* Posts by T. Harrell

28 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

I was a government guinea pig, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

T. Harrell

All take, no give?

People are scared of their children growing up with severe asthma, autism, diabetes, and everything else.. How, pray tell, are we going to figure out the basis for these diseases without studies? People want hard science, solid factual evidence, and effective treatments, well, studies like this are how those things happen. Trials that follow infants to age 18 or 21 are also not a new thing, either. This is simply a bit larger than any previous study has been.

Aussie has answer to save Earth from asteroid attack

T. Harrell
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Missing the opportunity of the millenium!

Push it away!? No!

Space agencies everywhere are entirely missing one of our greatest opportunities! Here's an asteroid already headed straight for our orbit, not too far out from our own satellites. Put a few tiny thrusters on the rock and bring it into a proper orbit around Earth, then strip-mine it for raw materials! Asteroids like that are estimated to be loaded with valuable minerals, and NASA's been drooling over the possibility of bringing one in from the asteroid belt since the 70's!

That password-protected site of yours - it ain't

T. Harrell

Google 1, Users 0

As stated above already, this only works on amateurish sites that haven't bothered to implement much security. Any site with content worth looking at has used the more secure method of requiring google to use a password to login.

I'm on the verge of moving to a different search engine, since I get burned so often by results that are payola. Google really should have a switch that prevents non-cached links from being displayed.

BTW, the "free to use or share" option that google does provide is unacceptable. It only returns results for which the rights have been specified. The majority of public web pages don't have any rights info, so they are omitted, including wikipedia, apparently

Sleazy doctors plead guilty to web drug racket

T. Harrell

Not nearly enough

This isn't a legal "gray" area. This is explicitly forbidden, and absolutely outrageous for physicians and pharmacists to participate in. These are the professionals who are licensed and trusted to be the gatekeepers, and their abusing that duty. Those kinds of monetary judgments are simply a slap on the wrist, and nowhere near enough to deter this kind of behavior. The penalty really should be a permanently suspended license at the least, and I really think jail time is reasonable!

How can physicians possibly maintain the public's trust without real accountability?

--A medical student

Ubisoft pirates game fix from pirates

T. Harrell

Legal ramifications?

I wonder what the legal ramifications of Ubisoft officially releasing RELOADED's code. This definitely adds support for making copy protection circumvention legal, when a publisher officially releases it as a bug patch!

Copy protection is simply a bad idea, end of story. It doesn't stop piracy, and it hurts consumers! Most pirated copies represent people who would have never paid for the software otherwise!

Seagate first with 1.5TB hard drives

T. Harrell
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Hard drive size bumps are neck and neck with my ever-expanding video collection.

As for cloud computing, these are fantastic! I have my very own Linux server "cloud" serving out television media, and RAID 5 data storage for a few home users.

As for needing speed, you try accessing 2 video streams at once, while serving files and doing random access reads and writes ala BitTorrent, sharing the Slackware 12.1 ISO images, of course! ;)

Three-quarters of EU radio equipment is non-compliant

T. Harrell

Re: Radio Hams have been saying this

BPL in the States, anyone? There, at least, we have found a bit of recourse with the legal system. However, it is a small victory in a sea of static and birdies emitted by non-compliant kit!



US dominates tech R&D

T. Harrell

++Joe Kraska

I've seen and heard exactly what you said, Joe. Tech Engineers aren't paid anywhere near enough to warrant the education. Students know it, which is why none of us went engineering. Not many were interested in PhD's, either. The few that did went to civil and the like. No one will touch anything tech related with a 10 foot poll. An intelligent student can control an entire department of foreign PhD's with an MBA.

This will continue on until the government becomes more protectionist, or world job market salaries for the jobs increase.

Motorola Z10 'kick slider' media phone

T. Harrell

Matrix Redux?

Did anyone else look at the picture of this phone and immediately recall the very slick phone in 'The Matrix'? That phone was the Nokia 8110, which never made it commercially, apparently due to horrible battery life.

Googling, I found a 2007 petition begging Nokia to build a new phone based on the style. Looks like *someone* was listening, at least. 10 points for style, 0 for originality.

Congressmen say Chinese hacked their PCs

T. Harrell

Stored what? Where?!

"His office no longer stores the names of Chinese dissidents on computers"

I think that sums it up. Did he think all those crazy security standards the CIA and NSA have were for nothing? Was there no reason that information must be hand entered into secured non-networked systems? Me-thinks he should stick to trying to keep a notebook secure. That will be quite difficult enough for him.

How ComScore can track your mouse clicks

T. Harrell

Boring Info Society

Since ComScore seems to be so interested in us:

I'm a 26 y/o male, unemployed full-time student

If you check my credit report, I've got good credit, but obviously stretched to the limit with student loans.

If you watch my purchase habits, you will see I buy used text books, and occasional <$50 electronic components and electronic test/build equipment, often on eBay.

If you watch my browsing habits, I'm either reading The Reg, BBC News, various web comics, or random informational sources for study purposes.

By all means, point your electronics related banners at me! I don't buy much, but that would at least be more interesting than the usual random crap.

PS: Amazon: please stop desperately trying to sell me a lighter. I bought one several years ago. I still have it, and it starts fires excellently. I have no use for a second one. Perhaps a book on camping might be a more intelligent suggestion?!

So, why do I care if anyone is trying to track my info? I'm unlikely to buy, and my info is pretty run-of-the mill, and just plain boring! I'm sure, if they look hard enough at all of us, they will realize that they just wasted a ton of money to find out that their ads are already about as efficient as they can be. Targeting ads to smaller, niche markets gets exponentially more expensive with incredibly diminished returns. I laugh at their lack of understanding of the powerful tech they wield. Ah ha ha ha!

Comcast mulls overage fees for bandwidth lovers

T. Harrell
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Free market economics!


Doesn't sound like a problem with my ISP hat on:

1) Moving 1GB TIFFs between work and home? That's a business function, and possibly a violation of the TOS. Anyway, try a PORTABLE HARD DISK!

2) Running a webserver? This is *specifically* against every ISP's TOS I've ever read. You should be paying for a business class connection.

Both of these functions, in actuality, sound like business functions, and therefore both probably require a business connection via the TOS. Subtract out those two, and there's no way your running into a problem. Of course, I do the same exact thing, and will switch to any ISP which lets me get away with it, but at least I'm *aware* that I'm treading on the contract.


160GB per month of bittorrent and usenet traffic. I'm sure there is absolutely no illegal content being downloaded there.

While I don't engage in illegal behaviors myself, I actually fully support the p2p media sharing. Keep it up! The media market is, by definition, a monopoly. One company controls a given album/movie, and no other. In this case, I don't consider similar works to be equivalent. Thus it's a monopoly, and it's virtually unregulated. At least illegal file-sharing has introduced true competition, albeit illegal, and has forced Hollywood to begin to *consider* reasonable and ethical business practices. I would have some sympathy if they were at least regulated as other natural monopolies are.

gareth, you must admit, though, that you are the pathologic worst-case user for any ISP, and you're a money-loser for them. They are within their rights to adjust their offerings to accommodate users like you. Of course, there may be other ISPs willing to carry your load in order to garner good publicity, and, by all means, stick with the cheapest solution!

Next point:

This is a reasonable business strategy for Comcast, and it's fairly permissive, as indicated by readers in other countries. As it only affects a small, loud minority, it will surely be successful. Of course, it's a free market, and those who care will vote with their dollars, changing service to another provider. Can't find a cheaper offer? Perhaps Comcast is not being so outrageous for that location after all! Consider relocating to an area with more competition.

Also, as high bandwidth services such as streaming hi-def video, VoIP/video conferencing, and burgeoning software patches (Blizzard, Microsoft) become more widespread, more users are going to begin stressing the system, and this will become more and more or a sticking point for an increasing number of users. Comcast can surely do this now, however it will probably bite them in the future. Either other ISPs will be forced to do similar, or Comcast will be forced by competition to drop the cap. I foresee the former, as ISPs will require increased revenue through higher connection fees to justify investing in the infrastructure needed to carry those services.

In the interim, allow me to recommend moving into a Verizon area and getting FiOS. I keep my FiOS connection maxed, and Verizon has yet to complain/cap/threaten/limit me; and yes, that was a criterion for determining what city and state I chose to work/live!

Men could have kids with chimpanzees - gov must act

T. Harrell

Another Biggot

"The Church of Scotland said in 2006 that it was opposed to any creation of human embryos 'by IVF methods or nuclear transfer cloning methods'."

So this church is against in vitro fertilization? I believe the book they prescribe their religion to has a passage about 'being fruitful and multiplying'. I'm failing to see here how helping to increase fertility might be construed as wrong.

"In 2000, MacKellar suggested that cloning techniques could be used to produce a child with two fathers and no mother, a technique that was thought likely to appeal to gay men. ... There can't be much doubt that MacKellar would have been hoping to see the male-only kids possibility forbidden. He has written a paper arguing that homosexuality is an affliction which a moral, Christian person does not yield to - just like paedophilia or murderous rage."

Again, I've seen the so called banning of homosexuality by biblical quotation. I did fail to see the addendum that prohibited mixing up two people's genes to make a new person if those two people happen to be the same sex. My understanding of the Catholic's viewpoint, is that a homosexual is in the moral clear so long as he does not commit a sex act. Looks like MacKellar follows that line of thought. How then, is creating a child without commiting a homosexual sex act banned in any way? Mr. MacKellar, there's nothing in any book from a thousand years ago that mentions that sort of thing in any way! In fact, it sounds much like people being fertile and multiplying to me..

Intolerant people such as this would do well to be forced to live without the benefit of the labor of those they would condemn..

BBC defends iPlayer against Murdoch Jr's 'anti-competitive' claims

T. Harrell

Sky? Tax?

Not sure where this assumption that Sky doesn't pay British taxes comes from.. A quick google jump to Sky's annual balance sheet shows that they pay a whopping amount of tax to the UK gov, as any other UK business would...

Murdoch's chief hacker testifies in California

T. Harrell

Come again?!

"Sure, I've broken the cards of Kudelski [supplier of the EchoStar Smart Cards]... I was paid by NDS to do it."

"[Tarnovsky] denies ever receiving any money for breaking the system used by DISH, known as EchoStar at the time."

PETA offers $1m for test tube chicken

T. Harrell

Economic? Not even close...

Over and over, reg readers say, "This would be great if it became economically viable."

Please, let me inform you! For those of you who have not performed sterile cell culture, growing animal cells out of the body is INCREDIBLY intensive, delicate, and *expensive* work. All of the chemistry required to keep that meat alive, normally performed by the GI tract, liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc, will have to be performed synthetically. Tons of compounds on par in price with pharmaceuticals would be needed to keep your meat alive. Next, meat has no immune system, so that a single virus, or bacteria could wipe out your entire stock in hours or days. All of the products would have to be kept perfectly sterile.

Luckily enough, however, animals are already born with skin and immune systems to keep their meat sterile, and organs to keep their meat supplied with appropriate chemicals. The closest we may come to a feasible alternative that might meet PETA's needs are modified organisms that retain no upper brain, and have their hormonal controls modified to bulk up their muscles in the absence of actual use. Those you could hook to an in and out hose and stick on a shelf for growth, maybe. But then, that's hilariously beyond our abilities.

On a side note, I'm glad to see PETA splinter their own group!

Best Buy calls copper on unsatisfied shopper

T. Harrell
Black Helicopters


I thought it was common knowledge now, Best Buy sales drones are taught to classify customers as one of several archetypal customers and behave according to the prescribed corporate program. For example, a well-dressed middle aged man is going to be singled out and marketed expensive stereo equipment, while teenagers, who typically spend less money, are going to be ignored. My advice is to dress as poorly looking as possible to avoid harassment. :)

NetApp and Halliburton: going further, faster, together

T. Harrell
Paris Hilton

An eloquent riposte

"Go fuck yourself." -Dick Cheney on his ties to Halliburton

I think that completely explains and puts to rest any questions as to Halliburton or KBR's alledged profiteering, and any possible involvement Cheney had with them. I, for one, am completely satisfied with that simple, straightforward explanation.

Paris, for obvious reasons.

Wikileaks judge gets Pirate Bay treatment

T. Harrell
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One fewer Bush-era judge to worry about..

@ Phil

What's the problem with an on-call tech being asleep? It's all a matter of the amount of money your willing to pay for service. This is normal, accepted behavior for a physician taking night call. It wouldn't be cost efficient to pay enough physicians to sit around awake all night waiting for a phone call. That doesn't reflect at all on work ethic, simply the level of service offered at a given price...

@bob_blah, Anonymous Soward, Gene Girard

I think it's very amusing that Judge White's ineptness caused more harm than good for the Plaintiff's side. It's inexcusable to say, though, that he was doing what many other judges do every day. He signed the document, and he's responsible for reading what he signs his name to! No way that was on purpose, either. He inadvertently issued unconstitutional orders. There's no other recourse for such malfeasance than to take away the appointment and disbar him as well. One fewer Bush-era judge to worry about.

Google to build 80,000 foot radio tower?

T. Harrell

Red tape?

This whole idea is a bit unrealistic.. FAA regs are don't apply to balloons such as these when the payload is less than a six pounds, but above that, the launch must be filed with the local ATC and there are stricter regulations governing the balloon. I doubt the FAA would allow a bunch of balloons being launched every day across the country with payloads heavy enough to support a significant number of simultaneous connections. They'd have to route all air traffic around them to avoid a collision.

I believe there was a different company developing a similar idea, though: unmanned dirigibles with a powered flight capability and solar panels. Last I read over a year ago, they were testing with assistance from the FAA and NASA. Supposedly, the blimps could maintain a position for 6+ months and support enough weight to carry a significant communications platform, assuming the FAA approved the plan. Haven't heard about that recently, though.

Perens: 'Badgeware' threat to open source's next decade

T. Harrell

Linus a loose cannon?? To hell with this yahoo!

First, the GPLv2 worked. It still works. There is no need to fix things that already work just fine! Pushing for people to use v3 over v2 is just like MS trying to force people to upgrade when the old does the job!

Second, last I read, there were several valid reasons why Linux is not GPLv3. Putting limits on what people can do with your "Free" software makes it NOT FREE!

Third, as everyone above has mentioned.. Perens is a totally irrelevant character! He didn't start the idea of Free Software, he just started some irrelevant bureaucracy. He's not even a meaningful contributor to Free Software.. What did he code? Busybox? Hardly crucial or irreplaceable! He's just a journalist and bureaucrat barking nonsense!

Is Verizon gaming Google in US wireless auction?

T. Harrell
Dead Vulture

*Boo* *Hiss* Wha?

I'm at a severe loss as to the many implications the Reg is making in the running commentary here. Why exactly is Verizon evil again? Of all the telcos, I would choose Verizon. I would be extremely hesitant to move to an area where Verizon wasn't the local telco. Remember, kids, Verizon championed Fios. Verizon is shouting that they will provide the high connect speeds for killer apps such as streaming video. Verizon doesn't secretly cap your bandwidth and try to block your applications. Is AT&T that benevolent? Is any other telco?! Yes Verizon refused to unbundle DSL, but then, they weren't required to (damn govt), and it was a natural and obvious business decision.

As for cellular service, there really are only two choices if you want good network coverage (IMHO, YMMV), Cingular and Verizon. In my native Florida, the alternatives suck. I have Cingular because it was slightly cheaper, but I must admit, my friends on the slightly more expensive Verizon have better coverage. They have a good product and they charge a premium for it.. So why are they evil?!

Angry investor offers to buy Transmeta

T. Harrell

A little hot in the kitchen?

Maybe Transmeta should close up shop, but at least the patents and R&D could be put to use instead of creating another SCO-esque IP troll. Maybe IBM should buy them. If I recall, IBM has worked with Transmeta in the past, and the recent Power chips have been in serious need of some low-power R&D love.

Former top brass call for first-strike nuke option

T. Harrell

Missing the Point

Seems like everyone is missing the point here and talking about nukes vs. nukes. Eg: We should nuke first before they nuke us. This doesn't sound like what is described in the article. It sounds like they are talking about nukes vs. other, more minor terrorist attacks. Eg: If you suicide bomb one more embassy, we're nuking you. I'm all for this concept, for reasons that Simon Bell seems to have missed:

@Simon Bell

The threat of massive nuclear retaliation indeed may not prevent a martyr suicide bomber from doing something horrible. HOWEVER, one suicide bomber and several nukes later, and there will be far fewer people left to become a second suicide bomber. Eg: If you kill everyone, no one will be left to attack.

Why am I for this strategy? Reasoned, tempered aggression has not been an effective management strategy of Middle Eastern agression. The U.S. and Isreal have both engaged in tempered retaliation, and the only result is a tit for tat game where we are constantly skirmishing. This isn't working. I suggest that we withdraw our aggression, and give a single terrifying ultimatum. You (members of the Middle Eastern community) will sit down at a negotiation table and be civil, and you will honor your words, or you and your people will be annihilated completely.

I am willing to tolerate the possibility of a one more terrorist act without any defense against it in order to post that ultimatum.

No I'm not trolling, this is how I feel, and no I don't think there is a high likelihood that it would work. I think it is most likely we would end up blanketing the entire Middle East with nukes, and I do support that as a means to an end.

CES moots move from expensive Las Vegas

T. Harrell
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They'd be crazy not to consider Miami! East coast destination with plenty of flights from the U.S. and Europe. Excellent weather. Bars, beaches, parties, coke (for those into it), porn star conventions, and other extra-curriculars just like Vegas. One suggestion, though? Learn Spanish. ;)

Woman finds boyfriend dead in catflap

T. Harrell

Found unconcious previously?

The police had found him slumped over the wheel of his car the day before? So he was found unconscious, taken to the hospital for a quick once-over, and released. I've worked an E.R. before; the work-up for something like this is very far from comprehensive. He may have had something very seriously wrong with him medically, and died of it while in the cat flap, either as a complication, or unfortunate timing.

Living brain in powerful robot body tech goes live

T. Harrell

Why not birds?

When doing research on animals, there is often an astounding amount of paperwork and ethical review involved. The benefit of the research is weighed carefully against the amount of harm done on the animal. As it stands, little research that harms animals is allowed at all. The line for this paperwork and review is drawn at whether or not the animal the animal has a spine (roughly). Insects are free game to do anything to without ethics committee review, while birds, frogs, and monkeys require the review.

As a caveat, I believe the paperwork requirement is tied to U.S. Federal funding, so private research or private business operations are immune.

Samsung S85 eight-megapixel digital camera

T. Harrell

Photoshop support for raw data?

Not my field, but I thought support for making raw data files that Photoshop can read is becoming a standard feature.. Any word on support for that with the S85?