* Posts by Richard Wharram

1215 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Apr 2008


Forever mothballed: In memoriam Apple Butterfly Keyboard (2015-2020)

Richard Wharram

I've still got the original

2015 original MB12 is still one of my machines (not this, this one is Linux) and it's fine. I like it.

I did have a problem with the down arrow sticking a couple of years ago but I ran a piece of paper under it and some gunk came out and it's been fine since.

I love that machine. So thin and light and fun to use. The gripe I do have with it is that the battery life is now about 90 minutes.

I have a 2020 Air with the new keyboard and whilst I admit it is a bit nicer I'm not greatly fussed about the difference in keyboard. I'm more concerned that the Air makes a fucking racket when given a moderate task for more than 30 seconds.

Is Google's Pixel getting better, or just more expensive?

Richard Wharram


"Can't help wondering what your definition of "better" is?!"

Better screen

More responsive

Better camera

Richard Wharram

Re: RE: Topperfalkon

Replaced my 6P with a Pixel 2 XL last year and whilst the Pixel is a better phone, being 2 years newer, it felt significantly more buggy and required more reboots than the Nexus did.

I still keep the 6P charged with no SIM in in case I ever need it or just want to feel its metallic goodness.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Richard Wharram

Re: Voter Suppression - coming to a polling station near you - soon

They also move the polling station in ethnic areas without telling anyone. Full-scale disenfranchisement.

Apple breathes new life into MacBook Air with overhauled 2018 model

Richard Wharram

I was hoping for a new MacBook (itty bitty thing). Disappointed.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

Richard Wharram

Re: Had to think then

Dog toffee is in Viz Profanisaurus so it's acceptable.

Personally I tell the wife that there's some new dog rope she needs to attend to.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

Richard Wharram

How are they breaching his human rights?

It's their building. He can leave it if he doesn't like how they run the show.

Happy 60th birthday, video games. Thank William Higinbotham for your misspent evenings

Richard Wharram

Re: Thank William Higginbotham for your misspent evenings

Or wanking?

Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

Richard Wharram

Re: The most important conclusion...

40 units per week is back in near-abstinence territory :(

Richard Wharram

Re: The most important conclusion...

40+ units per day?

I consider myself a bit of a drinker but I am plainly slacking.

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

Richard Wharram

Re: anonymous coward



"Antifa rent-a-mob"


Shit, I need one more for bingo here. Could you mention "World War III" in your next post?

Richard Wharram

Re: anonymous coward


A grey propaganda site? Thanks for showing where you get your talking points from.

Reality Winner, liberty loser: NSA leaker faces 63 months in the cooler

Richard Wharram

The Intercept?

If Reality was really worried about Russian interference she picked an odd place to leak it to.

Donald Trump trumped as US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban

Richard Wharram

Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

The mercantilist fallacy.

FBI agents take aim at VPNFilter botnet, point finger at Russia, yell 'national security threat'

Richard Wharram

Re: Usual bulshit

So that sentence you quoted which doesn't give a single clue about how the attribution might have been done led you to that conclusion?

Richard Wharram

Re: Usual bulshit

Fry: Not sure if doesn't understand how attribution works or is shilling for Russia...

Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon

Richard Wharram

Cigar or turd?

Why choose? Bum Cigar is a common enough phrase round my way.

Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

Richard Wharram

Re: Wonderful timing!

You're quoting mintpress? Assad's favourite news source where kids gas themselves in order to make anti-imperialists look bad.

You have reached peak cunt.

Richard Wharram

Re: Wonderful timing!

"I did not and I meant to. It is an election all right. With hist current public rating Putin does not even need to rig it."


If you don't know that Zhirinovki and Zyuganov have been allowed to be the official opposition because they are crap and make Putin look good then you are a fool. They enjoy a comfy lifestyle and have been looked after well enough to be the mad right and mad left clown opposition.

Actual opposition doesn't last long in Putin's Russia. Boris Nemstov for example.

Are you that thick or just being a deliberate contrarian to look cool?

Richard Wharram

Re: Wonderful timing!

before the Russian presidential election.

You forgot to put inverted commas around the word 'election'.

Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases by credit card customers

Richard Wharram

This is the problem


Peers approve Brit film board as pr0n overlords despite concerns

Richard Wharram

"Funnily enough, I was reading an article recently which stated that the government *knows* this won't work and is going to cause an increase in fraud, but is still going to go ahead with it anyway."

That just sums up the whole UK at the moment.

Richard Wharram

Re: Should I laugh or cry?

This kind of blind optimism pervades our current government.

"Things will work because we say so. Or because we believe it's what you voted for. It's that simple."

Unicorn-poo will solve it.

FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons

Richard Wharram

Re: The really ridiculous part of this

Even more critical. A renewal can only be obtained (they are required every 90 days) if useful intelligence to justify it has been obtained, via the tap, in the previous 90 days. If it hasn't then the renewal is rejected.

Rod Rosenstein as DAG could only approve the renewal application to be put before a federal judge. He cannot approve it himself. Federal judges are not rubber stamps here. If the 50-60 pages of justification are not rock-solid they are rejected.

So basically the FISA warrant against Page (who had been on the radar of everyone as a Russian-mark and all-around idiot for at least 3 years) was originally put in before Rosenstein was appointed (by Trump), approved by a federal judge, had already been renewed once before Rosenstein was appointed, by a federal judge, on the grounds that it had produced new intelligence, was approved again under Rosenstein this time, by a federal judge who determined it was still producing useful intel in a lawful manner.

But somehow Rosenstein is at fault?

Nunes is supposed to be recused from this anyway and refuses to deny that he created the memo with the WH.

But sure, the DOJ and the FBI are the shady ones.

UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

Richard Wharram

Re: Watson, not Corbyn

Corbyn opposed plenty when Labour were in power. Now, not so much...


See also Brexit.

Richard Wharram

Watson, not Corbyn

Not at all surprised that this has come from the 'centrist' side of the Labour party rather than its left-wing who tend to admire authoritarian regimes as long as they aren't allied with 'the west'.

Watson is dismissed as a Blairite these days which is basically anyone not in Momentum. He was actually a Brownite though in the Blair days.

Make Apple, er, America Great Again: iGiant to bring home profits, pay $38bn in repatriation tax

Richard Wharram

Re: 80 hours

15.5% of 38 billion is 5.89 billion. That's what the Treasury will get.

Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

Richard Wharram

Great Depression

I read Galbraith's book on the Great Depression a few years ago. The way Bitcoin and related-currencies are going now reminds me of the dubious speculative vehicles and investment-layering / leverage that caused the Depression.

Plus the environmental impact of all that 'leccy. Plus the impact on the price of graphics cards that I just want to game with.

Seems like a load of old shite to me.

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Richard Wharram

Re: But El Reg complained first!

"Why would one fictional story be better than any other?!"

Have you seen Highlander 2?

Richard Wharram

Re: But El Reg complained first!

The Sky Fairy should care more about the blatant usage of a nativity scene not described in the Gospels (regardless of the sausage roll replacing baby Jesus).

The 3 wise men/magi/kings were in the Matthew version of the nativity story. In that they follow a star to what is definitely a house, not a stable. There is no 'manger' (actually the Greek word for manger and crib was the same so that is probably a mis-translation anyway) and Jesus was not described as a baby but a child.

The Luke version of the story has shepherds, angels, an inn, a BABY Jesus and possibly a manger (see above) but no wise men.

Mark and John don't describe the events.

Greggs at least need to move their pastry into one version of the story not some hybrid/reboot.

Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

Richard Wharram

I remember stuff like that used to get referred to as Jap-crap.

Ironic when you consider the quality of British cars in the 70s.

Richard Wharram

Wouldn't surprise me either way

Maybe Kaspersky was a knowing actor in this under their obligations as a Russian company or maybe not. It wouldn't be that hard for the FSB to get hold of it without Kaspersky's help. The big issue is the contractor moving highly sensitive info onto their personal laptop on a personal internet connection. Software that dials home of any origin is just the icing on the cake. A determined foreign agency could have found a way to get that info in some manner. That's the problem.

I'm not sure what they hope to gain by washing dirty laundry in public.

Russian bot-herder and election-fiddling suspect closer to US trial

Richard Wharram

Re: "I will die within a year"

I think his bigger worry if he does have some info the CIA might like to get hold of is being served nice cup of Pollonium tea or similar. Russian efforts to quiet troublesome people aren't limited to their own shores:


Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

Richard Wharram

Re: Ignorance isn't bliss

Would upvote twice if I could.

Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

Richard Wharram

Oh for fuck's sake. I though this had vanished and typed another, similar one. This is eating into the time I was planning to spend watching the Richard Donner cut of Superman II with my 9 year old. We've just watched the Theatrical cut and I wanted to go through it frame by frame with him until he is bored rigid :)

Richard Wharram

Original reply got lost in the Forum mists re-typing what I remember...

"Where did you find the ads that Facebook blocked? I have looked and looked and can't find them.

As to the specifics, there certainly are non-citizens who vote in the USA. Voter registration and verification in the USA is woeful. But I've no idea what the figures are. I'm not sure anyone does. But it's irrelevant to my point which is that we should be allowed to see counter-points and not have them censored. If the above is one of the ads (again, please tell me where you found the ads because I cannot), then ads should be discriminated against based on their truthfulness, not on where they originate. And in this case, they have been blocked because they are alleged to be from Russia. There are active efforts to discredit and block foreign news sources and viewpoints and this should be of great concern to all of us."

I saw them on some accounts on Twitter that I have reasonable trust in. There's a chance they may not be correct, time will tell, but they certainly fit the description in the article. Again, I point you at Kasparov and Browder. Great accounts to follow on twitter if you are interested in 'all viewpoints'.

Again you present a misleading argument. Facebook isn't blocking these accounts because they are Russian or because they present a different viewpoint. It is blocking them for violating its ToS. They pretended to be from the US as persons or entities that did not exist. You have to be who you say you are to advertise, fake accounts aren't allowed. You could dismiss this as a 'fig leaf' but if you can just dismiss everything everyone says you aren't debating. You are just asserting that you are correct.

The US government may also have a problem with the adverts as US law states that foreign entities can't do campaign advertising in the US. Now maybe these adverts didn't constitute that. And in the US those who placed the ads could defend themselves in a court of law because the judicial branch is not subservient to the executive one in the US, unlike in Russia.

I didn't dismiss the FT articles. I took the time to read them and concluded that they didn't support the conclusion you drew from them. No dismissal needed. Again, a misrepresentation.

I've frequently stated that I don't believe the US is perfect and has done many things wrong. It seems to me though that your idea of everyone should be open to 'alternative viewpoints' only runs one way. I am supposed to read things provided by yourself and have a Millhouse moment. When have you ever criticised or accepted criticism of Russia?

Richard Wharram

"As to the specifics, there certainly are non-citizens who vote in the USA. Voter registration and verification in the USA is woeful. But I've no idea what the figures are. I'm not sure anyone does. But it's irrelevant to my point which is that we should be allowed to see counter-points and not have them censored. If the above is one of the ads (again, please tell me where you found the ads because I cannot), then ads should be discriminated against based on their truthfulness, not on where they originate. And in this case, they have been blocked because they are alleged to be from Russia. There are active efforts to discredit and block foreign news sources and viewpoints and this should be of great concern to all of us."

I've seen them on accounts on Twitter that I have reasonable trust in. Time will tell if they are correct but they certainly fit the description in the article. Again if you want to see the other side try following Kasparov or Browder. Can't remember if it was them but they are a good starting point.

Your description of the problem here is again misleading. Facebook is not saying it has a problem with them because they might be from Russia. It is saying they have a problem with them because they violated their policies. Specifically they were paid for by entities that did not exist claiming to be from the US when they were not. Facebook's policy is that you don't lie about who you are. Of course you could just argue that that is yet another 'fig-leaf' but if all statements can be dismissed in this manner then you aren't having a debate. You are just asserting that you are correct.

The US government is saying they may have a problem if they are from Russia because that would violate US law on foreign campaign spending. Although in the US someone would be able to defend against such a charge should it come to court because the judicial branch is not subservient to the executive as it is in Russia.

I'm not 'dismissing' the FT. I took the time to read those articles and they didn't support the conclusion you asserted they did.

Your idea of all viewpoints being valuable only seems to apply one way. That I should read things you post and draw the same conclusion. I've readily admitted the US has done many bad things. What have you ever admitted is wrong with Russia?

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

I freely admit I don't have the time to pick through every paragraph so I pick an easy one I that takes me 2 minutes. This is not my full-time job sorry. You are attempting to turn this into a war of attrition.

Rather than go down that road why not go back to the original point of the article. You express that Facebook should not be blocking access to 'foreign viewpoints'. Reportedly one of the adverts in question said:

"Up to 5.8 million illegals may have voted in the 2008 election. Share if you think this is wrong."

This is not a foreign viewpoint. It is a straight-up lie. You can't even discuss the original point of the article without putting a ridiculous spin on it.

I'm not trying to prove that the US is perfect. I don't believe it is.

Please try reading the two books I recommended earlier. It is possible that you could learn too.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

"This is why it's so important that groups like Facebook or the EU don't get away with restricting access to foreign viewpoints"

That's a highly circuitous way of describing that Russians should be allowed to break US laws.

You haven't provided any concrete evidence that sanctions against Gazprom are purely for the purposes of propping up US shale gas, just hearsay and some pissed-off Germans already involved in NS2. Indeed, given the logistics in trying to get US gas over to Germany with the Atlantic Ocean in the way rather than building a pipeline to a different European or Asian country that would be a pretty weak strategy.

You even mention Enron which was a scandal in 2001, widely publicised in the so-called MSM, and which led to new legislation, Sarbannes-Oxley, to try to prevent it happening again. Would these sorts of things happen to Gazprom or Rosneft? Not a chance. Any irregularities in their business will be with full approval of Putin and certainly won't have RT or Sputnik clamouring for corporate heads to roll.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Actually I thought you'd have picked up on why I chose 'idiot' rather than any other pejorative term. I was referring to the common phrase in international relations and apologia, a 'useful idiot'. In this case it is not the critic of the apologist who holds them in contempt but the party being apologised for who does so.

It reportedly dates back to Lenin but has applied to defenders of questionable regimes for many years.


A list of 'Whatabouts' of does not change the fact the the US still has Rule Of Law, as Trump finds out to his cost, whereas Russia has rule of Putin regardless of law or constitution.

Neither does it change the fact that RT and Sputnik are not equivalents or 'the other side' from CNN and NBC. The latter outlets are in no way mission-driven to push the narratives of the President of their country. As Trump has again found to his cost.

False equivalences. The stock in trade of the Useful Idiot.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

I didn't say Saudi Aramco is abnormal. Read more carefully.

Neither am I trying to persuade anyone I'm a jingoist. Im not even American. I just won't put up with idiots pretending there's any moral equivalence between Putins mafia state and most western nations.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

But that is just missing the point. Saudi Aramco is owned by the Saudi state and that is not a normal state either. I grant you both in a second. But the US, for whatever reasons, is not trying to impose sanctions on the House Of Saud. Therefore it is not under sanction.

I truly wish it was under sanction. Unfortunately that is not the point in hand.

Another point to note about US Shale Gas and Oil though is that it has put more pressure on both the Putin and Saud regimes than any sanctions ever have. Just the fact that one of the largest energy consumers in the world could suddenly become independent of Saudi and Russia (not China though because of debt and manufacturing) because of a technology choice has changed the world immeasurably,

/edit: also I am not even remotely in a hole. Honest question. None of you are going to change my mind any more than I am going to change yours. Why do you still bother?

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

The articles you just posted don't even take the position that the NS2 sanction is about increasing US shale gas export. The rightly say that some in Germany are a bit pissed off and think the US is interfering where it shouldn't but most of the EU wants to diversify gas supply away from Russia as it has used its position to hold states to ransom in the past.

There's clear statements in your articles that many EU nations disagree with Germany (which as pointed out by the FT would become an energy powerhouse itself to the detriment of Ukraine from NS2 so is far from impartial here) and would prefer new pipelines from other European/Asian nations. Not that they would all wish to import US shale gas.

The articles do not support your position that the sanctions affecting NS2 are primarily about helping shale gas exports. Only that some people (mainly Germans already involved in the project) suspect this may be part of the reasoning. It may even BE a PART of the reasoning. There's a lot of pork-barrelling in anything that goes through congress. However it is not the stated reason or the primary reason. Gazprom and Rosneft are targets of sanctions because they are not normal oil companies. They are part of the Russian state's (which is not separated from the interests of any particular group as it would be in a normal democracy) criminal enterprise and personally enrich its dictator and oligarchs and pay for its ability to repress its people, wage war and interfere in US elections.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Sanctions are not only ever about the most recent cause or only ever about 1 cause. They are more often based on a pattern of behaviour over years and whether any previous sanctions have been seen as successful or if they need to be reinforced with further sanctions. Maybe once in a while the MSM might be a useful source?


(Oh, and accusing you of employing a misleading argument is not an ad hominem)

Richard Wharram

Influenced by advertising is a slightly misleading premise. They weren't trying to sell a product or a candidate. They were attempting to change mindsets by triggering viral outrage.

Instead of the advertising industry, think of how the Daily Mail in the UK and Fox News in the US have successfully turned millions of our parents into grumpy old gits who think everything is rubbish about the modern world and associate that with 'progressive' politics. Works pretty well doesn't it.

Richard Wharram

Re: Ah yes, the good old "everybody does it so let me go" trick...

Gets an upvote from me :)

Whilst I'm completely on the side of Obama/Clinton in the question of which side should have won the 2016 election, Obama and Clinton both failed badly in actually dealing with Putin and Medvedev. They basically did nothing until after 2014 when more experienced heads like 2008 candidate John McCain saw the danger then and wanted action ASAP.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Nordstrom 2 = Gazprom = Russian State = Criminal

I'm not going point to point as I stated. I don't have time or inclination so yes sometimes I will have moved between different points. Really not a big deal.

Richard Wharram

Re: @Richard

Because your points are typical Kremlin talking-points. They rely on misrepresentation of stories that are mostly true but to give a misleading impression and will have been answered better elsewhere by the likes of Kasparov or Max Boot or Snopes. I don't need to go into them point by point. Just google beyond your usual sources as you advocate.

Back to RT:


And now I'm going to watch Ray Donovan with the Mrs and have a beer.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Missing the point. Putin cronies are punished by the Magnitsky Act and such because they are criminals, complicit in a murderous regime, trying to use laundered money to live the high life in the west not because they are pro-Russian therefore your conflating the two is disingenuous and is a standard propaganda tactic used by RT, Sputnik and the like.

I may also point out the usage of whataboutism. Another standard Kremlin-line.

I'm surprised I haven't seen the "Russian critics are just trying to bring about World War 3 to enrich the military-industrial-complex" line yet.

Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Or from the sensible side of the fence we have the common truism:

"Never believe anything until the Kremlin denies it."