* Posts by David Rollinson

32 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2008

Goat hangs self in Canadian zoo

David Rollinson

Who's their vet?

Dr Chinnery?

"I'm afraid I've got some rather upsetting news..."

MoD man 'faces Official Secrets trial' for leaving files on train

David Rollinson

@Graham Marsden

I take your point, but I suspect that the involvement of the media is more likely to be motivated by potential payment and "15 minutes of fame" than any altruistic desire to make the MOD improve its security.

David Rollinson

UK Top Secret = Give to Journalist?

I agree that the official needs to be charged with something, but what person, upon finding a document marked "UK Top Secret", then gives it to a news organisation? Sureley its easier to find a police station than the BBC?

People complain about how our society is media driven, but since when is the media to be entrusted with state secrets whilst UK forces are involved in an overseas conflict?

Not wanting to be "Daily Mail" on this, but you have to ask yourself WTF? Feel free to post your choice of person/organisation that you'd like to slip a Top Secret document to? (Not the Register though - no pandering after Cash 'n' Carrion freebies you lot!)

Adobe yanks speech exposing critical 'clickjacking' vulns

David Rollinson
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re. Adobe make Microsoft look good.

I agree. I gave up on Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit Reader, fed up of having my browser locked up or crashed.

Dell Inspiron 910 mini-laptop to be a hardware hacker's dream?

David Rollinson

re. Hackers dream

I think the point is that these components are accessible from a simple panel on the base of the unit. AFAIK some of the current crop of SCCs have to be completely dismantled to change the memory module or SSD unit.

Presumably this is to enable Dell's usual policy of "customised at the factory" to be relatively easy with the 910.

Sikorsky announces first flight of 'X2' triplex supercopter

David Rollinson
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Not all new technology

As far as I can see this is an extension of Sikorsky's own XH-59A "Advancing Blade Concept" (ABC) Technology Demonstrator programme from the late '70s. This managed to get up to 238 knots, so not far short of the 250 knot cruise they're aiming for.

Anyway, looks a better solution than most to the high-speed VTOL problem, with the advantage that the blade disk is smaller than a conventional helicopter so ideal for shipboard use.

DARPA seeks 'perch and stare' spy-fly robot

David Rollinson

@Sarah Bee Re: Lewis, you're become progressively more incomprehensible!

Are we allowed to post hints, or do you want them to suffer?

Judge sides with eBay in fake jewelry spat

David Rollinson
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@Lyndon Hills

Good analogy; I was just thinking of the car-boot-sale myself.

As ever, "caveat emptor".

Nikon D40 entry-level digital SLR

David Rollinson
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Got one; highly recomended

I got one a few months ago, worked out less than £250 with Nikon's cashback offer. I went for the D40 after reading Ken Rockwell's comments/review (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm) and seeing results from a friend's D40. One thing this review doesn't mention is the D40's very high flash-sync speed of 1/500 sec; this gives the D40 a big advantage when using fill-in flash or photographing action-subjects with a flash; see Ken's article on why flash sync matters (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/syncspeed.htm).

Anyway, a great DSLR camera for not much more than a high-end compact - love it!

Legless Swede attempts to row home

David Rollinson
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to our drunken Viking overlord!

Boffins: Roadrunner hypercomputer could drive a car

David Rollinson

re. RoTM

I agree, and I read on the BBC news site that they've just launched the third and final Skynet satellite.

Mine's the trenchcoat (the one long enough to hide a pump-action shotgun under)...

Windows XP given additional resuscitation

David Rollinson

Windows 7

I don't think the low-cost PC market is going to go away anytime soon; Microsoft have to consider this in the design of Windows 7 and ensure that their next O/S is able to function properly on low-power hardware, otherwise they'll be back in the same scenario of hardware manufacturers being forced to ship linux.

US bank loses unencrypted data on 4.5m people

David Rollinson

@ Dave Jones

Ten years ago, losing a tape or CD was less of a problem; it would probably just end up in a bin. Now though, the criminals are more aware of the value of data and are more likely to look through it and attempt to sell it to someone who can make use of it.

Encrypt everything!

Unmanned Aerial Manhood outrage at Kasparov rally

David Rollinson
Paris Hilton

Nice alliteration Lewis!

"communist contrarotating copter-cock"

A bit of a mouthful though...

Paris (for reasons that don't need stating)

No sense of humour? Avoid Bootnotes

David Rollinson
IT Angle

What's the IT angle?

...but I did like "fucktards"; keep up the good work!

FIPR: ICO gives BT 'green light for law breaking' with Phorm

David Rollinson

Get the police involved

Given that BT Retail haven't said which customers were trialled; doesn't this mean that any BT Retail customer can now make a formal complaint to their local police on the grounds that they suspect that they may have been the victim of a breach of the relevent section of RIPA?

If enough people complain to the police then it may force a criminal investigation of BT's activities.

Galaxy's smallest known black hole discovered

David Rollinson

How many Sarah Beenys?

I'm assuming that you don't need to quote a margin of error in this figure because of the inherent variability of the unit...

Mega-mortuary creaks open its doors in Westminster

David Rollinson
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Good value

I wouldn't have though £780,000 would get you a one-bedroom flat in Westminster.

Net think tank: Phorm is illegal

David Rollinson
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Changing ISP

I'd like to see some response from other ISPs out there that are definitely NOT going to use Phorm, or any similar system; I think this would be a good opportunity for ISPs to declare themselves "Phorm Phree" and gain support from people looking for a trustworthy ISP.

Does anyone have any information that would be useful in this respect?

I've asked my ISP (Eclipse) for their comment on this...

Virgin lags in scumjumbo race, bins airliner drag-start plans

David Rollinson
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re. Solution!

"Simple solution. Get everyone off the plane, a big Geoff Capes style tow-rope, and get everyone to pull the (then unladen) airliner to the runway."

Excellent idea; should help with the obesity crisis too!

Brit apiarists demand £8m to save honeybees

David Rollinson

Now if BAE wanted £80m...

to develop a proof-of-concept cyber-bee to do the same job, they'd probably get the money.

Mine's the one with the gauze hoodie...

US gov now says Eye-o-Sauron™ border masts are crap

David Rollinson
Black Helicopters

Sounds like the Black Chamber

is planning a "Scorpian Stare" upgrade...


Asus Eee PC gives Sony the willies

David Rollinson
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It's not Sony who should worry...

If the Eee lets punters try an alternative to Microsoft and Apple's high-priced hardware/software model, why wouldn't they then think hard about the full desktop environment as well? (a low cost Asus desktop using the same applications as the Eee plus other goodies as well?)

This could be the killer-app that Linux and "Open Source" has been waiting for to get the mainstream consumer's attention.

There's nothing to stop Sony and the other manufacturers from doing the same as Asus, unless they have some sort of contract with Microsoft for operating system exclusivity (like Dell have/had).

It won't destroy Microsoft, but it will certainly worry them that a "PC" with none of their software on it is getting so much attention.

HMV blames rival for PS3 PlayTV pre-order puzzle

David Rollinson

re ninety nine quid?

I agree about the price, if it's correct; this is basically a USB Freeview adaptor, which can be had for about 20 pounds in the UK. Even if it's a dual-tuner device it's still a bit overpriced.

Shrek studio looks to Toshiba to untie HD DVD bond

David Rollinson

Re. Maybe I'm missing something

"But surely admitting that you gave money to another company to only sell your product is against competition law?"

Toshiba didn't give anyone money to "only sell their product"; they gave money as part on an agreement on technology usage, to ensure exclusivity. It's not illegal, companies do this all the time, so that they can "assist" companies to buy into their technology. The example here is Toshiba paying for production facilities etc. so that the studio doesn't have to assume all the financial risk of setting up with a new technology.

The fact that HD-DVD failed shows that the studio was right to get some financial assistance from Toshiba; at least they won't be completely out of pocket on this.

Without financial assistance like this from technology providers, companies won't be eager to commit to a new technology, resulting in very slow uptake.

It's just normal business practice.

But you'd have to wonder why Dream Works' lawyers didn't put an escape clause in the contract in the case of Toshiba ending HD-DVD production.

Coastguard, plods swoop on fake Facebook yachtmaster

David Rollinson

@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

"Her DNA is now on file. Will certainly speed up investigation of the next serial killing of young women in Whatevershire. Also will help solve the unslolved rape and suspected terror cases. Not."

It will if it involves her brother, father etc.

Mine's the all-in-one paper overalls...

Vista SP1 kills and maims security apps, utilities

David Rollinson
Gates Horns


"most programs will continue to work as expected after you install Windows Vista SP1."

You mean they'll be screwed? That's what I'd expect...

Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!

David Rollinson
Gates Horns

It good to share...

"share a vision for online services"

Perhaps in the same way that the USSR and Afghanistan shared a vision for socialism?

Major HTML update unveiled

David Rollinson

Re. To <table> or <div>

A lot of the work I do is with automatically generated content, and tables work great for that; however I still end up using <table> to lay out controls and forms, just like the form I'm filling in now!

the CSS properties for "display" (table, table-row, table-cell etc.) work fine in Firefox and Safari, and I can lay out <div> and <span> elements just like a table. But IE7 ignores them, just like the w3 specification says it can (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/tables.html). Works ok in Pocket IE though...

David Rollinson


View the source for this page; <table> is still being used for layout (as opposed to tabular data); surely El Reg must be able to code for "semantically clean cross browser design"?

David Rollinson

<table> still required for layout though

It doesn't look like they've addressed one of the big bugbears of HTML/XHTML/CSS though; all the recommendations are not to use <table> for layout, but with current browsers its the only way to get a layout to work (yes I've tried <div> ing and <span> ing 'til the cows come home!).

They need to address layout by having a table-like set of tags that can be ignored/understood by non-visual user-agents (readers etc.)

Dwarves hidden in sports bags target Swedish coaches

David Rollinson
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Sound like a job for...

Crime-fighting baggage-handler, John Smeaton!