* Posts by Stuart Morrison

28 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Mar 2007

PARIS concocts commemorative cocktail

Stuart Morrison

We already have an icon.. sorry.. marketing logo for it..

Given it's composition, practicality, appearance and likely effect it has to be a 'W.T.F.'

Bangladesh cuts off Facebook

Stuart Morrison

Re: I wonder...

"If people want to believe in the Sky Fairy and a whole country of Sky Fairy worshippers want to block access to sites that mock their particular Sky Fairy - how does this affect the rest of the world?"

Because those in that country that are not Sky Fairy worshippers (perhaps few, perhaps not so few) are blocked whether they want to be or not and because inevitably your local brand of Sky Fairy worshippers will start to think that if that lot can get away with it then they can get away with it too.

Top-killing, crisp spam and cooling the Tube

Stuart Morrison
Black Helicopters

Specialism vs Generalism

Issac Asimov's short story "The Dead Past" may provide a clue.

'Draw Mohammed' page removed from Facebook

Stuart Morrison


Sad Mohammed smiley is sad that he will cause the Register to be removed from the Internets.

US boffins synthesize self-replicating bacteria

Stuart Morrison
Thumb Up


"Throughout the course of this work, the team contemplated, discussed, and engaged in outside review of the ethical and societal implications of their work,"...

.. and though "fuck it".

Home Secretary goes crazy on drugs... policy

Stuart Morrison


WARNING: May Contain Nuts*

*(but no balls, obviously).

7000 Leap Year Babies attack Steve Ballmer

Stuart Morrison
Gates Horns

There is a difference..

..between how many 'years old' you are and how many birthdays you have had.

A person born on Feb 29th may have had five 'genuine' birthdays but as they have been alive for 20 years they are 20 years old, not 5 years old.

And no Bill, it's not a feature or a standard; it's a bug. Bastard.

Sorry but I'm grumpy this morning.

Man takes old iPhone box, builds film camera

Stuart Morrison

Register Hardware’s not convinced it’s revolutionary..

You turn, or 'revolve' the handle to make it work.

It must, therefore, be a revolutionary design.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

WowWee demos FemiSapien robotrix

Stuart Morrison
Thumb Down


I got one for Xmas - fun for a while but basically they are just a remote-control toy; programability is very limited.

Then again if robot programming is your thing Lego Mindstorm is the way to go I guess.

Ubuntu laptop clan trapped in hard drive hell

Stuart Morrison

Every time...

I see a MS vs Linux flame war erupt in Reg comments I notice that the Linux fans attack the Microsoft fans' Operating System's security, stability, efficiency, privacy, cost, ethics and so-on while the Microsoft fans attack the Linux fans' sexuality, fashion sense, body odour, social skills and hairstyles.

I think this probably says all you need to know about Microsoft, Linux and their respective fans.

Microsoft counters VMware insanity with optimistic frown

Stuart Morrison


"PS yes, veridian can support non MS operating systems."

For now, while there are commercial alternatives that support non MS systems.

Once the alternatives are crushed with FUD, marketing, sheer weight of monopoly and possibly some legal shenanigans we will see.

Institutional idiocy in IT

Stuart Morrison

More BOFH-ish?..

'E-mail demons' always use HTML mail because they can then show off their l33t text formatting skillz (and use them to cover-up their less stunning writing skill).

Sooo.. I used to just bounce such mail back to the sender (and the CC list) attached to a plain-text e-mail containing a boilerplate response..

"This message was not delivered because the recipient's e-mail system does not accept HTML formatted e-mail.

HTML formatted e-mail is generally spam, malware or other unwanted e-mail in which the formating of the content is more important to the sender than meaning, security or efficiency.

If this message was actually important or business related please re-send it as a plain-text e-mail, rewritten in a manner that does not rely on HTML formatting to convey it's meaning."

.. I'm particularly proud of the phrase 'important or business related' although now that I think about it the intended meaning of that would have been clearer if the word 'or' was in bold..

Two year old's IQ on a par with Hawking

Stuart Morrison

I vaugely remember..

I vaugely recal that Giotto, when asked by Pope Benedict to provide a painting to prove that he was the greatest artist of the age, drew a perfect circle freehand for the Pope's bemused emissary and thus impressed the ecclesiastical undergarments off the pontif and won some big decorating contract or other.

Back on-topic - IQ tests are dubious in my mind as being just too blunt a tool for the job.

Fake flash player site used to spread malware

Stuart Morrison


..will people learn to approach download links with the same skepticism as they would a syringe lying on the ground with a sign saying "This stuff will make you live longer - please inject it into your eyeballs."

BT declares ceasefire in broadband speed wars

Stuart Morrison

Oh dear..

..we're still fighting to transfer all our clients who's VPNs were rendered next-to useless by the 'upgrade' to ADSL MAX back to a fixed rate service and now BT are saying that ADSL MAX is going to be the only available option.

For those people (largely using telnet/VNC sessions over VPN and VoIP) high speed DOES matter - and it matters more than high bandwidth which is generally, and erroneously, marketed as 'speed'.

Of course if BT have been planning all along to make wads of cash selling streaming content then sacrificing speed for bandwidth suddenly makes a lot more sense, especially for a former state monopoly who are likely to lose much profit if VoIP (which requires speed more than bandwidth) really takes off.

Why Apple won't sell 10 million iPhones in 2008

Stuart Morrison

re: Funny? Funnier? Funniest?

"In all seriousness a good UI is a nice thing to have but easy enough to reproduce for the big boys..."

Yup, that was a deliberately flippant exaggeration intended to suggest a couple of points..

1) While everyone at some level appreciates a good UI on their devices and hates a truely awful UI for a lot of people 'good enough' is good enough. Joe-average will put up with an average UI if the product has some other selling point for them - be that price, coloured clip-on covers, free Johhny Depp wallpaper or whatever.

2) Elements of good UI design are commonly copied/ripped-off and I would expect at least some of the elements of the iPhone UI to start to appear in competitor's products in one form or another if they prove to be a big hit for the iPhone. Creating a great UI is damn hard, copying bits of it is less so.

Stuart Morrison

I'm waiting for..

..a lower-price, reduced functionality successor to the iPhone..

The "iPhone Shuffle" will be cheaper and though it will not have a screen it will call all the people in your phonebook in random order thus increasing your social networking exponentially and kick-start the growth of Phone 2.0.

Or not.

In all seriousness a good UI is a nice thing to have but easy enough to reproduce for the big boys, with the price tag people have been talking about it's going to take more than that for iPhone to make a big splash in a market where the customer's goal is to get the most bang (or bling) for a set budget that is usually well under £100.

I can't see what advantage a £200 iPhone will have over a £50 Nokia 6300 that would encourage me to buy one (I'm guessing comparable upgrade prices for my particular personal but likely quite typical case).

I expect after the first year's sales results come in we'll see a split in iPhone product line - maybe not a iPhone shuffle but certainly an iPhone Nano.

Expel the IT bodgers, says Microsoft

Stuart Morrison

Pot? Kettle?...

... 20 minutes to delete a file.

Iran 'eight years' from operational nuke

Stuart Morrison

What am I missing?..

"..two years to "master the process" of running the gas centrifuges required for uranium enrichment. After that, a further two years would be required to knock up enough to make a bomb. Thereafter, it would have to build a warhead suitable for delivery via missile, giving a total of eight years.."

So, two years to master the processing technology, another two to generate enough weapons-grade uranium for a warhead plus four years (inferred from the text) to build a warhead to carry it.

Suppose they develop and build the warhead in parallel to manufacturing the nuclear material and just swap out the big lump of blu-tac in the warhead for the real radioactive deal when it's ready?

Assuming the stated four year development time for the nuclear material and a four year build time for the warhead the whole thing could be ready to go in four years, half the time suggested by the article.

What am I missing?

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: 25 today

Stuart Morrison

25 years on and..

..mine still runs fine when I get it off the shelf and blow the dust off it.

Talking and driving more dangerous if you're alone

Stuart Morrison

Depends on the passengers to some extent..

..because passengers who are good drivers themselves can judge the road conditions and know when to shut-up and let the driver concentrate, to some extent non-drivers don't (and someone on the end of a mobile line can't) do this.

US 'Land Warrior' wearable-computing headed to Iraq

Stuart Morrison

When all you have is a hammer..

..every problem looks like a nail.

And the article hit the nail on the head with the comment about special-forces. Selection, training, morale, logistic support and trusted, proven kit are the route to an effective fighting force. Technology can help, of course, but only when it does it's job properly.

But western society is so besotted by technology that it now tends to ignore it's alternatives (or complements) and often misses potentially more effective low-tech or (heaven-forbid) human related alternatives (or complements) in favour of flashy, unproven 'cutting-edge' technological options that often cause more problems than they solve and at an insanely high cost.

US State department rooted by 0-day Word attack

Stuart Morrison

Sophisticated != Government Sponsored

"But external security experts speculate that the sophistication of the attack suggests foreign government might have been involved"

Riiiiighhhtttt. Because the US government (and who knows how many others) are soooo sophisticated that they trust their departmental integrity (and the security of their nation) to the most egregious malware-magnet known to man.

At least they are not 'sophisticated' enough to consider running their warships on that sort of software because.. oh.. er.. nevermind.

Consumers baulk at returning to hacked stores

Stuart Morrison

Expect to see less security breaches..

..admitted-to by e-commerce companies in the future.

There won't be any less actual occurances but the victims will do whatever they can to hush-up their crappy security measures and their implications fro customers.

The logic of protecting your bottom-line by paying security expecrts to get proper security procedures in place rather than paying PR experts to protect your bottom from the firing-line wbhen it all goes tits-up seems to miss so many of these companies.

But at least when these breaches come to light customers can vote with their wallets - when it's the military (see Reg article today on spam originating from US militiary computers) there is nothing much you can do as you are tied into their service and by all accounts they are increasingly tied into inherently insecure systems (yes, I mean M$).

Go green with a double-glazing mortgage, say Lib Dems

Stuart Morrison


"Building new homes to tough, rigourously enforced standards, would significantly cut fuel bills and effectively pay for itself, making homes more affordable for first time buyers."

What? How?

If the energy efficiency improvements 'pay for themselves' the overall financial cost of buying the house is the same as if they hadn't bothered with the energy saving measures in the first place, especially if you intend to move-on before they have payed for themselves.

How does that make the house 'more affordable' for first time buyers?

In any case; given how hard it is to get on the property ladder these days you may as well say that putting springs in sports shoes makes the moon more reachable for high-jumpers.

Arrests follow punch-up at Cyprus convent

Stuart Morrison

And the relevance of this story to a technology related news source is....


Orange punts two year lock-in

Stuart Morrison

I'd go for a 2-year contract..

..if Orange could sell me a phone that will last two years without it, it's charger or it's battery failing and thus requiring me to fork out hand-over-fist for an unsubsidised replacement in order to have a usable phone for the rest of my contract.

I've not had a mobile last that long yet without something breaking and I'm careful with them as a rule.

I suspect this is because the expected upgrade cycle (and the need for manufacturers to shift their shiny new toys when they come out) means build quality of mobiles is generally what my father always used to dismiss as "cheap plastic rubbish" when on toy-shopping trips (which is why many of the toys I _was_ allowed to buy live-on in toyboxes of children to this day).

Maybe a free 24-month like-for-like warranty would sway me but till then I'll not take out any contract that outlives the manufacturer's guarantee.

UK.gov not ready to share on data sharing

Stuart Morrison

Yes Minster..

Whenever I read about "open govenrment", "freedom of information" and so on I always thing of the classic scene from Yes Minister after Sir Arnold's appointment as chairman of teh Campaign For The Freedom Of Information..

Humphrey Appleby: "So Arnold, how are things at the Campaign For The Freedom of Information?"

Sir Arnold: "I'm sorry, I can't talk about that."