* Posts by Paul Slater

70 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2007


No horrific butterfly keys on this keyboard, just you and your big, dumb fingers

Paul Slater

Seems like it would only be useful to touch typers. Despite over 30 years in the game I still look at the keyboard about 50% of the time

WD's Purple reign continues: 12TB helium disks for vid spy tech

Paul Slater

Isn't there some sort of worldwide shortage of helium?

Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

Paul Slater

Okay, I just looked at the Samsung website and a Note 8 in Midnight Black or Orchid Gray [sic] is £689

Healthcare tops UK data breach chart – but it's not what you're thinking

Paul Slater

Also, the health service is the fifth biggest employer in the world

Shopping for PCs? Ding, dong, the Dock is dead in 2017's new models

Paul Slater

Re: Or we can read this as

33% - every one knows it can often take three goes to get the USB connection oriented correctly....

Google loses Android friends with Pixel exclusivity

Paul Slater

Re: Given most OEMs' approach to Android updates,

You can have my Ubuntu converted Nexus 5 for £90....

The Zucker Mister Social Club: Facebook's daddy wants to be your friend, for realsies

Paul Slater

I've read maybe one book in the last 20 years, until a couple of months ago when I was encouraged to rediscover them. I'm reading 2 together now and have just finished a third

Itchy-fingered OnePlus presses refresh, out pops value champ 3T

Paul Slater

Oh do grow up

US Supreme Court to hear case that may ruin Lone Star patent trolls

Paul Slater

If the state patent laws were harmonised then it wouldn't matter at all where they were heard (in theory).

Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

Paul Slater

Re: Cause and effect?

>> where the materials can be sourced locally

I hear Poldark's mine has found a new lode of tin

‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

Paul Slater

Curtains for Windows

Will this phrase finally start to ring true?

Google broke its own cloud by doing two updates at once

Paul Slater

Re: Still planning to have these clown in your infrastructure?

The OED is already listing the singular use (as opposed to just the plural) meaning "esp. a building or part of a building that houses a business"

You can't argue with usage. Well, you can, but you won't win.

Sysadmins: Use these scripts to fully check out of your conference calls

Paul Slater

Markov chain redditbot? I wrote a Markov program in REXX back in the early 90's that would produce passing semblances of meeting minutes. I also adapted it to create English-sounding nonsense passwords based on letter probabilities. Basically, I invented predictive text before Nokia, Apple and Google. Lightweights the lot of them

Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

Paul Slater

What is the air-line ? Not being from London these things are not always obviously hilarious to me

Spear phishers target gullible Brits more than anyone else – survey

Paul Slater

Grains of sand on a beach

Actually, a billion grains of sand would only fill a bathtub (well, grains of salt actually). So it's not like finding a virus on a beach, more like finding one in a half-filled bath.

I'll fetch my sunhat..

Monster motor breathes fire in Mississippi

Paul Slater

I make it 2500000/(1500*4.54*500) = 0.73 olympic swimming pools

BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Paul Slater

Err, they do actually. I've come across a couple of news sites in the last few weeks that stop you reading the content if you don't disable the ad-blocker

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

Paul Slater

This is so simple. I mean, it's not rocket science is it?

Randall Munroe spoke to The Reg again. We're habit-forming that way

Paul Slater

Re: New names for things...

"compounds are not ambiguous as they are in English..."

This is not entirely true. Adjectives have an order in English so that we we would expect (for instance) a big bouncing baby to be a child that is of a good healthy size rather than one that is able to bounce quite high.


Big Blue's big iron daddy Gene Amdahl dies aged 92

Paul Slater

Ahh yes... I remember when we replaced our 3081-era IBM mainframe that took up about 100 square feet, with a phone box sized Amdahl, which all us PFYs and BOFHs afectionately referred to as the Amstrad

Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Paul Slater

"I wonder of one person having more than one zero-hour contract is regarded as several people in 'employment'?"

Yes it is:

"Employment increased by 1.08m between January to March 2008 and June to August 2014, but only 26,000 were full-time employee roles." http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/12/one-40-jobs-created-recession-full-time-employee-tuc-employment

Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'

Paul Slater

"much though they don't speak English in China, India, Poland or Russia "...

Almost a third of the Polish population speak English, 10% of the Indian population - around 125 million - and 7.5m and 10m from Russia and China http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population

Stale Blackhole leads to dried-up spam, claim badhat-probers

Paul Slater

Ransom fee

I'm curious. If you are crypto-locked and pay the ransom fee, do they send instructions for unlocking the drive?

Facebook RIPS away your veil of privacy, declares NO MORE HIDING

Paul Slater

Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

Only if you use a loyalty card

Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

Paul Slater

Re: Cultural

ditto for the UK if Cameron has his way and does away with our ECHR responsibilities

Techies with Asperger's? Yes, we are a little different...

Paul Slater

Noise pollution

One thing that is not always taken into consideration is the fact that a lot of Aspies (myself included) have a huge sound sensitivity issue. If too many people are talking at once either in a meeting or even just in the office, I feel an almost overwhelming urge to tell them all to stop shouting and to talk one at a time. It's not only very difficult to separate separate sound streams, it also makes it almost impossible to hold phone conversations. I've often left the room if I'm just sat at my desk and there is too much talking.

Recently a radio was introduced into the office and the battle over which station and what volume was quite possibly the most stressful episode I've ever had to deal with in a ~30 year IT career. It's settled down now, so if it stays on 6 music at volume 5 or below I can just about work, but its introduction has been instrumental in me moving on to another job for another company.

Hundreds of hackers sought for new £500m UK cyber-bomber strike force

Paul Slater

Re: They can **** off ...

Except there is a bill at its 2nd reading to reintroduce National Service for 18-26 year olds....


Michael Gove: C'mon kids, quit sexting – send love poems instead

Paul Slater

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I'm crap at poetry

Nice arse.

Brit online property bazaar Zoopla ponders BILLION-pound flotation

Paul Slater

I had an idea for an estate agents house-sale aggregator website back in 1993 or 4 but there were only about 30 people on the internet back then so I didn't bother. Bugger.

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Paul Slater

Re: Not so good for real time...

I still ring the speaking clock twice a year - dial 123

ARM head legs it from core body: CEO Warren East retires

Paul Slater
Thumb Up

Good headline

Reminds me of the story I read yesterday about Michael Foot being made commissioner for nuclear disarmament or something. The Times's headline was "FOOT HEADS ARMS BODY"

NASA's twin GRAILs reunite in lunar orbit

Paul Slater


...unlike the Beagle 2 app, which just crashes.

Skype to test advertising

Paul Slater

@Combat Wombat

I happily run Skype for Linux on my Ubuntu machine. Note, this is a native Skype for Linux client, not the Windows one running under Wine or something


Still in beta, but hey.

Elon Musk's rocket booked by Google X-Prize moon robot

Paul Slater

Minerals and fuel

So who owns the rights to all these resources up on the moon?

Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun

Paul Slater

Autorun attacks from CD

"..Microsoft has yet to see in-the-wild attacks that exploit Autorun on “shiny media.”..."

Err, Sony DRM?

Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV

Paul Slater

viewing position

you gotta face the TV pretty much head-on... and if it's up on the wall over the fireplace, you gotta stand up. All for a crap film. No ta.

DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards

Paul Slater

Attack motives

"The motives for the attack, much less its perpetrators, remain unclear."

Perhaps it was because the company is called "sitelutions"? What an abomination of a portmanteau

Tory councillor arrested over 'stoning to death' tweet

Paul Slater


All he had to do was put "j/k" at the end.

Foxconn faces leaked report of worker abuse, violence

Paul Slater

Dilbert had it right in 1993


Google's 'instant' search springs keyboard controls

Paul Slater

Lost on a non-touch-typer

I really can't see any benefit from this at all for people who don't touch type. I've been looking at the keyboard as I type for over 25 years and I'm not about to learn touch-typing any time soon, so all these instant suggestions are lost on me until I've finished the search phrase. At best, they save me one key press (the enter key).

OpenOffice files Oracle divorce papers

Paul Slater


FreeOffice would be a better name. And less confusing to pronounce.

OED goes the way of all flesh paper

Paul Slater

Library access

Join your local library and you get free online access via your library membership. I've been using it this way for about 4 years. One of the unseen benefits of public libraries, that the gummunt is trying to close down.

Emmerdale shoves jam rags in innocent kiddies' faces

Paul Slater

Catch up

I thought I'd check it out on ITV Player to see how long the "offending" stuff was there. Surprise surprise, that particular episode has been pulled!

The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Paul Slater


I was similarly annoyed when Internet Explorer moved the Home button to the right instead of the left of the address bar. I got used to it.

And out of all the reasons why one would choose Ubuntu, the placement of Window controls is not high up my list.

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx to Facebook and Twitter you

Paul Slater

Yes you can.

I bought a Dell Mini 10V preinstalled with Ubuntu. Next.

UK inserts battery take-back scheme

Paul Slater


Why are "recycling centres" euphemistically named? My local one has separate collections for batteries, paper, cardboard, large electrical items (TVs etc.), small electrical items, white goods, garden waste, wood, yellow pages and catalogues, waste oil, lightbulbs, tins, glass bottles, plastic bottles... etc etc.

Sure, if it doesn't fit one of those categories then it goes into the great big skip, but recycling centre is hardly a euphemism.

Intel staff 'fired' in ring piece stunt

Paul Slater

Mumbo jumbo numbers

Finnish is one of only two European languages that is not descended from the ancient Proto Indo-European tongue which ultimately produced Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, German, Celtic and English, amongst others. So it's hardly surprising that the numbers sound odd.

1 to 10 in Finnish: yksi kaksi kolme neljä viisi kuusi seitsemän kahdeksan yhdeksän kymmenen

Bing advertisers on wane, says report

Paul Slater

Say that again?

"Bing's biggest additions were online shopping comparison engines such as Nextag, k8yel.com, bestcompare.net, shopwhiz.net, and underpay.biz"

I've never even heard of any of those websites. Moreover, what does k8yel and Nextag bring to mind in terms of comparison price websites? Errr. nothing.

Horse, dead, flogging springs to mind. Get out while you can.

Home Office makes nice cartoon ID card ad

Paul Slater


"one advert for which features a cartoon fingerprint unveiling the identity card to an admiring audience of other fingerprints"

I'm so glad I got rid of my TV a few months ago.

World's nastiest trojan fools AV software

Paul Slater

MS Office 2003

Yep - it runs in Wine.