* Posts by Chief sub

31 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Oct 2007

The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Chief sub

is The Reg site the only one in the universe where the old 90s Windows/Apple war still rages?

Just wondering.

Chief sub

Re: over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...


UK census data is safe

Chief sub

Being El Reg means never having to say you're sorry...

" I though[t] this website was guilty - and still is from the way this article has been written - of sensationalist journalism. There was no evidence of a data leak but the issue was given too much publicity for a non-story."

Too true. The Register was as responsible for spreading this story as anyone else. But don't expect a hands-up-we-woz-wrong from this smart-arse lot.

Budget to cost over a million jobs: Official

Chief sub

What the Guardian missed

Since the figures for 1.3 million jobs lost in the public sector and the 2.5 million jobs gained in the private sector come from the same source - the OBR - why did the Guardian give heaps of weight to one and lightly dismiss the other?

What is also not mentioned is that the Emergency Budget cut corporate tax rates, thereby attracting investment which will, more likely than not, create jobs (in the private sector).

And where are either facts or informed opinion to back up John Oates' throwaway claim that "the prospect of a double-dip recession seems a real possibility"?

I don't understand why The Reg just churned out the Guardian story without running it by someone knowledgeable who might have a worthwhile comment on it. Have you lost Worstall's email addy?

Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake

Chief sub

Am I the only one...

,,,who gets the "DAB Profundis" reference?

I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been "The Picture of DABian Gray",

Prince Charles, Stephen Fry and IBM to save the planet

Chief sub

Doing the boogie-woogie twitter


"The point of the work behind proserity without growth is that we move away from using GDP as a measure of success and move towards metrics such as health, well being, leisure time, non-tediousness of life etc,"

Um, GDP is just a measurement of something that can actually be measured, and as such gives a useful indication of a country's growing or declining prosperity - that is, its material wealth. While it's true that money ≠ happiness, let alone "success" (whatever you may mean by that), it's hard to think of of any measurement that would measure happiness/success, not forgetting "well being" or "non-tediousness of life".

Also don't forget, those countries with the highest GDPs, by happy coincidence, happen to be the ones with the prosperity to make the scientific and technological advances to counter the impending ecopalypse relentlessly pedalled by the World Wildlife Fraud, Prince Big-Ears, your hero Tim Jackson and such.

What Jackson doesn't seem to get is that if prosperity (as measured by GDP) is the enjoyment and use of wealth - which I think is as good a definition as any - and there isn't sufficient wealth to go around at present, preventing economic growth is hardly the best remedy. I don't think the oppressed coolies of Bugandazawleland or wherever will thank you if they haven't got a hospital with a consistent power supply but their non-tediousness of life index is doing mighty fine.

But who cares about that when you can attend a swanky beano to hear Jools do a boogie-woogie on "sustainability" while Stephen bloody Fry twitters all and sundry about it.

Pompidou turns to NFC, Facebook to attract teens

Chief sub

We're talking about "plaques" here, aren't we?

"What is the compelling business case to go with more complex technology over simpler, cheaper, more user-friendly alternatives that it gets pushed through regardless every time?"

Indeed. Pass the Occam's Razor.

Spanish region teaches kids how to crack one off

Chief sub

Oooh, breakaway!

Do 14 to 17-year-olds really need lessons in how to wank? I'd have thought the real task at hand (fnarr) was persuading them to make an effort to try anything else.

Hoaxed US Chamber thumps pranksters with blunt instrument

Chief sub

We've been here before

The Yes Men have previous when it comes to pulling this kind of stunt. They were behind the startling admission by "Dow company spokesman Jose Finisterra" that the company accepted full responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy and would pay $25bn compensation to victims and their families. It fooled the BBC and sent Dow shares plummeting. Then, as now, it happened because hacks (a) didn't check their sources, and (b) didn't have the nous to suspect that when a story sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.

Today marks 'least productive' day of year

Chief sub

Am I the only one...

...who finds this comment by Faith funny?

"ADHA does exist! BELIVE ME!!"

I'd just like to add that personally, I...ooh, buttrfly!

Dallas cops fine drivers for 'not speaking English'

Chief sub

Is it just me...

...or does this whole thread seem full of alimentary speling misteaks?

Adam Curtis uncovers the secrets of Helmand

Chief sub

Oversea viewers

To those in foreign climes who can't access the clips direct from the BBC, you might want to try the proxy servers given in the comments below the first instalment (Kabul: City Number One).

Apple's Q4 'most profitable quarter ever'

Chief sub


The Applephobic Anonymous Coward Windozers seem particularly quiet about this story. Why is that, do you think?

UK fatties demand 'hate crime' status for lardo-baiting

Chief sub

You missed one...

Can I be the first to say "wobble bottom"? It seems to have been sadly overlooked.

Orange gets UK iPhone deal

Chief sub

Why the shock-horror!?

Why is The Register and every other media outlet so breathless with this news? I was always given to understand that Apple's iPhone exclusivity contract with O2 was likely to come up for review after two years, similar to the deal with AT&T in the US. It's standard business practice, after all. Maybe I made it up. Oh no, hang on: I read something about it in The Guardian in August last year: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/aug/01/telecoms.mobilephones

Microsoft to encircle Google and Apple with Windows Mobile split

Chief sub

Let's call the whole thing off...

Ballmer says "strategy", I say "vapourware"...

iPhone solo loss stares O2 in the face

Chief sub

Oh dear...

..is Anonymous Coward miffed that he wasn't able to jump in first to post one of his "trolling for fanbois" comments? The fact that the original story isn't particularly anti-Apple probably baffled him for too long...

Cats mix baby 'cry' with purr to score dinner

Chief sub

@ Alistair Wall

To go with the Wodehouse quote:

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worth while?" Death thought about it "Cats," he said eventually, "Cats are Nice”.

Pratchett, natch.

Chief sub

Excellent use of a research grant

Who says the UK isn't at the bleeding edge of world-changing scientific frontier-busting-type-thingy! Stick that in your Brebbia, Il Giornale!

Mystic Met Office predicts neighbourhood Thermageddon

Chief sub

The language of climate change

One thing I've noticed about the whole climate change debate is how very mid-1930s Nazism/Stalinist the language each side uses has become. Those who are sceptical that Man's CO2 production has much to do with climate change are no longer called "climate change deniers", but "but climate change denialists". Cheese above uses the phrase "you can obtain a probabilistic forecast". Probabilistic? Once I hear English being mangled like this I reach for George Orwell's Politics and the English Language and reflect on its essential truth: that not only does sloppy English reflect sloppy thinking, it actually engenders further sloppy thinking. This is not a comment one way or the other on the climate change debate: just a comment on how it is increasingly being framed. And a warning from the man with a pipe and a moustache and quite a few good ideas in the 1930s and 40s.

Steve Jobs liver transplant confirmed by doc

Chief sub

Cynical or just plain sick?

Some of these comments - not all, mind - veer beyond the cynical and satirical into the just plain sick. I wonder if these posters, if they needed and had undergone a major transplant, would welcome chortling comments such as "of course he got the liver, he can afford it", "funny how they found someone of his blood type with an organ so quickly", "why didn't he tell us? What a c**t!". Grow up, arseholes: this was major surgery of the sort which almost all of us think twice about our life's priorities. No matter what you think of the man's company, I don't remember him trying to invade Poland (or Iraq for that matter).

BlackBerries outselling Apple iPhones

Chief sub

Alright! Alright! Calm down!

Before the iPhone fanboiz and their opponents start getting too aerated, have a look at the link to the original press release given on the Register article. Then think about it. Three problems are immediate:

1) What's the baseline? In other words, from what figures are these percentages made? NPD's last survey? They imply that, but don't say. Without some sort of baseline figure, it's like saying "Bill runs faster than Fred by 15%". Well, how fast does Fred run? He might be a crippled WWI war veteran, for all we know.

2) What's the sampling, and how is it chosen? NPD says: "sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month". How are these online consumers chosen? Is it a fair sampling, or is it skewered towards customers of Blackberry outlets and against those from iPhone outlets? NPD leaves us clueless. Is 150,000 a fair sampling of wireless mobile phone sales in the US, or is it the equivalent of asking four dog owners whether their dogs prefer Winalot and extrapolating from that? We can't know.

3) What's the margin for error? All serious survey companies - NOP, yougov etc, will include a margin for error (in their case + or - 3%, but it can be higher or lower). I don't see it in the NPD survey.

You don't need to have a mathematical degree in statistics to spot these problems - I certainly don't. You just need to have read The Tiger That Isn't by Michael Blastland & Andrew Dilnot (quite cheap on Amazon) to start making real sense of surveys, figures etc regurgitated in the media, including the Register, to see through them clearly.

I have no particular axe to grind one way or the other on the wireless phone issue. NPD's survey and analysis may well be correct. It's just that we have no way of knowing.

Orwellian Apple ad celebrates 25th birthday

Chief sub

math hysteria

"And no, we haven't got our math wrong."

Why do Yanks say "math" instead of "maths"? Do they not learn "mathematics" at school, or just "mathematic"? On second thought, given the way they've shafted the world economy, maybe it is the latter...

Mixed reviews for semen-based recipe book

Chief sub

Danger a-head

Please...don't anyone give Blumenthal this book for Christmas.

Mac supremacists annexe Maidstone

Chief sub

get your toys back in the pram, boys

Yet another ho-ho very funny anti-Apple article from Der Register, which - predictably - brings out the usual bilious regurgitations from those old 90s flame-war veterans who shake a cup wanting sympathy/empathy/nods of condescension for...what? Don't know exactly. What I do know is that while they're guffawing at Apple's terrwibly-terrwibly monstrous error of naming its new store Stormfront (which no one knew was particularly associated with Nazism, or anything else for that matter, until Der Register kindly pointed it out), these flame-war vets probably quite like the music of that late-80s cult band, Joy Division, and its 90s-incarnation, New Order. Hmmm...

Scottish government drafts Cat Welfare Code

Chief sub

bloody cats...

Daughters of Satan, all of 'em

Apple retail kills Apple retail outlet

Chief sub

So what's new?

Another anti-Apple piece from The Register. Ho-hum. Can't you hoodies find another tune to play on the top deck of the virtual bus you live in?

Hacker defaces temples to OS X

Chief sub

It's not the BBC, y'know

Can you sad old platform warriors step outside the old schoolyard for a moment and please not write MAC; it's a Mac.

It's not an abbreviation, like BBC, TUC or UN, where each letter stands for something and you enunciate each letter separately. Nor is it an acronym, such as Nato or Unicef, where each letter stands for something but the total is pronounced as one word. It's merely a shortening of "Macintosh", the desktop computers produced by Apple. The iPod, iPhone etc are not Macs - they use Apple's OSX, but they are not Macs.

And it was Basic, not BASIC.

I won't start on Anonymous Coward's appallingly cavalier attitude to apostrophes.

Never use an internet translator to hire a gorilla

Chief sub

bad translations

The Jimmy Carter "I desire the Poles carnally" is well-known in the pantheon of classic mistranslation gaffes, as is JFK's "I am a doughnut" (though that one is scotched once and for all on urbanlegends.com). But one of my faves is a Braniff Airlines ad which, trying to attract customers from the Spanish-speaking world, promised they would fly on leather seats ("en cuero"), but instead put they would fly "en cueros" (in the buff). No doubt they attracted a certain sort of customer, but possibly not the sort they were exactly looking for...

The first rule of Reg Club is...

Chief sub

I'm disappointed...

Membership of Reg Club so far seems to offer no benefits whatsoever. At least with the Denis the Menace Fan Club. you got access to the jet-setting world of the rich and famous, instant introductions to a bevy of busty beauties - and best of all, a badge. These seem sadly lacking here.

Public tracks down Gordon Bennett

Chief sub

Gordon Bennett

Anyone who read Bill Bryson's Made in America (1994) would have known the origin of Gordon Bennett was James GB, the newspaper baron. The exclamation came about because of his party trick of entering swanky restaurants and trying to yank away the tablecloth of the nearest tables, attempting to leave all the crockery, cutlery etc standing. Invariably, he would fail, and he would give the maitre d' a wad of cash to compensate the besplattered and outraged diners. He had a habit of this sort of thing - getting mightily hammered, doing something outrageously annoying to others, and giving them lavish restitution. He was rich, so he could get away with it.