* Posts by Nick Thompson

66 posts • joined 8 Jan 2008


I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Nick Thompson


You do realise that it wasn't just the LGBT that were calling for him to go right?

Furthermore this wasn't legislation to allow gay marriage, gay marriage was already legal. This was legislation to ban gay marriage. He wasn't simply stating an opinion, he was attempting to remove legal rights from gay people. That is not an "acceptable cause", that is oppression and he does not deserve any position of authority because of it.

You are a bigot and you're on the wrong side of history. So long as you don't act on your opinions I don't really care that much even if it is a little sad, but attempt to remove any of my legal righs, or try to stop me gaining any remaining equal rights to heterosexuals and I will avoid doing business with you as much as legally possible and actively encourage others to do the same, as has happened against Eich.

Nick Thompson

He financially contributed to stripping gay people of their legal rights. That is slightly more serious than "disagrees with our position".

Nick Thompson

Re: Tyranny of majority ?

"True democracy" is the term I have heard used to define what I explained in my previous post, if you want to call it something else then do so but it matters little to the point I was making which was simply that you cannot say that it's acceptable to implement anything a majority has voted for with no regard for the impact on minorities. This is basicaly to counter the arguement that it's fine for someone to support legislation to strip equal rights from minorities.

Some groups do vote for human rights yes, unfortunately historically people seem to have a bit of a difficulty grasping that human rights apply to every human, and not simply those of the sexual orientations/gender/religions/etc that they agree with.

I'm not really sure what you mean by your final question, or at least what its relevance is to my previous comments.

Nick Thompson

You need to learn what free speech is, it does not entitle you to enforce your views on others through legislation, and it does not make you immune to any repercussions.

Nick Thompson


Sorry, which legal rights of his are people attempting to revoke? I must have missed that bit.

Nick Thompson

Re: @ Chris Miller

It wasn't the act of speech that was the problem, it was the act supporting legislation against a minority in order to enforce his opinions that is the problem. If you're harming someone by removing their legal rights it's no longer simply speech and you will be held accountable for it, as he now has been.

Nick Thompson

Re: Tyranny of majority ?

A modern democratic government operates on behalf of and is accountable to every citizen, not just those who happened to vote for them. It is the job of that government to come up with the best compromise based on the opinions of the entire electorate. If they need to choose between a policy which is pretty good for a big majority or one that is outstanding for a tiny minority, they should pick the one favouring the majority. However if picking between something which is a minor bonus for the majority but incredibly bad for a minority, they protect the minority.

Basically they weigh up the percentages for and against and the impacts against those groups to come to a compromise. This is the basis of every functioning democracy you see today.

In a true democracy every law or policy is completely based on whatever the majority vote for with no compromises. This means that if, for example, you around in a country that is fairly evenly split between two religions, then whichever one is slightly bigger can write a law allowing them to legally murder anyone from the other religion if they wish. Now generally it's doesn't get that serious but you've only got to look at countries around the world which are 25% Christian, 75% muslim or vice versa to see where one side is basically writing laws to suit their religion.

The problem is people suffer from chronic short-termism, so while they love to get all the benefits by voting for laws which help themselves at the expense of others, long term it actually destroys the country through increased crime from the disenfranchised and potentially civil war. To a large extent a government actually protects the citizens from hurting themselves with their democratic rights through sheer ignorance or greed.

Nick Thompson

Thanks for asking, ignoring the inbreeding issue for a moment, I have no issue with polygamy or incest so long as everyone involved has consented. Note that when people are in a position of authority consent (morally) is a hell of a lot more complicated than simply "over 16". Hence why we have an 18 limit for relationships between students and teachers for example.

There would probably be some legal implications, especially surrounding tax, that would need to be sorted out for polygamous marriages but I doubt it would be insurmountable.

Nick Thompson

If by acting on them they are causing genuine harm to others? Er, yes!

Your right to free speech does not trump my right to equality. This is why we do not have true democracies, because then you have tyranny of the majority and very quickly your society will collapse as all the people you're now legally oppressing no longer feel obliged to follow any of your other laws.

Nick Thompson


Hating "pansy" type gay people is an opinion and is free speech.

Attempting to make a law that would require all "pansy" type gay people to be arrested and jailed until they "stop being pansy" is no longer an opinion, it is an assault on their liberties.

One of these can be tolerated, the other can't. Understand the difference?

Nick Thompson


As I said above, he didn't simply hold an opinion. He enforced that opinion on gay people stripping them of equal rights. And don't justify it with the word 'democracy', tyranny of the majority is a real thing.

Nick Thompson

People say he was just exercising free speach. Actually he wasn't, he donated to a cause that successfully stripped (for a time) a persecuted minority of equal rights. His actions had real negative effects on LGBT people. That is why this man, and all others that attempt to force a minority to be second class citizens, are complete and utter bastards who need accept the repercussions for their vile assault on the rights of those they seek to oppress.

'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

Nick Thompson

I have a surface pro and it's pretty stable 'perched' on my legs. Nor do I need to hunch over it to use it.

I don't just use it for 'basic consumption' either, I've done about 60 hours worth of software development using visual studio on it.

Microsoft: Surface a failure? No, it made us STRONGER

Nick Thompson

The surface RT had little chance of being successful, underpowered and with few apps there was little reason to buy it over an ipad. The surface pro on the other hand is pretty good, I bought one a few weeks ago with the £80 discount and I've got few complaints. The intel HD4000 graphics could be better, although if you turn the resolution down to 720p it'll play modern games at a decent framerate. The built in audio drivers are crap and have no noise cancellation on the microphone, so I had to install the realtek ones to avoid pissing people off on skype. Other than that I'm very happy with it.

iPhone rises, Android slips in US, UK

Nick Thompson

Pretty much, I bought a Windws phone 7 (Lumia 710) because it was £130 on PAYG, which 18 months ago was a fantastic deal. Similarly priced androids were so underpowered to be practically unusable.

All I want from a phone is calls, texts, web browsing and a nice responsive UI and low cost. The lumia 710 was my first smartphone because it was the first one that ticked all the boxes.

I've always said that you'd have to be pretty nuts to buy an expensive windows phone while it's still lacking in features and app, it's really not a recent iphone or galaxy S III competitor, yet, but it's getting there.

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

Nick Thompson

Re: Why do you make out the Windows 8 user is to blame?

In what way was he blaming the user? He was blaming the lack of the start button which would puts the blame on Microsoft for omitting it. Next time actually try reading what you quoted?

'Leccy car biz baron Elon Musk: Thanks for the $500m, taxpayers...

Nick Thompson

Re: Note that difference *loan* (with interest) versus old car maker (2nd or 3rd) bailout.

1. The car after next will be a cheaper car. To get started the needed to make an expensive char while the technology was being developed (and therefore pricy).

2. The taxpayers got their money back with interest. Why do you care how the government invests if they are making a profit on it?

3. Even if they only ever make cars for rich people, they employ 3000 people directly and more indirectly through suppliers. Providing a boost to the economy. Shipping world wide means a bigger market and an improvement in the trade stats for the US. Also they'll pay tax on any profit (if they don't use tax avoidance of course).

4. Wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaah!

Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

Nick Thompson

According to: http://alloyseven.com/component/k2/item/115-monetize-gaming-videos

"EA advised me through email that they do not give out blanket permission, but they have worked with YouTube directly and generally don't mind fair use of their material even on commercialized YouTube channels. "

Not as good as some, but not as bad as others.

Review: Crucial M500 960GB SSD

Nick Thompson

Re: Again this is like buying a Tesla when a Vauxhuall would do

Just because you're really poor doesn't mean other people don't have a use for it. I spent £200 on my SSD and performance wise it's been by far the biggest single boost I've ever had for a single upgrade.

The SSD in my work machine has already saved my company several grands worth of productivity.

YouTube channels at $1.99 per month could launch this week

Nick Thompson

Re: I'm rather looking forward to this

"Cheating creators out of ad revenue?, Couldnt give a fuck tbh"

I wonder if you'd feel the same way if your employer took the same attitude to your paycheque.

A 20 second advert, or 5 seconds to skip longer ones to watch several minutes of content isn't that bad. Now personally I hate adverts too, but I recognise that people need to be paid for their work. I'd much rather have the option of a sensibly priced subscription to youtube as a whole which disables ads.

Nick Thompson

Re: I'm rather looking forward to this

Maybe some of us don't want to screw over the content creators?

Review: Nokia Lumia 520

Nick Thompson

Get it on PAYG and chuck the SIM away? I got my 710 from carphone warhouse like that and it wasn't locked (although I am still using that sim).

Outsourced space trucks battle for US middleweight lifting title

Nick Thompson

Re: A bit one-sided

My understanding is both SpaceX and Orbital are contracted to carry 20,000kg of cargo. The Cygnus factsheet indicates they can carry 2000kg standard/ 2700kg enhanced (whatever that means) which for 8 missions looks like they are pushing it a bit.

Dragon indicates 6000 up / 3000 down, although I don't think that is possible with the current booster, maybe with Falcon 9 1.1. However, over half of that space (by volume) is unpressurised cargo which they have only made use of once for a couple of grapple bars so far. The launches so far have not carried much mass, being constrained by the pressurised volume available.

Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million

Nick Thompson

I agree, the direct comparison between sales figures for XBox and PS3 probably doesn't tell the full story. I suspect many people, like me, have bought a PS3 recently just for blu-ray now it's come down in price. Neither Sony nor MS make their money from selling the hardware so the absolute numbers shifted are probably only relevant for bragging rights. Indeed, some brief googling showed articles from december claiming half of all money spent on games is for the 360.

Rocket 'Grasshopper' leaps higher than tall building in single bound

Nick Thompson

Re: To land vertically?

Whoops, you should chute me for that mistake. I blame being distracted looking up the spelling of drogue.

Nick Thompson

Re: To land vertically?

Clearly you should phone up spacex, they've obviously not considered any of that before spending the money developing this.

More constructively:

The fuel costs for a $60 million falcon 9 launch is only about about $200k.

The fuel required to accelerate a fully fueled rocket with payload to about 4000 mph massively dwarfs that required to slow down a now almost empty rocket sans payload falling at terminal velocity (the air resistance should slow it most of the way to that and drogue shoots can be added if needed).

NASA is not that interested in saving money and many of their missions are 'one offs' where the cost of an expendable launch vehicle is insignificant next to the development costs of the payload.

Amazon accused of remotely wiping punter's Kindle

Nick Thompson

That doesn't sound like the same thing at all. Based on the information you've given it sounds like an ebay seller (or similar) used keygen program to create keys, then sold them to fools like you for a (presumably) suspiciously low cost. You then put this into steam and THQ then pointed out "oi, we haven't sold that key yet", or the legitimate owner tried to use it. You're effectively handling stolen goods (morally, legally it's probably a different crime). That your seller didn't argue it suggests they knew exactly what they were doing.

What exactly did you expect? If you buy stolen goods on a market stall the police are perfectly entitled to turn up and confiscate it leaving you out of pocket. How is this any different? You sound like an immoral arse unjustly blaming THQ and should consider yourself lucky the seller didn't do a runner.

Disclaimed: All judgements made about your character in this comment are drawn from filling in the blanks in the limited information you have provided. If the assumptions made herein do not accurately match your situation please disregard my comments and provide more information :)

HTC hawks fresh WinPho smartphones

Nick Thompson

"Meanwhile, the HTC Windows Phone 8S drops specs down to ... 4GB of storage"

The specs on the site says 16GB for both models.

Virgin Media's 'bye-bye to buffering' beardy Bolt boast BANNED

Nick Thompson

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

That sucks. I downloaded well over 100Gb from steam at about 75MBit/s one evening last week over BT infinity. No reductions in speed at any time.

For the first time in my life I actually have a decent internet connection, how long before they oversubscribe it?

What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Nick Thompson

Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

"What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?"

The availability of WP8 doesn't stop people making WP7 apps. Until WP8 has a market share significantly bigger than WP7 expect most new apps to be WP7 based unless they actually require the new features.

"Until the announcement that made the Lumia obsolete, many people were saying that WP8 would be available for them"

Then many people wern't paying attention, MS said a long time ago that that WP8 would probably not be on existing hardware due to performance reasons. I've never seen anything official saying otherwise.

The only things in WP8 which I'd particularly like in my lumia 710 is the new start screen, which is coming in 7.8, and better background multitasking for things like tracker apps (which I don't really see why they couldn't put into WP7, although I'm not holding my breath).

Personally I feel the mistake was trying to build 'flagship' products based on WP7, I bought the 710 because it was cheap, lovely to use and has awesome UI performance compared to cheap androids. Paying 3x as much for a slightly different case and camera was always a bit dumb. WP8 by contrast supports multi-core, NFC, removable storage, higher res etc and is more suited to a high end phone.

Nick Thompson

"What third-party developers are supposed to do is not clear. Will all today's applications break? Will there be a legacy runtime?"

Uh, what? Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8? Do you have information which suggests otherwise or are you trying to cause trouble?

Apple's Retina Macs: A little too elite?

Nick Thompson

Re: Windows since XP does, but many apps, not so much.

"especially a lot of poorly written .NET apps."

It's probably not the app developers fault, the automatic scaling in WinForms is absolutely diabolical. Not sure about WPF. I've had to disable auto scaling entirely and do it all manually, which is a lot of work for very little gain.

The Register is rocking on Windows Phone 7

Nick Thompson

Re: What is it with WP7?

It actually works really well when you're using it on the phone. But if you want to base your opinions of the entire OS based on the non-real world scenario of studying a screenshot go ahead and remain ignorant.

Scammers exploit wannabe demon-slayers hyped by Diablo III

Nick Thompson

Re: And so the end result should be...

"Steam because i wanted to buy Civilization 5 but it has to register with Steam every time and limit the amount of installs i can have, which would mean i have to buy another copy every 6 years."

Uh, what?

Prince of Persia author releases 1980s source code

Nick Thompson

Re: Yes!

Couldn't agree more.

I still remember how long it took me to get the achievement on the XBLA version for completing the entire thing without dying. Real "must have one more go" type game.

iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Nick Thompson

A large part of what the BBC is about is to inform and educate. The issue is that most people do not want to be informed or educated (and especially not pay for it), however having an informed and educated population (or at least having a subset which are) improves the quality of life for EVERYONE.

To give an example: A series of programmes on biology will help get a small number of people interested in medical sciences who then go on to produce products which help many people. These programmes benefit everyone even if they do not watch it themselves and therefore it is only fair for them to be paid for by everyone (either a licence fee, or via taxation).

If you move to a pay as you go approach the BBC will be at a disadvantage if they need to continue subsidising educational content from popular shows and we risk losing them. If that happens then everyone loses out, although many people will not realise it until we suddenly need the next generation of scientists and they aren't there.

There could of course be some sort of compromise with entertainment and sports pay as you go, and educational content funded through taxation. (Just so long as there's no bloody adverts, hate the things!).

North America makes entry into dino fatty league

Nick Thompson

I'm glad they didn't miss the opportunity to include a "weighted average" on that graph :)

It's ba-ack. Exploit revives slain browser history bug

Nick Thompson

You could use the InPrivate browing mode in IE? That either doesn't cache, or it clears it when you close the browser.

Developers get new IE10 for Windows 8 preview

Nick Thompson

I see I was too late. Nice one reg *sigh*. Direct from MS site:

"Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview Build 4 is not available for Windows 7. The most recent release for Windows 7 was Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview Build 2, on June 29, 2011. Therefore, you will notice that the newer features mentioned in this guide are not yet available in the most recent version of Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview for Windows 7. For a list of changes from Internet Explorer Platform Preview Build 2, see Revision History.

When it's released, Internet Explorer 10 will be available for Windows 7, Windows Developer Preview, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server Developer Preview."

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/hh673549.aspx

Nick Thompson

"Microsoft has released a new developer preview of the tenth version of Internet Explorer, which is designed to run on only on Windows 8"

This is a bit misleading, I read that to say that IE10 will only run on Windows 8 whereas it's actually just this preview version which is Win8 only. The final version of IE10 will run on Win 7 according to various sites on the web. You may wish to clarify before you get people being shouty.

Nokia's Windows comeback: Great but what's next?

Nick Thompson

Having looked online it appears that the wifi hotspot feature is currently disabled in the nokia devices but will be enabled by a future software update.

The article should have made this clear as it the way it is written makes it appear that the WinPho7 OS doesn't support it.

Nick Thompson

I noticed the author complain about lack of tethering in both this article and the review.

Why do you need tethering when it has wiki hotspot functionality built-in? (serious question, I'd like to know).

Premium-rate calls watchdog to join battle against pirates

Nick Thompson

I bet most of these websites are blatently dodgy selling them at "too good to be true" prices. Why would anyone pay for music from one of these services? Just because you've paid for something doesn't mean you're legally allowed to own it if the seller didn't have the right to sell it to you in the first place so you might as well have just downloaded them (illegally) for free.

BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

Nick Thompson

"did you ever here of anyone getting fined because they have 5 TVs on one licence? Just as much against the law"

Are you sure about that? My understanding is that a TV licence licences the property, not the TV therefore you can have as many TVs as you like. The only exception is if the proeprty is rented by multiple people with individual tenency agreements. In this case each bedroom is a 'separately occupied place' and requires its own licence (if they have aTV in there of course).

TomTom Go Live TopGear Edition

Nick Thompson

Driving gloves?

Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing

Nick Thompson

sgtrock: Well done for *completely* missing my point.

"Taken a look around your house lately for any new electronic gadgets"

They made their money selling me the DEVICE not the software. Therefore software licencing is irrelevant.

"Tell that to Red Hat. IBM. Amazon. Wall Street. Google..."

Did you miss my point about sugar daddy sponsors? It was even in the bit you quoted. Also well done for mentioning Rat Hat who are a prime example of a company which has had to start obfuscating their updates to prevent third parties taking their support revenue, a direct result of using the GPL.

As an aside, why does an OS need a support contract anyway? Neither myself nor the company I work for has ever needed to contact MS for support with Windows, why should someone pay for support from Red Hat? The very fact people are paying third parties indicates that it is *nothing* to do with supporting the cost of maintaining the OS and presumably to do with (possibly unnecessary?) complexity of the product.

Robert Long:

Thanks for the personal insults. Grow up.

Let me try and explain this.

Writing software is expensive, computer programmers are highly skilled and command relatively high pay. Any software being written outside of their own time needs to be paid for in some way.

If the software isn't of use to a massive company like google, IBM etc then you're very unlikely to get anyone to sponsor it, smaller companies, and particulaly public sector organisations simply do not have that sort of money, therefore you'll need to get a smaller amount of money from a much larger number of people/organisations.

You can do this in two ways, sell it, or charge for support (or a combination). The former is pretty much ruled out by the way the GPL works (even if they deny it), therefore your only way to get money is to charge for support (the number of people who will simply donate is negligable). This has several implications:

a) Your end users must see your product as actually requiring support, and be happy with this. If people do not need support generally they will not pay for it (it's hard enough getting some people to pay for a commercial product as it is!).

b) This support revenue will need to cover the initial development cost and the ongoing development costs. This generally means that someone else will be able to provide support (especially since the source code is available) at a fraction of the price. Most of your customers aren't likely to think long term enough as to what the consequences are of you going out of business.

The general result is that you have to design your product to *require* support, even if it shouldn't really, and still anyone can set up a company and screw you over by providing your support cheaper. If you disagree then I suspect you have a much higher opinion of people's decency than I do (of course, according to the GPL they aren't even doing anything wrong!).

Consider the example of an AAA computer game with a multi-million pound budget. If that has to be released under the GPL (assuming games consoles supported it) how many people do you think would pay the company for support? They would download it and play it for free perfectly legally. The company would go bust and no one would ever write a high budget game again.

The point is that the GPL is *not* suitable for most commercial software but it tries to make out it is, and cretins like Stallman and the FSF are trying to force it on everyone by claiming anyone not using it is evil.

As a side note: I've no problem with source code being 'open' to people that have actually paid for the product for them to read, update, fork or whatever they want to, so long as anyone that uses that code (or things derived from it) has purchased a legitmate copy of the original from the company that *spent the money developing it*.

The fact is, if you were right you would find that most commercial software (talking business software, consumer software such as game etc) is under the GPL. It isn't.

Nick Thompson

"Case in point: the GPL of which he is so fond allows for charging for work. Except that after the first copy is sold, it can be freely redistributed legally, which would put a lot of developers out of business"

I was starting to wonder if I was the only one to notice this. The GPL licence even has the audacity to specifically claim it does not mean "free as in beer" and that you are encouraged to charge for your software. Utter crap. There is a reason why the documentation for commercial open source software (which does not have a "sugar daddy" sponsor at least) is often utter shite, it's so that they can legally (by the GPL) sting you for support costs as it's the only way of getting money back. See the ridiculous state of affairs where some companies are obfuscating their updates as others try to supply support in their place. Completely unsustainable.

A horribly misleading licence with disasterous consequences for the quality of software using it.

Sid Meier's Civilization

Nick Thompson

Zones of control exist

Zones of Control

Combat units exert a “Zone of Control” (ZOC) over the tiles around them. When a unit moves

between two tiles within an enemy’s ZOC it expends all of its MPs.

From the Civ V manual page 53.

I've never had much trouble using this to prevent people taking out my artillery, you just need to make sure you have enough units (or the terrain is such) that they cannot flank you.

Button brushes off 'car accident' website defacement to claim GP win

Nick Thompson


I came into work early this morning to watch the GP so I could avoid spoilers. It was only through extreme paranoia that I didn't automatically visit el reg. Now in this case that would have been before this article was posted, but it could easily have been after and that would have spoilt an amazing race.

Please keep sporting results off the front page of an IT related site in future.



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