* Posts by Charlie

98 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2007


Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief


And the award for most tenuous title of all time goes to...

Provider of FIFA goal line tech chosen, tracks ball in space and time


It's been a talking point in England since....

1966, surely?

Vietnamese high school kids can pass Google interview


Pedant alert

11th grade = lower sixth. Year 11 <> lower sixth.

11th grade - American - kids who are 16-17

Year 11 - English - kids who are 15-16.

Lower sixth - English - kids who are 16-17

Steam spawns vulnerabilities, say researchers


Re: Not the only problem

Yes, you can disable automatic updates. In fact, you need to for the reason mentioned above. Which completely negates the original point.


Re: Not the only problem

Hurray for automatic updates. Like the one for Civ V a few months ago that irreversibly corrupted all saved games? That's progress!

Hurray for being able to contact friends. It's amazing that the internet existed for so long without Steam - how on Earth did people communicate?

South Korea delivers stern warning to...Facebook


Yes and no

The site was banned, but here were some very easy workarounds (such as using facebook lite, or manually redirecting the browser), so most net cafes still had access. I've not been in Vietnam for a couple of months so perhaps that's changed, but the fact that plenty of people could access FB doesn't mean they were allowed/supposed to.

Cops taser Somerset chap's nether regions



And yet there have been numerous cases of the police wrongly Tasering people, but how many times do you hear of accidental shootings? Because the Taser is considered a 'safe' option it is being abused far more than handguns ever are.

Google Books loses lions of literature


You want to overwhelm google with data?

Erm, good luck there.

World of Google zombies mistake news story for Facebook



A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

And drinking largely sobers us again.

Google Buzz - Gmail mod for the Tweetbook set



Yahoo already have this integrated networking/email hash up, although without Google's "hooks". It's shit and irritating, and makes using yahoo mail even more of a hassle than it was beforehand.

HP TouchSmart 600


I'm confused

Can anyone explain to me what niche this is supposed to fill?

I see touhscreens as an improvement on small devices such as phones and possibly laptops because they negate the need for bulky keyboards and thus save a lot of space. I could also see the use of a good quality touchscreen on a laptop for writing directly onto.

Why on Earth would someone want a touchscreen ona desktop PC that doubles as a TV? What functionality des a touchscreen offer to a desktop PC (ie one that is designed for a desktop, and therefore to use a keyboartd/mouse) or a TV (which I never want to be anywhere within 10 feet to operate)?

This seems like an absurd premium to pay for the ability to rotate photos with my fingers as well as a mouse.

Farmer fined for ignoring cow's 'psychological needs'



Being a West Yorkshire lad and from farming stock myself, I wouldn't be surprised if the farmer was a miserable stubborn bugger who's completely in the wrong and going out of his way to be difficult.

"Reckons he can teach me how to keep my cows, does he?"

I wonder if the posters above have stopped to think that perhaps being kept out in the open all year round would actually be preferable to being locked up in a dark room for months?

I think that the implicit suggestion that a farmer has more concern for the welfare of his animals than a vet is ridiculously naive.

Two jailed for online racism after US turned down asylum bid


There is already UK law protecting free speech

It's found in the Human Rights Act 1998, which formalised the provisions set out in the European Convention on Human Rights - Article 10 of which enshrined the right to Freedom of Expression.

It may be a mitigated right, but it's still there.

Student leader demands lectures be 'put against the wall'


Not convinced

I had a couple of modules that I turned into de facto lectureless environments where I didn't turn up once, and did all my learning via the vle and online resources. To an extent this was more useful because I could tailor my studying to my needs rather than be dictated to blandly in a 100+ person lecture room. It also reasserts the focus of University on personal study and development, which is important given the massively growing number of new students who treat University as a schoolroom where they're led by the hand through everything.

It's not all good though. There's the big problem that a lot of lecturers are uselessly old fashioned, but still excellent academics with a lot to share. You could just kick them out and bring in younger, more technology-savvy replacements, but you'd be losing a lot of valuable personalities and experience that way.

In addition, the pedagogic virtues of virtual environments and their effects on knowledge transfer are under researched and not greatly understood. It's hard to believe other than by cutting off the large amount of communication represented in body language, intonation, facial expression etc you're not in some way derogating the quality of the teaching experience.

Furthermore, property, location and the physical experience are important parts of defining a University's brand and providing a sense of value. As tuition fees have lead to students feeling increasingly more like consumers than academics, the tangible qualities of a University education (rather than just the degree you get out of it) are being increasingly stressed. Unless individual Universities take it upon themselves to make significant evolutions in their VLEs, they risk massively diluting the uniqueness of the experience they offer, greatly affecting the value of their brand. What makes Durham much different to UCLAN if all you're doing is sitting at home in front of a PC?

the migration to virtual environments further blurs the lines between

Is Twitter actually making money?



"... its 140-character "Tweets" aren't conducive to advertising"

Perhaps I'm just being thick, but I don't get this. I can understand why twatterers might revolt about the idea of being sent adverts, but how does the character limit have anything to do with it? You can fit a massive advert in a 140 character space:









US teen cuffed for disorderly classroom texting

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@Arun etc

If a school can't deal with their pupils in such ridiculously banal cases, their teachers and disciplinary procedure are an abject failure. Handling unruly kids is an integral part of their role, and one they clearly can't do well enough.

There is a place for the police in schools, but it's only for the most extreme occasions. Kid with a gun? Sure. Kid with a phone? No.

AA sniffs out Blighty's best bacon sarnie



Those researchers made a few miscalculations. The ideal bacon sarnie has 3 slices of toasted bread, 4 rashers of crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, brown sauce and a bit of mayo, and it's currently on a plate in front of me. Cheers for the inspiration!

Brits 'a bunch of yellow bastards', says irate Yank



Surely, in this case USA stands for "Unusually Stupid American"?

Apple gets censory on iBoobs'... ass


Re:Signing up for Youtube

It's been like that for ages, for some potentially risqué videos. Certainly not a new change - I saw it months ago (and haven't signed up yet), and doesn't seem to have done youtube's traffic figures much harm.

Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB hard drive


Re:an v a

Actually you're all wrong ;) The reason we use 'an' before certain words and 'a' before others is purely an oral one - it's difficult to pronounce the word 'a' followed by a word which begins with a vowel sound. If, for example, there was a word which began with a silent vowel followed by a consonant, (not that I can think of any) you wouldn't precede it with 'an'.

Whether to use 'an' or 'a' in front of words beginning with an H is purely down to whether you pronounce the H or not. Both can be argued as an acceptable use of standard English. This peculiarity is largely down to the fact that the letter H, while not a vowel, begins with a vowel sound: 'aitch'.

UK gov to issue child boozing guidelines


Yet more moaning bandwaggoners...

I'm amazed that so many of you are whining because the government's dared to suggest that it might not be a great idea to let 5 year olds get pissed. IF they'd decided to ban anyone under 18 getting anywhere near alcohol, ever, then perhaps you'd have a point, but they aren't. Letting the current - very liberal - law stand and merely making suggestions is a progressive and totally reasonable move. Nanny state? Don't be pathetic.

"How about somewhere that should be sacrosanct and shouldn't involve the government trying to micromanage our everyday. Somewhere where as individuals we are free to partake in what does no harm to anyone without concern of being pried upon. Somewhere were we don't have to be put upon by the moralising/bandwagon jumping of others - because lets face it the scientific judgement on this is pretty weak."

I agree! It's a complete disgrace that in my own home I'm not allowed to thrash my children, give them crystal meth or have sex with them.

Aussie convicted over Simpsons sex pics


To be fair to Judge Adams...

...he merely concludes that it's possible a fictional image may constitute child pornography, and that whether or not the Simpsons pics are child porn is a question of fact. Given this fairly reasonable contention, he doesn't have the power to point out that the original Magistrate is an idiot and the pictures clearly shouldn't be considered child porn.

BNP list hunters bring down Wikileaks



The BNP describe people from overseas as aliens (on their homepage no less) and don't accept donations from foreigners. Now, I wouldn't say either of those things in themselves are racist, but you seem to be damning the very party you're attempting to stand up for.

I don't hate the BNP. I think they're ill-informed, and dangerous, but I don't hate them. Unlike many prominent members of the BNP, I've never been arrested for inciting racial hatred, nor for violent racist assaults.

Their manifesto pledges to positively discriminate in favour of 'native Britons' in the employment market. According to the BNP, only white people can be native Britons.


Re: Last two BNP supporters

@AC 11:28

Lots of people are rapists too, that doesn't make rape a legitimate enterprise. If everyone were to sit back and say "well they treat people badly, so we might as well too" then there would never be any advancement or improvement in the standards of life.

@AC 00:49

Your comparisons are hilarious in their surreality, if perplexing. You see, the Dalai Lama preaches freedom of cultural expression, peace and harmony. The BNP deliberately seek to cultivate hatred with constantly inaccurate reactionary propaganda, and condone racist violence.

Secondly, you're wrong to state people can't join the Democrats unless they're an American citizen; you can join if you're an alien with permanent residence. That's a legal requirement for giving money to an American political party, and nothing to do with Democrat policy. The comparison does nothing but emphasise the vile racism of the BNP, who actively discriminate on the basis of skin colour.

Teen discussed suicide plan online 12 hours before webcam death


Webcam theatre

Many of the people who set up their own webcams or upload videos to Youtube do so because they thrive on the theatre of the enterprise, and people watch for exactly the same reasons. There are a lot of actors, putting on performances to entertain. Given the extremely low number of people who have killed themselves 'live', I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that many of those watching had no idea he was serious. It may seem sick that he was being egged on, but that may have all been part of the pantomime. Macabre? Yes. Evil? No.

From what I've read of the incident, he simply 'fell asleep' on camera. Now perhaps a particularly astute viewer (incidentally we've no idea what kind of audience he was streaming to - they could have all been kids like him?) could have got in contact with the authorities straight away, as it's certainly better safe than sorry. However, it's not as if he was slowly bleeding to death in front of their eyes.

Finally - bruceld et al - it seems to me that, by hoping the viewers "...will get (their) chance to suffer one day..." you're far worse than anyone who egged him on. Firstly, you're leaping in to judge and condemn people in the harshest terms with practically no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the events. Secondly you prance around in self-righteous indignation while openly displaying the vile savagery of your own minds. Your purile "down with these sickos! lets torture them!" brand of vengeance is both irrational and pathetically hypocritical.


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If i wanted to read the Mail...

Can we please have some kind of (Heil) tag like we have (pdf) (doc) etc so I can stop accidentally wandering into that minefield of shit?

Microsoft sued in China for black screen of death



"Why do freetards get so indignant about this? If you're not using a stolen copy, then you won't have a problem!"

If you'd bothered to read the rest of the comments, or other articles on WGA, you'd know that it has a problem with flagging up false positives, and even when it thinks your copy is geniune it imposes many frustrating restrictions.

As with most other examples of copy-protection, they're welcome to protect their property but the methods chosen are very draconian and tend to disadvantage legitimate users far more than pirates, who find a quick way around it.

Police drop BT-Phorm probe


Re: That's a great decision

Erm... yes? You can't be found guilty of theft if you didn't intend to permanently deprive the owner of their property. That's how it has been for many many years and would be pretty unfair otherwise.

Speeding is a bad example; it's a strict liability offence, so there's no need to prove any intent.

The BT/Phorm debacle is shocking, but it would seem even they have a better grasp of the law than you ;)

OMFG, what have you done?


Still need a bloody title...

Problem: El Reg publishes so many articles that the site was beginning to look cluttered and hard to manage.

Solution: Shrink the space for normal articles so much that (on my hardly fancy 1280x1024 at least) a mere 15% of the front page is devoted to regular articles.

That's a rather bewildering step of logic there?

Overall I don't like the look of the new page but I'm not massively bothered and I'm sure I'll get used to it. It seems you've decided to sacrifice usability in exchange for more editorial power. There's no wonder the users are complaining, but I guess that was a price you decided you were happy to pay.

You clearly thought that a pre-emptive article was needed to head off at least some of the criticism. What I don't understand is why you only bothered to explain half of the changes. I'm not so bothered about fixed width, but it's clearly a massive bone of contention and a choice you've given absolutely no reasons for. I agree with everyone else that the new icons look shit - but you haven't explained those either. I really don't see how anyone thought the 'cute nursery' look was suitable for El Reg's demographic.

p.s. The most commented section is broken - this article has far more comments than any of the ones listed.

UK.gov misses deadline on EU Phorm probe



Given that the BRITISH government have proven themselves incompetent to deal with the situation, sadly, we need all the help we can get from Europe.

You do know that BRITISH Telecom operates in EUROPE, we are members of the EUROPEAN Union, and therefore it is very much their business?

Filesharing teen gets damages reduced in ignorance claim



I know a number of intelligent but not very computer savvy people who used Kazaa et al no realising that that it broke the law, so I'm definitely prepared to accept that a 16 year old girl might not realise - especially as all this happened over 3 years ago. However, having read the ruling and seen the songs she downloaded - she deserves jail time!

Pete - you seem to have missed the quite crucial fact that she was convicted, so it's clearly not a case of "legal until told otherwise".

Please ignore the net neutrality sideshow haunting Comcast's BitTorrent bust

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Re: What's the problem?

"P2P is used primarily (wholly?) for the prorogation of copyrighted material (movies, songs, software etc)."


1) There are many legit applications that use bittorrent - the massively popular iPlayer and 4oD to name but two.

2) If you're read the article you'd know that the main problem was that Comcast repeatedly lied about their actions, not the throttling itself.

3) If i pay for an internet connection it's not the right of the ISP to unilaterally decide what it's going to let me access without very clear due notification. I'm sure that if your ISP decided that it didn't want you reading El Reg, because you could be doing something more useful, you wouldn't be too impressed.

Bill Gates exposed as closet Yorkshireman


Re:Yorkshireman's advice to his son

I think I prefer

Hear all, see all, say nowt.

Drink all, sup all, pay nowt

And if thi ever does owt for nowt, do it for thissen.

Tim - there haven't been any Ridings of Yorkshire since 1974 ;)

Charlie, Sheffield.

American man too fat for execution

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Who made you the arbiter of humanity? Anyone who asserts that another person no longer deserves the protection of their basic human rights are no better than the murderers they so viciously seek to make suffer.

Third plutoid christened 'Makemake'



"Makemake's surface is covered with large amounts of almost pure methane ice, which is scientifically fascinating, but really not easily relatable to terrestrial mythology.

"Suddenly, it dawned on me: The island of Rapa Nui. Why hadn't I thought of this before? "

Is anyone going to explain this nonsense to the rest of us? I'm not massively up on my geography but I doubt Rapa Nui is coated with methane ice.

San Francisco's 'rogue' sysadmin still being paid while in jail

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Why don't they just torture him until he gives them the information they want? Oh that's right, because he's a US citizen not one of those strange sub-human 'foreign nationals'.

MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed



Drew, did you have a bet in the office about how many people you could get to react by putting in that last line? ;)

Japanese girls taught English by Nintendo DS



If there's anyone who reads El Reg and didn't already know 'All your base' i'll eat my hat.

And wikipeida is a horrible thing to link to!

Random p.s. It seems wikipedia isn't part of the Firefox spell checker. Thank god for that.

Welsh blogger fined over 'menacing' plod blog


@ "@ Gordon Pryra "

The Human Rights Act 1998, putting into effect the European Convention on Human RIghts, does enshrine a right of freedom of speech in UK law.

It may only be a mitigated right, but it is there.

Grand Theft Auto 4 queue man stabbed in head



So he was stabbed multiple times, in the head and neck, and instead of going to hospital he went back home to pick up a knife? And he's still alive? Darwin is not happy.

Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos



Not to be pedantic (cough) but surely it's Lesbian when referring to the islanders and lesbian when referring to gay women?

Mobile snap murderer jailed for life


RE: He should be strung up

"This man should be killed because he is less than human"

Hmm, where have I heard that before...

Aside from the staggering arrogance you display by presuming that you can dictate what defines humanity, it's precisely this attitude of condoning violence and murder which fosters a culture of violent crime.

Revenge is a worse motive than none at all.

US airline pilot pops a cap in cockpit



"No, the ultimate deterrent to hijacking a plane is armed passengers."

Lol, you nearly had me going then ;)

Notts police seize mobile phone stun gun


RE: Stupid design

Makes sense to me. Yob comes up to you, demands your phone, you 'hand it over' and in the process electrocute him?

Hacker holds onto ill-gotten gains thanks to US courts


Alexander Hanff

Russian government ? Ukraine is an autonomous state, it's nothing to do with the Russians.

Northern Rock FOI gag 'out of order' say Tories



It'd be nice to know exactly what excuse the Govt has given for this strange decision without having to go searching through other news sites!

BOFH: The Silence of the Servers


Great stuff

I was getting just a little bit bored of the old cattle-rod routine, something a bit darker and more atmospheric is a nice change!

Google in mass 404 land grab



If you don't like your ISP, you can simply move to another one?

London Congestion Charge becomes CO2 tax



If this gets all those tossers driving 4 wheel drives in the middle of London off the streets, it's a great thing.

If you own a Landrover, and don't own a farm, you're a twat. Nuff said.

EU supremes: ISPs don't always have to finger filesharers


European supreme court?

Jesus Christ, what's with these bloody Americanisms?


While 'supreme court' in lower caps is technically correct, it's extremely irritating. What next, are you going to start calling the House of Lords 'the United Kingdom States Supreme Court'?