* Posts by W

561 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2007


Desktop virtualization: More than a little interest


You've got balls...

...if you're prepared to publish a three page report made up of numerous graphs.

Vaguely interesting if taken as anecdotal, but barely more reliable than a shampoo advert.

Multitaskers: suckers for irrelevancy, easily distracted


Re: The Other Steve


"...the researchers who conducted the study gathered a group of about 100 students and divided them into two groups: those who regularly multitask among media and those who don't."

On what criteria were they split? Self selection? If so, then there's every chance that all this study suggests (but does not prove) is that lots of people who think they can multitask can't. Similarly, maybe those who can multitask don't recognise their own abilities.

Without any kind of control group (at the very least) this is a baseless study and the publishers of it should be ashamed of themselves.

And El Reg should be ashamed for giving them the oxygen of publicity.

4chan pwns Christians on Facebook


@ Chris C

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one.

There's a big difference between, on the one hand, staging protests against the institution of Scientology on the grounds of morality, and on the other hand, logging into an individual's accounts and potentially sabotaging their personal relationships, 'for the lulz', purely on the basis of their choice to believe in some daft fairy stories.

I wonder how many of those who are posting on here about how funny this is are the self same folk that are up in arms at the merest mention of ID cards or national databases.

Regardless, if I were paying to advertise on El Reg I'd be negotiating a discount on the basis of the peurile kiddie readership that seems to be in evidence of late.

Dan Brown is most unwanted author says Oxfam


Re: They should do the videos handed in to their record shops next

Full Monty vs Bridget Jones' Diary is the big rivalry.

OFT to probe online advertising, pricing tactics



the marketing droids could just some advice from Bill Hicks.

Google Caffeine: What it really is

Thumb Up

@Tim Bergel

-The coherent comments are few and far between. But they do occur.

-There's a vaguely pleasing sense of rhythm in the rhyming couplets. But it wears thin quickly.

-A parody of penchant for tinfoil hattery? But I'm not sure.

While I'm thinking about it - there are sometimes some relevant URLs (to news websites - The Times being one I seem to recall) in his/it's comments.


@Tim Bergel

A reply from him/it to your post wouldn't be unexpected. I have provoked a direct response before by simply mimicking his/it's posting style. The response came in the usual style. If it's a machine, I'm assuming it must have picked up on me mentioning it's username in my post.

There have been entirely salient posts in the past. And they're usually on 'proper sci/tech' articles rather than bootnotes or political stuff. The political stuff tends to invoke the most convoluted replies. Most replies take someone's previous post and provide an 'answer' (of sorts). I usually get about half way in before skipping to the next person's comment.

It has been suggested that it's a parody.

I offer no ideas on the new found "1" suffix.

Health emails from US voters overload fed website

Black Helicopters


If Chris C's description is even anywhere close to the truth, all this talk of the US going for an NHS-lite seems like quite the red herring and I can see why the proposals haven't won everyone over. It sounds like such a half measure.

Though I'm not sure I want to see the GOP reaction to proposals for an NHS-lite if the current system of insurance is peversely being portrayed as a benchmark of freedom and liberty.

Based simply on Steve Cragg's anecdote, you'd think the NHS model would be an utterly easy concept to 'sell', eh?

The whole thing seems to have degenerated into a big, weird FUDathon.

Microsoft nails retail store logo and locations


Re: "COULDN'T care less, not COULD care less!!!"


"Couldn't" is short for "Could not". Simple as that.

I really don't get how using the exact opposite can have the desired meaning when used in this situation. Can anyone USians enlighten us on this one? I've never heard it said aloud. Is there some kind of particular emphasis on one of the words that changes the obvious meaning of the words in their written form?

Tangent: Adopting the USian tradition of removing non-spoken letters would mean that "couldn't" gets shortened to "cudn't". Or even, for some folk, "C---". But that'd only strengthen the feeling of the sentence, with it becoming "I, C---, care less"! :-)


"I wonder how an Open Source shop would work?"

The Co-Op?

Thumb Up

@@ Apple fanboy..

You didn't really read the rest of my post properly before taking the bait, did you? Have another look.

As for bringing Sony Centre s into this... I've yet to come across any Sony Centre that projects any image other than "this an expensive version of Richer Sounds". But, just like Apple gadgets, the Sony brand is something I avoid.

Sony Centres are at the av geek end of a spectrum that has Apple at the chic accessory end. Which is ok if you like that kind of thing.

And that's precisely my point. I don't buy Apple or Sony stuff cos I recognise that beyond the geek/chic frontage is a world of overpriced lock-in. Richer Sounds on the other hand...

MS shouldn't have invited this on themselves by suggesting they'd go toe to toe with Apple.

M&S would never claim that they're gonna directly square up to Harvey Nichols. They'd just resolve to do what they do, but better, and maybe throw a few decent enough adverts out there to bolster their position.

Similarly, MS should just crack on with the job of opening some stores and making a decent enough job of it. Living up to grandiose promises is not their strength. Simply doing "most things well enough for most folk" is what they do best. They should leave the "some things done quite well" tactics to Apple.


MS & M&S

That logo is pretty tragic

And although the MS store is just a pic of some hoardings, everything about that pic just reeks of generic corporate shopping centre meh. Whereas the Apple store pic, with it's lighting and minimal zen landscaping looks like it's been lifted straight from the pages of an Architectural magazine.

It would seem that comparing MS and Apple is about as valid as comparing M&S with Harvey Nichols. One has nailed aspirational marketing, the other is still struggling to come to terms with notion of style.

But before the shrill shill accusations start to fly... I've never bought an Apple product and I've always bought my work trousers from M&S. :-P Maybe MS should hire Twiggy and Myleene Klass to zhjuzh up their image. Can't be any worse than their current PR efforts. And and it seemed to do the trick for M&S, after all.

Boffins test cancer-stinging 'nano-bee' swarms in mice


"advance published online"

Or simply "published online"?

See also: "pre-orders" that are actually just "orders"?

Met amends journo photo guidance to prevent interference


In summary.

"Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel."

"It should ordinarily be considered inappropriate to [...] arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests, as without more, there is no link to terrorism.

"Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched [...] to discover whether the images constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist.

"Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search."

All seemingly good stuff. But just to be completely sure on this one, how about some clarification on what the grounds might be for an officer having a "reasonable suspicion" that the photos "are intended to be used in connection with terrorism".

World whines as AT&T muzzles 4chan, Google


If you think there's a lack of "marching"

you are a) missing the point, and b) have a very selective memory.

In short, you have now become the apathetic "tsk, tsk, youth of today" muttering old codgers that you claim to have once rallied against. Probably the closest you've come to doing anything revoloutionary is buying a Citizen Smith box set.

Here's a few reminders of some recent (internet-assisted) protests that took to the street (for all the good they did, in the face of police tactics, media negligence, and governmental self-interest)...


The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world against the imminent invasion of Iraq. Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities around the world.

It's been said that between January 3 and April 12, 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war. Futhermore, These protests are said to be the biggest global peace protests before a war actually started. Europe saw the biggest mobilization of protesters, including a rally of 3 million people in Rome, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ever anti-war rally.

March 2003: In Manchester, 300 (eye-witness Stop the War estimate) secondary school children, Further Education students and university students met at Albert Square at 12 noon. They marched to the BBC studios where they sat down peacefully in the road at around 1pm and blocked the traffic for over an hour. The numbers had grown to around 1000 by this time. The BBC did not come out to film them, but they were filmed by anti-war video activists and video clips are available on the web. The students then marched around the city centre and ended up back at Albert Square at about 4pm where they remained demonstrating in front of the Town Hall for some hours. The police, in at least two places, obstructed their path with the notorious "penning" tactics that are familiar to many demonstrators in Britain. This involves surrounding demonstrators on all sides with police, vehicles and horses for half an hour, an hour, or more and obstructing their movement in any direction. Meanwhile, police video cameras ostentatiously film the demonstrators. The alarming aspect of these tactics in this case was the fact that they appeared to be used in an arbitrary, routine way against entirely peaceful anti-war demonstrators. This "penning" happened in two places: Marlborough Street near the BBC studios for around an hour at approximately 2.30pm, just after the sit-down protest had ended, and later in John Dalton Street at around 3.30pm, for about an hour, as the demonstration attempted to enter Albert Square. The whole of this event (including the "penning") was filmed comprehensively by anti-war video activists and two hours of raw footage is available on the web for anyone who doubts what happened.



On Saturday 2nd July 2005 over 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh to call on world leaders to act at the G8 summit. Many of the campaigners were dressed in white to form the world's largest human white band and speakers from around the world addressed the crowd to speak of the difference the G8 could make when they met later in the week at Gleneagles."


July 6 - Demonstrators walked overnight up to 20 miles to reach Gleneagles as the A8 had been closed. They were not convinced by the police who told them that they were not allowed to continue "for their own safety" as there had been "bomb threats" near Auchterarder. There had been an agreement with police that protesters would be allowed to walk past Gleneagles Hotel itself, within earshot of the G8, but police from all over the UK instead herded protesters onto a road bridge and violently suppressed the peaceful protest there.


The 2009 G-20 London summit protests occurred in the days around the G-20 summit on 2 April 2009, which was the focus of protests from a number of groups over various long-standing and topical issues. These ranged from disquiet over economic policy, anger at the banking system and bankers' remuneration and bonuses, the continued war on terror and concerns over climate change.

Although the majority of the protests and protesters were peaceful, the threat of violence and criminal damage were used by police as a reason to detain, or "kettle", protesters as part of Operation Glencoe. The police choice of "Operation Glencoe" as a codename was linked with the Glencoe Massacre.

In the days leading up to the summit, the Metropolitan police warned protest groups that the protests on April 1 would be "very violent" and that they were "up for it, and up to it" in the event of trouble. The police used the crowd-control tactic known as containment or the “kettle”, to hold 5,000 people inside a police cordon without food, drink or lavatory facilities. This combined with riot police pushing into crowds with shields and batons.

Ian Tomlinson died after being shoved and struck by a police officer within a police cordon of the G-20 Meltdown protest near the Bank of England. Initially the City of London Police denied that any incident with the police had occurred, and the death was attributed to natural causes. ... A second post-mortem has revealed that Tomlinson may have died from an abdominal haemorrhage. ...A police officer has been questioned under suspicion of manslaughter as a probe into the circumstances surrounding this death continues.


If you have a problem with Wikipedia references (references!, not sources!), organise a protest march.

Boston student fined thousands for Napstering


Two(-ish) things.

1. That fine/"award for damages" is astonishing. Is it really expected that it'll be paid off? Bit by bit, over the years to come? And that the lad in question will basically be in debt for the rest of his life because of uploading 3 or 4 albums? Hmmm. What's the real upshot of these fine/"award for damages"? I can't take such a ruling seriously when it's so out of proportion to the offence.

2. a) Amazon's mp3 store seems to be just about getting to the point where their catalogue is sufficiently extensive as to be a credible alternative to CDs. But the price is still crazy - There is no way on this earth that mp3s will become the default format at £5 or more for an mp3 album of 12 songs. Especially when a massive slew of CDs are available from Amazon Marketplace for well under a fiver. Yet an Amazon mp3 albums will often be the same price as new CDs (which are still being released at a smidge under a tenner). Same goes for iTunes. Too pricey. Ok, if you buy the odd song, but hopeless if you're a music enthusiast.

2. b) eMusic seemed like a possible way forward. Their catalogue was not sufficiently comprehensive, but their prices were close to acceptable. After weighing it up, and just as I was on the cusp of committing to a subscription, they announced the tie-in with the majors. And a price rise. The utter fools managed to take away eMusics key attraction.

2 c) Spotify streaming is great for previewing and exploring. It's the /beginning/ of the future. To pretend otherwise is insane. But there needs to be a /properly/ compelling paid for version that's better than just 'no ads for £10 per month'. How about £3/4/5 per month for a multi-platform mobile phone streaming version for starters? Though if you want me to pay any real amount of money for recorded music, I want to be able to keep it. CDs allow me to do that. There's no going back. The cat's out of the bag. Renting music just doesn't cut it. How about £10 per month for a minimum of 100(?) downloaded tracks. Then I'd be listening. Or a bit more extra (£5/10?) for unlimited downloads? And maybe £20 a month for a combined mobile phone streaming and unlimited downloads package? Simples!

Now I appreciate that "they" have the fear that some folk will subscribe for a month and download the entire history of recorded music, then leave, re-subscribe at a later date and scoop up the rest. Some folk will. And some folk will just p2p and you'll get nothing. Maybe you could increase the download allowance the longer a person has been a subscriber - Gmail inbox style. Note to industry: incentives, rather than threats are more of an encouragement to Do The Right Thing. But to worry too much about that ignores that fact that there are still plenty of folk willing to pay for new music, and that those folk are their core customers. The other folk wouldn't have provided any major revenue anyway.

And let's be honest - the entire history of recorded music has been utterly milked (by way of sales, compilations, bundles, re-issues, licensing for ads etc) to the point where its value as a saleable commodity is verging toward zero at an ever increasing rate anyway. Bite the bullet and get with the program. But they just won't, will they?

[Context: I don't p2p. I buy CDs, (mainly from Amazon Marketplace), and then rip 'em.]

Sky switches on 3D TV channel in 2010


Jimmy Floyd @ 08:30 GMT has nailed this one.

Yeah, Coraline in 3D at the Cinema was vaguely impressive. But I can't help thinking 3DTV is a niche novelty rather than a new must-have format. Much like HD.

>"In order to see a 3D image, Sky stressed that you will have to fork out for a 3D-ready TV and wear polarising glasses."

-In order to sell 3D TV, I stress that Sky will have to come up with a more compelling proposition.

Plus, an awkward situation still remains for the significant proportion of the population that are glasses wearers. None of the obvious solutions (contacts / prescription 3D glasses / clip on 3D lenses) come close to being a compelling solution.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Dead Vulture

@ El Reg site designers

"Not only does the higher than the netbook norm resolution mean you get to see web pages in their entirety..."

Do you? Really?

It's true that on a 1366 wide screen you do get to see a good deal more of web pages with a liqud layout. Which is all good.

Or... you get to see the full width of the few odd web pages that are fixed at a width wider than 1024. Which is nice to have.

But... for fixed width pages 'optimised' for 1024 width screens, the benefits are merely marginal on a 1366 wide screen. Which is easy to get frustrated about, considering the premium price of the otherwise useful larger screen.

But who would do such a thing?

Just saying.

Scotch lovers asked to cough up £10,000 per bottle


@ Andus McCoatover

Vodka+Fishermen's Friend, you say? Good grief!

(So obscure I think I might give it a whirl, though).

Translation services used to pump out polyglot spam



For personal use. Pretty rubbish, isn't it?

It's used to be something I used to catch up with buddies more than anything else. But now my inbox just seems to be a repository for receipts, confirmation messages, and adverts that I've 'subscribed' to.

Friendly banter with mates takes place elsewhere on the web.

Email's pretty lacking as a works messaging tool, too, when you think about the possibilities.

Gmail conversation threading was a nice touch. But it just seems like a last hurrah more than anything.

Microsoft! and! Yahoo! finally! sign! search! deal!


Currently giving DuckDuckGo a whirl.

I was wondering if Google still deserved it's role as the default search in my browser so I tried a few alternatives. The obvious alts of Yahoo, Ask, Cuil, and Clusty were all just about capable but didn't really give sound enough case for shifting from Google. And each one irked me in one way or another.

Quite liked Scour, but their pop up log-in prompts soon became annoying cos I clear my cookies and history at the end of each sesh.

Currently giving DuckDuckGo a whirl. Daft name, but it's pretty good. Not perfect by any means. But it's quick, and seems like a genuine attempt to refine the searching process. I like the cut of it's jib and am still using it after a week for straight searches, but there are just some things (maps, translations...) that Google does really well on top (not to mention Gmail, Reader, etc). So I find that I just keep coming back to the G.

Opera chief: history will silence Unite doubters


@ jake

"This guy really isn't trying to endear himself to the techie community, is he?"

No. I don't think he is. I think that might be the point though.

Looks like he's aiming to fall into the middle ground. Between the hassles of a geekalicious diy website or other homemade sharing solution at one end of the spectrum. And the hassles of posting your life on the web2.0 flickr/picasa/deviantart/youtube/vimeo/twitter/facebook/last.fm/myspace/delicious/digg/blogger/wordpress cloud at the other end of the spectrum.

Unite seems to be pitched at those who _don't_ want to bone up on HTML, & Apache & NAS setups etc or _don't_ want to to 'go public' or 'social' or use p2p, but _do_ want to share photos, and files etc with family and real life friends.

And after viewing the Unite vid clips on their site, I can see where he's coming from. It looks like a boss idea.

Basically seems to boil down to being something that lets you easily turn portions of your PC into a remotely accesible NAS. And/or saves me faffing and uploading a bunch of photos to picasa/flickr. Instead I can just arrange MY files on MY machine as desired, set the folder to share, email the link to my folks.

Simples. I plan to give it a whirl.

But whether it turns out to be decent or not, Opera still come across as overly whiney in relation to this IE installation malarkey.

The open source comments are plain odd. I understood open source to stand for transparency and a wider net of feedback into the development, rather than being about 'marketing'. Although, to be fair, it's their code and company and their perogative over what they do with it.

Finally, to the overly snippy folk: why the hate? Opera is a capable browser and it's nice to have some options that don't come from MS or Google.

Landlord sues tenant over moldy Tweet


Horizon Group Management site, Chicago - the people that sue first, ask later

Horizon Group Management, Chicago - the people that sue first, ask later - seem to have been a bit silly, don't they?

It would seem that pretty much no-one here would let or rent an appartment from Horizon Group Management site, Chicago - the people that sue first, ask later.

Hi Mum. And Mr Google bot.

Facebook slaps faces on ads


Myriad options. Difficult to stay on top.

I signed up and thought it a bit dodgy that you could put in your web email address and web email account password and it'd be able to extract all your contacts. Most undesirable. But it was how it got to be so popular so quickly. People just jumped right in and spewed an invite out to their whole address book (and it'd be scary to think how man yfolk have the same password for facebook and web email). Me? I just created a 'standalone' account and then uploaded a carefully edited list of close contacts as a csv file after signing up and having a nosey around.

I stopped adding folk long ago, but the odd person I know pops up and adds me. If I know them in person and would be willing to sit down for a drink with them, I'll add 'em to a list with restricted viewing rights. 'Friends' total so far: 78.

I've actively blocked every daft zombie/quiz/etc app that has cropped up lately. Total so far: nigh on 300 applications blocked.

Beacon is blocked, so no outside sites can look into my profile.

No credit card added to buy virtual gifts.

Haven't confirmed gender just because they asked.

Haven't blindly signed up for a 'custom URL'.

No linked accounts have been added.

Not 'activated' my mobile or registered for texts. Or added a mobile app. I just went to m.facebook in my mobile browser under my own steam.

Public Search listings is turned off

My 'Wall' is turned off. You want to chat? Send me a message. I'm not one for having my nattering open to all, recorded, and displayed for all and sundry.

Search within facebook returns resticted info on me.

Had it set to email me of any activity in relation to me (tagging, poking etc.) though they seem to have given up on that one.

Can't stop friends tagging me in their own photos (or other people viewing those photos, which is fair enough), but it's set to let me know when it happens, and set not to be browsable by anyone but me. The odd incidental photo as part of a random set is fine, but I want to be the one in control of who's able to specifically browse through a catalogue of my mugshots.


I've just had a rummage through the privacy settings for any stuff they've decided to add lately...

A select few apps that I'd messed with and thought I'd uninstalled had not been uninstalled and fully denied access to my profile. Now done, so no API-based non-inbuilt facebook functions at all are installed. Although I'd unchecked all the boxes in the list of stuff to share with apps via 'facebook platform' anyways, I'm now able to select the elusive "Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API" radio button.

Facebook Connect - hadn't seen that one. Now blocked.

"Show my social actions in Facebook Ads" (Option hidden behind Adblock Plus!)? Er, no thanks.

-I suppose you can't claim they don't offer enough options. But it's all getting a bit insidious, tbh. And after blocking out all the advertising crud, what you're left with is a wannabe Address Book / Twitter / Flickr / Youtube combo. But just of your friends' stuff. Which is actually a relatively compelling proposition. Especially seeing as it's almost easier to be sure of reaching a friend via facebook than via email these days because:

a- they're all on there

b - no need to keep track of what email address to use

c- not everyone is comfortable with using an RSS feed of a Flickr account or a Picasa URLs for sharing photos).

So I'd maybe be prepared to pay a modest fee for (couple of quid a month). But only on the condition that they go ad-free and guarantee not to share ANY personal info with ANY third parties. But they won't do that cos it's easier to sell ads based on details provided by folk who don't really care about any of the above.

Foxconn answers critics over suicidal iPhone engineer


@ Eradicate all BB entrants

"I think a question that needs to be asked of companies such as Apple, who completely outsource their manufacturing to such companies, is why are they still charging the premium price tag for products that only a few years ago were put together by someone who was paid per hour what some of their current staff earn in 2 weeks?"


Same as the trainers argument - If Nike are only paying $1 a day for slave labour, how come trainers are so expensive?

I guess the answer is that "we" pay for the marketing and other guff that provides "us" with cushy office jobs and supports the brands' 'global' appeal. Effectively, the high price is a hidden protectionist subsidy that's rolled into the cost of the product that "we" pay "ourselves".

Reason: If we weren't under the marketing thrall of these 'global' big ticket brands, developing countries would be able to sell equivalent no-brand products at a fraction of the price. Ooooh, cheaper products! Seems like a bonus for us until you realise that no-one would in marketing, branding, advertising, media etc would be in a job due to the lack of need for them.

Meedja is propping up the rich portion of the world under the illusion of growth. Cheap/dispensible labour is propping up the poorer portion of the world, under the illusion that they'll be as 'rich' as us one day. Wrong. The current level of global consumption and inequality is, quite simply, unsustainable. At some indeterminate point in the future we'll 'meet somewhere in the middle', by way of war, policy, or a combination of the two.

It's a mixed up world, eh?

[This is obviously an big-picture aside to the sad and sorry story of a specific death]

eBay hands badges to top-rated sellers


@ Philip Cohen

Cheers for the (comprehensive!) write-up. You've confirmed my suspicions.

eBay have been playing sellers and buyers off against each other for a while now. Seems like they're going out of their way to shield sellers who manage to artificially inflate their sale prices whilst at the same time squeezing legit, small sale value sellers.

I only buy or sell low value "widgety" items on eBay now. Too much risk for anything else. Besides, Amazon provide better value for selling and buying items that they have listed.

MoD sticks with 'most decrepit browser in the world'


"The Identity and Passport Service is due to move to IE7 in mid-2010."


NHS Direct gets to be number one, one, one


888 is a title?

888 for cases relating to NHS/Police/Fire that don't warrant a 999 call?

It's gotta be the easiest thing in the world to remember and the easiest thing in the world to market. Reasons why not?

Virgin Media to deploy performance monitoring tech


Worth it?

"you will automatically be entered into a draw to win a prize as notified to you in the trial update e-mails... In addition, all applicants for participation in the Trial by the closing date will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 20 £100 gift vouchers."

Potentially not bad. Anyone know what the notified prizes (aside from the 20 vouchers) are? If they were doing a prize draw for a year's free bills or something, I might have found the motivation to dig around for the account and reference numbers required for sign up.

But I'd also need more reassurances of this not being in any way some sly Phorm-esque shenanigans. Trust is easily lost, but hard won.

Besides, my D-Link router falls into the 'other' brand category, which doesn't bode well.

Yahoo! confirms Gmail add-on buy



"Xoopit lets you pluck multimedia from your webmail account, before sharing them with friends, colleagues, and world+dog."

How is this in anyway a functional improvement beyond forwarding an email+attachments or posting the attachment to a flickr or facebook account?

Well... I just had a look at the Xoopit webpage and wading through the buzzwords, it would appear to be some form an advanced search/attachment browser.

OK.... I'm using Gmail, and Xoopit works with Gmail. What was that compelling reason to start using Ymail?

And even if I did want to use it, I'd have to question the wisdom of "letting something into my inbox". That may or may not be a valid concern, but at least at the moment I know Google are the only ones trawling my inbox for keywords. Opening the stable door to external apps is just not an appealing prospect.

There is a reason stuff sinks to the depths of my gmail inbox without trace. If it was important, I would have starred it, downloaded and saved it locally, replied to to, it to myself, with a bunch of easily searched for keywords, etc etc etc

And if something does need dredging up, what's wrong with "has:attachment jpg from:Person after:2008/05/22 before:2009/05/22 keyword" etc? (Apart from knowing what the search operators are? - Which is something that Gmail could maybe think about making more accessible.)

Xoopit just seems like a case of an in-elegantly over-engineered solution looking for a problem.

Sony Ericsson Xperia drops Windows for Android


To the Motorola F3 and Nokia 1100 owners:

Your phone is a beacon of simplicity and value. Nice choice. But your choice to

a) buy a DSLR, and

b) tell us all about it

was entirely justified because, apparently,

i) you're a serious photograper, and

ii) it's impossible to create anything approaching a worthwhile 2d image on anything with less than a 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor, 20million pixels and 99x optical zoom

was clearly

1) done to death before mobiles even existed, and

2) silly and just plain wrong.

-Do you always use a desktop PC because they have more functions and features than laptops?

-Do you always use Word because it has more functions and features than Notepad?

-Do you always write a letter because it allows more functions and features than a text message (from your Motorola F3 or Nokia 1100, presumably)?

No. No you don't. Because you know that different tools are for different jobs.

Tools = DSLR / Compact / Cameraphone / Pencil & Paper.

Tasks = Pro, large print, and arty Images / Decent general photographs / Snapshots / Sketches.

Tools and jobs, guys. Tools and jobs.

So just have a small lie down and get over yourselves and your specific obsession with camera needs/wants/choices. And if you doze off, try not to have nightmares about lomography.

Yahoo! lavishes $75m on self


Search / Delicious

I recently went back to Yahoo! as my default search engine for a while. I lasted a week before I realised that for every other search, I was going from Yahoo! to Google, and then doing the search from there.

Whatever the reason for that might be, Yahoo! needs to overcome it.

Primarily, Yahoo! need to get their search output sorted.

Clusty and Cuil and Scour attempt a different spin on things, but they face the problem of being too blimmin' slow for before we even bother to consider the results.

Ask Jeeves is ok. Re-Rebranding was logical, but bringing back that butler as a full screen height image is just daft and reeks of a yearning for a time gone by, grasping for folk who still have Bonzi Buddy installed.

MS used to have a compelling reason to use 'em because of their Maps (they showed rail stations and sometimes had better sattelite imagery). But they've since (quite literally) obscured those positives by seperseding/rebranding with multimap, whose fixed screen furniture takes up plain silly amounts of screen estate. Google now show rail stations and bus stops anyway.

After that bunch, who is there? Dogpile, Twine, Hakia, Searchme, Kosmix? We'll see...

Hopefully some of this new investment will go into polishing the gem that is Delicious. That and Flickr are Yahoo!'s two biggest pluses, in my book.

Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles

Big Brother

I haven't used a Kindle

but I'm not likely to in a hurry going on this informatiom. This scenario makes the Kindle ebooks sound much more like loans or rentals than actual purchases, which is A Bad Thing. If the ebooks are actually rentals of an in(de)finite period, rather than purchases, they should be sold as such.

Webcams, printers, gizmos - the untold net threats


Stanford Peripheral Experiment?


Would you leave your child alone with a cabinet minister?


jeremy 3, Chris O'Shea & Iggle Piggle

...have nailed this.

The apparent threshold of whether you have supervisory contact with children more than once a month seems sensible.

A _sensible_ check for those who are trusted to take on a supervisory role for vulnerable individuals? Seems completely rational.


Not supervisory and aren't left alone with kids? Why check?

Allowing checks to include any reference to baseless rumours or accusations? Insane. It's wide open to beinfg gamed by folk logging accusations or rumours for purely unrelated malicious reasons.

Yes, we should be encouraging scoutmasters etc, but by giving credence to baseless rumours we're moving towards a position where the volunteer is arguably the more vulnerable party.

So, ironically, the current CRB regime & methodology is potentially harming children by denying them the opportunity to have people volunteer their services due to the potential for their life to be ruined by one single, malicious, unproved allegation that could crop up at any time due to a perfectly innocent disagreement between the volunteer and a disgruntled parent wishing to exercise a little sabotage.

I do a little volunteer work, but I'll not be getting CRB checks done any time soon, so what can be done by my group is limited to adding the disclaimer that all U16s need to be accompanied. As long as tittle tattle rather than actual convictions has the ability to potentially ruin me, I'll decline, cheers.

I thought we'd stopped actual witch-hunts a while ago.

Microhoo! deal! back! on!



I've recently gone back and given Yahoo another go for searches. It's not up to scratch compared to Google. No one is, for better or worse.

Apple's panties in bunch over Microsoft ads


Re: the "I'm a Mac" ads were irritating

"All those did was make Mac owners look like smug..."

They got something right then, eh?

This is the thing that gets me about Apple product owners. They feel the overwhelming need to gab on about their purchase. Presumably as an attempt to offset the fact that they've just paid a good wad for it.

But what do they say about their shiny white gadget? They say it's _so_ easy to use, looks _great_ and is so _stable_ and _immune_ to viruses.

My experience? I've no love for the iPod wheel and Macs don't have a delete key. 'Easy to use' is a matter of opinion, based on what you're used to as much as anything else. What they really mean is 'they do things for you'. Looks are a matter of opinion & a decent looking laptop or phone is not hard to find these days. And I've not had a virus since the days of surfing without anti-virus in Win95. Can't remember the last crash I had in XP. Vista might well drag it's heels sometimes, but (to me) it seems to be even less likely to actually fall over than XP.

Apple owners _choose_ to buy Apple, yes. But their choice is to pay up so they _don't have to choose_. Windows users just accept that MS is a totally sufficient de facto standard (in the vast majority of cases). Linux users are either doing very specialist tasks or using it based on an ideology - even the splendid Linux Mint is not up to spec compared to XP/Vista for many users.

Vulture Central plans Brit-Yank dictionary

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Especially when the Brit version of "I couldn't care less", spoken hurriedly, results in a deliciously satisfying sly use of the C- word.

Here's another one: "We don't got X". "We do not got X", eh? Tsk.

Surely, by any standard measure, it's "We don't have X" (We do not have X) or "We haven't got X" (We have not got X).

Presumably it comes from "We got it", used in the present tense, as a shortening of "We've got it".

I can see _some_ merit in logical, contracted spellings. But it's disappointing when corruptions are a case of plain ignorance rather than a sensible 'evolution of the language'.

Although, to be honest, the UK-ians have nothing to be smug about. *They're* particularly bad when *their* use of *there* is so embarassingly to cock.

<us-ian>Go figure.</us-ian>



Don't forget Loogerberooger & Edinberrg!

California skateboard dude swipes Reg logo


"So why the vulture?"

El Reg's official Vulture story goes thusly:

"Our logo is the brainchild of Reg co-founder John Lettice. Many years ago - 1995, or 1996 - The Register produced a small newsletter to dole out at CeBIT. John says he chose the vulture for the masthead as an ironic take on the eagle used so often on newspapers. We think it was because his clipart CD didn't have an eagle." -

As per http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/30/el_reg_vulture_found_in_bag_of_crisps/ (other old reg logos here, also).

Other 'classic' vulture logo stories worth an airing:

-> Preposterous Strategy Boutique-athon @ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/09/logowatch_the_vulture_laid_bare/

-> Stalin in an El Reg T-Shirt @ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/09/11/readers_gallery/

-> High geekery (arf) @ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/09/08/vulture_hits_new_heights/

Yahoo! takes notes on your searches



Have these people at Google not considered promoting/investing in their own excellent, already existing, property - namely Delicious.com.

I want my search to be a slick and minimal affair, not clogged up with snippets and widgets and clipmarks and soforth that has accumulated along the way. A great many of my searches are one time only and completely irrelevant to any future activites.

I use Delicious for my 'I'll probably want to come back to that sometime' notetaking.

Yahoo: please don't let Delicious wither and die. Alongside Flickr, it's one of your greatest assets.

Is your cameraphone an oxymoron?

Dead Vulture

Jimi Hendrix on a 5 stringed wooden spoon > most folk on a £1000 guitar

The person taking the photo is the main variable.

Better cameras don't make it possible for everyone to take better photos.

Better cameras make it easier for some people to take better photos some of the time.

Some of the more stuck up among you probably wake up in a cold sweat after having nightmares about lomography, eh?

Call me daft, but when I'm on my hols, in the pub, or wherever, I want to enjoy the moment, and maybe grab a few quick reminders of it all. That means not having to lug around and nurse a muli-hundred pound piece of kit. Whatever. I use my E71 for all my snaps. Used to have a K770i for all snaps. Sue me. Before that I had a period where I took very few snaps. Because I just couldn't be doing with the hassle of carrying around extra tech.

Notice I used the term snaps? Does that make you feel any better? Knowing that I don't call them photographs?

If you're doing pro or enthusiast photography (where the expectation is completely apart from the accepted capabilities of a cameraphone), then yeah, have a good lurk around at dpreview and enjoy your "proper" camera.

I'll check gsmarena in the meantime, until El Reg can come up with a more meaningful cameraphone comparison than this dead end of an article.

Firefox 3.5 - it's not a 'web upgrade'

Dead Vulture


re-opens the tab that was last closed. Alternatively, right click on tab bar and select 'Undo Close Tab'. It's been there in FF for a good while.

Dragging & Dropping tabs into a new window has also in FF for a good while, too. Granted, it 'copies and reloads' the tab in the new window rather than does a 'cut and paste', but that's no hardship.

Stallman: open-source .NET 'danger' for Debian


@AC re: MEDUSA from CAD Schroer

Cheers - thanks for the heads up. Looks interesting, so I'll be having a play with that later on.


I can't be the only one who just wants to know:

will we get to see Paint.NET* on Linux?

That, AutoCAD, and Foobar2000 are just about the only reasons I've got for clinging onto a Windows partition like a big scaredy cat.

*To the first person to mention GIMP: I know you mean well, but no.

Vodafone said to be mulling T-Mobile UK bid


For balance,

I'm very happy on 3, thanks, and have been for a couple of years now. Their store staff deserve a mention for being much more friendly, knowledgeable, and just plain personable than many other pushy phone sales folk.

No company connections, just a satisfied customer.

PayPal UK titsup

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"a sign of its popularity"

== evidence of it's ubiquity (which for the most part is due to eBay's snidey setup)

Transformers helmsman demolishes English language


@ S Bee

>"Hey, let's have some kind of competition or something where you lot try and out-grammar each other in fixing the appallingly shoddy English of this millionaire movie director, and I offer an amazing prize of a shiny thing which I have no intention of awarding to anyone."

What on earth did you expect to happen in this particular comments section?

Pedantic Reg story + pedantic Reg readers = pedantic Reg comments

I'm happy to have done my bit.


Re:Re:Does it realy matter? [sic]

"There is a difference between someone making a conscious decision not to conform to existing "rules", and one who does so because he is stupid."

I am willing to forgo a criticism of the foregoing misspelling of the title because it's a typo. It happens. I will now proceed to pass comment on the preceding quote...

I can just about ignore the "stupid factor". Some people posting here might not be using English as a first language, or were never taught the basics.

But that the way in which some folk claim that their ignorance of very basic grammar and spelling is part of some kind of deliberate or natural evolution of the language is laughable. It is not. Be humble enough to admit your ignorance when it exists, and then do something about it.

Eg: Your / you're have their own distinct meanings. To mix the two is just plain wrong and introduces ambiguity. As far as evolution goes, I can see how yr or UR could be useful as substitutes in the (ever fewer) times where there are extreme limts on character use. Yr is a contraction of your. Fine. UR is using letters to repesent the already contracted words that make up you're (U R = 'you are'). That's logical, too. But using UR to represent 'your' just displays yr lack of understanding of what UR doing.

Ironically enough, the folk on here who wallow in their grammatical ignorance are probably the same folk who berate non-savvy PC users. All you apologists for willful and flagrant disregard of language structure are just the same as those who berate non-savvy PC users.

I try to have patience with most non-savvy PC users. We can't all be totally on top of everything. It's the headstrong, non-savvy users without patience that are the problem. The ones who won't even click and browse the start menu programs folder if an icon disappears from the desktop, but proceed to blame the computer for being stupid. The ones who are just plain stubborn and are looking to pass on the blame for their own

And that's you^H^H^Hr IT angle.

Intel and Nokia's brave new world


"Over 64 billion web pages exist today"

What does that even mean any more? Measuring the internet in web pages only tells half the story of how the web is being. It might be a vaguely useful metric for something like Geocities (RIP) or maybe Wikipedia. But when we have constantly updating pages like a gmail inbox, facebook homepage, online RSS readers, etc And that's without mentioning twitter, last.fm and other widgets, plus online office doc and image editors. So quantifying the web in terms of page numbers is to miss the point somewhat.

And while we're on the subject of Web 2.0 being made of badgers' paws...

These new icons: Where's the Good Google / Bad Google? Are Schmidt/Brin/Page not recognisable enough? Afraid of copyright probs if you use the G from the logo? What about a bad Tux icon?