* Posts by Big Al

314 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Oct 2007


God bless this mess: Study says UK's Christian beliefs had 'important' role in Brexit

Big Al

Re: I find myself saying...

"because Amazon (seller) will not ship the ones I want from the UK any more."

Try ordering from Amazon.de instead, which has added English to its website in a totally coincidental move.

Dear team: Please work hard in 2021. I’d help, but I’m in jail. Yours, the boss of Samsung

Big Al


An organic layer?

The mobe... IT LIVES!

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

Big Al

Same here, but using Feedly since Google killed their reader.

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

Big Al


"That response is, however, a part of the problem because relying on someone to flag such videos does not deter people from making more of them and uploading them to the internet."

And short of preventing uploads at all, how exactly do you expect companies to control what is uploaded before it appears on their servers?

Official: America auto-scanned visitors' social media profiles. Also: It didn't work properly

Big Al
Big Brother

Picture perfect

Presumably, an automated system will have to take account of the fact that names may not be unique, and therefore compare social media images to the 'target' in question... so at a guess, using a picture of your dog as your profile pic would give you some protection from automated tools right there. Suddenly LinkedIn's insistence on proper pics seems a lot more insidious.

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

Big Al

I have no objection to handing over the URLs of my website, FB account (set to have nothing public anyway), my Instagram account (pretty pictures!) or my LinkedIn profile (yawn)... because all of these are on my business card anyway.

Now being asked to hand over the PASSWORDS to these accounts would be something different again...

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

Big Al
Thumb Down


I might have been slightly more sympathetic to Facebook if their new system actually worked as claimed.

For the new ads, the 'why am I seeing this' button just led to a script that never loaded, while the 'see fewer ads like this' button did nothing to stop the *exact same ad* from appearing again and again and again... and all this after I had carefully used the shiny new tools to "manage my experience".

So stuff 'em, it's back to AdBlock Plus I go.

How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

Big Al

Net result? Amazon will add a line saying "Your search returned no results. Here are some products you might be interested in", and then carry on as now.

This will not redefine site search.

Facebook kills pic of Mohammed weeks after Zuck's Je suis Charlie!

Big Al

So the real story here is... big company obeys local law and places localised restrictions on one page, while some other people think it should do what it likes and ignore local laws. After all, what could possibly go wrong with that kind of precedent?

To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow

Big Al

"If you've been worrying that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been living a wretched existence in some horrible Moscow flat, shunned and alone..."


Is that wrong of me?

'Apple is terrified of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

Big Al

Free speech

It's a free speech issue.

Why should Apple take upon itself to censor what people want to write in the first place?

Or does Apple believe that its devices continue to belong to it even after being 'sold', with no transfer of ownership?

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

Big Al

Serious studies get approved in advance by medical ethics committees. This one doesn't seem to have done so. QED.

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

Big Al
Big Brother

Market forces

Fantastic news for those who believe in the free market - we will now be able to choose whether to send everything to the NSA or the FSB, instead of having the decision made for us!

Cisco's Chambers to Obama: Stop fiddling with our routers

Big Al
Black Helicopters

Victim mentality

Why assume Cisco is the ONLY company whose products are subject to such tampering?

Since the FSB, Chinese government and Uncle Sam are all undoubtedly trying to fiddle with the products of lots of companies, this won't affect Cisco's competitiveness - because all their competitors' products have the same issue anyway!

Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise

Big Al


While this is all very wonderful, politically correct and generally fluffy, don't expect any changes to take account of Muslim sensibilities.

Saint James Matamoros, 'the Moor-slayer', is patron saint of Spain, and is also commemorated in, for example, the name of the city of Matamoros, Mexico (next door to Brownsville, Texas).

MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Big Al

It may be sensible and true, but saying up front that "Any radioactive gases released could also be “vented” underwater to further reduce risk" just ensures even greater Green opposition and bad publicity for the whole project.

Google's latest mega-earnings fail to impress shareholders

Big Al

It's tough at the top.

My heart bleeds. But apparently that's not so unusual these days.

Google spends in three months on data centers what used to take a year

Big Al
Paris Hilton

Trust v Stability

Confidentiality is indeed a huge issue - although a cynic (realist?) might assume that various governments are probably able to access your stuff already, wherever it is, anyway.

On the other hand, with all those data centres Google may have an advantage in terms of not losing your data (which will exist in several places), and in guaranteeing uptime.

You pays your money and you takes your choice, I guess.

But what would Paris Hilton do?

Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'

Big Al

New rockets?

Contracted out to, in competition with or designs just stolen from SpaceX?

All sounds like jolly good fun whichever is the case :)

Brit Bitcoin dev: I lost 'over £200k' when MtGox popped its socks

Big Al


So... let's make a currency beyond the control of regulators and governments, but expect the authorities to sort things out when things go horribly wrong. Yeah right, that's going to work.

They're back: The coffin-punting naked Polish calendar girls

Big Al


The 2014 link gets me a 509 error... Probably all the Reg readers rushing off for an ogle...

Stratfor email, credit-card hacker Hammond thrown in cooler for 10 YEARS

Big Al

Good riddance

So that's the bastard responsible for handing over my credit card info just because I subscribed to a website for its news analysis content, forcing me to try to convince my bank to cancel it while I was travelling abroad during the Christmas holiday period?

Gets no tears from me.

Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but who will rid us of terrible trolls?

Big Al

Re: Unfortunately phrased

Someone sent them the Hansard report of Prime Minister's Questions again...?

Google Reader replacement 'Old Reader' crashes

Big Al


I gave up on OldReader when I tried importing my Google Reader feed list over and it took almost 2 days to process it and tell me it was now working...

But I did find NetVibes, which has been stable (so far!) and in reader mode is uncomplicated.

Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Big Al

Seriously annoyed

Nuff said.

Apple's poisonous Touch silently kills the GNOMEs of Linux Forest

Big Al
Thumb Up

"If a major Linux desktop falls in the forest and no one is around to use it, does it make a sound?"

That line just creased me up! :)

SpaceX Falcon 9 flameout leaves commercial satellite in wrong orbit

Big Al
Thumb Up


Carried on despite an engine failure?

Primary mission objective achieved anyway?

Secondary objective partially achieved?

From a private company?

On its first real job?

Bloody good effort, given the complexities involved.

Natwest freezes debit cards, online banking in fresh cock-up

Big Al

On the unwisdom of interpreting others' predictions too loosely.

Dominic Connor's prediction, in the article cited, was for aftershocks within a week of publication, rather than a month later. Just a thought.

Cockfighting Reg hack cursed with cancer

Big Al

Save the Whales!

Collect the whole set :P

TERROR in SEATTLE: Gang of violent LEPRECHAUNS on the loose

Big Al


.... Were the leprechauns dancing around a Stonehenge model?

Firefox 'new tab' feature exposes users' secured info: Fix promised

Big Al


That's "...in FF13 has *always* just been...", obviously. D'oh.

Big Al

NoScript wins again

The NoScript add-on for Firefox forbids about:newtab, or can be set to do so.

This behaviour is so silent that I didn't initially know what the heck this article was about, as the new tab screen has *always* just been nine grey rectangles for me...

Syrian rebels targeted using commercial Skype trojan

Big Al


Or possibly someone is hoping that these alleged vids will spread via social networks to the huge numbers of people around the world following events in Syria - in other words, using the various rights organisations as the attack vector?

Just a thought.

BBC uses lifted Iraq war photo to depict Syrian slaughter

Big Al


"Efforts were made overnight to track down the original source of the image"

Right. And it took them that long because there are of course no handy online tools to quickly search for identical or similar images...

SpaceX Dragon, first private ship to the ISS, launched successfully

Big Al
Thumb Up

A great step forward

Space exploration is fundamentally dangerous; spotting a reason to delay a launch is a success, not a failure (after all, what if there had been people on board...?)

This will go down as a key moment in space exploration, irrespective of the success of the actual docking.

2,500 copycat hack attempts on abortion provider site – report

Big Al


"My moral imperative to expose people with whose choices I disagree trumps everything else".

That kind of extremism is right next to bigotry in my book.

Yet another OSX/Java Trojan spotted in the wild

Big Al

Don't Panic!

It's okay, faith need not be troubled, this is clearly all the fault of Java and/or Microsoft, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Jobsian Perfection! ;)

DoJ could start Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit this week

Big Al
Thumb Up

Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Well, you know, keep trying...! ;)

Female Chinese astronauts must have no scars, straight teeth

Big Al


A good reason for the 'good teeth' requirement - because exploding enamel often offends.

AT&T profiting from Nigerian scammers, DoJ charges

Big Al

None so blind as those who will not see, I guess.

Mine's the one with the white stick on the icon.

Space probe in orbit above Mercury sees signs of polar ice

Big Al

Could be exploitable

I'm sure somebody could use a few tons of dry ice!

Hacktivists nicked more data than CYBER-CROOKS in 2011

Big Al

Quality, not Quantity

Surely the quality, usability and retail value of the data compromised are more important than the crude volume?

Sure, blagging a couple of hundred thousand user logins makes headlines, but how does this compare to swiping the plans to some commercially valuable hardware?

Queensland Police go war driving

Big Al

Had a wonderful image there of the Hi Tech Crime Investigation Unit investigating sneaker theft...

US scientists demo hydrogen-powered robo-jellyfish

Big Al

"The jellyfish-like robot jellyfish..."

You'd prefer a stealth version that looked like something else?

Verizon unveils offspring surveillance service

Big Al

Re: Won't someone... ahhhh you know the rest.

"Teenagers, by their nature, tend to wax rebellious (it's part psychology and part biology). Trust does tend to waver at this stage in life and it can happen regardless of the level of parenting skill."

Trust works two ways - as a parent of two teenagers myself, I am well aware of the issues involved. And indeed, missing scheduled rendezvous can be an issue, but I trust that my kids are aware of this and will buzz a quick SMS over if it's likely to happen...

Big Al

Won't someone... ahhhh you know the rest.

Clearly this service is aimed at those who believe that the location of the phone is the same as the location of their kids... and whose relationship with their kids is so poor that there has been a complete trust breakdown, which in turn suggests poor parenting skills.

Can't imagine this actually improving the atmosphere in any family where it's introduced.

Brit LulzSec suspect charged over NHS, plod web attacks

Big Al

Case management?

Is that where they decide to extradite him to the US instead of spending British taxpayers' money on the trial?