* Posts by Chris Cheale

215 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Mar 2007


Immortal Dr Who jellyfish poised to rule Earth

Chris Cheale



blobby things from the sea = Dr Who. Surely this is a time to dig out the Lovecraft


I was thinking Coleridge:

"The many men so beautiful

And they all dead did lie!

And a million million slimy things

Liv'd on -- and so did I."

Lucky Mancs could get ID cards first, Jacqui declares

Chris Cheale

that is all....


Microsoft to act on IE8 'show stoppers'

Chris Cheale

Must try harder...


Any word on how the latest version does on acid2 and acid3?


It does actually (seem to) pass Acid2 - which is a start - however, I ran the Acid 3 tests on all the browsers I have installed except Lynx (I'm a web developer - I have several for testing purposes).

None of them passed but Opera came out best at 85. The results were as follows:

Opera (9.63): 85 - consistently

Google Chrome ( 77-79

Firefox (3.05): 71 (consistently)

IE8 (RC1): 12

Yay - go MS!

--- Fatal Exception ---

Sarcasm overload detected

Abort? Retry? Fail?


Merchants and punters cry foul over Verified by Visa

Chris Cheale


> Use Amex

> They don't have one of these pointless schemes,

Wrong - they call it SecureCode or somesuch and has been in place for over a year...


One billion unwanted opinions in real-time: Now SHOUTED at you

Chris Cheale

There is a point...

It's a three point plan.

1: stick a WAI logo on it

2: sell the tech to vBulletin

3: retire to the Bahamas

Virgin Media network downed by scouse power outage

Chris Cheale

Broadband makes intertubes fail

Funny thing is, the whole point of the Internet originally was that communications traffic can be dynamically re-routed should any point in between the sender and recipient get nuked...

Still, the way of the www is bigger, better, faster, more... redundancy, reliability and security are all like, so 1970's man.

Oh, and I was at work while VM was down so didn't even notice (this time)... seems they've finished the 4Mb -> 10Mb upgrade now but there have been a few wobbles along the way.

Dutch court convicts teens for stealing pixels

Chris Cheale


> Also, Scott, I take it you haven't played many MMOs, as you genraly can't "steal" items from other people in game. You can trade them but not steal them, unless they are BoP.

... *sighs* Bring back Ultima Online in the pre-Trammel days when "thief" and "murderer" were career choices </nostalgia>

NASA kids' compo: Name the inflatable moon habitat

Chris Cheale

Aaaahhhh but...

what _will_ the toast king have to say about it?

Boffins conclude machines still not quite people

Chris Cheale

Followed the link given by Jerome - ditto

me: "Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother."

bot: "Wait a minute. Are you saying that entities always come first"

me: <close tab>

In-body electric eel tech to make 'leccy from body fat

Chris Cheale

Capn Cyborg won't be interested...

This is BioTech not Cybernetics...

Hmmmm.... the world gets more Shadowrun every day.

Spy chiefs plot £12bn IT spree for comms überdatabase

Chris Cheale


Well that explains why the Met didn't push for prosecutions on BT/Phorm then... El Gov actually wants it to succeed so that they can have someone else do all the dirty work and they can then just nab all that lovely data.


Judge traps RealDVD in legal limbo

Chris Cheale

UK Copying...

It's even illegal in the UK to burn CDs to MP3 - which means including the "rip" feature in any software could be viewed as "inducing copyright infringement" - which, oddly enough, is what got Napster shut down in the first place.

I had a weird suspicion that the Lords were leaning on the Commons to change this? I may be way off base on that though.

IMDb adds full-length streaming movies

Chris Cheale

Manimal et al

These films should really be the movie equivalent of abandonwarez by now - who in their right might would actually _pay_ for them?

Although I noticed "Anaconda" was still on FilmFlex for about £3 a little while ago - wibble.

Mines the one with the BeebEm and Repton in the pocket, cheers.

Amazon flash mob mauls Spore DRM

Chris Cheale

it won't last...

As soon as Spore is a little older, long before most people will need to install it for the third time, the DRM will disappear.

It happened with X3 and the (even worse) Starfarce copy protection that was built into that - once the game had aged somewhat the DVD requirement (and therefore the Starfarce DRM) was removed and you could just boot the game up.

Actually time-limited DRM isn't too bad an idea (if DRM there must be at all) since it gracefully allows to game to drift into abandonwarez and the end of it's life-cycle.

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

Chris Cheale

Problem -> Solution

Here's the thought process...

"kids can't spell, the education system is failing..."


"I know, we'll do away with spelling and then everyone wins - HUZZAH"

Let's try the same idea with maths...

"kids can't add up, the education system is failing..."


"I know, 134 + 243 = whatever the hell you like, everyone wins - HUZZAH!"

Phonetic spelling is doomed to epic fail - play pictionary with a geordie and you'll soon find that "pour" is pronounced very differently to "poor" ('poo-er')... so how do you spell it phonetically? "poor", "por", "poo er", "paw"?

Chrome-fed Googasm bares tech pundit futility

Chris Cheale

Google Chrome... Yawnfest.

> only to discover it only really offers me the stuff Opera has been delivering for years

... only less so

- mouse gestures, accessibility rendering, image disabling, JS debugging...

And webkit doesn't _quite_ render properly either, css layout is a little bugged.

EA Europe struggles squeezing out Spore

Chris Cheale


It actually seems to be some kind of weird bug in processing the registration form when initially loading the game. The "please register to access online content" bit doesn't quite work right; your EA account gets set up but not the Spore one.

The fix is a bit weird but it seems to work. Start the game and skip the "sign up" and play a bit in offline mode. Then go to "options" and click the register button. You should be able to get your Spore account activated through the registration form that pops up there. Registering the game whilst the game is running seems to be the fix.

For all the detractors of the game - it's a Maxis product, you know the people that did "Sim City" and "The Sims" - Spore is pretty much what you'd expect, only more so. It's not a game for FPS zealots but if you enjoy micro-management it's pretty good.

Besides, you get to design your own creature/vehicle/building and how you design it affects the game mechanics. Evolve porcupine quills in the creature stage and your critters will be able to fire quills at the enemy in the tribal stage.

Although I'm getting splattered in the Space Stage atm... bloody "Spode" worshippers.

Phorm: Our business is fine, honest

Chris Cheale

copy & paste

"I am hereby explicitly withholding permission, from Phorm, the right to copy, in whole or in part, any of the data on this site for any purpose including user profiling. If I discover that any of the data on this site has been copied, by Phorm, in any way or for any purpose (including merely holding the data long enough to read the opt-out cookie), I may have to seek legal recourse."

If you run a website, It's your copyright for you to impose any restrictions you like *shrugs*

Chinese boffins crack invisible-shed window problem

Chris Cheale

If it's on a tank...

Right - you've got a tank with an "invisibility field" that bends radiation (visible light and heat).

Surely you'd not actually need to "see" out with human eyes? Fit the tank with some "eyes" that read different information (sound waves, ultraviolet, infrared and so on) and convert that data into human-comprehensible images on monitors inside the tank?

I assume I'm missing something obvious?

Internet Explorer - now with 35% less FAIL

Chris Cheale


omglolbbq all ur FAIL are belong to ... proper gamatical usage?

Anyhew - much as IE7 was better than IE6, IE8 (the 'final' release) will be better than 7. No it won't be perfect, it'll probably still use ActiveX to achieve XMLHTTPRequest functionality and while it'll probably do fine for (X)HTML, the CSS and JS will, no doubt, still be borked to some degree... but, and I think this is important, they will be borked to a _lesser_ degree than they are now. This is a good thing.

Hell, I'll be happy if they've fixed the CSS box model so that they pad out rather than in.

Mind, I'll still use FF and Opera anyway - kthnxbye

Ofcom considers termination charges

Chris Cheale

> Have any you actually read any of the document?

The cardinal rule of "commenting" on tha intawebs is never, ever have in informed opinion; you must always have divine, unshakable faith based on rumour, hearsay and "mutterings from the hive" (or a bloke in the pub, a friend of a friend etc).

So yes, you have probably pissed everyone off since you've actually taken the time to get the information before going off on one... shame on you AC!

Google stretching underwater comms cable?

Chris Cheale


It's not a country, it's an acronym... Google's Ubiquitous (possibly Unity) Android Manufactory - you thought Android was just a mobile platform? That's just a cover. No, really... it IS androids under the dominion of the Googleplex - huge DNA harvesting androids that will absorb all DNA and map every genome until the Googlebrain has enough information to relay back to it's home planet and complete it's nefarious secret mission!

Let's see...

Global multi-billion dollar organisation - check

Nifty acronym (GUAM) - check

Remote tropical island to use as a secret headquarters (again Guam) - check

Someone call Napoleon Solo, his services may be required.

China pardons iTunes (but not Sting)

Chris Cheale

Mmmmmmmm Tsingtao

> the fact the the olympic took place in china is a discrace to the human race

Yeah... as opposed to ooooh, the 1936 Berlin Olympics? Overseen by a funny little man with a small moustache.

> I think it is a disgrace that WE are being allowed to host the Olympics.

Not to worry, it'll be 2 years late and £9 billion over-budget - aaaaah the English, we can "fuck up a sunrise" as I read in a Bill Bryson book once.

Street View spycars need some TLC

Chris Cheale

Is all of urbanized England such a dump?

> Is all of urbanized England such a dump?


> ingerland is a massive pile of horse manure and dont let anyone tell you differently

Shropshire is quite nice around the edges :P

But yeah... when the average population density of the UK is nigh on 250 people per square kilometre (it's 31 in the US btw) and almost all of those people have the artistic sensibilities of a house brick it's hardly surprising.

Until recently there were only three schools of architecture in the UK, blocky, ugly and chruches (now we cah add gherkins... whoohoo).

Bush makes last-minute grab for civil liberties

Chris Cheale

C'est ci n'est pas un "title"

> Perhaps in a democratic, not corporistic, country.

Good luck in finding one.

Otto Z. Stern possibly dead at 57

Chris Cheale


this is probably the first OttoZ post to allow user comments...

Microsoft's IE 8 puts giant web hole on notice

Chris Cheale


For most people Opera is actually the best browser available at the moment, it's fast, feature-packed, pretty and not open to ActiveX vulns... as long as the websites visited are reasonably well written (standards compliant-ish) - however a lot of web developers write shite so Opera doesn't behave "as expected" in all cases.

The reasons I use Firefox (mostly)? Web Developer toolbar, NoScript, Tidy... etc. It's all in the extensions - although the new(ish) Opera debugging wotsit is pretty good.

Since "winning the browser war" against Netscape however long ago MS have sat on their laurels but now they're playing catch-up... IE8 DOES look like a step in the right direction - they may even sort out their iffy CSS implementation. Attempting to tackle XSS is a good move as long as peeps in userland understand that the implementation won't be perfect (unlikely I know) but it might, at least, be another hurdle for "the bad guys" to jump.

MS have a lot of work to do to make a decent web-browser but they've got a lot of resources to throw at it if they so decide.

Downing Street rejects 'Clarkson for PM' petition

Chris Cheale


because of the level of voter apathy 50k is probably a half decent turn-out.

What IS the point of voting, your options are realisitcally "very slightly left of centre" and "very slightly right of centre" - one party state in all but name.

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

Chris Cheale

@Stu Reeves

You sir, are my new hero - amen brother! ;)

National DNA database grows on the genes of the innocent

Chris Cheale

Mind bleach please

> and her voting record is so far up Gordy Brown's arse

I hope I'm not the only person who read that as "Gordy's brown arse"...

Don't vote Tory - make a point, make your vote invalid by scrawling "None of the self-serving, incompetant, lying corrupt bastards" all over it... or vote Lib Dem, it amounts to much the same thing.

ISO rejects Office Open XML appeal (redux)

Chris Cheale


tell your friends...


The OOXML standard may be shite, MS Office may be the predominant piece of office software... but there's no reason you can't subvert it; get enough people using the ODF plug-in for Office (add in those of us using OOo) and MS can do whatever they like with OOXML - it'll never be used.

Filesharing teen gets damages reduced in ignorance claim

Chris Cheale


> For what it is worth, in the UK at least, there is no established right to perform "media conversions" - for example, rip a music file off a CD and load it into a PC or MP3 player.

... but does this mean that because of the "Rip" button in Windows Media Player we can take Microsoft to court for "inducing" copyright infringement (which is exactly how they nailed Napster originally)?

UK.gov pushes £50,000 fine for online copyright infringement

Chris Cheale

that's ebuyer screwed then...

... or have they stopped copying data from other websites verbatim these days?

Profs: Teacher-student relationships key to sex education

Chris Cheale

Does Pam have a middle name

Enquiring minds want to know if she's a Pamela C Cupp or a Pamela D Cup?

These things are important in sex-ed.

EA preps video game PCs

Chris Cheale

Many, many gamers...

... are NOT tech-heads. Whilst there are those of us who can, and do, throw PCs together there's a lot of PC gamers out there who neither know, nor care about what's in their shiny silver box (mine's brushed aluminium).

I can see EA making money on this, they'll throw together low-end gaming rigs cutting every possible corner (like most Dell's they'll have cheap cases, motherboards, RAM and cooling at the very least). Still cheap components might not matter though, since I'm guessing the hardware will be obsolete within a year as it'll be specced for a specific game rather than over-specced to meet the demands of tomorrows games.

Slap some "custom" case-art on the rigs, based on the game they're specced for and they'll fly off the shelves. "CRYSIS-Ready"* will be the new "Vista-Ready".

* well not CRYSIS maybe by the time they release them, perhaps DOW2 or Empire: Total War...

Plods say it's OK for them give out your DNA

Chris Cheale

Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

> is the UK becoming more and more like China in its privacy practices?

... erm... becoming?


Fear is the mindkiller. Everyone is so shit-scared of terrorists/paedophiles/teenagers (god I hate MCR and now I've got that song in my head) that they're prepared to allow any kind of half-baked legislation or database through as long as it's for "the greater good" without pausing for a moment to think of the consequences.

Do the government's actions protect us from "the threat" or is the threat inflated to justify the government's actions?

Tiscali sues BT for 'defamation and falsehood'

Chris Cheale

What??? Sue the bastards.

It's possible Tiscali sold it to them (or some other third party that sells email lists)?

EU abolishes the acre

Chris Cheale

Except, of course...

It works like this:

UK gov: "Ok, we'll use Hectares"

EU gov: "You only have to use them for legal documents of land registry you know"

UK gov: "Yeah, but feck that, too much like hard work, we'll just make acres totally illegal, it's easier"

That's the typical UK gov response to any EU legislation - even things that start off reasonably sensible in Brussels seem to be twisted into unworkable, inflammatory legislation for the UK just so that the government can complain that "Brussels made them do it".

Of course, nobody mentions the fact that (currently) the "big 3" in Europe are us, the Germans and the French - it's not like our government doesn't have any say in the matter. The Germans help create legislation and implement it (normally) reasonably sensibly, the French help create legislation and just ignore the bits they don't like and us (as in the UK), we help create legislation but throw our toys out of the pram when things don't go totally our way and then implement a "worst possible" reading of said legislation so that we can turn around and go "seeee... told you it wuddun work/look what you maked us do... nerr nerr nerr". Cry more.

Hackintosh maker gets legal greeting from Apple

Chris Cheale

even if...

Even if Apple loose - they can't be forced to support running their OS on other hardware.

They just need to say - "well, you can buy our OS to run on your hardware but if it all goes titsup then it's your problem mate".

AVG disguises fake traffic as IE6

Chris Cheale

@Nuno trancoso ... Oki

> Just for kicks, i did a couple of Google searches, stuff like "blank DVD", "drinking glass", "fizzy drinks", "temperature", etc...

Then i downloaded the html/asp/php/whatever pointed to in Google's search results and added up the filesizes. Got results from 800k to 1.25MB. So much for your "few k's". Make that an extra .5MB per search more likely.


I just did the same thing - except I didn't download the files since it's only the output text that's relevant and not any images/multimedia so I copied and pasted the source code - I get an average size of about 250k on badly written sites <100k on well written sites (from an HTML perspective), but of course, the well written sites rely on more files being pulled in (especially css but some js as well) which ups the size somewhat. Probably all told no more than about 500k per page (as you said).

Depending on how deep the LinkScanner scans, which I'd guess is the result page and any css/js it relies on, it could be up to about a half meg per result, yes. So I stand corrected on that - 5meg for a standard "top 10 SERP" may well be an issue.

I still don't think AVG LinkScanner is the end of the Internet as we know it - not the free version that only hits the SERPs. Could be 500 searches to a single games patch... thousands to a DVD image... although 1 SERP being roughly equal to an MP3 is a little scary.

I'm not exactly preaching as an advocate since I'm not regularly using LinkScanner (Opera/FF3 at home), I just think peeps here need to grab some perspective.

Webmasters can limit the impact somewhat by removing large files from the search engines (use robots.txt) or optimising their output code (div/css rather than x-levels of nested tables and removing the code indentation) - 15% hits doesn't have to equal 15% data transfer, it depends where you focus those hits... as I said, when I bothered to check on my personal site I was getting about 15% hits from the old "known" AVG agents but they accounted for almost no data transfer (relatively speaking) because I'd hidden (noindex) the pdf and zip folders from the search engines.

As for users, well it should be made clear about the increase in data transfer and what impact that could have, but ultimately, if they'd rather that than be hit by a drive-by when looking for new pr0n...

Chris Cheale

For the love of god...

Talk about blowing it out of all proportion.

First off, log file analysis is, at best, patchy - it's not the greatest most reliable tool ever. So it's getting scuppered, is it getting any more scuppered than it was by AOL routing all traffic through servers in the US? (when AOL was big enough to have any kind of impact of course).

Bandwidth usage - granted this IS going to be a problem on sites that appear in the top 10 results for popular searches on Google. Remember, the full-blown Linkscanner is only available to paying users of AVG, the free version (which I'd guess is far more prevalent) only pre-fetches data from (the big) SERPs. I'd guess Google's love-in with Wikipedia is hammering everyone's favourite uncylopaedia.

For individual users... the pre-fetch grabs an additional few k's worth of text whenever that user does a search. Now let's compare that to several megs of iPlayer traffic, or gigs of torrents... it really does pale into insignificance.

Even if you _are_ using AVG, it doesn't really slow your search down - it loads the results page before completing the scan so you just get some little swirly green loading icons whilst it's scanning.

And for the record - I've just gone through my web-stats (transfer usage is about the only reliable part) and well... yes, the (known) AVG user-agents make up for about 15% of my hits but data transfer is negligible since the googlebot is well behaved and doesn't index either /lib/pdf/ or /lib/zip/ (it obeys my robots.txt) - therefore no hits from the AVG linkscanner either.

Compared to the data transfer running through torrents, software patches, YouTube, iPlayer and so on this is hardly the Internet Apocalypse.

Microsoft fights gaming Trojan menace

Chris Cheale



Trojans don't "spread". If something can replicate itself, it is a virus - not a Trojan.


Could be a worm.

To be fair - a trojan can also be a virus or a worm. All a trojan is, is a program that does something malicious whilst pretending to be benign... the behaviour itself may be more akin to that normally associated with viruses or worms.

Security is often strongest at the perimeter so you get someone to open the door for you and then spread inside the system, that's why you have trojans launching worms.

Enraged devil dog lover locks on to Reg photo team

Chris Cheale


May have to execute Chris Williams as well for use of the word "ginormous"... *shudders*

eBayer slaps $714 price tag on $630 in cash

Chris Cheale


Even Freecycle is going downhill these days.

OFFER: 1 bicycle - rusty, no wheels

WANTED: Kawasaki ZZR1100 - mint condition - taxed

Too many "WANTED" notices now and unrealistic expectations - there seems to be fewer people actually offering anything and far more "wanting stuff" - and often the stuff they want is unreasonable.

The only wanted notices that should be allowed are for things that people might not realise there's any call for - old cardboard boxes, bits of wood, audio cassettes or PC components (as examples).

... and I have actually Freecycled old cardboard boxes (moving house), bits of wood (someone was building a chicken coop) and audio cassettes (someone had an old car).

Virgin Media and BPI join forces to attack illegal filesharing

Chris Cheale

@There is NO fair use provision in the UK.


- that's exactly what I was going to say.

Although it _might_ be about to change, it has always been illegal (in the UK) to copy music you own from one format to another - whether it's copying vinyls or CDs you've bought to tapes or MP3s (to listen to in the car or whatever) is irrelevant - the copying is illegal.

Since (the original) Napster was shut down for _inducing_ copyright infringement - why has no-one taken Microsoft to court for having the "Rip" function in Media Player? Surely that's inducing (UK) copyright infringement?

Blighty joins killer robot club with Afghan strike

Chris Cheale



US defence contractors are working on control software which could allow a single human overseer to command small fleets of robocraft...


Contact RTS games developers - or Sid Meir :)

Irregular heart rhythm? Try a Taser

Chris Cheale

just need to tweak the wording...

It would only need a small change from say ooooooh, "harmless" to "mostly harmless" =)

DARPA hands out cash for tiny bugbot-thopter

Chris Cheale

Spend for spend's sake

I heard rumour (totally unverified but it amused me) of the US military pumping millions of dollars into a tripwire detection system using all the latest gadgetry; it was very expensive but not very reliable.

The British Army (low on cash but high on innovation) had a simpler solution to the problem - party poppers. Oki, not very stealthy but very cheap and reliable as the little paper streamers would land on the tripwires but be too light to trigger them. Brilliant.

As I said, totally unverified but it's a nice story :)

Internet censorship and mission creep

Chris Cheale

common misconception


These to$$pots need a reminder that WE are THEIR masters; they work FOR US.


The problem is that people still believe that. We have two (serious) contenders for political parties - one just left of centre and the other just right of centre. Neither dare go out on a limb about anything lest it costs them votes.

The only way to choose who to vote for is simply your colour preference; red or blue - or flip a coin. The policies are all but identical with minor variations to "score points" in the game of party politics.

The only ways to effect a change are either to stop voting in the hope that it'll bring about a hung parliament and a collapse of the current system... or a military coup, but we're just too British for that.

So we'll just keep bending over, keep getting fucked up the arse and keep whinging about it - nothing will change except the surveillance creep from the real world, to the internet, to your very thoughts - technology permitting. Freedom is an illusion.

Trillian blighted by security bug trio

Chris Cheale

with regards to pidgin

simply because I'd never heard of it - I wouldn't use Trillian either but for the fact that I know a couple of peeps that use MSN.

I'm probably like that geezer above's dad since I'd otherwise be using ICQ [it's a legacy thing] - when I actually use IM at all. A "chat" program to an aging misanthropic goth is akin to a bicycle for a fish.