* Posts by Ishkandar

603 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2007


UK.gov sacks lead e-Borders contractor


scumbags or toerags ??

Now !! Now !! What have you got against "scumbags or toerags" that you insult them so !! The previous government make Third World governments look like the paragons of virtue by comparison !!

They not only lied to the people but they corrupted the very fabric of society by creating the image that DISHONESTY AND IRRESPONSIBILITY are acceptable since, by their very own conduct, they were constantly dishonest and irresponsible !!

A phone in every car gains hard-won GSMA support


Wonderful idea !!

Now, all they have to do is to add video and record the results. They can then flog the videos as horror movies complete with *REAL* screams in stereophonic sound and make a mint !!

Can't fail !! Love it !! Where do I invest in this ??

MSI brings ultra-skinny laptop to Blighty


Sounds good...

...but it's all marketing blurb. I'd wait to see the real full specs when it hits the streets. One thing that would make or break my decision to buy is whether the battery is removable and whether there is an option of a "fat" battery, i.e. one with a heftier charge that will last me (intermittently, with changes) through a 15 hour flight !!

Hydrogen-powered two-seater car unveiled


How to make a hydrogen bomb - Lesson 1

First get a hydrogen fuel cell.....

Rather changes the meaning of a car bomb !!

Israeli army develops one-eyed robot trouser snake


A one-shot job

Sounds like many guys I know !!

Call for heads to roll over failed spook IT system


@James Boag

Please do *NOT* waste good food !! Tomatoes can still be eaten !! Horse manure, on the other hand,........



"If they don't tell you where all the money is, wire up their genitals to the mains until they do. (I think that's how it's done these days?)"

Actually, it's not !! Apparently, the latest fashion is to bind their hands behind them, stick their heads in a porous hood, lie them down under a steady and controllable source of water (a tap ??) and run water onto their faces until they feel as though they are drowning but not actually so.

I believe it's called "water-boarding" !! Ingenious, these Americans !! And they *never* ever use torture; or so they said !!

Car-prang secretary bites off boss's todger


@AC 12.33

"s it that thing that doesn't happen in your bedroom either?"

Well, it'll take a bloody great lorry to bump the bedroom !!



"What do think the PI used for his case notes? A dicktaphone?"

No, he was probably using a 3G vibrator (phone, that is) !! Full function sound and video and a large storage in the add-on memory card, too !! And he can send the evidence to his client at the press of a button !! Ah, the joys of modern science !!

A warning to all other guys trying this in their car - make sure she takes off her denture first !!

Browncasting: Why can't Downing Street do digital?


Why can't Downing Street do digital?

Crash Gordon is doing digital all the time !! He's sticking two fingers up at us and we have to like it *and* lump it !!

Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service


A shame they are not doing this in London !!

They have at least one guaranteed subscriber, paid for by the taxpayer, for their porn channels !! And if it gives him RSI of the wrist, so much the better !!

20Mb good; 200Mb = instant RSI !!

Barclays heralds new wave of wallet-waving


Contactless cards

I think there are two issues here.

(1) General acceptance of the system

(2) Financial damage limitation

(1) I do not know what the take-up of this will be in the UK but the take up for the Octopus card (Hong Kong's equivalent of the Oyster card) was quite good. Then again, they have nearly a decade headstart on Britain !! I believe that many chain operations like 7-11 and the fast food chains love this and the savings to the chains in terms of staff cost to handle cash transactions easily offset the cost of the transaction charges.

Since the transactions are only registered when the card is within the (short) field range of a reader, the system will not go berserk reading every card within a *wide* range from the reader as someone had suggested earlier. Otherwise this system will be unworkable when there is a load of people on a London bus with three readers on board going berserk reading everyone's cards multiple times !! And any one with multiple such cards should not put them together since it could not only screw up the transaction(s) but the cards can interact and screw each other up. Then again, in nanny state Britain, many people cannot function without someone going around wiping their bums for them !!

(2) The damage limitation part is that you can only lose what money you have put in the card. It has *NO* access to your bank account unless you have specifically asked your card to be automatically topped-up when the card balance is low (which any smart person out there in HK knows is not a good idea especially when the card may be stolen and used repeatedly on small(ish) transactions) !!

Asus keyboard PC due May. Or maybe June


@Alex Walsh

Long before there was the Atari, there were the Apple IIE and the TRS-80 Model 1 Level 2 which were both keyboards with electronics inside them !! The Tandy had the better keyboard but the Apple had the better marketing and the rest, as they say, is history !!

El Reg suffers identity crisis


More pots and kettles

"Functionally an ad-banner trolling site who will publish any rubbish if it'll get clicks, and best ignored. (Senior Wikipedian David Gerard) "

This is extremely rich coming from the senior member of an organisation that " will publish any rubbish if it'll get clicks"

IT Angle

What is El Reg ??

An info-service of the geeks, for the geeks by the geeks !! 'Nuf said !! Sad but true !!

Dominican lad suffers six-day stiffy

IT Angle

Erectile dysfunction at its worst !!

Please spare a kind thought to the poor lad when he has to use his *lap*top !! Why, the keyboard will be slanted in an RSI-inducing angle and he might be unfairly accused of auto-stimulation !!

There, an IT angle (pun intended) !!

UK censors revolt against 'pornalone' ordeal


@Chris Collins

"Surely the reason behind doubling up in the first place."

Well, shurly that depends on *who* you are doubled up with and your personal inclinations, of course !!

The internet is for violent jerks, study finds


Where do these guys come from ??

"China's ministry of health defines a 'net addict as someone who spends at least six hours a day on the web and suffers sleeplessness, lack of concentration, and yearnings to get back online."

If they can't even get their facts straight, how can they expect to be believed ?? Saying that a study of a minority in Taiwan represents the world at large and that the "Chinese ministry" has that definition when any real Chinese ministries are about 1200 miles further north, shows you what kind of a spin this is !!

If they expect to be taken with any seriousness, they should get, at least, most of their facts right !! Otherwise, it would be just like saying that all of America is a lawless, violent land because some guys can just walk up to a school and shoot a number of the people there !! Or that Americans are all crooks because Bernie Madoff set up a massive Ponzi scheme !!

Ten of the Best... laptop stands


And afterwards....???

There seems to be *NO* mention of the transportation aspects of these devices. After all, laptops are used for easy mobile computing and lugging an extra ton of awkward gear around just to keep it cool *shurly* defeats the purpose !!

E.g. how do you get you laptop, man-bag and this bit of kit onto the plane, bypassing those fascist check-in clerks that insist that everything must fit into 50cm by 40 cm by 30 cm space !!

Considering that I do a fair bit of flying around, I would like to know how this will be affected !!

Lexmark E260DN networked mono laser printer



I have a print server at home too *AND* it is also grey. It used to be a 386 running window 3.11 but it now runs linux.

Don't recycle !! Reuse !!

@Simon Ward - Old PCs work just as well and all that is needed is a network card from some "junk" shop and a bit of OS tweaking !!

And my HP2P printer (circa 1990) still works although the cartridges are near impossible to find so refill kits come in handy for the 3 cartridges I still have to hand !!

Unless one is re-writing War and Peace in Klingon, WTF does one need a very powerful, high speed laser printer for anyway ??

Asian IT in good news shock


THey actually have *growth* ??

Shock !! Horror !! What next ?? Back here in Blighted, oops, sorry, I mean Blighty, our dearly beloved PM, Flash Gordon, is going to save the world by forcing the banks to lend money they do not own to people who cannot really afford the repayment on property that cannot retain its purchase price (i.e. ever falling values) !!

When ill-educated louts demand jobs they are unqualified for at salaries and terms of employment that will bankrupt the company, wherefore will we get such news here ??

Gary Glitter expelled from GCSE paper


@Chris W

"Any idea who is considered so squeaky clean as to be on the list?" -

Cliff Richard aka Harry Webb !! From now on all such exams will be based on his music !!

And to think St. Paul used to go round killing Christians until he got hit by a beam of pink light on the road to Damascus !!

Asus N10 notebook-not-netbook


@basically it's a tarted up EEE1000

FYI, Asus did make quite a few Apple machines in the good old days. So they are not exactly starting from scratch !!

That said and despite a big Asus fan, I will *NOT* buy this machine. I fail to see the point of having a good graphics card and then cripple it with a crappy screen !!

This is typed on a 4 year old A6000 series laptop that is used as an Oracle database server and client as well as for playing games and surfing the 'net !! It weights a fair bit but since it is upgraded to max, it will blow many desktops away !!

Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab


Wot ???

Re: " it was inevitable that she would one day be fingered"

Enough to make any real man go all queer !!

As for Gormless Gordon's dabs, that's easy enough. Just ask any Arab leader to make a print of his bottom. I'd bet Gormless Gordon was there earlier !!

Guy Fawkes stunt arrives early


@Chris Matchett

You missed one "e" in your sentence. It should be "pee-ers", not "peers" since they piss on everyone and everything except their right to wallow in the public trough !!

UK.gov apologises for Tory-bashing child database memo


Well, Bell had to apologise...

...because Balls could not live up to his name !!

Virgin cuts broadband to a fiver


The joys of rustic wilderness !!

A mate of mine moved from a little hamlet near Avignon which had *finally* received broadband coverage last year to another hamlet near Bordeaux which has only dial-up service. The "culture shock" was palpable. If people insist on living rustically out in the sticks, they should expect to get the two-tins-on-a-string kind of service !!

Being a lifelong Londoner, I am highly underwhelmed by these complains !! So I pay more for living in London, but I get the benefits, too !! I have no problems with Virgin Broadband (both wired and wireless) !!

WYPIWYG - What You Pay Is What You Get !!

Ancient IT philosophy about peanuts and monkeys !!

Century-old hydropower plant to run on fudge


Storms in a teacup

While you guys are arguing about a little weir, large swathes of the UK are flooded !! Why can't *THAT* water be harnessed to better use than destroying people's homes ??

Facebook rattling tin in Dubai?


@skeptical i

None of the above !! 4 - revisit the entire business model/concept and see where things went wrong. If necessary, cut the losses and run. If not, find out what needs to be done to re-invent the business as a more profitable one !!

Meanwhile, suppress the tech-for-tech's-sake techies who can burn through a million an day simply to get new toys to play with; with total disregard to business needs and wants. At the same time, suppress all those marketing johnnies who will burn money up front with total disregard to the returns on spending (the bottom-line, as the Septics call it) !! Also, keep a tight leash on the bean-counters that can only see the numbers on their spreadsheets with total disregard to the greater ramifications of the business - goodwill, employee happiness and loyalty, customer satisfaction and happiness !!

Been there, seen it and bloody well done it, too !! It helps it you have a previous background as an Axeman, by appointment to some major corporations in the world !!

The last thing they need is a successful salesman as the CEO !! Don't believe me ?? Ask Steve Jobs about the CEO Apple got from Pepsi !! Damn near murdered Apple and flushed it down the pan !!

Feds seize biker gang's trademark


Oh good !!

Now, descendants of Genghis Khan can legally sue the States for copyright infringement since they *ARE* the original Mongols !!

NASA: Google Gulfstreams not science experiments


Dornier ??

A mere toy, I say !! Larry Ellison bought a *real* Russian fighter bomber but the US authorities refused him permission to take it back to the States because he was overheard to remark that he might use it on Redmond. So, now it may be parked near Reading (England, for the Yanks - Oracle's UK HQ) !!

1980s Apricot reborn in noughties as netbook seller


Old Apricots

I still have a working old Apricot with two 3.5 in floppies in the attic which I drag out now and then for a laugh (of the hysterical kind). That machine taught me more about computer selling than any other I can think of !! Was I conned or was I conned ??

If someone wants me to part with my hard-earned dosh for another Apricot branded "product", they've got another think coming !! Over priced, under specced and incompatible with almost everything else in the market !!

How should software developers be paid?



What you have said about investment bankers are so, so true !! They are nothing more than jumped-up, glorified second-hand car salesmen !!

One way to avoid this is to get together a bunch of like-minded people and form your own consultancy/software company. It's what I did after years of busting my arse for unappreciative bosses !!

The downside is when times are hard and you have a wife, kiddies and a mortgage to feed !! However, given a choice, I would still do the same all over again !!

On another subject, there is still no reliable yardstick to measure creativity and I thought that the pay-by-lines-of-code went out with COBOL programmers (I'm old enough to know some of those personally) !!

Abu Dhabi emir rescues Thames Estuary mega-windfarm


The Dastardly Duo

So now, Gormless Gordon and Millibrain V2.0 are claiming credit for Abu Dahbi's petrodollars being spent here !! Things must be getting desperate for that bunch of clowns !! The END is well and truly nigh for them !!

Das überdatabase: Inside Wacky Jacqui's motherbrain

Paris Hilton

Interested parties ??

I will bet anything you like that there will be a lot of "interested parties" - just the very people that the security services want to keep track of !!

Then again, they may not, since all they have to do is to wait for someone to post a CD with all that data in it or leave it in the hard disk of a laptop conveniently left behind !!

Does that silly female with the rabbit-in-the-headlights-look think all this will be secure and that it cannot be circumvented ?? What she knows about security can be written on a postage stamp using an elephant's backside !!

All this will make even Miss Hilton weep !!

The secret history of the internet & its founders


Geek Guide ??

If you are truly a geek, you will already know most of it or know where to get most or all of it without puncturing your precious credit card limit.

But then again, what do I know about the internet ?? I was just an early-to-middling member of UUNET !!

Lehman Excel snafu could cost Barclays dear


Re. WHat should have been used ?

In ascending order of antiquity, Lotus 1-2-3, Supercalc and Visicalc !!

When Visicalc first came out it was an instant hit with the financial community and sold more Apple 2Es than Apple's own marketing did !! This led to a legacy of using spreadsheets for everything in that industry that still exist today, hence this problem !!

As for conversions to PDF, Ghostscript works and its free !! If you don't like it, they will cheerfully refund what you paid for it !!

CA buys IDFocus for identity management boost


Oh No !!

CA (The Kiss of Death) rides again !! Yet another company with a reasonable product will vanish into the dustbin of history because they have been taken over by CA !!

I hope they do a "Visio", where the guy there cried all the way to the bank with a billion dollar cheque from Microsoft in his hands !!

Spectrum Bridge solves the white space problem


More on the financial news

The US is hit by another financial crisis as the sub-prime spectrum market imploded !! Sub-prime spectrum is bundles with some better spectrum and marketed as prime spectrum by unscrupulous dealers . Companies caught holding the toxic, worthless bundles are hoping that sucker, oops I mean succor, will come along to bail them out of the mess they made for themselves.

Now for the other news....

Lithium-ion battery beater to debut in 'major' laptop release



More likely still is when a third party battery maker like GP (Gold Peak) will make them for the various laptops already in the market !! They already make replacement batteries for most mobile phone that retail for a lot less than the equivalent branded ones !!

BTW, I must state categorically that I do not own shares in GP although I wish I did !!

Lehman Brothers' India ops saved from economic meltdown


System integrators ??

Their system integrators couldn't integrate in a drug-fueled orgy; so no great loss there !!

When so called tech people hold degrees in social sciences or media studies, you know the end is nigh !! All yap and no bite !!

Agile development - can’t scale, won’t scale?


A team of 500+

Simple !! Just fire 90% of them including all but one manager !! Any one who did the feasibility and analysis studies and still agree to a team of 500+ should be re-investigates to see if he was ex-Enron !!

I agree with a lot of the comments above that a small, compact design team overseeing several development teams is the best way forward for speed of delivery and agility. However, the main issue of agility is that the original analysis and design *MUST* have that built-in from day one !! Rewriting hardcoded shit is the anti-thesis of agility. Something that I am all too familiar with, unfortunately !!

Like the old military maxim - It's better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it !!

One other issue of agility is what a Russian general said - "Perfection" is the enemy of "good enough" !!

Acer: We’re comin’ at ya, Dell


Acer is going the way of many PC "makers"

Its all "branding" and not that much advantageous in terms of hardware. My last two laptops, in the last three years, have been ASUS which I found to be far better specced that the equivalently priced Acer !! Why TWO, cos one is for my daughter to do her graphics thingies !!

The only two laptop "makers" that actually make their own machines are Lenovo and ASUS. The rest just outsource the manufacturing (badge engineering, to us old farts) !!

Ballmer backs away from 'Vista Capable' legal row



I think the point here is that Microsoft did not specify the *ANY hardware oomph* needed to run Vista and the hardware makers/knocker-uppers simply slapped "Vista ready" on any old rubbish.

It is no different from the "HD ready" labels on TV that may *NOT* be capable of receiving British HD broadcasts !! The best thing for the board of Dixons/Comet/PCWorld is to use the excuse of the credit crunch and fold their companies before they get hit by a blizzard of law suits for HD ready TVs that are not HD ready.

I'm not a fan of Baldy Ballmer but in this instance, he may actually weasel his way out of this one !!

Larry Ellison becomes HP's richest reseller yet


It's all horses for courses

Dell, for all its posturing, has its main market in small to medium sized storage situations. HP has always been into the hunky multi-terabytes market !!

Trying to sell Ladas in the Mercedes Benz market is foolishness in the extreme !!

In any case, heads or tails, Larry still wins !!

BTW the girl in the ASUS EEE advert below looks miles more sexy than the one in the original picture !!

BT claims UK broadband boost breakthrough

Thumb Up

Why bother ??

I have a NTL/Virgin Media line that supplies Phone, TV and broadband and I do not have to faff around with all this nonsense. Perhaps when it snows in hell, we may see BT coming up with something reasonable !!

RM Asus miniBook Plus netbook


Oh Yeah ??

"Schools have been waiting for a highly portable, highly affordable Windows computer that offers good performance and a nice level of functionality."

So have the yobs who want to half-inch them !! Just what they need to feed their drug habits !!

TDK tunnels through hard drive areal density record


@Destroy All Monsters

It was *NOT* Bill Gates that decreed that nobody will want to exceed the 640K limit. It was IBM in its infinite wisdom that did so !! If I am not mistaken, IBM wanted to top end memory to run their emulation/connection software so that the IBM PCs (remember them ??) could be used as terminals for their heavy iron (PC3270 ??).

It was (pre-IBM)Lotus-Intel that first attempted to break that limit !! Now everyone has Gbs of ram and no one thinks twice about it !!

And to think that it was Shugart Associates who first made the hard disks available for small(??) computers and, in the process, invented the Shugart Associates System Interface (SASI) which later evolved into Small Computer System Interface (SCSI), innovation in this field has certainly gone East !!

Now, it seems that the financial industry will follow suit soon !!

Decline and fall of the American Empire !! Or should that be "The Empire strikes out" (to use a baseball term) !!

Ballmer on banking crisis: No one is safe


Found in translation

Ballmer bewails the near demise of Vista and hopes that the mugs, oops sorry, I mean valued customers will buy into Windows 7. However, with massive retrenchments going on in the financial world (his main market), he is worried constipated !!

Full-size Roman siege artillery offered on eBay


@Alex Walsh

NO !! Despite journalistic inaccuracies, this weapon does not *FIRE* ! You can "pull" (as on the trigger lever) or "shoot" (as in ordering some minion to do so) but not "fire" it !! Therefore, it does not need a FIREarms permit !!

However, you may need a local authority permit to put in in your garden as it constitutes a "change of the local scenery" !! You will also need a large tent or tarp or else it will be painted in urban camouflage by the local avian lifeforms !!

I hope this is helpful !!

@If they only got 100 yards range they made it wrong. - The Mongols used glue boiled out of the hooves of their animals (cattle, sheep or horses). It has the remarkable property of being slightly elastic while remaining fairly rigid !! Being organic in nature, it also binds the horn pieces to the wood without too much differences in thermal expansion coefficients. Otherwise, it would have been a tad embarrassing for the Mongol to try and shoot that bow in summer only to find it falling apart in his hands because he made it in winter (when he's resting from his wars) !!

BTW, Mongol bows are known to be effective at 400 yards and will drive through plate armour at 200 yards; something the Byzantine cataphracts discovered to their great dismay. The Mongols also went into battle with a string of ponies, irritated the cataphracts with their archery, forced the heavy cataphracts to chase them, jumped from pony to pony to tire out the Byzantines and then slaughtered them when they were helpless. Not fair, but war is war !!