* Posts by Andrew

42 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Mar 2008

London to become Europe's e-car capital, says Mayor


Cracking the chicken and egg

In the development of a new energy distribution and usage system, the private sector is far too slow - the chicken and egg situation means nobody will buy electric till the charging infrastructure is in place, but nobody will build the infrastructure till there is a demand.

This is a pretty impressive commitment to creating a viable infrastructure. Once that's done, the market (perhaps with continuing subsidies as the technology matures) will develop and grow rapidly.

Obama embarks on car emissions cutback



For the sanity of readers who have a clue, please please please state mpg (imperial) or mpg (US) in the article - defining your units at the end of the article is more than a bit silly.

BBC goes live... over Wi-Fi


Wifi/smartphone only?

Since when did (or should) the connection methodology or the platform used matter? Why suddenly is it important to stream TV to wirelessly connected smartphones but still not a good idea to stream to wired PCs?

Let's see if we can't come up with a slashdot car analogy... Isn't this like selling petrol which will only power blue cars?

Oh, and when will iplayer-dl have a version to handle the live stream?

Who reads The Register?

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Talk about loaded questions

"Why do you read the register?" (with no write in space) etc. And as for the selection of jobs! With carefully selected enough questions, it's possible to make people say whatever you want.

M&S to sell Elonex netbooks

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"If you lose it on a train..."

Good to see they're pitching them to Her Majesty's Government. The savings to the tax-payer could be substantial.

Picasa for fanboys arrives


re A J Stiles

The Linux version is binary only, so you cannot "compile it on a Mac." It's mostly identical to the Windows version but with a specially modified version of Wine bundled with it. Presumably the Mac version will be implemented similarly - Google Earth works the same way in Linux.

More execs quit Phorm


Let me be the first to say...

Pheck off, phorm/121Media spyware.

Royal Navy completes Windows for Submarines™ rollout


Re "USS Vincennes Airbus disaster?"

@AC and others: Are _you_ serious? You've read the (US released) transcript and would have pressed the button yourself? This here is the problem. Similar to the linked BBC article, you've taken what the people who shot down the airliner said, and not done any research. Would you take Osama bin Laden's word on whether those in the Twin Towers deserved what they got?

There's more to it than the transcript. Four examples: 1. The ship attempted to contact the aircraft on military frequencies; correct (civilian) frequencies were not tried. 2. The ship's crew, and captain, had up to date civilian air schedules and the plane was flying bang on time, to schedule. 3. The aircraft had its (civilian) transponder on. 4. The ship was sitting directly under the flight path for the main airport in Tehran, challenging every aircraft entering or leaving the airport, and had repeatedly been asked to move by Iran for being over-aggressive - the Iranians were correctly worried that it was inviting disaster.

The commander was trigger happy, and shot down a correctly operated civilian aircraft containing 300 people. And nothing was done about it. There was no accident, but rather a complete disregard for procedures, human life and foreign sovereign powers.

to the reg: To imply that it was in any way connected to the ship's computer systems would be akin to blaming the first world war on the car Franz Ferdinand was in, as it didn't protect him from the bullet.

Nintendo whacked with $5m Wii strap lawsuit


Another stupid American

Seriously, how can she be taken seriously? Why not sue shoe manufacturers too? I'm sure if you flung your shoe at full force at the telly repeatedly while holding onto only the lace, the lace would eventually break.

Does that mean the shoe manufacturer broke your telly?

And 5 million dollars?? For a broken telly?? Seriously. When can we build that wall to stop them getting out?

Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page


Mike Godwin

Wikimedia general counsel Mike Godwin said: "...

Who cares what that Nazi has to say?


IBM drops Power7 drain in 'Blue Waters'


The question on everyone's lips...

Will it run Vista?

American 'football' goes 3D



I never realised there were so many easily-offended Americans reading the Register.

Reg, I like this angle. Can we also start referring to al-Qaeda as "terrorists", and keep the real term just for the obviously more legitimate IRA, ETA, LRA et al?

Hands-free kits make drivers even more dangerous



Aren't those driving while talking on the phone merely a subset of those driving while being an idiot?

And doesn't the sentence "...one mitigates the risk by using hands-free equipment and keeping calls to a minimum" contradict the entire point of the article, since the whole point is that one can NOT mitigate the risk by using a hands-free kit?

Half Life hacker refused FBI sting bait

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I'd always assumed that extradition was for serious crimes.

Like you know, war crimes. Crimes against humanity. Maybe even regular old murder, if the case is compelling that the host country won't give a fair or balanced trial.

It's a sad thing that it is now used to chase "Crimes against US businesses," especially considering how international-law-proof US citizens (civilian and military) now are.

Now I know this is just a "They might go down this road" speculation, but the case of the deluded UFO-seeking idiot Gary McKinnon seems even more extreme than this.

'Series of Tubes' Senator convicted of corruption



A simple analogy normally suffices to explain to Joe Blogs/Joe the plumber what's going on.

What made this mock-worthy was, as has already been pointed out:

1) He mucked up the line (missing out the critical word _like_ )

2) He mucked up the whole speech (eg "internet" etc)

3) He clearly had no deeper grasp of the matters beyond the analogy he himself was using

4) His repeated use of words like "commercial" to mean "stuff that the people paying me can't make additional money from"

5) From all the above, he clearly has no real understanding of how the internet currently works

6) He was in a position to pass legislation on how it should work

Shuttleworth on Ubuntu: It ain't about the money


@ Solomon Grundy, AC and Toastan Buttar

What is so hard to understand about services as a business model? How many people are kept employed supporting Windows boxes? They do not make money selling Windows, but in the current IT world knowledge of the systems installed on computers is worth cold, hard cash to many people.

BT's Phorm small print: It's all your fault


Email them!

The address is website-exclusion@webwise.com - I strongly suggest that all website owners email them using the strongest possible terms.

It's also worth noting that although they claim you can modify robots.txt to block them, it obeys the rules for three agents - googlebot, slurp (Yahoo) and *. In other words if you wish to appear on any search engines, they don't let you block them.

Honda shows Insight hybrid in Europe


@Paul Murphy

Great suggestion, you just described a full series plugin hybrid system. This is a mild parallel hybrid system.

It's also possible to strap wings to the outside and fly ('aeroplane'), waterproof the bottom and put a screw on it ('boat') or string several of them together on special steel tracks ('train').

To say "Why don't they just..." and describe a different technology is as useful as looking at a new desktop PC and saying "Why couldn't they just put it in a small case and hinge the screen into a lid that can cover the keyboard when folded away, then integrate a UPS and optimise the components for low power usage?"

Tiny MyCar named electric vehicle of the year

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Low tech solution

It's good to see low-tech solutions to transportation being taken to market. Too many solutions attempt to throw massive, complex, highly polluting technology at the issue (Prius, I'm looking at you) while a simpler solution would fit 90% of most people's needs. Make it small and light and hey presto, it doesn't need thousands of kWh of li-ion batteries to get a useful range.

That said, I'll stick with my bike (or train on wet days) for the daily 14 mile commute. Beats the traffic, keeps me fit and costs a fraction of using the car. But a simple electric vehicle is definitely on my future purchase list.

Stob latest: It was a cunning trick, says Open University


Paper withdrawn from IEEE

Did the reg contact IEEE (who published the paper)? The link to the paper given in the OU's question takes you to their page where it is stated that, due to plagiarism, the paper "has been found to be in violation of IEEE's Publication Principles."

So IEEE have apparently eaten a slab of humble pie - will that pass a bit more incentive to OU to do the same?

ITV gets adverts into video


Sounds like...

... ITV have created another good idea to use pirate sites. Way to go - maybe you can add some DRM to royally piss off your customers a bit more?

Marketing body condemns 'draconian' Olympic law

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Spread the word

Anyone who keeps a blog or website - let people know about this (like here - monthofsaturdays.net/diary.php ). Legislation like this goes so far against the stated aims of the games (peace, harmony, achievement etc) that it kills the spirit. China was how it WASN'T meant to be done - it shouldn't be used as a blueprint.

Windows Live third wave washes up

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Yours now...

...with more bleeding-eye advertising, vendor tie-in, incompatibilities and insecurity than any other online service! Why miss out?

Seriously, though, in any other environment the sane explanation for online services and software is that they are browser and platform independent, easily accessible, etc. Is there any possible customer-centred reason why the MS Live stuff is better than desktop software?

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


Hacker's dream?

I don't see anything in that picture that differentiates it from any other laptop I've seen inside. So the memory and hard disk can be upgraded, and other peripherals are installed in standard slots. Am I missing something?

Boffins produce aerobatic copycat-copter pilotware

Dead Vulture

And now for my final trick...

... the "hard forced auto-rotating landing on uneven ground due to an exhaust pipe failure."

That was how a depressing number of my radio-controlled helicopter days ended. There were a couple of notable exceptions, including the "Glasgow Neds Nick the landed 'Copter" manoeuvre. Sadly they'd waited till the engine was off before surfacing. Or I could have practiced my "Glasgow Neds get Hands, Arms chopped" sequence.

Dead bird... for obvious reasons...

US to give some rendition info at Gitmo trial

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Let's get this straight

A man is arrested, looking pretty guilty, by a foreign government. He is then held without charge for two years, in a temporary prison camp.

He then 'disappears' for two years, during which he says (not unreasonably) that he was tortured in multiple ways, in other third-party countries.

After signing a confession which could carry a death penalty, he magically reappears in the temporary prison camp, still without any formal charges.

He then faces a military tribunal (not a real court), which refuses to tell his lawyers ANYTHING about what happened in those two 'missing' years, and hold the threat of execution over his head.

If this man was American, and the country holding him was, say Iran, would this not be seen by most Americans as a good reason to invade? And all our country can do is hand over a highly censored, barely useful file of what some of our people might know?

Guantanamo is an absolute disgrace to the entire world. It should be shut down if it was run by Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan or Iran, but at least it would be more or less expected in some of those countries. But running a joint like this strips the US of each and every claim to moral superiority to any other country in the world. Being complicit in its running puts the UK only slightly behind the US in the race to become the most morally bankrupt and hypocritical state in the West.

Dabs.com courier goes titsup


Dabs - why bother?

This is the company that puts everything (last thing I bought from then was an SD card) into an 18"x12" cardboard box, and then charges £7 surcharge to send said box of air to Northern Ireland and/or remote corners of Scotland?

Why am I not upset to hear they've got problems in the delivery department? Couriers have their place, but so does ye olde humble Royal Mail, at 26p to anywhere in the UK.

Street View spycars need some TLC


That garage...

...I used to sit on its roof scoffing penny sweets with rebellious mates of mine, aged 12 3/4. Particularly good spot as you could escape in any one of 3 directions when spotted, you could hide behind the skylights on the garage roof and the black roofing felt warmed it up to a pleasant sunbathing temperature in even the lightest sun (a rare event in Edinburgh...)

Childhood innocence, ruined by Google. Now any old 2.0 hoods will find that spot.

English Channel defeats one-armed Frenchman

IT Angle

Beer and chips...

...just as well all that beer didn't leave him legless

Top Tory resigns on principle over 42 days bill

Paris Hilton

So let's get this straight...

Incredible - a Tory standing up against Labour in support of civil liberties, in protest at a bill which passed, despite an enormous rebellion, due to the corrupted support of a few supposedly principled Northern Irish MPs.

Politics got even more confused yesterday. How long before the BNP set up a immigrant support centre to help educated refugees seeking British nationality to get to work and help us prop up our faltering economy?

Paris, of course, cos she's a whole lot less confused than those leading our country.

BAE's man in the MoD taken aside by feds in Miami

Paris Hilton

I said it on the last article...

and I'll say it again here.

Anything that makes the life of these corrupt, evil scumbags that little bit more difficult should be welcomed with open arms by all who value the human lives that they are in the business of destroying.

While the so-called 'civilised' UK was busy snifflingly admitting to shuffling vast sums of money into rich princes' accounts in one of the most repressive countries in the world (post war Iraq eat your heart out) in order to secure a lucrative deal on killing machines, South African port workers were setting an example of what might happen if individual men and women stood to be counted: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7356467.stm

Paris because even her morals put these scum to shame.

BAE chief exec, director detained at US airports


Good on them

This is a company which makes billions by through illegal contracts to sell killing, death and war into the part of the world which, thanks to the West, has known little else for generations. They are then protected by the UK government, smelling the cash and surrendering to threats made by the scum of the earth, demonic 'Princes' and their demented, repressive regime.

More power to any country that will give these assholes the treatment they deserve, no matter what their nationality or business. All US hypocrisy aside (and there's plenty of Americans who could do with a bit of the same treatment, perhaps starting with GWB and his handlers), the more abuse arms dealers get when travelling the world, the better.

Is Vista ready for Business?



Vista is built with the ability to block the user, watch the user and report home on the user as an integral 'feature.'

You can be sure that's not the same as an OS designed to empower the user protect itself and the user's data.

Defective by design? The only reason it's on so many people's home computers is the difficulty of getting new machines with XP, or any better OS, on them.

Rogue MP3 Trojan streaks across P2P networks



The eternal /. question - does it run Linux?


Jacqui Smith un-downgrades cannabis


What's wrong with our system?

Here's the problem:

"David Davies, Tory shadow Home Secretary, welcomed the decision."

In a sensible system, the left wing party would oppose this sort of move while the right wing would propose it. Healthy debate would ensue.

In our current system, nulabour propose it while the cheerleading tories simply say it's a shame we can't string them up on the first suspicion of an offence.

Unicaresoft loses MSNLock case against Microsoft


Remebering all those pesky pseudonyms

"Jacqueline Smit"

"Jacqui Smith"

Coincidence? You decide...

Japan to tax MP3 players


Immunity from prosecution for coyping

This sort of charge is an averaged, collective punishment pre-emptively levelled against all possible offenders. Notwithstanding that collective punishments are illegal in most domestic and international law systems, I would accept this on one condition. All music sharing is legalised.

The only reason I'd offer this compromise is that the music industry wouldn't accept it, and rightly so. Music should not be 'shared' when the producers don't want it to be.

But if the music industry want to punish me for listening to my music on my player, while simultaneously tying my hands with laws against listening to it on my player, extending copyright indefinitely and loading the system completely against the consumer, they are welcome to shoot themselves in the foot, as they managed in Canada.

Penguin because my computer's immune to Sony-style shenanigans.

Boffins build safer, more capacious lithium-ion battery


@James Pickett

True, electric vehicles are not the magic 'green card' they are treated as - any more than fuel cell, hydrogen, compressed air, etc.

However, as hybrid diesel-electric powertrains have shown, unlinking the power generation from the power usage can have dramatic effects, even when the power generation (engine+generator) must be carried on board. When you can put it in a building, generating many hundreds or thousands of times the power, it can be vastly more efficient. You can also replace the power station with greener technology in the future.

Black Helicopters

Not just laptops...

There are any number of applications waiting for lighter/denser/longer lasting/more stable batteries. These include electric and hybrid electric vehicles, aircraft and small scale green energy projects.

Current Lithium Ion batteries have about 1/10 the energy density of liquid fossil fuels. Current internal combustion engines are around 30% efficient, where electric drive trains are around 90%. This means that increasing the energy density in the batteries by 3 times means they can directly compete with fossil fuels for energy storage for transportation.

Black helicopter because maybe one day these too will be electric... and silent...

United Airlines clips Boeing 777 fleet's wings


@ SImon Hobson

Thanks - was going to say exactly the same.

@ Tim - If they published within a month, do you really think you'd trust their results? Or would you be crying "Coverup" at the top of your lungs?

I did work experience at the AAIB for 4 weeks while studying Aeronautical Engineering. If you want to see the type of investigation the AAIB publish, go look at their website, and try to imagine how many manhours go into each report - all are publicly available at http://www.aaib.gov.uk/publications/index.cfm

Bladerunner and biometrics: Heathrow T5 unveiled

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Physical Phorm?

Am I alone in thinking that this won't be a pleasant, calming experience?

'an "intelligent building"'

'programmed to understand how human beings work'

'the advertising is strategically manipulated to ensure it operates on the human mind to maximum effect.'

'...vast array of information collection points enable it to tell passengers... what to do'

'"We'd like to make that money back."

'lucrative adverts'

Red Green Ken v Porsche in battle of the polls


Good idea

This legislation would go a long way towards fixing the current slightly arbitrary system, highlighted by Top Gear; a Lexus 4x4, at around 30mpg, pays no congestion charge since it is a hybrid, while high efficiency conventional vehicles pay the full whack, despite using less road space, fuel, materials, causing less road wear, etc.