* Posts by Gary F

394 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Mar 2008


Google robo cars drive selves on public streets

Gary F

Safe alternative...

Get $3 per hour Indian call centres to remotely drive your car! Your car will provide a live video feed over a secure Internet connection to a call centre so "Dave" working in his Lahore office can removely drive your car using his USB streering wheel. This leaves you free to catch up on paperwork or read the newspaper while being chauffered in your own vehicle without worrying if the Google code mistakes a pedestrian for an empty parking bay.

£1bn+ Royal Navy destroyer finally fires 'disgraceful' weapon

Gary F

If everything in this article is true...

This is really embarassing for our Navy and painful for us taxpayers to once again pay double for something that delivers barely half of what we were promised. Surely someone at the MoD can take responsability for this expensive and very late procurement cock up.

Sounds as bad as the helicopter deal to re-fit aging Lynxes for far more money that it cost to buy brand new higher-spec American whirlybirds that would have also been delivered years ealier. It's so shameful.

US navy to battle Iranian mini-ekranoplan swarms with rayguns

Gary F

Hail of bullets will do a better job

How long does the laser need to "burn" through the attacking craft? An manned or AI controlled gattling gun every 30 meters along a warship would be able to lay down a thick blanket of bullets or take out each craft within seconds one after the other.

I think focusing R&D on rapid and accurate targetting is more important.

Star Wars set for 3D rehash

Gary F

3D is a trendy gimmick

3D will be short lived with a peaceful lull back to normal 2D until the next 3D technology comes along and it all starts up again.

Personally I find the "wow" factor only in the first 10 minutes of a 3D film. After that my brain settles down and there's no more wow, my brain is focused on the story. As one of my eyes is slightly lazy I find 3D films a bit blurry compared to normal 2D.

I will not be going out to see any 3D Star Wars films. Can't Lucas use his money to instead write and produce Episode VII? Surely there is room for another story?

ACS:Law's mocking of 4chan could cost it £500k

Gary F


I feel sorry for the people named publically as file sharers but hopefully they will have the last laugh if ACS is given a hefty fine. At least their reputation is somewhat dirtier than it was last week.

Quick and dirty file-clustering-for-idiots

Gary F
Thumb Up

Not that robust, but it's cheap to implement!

I'm using DSFR with 2008 R2 as a "resilient" file share for web servers. There have been times where replication stops working and we had to reboot the file servers to start it up again. Other times it's taken a few minutes to replicate files (only 1MB) for some weird reason. But 99.9% of the time it's great.

When we've simulated a dead file server in the DSF group it takes a minute or two for DSF to realise that and to start fulfilling requests from one of the other file servers. I don't have to mess around for 15 minutes like the author of this article does, it's quite automatic but obviously not as fast as I'd like it to be, but having two SANs is a lot more money.

Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

Gary F
Jobs Horns

100's of pod companies for apple to take a bite of

On the FIRST page of a Google search I found these businesses with "pod" in their name. They have NOTHING to do with the iPod or similar gadgets:

POD Food

The Pod Company

POD (Payable On Death, American metal band, 1992, still going)

Pod Exhibition Systems

The Pod Site

Hov Pod

Join The Pod

There must be 100's more, maybe 1000.

Apple - s*d off. Greedy corporate.

419ers take council for £100k

Gary F

How to save more money

Now the council are in a good position to save money by SACKING the idiot(s) who blindly let this pass through. Yes, sack someone in a public job. Unheard of! Yes, but now it's time to get tough with people who would be thrown out of a private company if they had made the same mistakes there.

How do you copy 60m files?

Gary F
Thumb Up

Good story - quite an eye opener

I like it! I'm often frustrated dealing with 10,000 small files in Windows, never mind 60m! On a desktop Windows 7 is painfully slow displaying 2000 photos in a single folder. It shows them straight away (detailed view, not thumbs) but then takes 20 secs to sort them by date modified! Aah!

But why do you have 60m files? Could you store that data in a better way? Could it be put into a database for example?

Coalition's quango hit list revealed

Gary F

Downsize them, don't abolish that many

At least half of them have a really important function.

We will lose valuable expertise if they are abolished. Instead the Government should save at least half but tell them they have to downsize and make do with 25% of their original budget or shut down. Then the quangos will cut their fat, reduce their stupid big salaries and retain only their very core functions. Set a max wage limit too, if they are under public control then they can be told what their limits are.

It will be sad to see some of the bodies go which do a good job at preserving our history and infrastructure. British Nuclear Fuels seems like a rather important one to keep. I'm sure their core function can be preserved after a 75% budget cut. Don't kill them off.

Blockbuster winds itself into Chapter 11

Gary F


Blockbusters is pointless these days. With dozens of free digitals channels, dozens of premium film channels and various on-demand film delivered via broadband, what is the point of leaving your house to collect or return a film?

LoveFilm have at least made it easy to receive and return films (via the post) if you need a physical disc to watch a film.

Unless Blockbuster "get with it" and reinvent themselves I'll give them 12 months before they're doomed for good.

Windows Phone 7 up for grabs from 'excited' 3

Gary F
Gates Horns

Let me know when I can copy & paste

When I can copy an address from a SMS and paste it into Google Maps or copy a phone number or email from an email and add it to a specific field in my contacts then let me know. Until then the Windows 7 phone is worthless.

Sorry, but HTF can you release a phone without copy & paste. I know Apple did but everything else on the iphone was so evolutionary that people overlooked the shortcomming.

World's first pedal-powered ornithopter takes flight in Canada

Gary F
Thumb Down

It was gliding!

I'd have been impressed if it had gained altitude by itself once released from its tow.

When birds jump to help take off that's only a small amount of thrust, the bulk of it comes from their wings - the first flap pushing air downwards, especially with the larger birds.

This Canadian contraption doesn't have the power or range of movement necessary to mimic what birds wings achieve to gain altitude.

It's a good demo of light weight engineering though.

US college girls: Fatter roomie helps control 1st-year plumpening

Gary F
IT Angle


No IT angle at all but a good story for the chubby chasing IT Reg readers out there. :-) Can we have a story on increasing bra sizes next please? Surely someone has done a study on that?

Gordon Brown joins World Wide Web Foundation

Gary F

Lost all respect for the WWW Foundation

How could they appoint such an unsuitable man for this position? I thought okay, he messed up the county while in power, but at least he can't lay a finger on the web because it's internationally controlled. And now this happened!

Brown is a control freak. He's now in a position to influence controls on the web. For a man who has little experience of technology this is a very bad decision.

Maybe if I screw up repeatedly someone will give me a prestigious directorship. That's how it works isn't it?

Hackers: 'ColdFusion bug more serious than Adobe says'

Gary F

Be ahead of the game and secure the admin directories

This vulnerability won't affect those using ColdFusion who KNOW how to secure the server. Basically all of the directories under CFIDE need to be inaccessable to the Internet or IP secured, apart from essential files that are expected to be served to clients. The experienced CF users would have done that straight after installing it.

Like any server side service it can be a chink in the armour if you don't know what you're doing with it.

Adobe were quick to release a hotfix for those who haven't tightened things down, but I echo the criticism that they failed to emphasise the critical nature of it. The Reg has done CF users and system administrators a service by pressing the fire alarm button.

@The Cube - your list must have been drawn up by someone who doesn't have much experience with ColdFusion. I have a list of dangerous things not to drive: an articulated lorry, a ferry, and a fighter jet. Needless to say I'm clueless about these but those who specialise in driving/piloting them do so very safetly.

Prototype semi-hovership delivered to Commandos

Gary F

New ferry service

I thought this was a new high-speed ferry service from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

Microsoft to set record with next Patch Tuesday

Gary F
Gates Horns

Oh not again

Be pleased you don't have to schedule when each of 13 servers can be rebooted after applying the patches, and I have to monitor them to make sure they come back up okay. Why can't MS just get it right so they don't have to keep patching things so often. It's ridiculous.

Location-based quantum crypto now possible, boffins say

Gary F

Pair 8 to sent 1 byte at a time

I remember that. I also saw the Christmas Lecture on quantum mechanics that demonstrated this, although very crudely. It's still a theory I think so please allow 20 years for a real device to appear.

Acer Aspire 1825PT 11.6in touchscreen notebook

Gary F
Thumb Up

Had this tablet for a month now - mini review

Bought mind from simplyacer.com for £510 +VAT a month ago. I thought the touchscreen would be a bit of a gimmick but have found it so much more intuitive and easier to interact with windows and icons using my finger - far less effort than using the smallish touchpad.

The screen is quite sensitive and the onscreen keyboard isn't as bad as I thought for typing, although I always switch to the real keyboard for extensive CMD prompt or email stuff.

I used it in a datacentre in tablet mode in portrait with the virtual keyboard at the bottom of the screen. It's the nearest I'll get to being a Star Trek engineer with a touch pad mobile device, connecting it into switches to interact with LANs, walking around using wifi to talk with engineers and most importantly to order from Pizza Hut online.

After 2 weeks of light use a piece of rubber fell off that helps to lock the screen flush after coming out of tablet mode. Not good. I've pushed it back in and because I'm now VERY mindful of it there hasn't been a problem since.

As an ordinary laptop it's terrific. Very small, lovely hi-res screen, lots of ram, fast cpu and 9 hours of battery life if used economically. As a tablet it's impressive and Windows 7 makes it far more usable in this format than previous releases. It will impress people, especially using Microsoft Surface (pre-installed). The MS Bing/Globe/Map app is very cool to interact with but is inferior to Google Earth in terms of features. But Google Earth (like Chrome) is totally unaware of gestures and sucks in tablet mode.

The Register's reviewer was very harsh to criticise the lack of a DVD drive. IT DOESN'T NEED ONE! Microsoft have a free tool that lets you create a USB stick to install Windows from. I have a 8GB stick for that purpose with the MS Office setup file on it as well, plus other favourite software. Bish, bosh, job done! It installs quicker from USB than DVD anyway. (All licensed I must add!)

I get his point about not being able to recover Windows if it dies, I would be annoyed about that if I didn't have my own licensed copy of Windows to install in the event of it going t*ts up.

Google preps tablet-friendly Chrome that knows 'what's up'

Gary F

Chrome lags

I have a tablet PC and Chrome is the least touch friendly browser. When I try to scroll it selects everything my finger touches instead of scrolling. Come on Google, read the Windows 7 developer's handbook!

Street View snooping sparks new watchdog site

Gary F

Exactly what data did Google record?

If Google just recorded the MAC address and SID then that's NOT an invasion of privacy. Every wifi router broadcasts this data, it's intended to be shared.

So far I haven't read anything about what other data Google have stored. Did they attempt to join insecure networks and access computers and files? If so then they deserve to be put in the slammer, but if they didn't do that then what's the big deal?

New prototype US spy satellite rushed into active use

Gary F

The big question is

How successful is it in pinpointing IDEs along a specific route and if they would share that intel with British troops on request.

Hitachi touts skinny drives for skinny devices

Gary F

Single platter should be cheaper

One platter uses less heads and other materials so in theory it should be cheaper to produce. It should also generate slightly less heat. When they get to 500GB+ capacities it will become much more desirable. I wouldn't touch anything under 500GB for home, office or datacentre use - it's a waste of a drive bay frankly.

O2 limits unlimited broadband packages

Gary F

Very mean of O2

10GB is what many ISPs offer as a basic or starter package. O2 should be ashamed of what they've done.

Windows 3.0 turns 20

Gary F

Thank you Windows 3

You made me realise how amazing the Amiga was at the time! (Curse the marketing and management of Commodore)

2012 Olympic mascots cop a shoeing

Gary F

Totally gormless

You can tell these were designed by a committee. Lifeless, unlovable, over calculated and completely forgettable.

And how much money did this cr*p cost us exactly?

HTC unwraps Wildfire Android 2.1 smartphone

Gary F

I can think of 1 reason

Android doesn't support Internet connection sharing via Bluetooth. You have to use a USB cable which means it's messy and you're buggered if you forget to pack the USB cable when you're out and about. There's a $20 utility that lets you use DUN with Bluetooth but it's not as good as PAN which is what Windows Mobile supports straight out of the box.

Gary F

Looks good

It's smaller than the Desire but why does the resolution have to be that low? Hopefully it has an accelorometer and multitouch too. I'm still looking for a replacement for my Diamond Touch. Would be cool if I could just update the firmware to Windows 7 Mobile when it's launched.

How about dual booting HTC hardware so you can select either Android 2.1 or Windows 7 Mobile. That would be perfect for people who can't mind up their mind or want to use an app that's only available on one OS.

Twitter bomb joker found guilty

Gary F

Terrible day for justice

It's clear his tweet was in jest and not an actual threat. He didn't send a message to anyone. As any technically aware person knows, a tweet is simply placed on the Internet and it's up to others to come to it or to request it in order to read it. You have to seek it out to discover it.

I blame his solicitor for being useless and not explaining to the court what Twitter is and how it works, or for that matter what humour is and how that works! (Although his tweet wasn't actually funny)

Email 2.0: Trying to catch up with the web

Gary F

So where is email 2.0?

SMTP is a quarter of a century old! While it served its purpose for its first decade it has seriously fallen short of a modern requirement for authentication and security.

Why haven't the key technology companies come up with a new protocol that would leave spammers out in the cold? 90% of email traffic is spam.

Green Berets to get Judge Dredd computer smart-rifle

Gary F

Alternatives already exist...

A tank can fire a shell through a window from a long distance and that will do a far better job of killing enemies taking cover indoors.

Likewise if you aim the tank's crosshairs at the corner of a building it will quickly remove the said obsticle so snipers can have a direct line of fire - if the shell hasn't also taken the enemy out at the same time.

Job done. :-)

Gary McKinnon's mum not prime minister

Gary F


If she had been voted in as their MP it must be asked how much time she'd spend working on local issues for her constituents versus time spent working on her son's situation. An MP must represent all of the people of the constituency, not just 1.

I do wish her and her son well and hope the new Home Secretary steps in and shows some backbone.

3TB Seagate disk drive ahoy

Gary F


It has an extra platter which makes it thicker. No problem if fitted in a 3.5" bay or an external USB case though.

NASA tests amazing bailout rocket which will never be used

Gary F

The reason they did it

At the time Obama had cancelled Orion NASA had done 100% of the research into the escape mechanism and probably 98% of the engineering. So why waste the money they had already spent by not going ahead with a test launch?

Everything they have learnt will be banked and revisited when NASA are given the go-ahead in the future to launch manned rockets.

Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Gary F

Tory bashing

The article bashed a Tory MP right at the very start, so how can you suggest the author lent towards the Tories?

Ditching a submarine based nuclear deterrent would be seen as Britain becoming even weaker. Not just on the military side, but Trident is like a status symbol and we wouldn't be taken as seriously when it comes to other international matters like trade deals. We'd just be a little country.

We'd be even smaller if the LibDems push us into the EU treaty. I'd hate to give what laws and power we have left to unelected politicians in Brussels. Does our history mean nothing to people?

Latest Chrome beta fastest ever - again

Gary F

I disagree

I think the idea is to choose your own pop up blocker extension. That way you decide how agressive it is and what rules it follows by which blocker you choose install.

Steve Jobs issues open letter on Flash

Gary F

Flash causes Macs to crash?

I've never seen a Windows PC crash because of Flash. That must mean OSX is even flakier than Windows! If that's not true then Jobs is seriously misinformed about why Macs crash.

Some things that Flash does can be done in HTML5 but not everything and there are no HTML5 design tools at the moment and it will take years before any exist that are as powerful and simple to use as the existing Flash tools.

Apple guzzles wobbly concierge service

Gary F

Can I have a copy of yours please?

My copy of "The Wife" doesn't respond to voice commands. :-(

Users' passwords exposed by Splunk

Gary F


A security company keeping passwords of users? And in the clear? I will give them a free piece of invaluable advice. Store a hash of the password, never the password itself. There is absolutely no reason why any system would need to keep the password on file - except to increase the risk of exposing sensitive information or to use it for criminal activity.

McAfee offers cash for clunkers

Gary F

ha ha ha ha bonk!

Serves people right for using McAfee, although I do feel sorry for them considering it's bundled as a trial with many new computers and Currys and PC World pester customers into buying it.

I've always maintained this and Norton is bloatware but now it's incompetent bloatware. The free products are the best. I heartily recommend AVG Free Edition or the new Microsoft Security Essentials.

UK data watchdog to quiz Google on Streetview Wi-Fi database

Gary F
Thumb Up

Google magic at its best

I was on a train the other day I had caught in a hurry in a place that I've never visited before. I trying to find out where the train was heading and when i would get there. The GPS in my phone wasn't picking up a signal but luckily the Google Maps app running on my Windows phone tracked my position to the nearest 2Km. This was good enough to reassure me that I was going in the right direction.

Now I know it's the Google car that collects the wifi data. I was wondering how they collected that info.

So long as Google swear never to release the MAC data they've collected I can't see this as a problem or an invasion into anyone's privacy. It's no different to recording street names and a rough GPS coordinate of the street.

Ten Essential... Netbook Accessories

Gary F

Benefit of a wired mouse

You won't leave your mouse behind on a train or in a meeting room if you use a wired one - my preferred choice.

And always pack a USB to mini USB cable in your bag in case your phone goes dead and you need to make one last desperate call using the charge from your netbook's long-ish life battery.

Obama to backtrack on NASA Orion cancellation - reports

Gary F
Thumb Down

The Chinese are happy

I bet another national becomes the first to step foot on the moon in this century and I wouldn't be surprised if the Americans are not the first to send a manned mission to another planet.

The Chinese or Indians will probably overtake the US in manned space exploration within the next 20 years.

Perhaps our British government should stop sending £millions in aid to China and use that to boost our own space programme, or maybe spend it on keeping open some of our hospitals that are closing down due to lack of money.

Bioshock 2

Gary F

Nice review, but just a little point...

"A reasonable attempt to follow up on a genuine masterpiece"

Hmm. I would argue that a very talented team spending the last 2 years and a small fortune on developing a sequel is anything but a "reasonable attempt". I'm sure a massive amount of effort was put into the game with every intention of making it as good or better than the original.

A "reasonable attempt" is when several guys spend a couple of months rehashing the original in their lunch hour. If the game falls short of expectations then can I suggest the words "valiant attempt" would be more accurate given the huge effort that was actually put into the sequel?

BTW, I have no connections to the developers, I just couldn't understand why a company would only make a reasonable attempt at a sequel given the massive costs involved.

Bloke threatens BT with giant plywood cheque

Gary F

The best of both...

Dave - the best example of British grit, stubbornness and humour.

BT - the best example of dumb-ass corporates that are incapable of communicating properly and dealing with customers in a professional manner.

My money is on Dave. Good luck, pal.

Google Checkout checks out

Gary F

All their services have poor support

I'm a paying Google Apps and AdWords customer and find it very difficult to get support. They're happy to take my money but not to provide a support service like most other companies have. You'd think they'd value a paying customer above a non-paying one.

Apple to reveal hallowed iPhone 4.0 on Thursday

Gary F

Wow, it's going to multi-task!

Now when did I last get excited about multi-tasking? Oh yes, in the late 80's when I first saw the Amiga 1000. That was over 20 years ago. Poor little iphone. That is one reason why I rejected you, you mono tasking fashion icon for lemmings.

UK.gov folds over Ordnance Survey map data

Gary F

Yucky openspace

I hope the government give us the raw data files and don't make us do everything via Openspace. Openspace is like a 3rd world version of Google or Bing maps with a terrible interface, limited API and is just very slow and clunky.

Millions wasted on IT: PAC chair parting shot

Gary F

Why wait?

Why do people who have the power to improve things only speak out as they leave their job? He should have spoken up years ago and perhaps a few £million here or there could have been saved and some projects could have been delivered sooner and been more fit for purpose.