* Posts by Joseph Bryant

33 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2007

Passwords in plaintext? NOT OK, Cupid

Joseph Bryant

Misleading headline

The headline makes it sound like this is related to the excellent OkCupid website, whereas in fact Cupid Media is an unrelated group.

Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Joseph Bryant


Here is "Hatetris", which always gives you the worst possible tetronimo.


Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

Joseph Bryant


How fitting that in an article about widescreen televisions, the aspect ratio of every screenshot is wrong.

Speeding cops, fearsome drops and Death Star shops

Joseph Bryant

Re: Personally

I have had *loads* of fun with Plants vs Zombies 2, without paying (or even really considering paying). The difficulty level seems just right - so in a way I agree with you that the freemium model isn't helping them, because I'm a fan of the game with no motivation to pay for it.

False widow spiders in guinea pig slaughter horror

Joseph Bryant

Re: Steatoda bipunctata

Sorry if the Latin scared you. It's the standard scientific way to talk about different animal species. In techie terms, think of it as being like a model number - there's no risk of ambiguity. E.g. if you say "brown bear", maybe you mean a bear that happens to be brown, but if you say "Ursus arctos" then you're talking about a particular species, commonly called the "brown bear".

Anyway, various types of spider are known as "false widows". My point was that these *specific* false widows were likely that *particular* type of false widow that is well known for making its home in rabbit hutches. Presumably a guinea pig hutch is not such a stretch for them.

Thus, it's likely that they were innocent bystanders, rather than malevolent guinea-pig-murdering menaces.

Joseph Bryant

Steatoda bipunctata

I can't help thinking it's more likely that these were Steatoda bipunctata, aka "Rabbit Hutch Spiders", who just happened to have made their home in the hutch of the dear departed guinea pigs.

Former Microsoftie in AUTOMATIC BEER MAKER funding plea

Joseph Bryant


"an XP corker or a Vista damp squib. (Vulture Central's backroom gremlins welcome more terrible MS/beer puns"

Are those even puns to start with? Or have you just put some MS-related words near some booze-related words?

Flash floggers whip out flash cards, SSDs, unleash frantic flood of updates

Joseph Bryant


I'm sure you mean "lie down and die", not "lay down and die".

Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Joseph Bryant

Hal from Being Human

Tovey is the wrong Being Human actor for the part - in fact it should be Damien Molony, aka Hal.

Plusnet's 'Everyone's a winner' claim is a plus-sized whopper

Joseph Bryant


What's wrong with "All broadband's half off"? It's a contraction of "All broadband is half off", which seems fine.

Stob on Quatermass: Was this British TV's finest sci-fi hour?

Joseph Bryant


The "dreary cowboy one", really? One of the best in the series, I thought.

London Fire Brigade: This time we'll send the NEAREST fire truck

Joseph Bryant


What kind of joyless automaton says "fire appliance" instead of "fire engine"?

Neal Stephenson on swordplay, space and depressing SF

Joseph Bryant

Re: Age?

A pint would have cost about 30p at the time, so, no, not sarcasm.

Dimming the lights on smart(arse) TV

Joseph Bryant

Re: Do people still buy tellies?

What do you want, a cookie?

Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe

Joseph Bryant

Xbox Live

Speedball 2 was re-released as a download game on Xbox Live quite recently. There's the option to play with the old graphics or with pointless new graphics, but it's still the same game underneath either way. Still fun!

Crooks sell skint fanbois potatoes instead of iPhones

Joseph Bryant

Re: @M. Poolman

Sounds like another load of horse hockey from CANOE (Committee to Assign a Nautical Origin to Everything).

Nearly one in 10 Brits 'fess to shower phone faux pas

Joseph Bryant

washing machine

My old Nokia candybar, incredibly, survived a full washing machine cycle in my jeans pocket. I took the cover off, gave it a blast with a hair drier, and left it a day or two, and when I put it back together it was totally fine.

Android devs get schooled on style

Joseph Bryant

cause and effect

"The lack of social skills which makes one so good at working with computers"... I'm not sure there's actually a causal relationship there, you know.

Gartner: Ultrabooks aren't tickling anyone's fancy

Joseph Bryant


Since the article itself acknowledges that "ultrabooks" haven't become popular, it might have been nice to give we readers some hint of what the hell they are.

The End of Free: Web 2.0 will squeeze punters rotten

Joseph Bryant

You can't have a "market of Facebooks". The value of Facebook is strongly tied to the fact that all your friends use Facebook. If Facebook start charging, and half your friends quit Facebook for some free alternative, then Facebook loses value for you too, so you're more likely to quit, making Facebook lose value for other people, etc etc.

Does tech suffer blurred vision on 3D future?

Joseph Bryant

Post-processed 3D killed the goose

Avatar was conceived in 3D, and made in 3D, with 3D cameras, and was a huge success. Studios rushed to release more 3D films and cash-in, but, finding they didn't have any yet, decided to convert their existing 2D films before release.

The technology doesn't really work, though, and why would it? It's like computer-colouring old black-and-white movies: at best it's guesswork, at worst it's an affront to the director's original vision.

So a flood of poor post-converted quasi-3D movies hit the cinemas, and turned everyone off 3D. If the studios had waited until they had some more Avatar-quality 3D-by-design films ready, they could have kept spinning money out of 3D indefinitely, but instead they went for the fast buck and killed the whole thing. They've only themselves to blame.

Reg reader seeks living room Myth advice - can you help?

Joseph Bryant

You can't (practically speaking) play blu-rays on Linux, so you need at least a blu-ray player. Myth supports UPnP/DLNA to a certain extent, so it may be that you could at least watch existing recordings with a suitably high-tech blu-ray player. However, do check first whether someone else has that particular player working - Myth's implementation of UPnP is a little flaky and might not play along.

As has been suggested above, I'd recommend building a living-room-friendly PC. If you build it in a nice case and get the remote control working properly then it's just another black box under the telly. That's been my approach. I'm particularly pleased with this gadget I bought to let the remote actually switch the PC on and off - http://www.simerec.com/PCS-2.html - no affiliation, just a happy customer.

How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs

Joseph Bryant


For desktop users, there's a nice trick you can do with (at least) Linux software raid - "write-mostly" mode. Put an SSD and an old-fashioned hard drive together in a mirrored pair (RAID1), and set the conventional drive to "write-mostly". Then, all reads happen from the SSD, but all writes are made to both disks. You get the read speed of SSD without the reliability worries. Write speed takes a hit, obviously, but, you know, it's a trade-off.

Australia, give up your fixed broadband!

Joseph Bryant


This is apparently a clever sarcastic attack on... something. The Register is a UK site and it's perhaps optimistic to expect we readers to be up to speed on the details of Australian politics.

April Fools Day's Finest

Joseph Bryant
Thumb Up

Google & Toshiba

Google's is top notch as ever, with motion-controlled email - http://mail.google.com/mail/help/motion.html

Toshiba's 3D monocle has an excellent video - http://us.toshiba.com/spectacle

Canonical's Dell and Lenovo love lets Ubuntu down

Joseph Bryant

Support commitment

Customising Linux for a particular laptop isn't as simple as just hacking a few menu items away, though. What happens when a security vulnerability is found in the package you customised? Users with a mainstream distribution will get a fix automatically. Your laptop users won't, unless you're prepared to set up your own package server, and keep patching every new release of every package you've customised. Certainly that's not impossible, but it's a bigger commitment than the author suggests.

PS3, Xbox 360 pass water on Wii

Joseph Bryant


"the race to lead the fight to be the top selling current-generation console"... wow, someone's winning the race to lead the fight to win the day to rule the roost of redundant redundancy.

Kinect blamed for Red Ring of Death outbreak

Joseph Bryant

usage patterns

RROD is often triggered by overheating. If you get an exciting new game, or new peripheral, and suddenly start playing on your console for much longer periods, then you're disproportionately likely to suffer RROD.

Gear4 UnityRemote

Joseph Bryant

just get a Harmony

The Logitech Harmony costs about half as much as this.

The Harmony keeps track of which device is switched on at any time, so e.g. if you switch from "watch blu-ray" to "play xbox", then it knows that the TV is already on. It only really works well if you put all the original remotes away and use the Harmony exclusively, so that it can keep track of what's going on.

If this Gear4 works the same way, then it's deeply flawed for anyone who co-habits, since presumably you don't want to dedicate an iPhone to this exclusively. If it *doesn't* keep track of which device is turned on, then it's not nearly as good as the Harmony. Lose-lose.

Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

Joseph Bryant

Damn those plus-one channels

E4+1 etc must be really dragging the average down.

Quantum theme debuts on Radio 1

Joseph Bryant

Too late

Adam & Joe (BBC6) already made the best possible Quantum of Solace theme, featuring the immortal lyrics:

"I want a Quantum of Solace,

But no more than a quantum.

I know they do big bags of solace,

but I don't want'em"

Student taser victim spared electric chair

Joseph Bryant

Act of violence

Part of the problem with cases like these is that using a taser isn't as viscerally obviously violent as, say, punching someone in the stomach. People seem to forget that zapping someone with a powerful electric shock is an act of violence. If, reading a story like this, you're in any doubt as to whether shocking someone was appropriate, consider whether a kick to the gut would have been appropriate.

You want to learn about Ubuntu?

Joseph Bryant

fire sale

So these books you're flogging at 40% off go all the way up the Feisty Fawn, the "latest release" - is it a coincidence that the next release comes out this month, and these books will go out of date?