* Posts by DutchOven

105 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2007


Remembering the true* first portable computer


Portable computer?

...I've never seen anyone take one of these out of their breifcase on the train.

Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament


Am I missing something?

The BNP are big fans of "Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Norse and closely related kindred peoples". (They didn't mention picts, though did they?)

...but let's get this straight. If you violently invade a country and hang around for 1000 or more years then the BNP think you're a "nice" foreigner. If on the other hand, you have something positive to give to society but your parents were invited here 40 years ago, they want you out?

...and the fact that we all started out in Africa and share the majority of genes with every other human being on the planet counts as nothing. We are all humans, regardless of everything else. Race, colour, creed, parentage, religion, the place you happen to have been born; they're all artificial subdivisions. It's idiots like the BNP that make me ashamed to be British - they actually make me feel like leaving these islands - and I will if they ever manage to gain any serious power.

I wonder how the BNP stand on emmigration? I mean they're a little bit down on foreigners coming here, do they feel just as strongly on behalf of foreign nations when British workers go overseas? I doubt it very much (which speaks volumes about double-standards and nimbyism, doesn't it?)

Microsoft sues John Does for bilking search bribery machine

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So another security hole for Microsoft but this time it hurts only them.

What are the bets that this one is closed in record time?

Phorm woos browsers with personalised web


Good thing?

"Ertugrul said Phorm's seven years so far without revenues was "actually a good thing" because of the complexity of its products."

No, it's a good thing because eventually those people who hold the purse strings will say "fuck off" - which is pretty much what anyone who knows about Phorm is telling them anyway.

DARPA killer AI robots to 'participate in own construction'


Please, please, please

...can some Eastern European hackers get access to this and get it to redesign itself so that it says "Hasta La Vista" and travels back from a post-apocalyptic future...

In fact, no, please don't. Destroy it now before it destroys us!

Her Maj honours NZ wizard



If he was a real wizard then he would have cast a spell on her majesty that would have planted the idea of giving him a several million dollar "donation" instead of just a wimpy little medal...

'Cloned' CGI faces mimic people 'better than skilled actors'


Oh really?

"Many of these effects would otherwise be impossible to achieve, even using highly-skilled actors.”

Is this really saying that actors can't impersonate another person and adopt their manerisms?

Or are they merely saying that it's impossible to make someone look like someone else using the current CGI and make up?

Although I am not an expert, I have watched TV before and seen both of these things done... sometimes even both at once.

Shocked. Shocked I was. I thought it must have been witchcraft and now that I know that it's "impossible" using current technology, I know it must have been.

I'm going to go and get myself de-hexed, just in case.

Critical Windows vulnerability under attack, Microsoft warns


RE: damned if they do, damned if they don't = asper (yawn)

DT wrote: "Linux might be fine for surfing tinternet, hosting websites and doing all manner of techy things that get you guys wet, but frankly it's niche. Computers are for running software and last time I checked gloating isn't a "killer app" , but an effective way of putting people off your little club."

...and what do the majority of users do with their computers. Oh, wait. It's number one on your list "surfing tinternet". They might also need a copy of Open Office, just in case. Apart from that, they're good to go. It no longer takes a PhD in Computer Science to understand Linux, my friend installed in instead of WIndows on his PC and he's a computer amatuer. So far he has asked me for advice a total of zero times...

Hacks and IT workers boozing themselves silly


Real Estate?

"WTF is real estate, eh?"

Obviously it's the opposite of "pretend estate".

Getting my coat (but only after consuming another 23462 units, natch - someone has to raise the IT average!)

Twitter suffering chronic banality, diagnoses Dr House


Sums twitter up really

"microblogging Web 0.2 phenomenon Twitter"

Obviously, I understand this may be a typo. If so then it's Freudian in nature...

Governator revives anti-violent video game crusade


WHen he lost the first time...

.... did he tell the judge "eye'll be beck"?

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

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"This guy either got too many wedgies or not enough wedgies as a child."

He's not had enough of them as an adult if he thinks anyone is interested in this POS.

After seeing articles about it all over the interwebs, I decided to give it a spin last week.

I promised myself that I'd use it for an entire day. I did - I rarely got back any results though and the ones I did get back were usually not relevant at all. (Isn't it just as well that I had another window open for an oompa-loompa search, just in case?)

If I was this guy, I'd give myself a B for publicity and an F for product usefulness.

...and no, he's never going to make any money from this guff, is he?

Worldwide GPS may die in 2010, say US gov


RE: Only bad for city dwellers

AC wrote: "...the remaining satellites will work most of the time perfectly - until you enter New York and need a bunch of satellites in a very constrained field of view - then you may feel the lack of extra satellites."

You mean the exact sort of place where:

- maps are easily available (maybe even on your phone?)

- there are likely to be street signs

- you can ask for directions

I don't have any devices that use GPS so maybe that's why I am one of the few who can still get from A to B without one. (In ten years maybe that will be an impressive party trick or something!)

Hacker claims whaling expedition harpooned Steve Jobs

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Hardly news

If it's true then the story "Man falls for phishing attack" isn't news.

If it's fake then the story "Kiddie knocks up fakes in photoshop" isn't news.

...and let's face it, on the evidence, it looks as fake as fake can be.

UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust

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Oh really?

Did he really say it had been created "as a place that governments couldn't reach."

...and who created it? Wasn't it the US government? Does he know anything about the internet?

I suspect that what he really objects to is free speech. This is Nu-Stazi, sorry Nu-Labour after all. They think they've got a right to monitor and control everything.

I can only echo the sentiment above - the sooner this lot of computer illiterates die off, the better.

Google blames cheeseburgers for destroying the planet



If only I could get these cheeseburgers to stop using google every time my back was turned they wouldn't be slowly cooking themselves via global warming.

Cops collar Russian punting dog dressed as lamb

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Dogs danglies

I have not got any personal experience in this subject but someone once told me that corned beef sells rather more than expected in Korea.

The reason being that a couple of scooped teaspoons of corned beef can be used as substitute for dogs bollocks in certain delicacies. The taste and texture are apparently very similar once cooked.

Nothing to do with sheep. Sorry.

Google's email goes titsup (again)



I use Gmail all the time and despite all these stories about outages, I've never had any problems. Ever.

(Is gmail the same platform as googlemail? If not then that could explain it)

English vocab poised to hit 1m words

Paris Hilton

I'd just like to say

...have they not got anything better to do with their time?

What a bunch of arsecandles.

It's doubly as bad when (after reading a bit more) I realised that the 1,000,000 mark was passed in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

So not only are they doing something which is of extremely limited usefulness, they're also incredibly inept at counting...

I was always under the impression that by using one of those new-fangled computer thingys, they could: count the words, make sure there were no duplicates, have a definitive answer and still be home in time for tea. I was obviously wrong (or grossly underestimating user stupidity)

Paris because even she can count (and her life isn't being wasted quite as pointlessly)

Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'

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I'd like to see the Vatican make a film of *their* book.

I wouldn't watch it but I've no doubt it would be pretty tedious.

...a bit like the Da Vinci Code.

Errr, that can't be right, can it?

Personally, I find the idea that a Cardinal could be a murderer a little easier to swallow than the one about the guy who is hiw own father, brings his friend back from the dead, walks on water and then comes back from the dead himself.

Yes! It's the invisible¹ shed²!


One major drawback

Who needs a shed a few thousands of a millimeter across?

It's so small it's invisible anyway.

Meet Phorm's PR genius

Paris Hilton

RE: Petard hoisted


You don't have to actively campaign against something to report accurately, now do you?

El Reg doesn't froth at the mouth like the Daily Fail about Garry Glitter's terrible record in child-minding because they don't need to, everyone knows about it already. Here we have a lot of people who know about IT and IT security and privacy issues and they tell it how it is... which is a very good thing because if you fail to understand the issues involved then you're not going to be able to make an informed opinion!

Actually, now that I think about it the only thing Phorm could now do that would damage them more is to hire Gary Glitter as PR spokesman...

Paris, 'cos she knows about web privacy and isn't daft enough to hire Patrick Robertson either...

Self-replicating machine replicates


I thought I heard it speak...

...and it said "John Connor?", with a dodgy Austrian accent.

Darling supports broadband by raiding Granny's digital fund


RE: Not so "New" Labour

Raymond Cranfill wrote: "For a country that gave the world the Industrial Revolution, the steam engine, the transAtlantic cable, Adam Smith and the like, it's truly sad to see the state of broadband in Merry Olde England."

Except Adam Smith didn't come from "Merry Olde England", did he? He came from Scotland, as any fule kno

...and as Wikipedia (rightly) says: "The history of the steam engine stretches back as far as the first century AD; the first recorded rudimentary steam engine being the aeolipile described by Hero of Alexandria". Once again, nothing to do with "Merry Olde England"!

Besides, I don't think this budget affects only England. Last I looked it was the UK Chancellor who made the UK budget and that includes Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well.

Google splits with Mozilla on 3D interwebs


It *is* actually useful

I did my dissertation on this and I can tell you that 3D webpages have actually got useful applications in real life.

Someone else has already noted usefulness of looking for relationships between web-sites, which may be why google is looking into it.

It's useful in many other things too. A graphical representation tells 1000 words as they say. If you need to find other news stories which are related to the one you're reading, for example. The length of the lines connecting the nodes or the size of the nodes can be varied to indicate the relevance. Mouse over can reveal what the headline was, click to visit...

Or family trees, zoom around in 3D and click on a member of the family to view their picture.

Of course, that's just two applications (and both quite similar) the list really is endless. Google maps anyone....?

Flying-rifle robocopter: Hovering sniper backup for US troops


I'm sure this will come in handy....

...next time they fabricate an excuse to invade a 3rd world country.

They can hover over the citizens, showing their ARSS to everyone

JG Ballard — 1930-2009


Sadly missed

I always enjoyed his short stories.

Alas he stopped writing them because no-one buys magazines which feature short stories any more.

...and now he can never write any more.

A truly sad day.

Microsoft ends mainstream XP, Office 2003 support


Missing the main point entirely

"Non-security critical fixes will be available to those punters who signed up to Microsoft’s Extended Hotfix Support program 90 days before mainstream support was killed off."


Notice that they're effectively saying "8 years wasn't enough to close all the security holes".

Whatever makes them think that I'll be upgrading to any of their new OSs when after many long years of development and 8 years of actual use they still can't close them?

Windows 7 isn't going to be any better. You can tell yourself whatever you like.

...and the poster who asked if Win7 is likely to run in 512Mb of memory. I've seen unix systems that came on floppy disks and used less than 512Kb (not Mb, Kb) of memory, by the time I had WIMP going, it was still less than 512Mb BY A LONG WAY! What does an operating system need more than 512Mb of memory for? Can anyone answer that? The Amiga had a reasonable OS going in about 100k of memory (usually much less) same with the Archimedes etc

If I was MS, I would concentrate on taking XP and

a) making the damn thing a lot more secure

b) removing bloat.

Strangely, I suspect that merely doing b) would help towards a)...

I suspect that once XP support and security updates have gone the way of the dinosaur then many people will be switching to a friendly flavour of Linux...

Open-source iPhone plan to control your home

Paris Hilton

Am I missing something here?

I was able to control every IR device in my house the day that I bought my first iPaq. That was 2003. The software came with the device...

Paris, just because.

Smear site leads back to Commons


RE: A complaint has been lodged

"If there is no response and the details are not corrected, then the domain name will be suspended in approximately 30 days and cancellation will follow 30 days after that."

Because for obvious reasons, they didn't check the credit card details that were used to pay for the hosting and/or domain name in the first place?

If it was up to me, I would charge the credit card several thousand pounds "administration charge" for shutting down the site. That way someone would have to come forward and complain... (or that person would at least get kicked in the knackers by their uber-meisters!)

Microsoft's online Office variant preps for business



"Microsoft's biggest problem when it comes to shipping new versions of Office is getting the existing install base to upgrade."

Yeah but their biggest problem with everything is security.

Frankly I wouldn't trust them to push shit down a pipe, never mind do things to my trusted data.

If their previous security record is anything to go by then adding a table to a word document (for example) will allow Eastern European Botmasters to install their horrible software on my machine...and anyone who uses Excel to keep track of their home finances will probably end up revealing their financial secrets to half the world.

I'd rather put my 'nads in a mincer than let them handle my data.

Hair-stripping fungus threatens future of judo and sumo



If Karate-do, loosely translated means "Way of the empty hand".

What is Japanese for "Way of the empty hair-follicle"?

Microsoft: have it your way on IE 8



Do they still release it for Mac? No.

Do they still have a version for WinNT on Sun. Oh silly me.

The only platform that it exists on is Winblows. Most of the users seem to be the ones who are too stupid to look for a better browser. Microsoft might save a lot of money if they just gave up and directed people to a page with links to 3rd party browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Opera etc

Which is pretty much what you get if you try to download their WMV stuff for OSX these days.

Russian schoolgirl invents inertioid-driven Venus rover


Where do I begin?

First off - if two things rotate in opposite directions then as well all know, there is no movement contraray to the direction of the axis of rotation. We only have to look at those personal helicopters to know that.

As for this whole "Indigo" thing. Mwa ha ha. Pull the other one! That alone would be enough for any sensible person to dismiss this entire story as complete bullshit.

Isolated Aussies left really isolated



I thought they could have fallen back on their fail safe system - the bush telegraph.

BMW opens up to haptic car doors


Nice idea

I'd like to know what will happen if the cars batteries run down. Will you be able to open the doors at all? If not then it's a massive fail.

I think a far more useful device would be one that used the dying remnants of battery life to send some kind of message to the owner (a light on the key could flash or something)

Obviously, this is going to be great news for cyclists. Or it would be except for one glaring problem - people will get used to not having to look out for danger and then when they buy a car that isn't a BMW, they will end up whacking cyclists with it every time they get out (or simply losing the door to a passing bus..!)

ps. How many thousand does this add to the cost of a car?

Apple iTunes unwraps (precious few) 69 cent tracks

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El Reg

I liked your top-ten listing. It's really going to help me.

Those are now the "ten tracks most unlikely to be downloaded by DutchOven".

Can you do another one next week, just so I'm safe from the over-produced, manufactured swill that seems to pass for chart music.

MS pushes back Forefront security offensive

Paris Hilton

Shurely shome mishtake?

"The security giant expects to ship a second beta of Stirling and a release candidate prior to the final release."

Isn't this Microsoft we're talking about here? I assume that "security giant" is a new technical term for "incompetent buffoon"?

When has Microsoft ever release a product without any security flaws? DOS (maybe, not sure) but everything since then has been so full of holes that Swiss cheese makers have used their software for inspiration.

Paris because when her "security" hole was penetrated, details were only uploaded to the internet once.

Wolverine leak claims first victim?


Imortant Info missing from article

Is the movie any good? Was his review a favourable one?

My guess is that the answer to both those questions is a resounding "No" and that this is all a big publicity stunt.

I secretly suspect that this is another special effects movie and that the plot (if there is one) is going to be pretty bad. Of course, the plot isn't going to change just because some special effects are not yet in place.... so the review could be very accurate. Maybe a little too accurate!

Boffins invent automatic net-hookup roboffinry machines

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I for one welcome our machine overlords with open arms

Assuming of course that they decide the best way to bring progress and harmony to earth is to wipe out the unproductive masses, starting some kind of "machine war". Obviously, this will all lead up to the "great re-alignment" - the day when we all have our brains replaced by little chrome plated boxes.

How gov scapegoats systems for man-made errors


It *IS* a system error!

"Our instant reaction was that this was unlikely; most system errors usually turn out to have a very human origin."

Forgive me if I am wrong here but last I looked, Skynet had not yet taken over and humans were still a required part of most IT systems.

So, if a human is part of the system and makes an error then that's still a system error...!

It's still no excuse for blaming the code! They should have put the blame squarely on laziness, sloppiness, lack of training, the user being addicted to crack, user being distracted by their itchy arse or whatever the real reason for the problem was...!

Twitter users hit by smut spam hack attack



You guys at the register missed the obvious title: "Twits invited to view Twats"

Vatican vetos 'dot god' domain

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Obvious solution

Prosecute companies for inapropriate use of a gTLD.

For example, if a companys main line of business is to sells things then it MUST be a .com

If a company doesn't sell things then it CAN'T be a .com

That way, until MS become in some way Cornish or important to Cornish culture, microsoft.ker would be illegal.

Sheeple might also be tempted to infer from the gTLD that things like microsoft.xxx are not genuine sites...

As for .god! The day the big man reaches his hand through the sky and posts his request to ICANN, I'll eat my hat. Until that day that happens, no religious group can credibly claim that the domain would be going to the right bunch of loonies...

NZ unleashes sonic Manilow weapon

Paris Hilton


Why bother with Manilow - he's been knocked from his perch.

James Blunt is now the insipid choice of the elderly (but horny) pensioner.

Where's the Paris Hilton angle on this story? Maybe they should play her songs too - they are obviously not very popular with the yoof... unlike her videos.

Barclays heralds new wave of wallet-waving



"More concerning is the ability of the banks to collect usage information about all those cash transactions; they'll know where you drink coffee, what paper you read and how much you spend on cigarettes."

Well, they can already tell which shops I have spent money in. The information is on my credit card statement too.

...but unless I start using one of the new cards for every transaction, what you've said isn't gonig to be true.

It would require *every* retailer in the country to switch over to the new system. Until this happens, intelligent people are going to carry that old-fangled cash around in their pocket.

In fact, the switch away from cash doesn't seem likely to happen at all - unless things have changed since the times they introduced cheques and credit cards. IIRC these were both widely tipped to leave cash as an historical curiosity (but as we know, it didn't happen!)

Google boss backs subsidized Linuxbooks


RE: And just what will be the price?

AC wrote: "Subsidizing the hardware is no different to Microsoft offering massive software discounts to OEMs."

Except that it is fundamentally different.

You're not going to be paying (anything at all) for the OS. You're also getting discounted hardware.

MS have a different model, you pay for the OS. It might be cheaper than normal retail when included with a new PC but you *do* pay. You don't get discounted hardware as part of the deal either!

...and let's face it, that's a rubbish deal for anyone who is replacing an existing PC, who already has a licence for Windoze or who doesn't want Windoze in the first place.

Obama releases Dubya's secret anti-terror memos

Black Helicopters

Who is representing the average US citizen?

"First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully."

or "We don't really give a shit about the rights of our citizens as long as we can throw our weight around a bit and our military suppliers are getting plenty of dosh".

Isn't it ironic that disorganised terrorists who are trying to restrict the freedom of US citizens are up against, errr, organised terrorists who actually have the power to restrict the freedom of US citizens and who frequently do it?

Prime Minister's health records breached in database attack


RE: You left out the most interesting bits

"Oh come on and spill the beans.

What's Gordo taking?"

It's not just him it's Salmond too.

...and the answer is "too many greasy fry-ups and too many pies"

<-- is this the "hardened arteries" icon?

Yang spent $79m snuffing Microhoo!


RE: Cheap.

ask the banks.

Convicted Romanian hacker is hot commodity in Italy



What's he need a job for if he can just liberate cash straight from other people's accounts?