* Posts by Donald Atkinson

34 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Oct 2007

Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi

Donald Atkinson

Never heard of them

But thanks for the link to the opt out page. That's done & dusted.

Assuming that they aren't just collecting and selling the opt out list......

Aw grandad, I asked for an iPad and you got me an iPod

Donald Atkinson

Who wants a silly tablet

I surprised my son with Lego Mindstorms and a few expansion sets. Cost more than an iPad that's for sure. Building & programming robotic scorpions has made him pretty much forget about Angry Birds flavor of the month.

Sun BELCHES twice, mighty plasma loops miss Earth - NASA vid

Donald Atkinson

Re: real time?

No that was a 4 hour time lapse.

Apple set to drop 17in MacBook Pro, says watcher

Donald Atkinson

Hopefully this clown is wrong

I'm typing this from a 17" MacBook Pro and I'd feel dropping the 17" would be idiotic. if you are crunching serious numbers and working with very large datasets you need the real estate for all of those windows. I need to see multiple windows at the same time, not flipping through tabs. As they cost over $3000 well configured, I can't imagine Apple expecting to boatloads of 17" machines. That does not mean that there is no market for them and abandoning professionals who need such machines does not make sense. The same thing can be said for the Mac Pros, not that many folks need $6000 12-core machines but those that need them, well they really need them.

Battlefield Earth ruled worst film EVER

Donald Atkinson

How can you have all forgotten about Dune?

Granted 1984 was a long time ago but my lord Dune was a truly horrible movie.

Apple blasted for toxic waste spewed by iDevice suppliers

Donald Atkinson

And the paper the report was printed on?

Has the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs done the same background checks on their suppliers? Who makes their paper, their office equipment, the electricity to run their office? Are they as pure as the driven snow or are they merely hypocrites?

Man killed by own cock

Donald Atkinson

Never been on a farm have you?

First talons are on a bird's toes. Second the blades are attached to the birds feet, roosters jump at their target feet first. Third, roosters are big and notoriously mean critters, unless you have handled them you really can't imagine.

When one oligopoly screws another

Donald Atkinson

no so much

The vast majority of US appliances are 110v. The only exceptions are electric clothes dryers and kitchen ranges. Some industrial refrigerators are 240v but home models are invariably 110v. If your range or dryer gets its heat from gas then the electric side will be 110v.

McDonald's breach bares nuggets of customer data

Donald Atkinson

Date of birth

Does anyone actually use their real dob on those web site drop down things?

Anonymous turns attack drones against fax machines

Donald Atkinson

In the USA at least...

Doctors still use fax machines to move medical records. The test results from that X-ray or other lab work is quite often faxed. Many medical reports are still hand written and they get faxed, day in and day out. My fax machine is one digit off from that of the oncology group here, I get spammed with people's medical records at a truly alarming rate. Great things those records, they have the individual's name, address, date of birth, social security number, phone number, blood type...

Walmart falls in with Washington's war on terror

Donald Atkinson
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You may not have a choice

If you really do live out in the country you might not have much choice as to where to shop. WalMart has driven most small town stores out of business. Quite often your choice is WalMart or a very long drive. Welcome to the USA.

Feds arrest man who juiced Google's 'just be evil' search

Donald Atkinson

The firearm info is NOT irrelevant

The illegal firearms possession (given NYC's gun laws the odds are extremely high that they are illegal) charges will get added later on. They will have a wonderful "piling on" effect especially for the cyber stalking and death threat charges. Nothing increases your prison sentence quite like committing a crime when in possession of illegal firearms.

Mass mind control artist condemns El Reg to obscurity

Donald Atkinson

We don't all listen to RL

I've been reading El Reg for, well I'm not sure but over a decade at a minimum. I don't keep up with the ramblings of Mr Limbaugh beyond what others point out. There seems to be a cottage industry built up around shooting down his stupidity. I see you've joined in on the fun. Enjoy.

Anyway, the entire nation doesn't hang on the words of Rush, Beck & Hannity, there are still a few of us holding out in the hills.

'Smear agricultural land with human poo'

Donald Atkinson

A really bad idea

The solids captured at the treatment plant contain far more than just human poo. It contains all manner of toxics from washing and other processes not to mention all the other flushable items that get flushed. It isn't fertilizer, it is a toxic witches brew of Lord only knows what.

Use it as a feedstock for a recovery process if you can turn a dime doing it but don't be dumping the raw material on the land.

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Donald Atkinson
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Seems a bit extreme

I don't use the phone while driving but I do use the phone when I am a passenger. Even if I am just checking email or texting. Making it impossible for anyone to use a phone inside a car is just over the top.

Twitter joke martyr loses appeal

Donald Atkinson

Glad to see this

It gives me the warm and fuzzes to know that the US justice system isn't the only one that is fubar.

Misery loves company and all.

Facebook serves '23% of all US display ads'

Donald Atkinson

You mean that stuff on the right side?

The stuff that I actively ignore?

297 billion ads displayed? That means the failure rate of those ads can't be perceived by the human mind. If you are going to fail you may as well go big.

Zuckerberg: the iPad 'is not mobile'

Donald Atkinson

Facebook on your phone isn't mobile either

Having watched some texting fool emasculate himself on a sidewalk bike rack this afternoon I can safely state that facebook on a phone is no more mobile than facebook on an iPad. I have a 3g iPad and an HTC Incredible with Verizon. The facebook versions for BOTH really need improvement. Zuckerberg needs to stop with the juvenile semantic games and get on with figuring out mobile interfaces for a range of form factors and operating systems. Simple fact is facebook using Safari on an iPad is far better than facebook on a top of the line Android phone.

Credit card 'flash attack' steals up to $500,000 a month

Donald Atkinson

Seems a bit excessive

Sending a hundred folk out to raid my checking account? Each card that they created would return a couple dollars. Hardly seems worth the effort.

Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac

Donald Atkinson

I don't much care who makes it

Apple's versions of Java have been behind everyone else's version of Java for years. I really don't give a damn if Apple stops generating their own versions as long as Oracle takes up the slack and makes a Apple version. Hell they might just stay more current than Apple ever did.

Apple buys out $1bn data center squatters

Donald Atkinson

Eminent domain

The Supreme Court decided to leave the eminent domain issue open ended and turfed it to the states to draft the limits. The Supremes said that you could use eminent domain in order to raise the tax value IF the state legislature allows it. The ruling does not prevent a state legislature from writing far more restrictive rules. It is a state by state affair and a pr minefield no matter where you are.

Mac Office 2011 allows only 'light edits' in Windows Web apps

Donald Atkinson

Are they going to fix Excel?

I use both Office 2008 on Snow Leopard and Excel 2007 on XP Pro. The incredible dumbed down version on the Mac side can not copy the very large data sets the XP side can. The search & replace is dumbed down on the Mac side and there are a few score more. I run all manner of Unix programs on my Mac and I'd really like to use Excel for some of the datafile management but it is highly annoying that I have to do the heavy lifting on an XP machine instead of my Mac.

Sarko hit by 'asshole' Googlebomb

Donald Atkinson

re Asshole?

Only for those who speak the Queen's English.

Monster Afghan spy airship to feature quad drinking straws

Donald Atkinson

How about a Bofors 40 mm L/70 gun

The Bofors L/70 has been around for 60+ years and is quite common. It has a maximum altitude of 12,500 meters which is ~41,000 feet. 40mm holes are not small, I'm not sure how useful such a vehicle is when 40mm aa guns are so plentiful. I'm sure the North Koreans would happily sell something along those lines if the Taliban couldn't find something like it in any of the ex-Soviet states.

Apple TV: Third time unlucky, Mr Jobs

Donald Atkinson

I like my Apple TV

I have a EyeTV and an AppleTV and a nice big TV antenna. I record all manner of PBS & other shows shows for my kids using the EyeTV. Hundreds of them. Many in HD. I edit away the commercials in EyeTV and output it to iTunes. My kids' iTunes library, all 5 Tb of it sit on a disk array and my kids can pull up any show they want or play any music they want via the AppleTV. And all those shows cost me exactly nothing beyond the disk space to maintain them. Can the AppleTV do other things? Of course it can just look up FireCore's ATV flash.

New iPod crew: 'Phoney, futuristic, retro, doomed'

Donald Atkinson


Well if the touch gets to 128 Gb then they just need to upgrade the Classic to a 320 or 500 Gb drive. You know a useful size if you have a lossless library.

Firefox, uTorrent, and PowerPoint hit by Windows DLL bug

Donald Atkinson

That sounds ugly

That is a whole lot of coding to patch a couple hundred applications. Also how would Joe User know if any given program is vulnerable? Bleah, this is going to cost a lot of people some serious money to fix.

Trojan-ridden warning system implicated in Spanair crash

Donald Atkinson

Pilot error first - equipment second

First and foremost the pilots didn't set the flaps prior to takeoff. They were not following procedure and they were not paying attention, a bad combination in a cockpit.

Second, the plane had numerous minor mechanicals that included a disabled warning system. None of them would have prevented the plane from flying if the pilots had not committed error number 1 above. Nevertheless the properly functioning systems would have caught the problem and prevented the crash.

Third, the screwed up central computer that should have caught on to the grocery list of minor mechanicals on that plane and grounded it until they were repaired. That brings up an interesting question, who or what is the final arbiter of the plane's airworthiness, usually it is the pilot. Did the crew know the full list of mechanical issues? Did they know the alarm's were disabled? Did they decide to fly anyway? What about the maintenance crew at the airport? Did they have the information or were they solely dependent on what the mainframe told them? At this point it gets to be a mess of reporting, company policy and trojan-riddled computers.

But in the end the pilots forgot to extend the flaps on takeoff which is as fundamental & possibly lethal a mistake as one could make in a cockpit.

EchoStar ordered to pay TiVo (another) $200m

Donald Atkinson

Dish Network is right

The Dish Network DVR has a much better UI than the Tivo box and it is vastly better than the Direct TV box, which is also a Tivo. The Judge shouldn't be offended by the truth.

American auto dealer offers free handguns

Donald Atkinson

The gun they recommend is junk too

Giving away a gift certificate for a gun and they recommend a Kel-Tec .380.

The gun is crap, it is totally junk beyond a range of 5 meters.

The redneck concealed carry cures all idiots in this country really piss me off.

How to destroy 60 hard drives an hour

Donald Atkinson

A thermal lance would be faster & cheaper

Nothing like a 4000°C flame to make short work of a hard drive. You could line up a hundred drives and just burn right through the entire stack in no time. You can slice right through the heaviest gauge steel beams with one of them, a hard drive would not stand a chance.

Dell waves goodbye to 1100 Canadians

Donald Atkinson

The Canadian dollar is strong

Canadian workers are not inexpensive anymore so bye bye Canucks.

Apple guns Xserve and Mac Pro to 11

Donald Atkinson

Oh please

Enterprise users just buy the ram and other bits from someone other than Apple. It isn't a big deal and we have been doing it for, quite literally, decades now.

Apple's Leopard rejects latest version of Java

Donald Atkinson

Who ever claimed Java 6 was part of Leopard?

Apple sure never said anything of the sort. Apple had a months old beta version of Java 6 out there but nowhere have they said that it would be done and part of Leopard.

Tiger runs Java 5, Leopard runs Java 5 with a few 64 bit add ins.

Anyone who bought Leopard expecting to find Java 6 or expecting that a months old beta Java 6 would function is an absolute idiot.