* Posts by Frank

401 publicly visible posts • joined 9 May 2008


China wants parental control of all PCs


@RW re. What about Linux?

"..Or are Chinese citizens even allowed to use Linux?.."

You obviously don't know about Red Flag Linux.

"..They're a very sexy people - why else would their population be so large?.."

You don't make babies by being sexy, you make babies by having sex enough times at the right time. Do you believe that the people of Monaco are not very 'sexy' because their population is so small?

Why did you use the 'expert' icon?

German hacker-tool law snares...no-one


@AC 10:26 re. Dangerous Stauble's Act

This would be the Dangerous Statutes Statute, intended to prevent stupid laws being passed. Unfortunately, whenever anyone tries it, nobody can agree on the wording and there are so many arguments about interpretation that it never gets a first reading.

HDD data density to hit 2.4Tb/in² 'by 2014'


@Ian Bradshaw rre. poor home users

If they are using 2 SSDs striped, that would be for access speed. Striping is for speed, mirroring is for data recovery.

Apart from 'specialist' kit, I can't imagine any maker of home PCs putting an extra HD in the box to give RAID mirroring since the average consumer would not appreciate it and would just moan about the higher price. Aside from that, the average consumer would need a return to shop process to fit a replacement HD and restore the mirror array after failure.

If storage reliability is a problem for the 'new' HDs then the best way forward would be for the HD itself to perform mirroring, perhaps placing mirrored data on another platter. This would give an improvement in data storage reliability but would halve the effective capacity of the HD.

I suspect that average home users will have to learn simple but robust backup procedures involving external drives. After your first experience of losing a couple of years worth of downloaded music files then you soon learn that techinique :)

US mega retailer settles spyware charges


@Gwen Cover re. Why, when a company does this

"...yet if I were to do the same thing as an individual citizen..."

Ask yourself "how much money have I given to my local/city/national politicians in donations/bribes/gifts lately?" Admit it, it's not much if anything is it? So you really can't expect to be treated leniently for criminal actions.

Royal Navy warship almost fires on UFOs


@Mark re. Lewis gets it wrong, again!

I'd have thought that the guns were in fact powered by high pressure hydraulic lines or by some beefy electric motors.

(The one with 'Annoying Pedant' written on the back)

Cambridge hospital cleans up after mystery malware infection


Never ending story

"He promised to ask technicians what strain of malware caused the infection,..."

How about asking "How the hell did it get into the system?", then making sure it doesn't/can't happen again?

Triangular buttons key to touchscreen typing success - inventor


It's still all in the wrong order

I'm still waiting for some 'genius' to figure out that the keyboard keys are not in alphabetical order. It takes ages to type anything since you have to spend most of your time hunting for each letter. If they were in alphabetical order then at least you'd have an good idea where to find them on the keyboard.

Royal Navy trials 'paging system' for submarines


Siren? Nooooooo..

Sirens are the creatures that lure mariners to their doom on rocks. They do this by singing seductively in a way that can be heard over a long distance so that lonely sailors steer towards them, etc, etc.

Will the Deep Siren have a similar effect on submarines I wonder?

Microsoft, Asus launch anti-Linuxbook campaign


@William Towle re. Re Yes But.....

Thank you William ! The El Reg hive-mind is better than Wikipedia :)


Yes but....

I watched it and it was bland, bloated and bullshit - hey, it's Microsoft :) I am wondering what the equivalent Penguinista video would look like. Apart from the suspicion that the OS 'community' would not be able to see the point of producing a video like this, or any kind of advertising for that matter; what would a Penguinista promotional video look like?

Post your answers You-Tube please and provide a link to El Reg comments by the end of June 2009 when voting will take place. The winner gets an EEE 1000 running Win-7 Starter Edition.

Microsoft breaks Windows 7 three-apps netbook handicap


XP-Pro is not good enough - why??

I'm happy using XP-Pro on my laptop and EEE 901 and will do so as long as I can. As described in the article, WIn-7 Starter doesn't have anything that XP-Pro doesn't already give me (as far as I can tell). Although I can't see why I'd want it, I also can't see why I'd miss any of it's 'missing' features if I did buy a netbook with Win-7 Starter installed. As for Remote Media Streaming - XP-Pro on my EEE does struggle with playing my domestic NAS based video files, but I'm sure that's a CPU power problem because it also struggles if I transfer them to the internal drive.

Can anyone explain why I'd want to use Win-7, Starter or Full-Fat version, if I'm happy running XP-Pro on a 5 year old laptop and an EEE 901?

ISS stuffed with full staff of six


Pin Ups

Is that Einstein or Karl Marx I can see on the right hand side of the small pin-up board in the background? Why are all the pin-ups old men? Is this what living in space does to you?!

Fans decry tennis gal's breast-slash plan


Needs Some Dampers

It's quite a problem for women involved in jumpy/bouncy sports. The girl needs in line dampers in place of her bra straps it seems. I don't know anything about this subject area but I'm sure she must be able to get a better sports bra than whatever she's using?

'Supermodel' glow-in-the-dark pocket monkeys created


Unintended Consequences

What happens if one of these escapes back into the wild? After a few generations (not long), the jungle will be full of glowing marmosets!

Gov spunks hundreds of thousands on mobe condom clip


@zerofool2005 re. Free Condoms

AFAIK, you can get free condoms from your local Family Planning clinic. As for age, that never stopped under 18s from obtaining alcohol.........

Irish politico in Facebook jub-rub outrage


All A Misunderstanding

She had just got back from a visit to a 'Well Woman' clinical appointment and was demonstrating one of the examination techniques to a friend. It's educational activity, nothing wrong with that.

IBM goes judicial over second strategic exec exit


Watse of Court Time and Legal Fees

'....with the companies agreeing Papermaster "shall not use or disclose any IBM confidential information." ..'

Isn't that what Papermaster agreed to do anyway as part of his normal contract termination terms?

Cameron wants techies to open up Parliament


Pathetic Clowns

"Objectors claim that selectively edited clips could be used to make parliamentarians look silly."

How pathetic can you get? Anyway, clowns are supposed to look silly.

"The Civil Service also objects that its staff should not be required to moderate any comments put up in response to officially posted clips"

They don't need to moderate comments. Just disable comments on the clips, duh! They knew that this was possible of course but they said that to give the false impression that there would be extra work to do in moderating comments. I'm not sure what the correct word is for this particular kind of falsehood, let's just call it a fairly sophisticated lie; it's what they do most of the time so they are good at it.

The cameras in Parliament should be fed out as an IPTV stream available to any UK ISP so that we, the people who put them there and pay for their seconds homes and keep them living in style, can watch what they are doing.

As an extra, the cameras should have cross hair targets and paint ball guns so that sufficient 'votes' over the internet within a short period of time will cause the currently targeted clown to be splatted.

Water utility auditor resigns, transfers $9m offshore


A Big Misunderstanding

This is obviously all a big misunderstanding. He's an auditor and what he's doing is checking the company procedures for dealing with resignation of staff. He's carrying out activities intended to excercise and stress those procedures so find put where the weak points are. He can probably produce an e-mail from someone asking him to audit procedures.

OK, he's got a bit carried away and has extended the test to external banks and police agencies, but this is good, it shows he is keen and committed to doing a really good job of this test. There are many links between a company and external organisations and these links have to be tested.

When he's finally apprehended, he'll ask the arresting officer to sign and date the corresponding item on the test script and that will be the end of it.

Lad from Lagos bids $100 trillion for Madoff empire


@Gav re. You may laugh

You're right actually. According to what I read, there is not a shortage of money, there is a shortage of confidence and credit. This guy has to be given credit for his confidence!

All we need is lots of confidence, all financial deals to be done on a 100 year repayment plan and all will be well; for our lifetimes and our children's lifetimes. After 100 years, our grandchildren can start refinancing packages and so it will go on, a lifetime of luxury for everyone for ever!

Microsoft backs 'Bing' with big ad push


Easier way to advertise?

Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to buy Adword placings on Google; such as 'search', 'web search', 'search engine', etc? The target market is already there and looking.

Weary locals scratch Butt Hole Road


Kick ass video

It's good to see that mindless obscene language isn't limited to just the UK :) The F-word, england's major contribution to international communication.

Stolen RAF files are blackmailer's dream


@nigel re. ruskies, iranians mossad

"..if your employer used secret access to covert surveillance and your medical records to boot you out your job you see them in court."

When people at this level of sensitivity are appointed, they sign up to having covert surveillance performed on them and sign up to being booted out for any reason whatsoever. Harsh but necessary in some case.

Also, I was told by an ex-RAF guy that there are confidential standing orders, applying to officers, which state that they are not allowed to commit adultery with the spouse of other serving RAF personnel. It sounds far fetched I know, but why should he make it up?

Can any RAF people give clarification on these matters?

Amazon joins with TuneCore for on-demand CD pressing


Who 'owns' the music?

From reading the article, it's not stated, but I assume that the artist retains IP rights (call it what you will) over the material they get Amazon/TuneCore to distribute for them in this way. If so, this is a much better deal that the major labels would offer them but only on that aspect of the business.

Amazon/TuneCore are acting as a distributing and marketing contractor and only that, which is fine, but they do not (can not?) act as publisher, rights protector, legal advisor, concert organiser, promoter, etc etc.

I'm not saying that the major labels do a wonderful job for most artists in those other areas of the business, but it is a service they provide as part of the signing up deal. For a new artist, the Amazon/TuneCore way is a low cost entry point that is easy to try and it doesn't hurt too much if you fail. If an artist succeeds on this route then hopefully the independent labels will offer them a good deal.

If they can break the law, why can't we?


A few points

I think this is a well written and thoughtful article, but I'd like to raise some points about something the author said.....

"...if the public reflected more quietly on the issues, it is probable they would not wish their own employers to pursue such a draconian policy either."

There is a contract of employment between my employer and myself and either of us are free to terminate it under simple conditions within a short time. There is no contract between MPs and the people who voted to put them into Parliament. The people have to wait years for an opportunity to appoint a replacement.

My employer has written rules, available for me to read at all times. The vast majority of these rules only apply during the hours of work when I am 'performing my duties'. Outside those hours, my employer does not care what I do. MPs pass into law, rules that apply to me 24/365 and give power to their agents (police) to make up rules on the fly with no consultation with me.

(This is a turnaround situation where the appointee now has power over the 'appointer').

The situation and the effects of the relationship between the 'people' and the MPs and their agents are totally unlike the employer/employee relationship. Hence you cannot draw working comparisons between them. The authors statement (in quotes above) would be valid for a relationship between two normal people or a person and a reasonably 'benign' organisation. This is not the case for Parliament and the people.

Amazon cloud welcomes airplanes of data


@jake re. Nothing new

I don't know who you've been hanging around with, but the vast majority of brits call a station wagon type vehicle an 'estate car'. There may be some aristocratic/victorian throwbacks living in your area who you hang around with but you really shouldn't pay much attention to how they talk.

Women coppers eager to drop trousers


@Alice Andretti re. Front-pleated pants...

I've had that problem with front pleats in trousers, especially when I sit down. It's embarassing and looks like I'm smuggling a baby rabbit.

The trick is to sew down the top two inches of the pleat, from the waistband down, along the pleat fold. If you're really clever you could sew it from inside the pleat so the stitching doesn't show. Then, the area between the pleats is prevented from billowing out.

It's amazing the little tricks you learn as you go through life.


Some Demonstrable Facts Please

This article would be much better if it had a gallery of pictures of policewomen in the various uniform options available to them. Ideally, it would include policewomen from various countries so that we could gain an international perspective on this so-called problem.

DHS to field Star Trek 'Tricorder' medscanner

Thumb Up

@Jason Togneri re.@Ash

I thought it was a helpful expansion, with explanatory detail in colloquial language, of a paragraph in the article. It helped to clarify the facts in my mind.

[Thanks Ash ]

Oz man fined for drink-drive rumpy-pumpy


Safety Consideration

Did he have the rear view mirror properly adjusted so he could see what he was doing?

European 'standard' e-car power connector details emerge


So simple, yet so complicated

"..The connector itself *is being constructed* by German firm Mennekes,..."

"The Mennekes *proposal* has already been agreed upon by ....."

Key question: Who owns the design rights (IP, form and function, appearance, etc., etc) to this simple arrangement of plastic and metal?

Will anyone jump up in 5 years time and say "Hey, we have a patent on that, pay us royalities!" ?

More doubts on ID card readers


@Dennis re. Re: That's the trouble

That was your wife after you'd been married a couple of years. It happens a lot.



At least a banana republic works in a way that is understandable (and thus can be modified). How the hell the UK manages to work, I can not understand.

Vatican declares 'the internet is blessed'



"....which does nothing to promote growth in understanding and untolerance,"

Did he really say that? lol.

MP expenses leaker may never be found


@Cameron Colley re. RE:Soo Basically

"..if you paid a butler 1/4 of your wages and a percentage of every product you purchased wouldn't you want to know where they lived and what they spent their expenses on."

No, I'd just want to get a job as a butler to a wealthy family.

Next-gen e-book readers to slim down


@Alex Walsh re. No ta

(Same here but with Mobipocket reader on my eee.) It's not the purchase cost that bothers me though; it's the ability to get DRM free books that I can read on a 'reader' or netbook or laptop, as *I choose*. Until the market in e-books, e-docs or whatever settles down (or even gets properly established) and I can be sure of truly understanding what I'm letting myself in for, then I'm not going anywhere near them.

Blighty's black honeybee comes in from the cold


@Charlie re. British Natives...

Bzzzzzz off or you'll get your arse stung!

Israeli boffin invents "OkayToKiss™" pocket bad-breath test


Feeling Blue

"..the test kit will turn blue .."

Just don't get it confused with another self test product.

@Phil Endecott :- I spent some time thinking about that - damn you!

Hacked flight sim site in catastrophic crash and burn


Undeleteable backup

My cheap little NAS box has a 500GB USB hard drive hanging off it for expanded storage. Only the NAS box internal backup routine can write to it. I can read from it over the network so I use it as a library for all my media files, and an autobackup store for my relatively small NAS based work folder. (Yes, I know that anyone who breaks into my network and can get past the NAS box admin password can delete the USB drive contents, but I could configure my router to prevent that if I knew how; etc, etc.)

Some arrangement like that, or even hard drives that have a 'read only' hardwired switch would prevent major data loss from a website due to external attack. I know my arrangement is homebrew and doesn't have the bandwidth for any public facing use but surely some suitable arrangement can achieve this level of protection for a website which is vulnerable to external attack?

Archaeologists unearth oldest known 3D pornography


@Graham T re. The boffins also found a dildo

"The prehistoric "tool" was reassembled from 14 fragments of siltstone"

I bet it was a hand-held sharpening stone used to put a point back on a deer antler plough or something useful like that, you know, those essential to daily life things that were oh so common and vital in those days.

A soon as a modern, beardy, sex-starved archaeologist sees the thing, it get's incorporated into his fantasies and becomes a broken dildo, sheesh. Note the additional information in the article..."it was also at times used for knapping flints"....I rest my case.

UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust


@Eq re. @"I just can't wait"

"You know you're part of the Internet generation when things are "deep routed". "

Yup, he should of used a dickshunry to check the meening of words. Even I new that won.

'Della': Dell's very special site for women


It's really nice

I like the use of pastel colours here and find this site so much less threatening than the original site. It doesn't talk down to me and it makes me feel that my opinions are wanted and valued.

I do worry though that if I buy a computer from this site then my friends and colleagues will somehow think I'm less of a man. What do you think, am I worrying too much?

Uni students invent 'radiation-proof' cloth for Moon tents


It's Easy

Draws a diagram showing two thin layers of material bonded together.

Draws a line from one layer to a text box that says 'outer layer: solar cells'

Draws a line from the other layer to a text box saying 'inner layer: radiation deflector/absorber'

Runs over to the patent office with my invention - woohoo!

(Gets accused of reductionist cynicism but I'm used to that)

Vodafone opens gates to barbarians


Oh My God!

Another way for scammers and thieves to skim money from your mobile phone account.

It's bad enough that Vodafone allow premium rate text message thieves to take money from your account by the simple act of sending you a text message that you never asked for or authorised in any way. Now they're going to give them an API for the billing system!

Site schools world+dog in browsing history pilfering


Head in the sand

Do your surfing in a sandbox: http://www.sandboxie.com/

You have to clean between your toes and other places when you've finished, but your hard drive contents are not altered.

Google's email goes titsup (again)


@Steve Adams re. SLAs?

You can't have a SLA for a free service. For a formal agreement you need a contract to exist, and for that there needs to be a payment by the user of the service to the provider of the service.

If you use a free service then you get what you are given and that is all you can expect.

Electronics giants raise ruckus over Project Canvas


Tell them to F*** Off

"..risks isolating the UK as a "technological island" in a global market.."

They are right of course, There is a risk that if project Canvas goes ahead, the UK will be a place where the CE manufacturers cannot exercise their technology monopoly control over what people can buy and where they can get content from. This is obviously a bad thing - for them. The UK has long been a 'price island' for hardware, software and media, all to the benefit of foreign (and UK) companies which now see an upcoming gouging opportunity slipping away from them.

As for Ofcom, I thought they were there to protect the interests of the UK population and the UK industry (probably more industry than the sheeple they feed on). In which case, they should tell these CE manufacturers to f*** off.

An investigation is needed into what 'inducements' these and other CE manufacturers have been giving to Ofcom staff and higher level politicians in order to persuade them to block Canvas and other initiatives. Am I correct in thinking that Sky was a major player in a recent campaign to get project Kangaroo blocked? Where did the inducements come from and who pocketed them?

Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'


@Sarah Bee re. Re. I know

How about a straw man/bear/pig?


@DirkGently re.RE:Wonderful

I thought the usual expression was 'straw man'? Maybe you're trying for one of those neologism things? (What does a straw bear do in the woods and is this related to the Pope being a Catholic?)

DARPA to develop anti-Credit Crunch software


re. marble-localisation issue

"Currently, the metric for assessing system survivability uses a fixed and known reliability. As reliability is a physical propensity, it cannot be known."

Those marbles are out of the door and heading down the road.