* Posts by IanKRolfe

60 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2007





At the use of the word "Cosmologist" rather than the correct "Boffin" or "space-nerd".

Keep an eye on standards, Reg.

A brief history of BLADE SERVERS: From the Big Bang to the, er, 'unblade'


VMEBUS? Did someone forget about the S100 bus from the 70's that featured plug in cards on a backplane?

Clearly the 3 minuted on wikipedia wasn't enough time for researching this article.

Online tat bazaar eBay collapses in UK


Re: El Reg hacks need to actually *look* at the modern fleabay

I am reliably informed by OneThatKnows that if a retailer in China can get his packages to the airport the carriers will not charge them, provided they are not too fussed when they go (hence unpredictable delivery times from china),

This gives Chinese eBay retailes a huge advantage over everyone else!

Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?


Re: Mine detectors

Who gave you our tender document, and did you HAVE to describe our device so explicitly?

Google machine-guns unpopular social products


Miss you google bookmarks....

But I've not heard of the other services they're canning!

Evil Android Trojan records your calls



"Victims would need to agree to install the application, agreeing to grant it permissions including record audio, read the state of a phone and prevent it from sleeping."

... so not so much a trojan, as an app? Bit like saying its a secret spy that you have to invite in, make comfy on the settee and make a cup of tea for!!

Free eco-friendly font saves ink and toner


Isn't this bunk?

Not many laser printers I've come across, aside from the expensive ones, recycle unused toner. I thought you used the same amount of toner if the page was blank as all black - the toner that's not used just gets put in a disposal container/compartment in the cartridge?

Facebook spams social networkers with phishy email


Speaking as a facebook user...

I'm enjoying not receiving the notifications, so I'd not be clicking the link!!

Ubuntu 8.10 - All Hail new Network Manager


@everyone saying Ubuntu is not ready for the mass market

Perhaps its Canonical's fault for not being more explicit about it, but the LTS ("Long Term Support") are the versions to use for people looking for trouble free (or as close as can be) operation. The intermediate versions often are a bit flakey - read the release blurb to find out if you want to upgrade.

FWIW, I am using Dapper Drake on my main laptop, because I've yet to find a compelling reason to upgrade. I'll probably go to Heron (8.04.1) soon, because I've been running that on a secondary machine and it seems OK. Maybe I'll risk 8.10 on the secondary machine then.

So, if you're installing Ubuntu for Gran, use the LTS version! (Currently 8.04.1 Hardy Heron).

Geordie cops arrest two for Wi-Fi squatting


Surely it works both ways?

Surely any WiFi router that broadcasts an SSID is making an unauthoriised access to your computer, in attempting to create a network between it and your laptop. So if I am prosecuted for using someone's WiFi, shouldn't the owner of the Router be prosecuted for "causing *my* computer to perform a function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in *my* computer".

If responding to a someone person's router's SSID invitation to join a network is illegal, then asking my computer to join in the first place is also an illegal access to MY computer!!!

Anyhow, technical arguments aside, it would appear that the main motivation behind these prosecutions is that the government is worried about the implications of people "stealing" bandwidth (i.e. the possibility of it being used for criminal purposes), so it would make MUCH MORE SENSE to change the law to make owners of wireless routers responsible for securing them, rather than prosecuting people for using them - especially in previous cases where the question of authorisation has been more ambiguous (internet cafes, etc).

EU wants RFID tags turned off


Good idea!

This is a good idea. Why? Well, if the RFID tags are left active, then theiving scum will be able to stand next to you on the tube and consult their scanner to decide if you're worth mugging. Which would be a good reason for shopping at Primark....

Microhoo! or YahSoft!? The! people! must! decide!

Gates Halo


I'm! Hoping! That! The! Merger! Goes! Ahead! Because! I'm! Looking! Forward! To! Reg! Staff! Having! To! Put! Exclamation! Marks! On! Every! Microsoft! Story! !!

El Reg collectible pops up on eBay



I heard rumours that this bloke found 5950 of these tied together in a stack behind a hall somewhere in the Midlands. He's hoping to sell them one at a time by claiming they're rare or something.

Anyway, that's just what I heard....

Potential suitors throw Yahoo! to the wolf

Dead Vulture


Google (and the other .com vultures) are just waiting for the failing company to fail, so they can pick over the remains at bargain basement prices.

Not that there's anything wrong with vultures, you understand!

Brit scientists brew up three-parent embryo


Of course,

it would be a lot cheaper to tell the mothers with the damaged mitochondrial DNA to get over themselves and just adopt one of the thousands of children in care needing a good home. Just because a child isn't genetically related doesn't mean you can't be just as "fulfilled by motherhood"as you would be with one that was.

But I'm sure this is valuable research. It is, isn't it? Well worth starving the Physics research for...

More remote workers squatting next door's broadband


@Robert Long

"Frankly, if I can set outsiders to have a lower priority than my own traffic then I'm happy for them to use my spare bandwidth. Why not?"

Because when someone parks outside your house and uses your connection to download kiddie porn or surf terrorism sites, do you honestly believe the "unsecured wifi" defence will work in NuLabour Database Britain? All I know is, I'm not the one to be taking that chance.

Cruise.co.uk stumps £560k to add 's' to domain


Waste of Money

If I was a shareholder of cruise.co.uk I would be upset about this! But I guess the German company must feel christmas has come early. For far less than £560k surely they could have bribed someone in Nominet to revoke the german co's ownership of a UK internet name, you know, like all the big co's in the US do with .coms??

Physicists go nuclear with online protest at funding cuts



"In our credit driven service economy why on earth do we need Physicists? What's Physics ever done for me anyway?"

I know you're joking, but I do find it amusing when people question the value of science on the internet. It's like all the "cool kids" who look down on the nerds, while trying to impress their friends with their iPods and Mobile phones.

They just don't get it.

Healthy? You're a burden on the state


@Jaap Stoel

"I will stop dieting at once! Bring on the fries and burgers!

On second thought, I think by the time I get Alzheimers I will opt for a suicide pill."

Trouble is, by then you won't be able to remember where you put them!

Ofgem, MoD attack pricey terror-friendly windmills


@Low flying terrorists are...

Presumably that's because nuclear power stations don't have huge moving flappy blades that confuse radar. They also tend to be inside large secure compounds, rather than plonked in the sea where any idiot with a motorboat can get to them.

If the government had the balls to back the development of IFB reactors, we wouldn't have the waste problems that conventional reactors have, so we'd reap the ecological benefits without the hazards.

Not posting as an anonymous coward because I am neither....

How to speed up Windows Vista: official and unofficial tips


@Don Mitchell

"Of course, some zealot has to tell you to run Linux. Even if you only use your computer to do email and web browsing (and that's about all you can do with Linux), you're better off with a more advanced OS like Windows."

Truly spoken like someone who has never used Linux.

About the only reason to run Windows is for gaming (because the games companies don't write for Linux).

So get back to your WoW me lad and let the grown-ups talk.

EU data ruling slaps filesharers with red herring


That's the way to do it...

"*One ironic consequence of an established scheme to cut off filesharers without involving the courts might be that the bottom falls out of the new line of business being pursued by Davenport Lyons and other intellectual property ambulance chasers."

Oh, wouldn't that be a shame.

One in the eye for the legal ameoba.

Darling backtracks on CGT



The concession was for small businesses, i.e. ma & pa operations that have a sale value of less than £750k. These companies are often operated on the basis that the sale of the company on retirement IS the pension plan - and £750k doesn't go all that far as an investment to live off for what could be up to 40-50 years from retirement. Not to mention that this capital gains tax (rather like inheritance tax) is on selling a business who's value has been largely built by people investing money in their business that has *already been taxed*. It's double-dipping, which even at 18% is scandalous.

ID sales sites start loss leader marketing programme


Clearly HMRC's strategy...

is to tackle data theft by flooding the market with 25M data records, devaluing the information to the point that trading personal details is no longer worth it!

Police Complaints joins inquest into Darling data giveaway


Wouldn't it be amusing...

If the 2 disks never actually were sent, but the office newbie entrusted with burning and sending the disks forgot to do it. Oldest excuse in the world: "I put it in the post - It didn't arrive? Oh OK, I'll burn two more and send them!"

So we could have hundreds of people looking for 2 disks that don't exist......

Remembering the Commodore PET 2001


@Alan Potter

I lived in Billericay and used to pop on the train and go to the Byte Shop every now and then. The staff there (was that you??) were quite understanding and let you play on the shop computer (for a while...) and I typed in several of the programs I wrote at school into the shop pets and got them running. I even bought a blank cassette from you and saved my programs too!

Eventually I persuaded my Dad that he needed one for his business and we got a "Grey Import" (complete with 250v-120v transformer!) PET that eventually got upgraded to 32K and my dad used to run his upholstery business with software I wrote for him. I still have that PET, and another 4032 PET I bought a few years ago unworking that I am fixing up.

@Robert Long - The pet had only one 6502. It had a 6522 VIA and two 6520 PIA i/o chips, which would come out if you didn't need them. I managed to blow up the 6522 while experimenting with connecting a paper tape reader and had to replace it.

Modest reform efforts mask tough issues in gTLD reform


It's so simple

Just introduce a system for creating TLD's similar to the old process for creating news groups - get people to lobby for it, get an online vote for it, and if a large enough number of people support the creation of the TLD then it can be put into action. If enough people want a ".reg" TLD, and a prepared to finance the cost of the servers etc required to operate it, then they should have one. Requiring that there be a certain level of support (say, 1000 sponsors) would prevent a flood of frivilous or vanity TLD's.

World's most gullible supermarket chain falls victim to online scam


Stupid scammers

"even more stupid for the scammers to assume the transfers would go indefinitely to them."

Perhaps they got scared when they saw the size of the payments - expecting thousands rather than millions - and decided to abort the scam (i.e. not run off with the money). Who would guess that a few months of Frito's would be that much money?

Sick Brit yobs graffiti dog


Poor dog is distressed...

...by being called "precious"! How can the Bulldog-in-the-street stand with head high with a name like that? Poor pooch.

Still, I hope that they catch these yobs and let the owner graffitti THEM.

How to get colour composite-video from an Apple TV



Why not just spend $10 on a component-to-scart cable and plug it in the back? If your TV scart socket doesn't support RGB component video, then it's not a huge amount to get a convertor.

Or you could just jiggle the plugs every time you switch on.... Naaah!

RIAA aims lawyers at usenet newsgroup service


Much as I hate to...

...side with the bottom feeding scum, I feel in this case they have some point. From usenet.com:

"Shh... Quiet! We believe it’s no one’s business but your own what you do on the Internet or in Usenet. We don't track user activity."

"Don't forget that with Usenet.com, you get:

[...snip...] Free movies, pictures, software, music, games, and much more"

And that's today. From what I remembered, when someone showed me the sight a while back it was covered with references to "gigabytes of free MP3's" and "thousands of movies". It would appear that they've toned down their site (I can't check the Wayback machine, because it doensn't archive usenet.com).

If you're building a business on letting people make illegal downloads then you should at least have the balls to admit it. How many people would PAY for a usenet service if they weren't downloading MP3's or questionable porn from the binaries groups? If there are any people that pay for usenet.com's service that DONT use it for illegal downloads, then they are definitely a minority and not the people that usenet.com are aiming their marketing at.

On the other hand, how RIAA can claim "damages" from someone distributing for free a product that RIAA willingly give away free (on the radio and through libraries) just seems bizzarre. Sharing MP3's may be ethically wrong, but I believe the RIAA (and similar organisations in other nations) vastly overstate the damage done by fans of music exchanging music. Remember:

"Home taping is killing music" - no it didn't

"CD Burners will kill music" - No they didn't

"MP3's killed the radio star" - No they won't.

I for one have bought CD's and gone to concerts to see bands that I wouldn't have found out about if someone handn't given me a tape, CD or MP3 of for free. It's called marketting.

So I guess my point is that usenet.com are merely profiting from a market that RIAA have created by their asinine insistance on sueing their customers. Ironic?

Microsoft claims more pirate scalps

Gates Horns

@Jason Togneri

I believe the original poster said that "there is no excuse for pirating office" because of OO. If you are an "professional proofreader" (which is hard to beleive, considering how poorly you read the original post) then you can afford the latest copy of Office.

However your overly long (and partially incorrect) analysis of OO, followed by your clear distaste for Open Source software, points to you being a Microsoft Employee/Fellow Traveller rather than someone with a genuine point to make.

For the home user, who needs to be able to use simple documents that get set to them by people with Word, OO does a pretty good job. Some things it does (in my opinion) better than word, some things it is not so good (as you have pointed out).

As far as "cut n paste fanboi rants" go, it would appear that you have cornered the market so far on this thread.

Microsoft patents brain-computer link



Perhaps AmanFromMars has been trialling this... NOW it all makes sense!!!

Nokia N76 mobile phone



"phone's ability to speak the name of the person calling you, so long as their name is in the phone book. We found that quite handy after a while"

I guess that means using "humorous" nicknames in your phone book is something you'll need to be careful about!

This looks like a RAZR without the god-aweful iTap predictive text... If it does T9 then I'm sold. Hopefully the build quality will improve, perhaps it might be better to wait for v0.1!

UK's future depends on science and technology

Thumb Down

Science has fallen into disrepute...

...because an enormous amount of "scientific" research these days (certainly that gets reported on) are basically statistical surveys, and the research never gets far enough to look for underlying causation. The ability of statistics to be interpreted to support whichever point of view you wish to promote has become common knowledge to the public at large, and the treatment of "science" by the government over the last decade has done little to dissuade the public that "science" is just a synonym for "statistics".

Just look at the science pages on the BBC News site. Headlines like "Carrots cause cancer" are supported by - yes, the results of a statistical survey, with no mention of a causative mechanism being discovered. Then a few weeks later another survey comes out that disagrees with the first, and the general populus is left with the opinion that science is just a matter of opinion, faith or perspective like politics or religion.

What a travesty of the truth. Why has the scientific community allowed its reputation to become debased since the glory days of the late 1900's? Could it be because funding of science has become such a low priority that now scienctists have to be the whipping boy of politicians and commercial backers, and find statistical support for their agenda's?

Tasmanian tumours blamed on inbreeding



Has anyone mentioned to Chuck that the site he linked to says the Thylacine was extinct on the *mainland* 2000 years ago, but survived in Tasmania until the 60's? I think he should be told!

Microsoft UK cracks another head over grey software


Because you don't buy software...

... you licence it. So if the EULA says that "this software is only for sale in the US" and you buy it and re-sell it in the UK then that software is unlicenced, and therefore "counterfeit" even though it was originally manufactured, packaged and wholesaled by the original author. It is on this technicality that grey imports are deemed "illegal".

That's not to say it isn't a crock of monkey-sh*t, but it's the law.

Adobe claims RIA completeness


May I be the first...

To say AIR 2.0 sucks...!

Online car tax saves planet from carbon hell


@Ian Sneyd

"And while I'm in full moan how the hell do I get my bike to the MoT station when it's SORN and I can't get a Tax disc without an MoT?"

You are legally allowed to drive your vehicle on the road without tax or MOT to and from a testing station where you have a booked appointment, or to or from a garage where you are having work done in pursuance of an MOT.

If one of the Governments spy-cams gets you on the way, you merely have to show some proof of the booking (hint: Always ask the Garage/MOT station for a signed note of appointment) and they will drop the charges.

Czech falls off motorbike, wakes up with British accent


Possible explaination

Since he was surrounded by Czech people, did it just "Sound like" English or was it actually coherent speech? These stories pop up from time to time, but no-one seems to recall what was said, or manages to get a recording. Apparently I sound Russian when I'm drunk, but I'm actually talking jibberish.

Wii becomes best-selling next-gen console



"Wii is not next-gen," in 5..4..3..2..1...

Reference kilo shows mysterious weight loss


@How can they tell?

"If the thing you're trying to measure is what defines your unit, how can you say it's changed? When is a reference kilo not a reference kilo? When it's 999.9999950 grams? In which case it's hardly a 'reference' is it...?"

In the article, should you choose to peruse it, they say that it has lost mass in relation to the other reference masses that exist. So it's not a local phenomena (i.e. change in gravitational density) either.

Sounds to me like someone's been too enthusiastic with the Brasso.

Religious hatred a crime from October, but exemptions are wide


@Andy S

Since the URL is www.theregister.CO.UK I would think that, unless there is an indication to the contrary, then politics stories here relate to the UK.

Firefox-Google marriage on shaky ground?


Adblock considered beneficial

I would have thought that people using adverts on their site would be glad about adblock. After all, the people using adblock are the ones that find the adverts irritating - therefore, they are not annoying those people, who may then buy from them despite their adverts.

I don't have any problem with sites blocking people using adblock. If they want to do that, then I'll just not use their site. There are very rarely any sites that are truely so unique that the information they contain is that valuable. And if I'm that bothered and I just must see the page, I can always temporarily disable adblock while I look at their site.

I wish marketting types would pull their head out of their backsides and realise that not everyone is addicted to product promotions and that their job is not the most important in the world - if it is necessary at all. The truth is, if a product is any good at all, then it will make it's own market with the minimum of promotion. The only products that need saturation advertising are the ones that are not that good or notable in the first place. Which is why I dont in general buy products that are over-promoted like Cillit Bang, or that damn crazy frog.

Sony loses privacy complaint over Unfit Kids


Much as I love to see Sony squirm...

Why does channel 4 seem to think that Sony /should/ sponsor their program, from which they will make money by broadcasting? I mean, it would be nice if they did, but they're under no obligation. I didn't see the program, but did Nintendo, Microsoft etc "sponsor" the program? What about 2k, EA, and all the other makers of PC games? I think not.

Still, given the DRM rubbish that Sony have put out lately, it's good to see they're not getting their own way with everything.

Apple restricts ringtone rights


Why moderate the comments

When comments like William's get through?

Colombian armed robber targets karate school


IT Angle.

The IT angle is OBVIOUS.

If there where more CCTV camera's around, this smack-down would be on Youtube, but there aren't.

Jeeze, do you guys have to be spoon-fed ?? :)

Original thinking in a derivatives market


I've been reading the Reg tooooooo long

Amanfrommars is beginning to make sense.....!

Greens walk out of nuclear debate


@"Most dangerous, long lasting toxin on the planet"

Many "Greens" fail to realise that Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island where very old reactor designs. To dismiss Nuclear power because of these two incidents is the same as saying that Flying is inherently unsafe - "Just look what happened with the Hindenburg!!!1!!!1!!1!!!!"

If you want to see what some of the most up to date technologies do, then do a bit of research. Like look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor or something. They use 99.5% of the fuel used, so over the entire life of the reactor, you will be left with a few hundred kilograms of waste, which will decay to the same level of radioactivity of the original material in less than 200 years. That's a long time, but not unreasonable to manage. And it's less than half the time it takes a disposable nappy to rot away in landfill (since we're talking of toxic waste..!)

The Greens want to put away their delusions of a rural idyll and actively work with scientists to look for real answers. Rather than stubbornly refusing that nuclear has any place in the modern world. perhaps they would be better placed to make sure that environmental concerns are built into the plans for the worlds future energy plans.

With abundant "clean" energy, we'll have the energy to effectively recycle much of the waste that we still landfill. Many plastics, for instance, are not recycled simply because the energy costs are too high.

Tor at heart of embassy passwords leak


@Sweden is the 52nd state

I think you will find that the intelligence communities communicate between nations, and in the absence of active hostilities between those nations, governments are inclined to co-operate on matters relating to "national security" - especially when a troublemaker is not "in the club", so to speak.

I would imagine that someone from the US probably had a quiet drink with someone from Sweden and got a promise to sort it out over canapes.