* Posts by red hal

26 posts • joined 15 Nov 2007

PRISM snitch claims NSA hacked Chinese targets since 2009

red hal
Black Helicopters

Re: whats in a name...

D'aw, Nerds Owned.

Politically-correct 'Fairphone' goes on pre-sale next week

red hal

Political Correctness gone sane.

Actually, Graham, PC is much more than that. If we avoid its literal interpretation then the aspiration of political correctness is to be mindful of the unintended consequences of your actions and words, and taking reasonable steps to minimise the harmful effects those actions and words have on others. The fact that it has been co-opted by - on the one hand - those who wish to ban words that are even tangentially related to what in the U.K. we call protected characteristics and - on the other - those who wish to carry on acting without regard for others is lamentable.

In this respect, the fairphone *is* politically correct; in a good way. Its design seeks to reasonably minimise the harm caused by the sourcing of its components and raw materials. I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

US gov boffins achieve speeds faster than light

red hal

Re: I wonder if, at any point

You might not be able to change the laws of physics, but you might be wrong about what those "laws" actually are ... pal.

Body of murdered cyberwar expert found in landfill

red hal
Black Helicopters

The Stuxnet connection.

So, how much did the unfortunate Mr. Wheeler know about the true Genesis of that particular piece of malware?

Of course that's a load of old tosh, but my brain just won't let it go.

Airport screeners go for the groin

red hal

No really

Like I said, you don't have to stop flying completely. Obviously if your job requires you to fly - for example, you are an airline pilot, crop duster, RAF helicopter rescue crew or superhero (the last two are practically the same) - then yes, that could be seen as a career-limiting move. For many other careers, promoting the use of remote conferencing as the green, cheaper option - where this is practical - can still have a big effect.

Pie (not) in the sky? Not with a little forethought and pragmatism, it isn't.

red hal

The No Fly Option

As has previously been mentioned, the only way to put an end to this is to vote with our feet. Don't fly. This is a no-lose scenario; either

When the airlines will put political pressure on the government because they are faced with insolvency, then either

a) Security checks will be changed,


b) The airlines go out of business.

In scenario a) we win, in scenario b) the climate wins.

Is it really that much of an inconvenience? You don't even have to stop flying completely, just ask yourself if that journey is really necessary. For business meetings, even a comparatively expensive telepresence setup (Think 'holodeck with Cisco branding') can pay for itself within a year, and that's just on travel costs. Factor in carbon footprint, travel time as lost working hours, and video-conferencing as a replacement for many long-distance business flights becomes a real alternative.

On the private side, think about having a "staycation"; holiday in your own country or state rather than travelling abroad.

This slow escalation of humiliation will continue until pressure is put in the right place; on the wallets of businesses, and the ballot papers of politicians, not the groins of the public.

End of Microsoft NHS deal means mass deletions

red hal
Thumb Up

£109? Honest Parents don't need to pay that.

It may be a little unfair, but NHS employees who are also parents with school-age children could take advantage of the student deals and get a fully licensed version for half that, legitimately.

Hoodies swipe bus for YouTube joyride

red hal
Big Brother


This is why we don't need security cameras on every street corner. The criminals - for this is what they are - take pictures themselves. Who needs 'bait' vehicles when we have cameraphones?

Big brother; because he probably was.

Apple tweaks privacy policy to juice location tracking

red hal
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Possibly not bad.

This could be a good thing. All Apple need to do is provide a log, so you can see precisely what information was sent to whom, and when. There really is nothing wrong with what Apple are doing here, *as long as the process is open to, auditable by and controllable by the rightful owner of that information, namely the owner of the phone.*

NASA: Civilization will end in 2013 (possibly)

red hal

We're all going to die!

Someone has been watching too many Bay 'splosions movies. For sure all the warnings about what severe coronal mass ejections could do to our oh-so-delicate society are accurate, but 2013? On what evidence is this prediction based? If it is solely the 11-year sunspot cycle

then I'm far from convinced. A back-of-a-fag-packet analysis of sunspot activity over the last 100 or so years shows that we're in a slow decline in activity with the sun actually shrinking. This is part of a longer cycle, but hardly indicative of imminent space doom.

It sounds like yet another respected scientist, and Fisher certainly qualifies, has been 'could'ed.

'Mr. Fisher, is it possible that in 2013 a huge solar flare could severely disrupt life as we know it?'

'Well, yes, I suppose it COULD happen, but the statistical likelihood of th ..'

'Thank you Mr. Fisher, we'll be in touch!'

French judiciary makes transgender boob

red hal

Adam 10

Because "gender" is not "sex". How about we let people be what they want to be? If it irks you that people could go around being male one day, female the next or somewhere in between on the third friday of each month then let's say that the first change of official documentation is free, but you pay for the admin on second and subsequent changes of gender identity. And as to that with which you are born, are you referring to primary sexual characteristics? Secondary? Genetic? I agree with you about human sexuality being too complex to pigeonhole, but again, sexuality is not the same as gender-identity; which is equally complex, but different.

V-22 Osprey downblast scatters spectators like skittles

red hal

Those steel plates?

They're called swashes. Yarr.

Approaching space object 'artificial, not asteroid' says NASA

red hal

Send up a missile and

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Facebook European privacy head named peer

red hal


It looks like you accidentally the whole verb. I'm assuming it was "trust"? ID cards could have been a good idea if they were confined to confirming ID, rather than acting as a way to track peoples' movements.

A way of proving you are who you say you are is the mainstay of any AAA system, but it must be with the consent of the ID holder, and this is where the system - as proposed - fell down.

BlackBerry sees iPhone shrink in rear view mirror

red hal

@Steve Evans

See my post five above yours for those figures.

red hal

I don't know about the UK

...but smartphone shipments worldwide for 2009 as analysed by Canalys see Nokia with 47.2% of the market, RIM on 20.8% and Apple on 15.1%. Equivalent figures for 2008 (from the same source) are 52.4%, 16.5% and 9.6% respectively. Apple and RIM are certainly on the up with Nokia the largest loser, but it is still the dominant worldwide player in the smartphone marke.

Let's get some global perspective here.

References: canalys dot com/pr/2010/r2010021.html

red hal

@Andy Hards

Good point. Where is Nokia in this table? Or do none of their 'phones count as smartphones?

QLogic sues over video of chip frying egg

red hal

I'm not convinced.

I say we take the whole thing with a pinch of salt ...

Juniper pays $169m to settle backdating suit

red hal
Paris Hilton


Bit of a Freudian slit there! Paris, for obvious reasons.

iPad runs Windows, Nokia runs OSX

red hal

Never mind the iPad

Sod the iPad; OSX running on an N900? Now that's impressive.

RIPA III: A legislative turkey comes home to roost

red hal

Hidden Volume Password

@Paul Crawford,

A good point there about the O/S having details of recent activity. However, suppose you decide that for your hidden password you are going to use a URL?

Main Password: lions, tigers, oh my!

Hidden password: http://www.theregister.co.uk

Apple sends iPhones into 'Coma Mode'

red hal

OK, so, alternatives?

Nokia N900 is looking nice right about now. OK so its a failed update. I understand the urge to indulge in schadenfreude, but really all this is is a lesson to Apple that the other Phone manufacturers learnt a long time ago.

Mine's the one with an OS-OS in the pocket.

Truck drivers! Don't go texting now

red hal

I'm in my car now

and I don't think it's "that" obv

Sent From My Blackberry Handheld.

Radiation warning for low-energy lightbulbs

red hal


Was this research done in collaboration with the energy utilities by any chance? First Mercury and now UV. Anyone would think it was a slow news day.

Mine's the one with the Sunblock and the LED torch in the pocket.

Microsoft wireless keyboards crypto cracked

red hal
Thumb Up

About that whole typing in binary thing...

The LeetKey extension for firefox lets you encode and decode binary on the fly. It also does AES encrypt and decrypt. There's an idea! The keyboard only sends groups of 100 characters, encrypted with AES, which the driver then decodes. All we need to do is remember what we've typed 100 characters ahead. Simple. Not much good for games though...

Testers give iPhone virtual keyboard the thumbs down

red hal
Thumb Up

Hmm, thumb-board, handwriting, or stylus?

The iPhone is beautiful, with a great UI; there's no (subjective) doubt about that, though it's not for me.

I Just take the smallest 3G phone I can get, and do the rest on my Nokia N800, which is what I'm posting this from. In under two minutes.


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