* Posts by Humph

46 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Apr 2008

Vote now for the WORST movie EVER


But, but, but ...

... where's Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?

Quite possibly the worst film ever made.

Ballmer gets tough with girly Microsoft partners



"... while Microsoft looks 10 years ahead"

Like they were doing when that Internet thing caught them wrong-footed a few years ago?

KIlling ID cards and the NIR - the Tory and LibDem plans



Title: K[i]lling ID [C]ards and the NIR - the Tory and LibDem [P]lans

Page 2, Para. 1: "... as it was when my [R]ight [H]on. friend was shadow Home Secretary ..."

Becta snuggles up to MS on UK schools licensing shake-up



"That prior to today, the previous Microsoft school agreement required every computer, whether it is a Mac or running Linux - still required a Windows license?"

And BECTArd just handed over the money?

The public sector, it seems, has much to learn about basic economics and/or haggling skills. One still wonders how it is possible to determine that giving a company money is in any way cheaper than not giving a company money.

Why on earth are we conditioning our children to a single vendor's proprietary systems, rather than exposing them to multiple systems? To whine about lack of qualified/trained staff is simply to reinforce the same problem. Why not train the kiddies this generation so they are in a position to capitalize on their knowledge when they enter the job market?

Oh silly me.

Clearly someone is either incredibly dumb, or being given an annual backhander the size of Wales. Can't imagine which one is more likely.

Microsoft begins Security Essentials downloads


Title Required

"Consumers need firewall protection, Web protection, antispam and identity safeguards - these are among the essentials when it comes to security, and you can only get them through a full Internet security suite provided by security experts. "

I've been called round to look at people's machines after they've been "protected" with a paid-for McAfee or Symantec product, and nine times out of ten the punter just wants their computer working faster, not necessarily safer. All they want to be able to do is read emails from their kids and grandkids in something less than geological time. Install AVG Free and they're happy bunnies.

So based on my admittedly small-scale empirical evidence I'd opine most home Windows users would prefer a not-so-intrusive level of protection, rather than all-out fingers-in-every-pie protection.

Microsoft open-source license finds (some) love



Okay, I may be missing something here, but:

Para. 2: "Microsoft's Public License (MS-PL) is used by 1.3 per cent of open-source projects"

Para. 3: "MS-PL is tenth in a list of licenses used by the community with [Mozilla Public License] coming ninth and used by 1.25 per cent of projects"

Like I say, I'm probably missing something, but surely 1.3 is not less than 1.25?

Microsoft cries foul over Google Outlookware


Typical Microsoft really

You use Outlook and its icon gets dumped into quick start bar whether you want it to or not. Outlook overwrites Thunderbird as default mail client whether you want it to or not. Someone other than Microsoft perform a similar "enhancement" and Microsoft cry foul?

This is my caring face. Looks remarkably like my couldn't give a damn face.

Canonical responds to 'abusive' Ubuntu posts



Para. 12: ...define "Ubuntu" [a]s an African concept of "humanity towards others".

Bing 'better' than Google for advertisers


I was rather surprised

That Bing managed to return results for "Your arse both hands", as frankly I wasn't expecting it to be able to achieve that.

I wasn't so sure about the articles on anal insertion, prostate massage, fisting and so forth that really had nothing to do with the intent of my query. But at least the first two results were relevant.

In the interests of unpartizan opinionating I tried the same search using Google which returned four relevant results.

Which I guess "proves" either that Google is 100% better than Bing or that Bing is 50% crapper than Google.

Microsoft's Bing feeds you, tries to keep you captive



Para. 11: ... search box that likes to the search engine on the site itself.

Think that should say links not likes!

Cybersecurity groups band together in malware fight



I'm not sure these folks have understood what malware/spyware is designed to achieve. Quite how they expect to shut down criminal gangs in other jurisdictions is a mystery to me. Perhaps their master plan involves purchasing multitudinous copies of AntiVirus2009 in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of naive users?

Microsoft preps for open-source cloud apps


Can't help feeling ...

... that this is the first step toward Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

No amount of astroturfing or marketing-speak is going to convince me that this is not yet another move to monetise and fence off yet another thing that was working fine until Microsoft came along and "helped".

Given Microsoft's track record on Standards "compliance", why would we expect anything else?

Science tests for 11-year-olds to be scrapped



Personally I would prefer our educational establishments focus on teaching English, Mathematics and Science to the exclusion of "soft" subjects such as Media Studies. I remember examinations being *hard*, and having to apply knowledge I'd gained to work out the answer, not just pick an option from multiple choice. I certainly don't recall being trained for months on end to pass an ultimately artificial and meaningless test simply to satisfy some governmental concept of "quality control".

There was a time when teenagers were capable of stringing sentences together in order to express themselves coherently. These days, it seems, children are taught to "express themselves" vaguely using cliches, "like" and "you know", forcing the onus of comprehension onto the listener, rather than articulating their thoughts and feelings clearly and succinctly to the benefit of all enjoying a conversation.

Equally it seems, children get better marks in examinations for "having a go" than for providing clear, reasoned answers. Presumably taking part, and becoming at one with the herd, is far more important for children these days than striving to improve themselves as individuals.

Perhaps the responsibility for falling educational standards does lie directly at our beloved government's feet. After all, if our children were taught to reason rationally and logically, and taught to express themselves clearly we could be in the devastating position of having a generation of adults who would no longer believe the pseudo-scientific claims made in advertisements for so-called beauty products, who could see the vacuous television programming endemic in our country for the content-free drivel that it truly was, who would no longer accept the spin and disingenuous pronouncements of a corrupt administration, and would possess the necessary vocabulary and language skills needed to express their displeasure clearly and coherently.

What a terrible prospect that would be.

So scratch that. We need more pointless tests and more soft subjects. The less education our children receive during their time at school the better. Perhaps we should broaden History lessons to cover such important topics as Eastenders the early years?

Acer sued for shipping Vista-book with GB of memory


Let's hope Acer

counter-sues these idiots for being, well, idiots.

You seem to be able to sue anyone for anything in the US, so surely such a case would have more merit than most lawsuits?

Prof pooh-poohed in pig-v-whale hippo genealogy brouhaha


"Prof pooh-poohed in pig-v-whale hippo genealogy brouhaha"

Best. Title. Evar!

Thank you for some much needed Friday lunchtime amusement, Mr Page!

TomTom countersues Microsoft


Go TomTom!

I sure hope they win.

I wish them the best of British and/or Dutch luck.

Rail workers get shirty with see-through blouses



Munters in see-through apparel is something the average rail traveller can do without.

One shudders at the thought.

However, if the female staff are pleasing to the eye then we should mount a campaign to ensure they receive more than adequate financial compensation from their employer for opting to show off their lovely norks.

*shudders deliciously at that thought*

Wanna see how to use Win 7 UAC to pwn a PC?

Thumb Up

Oh boy!

Nice to know the boys in Redmond take security as seriously as they always have.

Incidentally, I've noticed MS have ceased to show the OS name during startup. Whilst this is quite understandable from a credibility standpoint, I feel that malware and virus writers are missing an important opportunity to have "Pwned" displayed in big letters across the splash screen (and maybe altering the "progress bar" into a ejaculating cartoon cock)

Jacqui's jihad on web extremism flops


Typical New Labour Nonsense

Making content-free speeches, demand that Something Must Be Done, then quietly do fuck all about it while simultaneously claiming Victory.

I'm mildly surprised the stupid bitch didn't come up with another piece of poorly thought through legislation to curtail our civil liberties yet again.

New Windows virus attacks PHP, HTML, and ASP scripts



Can we get a "smug grin" icon for us Linux users?

Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity


Surely One would be better?

Why MS can't provide ONE version of their OS'es, with all the bells and whistles as optional components, I'll never know.

Providing six or seven versions of a product really only serves to confuse their customers. The poor sods are then effectively coerced into buying the most expensive version of a product just to ensure they get what they need.

Verity Stob's Big Fat Geek Yuletide Quiz of the Year Part 2



Title says it all.

Leicester nursery loses memory stick with children's details


"...maybe even to save the Council some money..."

That the council could have used a free, open source product such as TrueCrypt.

It is more likely that whoever created the memory stick couldn't be arsed with protecting personal information.

Certainly think we should get in some penalties for £$%^ing up like this. How about a £5000 fine and a year in jail for a first offense, followed by sterilization, branding and enslavement for a second offense? Too harsh?

Pipex upgrade causes email snafu



I was asked to look at someone's computer because they discovered that their internet connection wasn't working on returning from an extended holiday. After trying the basics I spent two hours on the phone with Pipex/Tiscali only to be told that my client's account had been closed several weeks earlier, despite the client having bank statements indicating that money was still being debited from their account at a point after the supposed cancellation.

The nice lady in India, who was surprisingly helpful, was at a loss as to how this situation arose, and in fact no-one seemed able or willing to hypothesise, but one can't help thinking that it was something to do with the migration from Pipex to Tiscali.

Reinstating the service apparently takes longer than it would for a new broadband connection to be provided. A new connection can be made in 10 days, reactivating an existing paid for account takes 16 days.

This email balls-up sounds like yet more of the same uselessness. As I said to the client after explaining to them that despite them paying for a service, their provider had taken it into their heads to kill their service and keep taking the money, this kind of incompetence requires years of practice.

Govt ponders proof-of-ID law for future phone purchases


Splendid Idea!

Yet another well thought through idea from our beloved government.

Surely no-one would be so underhand as to use a fake ID card/passport when purchasing a new handset would they?

So we would have a massive database containing the details of every law-abiding inhabitant of this country, but not one of those pesky baddies would be on there as they don't play the game the way government think they should.

I'm still struggling to comprehend how the set of all law abiding persons is going to magically contain the set of all non-law abiding persons.

Obviously I don't understand set theory as well as our beloved leaders.

Microsoft's Fast charged with 'accounting fraud'


"They were lied to and they're pissed"

Now Microsoft know how the rest of us feel.

Das überdatabase: Inside Wacky Jacqui's motherbrain


Guess this explains ...

... why HM Gov are so keen to avoid prosecuting BT and Phorm for doing the same thing. After all, if it's found to be illegal for business, surely it couldn't possibly, even remotely be illegal for our beloved government to do the same, now, could it?

Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'


Once again ...

... Microsoft making a big hoo-ha about adding features to their second-rate browser that have been available in the competition for years, whilst trying to make it sound like they're "innovating".

Remember the fanfare when they wheeled out tabbed browsing like it was the Second Coming?

Actors paid to queue for Poland's iPhone launch


And this was reported on because?

This is hardly news.

If Orange Poland had paid for actors, and been exposed for doing so by a third party, then it would be news. But as things stand:

"Nothing to see here. Move along, folks."

Asus' own Eee-beater spied on web


If Only ...

... there was a Linux option.

I really can't see Vistard running (or should that be stumbling?) at anything approaching a usable speed, which can only negatively impact Asus's sales.

Microsoft's Photosynth falls out of cloud


Not a promising start

I get:

" Oops... the leaves fell off and we're temporarily unable to load that page.

If you go back a page and try again it may work just fine. If not, check out our support site for more information. "

If I try to click on anything picturey.

You might have thought a bit of testing may have been performed before being given over to the public. Not that they ever seem to bother testing their OSes so not sure why I expected to view a working/usable product.

eBay changes anger smaller sellers


Re: Post Office?

"Suggestion for the Post Office... why not set up a rival to e-bay with minimal fees and transfer payment to the seller automatically on delivery? They already have a network of pick-up/drop-off points, and seem to need more business..."

But wouldn't that mean they'd have to actually do some work?

BOFH: Burying the hatchet


@ Scott Jones

Hey, no offense to you or any of the other reasonable 'Merkins!


Is anyone else disturbed ...

... that Amanfrommars was very nearly comprehensible?

Nice to see Jim The Boss failing to a) spell b) punctuate c) use upper and lower case (big and little letters) d) get the point of humour e) realise we don't care what he thinks. Gotta be a Merkin, surely?

BT seals free Digital Vault


Rip-Off BT once again

So I can pay BT £5 per month for the rest of my life to back up 50GB of data (say another 40 years = £2395.20), or I could pay a one-off cost of £50 for a 500GB external USB disk to backup to and maintain control of my data independant of ISPs, broadband network failures, etc., etc. and not have my data being held to ransom.

For the life of me I can't fathom out which of the two options would be more cost-effective.

Needless to say I chose not to sign-up to the Digital Vault bollocks when it was first touted.

Microsoft, Google and Yahoo sued for foetus sex selection ads


Re: An experiment

> The rate they keep aborting female foetuses, India will end up with too many men.

There was a radio programme earlier in the year (it might even have been last year) that told of a poor man who was pretty much forced to share his wife with a local rich man. Neither male seemed to be particularly happy with the arrangement. I'm not sure either of them sought the woman's opinion.

Also I recall seeing a programme on TV about women who were married and then murdered for their dowries. Sadly these crimes never seem to get investigated properly. Especially if those alleged to have committed the crimes are rich and/or powerful.

Seems to me the situation will only get worse.

Ryanair cancels aggregator-booked tickets in escalating scraping war


Re: MS?

> Not knowing what Tom was talking about, I checked to see if you needed something unusual to view their site. Having been there, I still don't know what Tom was talking about, but I have gained a headache.

Blimey that website's a tad on the loud side!

Seems to work fine in Linux, although I didn't try booking anything as a) I don't want to buy a flight b) I'm not sure I could prevent my eyes from bleeding.

They do seem to have the wrong attitude towards their customers though. One would have thought they would be pleased to get as much business as they could.

1&1 botches Microsoft Exchange update


I've been with 1&1 ...

For 6 years or so. Back then we were so impressed with them that we started using them for all our client's webspace, email, etc.

I concede that their "support" has deteriorated quite badly over recent years. When I first signed up with them they had a team based in the UK who were both knowledgeable and helpful.

These days "talking" with the outsourced providers is an exercise in futility, as they seemingly have no comprehension of basic English, and (this is not really their fault!) I sometimes have severe difficulty understanding them over the incredibly bad VOIP line.

That said, *my* website(s), email, PHP and databases have been available without noticable interruption for that whole 6+ year period. Sadly one or two of our customers have not been quite so lucky.

Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers


"Windows Vista is great..."

I started laughing when I reached that part, and didn't stop laughing until I nearly choked to death on my coffee.

When are Microsoft going to finally withdraw Vista and give everyone XP SP3, Apple or Linux vouchers so users can obtain an OS that, well, works?

Think I'll re-read the article just to give myself some more early-morning merriment!

Obama bloats Vista by 11MB

IT Angle


I'm somewhat flabbergasted that it is considered necessary to add these five words to the dictionary in the first place. Surely any end user who *wants* those words in their dictionary would have added them already?

That there is no way for these words to be inserted into the main dictionary without replacing the entire database is also rather disturbing. I would have thought adding a few rows into a database was pretty trivial, even for Microsoft.

Nice to see Microsoft taking so much care with these few words. But it's a shame that they don't update our dictionaries for us every time a new word is coined.

Windows XP SP3 leaps into the tubes



I installed SP3 on my laptop.

Windows starts as normal, and allows me to open various programs.

In fact my computer works just as it did before I installed SP3.

Obviously this Service Pack is bugged.

Oldham murders owl with whalesong


Anyone else ...

think this looks like an on/off switch?

And seriously, £100k for a 3 circles and a splash of colour? Gonna be kinda hard convincing the locals that that's money well spent, I suspect.

Wikipedia-reading boffins jimmy keyless door to entire universe


Re: One time pads now practical

"...before reusing the sequence"

Just to nit-pick, isn't the idea of a one-time pad that it is used only once?

New banking code cracks down on out-of-date software


And what about...

Us poor folk who don't have anti virus / malware protection on our Linux systems?

How exactly would The Banks attempt to enforce this anyway? How would they prove that a customer had not taken reasonable care? Or would they just opine that said customer was incompetent and treat that as proof?

BT: 'We did not let anyone down over Phorm... it was not illegal'

Paris Hilton

It's more a matter of courtesy

Despite BT's claims that their trials were "legal" what annoys me most is that they did not have the courtesy to advise their support staff and customers (who fund their advertising, ultimately) that they were conducting a trial.

The whole cloak and dagger, and denial of trials does not support their position as being trustworthy in any way. If I had been asked if I would be interested in participating in a trial I would have naturally declined, but at least they would have made the effort to engage their customer base in dialogue, and thus demonstrate some degree of interest in customers.

As has been the case so often honesty, openness and a dialogue with interested parties goes much, much further than the underhanded practices that have been the subject of a lot of El Reg's recent coverage.

Naming your server "bt-profiling-trial.com" instead of "sysip.com" would have, I feel, reassured customers that they were not being spied upon in quite the same way.

Paris because she has more integrity.

BT and Phorm secretly tracked 18,000 customers in 2006


I had to laugh

Just had a 'phone call from BT Broadband offering me a £4 per month discount if I sign up for another year. One can't help but wonder if this was precipitated by a wish to retain customers in face of the unfavourable coverage they have received recently.

I did, however, get the opportunity to "educate" the poor phone-peon in why I was unhappy with BT. Poor fella hadn't heard of Phorm, Webwise or "Targeted Advertising". To his credit he did agree with me that profiling was a bit off.

Needless to say I indicated that I found BT's behaviour in this regard despicable and that under no circumstances would I be willing to enter into another twelve months' contract.

I have my eyes on www.fast.co.uk, who look like thoroughly decent folk who (bizarrely) seem to be labouring under the impression that they are there to provide a service to their customers!

Joke 'cos I did actually laugh when I found out who was calling me!