* Posts by Joey Y

19 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Oct 2007

Caterpillar plans 600 tonne godzilla-lorry robots

Joey Y


How did this miss being placed in the Rise of the Machines™ catagory?

I really do not want to have to welcome giant robot dump truck overlords, unless we can put a scary green "Happy Toyz" face on the front of them...

NASA's Ares V may crush Kennedy crawlerway

Joey Y

1.1 meters total?

I am pretty sure that the crawlerway is 7-10 feet (2.1 - 3 meters) deep.

In fact, from NASA's website ( http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/facilities/crawlerway.html ):

Depth: Average depth is 2 meters (7ft)

El Reg nails Street View spycars to Google Maps

Joey Y

@Chris Harden

That is what I love about Google is that you can use their tools on them. Had it been the government (especially here in the freedom-hating USA) with cars/cameras, you would have at least gotten added to the Terrorist Watch List just for noting where the cameracars were.

In fact, I bet Google is aware of the fact that people are tracking its cars. I think it would be interesting if, for example, they were to add GPS devices in the cars and have a real-time/frequently updated map showing their locations. (Even better, being able to track a car in your area and seeing the picture feed to make sure your thong/swimming pool does not appear.)

Intel stinks

Joey Y

Intel chipping in

I agree with the AC above.

If someone builds a house next to the airport, they have little right to complain about airplanes flying overhead.

City-sprawl that puts houses next to a stink-pit is not Intel's fault. In fact, +1 to Intel for taking the initiative to fix the problem and be a good neighbor. (The Reg/Ms Vance might have been being sincere in their praise of Intel. I am just too used to statements like "Excellent corporate citizen that it is, Intel..." being sarcastic.)

Blind spot - the trouble with optical drives

Joey Y

But why not tape?

So, what is wrong with tape?

Sure, you have to clean the heads on occasion, and the tapes are not cheap, but it is a good standard solution. Tapes are pretty durable, they come in many sizes. The big datacenters have great solutions, tape silos and such, and smaller businesses can buy the cheaper single-tape drives.

Also, since many new tape formats' drives are backward compatable, businesses can keep their old backups without needing to keep a variety of different drives. If a business switched to Blu-ray compatible disks, they would have to discard all of their old stuff or find somewhere to store it. (Yes, I know some new formats are not backward compatible with anything, but they are no less compatible than trying to put an LTO in an optical drive...)

Sure, new companies who are just starting to do backups now could switch to optical, but how is that better than the new guys buying into the same technology as what has been around for a while?

Apple sued over Mighty Mouse

Joey Y


The problem is not with CBS owning the name. Since CBS owns the trademark for a cartoon rodent superhero, their Mighty Mouse is unlikely to be confused with a piece of computer hardware used as a pointing device.

On the other hand, M&M sold a piece of computer hardware used as a pointing device. M&M are complaining that Apple released a similar device with the same name. (If Apple had released a cartoon about a rodent, M&M would [hopefully, anyway] not be suing them.)

Apple update trick triples Safari share

Joey Y


"Even with MS update, non-essential upgrades and installs are unticked. If you don't ask for .net framework or mediaplayer, you don't get it."

I always have to uncheck items in MS' auto-updater, so I do not get IE7, or MS' monthly virus remover, or especially MS Genuine Advantage (which does not help me in any way, but whose activities may be reporting information about me to MS, or which might have security vulnerabilities itself). Likewise, for those who have the "always install updates" checked, they log into their computer one morning (or evening) and find out that their web browser has changed and some websites no longer work properly.

From the article: "The browser wasn't listed as a new program. It was listed as just another update", but the image below that sentence says "New software is available from Apple." (Yes, I know, it says "Update" in two other places, so maybe it is a wash.)

I do hate updaters that do more than simple updates. But, Apple did a clever job of shoving Safari out to many people who would have never heard of it, then cleverly backpedalled. I bet they had it all planned out, including how long to wait after the initial outrage to release the updated updater...

Xbox 360 burns house down

Joey Y
Gates Horns

Water is wet, bricks are heavy?

MS "claims gamers can minimise the risks by unplugging the console."

Leave it up to Microsoft to point out that removing electricity from electrical devices reduces the chances of electrical fires...

In a related brief, Server 2008 was found to be the least likely OS to crash while the computer is powered off.


Pentagon says sat-smash smithereen cloud almost gone

Joey Y
Thumb Up

When you bring them together...

...the rendezvous of satellite and kill warhead, the admiral said:

"When you bring them together ... you can get a lot more value."

Satellite + kill warhead = $$$ (or £££, or €€€...)

Tool makes mincemeat of Windows passwords

Joey Y
Gates Horns

Disable firewire when machine is locked?

"After all, how hard could it be disable Firewire connections while a PC is locked?"

Microsoft cannot win this one. If lock my workstation while I am capturing video via 1394 or copying files to a firewire drive, I would be quite unhappy to find that locking my workstation disabled the 1394 ports.

On the other hand, they cannot leave this unpatched. Too many people rely on hardware locks and the ability to lock the workstation.

Why not fix the direct memory problem? Why should a 1394 device (or any device plugged into an external port) have absolute access to anything as vital as memory, hard drives or such just by the merit of being plugged in?

(Yes, before you ask, I do disable autorun and autoplay on all of my machines. Keeps those pesky iPod virii off my Windows machines.)

It is nice to see that the 1394 spec is an equal opportunity offender, hitting Linux (what about BSD?) and OS X, too.

US, Canada seize fake Cisco goods

Joey Y

How could they tell they were fake?

Did they have a user-friendly self-explanatory interface? Or was it that they failed to do a hostile takeover on all ajoining boxes in the warehouse?

But, on a more serious note, I agree with the others that it would be nice to know if these are copycat electronics (with IOS?) or if they are genuine Cisco kit (or Cisco factory rejects) bound for the gray (or 'grey'? is that like 'color/colour'?) market.

Samsung laptop battery burns

Joey Y

Users do not understand...

Users treat laptops like they treat keyboards for desktops. Little regard for where they put them (or what they spill in them).

It is further complicated by the fact that many users get away with setting their laptops on things like pillows and plushy comforters without a problem.

If I had a dollar, pound or euro for every time I saw a laptop humming quietly away on a pillow or other bedstuff, or even on someone's nice warm winter jacket, I would be rich.

I do agree, though, that laptops should have better temperature monitoring. If we cannot make users less foolish, at least make the equipment more foolproof.

Opera screeches at Mozilla over security disclosure

Joey Y

Opera and responsiveness

"Opera has to be the most unresponsive company I have ever dealt with."

That is odd. I have been using Opera (on the desktop) for years. Back in 2001, it was Version 6, and you still had to pay for it, I bought it...

Every time I contacted their support department, either about a browser bug, feature or suggestion, or even just about a webpage that did not work correctly in Opera, I always received a reasonable answer promptly. Sometimes, the answer was "sorry, but you will have to wait until the next release" (such as reliable gmail compatibility). Other times, the problem was fixed in the next update.

Not to say that they are perfect, but they do pretty good for a private corporation releasing a free webbrowser.

(By the way, how *is* the Firefox mobile browser coming? Any progress?)

Google in mass 404 land grab

Joey Y
Thumb Down

Changing ISPs - easier said than done

On top of the above mentioned reasons, I wish to point out that I can change all sorts of things on my computer, including OS, browser and toolbar-plugin things, but in many places, I am limited to one broadband ISP. In many others, I can only choose between two.

The idea here is that ISPs should not be allowed to modify content of traffic just because it passes through their network. (...or, in Comcast's case, should not be allowed to choke out/eliminate traffic based on type/protocol.)

(I know, the cases of evil stuff such as virus activity and malicious TCP traffic, we want the ISPs to step in and help to limit the damage... But there is still a VERY marked difference between these ideas.)

French motorwonk savages hybrid cars

Joey Y

There is one advantage

The dumb billions who own cars can get used to semi-electric cars more easily than switching 'cold-turkey' to all-electric. This leads to an increase in car-grade electric motors and possibly to better batteries. As more hybrids come out, more and more people will demand plug-in hybrids to increase their range without using petrol.

Hopefully, as there are more plug-in hybrids, parking garages, apartment complexes and work parking lots (and maybe park-and-ride lots?) will get plugs so you can charge your plug-in hybrid there, too.

Once that happens, we could switch to all-electrics...

(I have always doubted the validity of hybrids, though. I have a friend who drives a [petrol] Toyota Echo and it gets the same in-town milage as the Prius, and much better highway milage.)

Flanagan reads riot act on police IT

Joey Y

That is my new favorite story tagline

"Take him down the cells. But I just closed Excel, sarge"

I am glad someone at El Reg has a sense of humor that they do not mind aiming at the police.

M&S flogs lingerie model with 'durable hardwood feet'

Joey Y
Black Helicopters

If you do zoom...

As AC suggested above, I tried the zoom function... After the zoom pics loaded, I noticed on the right, there is an option to "First, select a color." The only choice is brown, though.

Subtle racism, or forcing tolerance on the M&S crowd?

Microsoft sells Windows twice

Joey Y
Gates Horns

Sells Windows Thrice...

I count three times...

Most/all of these machines came with Windows preinstalled (Win2k for really old machines, XP for newer old ones).

A great many companies have site licenses or other agreements, especially so they can install vanilla copies of Windows (without Dell/HP/Gateway malware).

And now, ancient machines need a third copy.

If these rules applied to things apart from software, people would be more loudly upset. (Brian Miller: Imagine if, instead of losing the watch, you only lost the manual and the plastic holder the watch came with; you still have the watch, and you want to give it to your nephew or sell it on eBay but you cannot. You could sell it if you were willing to buy a new copy of the manual.)

I think that it would be better to discourage large software companies from going after owners of 3+ year-old desktops. (Although, a big enough "where's your license" scare might drive up interest in Linux [or FreeBSD :-] )

ps. You know where your licenses are, I assume. Does your mum know where hers are? Why won't anyone think of the parents?

Facebook sued for mis-sending dirty texts

Joey Y
IT Angle

ListServ does it...

For many of the lists I am on, I receive a list confirmation email between every few months to a couple of years.

Why not do that? Facebook could send an additional message every couple of months, requesting that you either reply with a text message or go to facebook to confirm.

Also, I agree that the carriers in the US are stupid in charging for incoming messages. If I and a few friends want to irritate someone, we could just send lots of texts to him. At up to ten cents per message, 5 people sending 20 messages to him a month it gets expensive. Throw in some emails via email-to-text gateway, and it gets expensive faster.

Plus, most carriers will not let you disable text messages. The best you can do is get a phone that predates modern text technology. (In other words, get your father's old cell phone when he decides that the battery does not last long enough any more...)