* Posts by The Wanderer

15 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Apr 2008

Tory proposes street-legal Segway legalisation

The Wanderer

Re: No.

"Bikes are bad enough on the roads without some 6mph gyroscopically stabilised mountain of lard holding up traffic and ignoring red lights."

Could you provide an address where I can send the bill for my pants having been soiled due laughing long and loud at this line? Not to mention a keyboard and monitor soiled with spewed coffee?

...but I promise not to hold you personally responsible for the psychological damage due to snickering every time I think of the Segway from now on...

In Google We Trust: Health docs depo now open to Americans

The Wanderer

@AC 20th May 17:01 GMT and @Chris C


Probably not, tho' at least they're making a clear (if inexcusable) moral judgment, instead of trying to hide their profit motive behind PR weasel words. And they can still back up their claims of expertise.

@Chris C.

Oh, dear, what was I _THINKING_?!?!? Ooops, there I go again. I wonder how long I've got until the Thought Police drag me off to the Ministry of Love and the Dreaded Room 101, which will probably be full of Google PR flacks trying to sell me things.


The Wanderer
Thumb Down


"Google" is not a doctor; "Google" is not even a pharmacist! Isn't recommending a certain medication tantamount to offering professional advice? And if they put up the usual disclaimers, then why am I wasting time with them rather than consulting an honest-to Gaia (or whatever you worship) pharmacist- you know, those nice people with the fancy papers on their walls saying they are TRAINED do this!

And even with the disclaimers... since they're in it to make money, what happens if they receive a better deal from Pharma A rather than Pharma B to push the newest, and not necessarily the better, choice? Oh, and if my medical institution can't upload the sensitive info... what do I do? Put pressure on them to cut a deal with Google? Come to that, why can't I contact the Heart Association directly for that analysis?

And if the scheme isn't paying as much as they'd like? That "two year history" and knowing what they're really good at - data mining - can get awfully tempting...

Privacy? Forget it. Sell your brain and desires to the highest bidder

The Wanderer

O Brave New World, that has such, err, wonders in it

Found at the bottom of "my" comments page (URLs deleted):

"Ads by Google:

"Meet a Boyfriend for a fulfilling Relationship. We will find him!

"Why Women Divorce: Find out why so many women today are divorcing their husbands

"Fix Your Marriage: An Alternative to Counseling. Get Free Marriage Help Immediately.

"AMD Athlon 64 Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processors Are Here! Custom Configurations Available.

"AMD Quad-Core Processors

Quad-Core AMD Phenom™ Processors, Buy AMD Processors Online/In-Store.

"Free ebook gives guidance on love and sexual intimacy."

All this, without risking kissing middle-aged Texans or being punished by British Moderatrixes (Moderatrices?). And after repeated visits to The Register, too. If "some of the world's smartest people working on these tracking systems", methinks it will be some time before Mr. Vance's sarcastic, yet valid vision of the future of our privacy comes to pass.

GIGO, indeed.

Mine's the one with the silkscreen of Aldous Huxley taking peyote.

The Moderatrix: Exclusive boudoir snap

The Wanderer

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh Yessssssssssssssss

I've been a bad, bad commentator. A very bad commentator indeed. I deserve to be punished, and with the worst puns imaginable, too...

Babbage's Difference Engine hits Silicon Valley

The Wanderer

Bah, that's nothing

When I worked for the Register, we had to crank out SIX polynomials PER second, AND they had to be to the NINTH order!! And that was on a machine made of rusted slag and splintered wood!! And when one of the gears slipped... let's just say we experienced a different understanding of the phrase "number crunching"...

...and you don't want to know how sore our wrists got after all that hand cranking....

Absolutely love it!

Mine's the one with the coal in the pockets for my steam-powered calculator.

Canadian toddler dies after VOIP 911 call

The Wanderer

@alistair millington and @E

@alistair millington:

As has been repeatedly commented, the couple GAVE their address.

But to answer your question about giving addresses in Canada, let me give you my own personal experiences, which I admit are hardly representative:

I have had to call for 911 only twice in my life so far. The first time was from a landline, and the operator, who already knew where that phone was, verified the address by asking me to confirm it. The second time was by my 3G CDMA phone, where the operator asked me exactly where I was. I understand that dialling 911 on that model phone automatically switches on the GPS, though it's not clear if the 911 operator had access to that. In both cases, the operator verified the address/location, and emergency services were there within 5 minutes.

It seems to me verifying the location of the caller is, or SHOULD BE, SOP. This is my experience, and it seems to be the experience of E, that other Canadian. It should make zero difference if I'm using a land line, mobile, VOC, VOIP or two tin cans with a string.

Arguably there are situations where you cannot get the caller to verify the address, in which case, then, yes, VOIP is a disadvantage. But even then, as E pointed out, if the e-commerce websites seem to know where I live (heck, even the very El Reg page I'm looking at right now has ads that seem to know which region of Canada I live in, and I never told them that), then there must be some way to verify the caller's location beyond the DB.

But this isn't one of those cases.

@E: From your comments, my suspicion of what kind of 911 call centre ComWave had is only strengthened: Not highly trained professionals, but outsourced, minor league ones.

The Wanderer


Actually, a more interesting question might be, "what kind of call centre did the call go to?" The underlying assumption is that the operator was a highly trained 911 operator, but given that a lot of call centre operations are outsourced third party companies, and tend to cut costs wherever they can, like train their workers to multitask on as many diffrerent aspects of a client's business as possible, it's entirely possible that the next call that operator got might be from someone inquiring about their bill or wanting to cancel their account.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong here, but it honestly woudn't surprise me if the operator's 911 training was two weeks of in-house, ad-hoc training by fellow call centre employees only slightly more experienced.

Japanese council worker in 750k smut site pornathon

The Wanderer
Paris Hilton


"Still everyone in the company now knows his name

But strangely no-one wants to shake his hand"

Which reminds me... where IS Ivor Biggun when you really need 'im? This sounds like a perfect opportunity for him to whip it* out and toss one off**...

Paris, 'cos it's be interesting*** to find out how many of that impressive total featured her!

*his ukulele

**a song

**to be honest, not really THAT interested...

Time Warner to amputate cable tentacle

The Wanderer

I guess the marriage didn't last...

Ah yes... it seems like yesterday, those heady times back in the day, around the turn of the stomach... err, millennium when AOL just HAD to have Time Warner for... what was it again? Oh yes...

"Together, they represent an unprecedented powerhouse,” said Scott Ehrens, a media analyst with Bear Stearns. "If their mantra is content, this alliance is unbeatable. Now they have this great platform they can cross-fertilize with content and redistribute.” (CNN Money, 10 Jan 2000, found at http://money.cnn.com/2000/01/10/deals/aol_warner/)

Or perhaps not.

El Reg celebrates 10th birthday

The Wanderer
Thumb Up


Congratulations on not only surviving, but thriving, on the 'net for ten years! Long may you continue to bite the hand that feeds IT.

...now, where's that Pint of Beer icon which says I've gone down to my local watering hole to hoist a few myself by way of saluting your successive salubrity... say that a few times after you've had a few!

You'll learn to love mobile TV

The Wanderer

Size Matters & the Killer App

I'm old enough to remember when Seiko first introducted wristwatch TVs

(http://www.retrothing.com/2006/04/stretching_the_.html). To be sure, that was '83, and the technology certainly has vastly improved (though battery life really hasn't), but once I got over my "oh, wow, kewl" reaction to it, it occurred to me that, well, gee, it's a 2" screen (actually, the Seiko's primeval mobile TV screen was an even smaller 1.1"(!!!!)) and if I have to squint to watch it, why bother? Moving the screen from my wrist to my phone didn't get around that. Even an hour long commute every day won't get around that.

So, what kind of video would I want to watch as such small resolution? Well, what made cameras on cell phones so wildly popular? Instant video! (And yes, I know a lot of cell phones have video as well as camera functions built in.) Or, posting the stuff you see all the time on YouTube to your friends.

Or maybe offering teasers to the latest show you just gotta see. It's advertising anyway, and what a way for a content provider to get you to watch something on a "real" TV by sponsoring a "free" video networking? Think about it: You may not want to see an entire episode of Torchwood on your small screen, but a teaser/highlights?

There's a killer app, maybe.

Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe

The Wanderer
Black Helicopters

Crazy Like a Fox?


The man seems to be experiencing financial difficulties from what appears to be a scam, and now is so worried about black holes, parallel universes and stranglet soup he has launched not only a lawsuit, but created a website that, among other things, asks for money.

Fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say...

The Wanderer

Evil Victorious Nazi Empire with Space Battlecruisers?

Speaking of Mr. Spock... that reminds me:

According to the Startrek Mirror Universe Theorem (SMUT), we may well slip into a kind of mirror universe that could well be ruled by Good Nazis having triumphed over the Evil Allied powers. As well, SMUT also endorses the Babes in Skimpy Costumes Hypotheses (cf Evil Graham, earlier post), though there's still some debate about the Evil Empire in Cool Uniforms Conjecture. All in all, it might be fun to see what our evil counterparts are up to!

...unless, we're _their_ evil mirror twins, and it's the Evil American Empire that has triumphed, and Emperor Bush has enslaved the world to construct his latest Death Star Weapon of Mass Destruction, and all he needs is the secret to having an atom smasher create strangelet soup with which to destroy the universe...

...oh dear. I'm getting a headache. Time for my milk and cookies.

Mine's the one with the Starfleet logo and the clearly labelled directions to my parents' basement, in case I ever get lost in the real world.

'Bullying' Aussie high school stops fingerprinting kids

The Wanderer
Paris Hilton

Kids have it easy today

Fingerprints? Fingerprints?? These kids are complaining about having to give their FINGERPRINTS???

Hah. Back in my day, when I was attending Yakuza High, we had to give them the entire FINGER!!

...which, on a more symbolic and less graphically literal note, is not a bad idea to present to overzealous power tripping invasion of privacy types.

...Paris, 'cos when they start doing the strip searches next... err, well, anyway. Yes. Ahem. Indeed.