* Posts by Jim T

45 publicly visible posts • joined 16 May 2008

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Jim T

The Opensource Embracers.

Just to niggle those at the company who don't like it, and nod to the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish cycle ...

Oklahoma cops rake ashes of 'spontaneous combustion' victim

Jim T

SHC = I don't know

Surely all their saying is "I don't know what caused this". Pretending SHC is something specific is pretty poor for an official. The pile of SHC cases are part of the Unexplained file. Unexplained does not mean ALIENS or anything like that.

Google Nexus 4 flips finger at Sandy, appears on YouTube

Jim T

Also needed - accesories!

Please LG, don't screw us over like samsung did with the accessories for the galaxy nexus.

Give us official car & desk docks at a reasonable price with the launch of the device, or quickly after.

Samsung was several months. In fact, I'm not sure that everything they promised has been release yet.

Jim T

Nexus has been small for a while

The last couple of nexus phones have had no SD card and only 16GB of storage. It's kind of what they do.

I'd like a larger option, personally.

Also, the styling of the device looks really poor and uninspiring.

However, at £280 for a quad core phone with an IPS screen, 2G ram and wireless charging ... I might well be tempted ...

Polar sea ice could set another record this year

Jim T

Re: Predictable

Nice to see you've read that article with such a high degree of comprehension. But apparently missed the significance of one of the key phrases

"So then, the question is, why do people deny this? ... if your answer to that question is, "oh, because they're stupid" -- well, you're wrong."

The point of the article is that motivated reasoning is the cause of a lot of the mismatch between what certain people say - and that it certainly occurs in all areas and that no-one is immune. But science is itself an attempt to get over that hurdle by measuring against reality and having an open debate over the actual data.

The reason I linked Chris Mooney is that Lewis' article attempted to counter "The Arctic is melting" message with a "The Antarctic is growing" message, even though that message is partial and inappropriate in this context, and I believe anyone who actually looks at the data and pulls this argument out of it is deliberately blinding themselves. Hence, reliance on it appears to come from motivated reasoning.

Of course, the chances are that Lewis' did not look at the data, but simply repeated what he's heard from other sources that he liked the sound of. This is what most of us do, certainly it's what I do, as I don't have the time or inclination to actually look at the data myself and try to parse it.

If climate science really is such a mess, you should be able to pick up a bounty here by showing it:


Jim T
Thumb Down



Contrary points of view are all very well, but to quote Jeff:

"But Antarctic sea ice is growing!

It's a sure thing that when Arctic sea ice hits new record lows, global warming contrarians will attempt to draw attention away from the Arctic by talking about sea ice around Antarctica.

This analysis is highly misleading, as it ignores the fact that Antarctica has actually been warming in recent years. In fact, the oceans surrounding Antarctica have warmed faster than the global trend, and there has been accelerated melting of ocean-terminating Antarctic glaciers in recent years as a result of warmer waters eating away the glaciers. There is great concern among scientists about the stability of two glaciers in West Antarctica (the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers) due the increase in ocean temperatures. These glaciers may suffer rapid retreats that will contribute significantly to global sea level rise. "

This article appears to tie in well with the "smart idiot" effect:


Microsoft blasts 'web video killer' Motorola Mobility in EU gripe

Jim T

Re: Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

Microsoft wont say what patents android allegedly infringes, so any attempt to stop infringing is impossible.

Software patents have an appalling track record for being obvious stuff. Bill Gates said as much in his 1980's memo to get more patents, something along the line of "Just think of what's coming along the line and patent it, it doesn't have to be groundbreaking". The whole patent licensing issue is on extremely bad terms from microsoft.

Jim T
Thumb Down

Re: Re: Re: Re: Costs

H.264 cannot be implemented by a free browser, such as chromium, firefox, konqueror, etc.

WebM is an attempt to write a new codec which can be used freely across the web.

Jim T

Re: Re: Re: Costs

Doesn't matter if you implement one yourself, you'll still be infringing on these patents.

That's kind of the problem with patents.

Lovefilm dumps Flash, BLINDS Linux fans with Silverlight

Jim T

Nope, no way

I've never been particularly happy with LoveFilm as a streaming service. Mainly due to movie availability, quality of the interface, etc.

However, until now, I've always wanted them to succeed.

But moving from something doomed but ubiquitous to something that's doomed and nowhere, well, screw them, we're cancelling. It's just easier to torrent the bastard things.

We might stream on demand from android market. Unless I root my xoom. Hmm, torrents just look better and better.

Yet Spotify still feels like it's working quite nicely ...

Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser

Jim T

Hmm, a continuation of chrome bashing?

Microsoft were bashing Chrome continually through their Build conference, are they getting serious now?

Amazon's app store spotted outside US

Jim T

It was there, now it's gone

I managed to snag yesterday's free app of the day: Box It! 2, which is quite cool, but I guess this was an accidental bug rather than a release, as all access has gone now. I've still got box it tho, which is nice.

Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password

Jim T

50 character password

How did they work out that it's 50 characters, exactly, if they don't know what it is?

Unless he was bragging, of course.

Microsoft secretly yanks TechNet product keys

Jim T


not enough keys to work with, time to go find those key generators again then.

'Larry and Sergey's HTML5 balls drained my resources'

Jim T


It's a search page, not your main work screen.

It uses no CPU at all when it's still.

Seriously, did some actually mention carbon usage?

It's an animation, not the friggin apocolaypse.

Vodafone won't act on customers' HTC Desires

Jim T

Good to see tradition being upheld

It's certainly a tradition of carriers to royally f*ck up the phones they sell. If it's not blocking off voip apps and removing mapping features on an 'upgrade' it's putting dodgy 'improvements' on the phone that they then can't be bothered to upgrade to the latest baseline when it comes out.

Very happy with my nexus one, brought sim free from the google store. No carriers or phone manufacturers to get in the way with their 'improvements' and break it.

HPC in the cloud? Not so much

Jim T

More of a cultural thing really

To counter this report I'll like to James Hamilton's blog:


HPC has a history of people saying 'never' and then jumping ship faster than ever imagined.

Worries about algorithms and data always have been bumf. Also, it's possible that HPC in the could may open the field of HPC to _more_ people, established players are not the only possible beneficiaries.

Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps

Jim T


In further news, millions of pounds was spent putting tarmac on roads in 2009. Pundits say this is a complete waste, as the roads were clearly passable with the majority of todays vehicles, and cheaper alternatives, such as mud and sand have existed for years.

Why we love to hate Microsoft

Jim T


First and foremost, for me, microsoft need to clean up their act on patent enforcement.

The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Jim T

@AndrueC - Windows Update?

Yeah, works great for updating firefox, flash, java, chrome, air, notepad++, spotify, openoffice, and all games.

Oh wait, I mean they all implement their own updates triggered by background tasks or on startup ...

Windows - for when you want to manage a hundred different ways of updating your apps.

Jim T

Fanboi shoutout - don't be fooled by the ricer image of gentoo

Performance is only one part of the reason for the compile it yourself approach.

The other part is to provide a true continuous release process customized to your needs, rather than the periodical big bangs provided by binary distros.

A binary package may have to provide separate versions of a package, "Ubuntu 9.04, 9.10, 10.0.4" each compiled for the specific version of the platform you're targetting. This is one of the main reasons that they have major bumps - so that everything can be built on the same compiler, libc, etc.

In gentoo, the whole system continouously evolves onwards as new packages are released. There's no need to package for a specific version of the platform, set your dependencies accordingly and it will keep everything in trim.

It's not as automated as it could be, and is definitely not for the faint of heart, but there's payoff's too.

It's another option in your choice of how to run your shop.

Terence Conran slams 'appalling' Olympic mascots

Jim T

Ummm ...

I like 'em

*duck and run*

Vodafone shocks data users with roaming price rise

Jim T
Thumb Down


In a recent trip to the US, my partner and I used my vodaphone phone for the exclusively for the internet because the O2 charges were so extortionate. Now they've done this, just about the only option is to turn it off.

Microsoft's FUD goes mobile

Jim T

I love software patents

It's just so cool that you can get paid for software that other people make, sell & support.

It's even better that you get keep all the agreements secret so that no-one can even pretend to work around you.

Child abuse frame-up backfires on stalker

Jim T

So can 'dad' still volunteer with children now?

After all, there's been allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him leading to his arrest. Wouldn't this show up on the CRB check?

What if someone else lodges a false complaint? Especially if they know that doing so would bolster the case against him. "Arrested twice, huh?"

What about that american visa waiver question - he's been arrested for moral terpitude, so presumably he can't get the waiver online ... does he now have to carry documentation to determine his innocence in the matter?

Microsoft clutches open source to its corporate heart

Jim T

Is this a markov chain?


'Perpetual' software licence doesn't last forever, rules court

Jim T

Sigh, so now we have to re-word our contracts

So what word are we supposed to be using when we mean 'just let us run the damn software we paid for'

A 'perpetual licence' seems an appropriate phrasing, until now.

Microsoft slapped with $106m patent kipper

Jim T

Rip up this patent system

Whilst I'm always glad to see large overpowerful companies get a knock, this whole patent fiasco has to come to an end.

Google Nexus One

Jim T
Thumb Up

Pretty much there

One advantage I find with this phone is that it's completely stand-alone, you don't need any software at all on your computer for day to day usage. Even upgrading the firmware can be done entirely on the phone itself.

By using web based apps, like facebook and google mail/talk, everything is just automatically sync'd with what you see on your computer.

It does work best if you use a google account to sync everything up. Also, the failover mode is awesome, especially if you allow google to backup everything - if you reset your phone, or get a replacement, everything is re-installed and restored automatically on the handset once you log back in to your google account. (SD card contents may be the exception here).

One downside I've found is that the touch screen can be slow: you can't play musical instruments like drums or keyboard on this phone and have any rythym - even tho the apps exist to let you. And typing can be a problem as it occasionally chooses keys completely unrelated to where you pressed. This isn't always a problem, my phone tends to go through spurts of this.

All in all, an excellent attempt, and the first gadget I actually use on a daily basis for ages.

Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'

Jim T
Thumb Up

Why would you need a box?

Eric Raymond posted about exactly this just recently:

How smartphones will disrupt PC's: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1759

Basically, in a few years if you add a keyboard and monitor to your smartphone you'll have a platform that's good for 90% of the uses of a PC, with useable interfaces, but with the advantages that you can just unplug it and use it as a normal phone as you do now.

Lets face it. Nexus One, 1Ghz processor, 4Gb hard disk, 0.25Gb RAM. This was a reasonable PC not long ago. It runs googleearth, java apps and web browsers just fine.

I'm sure it's not too hard to attach a bluetooth keyboard to a device like this, and if it could power a full sized display, we're pretty much there.

Play.com touts Nexus One with added price

Jim T

Ahem - still cheaper than amazon

They're weighing in at £639


Microsoft woos web devs with (semi-)free stuff

Jim T

@Swarthy - what's the catch?

The catch is natural lock in - MS are pretty worried about rivals such as open source kits which are available for free, especially in this economy. This way they can pretty much eliminate the "free" aspect of the competition, and after three years (eternity for a startup) you've got the choice of paying them some actual money or porting everything to another system. After three years of development, the latter's not likely.

Also it's designed for companies that offer web design for other customers. So the customers have their website on an MS stack, if they want to take their business elsewhere, it'll have to be someone else who's on an MS stack, or face a more expensive rewrite.

It's a fairly genious marketing ploy. Everything gets based on the MS stack, which as we all know is fantastically interoperable with everything else out there.

Linus calls Linux 'bloated and huge'

Jim T

@Crazy Operations Guys

Seriously, fact check. Linus and his lieutenants(sp?) have absolutely no problem tearing your patch to shreds, rejecting it because it's useless or just plain doesn't fit with the kernel.

They have no problem with being seen as the bad guys.

Highways Agency plans new speed cameras

Jim T
Thumb Down

Speed limits

I still think that reducing posted speed limits by 1mph would be more cost effective than this without particularly affecting travel times. For the same reason that advertisers usually take a penny off the price, (29) gets you thinking 20-something, (30) gets you thinking 30-something.

Texan judge outlaws Word

Jim T

Even tho it's microsoft

I can't help but be appalled at this.

Software patents have got to be stopped.

Brain-jacking fungus turns living victims into 'zombies'

Jim T

@Nextweek Re, I call fake

That's a fine theory, and testable - ie, do ants regularly go jab their mandibles into a high leaf when they're ill? I suspect people who study this may have already considered it ...

Actually I'm not sure why it would make sense that the ants, when feeling ill, would of their own volition position themselves high above other ants and let the disease bearing agents rain down on their kin.

Personally I'll at least listen to the people who care about being right on this.

Jim T

Another excuse to post a youtube vid

Watch the horrors unfold here:


These fungii scare me witless.

SCO inks last-second life-saving Unix pact

Jim T

Sounds familiar

It can't be bargained with! It can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!

Amazon Elastic Cloud service storms Europe

Jim T

Good good

Will there be different T&C's for the eurpean servers? The current T&C's still specify that the servers are under US law ...

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out

Jim T
Thumb Down

Well, I didn't accept this eula.

It looks like the eula's only on the website, but I downloaded the installer through a direct link to the exe and was completely unaware that it existed.

Also the eula wasn't shown during the install.

So they don't have an agreement from me on this copyright, and presumably many others - so it's a worthless document.

Still, I've uninstalled it on principle, pending proper clarification, can't be having that, even if it is supposed to be for promotion of the browser (no you can't use my confidential company data in your screenshot).

Obama bloats Vista by 11MB

Jim T

On Vista 64bit here

and the update size was 62Mb ...

Not entirely sure why the update would be bigger on 64bit architecture ...

But why oh why is it marked Important - the same level as the "This problem allows attackers to take over your computer" problems ...

Google and the End of Science

Jim T


Ah, so is this the flatlanding that Wilber goes on about, when the "externals" are the only realities considered, and the internal "models" thrown away or considered worthless?

It doesn't strike me that you can follow one line or the other and be balanced, throwing out models for facts alone seems like a dry and possibly ethically challenged viewpoint, as bad a throwing out facts and just living in a world of arbitrary models.

God makes you stupid, researchers claim

Jim T

I still like the integral model

And other models, like spiral dynamics, that see individual people developing through stages. As people develop, God takes on different forms, a personal God that's out there and looking down is actually one of the lower levels, but the higher levels aren't too well populated yet ...

Higher levels require higher intelligence (well, cognition, almost but not quite the same), but higher intelligence alone isn't enough.

Not sure how much there is to it, but it sounds good.

Google defends open source from 'poisonous people'

Jim T

Poisonous people everywhere

"There are NO absolutes" ... that's right, absolutely NO absolutes - absolutely stated :)

I'm all for what these guys are doing, whether adding names to source is right or wrong, I don't really care, point is they've found what they think is an indicator of poisonous people. Find it, take it out, move on. If you disagree with their policy, then here's a hint - the test is actually _how_ you disagree, and looking at these comments is quite an education in that respect.

There's a lot of projects which have to deal with poisonous people, and gentoo is one where a lot of damage has been caused by them.

There's definitely a balancing act to keep talent without bogging down on politics, but having seen the results of a lot of people's unchecked vitriol, I think I'm glad that at least some people are finding ways to keep a tab on these things.

Swiss birdman in Alpine backpack-jetplane stunt flight

Jim T

Surely there's a missing application here ...

it'd be an awesome way to commute to work.