cell phone in cramped, closed quarters such as a plane is rude and discourteous to the other passengers (you're almost certainly going to be talking louder than normal due to in-flight noise).

Judge strips MS 'Vista Capable' lawsuit of class action status

Nicholas Ettel
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I'm not a Microsoft fan at all - not at all. However, playing Devil's Advocate, those stickers only said "Vista Capable," not "Vista Premium plus the Aero interface Capable." And technically, those machines COULD run Windows Vista... albeit maybe the most basic version sans Aero, but still Windows Vista. Was it shifty marketing? Absolutely, what else do you expect? Was it illegal? No.

Barcelona pickpocket swipes Microsoft secrets?

Nicholas Ettel

Unnamed exec

"The phone was given to Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo to... test the interface...."

"Pickpockets are endemic in Barcelona during the congress, and with fewer attendees they're having to work extra hard to pick a pocket or two this year. So one of them seems to have struck it lucky with the >>unnamed executive<< charged with looking after the handset."

Unnamed executive?! BWA?!! Didn't you name him? You know, when you said the phone was give to Sol Trujillo, CEO of Telestra. Right, I thought so.

Grabbing my coat with my name on it that doesn't name me.

Cocaine now cheaper than lager

Nicholas Ettel

Sarah Bee

This has nothing to do with this article:

Decently commented articles trigger my ADD, as such I tend to scroll only to read comments posted by Sarah Bee. Why? I find her hilarious. Please post more. Thanks!

Photography rights: Snappers to descend on Scotland Yard

Nicholas Ettel

Negligible fraction of the populace

"The counter-argument from police and government is that these incidents are exceedingly rare: people continue to take hundreds of millions of photos every year, and while these encounters, when they happen, are clearly intimidating to the individuals concerned, they affect a negligible fraction of the populace."

The most recent statistics show that the murder rate (per capita) in the UK is only 0.0140633 per 1,000 people. That's a negligible fraction of the populace under any definition. So, by their logic, laws agains murder are obviously not necessary.

Time to go on a killing spree!

Valentine Trojan onslaught blights inboxes

Nicholas Ettel


When will the fools learn that no one actually loves them?

Except for me... please click >>here<< for this e-card profering my undying love.

Lords say surveillance society erodes foundations of UK

Nicholas Ettel

Privacy erosion

"Mass surveillance has the potential to erode privacy."

Perhaps that should have read something more like, "Mass surveillance will erode privacy." Or "Mass surveillance does erode privacy."

But, hell, that's a rather striking breakthrough. Would you Britons kindly like to export some of your House Lords to the US Government? Please? No? Well, it was worth asking.

Arizona Super Bowl fans cop eyeful of todger

Nicholas Ettel


"Still AC, as my search history is NSFW."

Oops! Are you sure about that?

Primary schools hit by smut hack

Nicholas Ettel

Moogle rep

"We are not aware of any vulnerabilities in our most recent versions."

It's good to see the wool is secured firmly over their eyes. Apparently, they assumed their software was perfect from launch... 'cause that's happened before.

"It's possible that these sites in question were not upgraded and configured correctly, and >>spammers<< exploited this to gain access unlawfully, but this is not known for sure yet."

Since when are spammers and hackers explicitly synonymous?

The company mouthpiece should at least be familiar with what they're talking about. Is that too much to ask for?

Exploding core counts: Heading for the buffers

Nicholas Ettel

Article Title

I didn't even read the article (it's too long for my increasingly shortening attention span), but the article title entirely caught my eye as I thought at first it read "Exploding core c*nts: Heading for the buffers". Now THAT would have been an article worth reading.