* Posts by Pete

32 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

CGI furnishes filmstar with fur



I was confused for a bit by "Merkin" as "pubic wig" rather than El Reg's commenters' usual use of it as American. Gives it a whole new twist though.

Merkins, led by a Bush. Got it.

NZ judge saves girl from bloody silly name


Re: It's Not a Class Phenomenon...

Oh, though: there is a bit of a difference between the classes though. The upper classes just do it with their surnames instead.

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Re: It's Not a Class Phenomenon...

RaelianWingnut - the Prince Albert was named /after/ Queen Vic's consort. Not the other way around.

Court advisor says poem list infringed database right


@ A J Stiles

Sure. But if something was hard work and someone *else* goes and tries to make a profit from it, you're entitled to stop them. That's the basis of copyright - it intends to protect the people who did the work so we don't all turn into a culture of freeloaders. Granted, copyright is an ass in some places, but here Directmedia is in the wrong.

Google's Street View spycar clocked in London


Re: Opel and Re: legality

AC - the continental Opel is the same thing as the UK Vauxhall.

Tim - the owner of a photograph is the photographer, not the subject. The only case where it gets more complicated is in private property, which the streets of $UKcity aren't.

Police appropriation of stuff also isn't relevant unless they're loitering, which is a bit difficult not to do when you're stuck in London queueueueueueues...

Dutch boffins clone Oyster card


I wonder

Are TfL going to ignore the researchers, ask them how they did it before the papers are published, or attempt to sue them for breaking into their systems and DDoSing one of their gates? How do you DDoS a gate anyway - hold up twenty cards at once to the reader? Or via its wiring, which is more mundane?

Wonder if the gates at Cambridge station run on the same system, they look like they do. They'll be the first ones being down then.

Flirty texting could land Scots in jail for 10 years

Paris Hilton

Timely law

Remembering the story earlier this week about the guy sending a video of his meeting with Mrs Palm.

Odd idea of flirting being the same thing as humiliating the recipient though - and presumably if the flirting has got that far you've got received messages as defence

Paris because my post feels too serious for a friday.

Lesbians like straight men, researchers find


Nature vs nurture

This adds nothing to the nature vs nurture debate! Or at least adds it equally to both sides. What you need is studies of people who are repressed, in denial, bi...

Next question is... how do you work out that a test subject is in denial? Is a good gaydar that strong?

BOFH: Dealing with engineers

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@ Tim

The IT director. Or rather, the ex-IT director!

Spanish police cuff web defacement crew


"Most prolific"

Most prolifically public. I'm curious as to whether they're really the most prolific (assuming their 21000 is indeed higher than other claims); is it a common feature in the hacking subculture/personality that deeds are publicised? Is it really all a willy-waving competition? You'd think the really good ones would be the ones that don't get caught.

China and Russia still piracy hotbeds, says US gov


says US gov

Hey, you forgot your own country there guys!

Google (re-)branded world's greatest brand


Schoolboy error

"Our data shows that strong brands continue to outperform weak ones in terms of market share and share price during recessions."

No it doesn't. It shows that companies who perform well and have a large market share, will have a more well-known name. Which is pretty obvious.

Microsoft: Finding flaws on our website is OK


Fly-ing low

"The philosophy here is if someone is being nice enough to point out your fly is down, they're really doing you a favor and you should thank them rather than calling the cops and saying you're a pervert."

I'll say. Calling the cops and saying you're a pervert is a bit self-defeating.

Yes! It's the sawed-off USB key!


@ Scott Broukell

Sounds like he sneaked a capacitor or few into the cable. I remember a similar thing from physics experiments at school - three elements, a D battery, a capacitor, and you (in parallel to the cap) holding the bulldog clips. Touch the clips to the sides of the battery, don't feel anything, cap charges up. Break the circuit with the battery... zap! Discharge.

Though you do need a fairly large capacitor to get a good zap, so still a bit weird that he got it working in the cable, unless he went to a lot of effort with little caps in parallel...

Google offers tools to find victims of child abuse



"Analysts from NCMEC's Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP) have reviewed more than 13m child abuse images and videos."


More seriously, all that data is a bit concerning, especially considering the number of stories about [child] data going missing recently.

No sense of humour? Avoid Bootnotes


@ wayne

1998? I was saying it at school in the early 90s, and we hadn't made it up outselves.

Re: the actual article: hooray. Perhaps relevant to the whole of Odds and Sods instead of just Bootnotes, but humour is definitely a welcome part of El Reg. Sarah-Bee-style metaphorical cold ones all round.

Move over Storm - there's a bigger, stealthier botnet in town


@4a$$Monkey, @ Ash

4a$$Monkey: there's not enough good BOFHs for the number of companies out there. And that doesn't exclude the riches of the fortune 500; c.f. the outsourcing of 4 thousand Shell IT jobs while they double their (billions of) revenues this fiscal year.

Ash: If you set up your webserver 'right', you can get it to not treat (for example) a .jpg extension as a file. Then you have a folder called boobies.jpg, put a malicious source code file in there that displays an image on the page but also contains malware. Like that, you have an URL that ends in .jpg (without even a tailing / if you don't want it), a browser page that looks completely like an image... plus whatever you like as a payload behind it. It still depends on the browser and whether it allows webpages to push a hidden download, but we all know the susceptibility of J. Random Luser. Especially when he's looking at boobies.jpg.

Insert hunk/she as appropriate if you prefer

UK.gov will force paedophiles to register email addresses


@ /\/\j17

If you run your own mail server, then the simple thing to do is just to block *@yourmailserver.com. Granted you've got the ability to have /other/ people getting email addresses from your domain, but at the same time the mailhost is then known to be associated with ye fingeréd offender, and the HO/police want to be keeping an eye on it again.

Proceed with this nonsense at flank speed...

Women overtaking men in tech abuse



I am surprised by the "unsurprising" 12-24 lead over 40+ females, given the number of stories about that particular segment and their popcap-type madnesses last year. Minigames are perfect for that segment, and I would have thought it was significantly bigger than the teen/twenties female geek market...

NZ teen botnet mastermind cops a plea


Bah humbug

Asperger's isn't a disability, it's a gift. The only way he should get out of this one is if he has no sense of moral values, or something of that ilk; social ineptitude is no defense.

UK's biggest meteorite impact rocked Scotland


"would have seen quite a show"...

... before suffering various horrible things like being melted, seared, sandblasted and pulped. Quite a show indeed...

flame because it looks vaguely like the moment of impact

Wikipedia scores $3m donation



Costs and budgets are available at


Make of that what you will...

Ericsson CMO says Wi-Fi hotspots' days are numbered


Keep on counting those days

And there I am, still seeing phone boxes around, in use, occasionally updated with new services... on streets, in public facilities, transport depots...

Even with the huge and pervasive rise of the mobile phone, those phone boxes still make enough profit to riddle the place.

US firm demos 'thought into speech' neckband

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@Tim Schomer

That depends on having a translator capable of grammar, not to mention the current problems with homonyms.

Translating tools really butcher sentences, because a sentence structure varies both between languages and between different sentence constructions.

(See the Lost In Translation tool at http://tashian.com/multibabel/ )

Wikileaks exposes Scientology's zeal to 'clean up rotten spots of society'



"Which is, Iglethal?"

Surprising that you spelled lglethal with a capital i there instead of a small L, amanfrommars. Not very copy-paste there...

More on topic, I agree with the thoughts above on religion's exemption from many many things. Free thought and free speech, go for it, with the old quotation that went something like "I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it". Charities get tax exemption; if a religion is categorised as a kind of charity for the entertainment and moral straightening of at least part of the community, then I'm all for it. But the utter polarity of religion as a be-all and end-all (whether considering traditional or CoS) is taking it too far.

CERN completes 'world’s largest jigsaw puzzle'


Re: microns vs protons

I was curious about the microns/protons difference too; I put it down to uncertainty and that they need to measure the speed too. Deriving root mean squares feels like work, but the AC suggestion of angles being of prime importance (and m vs µm) is pretty convincing as well.

BOFH: Carbon neutrality



Steven is the PFY.

Smurf gives Paris Hilton a mouthful


Great title

Just reading the title I was already thinking about the Paris Hilton "angle"...

Commuters shouting into their mobiles? Just jam 'em


@Stuart Harrison

Tesco (and other giant supermarkets) don't tend to need to have jammers. Take a look upwards next time you're in one - many of them have open ceilings that let you look up into the giant gridwork of girders keeping the thing up; it allows them to have rolling aisles and big spaces without pillars. However between that and the shelves there's so much metal around that it begins to resemble a Faraday cage, with enough loss in reception and signal clarity to lose the connection with the nearest tower.

Facebook mounts Tupperware-style ads push

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It's already there

Internal (non-banner) advertising has been in Facebook for ages. Two examples are Apple Students and Red Bull U; Apple Students was a bit tiresome with random messages to members' inboxes; sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. Red Bull U is far more occasional, generally only doing the adverts for their far and wide zany days like the flugtag. Both were clearly associated with the companies, not just mockups by fans.

It's a status thing; like wearing a branded tshirt, though here you're not paying for giving sponsorship. When it gets invasive, it gets tiresome. Regular emails selling the same or near-similar things are a pain; behind-the-scenes ads that make sure that the banner ads that appear while browsing the site are relevant to your interests are good, because it's better than random banner ads that try to sell you things you're not even remotely interested in.

Those who Fear the (info)Reaper will just leave their Interests blank, or whichever other fields the information is harvested from. It's easy to freeload by providing minimal information, or unverifiable information. It's easy to adblock. Changing the mechanism so it's displayed as a userbox-type thing is utterly ignorable, since it'll most likely be swamped under the poo flinging and aquaria and werewolf statistics. News feed settings can be changed to ignore these things.

While I don't agree with some of the changes Facebook make, I'm also not paranoid that they're stealing my information and using it for dastardly purposes, because I just don't provide that information. Perhaps they'll flag me as a poor user in some later silver-gold-platinum-diamond feature doodad, but for now it simply has no effect.

Royal Navy presses IT Crowd for nuclear missile 'servers'


As a tactic...

It seems semi-likely to be successful, even if it doesn't seem quite believable that they did it by design. We twitch at that ad, at the potential risks of hard rebooting nuclear servers. But with that, they'll get more applicants - those applicants being people who want those same nuclear systems at least in competent hands. Amusingly enough, you'll also get people who are perfectly happy working in spaces where you don't have much room to move around.

Those of us who twitch at the ads but prefer at least having a nanoWales of room around us... will move to Holland.

Yahoo! Does! Adsense! In! Reverse!


@ mike

...yet you're not only reading, but even posting here?

Re: the article, while I normally simply use google because it works well enough, I've always been underimpressed by the quality of the advertising links; the article's "bottom feeders" sums it up quite nicely. In general advertising is ignorable; it's too irrelevant, and half the time involves trickery, but if that advertising is actually relevant to what you're looking for, then by all means I'm for it - for the relevance directly, and because it also supports the free services and allows them to improve (while google's adverts aren't top notch, their other services at least give it a good go, at 0 cost to the user).