* Posts by abigsmurf

89 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Apr 2007


Inventor only entitled to share of employer's actual patent earnings


Common sense ruling?

If you could sue for 'potential' earnings rather than actual learnings, you would get all sorts of insane court cases arguing that some pointless, rubbish invention should've sold millions rather than a handful of units.

It would bankrupt countless small companies and discourage any big companies from inventing or producing innovative products.

Microsoft's IE 8 'most widely used browser', rules ASA


@The Bigyin

W3schools is a site about web development, it's not exactly representative of a typical web user. This is something they even say on their stats page.

If I stood outside the "poodle lovers club" and conducted a survey on people's favourite dog breed, would I then be able to accurately state that "90% of the world say that poodles are their favourite dog breed"?

No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed

Paris Hilton

It's all the graduates fault right?

You expect people taking non-vocational courses to have vocational skills? How about *gasp* on the job training? Rather than moan about the lack of skills people have, you could do something about it.

There's nothing more depressing for a graduate web developer to be faced with the following list of 'essential' skills: HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery, Flash, PHP, ASP, c#, SQL, active directory, Linux, Exchange, active directory. That's for a junior position (2 years minimum experience needed naturally).

Chances are, several of those won't be used and will barely be used, the rest can be picked up fairly quickly if you've a decent set of base skills. However, requiring someone to be skilled at all of those before they start is stupid (unless you're offering a high paid position).

Advertise that same position with the bare minimum base skills (markup stuff + the main language they'll use), you'll get 3 times the number of applicants to choose from and you'll find it far easier to find someone not only willing to learn, but willing to do the job for £5-8K a year less than what you'd pay an experienced coder.

Plenty of workplaces are perfectly willing to employ people with a minimal knowledge of Office and train them up, a car garage wouldn't expect someone just out of college to have a huge wealth of knowledge. Why, when it comes to the 'pure' IT roles is there such an unwillingness to provide the training? It can take 3-6 months for someone to gain decent Excel and word skills, why is it so much more unreasonable to allow 3-6 months for a Java programmer to pick up C skills?

Famous 'Invisible Gorilla' trick vid gets sequel



The two events they point out are a bit pathetic. The curtain changing from red to orange over a few seconds isn't noteworthy enough to care about and the girl who left did so by using the gorilla as cover.

They miss the point of the original which inspired a reaction of "how on earth did I miss that?!?!". This is more a case of "how was I supposed to notice that?"

Amazon.co.uk takes on Tesco


Sounds interesting

They're taking a big risk linking this to Amazon prime. If someone does their weekly shop with this they'll take a massive hit.

Hope they make good on their promise for import foods. I want some of those awesome kit-kat flavours they get in Japan.

O2 limits unlimited broadband packages


Not happy with O2

Haven't got a bandwidth letter from them (think my line is unbundled) but I have noticed a massive drop in connection speed. I've gone from downloading at around 650k/s to less than 300k/s.

Looking at switching, especially as my line should be 20mbps by the end of the year. Any recommendations for a non-limiting ISP?

San Francisco's rogue BOFH is guilty



Why are jurors allowed to come out and talk about trials like that?

Surely the prospect of jurors hoping for juicy interviews when a trial ends could interfere with justice.

Microsoft's FUD goes mobile

Paris Hilton

Reaching much?

This kind of speculation when zero information has been given is pointless.

It could be Microsoft cashing in their linux patents

It could be them licensing stuff like FAT32

It could be anything

Writing an article based on so little information is like responding to a press release from the police saying they have found a body in London by writing "A body has been found... could the queen have been murdered?!?!"

'iPhone 4G' loser outed



Gizmodo are handling stolen property, they've vandalised said property. They've publicly named the poor sap who lost it...

Wow. That website seems to have some right scumbags for journalists.

This is the same website that thought it was hilarious a few years back to take a universal remote to CES and turn off all the TVs in as many stands as they could. They even did this during important presentations.

Election algorithm gives Tories sunnier outlook


Inaccurate polls

I suspect we'll see a Bush effect this time with the polls. There are so many people aggressively anti-Tory that lots of people will lie about voting for someone else (just like lots of people didn't want to admit to voting for Bush)

Erotic trojan keelhauls Japanese pirates



Given School Days (another visual novel by these guys) was famous for it's incredibly violent endings if you were caught cheating, I'd imagine you'd need to be very careful when using the USB attachment...

(yes I know far too much about these things)

Pixel Qi sunlight-readable colour e-paper inbound


relatively interested

Hoping they can do a 6-8" version with a resolution better than 800 x 600. Current e-readers have stagnated a bit in terms of screen tech.

Paris Hilton crowned 'Worst Actress of the Decade'


Battlefield Earth...

Worse than Norbit or The Hottie and Nottie? It was a bad film but those were offensively bad.

Windows Phone Classic to coexist with Windows Phone 7


Windows Phone classic will stay for a while

Because Windows Phone 7 is not designed to work on small, cheap, non-touchscreen phones.

Firefox-based attack wreaks havoc on IRC users


All lies!

Firefox doesn't get viruses and exploits! It's perfect because it is open source! This is clearly filthy slander spread by M$!

'Tightly bound' stars seen locked in 'diabolic strip waltz'


Image doesn't seem real

Given how speccly ultra long range pics tend to be, that's a very detailed image. How much 'enhancing' has been done?

Also has there actually been any explanation of how black holes are able to project those narrow matter/light streams when they suck up objects of huge mass?

Bloated Office 2010 kicks dirt in face of old computers

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Spin much?

I know The Register hates MS but the amount of spin in this article is approaching Daily Mail levels.

The jist of the story : Office 2010 has the same hardware requirements as 2007 but uses a bit more disk space.

The Register article : Office 2010 is so full of bloat that anything other than the latest machines will struggle! Microsoft just keep making Office slower and slower!

Yes it uses a bit more disc space but office computers are hardly going to burst into flames because they need to use 500mb more space.

Exploit code for potent IE zero-day bug goes wild


@Mark Eaton-Park

Because making software companies liable for bugs in software is unbelievably stupid, especially in software offered for free. Would you like Mozilla to be bankrupted the next time a firefox bug is exploited?

IE is attacked often because it's the most popular browser. It (IE8 at least) actually has much better protection against exploits than Firefox. If people actually had these enabled, this exploit wouldn't have been possible.

Firefox has had bugs that have been left unpatched for long enough for an exploit to be potentially coded for it. However exploits are increasingly targetting plugins like flash and PDF. I've caught incredibly hard to remove viruses browsing with Firefox (doing nothing other than visiting a page). They even managed to get past my virus scanner (which only detected it once it was too late)

Nvidia hints at Tegra 2 intro at CES


Next Gen portable consoles

It's pretty much expected that the DS2 will use a die shrunk, clock boosted version of what's currently in the Zune and that the PSP2 will use the Tegra 2.

Fairly exciting stuff, the DS2 should be slightly more powerful than the PSP(1) and the PSP2, if the rumours are to be believed, should have capabilities comparable to that of the Wii.

HTC rises to challenge after Android struggles in Europe


Cheaper models

HTC need to come out with their own answer to the T-Mobile Pulse. Their current 'budget' handset, the Tattoo, is double the price of the Pulse and crippled with a QVGA screen not supported by most apps.

Also, I wish the carriers would get their act together with data and give me included data on contracts under £25 without having to spend extra for a bolt on. Surely in this day and age, data should be seen just as important as texting and calls, especially given how much promotion there is for stuff like emailing, facebook etc.

Web service automates WordPress password cracking


Doesn't make sense

Even if it was a fast loading wordpress site, wouldn't you be looking at something like 2-3 guesses a second? You could probably ramp it up to 20 or so a second with multiple systems attacking but you'd be limited by how many mysql connections the site can take.

That would be painfully slow for any password above 4 letters.

Prevx blames Microsoft for black hawk screen down


Let me guess...

More developers using undocumented, unsupported features coming unstuck when they've written code designed around these? Security software is among the worst for using rootkit techniques or other questionable methods for embedding themselves in windows.

Why Microsoft's IE 9 will frustrate standards fans


MS can't win with HTML 5

HTML5 is not a standard yet. If MS implement something as part of HTML 5 and it doesn't become a standard, they'll get slated heavily.

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala


@Andrew Yeomans

Windows 7 has 3-4 times the installed (desktop) user base of Linux as a whole. You've then got to narrow that figure down to people who have Ubuntu THEN you've got to narrow it down further to people who have upgraded.

Not to mention that people have been installing and upgrading to Windows 7 for months so they've had a lot more time to ask help for these problems and the fact that Windows 7 users on average are less techie and more likely to need to ask for help.

Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice



If you actually read the EULA, you would know that if you do not agree to the terms, you are entitled to a full refund. It is not post purchase because in any real sense, it isn't purchased until you you agree to the EULA.

Besides which, it seems the majority of people here are missing the point of the article. MS aren't saying the hack itself is wrong, they're saying it's wrong to use it on a new PC with no OS licenced to it.

Firefox blocks and backtracks on 'insecure' MS add-ons


@Captain Underpants & Jeremy

Microsoft aren't the first people to secretly install add-ons to Firefox (and other browsers) but they are the first non-malware developers I've seen who have been blacklisted like this.

Not to mention everyone is glossing over this simple fact: Firefox has a kill switch in it. Why is this not a big deal to anyone? You're almost certainly able to turn it off but buggered if I know how. I didn't even know firefox had the capability to remotely deactivate plugins.

Gates Halo

Doesn't look good for Mozilla

I've never once seen that "your add on has been blocked" message and I've plenty of add ons which at some point or other had vulnerabilities but an MS add on has a vulnerability that was patched quickly but still resulted in a scary blacklist notice that non-techies won't understand for pretty much every user? Not only that, it's turned out it was a false alarm?

If MS remotely blocked someone else's software in this manner, people would be screaming bloody murder.

Ballmer mixed on Windows 7's success


Two different subjects, not mixed messages

The quotes are referring to two different areas: how W7 will affect new PC Sales and how it will effect Microsoft's profits. To give two different answers to different questions isn't exactly sending mixed messages. Last time I checked there are ways to get Windows 7 that don't involve the purchasing of a new PC so it's not exactly impossible for a surge in MS OS sales to only result in a minor increase in new PC sales.

How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party


@anonymous coward

As I said, their aim is to get people talking about Windows 7, they're likely targetting tech people first because they will spread this virally. You really think Joe public buying a computer doesn't know what Windows is? With campaigns like these, the name Windows 7 sticks in their mind, either because they overheard a techie talking about it or because they got sent an email with a link to the advert.

When a sales person say "and this PC comes with Windows 7" it'll spark up and "oooh, I've heard people talking about this" response and they'll be at least a bit curious. Better yet (for the marketing people) it could even prompt users to ask sales people "what this windows 7 thing is? How is it different to my windows?".


Clever campaign

Pretty much every major tech site and some regular news outlets are talking about this. Even with a good solid ad campaign it wouldn't have gotten this much coverage reminding people that Windows 7 launches soon.

MS likely made this as horribly cheesy as possible. They'll know much people remember tuppaware parties as being cringeworthy. They don't expect people to host these parties, they expect people to talk about the ads and think about the Win7 launch.

Microsoft howls as Google turns IE into Chrome


Considering switching from Firefox

Slow to load up, hard-drive thrashing when typing in URLS, several viral infections (most malware has switched to targeting plugins rather than browsers), too many intrusive updates (do I really need weekly updates to a simple flv download plugin?), lack of feedback for when javascript messes up.

I'm no longer seeing a huge benefit from using firefox over other browsers

Intel Core i5-750 and Core i7-870



Find it a bit odd Intel didn't send out the 860 to benchmarkers, the 870 is stupidly over priced for the marginal clock bump over the 860.

That said, the reasonably priced, lowish power 750 is clearly designed to hurt AMD (although the comparatively expensive motherboards prevent the intels matching AMD) and they want to show off the most powerful of the new line. Guess showing off the 860 would just highlight the bizarre 870 asking price.

I've placed an order for a 860 to replace my e6750, should be quite a nice performance boost when coupled with the new ATIs that get shown off tomorrow.

Dole bludger fined for BNP leak

Big Brother

Disgusting comments

Sorry, this was a confidential data list it should have been protected. To say "it's ok because it's a group we don't like" is as fascist as any of the BNP's policies.

Public interest? I can't remember the exact quote but a good saying is "just because something is of interest to the public, that doesn't mean it is in the public interest". Do you really want McCarthy style witchhunts for unpopular politics? Do you believe freedom of speech means "freedom to say anything I approve of"?

How many more draconian laws do we have to have introduced to protect the nation from such dangers as terrorists, pedophiles... couples who enjoy a bit of kinky sex, tall photographers. The attitude of 'it's ok because it's the BNP' is a prime example of why the country is in such a sorry state.

Intel says data centers much too cold


More than one reason for keeping cool.

If you're keeping the whole room at 80F, that's going to be pretty unpleasant for any technicians who have to do work in there.

Interoperability eludes Office and OpenOfffice


Why is it MS' fault?

Love the automatic blaming of Microsoft

Office can't open someone else's file based on an open spec - It's microsoft's fault!

Someone else can't open Office's files based on an open spec - it's Microsoft's fault!

Office can produce ODF documents that are 100% compliant with the spec and OO can't display them - it's Microsoft's fault!

Electropulse weapon fear spreads to UK politicos


@The Metal Cod

EMP blasts are a known by-product of nukes. They'll fry most electronics within a certain distance. However they'll also literally fry them from the main blast itself making this a bit pointless.

I've seen a PC undergo a full on EMP in a special chamber. It switched on but the bios was reset and the boot sector of the HDD was erased. Basically gave a 'disk read error'. Seemed intact other than the massive data loss.


Limited effectiveness

From what I've read about EMP blasts they have such a small range that you'd basically be better off using a nuke.

Most of the most sensative electronics have a fair amount of shielding to begin with.

Most IT pros not planning on Windows 7 rollout


Pointless survey

So... are those 50% of offices that 'had no plans' to upgrade to XP back in the day still using Win98 or 2K?

40% of offices already planning to upgrade isn't exactly unimpressive.

Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

Paris Hilton

Is this notable?

I'm sure you've been able to buy boiled eggs as a lunch snack in the supermarket in the same fridge where you get pasties and scotch eggs. Am I missing something?

Nurse Lovelace gives hardened lag 55-hour stiffy


Telling quote

"Yaduallah's lawyer, Elmer Keach III, said: "The medical literature is clear that if you see a doctor within 24 hours, you generally won't have any permanent damage. He didn't see a doctor for over two days.""

That's a bit like saying 'its not our fault the patient died of a heart attack caused by us giving him too much medication! He should've gone to hospital when he experienced chest pains!'. It should would've been painful and possibly required nasty surgery to correct. The fact he was a convict doesn't change anything. Last time I checked "severe mutilation" isn't a punishment you'd expect in a civilised society.

EC rejects Microsoft's browser promises


EC have lost it

So now Microsoft are required to include Internet explorer now? Removing IE puts it on an equal pegging with other browsers. This is incredibly idiotic from the EC and shows up just how stupid this whole investigation is.

I don't want my PCs bloated up with 10 different browsers, I don't want the installation process for Windows to take 3 times as long because I have to choose between 10 or so different text editors, paint programs, browsers, calculators etc.

Cartoon lion urges Lancs kids to dob in terrorist classmates



Not sure if you meant to imply they were spinning/lying about Guy Fawkes getting some of his religious views whilst at school. It was thought that he did indeed cement his views on Catholicism place in England whilst at York and that some of the people he conspired with attended with him.

But then it's kind of stupid him being a figure head for anarchists like he has recently. He wasn't an anarchist, he wanted to forcibly install a government that shared his religious views.

Win 7 RC fails to thwart well-known hacker risk



You're really stretching for this one.

This 'bug' is in place because it's what users want. There's no real way to defend against user stupidity. Pretty much every program known to man will warn you when downloading an executable, they'll definitely warn you if you try and open a download.

That aside, it takes what, 10 seconds to unhide extensions?

Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners

Paris Hilton


"And Microsoft wonders why European regulators are so willing to see the company in court. But then, hey, they are a bunch of latte-drinking, European socialists - what would they know about liberty and the spirit of free enterprise, the hallmarks of capitalism and Microsoft?"

Wait... You moan about the lack of media player in starter edition then you follow it up with that paragraph?

Most of the restrictions to the starter edition are likely because of worries that regulators will accuse them of undercutting opposition if they provide a near identical version that they sell cheaper for netbooks.

Gov figures show IT jobs crisis

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IT employment is a mess

"The ten skills most often requested by employers are SQL, C, C#, .NET, SQL SVR, Java, Oracle, ASP, C++ and Unix"

Yes and they want them all from the same person for one job. At a low wage. 2 years experience minimum.

The IT industry is a horrible place to break into, especially with regards to programming. The range of skills needed are obscene and no one is willing to train people. When I was job hunting and narrowing searches down to junior or trainee positions. You'd almost never see real trainee jobs. You'd see jobs asking for experienced people but they don't want to pay decent wages for it.

Offer on the job training, focus on getting specialised people (someone who can do beautiful HTML and CSS may produce horrible PHP) rather than expecting job applicants to be all round gurus and pay wages that reflect the level of skill. Someone who can code well in 10 languages shouldn't have the same entry level wage as someone who has standard MS Office skills.

IPCC U-turn on Tomlinson CCTV


mountain out of a molehill?

It's not exactly fair to call this a U-turn (or to call the officer a liar), he was right in so much there were no government CCTVs and he wouldn't exactly know if private businesses would have CCTV pointing into the street that could've caught the incident.

Rather than nitpicking over everything and getting scores of conflicting reports from videos, witnesses, police and family members just wait for the report, then react to that. It didn't exactly help with the Demenzies enquiry having the press obsessively reporting on any and all information they could come across.

I'm already suspicious at the story that it was just someone on the way back from work not bothering the police when there are two videos over an hour apart both showing him getting into bother with the police.

Who snapped first?


Not telling the whole story

Given that there's apparently video evidence of the man 85 minutes from the main video doesn't that kinda prove that this man wasn't just simply walking back from work to catch a millwall game?

There's been a big media frenzy over the actions of the police but what was he actually doing? He was hit by the police then, 85 minutes later he was hit again by the police and had a heart attack. Being the innocent victim caught in the crossfire once is more than possible, being caught twice? You'd have thought after the first incident he would've tried to get home ASAP.

Not excusing the police but the facts on both sides don't add up. Remains for the coroner to decide if his heart attack was due to his fitness or if the police's actions directly caused it I suppose. I am interested to know what went on between the two videos though.

Report: Legalising drugs would save UK plc huge packet

Paris Hilton

@Jim Kirby @Richard

The report not only says that drugs could be taxed, it suggests levels of tax so don't tell me to shut up or call me an idiot.

"An Independent Drug Monitoring Unit estimate, quoted in the report, suggests up to £1.3bn could be generated by a £1 per gram tax on cannabis resin and £2 per gram on skunk.".

That's roughly £4 an 1/8 in tax on top of the other costs and profit margins.

Oh, and people selling cigarettes with no tax paid on them is still a pretty big problem.

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Questionable conclusions

ok, many drug users turn to crime to feed their expensive habbits... How will this change if you legalise the drugs then heavily tax them making them just as or almost as expensive?

If you legalise cannabis, would the dealers really decide that they no longer want to make money from crime and give up rather than moving on to dealing harder drugs (or taking up an alternative type of crime) to continue making money?

Girls Aloud obscenity trial delayed

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We all know how this is going to turn out.

There's no freedom of speech or expression in this country, especially when it comes to sexual matters. Not content with criminalising consenting adults filming themselves, putting 18 year olds on the sex offenders register for photographing their 17 year old girlfriends in the nude, criminalising juvenile doodles of simpsons characters, the government now has to turn to fanfics.

Clearly writing poorly constructed ficitonal stories about your fantasies is responsible for all that is wrong with the UK! We need to ban this sick filth! Those Ron Weasley x Harry Potter stories are responsible for billions of child abuse cases every week in the UK!

Sadly once these laws are in place, pending a EU human rights appeal, they will NEVER get overturned or repealed. What politician is going to stick their neck out and defend porn in public with our tabloids?

Emigrating to the US looks increasingly tempting each passing day.