* Posts by anarchic-teapot

226 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Oct 2007


Google+ lets in nicknames, slams door on plebs' pseudonyms


A classic case of

... too little, too late. Google really shot themselves in the foot with Google+, the more so because they shut down *entire Google accounts* of people with no warning if they decided they didn't like the name provided.

Oz skeptic offers prize if Rossi’s E-cat works

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Well, done El Reg

I've been despairing at just how bad even supposedly serious newspapers are at engaging their critical faculties when it comes to reporting fantastical claims. The worst is probably health and medicine, with expensive, useless (and sometimes dangerous) "advice" being promulgated, often to the financial advantage of a named charlatan.

It's is bullshit, call it bullshit. Rock on.

Boffins prove Queen ballad 'world's most catchy song'


IIRC it was actually written with football crowds in mind

Although the thought of Freddie Mercury playing football does not easily come to mind.

DNS hijack hits The Register: All well



to all the welcomebacks.

I followed the sad tale on Twitter and watched the wave of replication worldwide as the thing spread and subsided. Fascinating to watch, not quite as gripping when you try to describe it to someone else those. Shame.

Google's anonymity ban defied by Thomas Jefferson

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Very one-sided and incomplete article

The people who say nasty things, make death or rape threats or - the most recent case I personally witnessed - try to get a good man fired for imagined slights are not necessarily those who use anonymity. That particular douchebag used his real name, as do many of the anti-science fanatics who regularly threaten medics and scientists both online and in real life.

Those who need pseudonyms fall into two main categories:

- those who have used an online handle for years and would be unidentifiable if they used their "real" names, and

- those who need to remain pseudonymous (NOT the same as anonymous) in order to be able to communicate freely (in some cases, just do their jobs) without putting themselves at risk. This includes LGBT people, rape victims, disabled people, people who have had mental health problems (talk about your depression in front of a potential employer and see if you get hired), people with violent ex-partners, and so on..

Civil servants in some places aren't allowed to go online under their real names. In some countries you can be jailed on *suspicion* of being gay. Anti-abortionists have already murdered medical staff. Atheists and scientists have also been subjected to stalking and death threats (search for "dave mabus" for an example). Simon Singh got legally harassed by chiropracters seeking to silence valid criticism. An Italian blogger narrowly escaped the same fate from a homeopathy multinational earlier this month.

And of course, back in Jefferson's day it was not unknown for the subject of a critical article to turn up at the newspaper's offices with a horsewhip or worse. I assume Private Eye's use of anonymity is still current, that organ continuing to protect individual journalists from lawsuits by assuming collective responsibility, as do similar publications elsewhere in the world?

Is Team Register, as articles are sometimes signed, a real name? Out-Law.com?



above all, read this one before deciding anonymity is bad:


CERN: 'Climate models will need to be substantially revised'


Vested interests

Oooh conspiracy theories! Yay!

There's a vast amount of short-term profit to be derived by some people from *denying* anthropogenic climate change. Fossil fuel companies, politicians who want to soft-soap their electorate into believing droughts and hurricanes are the work of a gay-hating God (or something), that sort of thing.

Not many real scientists stand to make $$$$$$ from confirming/refining the current climate change models. They might make $$$$$$$$$$ from Big Business if they deny it. Otherwise, they just earn their salaries like everyone else.

It is saddening to see the Reg, usually fairly sensible, on the side of denialists.

Bundled music newbie Boinc aims for year-end launch


+1 to all the above

Always check the name isn't already taken, or at least doesn't have such a high profile you can't bully them into handing it over ^^

The logo is also very reminiscent of the favicon Microsoft uses for Bing.

I really don't think they last.

LinkedIn U-turns to appease peeved users


I cancelled my account

and next day i got an email (fail 1) which suggested I would probably like to follow 4 different professional groups (fail 2), none of which was even remotely related to any of my areas of expertise (fail 3, and out)

+1 to everyone pointing out that a blog post plus a banner ad does not constitute "informing all our members" +2 to anyone bringing me an ice cold alcoholic drink. Merry Friday.

Joe Public invited to hunt God particle


Signups are on hold

It's still in beta test and being actively debugged, so right now they really only want people who're prepared to help with that process.

If it's just to clock up WU points on BOINC, better look elsewhere. I haven't had a valid work unit yet, although the task crash logs did help pinpoint a problem with the VM.

'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?


Ten years?

He can extrapolate useful climate data and disprove hundreds of real climate scientists (aka "warmists" using ten years of satellite info?

Cherrypicked from the hottest years on recent record?

http://youtu.be/xFTddFk6zb8 (contains slightly NSFW rap)

UK data watchdog 'looking into' Google+ mission creep


same here

Fortunately I have my own domain, so it will just be a case of redirecting the DNS to the new site

'saying his company "aspired" to have "great solutions" for the likes of "teenagers" and "disadvantaged populations".'

Forcing people back into ther lifestyle, political or health closet doesn't sound like the sort of solution I'd qualify as "great"

Google grabs facial-recognition 'ware firm


It might... if it were reliable

In real life, identifying physical faces via software has not been found very effective - unless of course technology made huge leaps forward in the past 6 months and no-one told us.

However, this has nothing to do with the discussion. Please refer to the numerous intelligent and insightful blog posts world wide re the banning of pseudonyms on Google+ for some damn good reasons why a large number of people do not wish to be publicly identified on Internet.

The petition for Google+ anonymity is here, btw http://www.change.org/petitions/google-inc-google-needs-to-allow-pseudonyms-on-services-like-google-for-anonymity

Of course, this is even before some bright spark starts 'shopping other people's photos...

Hubble detects new Plutonian moon


Dwarf planet

A sort of second-class citizen of the solar system. If you want my opinion, it keeps having all these satellites just so's it can mooch off social security without getting deported.

Pick a winner: The Sarah Hunter Google competition


Auditing chaos theory

Aaahh, that pdf document did my crusty old accountant's soul a power of good. I'm a real accountant, btw, not someone who defected from auditing and imagines that mad skillz at slavishly following the Audit Proceddures Manual actually means they understand what they're doing.

Google muzzles political dissidents with YouTube ID tweaks


So much nonsense, so little time...

1) ".000001% of their users"

Source for this figure?

2) "The fact that people *are using* a service for something does not mean that the service provider *is obligated to continue* providing that service the same way."

Naturally, but making drastic changes to your business model is not usually a good economic idea.

3) "And then what about the outraged response when a sex offender goes on a grooming rampage? "

On Youtube??? Straw man.

Quite honestly, what is wrong with providing a useful service, even though it may be helping a good cause?

Scientists snap amazing technicolour dreamtoad

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Ignore all the boorish "so whatters"

That is a truly magnificent animal. I'm glad it's not extinct.

(and as an Arts graduate may I add that I'm truly appalled by the level of scientific ignorance displated by some of the commentards here?)

UK will obey Euro unisex-insurance rules from 2013


@Giles Jones

You misunderstand. We're talking *time away from paid employment*, not actually coping with the kids after work and at weekends. You know, maternity leave, that sort of thing.

And while there *are* single fathers, there are far more single mothers. Nevertheless, could you please indicate where I state that women are unique in raising children? I would hate to unjustly accuse someone of using a straw man argument.

Note also: women also tend to be harder hit by unemployment.

As for lower pay being a cultural thing, that is true. Employers use the "time off for having children" ploy for paying less, giving fewer promotions. Secrecy has nothing to do with it. If you want to tell women they have everything equal, you must address that discrepancy (you can't have your cake and eat it, you know).

Now then, would all those nice people who downvoted my first post like to explain why my daughters, who until this January paid significantly less on their driving insurance as they passed their test via the accompanied driving scheme, now pay the same swingeing rate as an under-25 male who never did accompanied driving, i.e. the statistically highest-risk category?

A more useful exercise would be to examine this and other silly rules imposed by the EU and/or the Govt, to identify who else is getting relatively short measure. I can actually think of one or two where men are getting the worse deal.



"There was, however, some uncertainty about how the judgment would apply to premiums and benefits for policies written before the 21 December deadline"

Oh, I can tell you that. They'll shoot up, since insurance companies will use the highest risk factor at all times. Possibly weighted, I grant you, but nevertheless it'll cost more.

While I try not to act like a raging feminist, it does annoy me that so-called "equality" measures like this one (and the same retirement age for all rule) actually penalise women, since we tend to earn less, take fewer risks, spend more time actually raising children, etc. etc.

PS The first sentence of the article was printed twice.

Wallabies battle cattle farts



Like this, presumably: http://twitpic.com/3ddisz




I also remember similar tests as unpleasant, but then I'm apparently on the sensitive side of the norm for that sort of thing and the nice lady was using quite strong electric impulses. It stung a bit, but It's mostly the realisation that control of part of your body has been taken away that's scary (until the neurologist, apologising profusely, jabs the last needle into your hand because the last test has to be made straight into the muscle).

Presumably a little reminder as to which finger to use wouldn't be quite as bad since the current would be lower. I'd give it a try, though. I'll get my bass.

Captain Cyborg: Computers are alive, like bats or cows


If he really is a cyborg

he's a pretty low-grade one, as I'm not convinced he'd pass the Turing Test. Unless of course it was administered by someone like Tom Cruise.

Refusal to unveil scuppers French refusal-to-unveil trial


State business

"Of course, the state can avoid such dilemmas by minding its OWN BLOODY BUSINESS and not trying to liberate women by telling them which clothes they are and aren't allowed to put on their body."

Actually, the State is very much minding its own business. Much of the problem stems from the fact that in a country subject to the occasional terrorist attack, there are people going round concealed from head to foot and refusing to let themselves be identified.

Then there's the much less important problem of human rights, with girls in some areas being treated like whores - literally - if they wear ordinary clothing rather than ugly sacks and scarves. Creation of ghettoes, all that stuff.

Lastly, wasn't this the bird whose "husband" turned out to be screwing social security by having 4 wives all drawing maximum single parent allowance?



It depends how long both sides are prepared to go on with this tomfoolery. There's got to be a better way of avoiding people dressing as yurts in the mistaken belief it's required by their religion without getting into pointlessly confrontational situations.

And no, I do not believe you can drive safely with a bag over your head, even if it does have eyeholes poked in it.

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade


Repeat after the entire Met Office:

Climate <> weather

Weather is the next few days. Climate is the long-term view.


Extra reading - climate disruption

I'm pretty certain Lewis is fully aware that climate is a bit more complicated than just solar activity. The "Little Ice Age" was pre-Industrial Revolution, before CO² emissions really took off.

Sunspots and global warming: http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

And because this is absolutely brilliant (and sNSFW): http://youtu.be/xFTddFk6zb8


3D-printed bikini goes on sale


Actually, not bad idea

for people who aren't a standard size (most of us). Especially those who hate shopping for clothes.

A bit more info on the creation and fitting of this stuff (not necessarily underwear) would have been nice, though.

BTW, I'm calling you out on your sexist assumption that it's always a guy who pays for a woman's clothes. We earn salaries too, you know. It's quite legal.

Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel


Slightly clunky

That's like saying Stephen Hawking is slightly handicapped.

If it's a small spreadsheet, and only two people are using it: fine. Even then, you'll lose input fairly regularly due to conflicts.

A simple database is far safer. If they want to log activities through Outlook, they can always use Access, it's not that bad.


Even with a userbase of one

- which, frankly, is highly improbable - Excel is not up to coping with "a few hundred events". Excel databases max out fairly quickly. This leads to data loss, and even total system crashes. Not pretty.

Yes, I have seen this. Yes, I had warned the company that their database was too big and had too many users to be entrusted to Excel. No, they didn't listen: what do women know about real IT?

Bwahahahasnrk. Would you like some cress to go with that egg on your face, sir?

Name that donkey: Barbarella battles Bathsheba


Bellamy should be out then

as technically it's masculine.

Now Bella, or Bellatrix, would go nicely on a bit of SQUEE! like that. Bathsheba would get my vote too, but could the Spanish pronounce it?

Police ROBOT attacks and BURNS DOWN HOUSE


Can have have one?

I've got 2 years' unpaid child allowance to recover and no idea how I'll feed the kids this month.


Hey, where'd the hand-grenade icon go? You'll have to settle for the Tex-Mex icon instead then.

Reg hack applauds asinine augmentation


Beetle Bomb

Spike Jones FTW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXRj9lSnJnI&feature=related

Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village


You ignorant fool!

Seeing a naked body could traumatise children for life! That's why I always make mine take their baths blindfolded.

Brit expats aghast as Denmark bans Marmite


And... and...

Baked beans, an' Polo Mints, an' gingernuts! I even saw Irn Bru once. Intermarché sells jellies around here, all I need for torturing the natives.

Seriously, we need to set up a Black Ops team, smuggling the salty nectar of yeasty yumminess to our beleaguered compatriots in Hamlet-land under cover of Schengen.

Cryptic messages delivered over the radio, WWII style, could alert our contacts to the point of delivery. We shall have to adopt codenames, of course, so that if one of us is caught by a minion of the Danish authorities, they cannot give away the others' names, even under torture (such as being forced to listen to Lars von Triers' 'jokes' for hours en end).

Britons, arise! The very basis of our freedom is being threatened! They will not control us!

Gadgets give granny disease to kids


There are 100 types of arthritis

It just means "inflamed joints". Which one are they talking about here?

Lay off the "granny disease" too. While people are certainly more prone to developing stiff and painful joints with age, it's not exclusive to the elderly. I've known children that had rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and I developped osteoarthritis (due to worn cartilage) in my 20s due to being dealt a lousy hand at gene poker.

The subject might have been of interest with a link to the original article, rather than the alarmist crap the Sun deals out.

I found this one about a study in 2009: http://www.arthritistoday.org/news/video-games-pain-kids020.php

Me, I find the Wii can help with stiff joints, but then again I tend to go for gentler games and I don't play every day for 2 hours at a stretch.

Sleazy Aussie 'hot babes' network goes MIA


Obligatory expat comment

"Yet a heterosexual man walking into a all-female gym or nail / hair salon is greeted with immediate silence and even hostile looks. "

You live in the wrong country, love. Not that there are many unisex places round here anyway, something to do with not turning your nose up at a decent sale.


Re: Duh

Actually, the text specifically mentions men "uploading" pictures, rather than linking to them. This doesn't exclude someone using a photo downloaded from a friend's (or family member's) restricted-access page, or posting his own photos taken of people in the swimming pool or on the beach without their knowledge or consent. Freggsample.

While there are a lot of empty-headed clueless females (and males) in this world, I would never assume it's everybody doing the same stupid thing. There is a wonderful and wide-ranging variety of many kinds of dumb available, irrespective of gender, creed, or colour. And Moldovan hats. I liked those Moldovan hats. Although for me the most repellent aspect of the whole sorry Fapbook is the image it conjurs up of butt-ugly guys disparaging the physical charms of lassies they wouldn't have a chance with. Sad.

Interstellar space 'full of Jupiter-size orphan planets'


Fine, I'm going into purdah

And I'm not coming out until all the pictures of Jupiter with "Forever Alone" 'shopped onto it have disappeared beneath the steady flow of cats dancing with octopi, moonwalking stick insects, and orange reality-show celebs.

I need a drink. Several large ones in fact. Hold the parmo.

Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say


Well I'm not on there

And to be fair, this option is indeed disabled by default on my HTC handset. Should I be in danger of switching it on by accident, I get a warning about data being sent to Google, as well as heavier battery usage.

Damn thing needs recharging every 2 days anyway. They can keep their localisation.

The best sci-fi film never made: Also-rans take a bow


Ubik didn't make it?

I dunno, there's bits in the Dr Who Vashta Nerada two-parter that made me think of Ubik. So maybe in a way it's already been done.

Proper nightmare fodder, that.

Commodore USA prices up revived C64, VICs



Don't have a phonebook available, but oddly enough it sounds like a good idea. Back and carpal tunnel problems mean I tend to find modern keyboards lie too flush with the desk, and pressure gets put on all the wrong places.

One man's meat, and all that. Generally, I wedge a lever-arch folder under a keyboard if it lies too flat.


An emulator is indeed included

in the package. However, apparently it's not ready to be shipped yet.

Despite the price, it looks to be a nice little machine. I might be temped to get one to replace the lappy. I need something fairly portable with a decent keyboard.



If the keyboard is comparable to the original C-64, then I'm happy to reassure you that you imagine wrong. Classic Commodore keyboards were the best.

Halifax cuts investment accounts off from the web until April 2012


Note to self

Get a move on and close that damn account once and for all. Banking by 'phone only is not an option.

*Sigh* What idiot thought this wouldn't lose them customers?

UK gov 'draws US attention' to Bradley Manning concerns


Break the law as a civvie and you get treated relatively well


Two words.

Guantanamo Bay.

Steven Moffat promises 'darker' Doctor Who


@Citizen Kaned

"i take it you are still paying £150 a year like the rest of us then? where you live you can probably buy BBC stuff cheaper than in the UK anyway"

Cue steam from ears.

We're not given the option to pay to see BBC stuff online. Even the trailers are off-limits, for crying out loud. I certainly would quite happily pay, being one of those weirdos who believes people should always be remunerated for doing a good job.

And buying BBC stuff abroad (I assume you mean DVDs and so forth) is nio cheaper than in the UK. Postage is often expensive, and the exchange rates are always tipped to favour the vendor.

Happy now?


Citizen Erased

Teens who listen to music a lot are at high risk of depression



That's a bit unfair. Some of the stuff we listened to as spotty oiks hasn't exactly passed the test of time, and there's plenty of decent talent around these days if you know where to listen for it. There's *always* been crap music on the commercial stations, and crap books on chainstore bookshelves, come to that.

Actually, I think I've found the true cause of depression: "Participants received as many as 60 telephone calls from a trained staff member during 5 extended weekends in an 8-week period."

It would bloody well depress me, I know that.

Actually, just reading the presentation of the "study" sounded more like a cry for help from the perpetrators than anything else.

DARPA: Send limbless troops back to war with robo-arms


Already happened

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. DARPA Vader, anyone?

Twitter ad play chokes third-party devs



"The company announced last week that due to "user confusion", the company was effectively going to kill (or maim) rival Twitter clients."

That post appears to have been deleted.

Windows 7 customers hit by service pack 1 install 'fatal error' flaws


I suppose I should be grateful

that SP1 wouldn't even install on my OEM home PC. At least it may have saved me hours of swearing and a rollback.

Now I can confidently leave all the bug hunting and swearing to Microsoft. Good luck with it, guys.

Japanese nuke meltdown may be underway


For once Twitter has been a useful tool

I've been following updates from a tech who works in nuclear safety. "Meltdown" just means the fuel has melted (due to overheating). That explosion was probably hydrogen, which would have been produced by melted fuel coming into contact with water, going BANG after being informally introduced to a spark or something.

This, however, sounds even worse. People are starting to get badly hurt.