* Posts by Alex King

209 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Oct 2007


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says Trump ban means the service has failed

Alex King

Ban the nazis

All this hand wringing. He just needs to stfu and ban the Nazis.

NASA spools up ultra-high def aurora movie

Alex King

Very pretty

But honestly couldn't watch to the end on account of the horrendous musak.

Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack

Alex King

Re: They gave him their password

Equally to blame? Presumably in the way in which rape victims are equally to blame on account of wearing a short skirt? Or in the way in which a carjacking victim is for not locking their doors when in the car? Or that I would be if I got burgled because I didn't brick up my windows?


El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Alex King

Hey, dad, what's with all the retro 1980s shit in the kitchen?

Nokia sells HERE maps to Audi, Daimler and BMW for €2.8 billion

Alex King

Re: Hmm.

Right, list of current Audi (VAG) brands is - Skoda, Seat, VW, Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche. Add BMW, MINI, Smart and Mercedes to that and it's quite a chunk of the market.

Edit: Bah, beaten to it, and forgot Rolls-Royce. At least my spelling was better.

Lib Dems wheel out Digital Rights Bill pledge as election sweetener

Alex King

Re: Oh look - the Lib Dems are making us a promise just before the election.

"LibDem MPs, individually, pledged to vote against any tuition fee rises. This was not just an "if we win the election we will..." promise, it was an outright, no-matter-what pledge. It was not just an entry in the manifesto, it was a pledge made by individual MPs, including Clegg. That sort of promise should not be allowed to be broken, and the LibDems should have stuck to their guns on it."

That's all very well, and I don't disagree, but I can't see that they be disproportionately damned for this just because it was their first go at being in government. Both Labour and the Tories have broken multitudinous pledges in government even when they had it all to themselves.

The LibDems must be enormously frustrated; they've put in an overwhelmingly competent performance as a junior coalition partner and demonstrated that you really didn't need some of the nastier aspects of the Tory ideology to start the economy into recovery.

Unfortunately, in sanding off some of the rough edges of the Tory party (some of the dust has fallen into UKIP's lap), they've had the effect of making the larger partner more acceptable to more people.

Alex King


I just can't fathom the logic of defecting away from a party whose policies you like but they were unable to keep to in all cases as the junior party in a coalition to a party or parties whose policies you disagree with but they have a better record of sticking to.

Tesla vs Media again as Model S craps out on journo - on the highway

Alex King

The difference...

The difference between this story and the one about the Mini E story on the BBC is the reaction of the manufacturer's PR and Legal departments.

Tesla seem determined to get all pissy and litigious about any negative coverage, and that just fosters the impression of a defensive company with something to hide. Instead, they should take the criticism on the chin, tell the world they'll look into the causes of the issue, and then report the "fix" that they come up with a few weeks/months down the line. Trying to get your retaliation in hard and fast like this just pisses everyone off - it's just really bad PR.

By contrast BMW didn't make such a fuss about the BBC MINI-E article, as they saw it for what it was - a test of the infrastructure more than the car which - surprise surprise - found the vehicle charging infrastructure for the UK to be lacking. BMW have gone on to respond with their upcoming i3 and i8 - which you can bet your bottom dollar will be properly and thoroughly engineered solutions that will not risk damaging the company's hard-won reputation, supported by a competent PR effort.

Tesla - you do not win at PR by starting an argument with the media.

Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

Alex King

Happened to me last night.

Was attempting to call my brother's scottish landline last night from my O2 mobile, but dropped in on an Asian brummie half way through telling someone about posting something on facebook. Ho hum!

Apple may debut low-cost iPhone for emerging markets in 2013

Alex King

Re: New iphone factor?

Agreed, apart from the 3GS in my hand already does run iOS6 very happily, ta.

Microsoft burgled, only the APPLE iPADS stolen - cops confirm

Alex King

Re: Nothing, they just thought it was cool to be seen with one !

OR, the office where they were might have been unattended during that period. Now let me see, what could possibly have caused that around that time of year??

Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza 'bigger than North Sea oil'

Alex King

Re: When Journalist become flamers...

"WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam* are multinational charities each of whose incomes is in the 100s of millions and all spend a significant amount of that income on lobbying government."

Oooh, that's a lot of money, until you compare it to the income of oil companies.

Incidentally, I'm OK with fracking, as long as the gas used goes to replace coal-fired generation. I'd lump the fracking nimbys in with the wind turbine ones.

Facebook T&Cs vote falls 299.5 million short of quorum

Alex King

Expectation of privacy

If you post something on the internet, particularly a corporate-owned section of the internet, don't expect it to be private.

It's a private club, not a public service, and certainly not a human right. There are zero grounds to expect democracy.

Nokia uncloaks Lumia 620: A 'budget' $249 Windows 8 mobe

Alex King


I'm assuming this doesn't have it then?

Moon riven by colossal cracks

Alex King

"MIT's Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology"

Do you actually have subeditors?

Dawn of the X-Men? MUTANTS swarm AMONG US, say geneticists

Alex King


So, in developed nations, we're living longer, reproducing later and surviving previously lethal congenital abnormalities until reproductive age - and our level of mutations is going up as a population. What a massive surprise!

Real sci-fi space ships coming at last? NASA tests nuclear engine

Alex King

Earth orbit?

"The only human beings who have ever travelled beyond Earth orbit are the Apollo moon astronauts of long ago"

Umm, doesn't the moon orbit the earth, so anyone going there would still be in "Earth orbit"?

UN: Greenhouse gas emissions gap is out of control

Alex King


Lewis Page is a climate sceptic shocker.

Editors, could you maybe employ someone as a counterpoint to Mr Page on climate issues? This one sided commentary is getting a bit tedious. You know, for balance?


Alex King


See above.

How can the BBC be saved from itself without destroying it?

Alex King

Re: Oh give it a rest you Lefty

We don't have a great record of spending our own money on things that are actually good for us. It's not an option to only spend money on the things we're using at the time. We all benefit from the BBC, whether or not we actually watch it in much the same way that we all benefit from the NHS whether or not we ever see a doctor.

As has been pointed out ad nauseam, the majority of BBC output is legally available without paying a licence fee, so you have your options right there

The alternatives are to rely on the likes of Sky (brought to you by those fine, upstanding public servants who brought you Fox News, the News of the World and ploice brbvery), Channel 4 News (who are unquestionably further left than the beeb), or ITV (who have barely been able to afford a pot to piss in for the past decade).

To pararphrase Churchill - the Licence fee funded BBC is the worst arrangement for impartial broadcasting there is - apart from all the others we've tried.

Oh, and if you think the BBC is left-biased, you should try listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 - such spittle-flecked right-wing reactionary nonsense I've never heard this side of Richard Littlejohn. Even if the beeb is a little leftist overall, so be it - so is the UK, and the right will always have Sky, the Mail and the Telegraph to go to.

Alex King


Utter balls. If TV advertising didn't get people to buy stuff, the companies wouldn't waste their money on it (or maybe you're saying that the private sector is incompetent? You know, that sector that you want to run the BBC?). I'd rather the cost was up front (pay money for TV), than built into every advertised product that I buy (whether I knew they advertised on C4/ITV/Sky/whatever. Just because YOU can't see the cost or don't know how to measure it, it doesn't mean it's not there...

And how can commercial stations compete with the BBC? Very nicely in fact - the top rating shows on the BBC and ITV have very similar viewing figures.

Alex King

My goodness

See those cute little short films that come on in between the long ones on Channel 4, ITV? They're called 'ad-vert-ise-ments'. When you buy something from one of the companies that pay for those, you're paying for those channels.

Dear me, 'free-to-air' is not the same as 'free'.

The BBC is imperfect, but it's being made worse by trying to compete on a near-commercial basis with the commercial channels. I'm convinced that until such time as we loose the BBC, we will never appreciate just how good it is, compared to ANY other broadcaster around the world.

This article's a bit ripe too; it seems that the Register is entirely capable of maintaining an oversimplified climate-sceptic viewpoint without the need for any high-profile lobbying.

In general, it just feels like - as a nation - we're lashing out at anything that smells vaguely of authority in an attempt to cure our general end-of-empire malaise. As an earlier poster has pointed out, one side or other of the political spectrum is always lambasting the beeb for being biased towards the other - which is a good indication of balance.

We should all just calm down and stop expecting everything that's wrong with the BBC to be fixed overnight - or even in 55 days...

NASA admits hiding 'really good' news from Martian soil

Alex King
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Re: "THESE data ARE"

Chrissakes man - common usage and all that. Next you'll be criticising NASA employees for using split infinitives.

Sacre Bleu! US fingered for Flame attack on Élysée Palace

Alex King


Amazing that we seem to be accepting the word of this French newspaper at face value. I don't buy that this was the US govt yet - it seems a trifle sloppy to be leaving such a big fat trail of activity. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't, but there's a distinct lack of critical evaluation of sources in this article.

However I am a bit gobsmacked that the leader of a first-world country in the 21st century didn't have a networked PC!

Man, 19, cuffed after burning Remembrance poppy pic is Facebooked

Alex King

Re: Proportionate Response

Only a special kind of intelligence would blame needless, thought-crime arrests on a lax and liberal society.

Alex King


Usually I don't like to quote others, but I think Mr Fry was onto something when he said:

'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?'

Nobody has the right to be protected from offence. We make progress against things that most people find unacceptable by opening them up to the oxygen of publicity, not via supression and enforcement.

Of course, the reason that Kent Police have done this is that someone has taken offence, reported a crime, so they have to clear it up for the sake of their stats. What a massive clusterfuck of idiocy.

English Defence League website 'defaced, pwned' by hacktivists

Alex King
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Re: Not Helpful

The defacing of the site - maybe not, but making names public could be a positive move. I'm sure EDL members will have no problem with it anyway, as I'm sure they'll be proud of their membership.

Tesla Model S named '2013 Automobile of the Year'

Alex King
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Drowning in humbugs

There's a whole heap of grumpy naysayers here. This is quite clearly the best electric car ever to be sold. In any reasonable sense, this is competitive in its chosen range of premium sports saloons in terms of price, weight, looks, performance and range between stops.

Tesla are even doing it right - sell this in a big, premium car first; charging the prices that Nissan do for their Leaf is daft because it's hugely uncompetitive in the size bracket it sits in. There's a reason tech innovations tend to come in first in the largest, most premium models, but the most part of the automotive industry seems to have forgotten this.

No, there's nothing much wrong with the car - the problem is the infrastructure. The model I'd like to see is the "better place" battery-swapping filling station. Maybe slightly more realistic in terms of investment would be points that could charge the car to over 200 miles range in less than 20 minutes.

A comprehensive network of either of these would be my tipping point for adoption, so long as you could show me that total cost of ownership and usage over 5 years would be no greater than the IC alternative. Do that, and in 4 years time I'll buy a second hand one for about 25% of its original retail price, like I have done with my current V8 Jag, bought at 4 years old.

I'll not mention the touchscreen, in the full anticipation that it'll go the way of the quartic steering wheel 'ere long.

Texas woman sues cops over burst Bulgarian airbag

Alex King
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Fantastic idea

Anyone modified in this way should be compelled to prominently display a warning label that is always visible. Preferably in Arial 14pt.

Nobody knows what to call Microsoft's ex-Metro UI

Alex King


Window Interface for Microsoft Programmes/Phones

Or did somebody already use that one...

EE 4G LTE review

Alex King


I've not found anything yet that I'd want to do on my phone that a good, solid 3G connection wasn't ample for.

In the centre of big cities, you're generally not far from a decent free WiFi signal these days, if you even did need such a fat pipe. I'd much rather networks concentrated on getting better 3G coverage on transit routes than this overpriced tosh. First network to put masts along the east and west coast mainlines gets my next contract.

Oh, and as others have pointed out, fast bandwidth and low data limits are utterly pointless - it's like selling a thirsty supercar with a ten litre fuel tank.

Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

Alex King

Re: The Jaguar problem

Not a problem for everyone. Porsche have been effectively evolving their 911 design for over 40 years, and they're doing OK

Organic food offers basically no health benefit, boffins find

Alex King

Re: "All bacteria are dead if you cook it properly anyway"

Oh, that changes things then. I'll only eat organic lettuce from now on so that I only have a 0.0000007% chance of getting E.coli poisoning from it rather than a 0.000001% chance or whatever. Praise be!

Alex King

Re: "All bacteria are dead if you cook it properly anyway"

"So the world is E.coli free then, so long as everything that needs cooking is properly cooked?"

No, you have billions of them swimming in your body at the moment, causing you no ill effect. If it carries (or has the potential to carry HARMFUL E.coli, then it needs cooking, organic or not, as the article states it just reduces the risk (from some small amount to some other slightly smaller amount).

If you don't cook it then you're accepting a small risk whether it's organic or not, so it's not relevant to this article in terms of health benefit, so long as you follow the far more imprtant precaution of cooking the damn chicken at home. it's like worrying about how clean the knife that just stabbed you was.

Alex King

Re: Where do I start with this? Talk about missing the point completely.

Thanks for clearing that up. In future I will simply ignore science and simply trust in what grantoz believes. Phew - that makes things easier.

Alex King
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Re: And the bits Lewis kept out

"Bravata and colleagues found organic fruits and vegetables are 30 per cent less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than their conventional counterparts, although they were not necessarily 100 per cent free of pesticides."

30 percent of what? If it's 30% of almost zero chance anyway, its not important.

"They also found children on organic diets had lower levels of pesticides in their urine, compared to those on conventional diets"

In their urine. Good. That's where the body puts stuff it doesn't want. Again, how much lower? Were the higher levels in any way harmful? Pffft.

"Tthey did find organic chicken and pork appeared to reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria."

'Appeared to reduce exposure' is hardly a ringing endorsement. All bacteria are dead if you cook it properly anyway - which you should always do - right kids? Again, a reduction without stating prior levels indicates nothing in terms of health benefit.

Alex King

Re: It's not that organic food is better...

"Which is why I never buy processed if I can help it, organic or not :P"

Never buy processed eh? Unless you go and pick it off the wild bush yourself, it has been processed - it's all a matter of degree.

The amount of fresh produce that we in the west waste is neither here nor there. People in developing countries need to be able to grow food near where they live. When we've succeeded in reliably producing enough food for everyone in the places they live, then I'll start worrying about how happy the chickens are and whether I'm being cheated out of the oppoprtunity to buy white tomatoes.

Such a ridiculous first-world debate.

Home Sec to decide Gary McKinnon's fate by 16 October

Alex King

Re: probably not a very fashionable thing to say, but...

What's compassion got to do with anything? We tend to show compassion for the ill, and he's been diagnosed with a mental illness.

That you'd wish to deny him that compassion because he's been fighting for it is akin to chucking someone into the lake because they've denied they're a witch.

Bruce Willis didn't Buy Hard: His girls can't inherit his iTunes

Alex King

Thanks dad, but....

I think that, given the names their dear old dad has so generously passed down to them, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah may be better off without any further inheritaces.

(Over and above the stupendous amounts of cash they'll inherit, naturally)

TripAdvisor didn't defame hotel by putting it on 'top 10 dirtiest' list

Alex King

Bad priorities

Hmm, if your hotel gets into the top ten dirtiest on TripAdvisor then either (a) you have a dirty hotel or (b) you've pissed a lot of other people off in some way (maybe these women and housekeepers you're accused of abusing.)

Depending on which it is, he should spend less on his legal team and more on running his hotel/life better. Either way, it's hardly TripAdvisor's fault.

Euro NCAP to mandate auto-braking in new-car test

Alex King

Hang on...

Are you saying that a car will get no NCAP stars at all if it doesn't have such a system, or just that it'll lose a few points. I can't see this being the former, especially if this is less than 18 months away.

I'd happily buy a 0*-NCAP rated car. In fact I have, when I bought a rather old one a few years ago.

If, as people are suggesting, this might be a low-speed only system, then while it may reduce prangs by a certain percentage, it'll be the less severe and dangerous ones. Whoop de do.

Oh, and to the person who suggested that it'll have no impact on price because options' values are largely wiped out come resale time, and that only idiots should buy new: guess what - if it wasn't for those idiots then there would be a smaller used car market which would push up prices. The cost of these options is hidden in the prices of all stuff that these depreciating assets are used to do and the companies and other organisations which use them. There is so much economics fail in your post it's practically unquantifiable.

Twitter airport bomb joke conviction binned in common-sense WIN

Alex King

Re: What about Paul, though?

The compensation should come from a personal fine from the original trial judge, who should also lose his job. What a massive waste of public money this whole business has been.

UK snoop system had 1,000 COCKUPS - including 2 duff cuffs

Alex King


"the study for 2011 found that two people were wrongly arrested as a result of typos on information interceptions."

See title.


Being a skinny is much more unhealthy than being fat – new study

Alex King

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

Oh dear. get it in the Lancet or the BMJ or something half credible and I may start to believe you. Lewis - go report to Ben Goldacre for a lesson in good science, 'cos this isn't it, for the many reasons described above. Actually, it's not good journalism either, as the source evaluation is shoddy too.

I'm not familiar with the exact journal in question, but most publications with the terms "Family" and "American" in them tend to be of a christian, capitalist, right-wing flavour and have an agenda. That agenda is unlikely to have much in common with impartial health advice.

Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Alex King

Fuck this shit

I demand the right to crash myself to death if I so wish/I am stupid enough. Let people get hurt and, yes, die. That deters crashes. I don't want your god-damn cotton wool.

Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

Alex King

Re: Personally

You're not stuck in traffic - you ARE traffic. Get over yourself.


Alex King

Yes but...

Part of me wonders what would happen if VW did throw some of its GDP-of-a-small-country R&D budget at creating a hovercar. 'Twould certainly be better than Mr Moller's idiotic efforts.

How politicians could end droughts forever But they don't want to

Alex King
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Re: I Vote

Not sure if serious, but, if you are then I like you. You're an excellent example of the intellect level of greenie bashers.

Alex King

Re: London

I don't live in London, but never mind...

Alex King
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Here's a plan that costs nothing at all - cut the wages of public sector employees in London and encourage them to move to wetter places. Then you don't need as much water in London.

Unfortunately the government wants to do the exact opposite, and crowd the South East further. With any luck, that corner of the country will reach critical mass, snap off and sink.

In general, the whole "why should I change my lifestyle - SOMEONE should DO SOMETHING about getting me more water" attitude is pretty hateful. If you live beyond your means in terms of any resource, be it money, water or whatever then either earn more, use less or go and live somewhere you can afford.