* Posts by Simon Barnes

47 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Mar 2008

Yelling at mobes while driving just as bad as texting

Simon Barnes


I don't agree talking to a person in the car is the same as over the phone, as someone present is more clearly aware of the context and able to see what's going on so driving actions are seamlessly accepted interruptions, whereas the person on the other end of the phone has no idea and won't pause when appropriate...

Amazon joins Dropbox clones, hints at cloud storage margins

Simon Barnes

stripped down UI...

I installed it to try it out and there is almost zero configurability - it creates a folder in Documents and Settings which cannot be changed. The dialog lets you deregister and/or disable starting at boot and that's all...

Judge: Facebook must see Timelines Inc in court over trademark

Simon Barnes

Competition ?

I thought competition was supposed to be a healthy spur to improvement? Certainly Facebook could do with a lot of that!

Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

Simon Barnes

shame about the price...

I should have read the price first before wasting my time reading the review!

5,000 UK pubs get free Wi-Fi... and they're not even all in London

Simon Barnes

Miss Congeniality ?

how is a pub more congenial than a coffee shop ?

Review: Mio Cyclo 300 cycling satnav

Simon Barnes

I have a Garmin Dakota but the screen is very dull and grey. I much prefer to use my Motorola Defy which is quite waterproof though admittedly it's hard to operate the touchscreen when it's wet :( Using Maverick you get full 1:25000 mapping for free...

Moon riven by colossal cracks

Simon Barnes

Xrays ??

I don't understand the connection betwen Xrays and gravity measurement?

Facebook invites users to vote away voting rights, some privacy

Simon Barnes


I tracked down the voting page: https://apps.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance/ but once I'd voted it went to "loading" and never completed or notified my friends as I'd asked, though it won't let me try again...

it did say that of those few who had voted (~50000) it was about 10:1 against the changes

Galapagos islands bombed with 22 tonnes of Blue Death Cornflakes

Simon Barnes

species ?

I think the furry creatures in the photo are mice :)

Skydiver Baumgartner's 120,000ft spacesuit leap delayed by bad wind

Simon Barnes


Glad to see the helium we're running out of isn't going to waste...

'Amazon can't do what we do': Twitter-miner's BYO data centre heresy

Simon Barnes

what's a billion between friends ?

"... and has just spent hundreds of billions building its own centres"

I'm thinking you're out by 3 orders of magnitude there ??

Free tool inspects all your personal 'ware automatically

Simon Barnes

utterly dire!

possibly the worst non-virus program I've ever had the misfortune to run. After 45 minutes I've managed to update one program - twice as the first time nothing seemed to happen. It keeps greying out all the icons or just sulking and ignoring my clicks. Avoid.

Simon Barnes

Re: Clunky

actually, now I've tried to use it, it's way worse than clunky right into almost useless as it spends so much time unresponsive or showing an hourglass :( Also it's been "updating Adobe Flash Player" for 30 minutes now with no indication of progress or signs of update activity. Broken :(

Simon Barnes


unfortunately, everything happens in the user interaction thread so it's often unresponsive or sluggish :( FYI Irongut, if you right click and item it tells you its location

Can't watch Flash vids in Firefox? It's not just you

Simon Barnes

Re: anything using Flash is broken on Firefox

and yes I am using RealPlayer record...

Simon Barnes

anything using Flash is broken on Firefox

No flash-based operations have been working on my Win 7 Ultimate PC since last Thursday. Even multiple file uploads are affected :(

Apple Passbook card-'n'-ticket app paves way for iOS e-wallet

Simon Barnes

do train e-tickts really exist ?

when I search for "train e ticket" I only get hits for tickets that can be printed at home, not just shown on a phone :(

Missed the Venus solar flyby? It's only 105 years to the next one

Simon Barnes

Re: Erm...

given away by the fact that the dot is semitransparent which most planets aren't...

NHS car-crash spatters CSC accounts with red ink

Simon Barnes


I'm staggered at the size of these figures! A 1.5 BILLION write off for the NHS - for *record keeping* alone ? I did seriously wonder if it should have been millions, not billions!

Inside the Skynet ghost town built by bunker-based boffins

Simon Barnes

empty cities

If building an empty city can be so profitable, hw long before someone figures it might be cheaper to empty out an existing one ? "We have ways of making you leave..."

El Reg's life of Steve Jobs - now available on Kindle

Simon Barnes

Contents ?

How many pages do we get for our money ?

The End of Free: Web 2.0 will squeeze punters rotten

Simon Barnes

Facebook charge ?

If Facebook wanted to charge us it would have to be a lot better than it is - for instance one still cannot search one's own posts :(

Simon Barnes

Change our real identities?

"Eric Schmidt had just said that if we were that bothered about privacy, we should just change our real identities every few years"

what, as Google now specifically prohibit ?

Conflict mineral laws haven't helped Congolese

Simon Barnes

those tants must be ancient. Current ones are way smaller and surace mount.

Feds warn 'pox party' zealots not to send viruses in post

Simon Barnes

Been there, done that :)

I recall my mum taking my brothers and me to a chicken pox party when I was about 7. This was in Newport, Wales, about 1960 :)

Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Simon Barnes

surely anyone thinking making people skint and homeless will improve their behaviour is insane ? I'm wondering if the threshold on democracy is set too low...

Children's body busted for email, file cabinet blunders

Simon Barnes

Tail of destruction?

Surely destroying a filing cabinet is a rather extreme form of shredding (and very wasteful too) ?

Educating Verity the OU way

Simon Barnes

giggles :)

Thanks Verity!

I loved the "Do you suffer fools gladly" checkbox to bits :o)


New 'liquid smart metal' can go hard or floppy

Simon Barnes

no expense spared...

"in experiments so far, gold or platinum"

so in fact we're talking smart jewellery ??

LinkedIn cookie vulnerable, claims researcher

Simon Barnes

And, we are going to reduce the lifespan of the cookies in question from 12 months to 90 days.

...which won't make any difference to the vulnerability described :(

Seagate triples up heads/platter ratio

Simon Barnes


April Fool ?

Good 'un :)

Simon Barnes

not me gov

and I hasten to add that I fell for it completely, it was a colleague who was less credulous!

Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

Simon Barnes

make me gay ?

> They remove all the apps slanted the "other way".

would possession of an Apple product make me half way there already ?

Apple suppliers: Child labor, bribery, suicides

Simon Barnes

getting to the rooot cause ?

"even attaching large nets to the factory buildings to prevent impulsive suicides."

talk about mising the point :(

I've just realised my company has done nothing whatever to stop me throwing myself out of my office window...

iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Simon Barnes

intermediary ?

>> Catholics aren't allowed to talk directly to their god but have to speak through an intermediary

as an erstwhile Catholic (until 44 years ago) I would say that's not correct, but a hierophant is required for confession and absolution...

Robot naval stealth fighter takes to the air

Simon Barnes

no gold star ?

Since when did planes with folding undercarriges fly with their wheels down ? Human pilots seem to retract them as soon as they're clear of the ground...

Super-thin materials could POWER our WORLD

Simon Barnes

super-capacitators ?

super condensers surely ??

Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

Simon Barnes


"I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys".

And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

how charmingly naive! I don't know enough about Anonymous to comment on their motives but I do know well enough that governements mostly serve entrenched power, which is allowed to ride roughshod over the law :(

Amazon fiddling with film streaming service, says report

Simon Barnes

disjunction ?

I can't see any synergy between fast package delivery and internet streaming!

Motorola Defy Android smartphone

Simon Barnes

Good phone :)

I have one of these, though my contract with T-Mobile is £10.41 pm with 100 free minutes and unlimited texts and web (I don't make many calls). This is my first smartphone and I think it excellent but at first I was only getting 24 hours on a charge which was frankly irritating!

Naked Honolulu bloke rescued from garbage chute

Simon Barnes

terror ?

""first-degree terroristic threatening charges"

ah, so domestic disputes are now terrorism too ? Glad to hear that legislation isn't being misapplied...

Google defends native code Chrome play

Simon Barnes

he's lyin'

"that allow it to dissemble instructions"

is someone telling porkies or did you mean "disassemble" ?

Robot footballers 'will beat Human Race first eleven by 2050'

Simon Barnes

prime directives ?

I wondered about arms/fingers but there are also throw-ins...

Will these machines obey Azimov's 3 prime directives? I imagine an aggressive robot player might be intimidating and prevent tackling ? The flip side is, if they forbear the risk of causing injury their tackling would be inadequate...

Dell blames staff for malware infection

Simon Barnes

Alien intervention ?

I'm always puzzled by "human error" which seems to imply other agencies might be involved - do they think gods or pixies might be intervening to cause errors ? Why not be honest and admit "we did it" ?

No refunds for ID card pioneers

Simon Barnes

Collector's item ?

just stash it away for a decade and then flog on eBay :)

El Reg decimates English language

Simon Barnes

By any other name

decimation has another meaning in signal processing, where it means 'reduction by some specified proper fraction' :-)

I listened to an eminent linguistic scholar on the radio a few years ago who pointed out that language changes all the time in a very democratic way, as we all get to chose which words we use and what we intend them to mean...

Simon Barnes

another definition

decimation has another meaning in signal processing, where it means 'reduction by some specified proper fraction' :-)

I listened to an eminent linguistic scholar on the radio a few years ago who pointed out that language changes all the time in a very democratic way, as we all get to chose which words we use and what we intend them to mean...