* Posts by Ed Deckard

81 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Apr 2007


Ultrabook sales 'falling short of targets'

Ed Deckard

Go right ahead.

Carphone Warehouse whipped for cheap Jesus mobe ads

Ed Deckard

The way to do it

is to determine (at their expense) what the actual lowest prices for the products sold were during the period the adverts ran, and then make them refund the difference to every buyer who could have been misled by the adverts (say, everyone who bought an iPhone for the period the adverts ran plus one week).

That should fix their little red wagon.

Obama drops Twitter bombs on debt-ceiling foes

Ed Deckard

Foreign Aid

Let's clear up a couple of common misconceptions.

Foreign aid as practiced by the USA is not a free gift. Most often it's an incentive for a foreign government. You may question the morality of handing tens of millions of dollars worth of aid a year to the Kingdom of Randomistan or the Republica Bananera Centroamericana in exchange for their cooperation in the War on Terror/War on Drugs but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than invading and occupying.

(Me, I'm all for ending the Wars on Nouns but that's beside the point).

Foreign aid as practiced by the USA is not a cash reward. It's (usually) more in the nature of store credit: "We'll give you $200 million worth of credit but you can only buy items we approve from suppliers we approve at prices they set." A lot of the time the purchases are actually carried out by the US Gov't itself and the goods simply delivered, for example in rearming the Afghan security forces. Effectively it's a subsidy of US industry.

Much of the time, foreign aid as practiced by the USA is not a gift at all. It's simply a low-interest loan. And when the Friendly Tyrant of an Unfriendly Country gets overthrown, guess who gets to pay for the bullets said Friendly Tyrant has been putting in the Unfriendly Natives all these years?

So, yeah, by all means USA should cut foreign aid. After all, it's not like it buys the USA influence way out of proportion to expenditure AND appeases the dirty longhair libruls, right?


Microsoft loses Supreme patent fight over Word

Ed Deckard

O for the St. Ballmer icon!

"Microsoft said on Thursday that it would now concentrate on trying reform US law to prevent abuses of the patent system."

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoons 'beaten by Pakistani F-16s'

Ed Deckard

The thing about the F-16, see

it can carry BVR missiles too.

Germans completely humourless: Official

Ed Deckard

Actually, humour is one of Britain's great cultural exports

I speak of Mr. Bean and Benny Hill, of course.

Wake up, Linux hippies: No one 'morally obligated' to give back

Ed Deckard

You mean the one

where government is bad and poor people are stupid so we should give all our money to a cult?

Microsoft's Word fight opens in US Supreme Court

Ed Deckard

I guess my point might have gone a bit over your head

If I sue you for patent infringement, I'm claiming I own a particular idea, and that you're using it without my permission.

Your potential defense is (obviously) that

a) You're not actually using the idea in question, (your method is not covered by my patent) or

b) That you actually have my permission (it was included in some licensing agreement, etc and I'm just confused or being a jerk) or

c) I don't actually own the idea (my patent is invalid).

Now, it seems pretty self-evident to me that if I don't actually own the idea (my patent is invalid) you should be able to point that out in court.

Now, you make the argument that by allowing you to claim my patent is invalid in court, you'd be placing the burden of proof on me to prove that my patent is valid. This is the common, natural way in any other kind of lawsuit - the plaintiff (the person making the claim) is supposed to prove their claim is true. I don't see why patent holders should be privileged by the assumptions that they were truthful to the USPTO, and that said office conscientiously only issues absolutely watertight patents. That last one in particular is utterly laughable.

You also claim that this would make suing people for patent infringement more expensive and defense easier, to which I say, that's a huge point in favor of my argument.

Ed Deckard

Inevitable automotive analogy

If I accuse you of stealing my car, you should be able to ask that I prove the vehicle was mine, shouldn't you?

New tech lets you drink exhaust fumes

Ed Deckard

Zero water vapor, morelike

The rest of the stuff in the exhaust is still emitted.

French hacker cuffed after bragging on telly

Ed Deckard
Thumb Down

What does "member of Anonymous" mean, anyway?

Posted on /b once?

Fired-up eco-boffin gives it '180 per cent'

Ed Deckard

It means

each sheep became pregnant an average of 1.813 times.

Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

Ed Deckard


"I wonder how many Reg readers and staff would volunteer to have a beta source placed near their thyroid, or some other sensitive glands, until they'd accumulated an equivalent."

Set it up, man. Bring the press, some greenies, maybe The Amazing Randi to make sure I'm not palming some potassium iodide. Whatever you want.

How much will you pay me to do it?

I'm serious, btw. You just have to make it worth my time.

Vatican hails hacking culture, Wikis

Ed Deckard

Come on, people

You can now say you're on a mission from God!

Facebook Comments kill web freedom

Ed Deckard

"The cool kids of yesteryear ran Linux. Today, they boot Macs."

Two very different definitions of "cool kids."

I think you'll find the Linux users of yesteryear (and their spiritual descendants today) continue to use Linux. Same for Apple products. The change has been from MS users to the other two groups.

Politically motivated exploits target activists on Google

Ed Deckard


I wonder what would be the nation that wouldn't do such a thing.

Patent attack on Google open codec faces 'antitrust probe'

Ed Deckard

Death to the US patent system!

I have no doubt MPEG-LA will find a few patents held by their members which -could- be read as covering the VP8 codec, video encoding, "moving pictures" and why the hell not, light itself. We need to stop handing overly-general patents out, and we should probably stop handing out patents on non-mechanical ideas entirely.

Hollywood eyes Blade Runner replicants

Ed Deckard



Dinky Florida machine 'could whup world No 1 computer's ass'

Ed Deckard

So if I build the world's biggest abacus

Do I get to claim my computer is "for some applications, it is the most powerful computer of any kind on the planet" - like adding numbers when the power's out?

Ambulance dispatch system hit by virus: reports

Ed Deckard

The story doesn't specify

But I think it's safe to assume the virus came via one of the usual vectors - infected email, etc.

We need to learn keep mission-critical stuff that doesn't have to be on the 'net, off the 'net!

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

Ed Deckard
Thumb Up

Bring back "This Old Box"

And show us some of these machines in detail!

America spared Top Gear Mexican quips

Ed Deckard

I do wish they'd show it unedited

I keep telling people the brits are a bunch of loudmouthed louts with a taste for ethnic jokes but nobody believes me.

(Comment is rude and mischievous but there is no mischief behind it, complaints will be PC gone mad, etc.)

'Tree Octopus' proves journos no smarter than 13-year-old Americans

Ed Deckard

My brother was killed by a tree octopus.

True story.

Documents in Assange rape probe leak onto the net

Ed Deckard


As the Swedish gov't has practically admitted they're only asking for an extradition in order to hold him until the USA is ready to prosecute him for something else entirely, at this point it doesn't matter if Assange is guilty of this particular charge. He'll most likely never be tried for it at all.

If the story was posted for its entertainment value because it's oh-so-ironic, I submit it would be far more ironic and entertaining if the leakers of this particular document got similar treatment as Bradley Manning has for similar conduct.

Raygun dreadnought project reports 'remarkable breakthrough'

Ed Deckard
Thumb Down


Dreadnought class (the original): 11 inch (maximum) belt

Yamato class (the largest): 410 mm (16.14 inch) belt

Vanguard class (the last built): 14 inch (maximum) belt

Iowa class (the last in service): 12.1 inch (maximum) belt

Anonymous turns attack drones against fax machines

Ed Deckard

The *tard thing is old and not funny

And this is a particularly egregious example.

Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

Ed Deckard


Defined as Fail(10^27).

Wikileaks exposes Clinton's cyberspy wish-list

Ed Deckard


"Wikileaks could only operate in freedom-loving countries such as mine, thus demonstrating our freedom-loving status. Ergo, Wikileaks must be stopped."

Robot teddy bears attack Alzheimer's

Ed Deckard

May I be the first

to welcome our kawaii fuzzy overlords.

Seriously, I want one.

Microsoft assembles unlikely band of brothers against patent trolls

Ed Deckard
Gates Horns

If i4i sued Hell

I would at least make a favorable reference to the Devil in an El Reg comments thread.

School caretaker jailed for fitting up colleague

Ed Deckard


IANAL, but from what I understand a person's sexual preference for the underaged are not in and of themselves outlawed, the possession of images of abuse are.

"Yes, he's been found in possession of 500 grams of brown heroin but he's not a junkie so it's okay."

Over The Air: Losing drones and forging bus tickets

Ed Deckard

Interesting, but

I think you should have posted this as AC

Boffin-botherer's LHC doomsday case thrown out on appeal

Ed Deckard

Case was "dismissed without prejudice"

Which means he hasn't been put in jeopardy of anything quite yet.

The case was never tried so the prosecution gets another shot.

Intel chief: Obama (still) driving US off cliff

Ed Deckard

I guess he can't do double-entry

At the end of the day, tax breaks, subsidies and other "incentives" equal gov't spending.

How can this clown support one and whine about the other without a massive case of cognitive dissonance?

Opera: Firefox tab sets? We've had 'em for years

Ed Deckard

@ heyrick

The funny part is, I really sincerely do prefer Opera. I just can't do without those two little plugins. If Opera offered an equivalent functionality I'd go back to it in an instant.

(Minor quibble with your post: I think "fanbois" with an i is applied to Apple fans; admittedly some of the Opera fans seemingly share their mindset, unfortunately.)

Ed Deckard

Love Opera

But married to NoScript and AdBlock.

And don't tell me Opera does the same thing; it doesn't.

People have no bloody idea about saving energy

Ed Deckard

This confuses me as well

The only way I can make sense of it is if it means that you "save" more energy by going from non-ideal to ideal settings on the dryer than you do changing from ideal settings to line drying.

Or they're counting the energy from the Sun.

GPL scores historic court compliance victory

Ed Deckard


Add three zeros and it -might- have deterred other violators.

How many MP3s do I have to share to get fined that much?

Firefox market share drops as IE makes slender gain

Ed Deckard

I run a business, a fairly successful one

And word of mouth from happy customers is the best publicity you could possibly have.

Apple as a religion: How the iPhone became divine

Ed Deckard

Rather than religion

I think it's closer to lifestyle choices - militant vegetarianism, political activism of any stripe, etc. - that become the individually defining characteristic to certain personality types.

Apple fanatics get it extra easy because it just requires dropping a little extra cash rather than committing to long-term sacrifices in comfort and convenience

And +1 to the "most of us don't care whose name is on the box as long as we can do what we want to do on it" comments.

Before the iPad, there was the Newton

Ed Deckard

Whatever happened to "This Old Box"?

Bring it back!

Nice article btw.

Judas Phone: more Photoshop tomfoolery

Ed Deckard

Dear Studentrights,

My understanding (derived entirely from the Reg's coverage) is that this goes beyond the typical reception problems encountered when other phones are held certain ways, and is derived from the antenna not being insulated. The possibility of some kind of assembly issue was also explored early on but has mostly been dropped from the discussion I think.

As you pointed out, the potential problem is mentioned in many phone manuals. Part of the problem is that it's *not* mentioned in the iPhone manual.

Much of the rest is mostly because the company (and some of its fans) have been in deep denial that the problem even exists, making every possible excuse from "it's all in your head" through "you aren't holding it right" to "bars display software bug." Some have even suggested a media conspiracy to harm Apple, because, as we know, journalists *hate* Steve Jobs.


Ed Deckard

P.S.: Flame icon because I tried very hard not to write one.

eBay whacked with giant patent suit

Ed Deckard

eBay vs patent trolls?

I hope the legal expenses bankrupt them both.

Seoul police crack down on Holy Water filter prof

Ed Deckard

So what's the problem?

As long as he only claimed to make Seoul tap water as miraculous as the stuff at Lourdes (or the Ganges or whatever) I don't see any false advertising.

Online anonymity fueled 'Web War' on Estonia

Ed Deckard

Listen, Professor

People are likely to act like jerks if they think they can get away with it.

This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

People are likely to act like jerks if their country/sports team/favorite band/OS of choice is put down.

This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

People are susceptible to peer pressure.

This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

The Great Estonian Internet Kerfuffle has everything to do with the tulip mania.

This is univ - no, wait, what? The tulip mania was a speculative bubble, doubtlessly complete with early pundits babbling in Dutch about the New Economy and the Historical Fact that tulip prices have never, ever gone down!

This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the tulip mania.

'Go veggie to save the planet' UN, EU plans debunked

Ed Deckard

A scientist is biased

if his work shows bias.

Mine's the one with the Grammar Nazi insignia on the lapels.

Energizer battery rechargers still haunted by trojan backdoor

Ed Deckard

It is Sony's business to know what they distribute.

So either they were amazingly irresponsible in not knowing exactly what the software they distributed does or amazingly irresponsible in distributing it knowingly.

Full disclosure - I do not work and never have worked for Sony or Energizer, any of their competitors or subcontractors. How about you?

Ed Deckard

lol what

"Malicious" or not, Sony installed software on computers without the owner's knowledge or consent that actively hid its own presence from the user and common AV products.

If you're cool with that, fine. Most of us are not.

US spreads Web2.0rhea to Iran, Sudan, Cuba

Ed Deckard
Dead Vulture


"Recently, in a wide-ranging speech on matters webby, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century."

Clinton's remarks were aimed most specifically at China, but she also rapped the knuckles of Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam."

I assume she didn't mention these by name, and you just listed countries that restrict said free access to information.

What about Lolstralia?