* Posts by Matt

64 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Apr 2007


Street View prowls the Emerald Isle


@Mr Evans

Are you the Edge?

Also why does www.google.ie exist but maps.google.ie not work?

Through trial and error I've found that if you stick "Ireland" at the end of an address and also drop the "Co." (so e.g. anywhere in Co. Dublin is just Dublin) it (maps.google.co.uk will do reasonably well at locating the address. It's certainly better than maps.live.com...

Microsoft: Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC


@ Michael Joyce - more English

Warning: here be some "Cut and paste" shenanigans:



Main Entry:





Middle English, from Latin — more at twi-

1 a: two <bilateral> b: coming or occurring every two <bicentennial> c: into two parts <bisect>2 a: twice : doubly : on both sides <biconvex> b: coming or occurring two times <biannual> — compare semi-3: between, involving, or affecting two (specified) symmetrical parts <bilabial>4 a: containing one (specified) constituent in double the proportion of the other constituent or in double the ordinary proportion <bicarbonate> b: di- 2 <biphenyl>

usage Many people are puzzled about bimonthly and biweekly, which are often ambiguous because they are formed from both senses 1b and 2b of bi-. This ambiguity has been in existence for nearly a century and a half and cannot be eliminated by the dictionary. The chief difficulty is that many users of these words assume that others know exactly what they mean, and they do not bother to make their context clear. So if you need bimonthly or biweekly, you should leave some clues in your context to the sense of bi- you mean. And if you need the meaning “twice a,” you can substitute semi- for bi-. Biannual and biennial are usually differentiated.


(I appreciate the irony of cut and pasting from an American dictionary here, but I don't have access to OED)

So it does seem that bi-hourly could be correctly interpreted as either "twice an hour" or "every two hours". (Although the previous sentence would suggest they meant the second.)


Oracle reels in Sun Microsystems with $7.4bn buy



Always liked the sun logo - quite clever really. Pity it'll go. (Not quite as important as the jobs that will go admittedly)

Carry On producer Peter Rogers dead at 95

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@Sarah, @lansalot

Brilliant responses to pctechxp, very appropriate!

Brits 'a bunch of yellow bastards', says irate Yank

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@Dan Mika

Nice comment - I find it's all too easy to get caught up in stereo-typing and/or base our opinions of a place/people on a very limited amount of information - film/tv/wikipedia (shudder) or whatever, and not stop to think that the reality probably isn't quite like that...

I also love the way these comment sessions kick off on the reg. Ever notice that quite often "serious" articles have few comments, but the ones that seem to get us all going are the less serious - like this, or ones on spelling.

As for stereo typing I look forward to the article shortly once they get the streets of Dublin up there with a caption on the lines of "Shocker: The Irish really *do* drink".

UFO wind turbine prang site: Exclusive photos

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Job envy

Fair play Lester - you seem to have this job thing sussed - while the rest of us are worried about job security etc. in "the current econmic climate" (tm) you bravely soldier on - surely having convinced you boss to update your jobspec/role to include a section on playing with toys.

ArseASA rules 'Feck' non-offensive


"A person complained "

A person complained. One person.

Get a life. Better yet,

feck off person!

Serial troll vents steam through ears


@ac, 08:51

Fascinating is right!

Holy crap, what's the deal with this nutter? The more of that stuff I read the more I kept getting the feeling that in the not to distant future I'll be reading about a certain A. Kempf being involved in some sort of shooting spree or something on those lines.

Where's the "watch this space, potential killing spree" icon?

YouTube goes spandex with MGM movie deal


@Simon Dummett

I was wondering what he did in all his spare time between the LiveAid and Live8 gigs!

Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's



Until the first "clever" reader comments to correct the incorrect apostrophes in the title/sub title?

I'd say < 2 mins!

David Tennant quits Who


@Graham Cluley

I concur.

Presumably then Brand and Woss, sorry Ross, then be brought in to play the villains? Their preferred method of attack being answer phone based shenanigans.

Spanish cities surrender to Street View


@AC 08:46



BBC clarifies location of England


@Chris Hamilton

Just to add to the mix:

Ulster <> Northern Ireland.

The island of Ireland has 32 counties (26 in the Rep., 6 in NI).

Also contains 4 provinces. These 4 are Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster. (Might recognise some rugby teams named after these!).

Ulster is made up of the 6 counties of NI - Fermanagh, Antrim, Tyrone, Down, Armagh + Derry/Londonderry (last one's name depending on who you are), *plus* 3 counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan from the Republic.

So to say Ulster meaning NI, while it is done, (e.g. "Ulster says No") isn't strictly correct.

Another aside:

If you want to further wonder about all this look at sports:

Soccer - national teams for England, Scotland, Wales, NI, ROI

Rugby - national teams for England, Scotland, Wales one team "Ireland" - which is ROI+NI

Athletics - Team GB (England, Scotland, Wales + NI - should probably be called Team UK) and Team Ireland (ROI only)

Why all the differences??

Artist to smoke Cobain's ashes

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Touché, Jim, touché.

Well played sir ;-)


Jim the toss. er.

Did we figure out if Jim the Boss was:

a. an idiot

b. a troll

c. a cheap imitation of aManfromMars

d. a sad sap with an overinflated sense of impotance

e. all of the above


BTW Good work Sarah!

Democratic rep fathered alleged Palin hacker


Cold Shower?

"promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower."

Doesn't taking a cold shower normally imply you're trying to "calm yourself down".

I wonder what he saw in those emails that got him so excited - Dick Smith employee style amateur pr0n starring Ms. Palin perhaps?

This could be the real story!!

Oz woman sold mobe with preloaded smut

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@Alan Brown

Love it!

Entirely unrelated of course, but sill funny - I was recently asked by an Italian couple (judging by their accents) where "Pissy World" was.

Took me a moment to figure out they were looking for PC World.

I prefer their name!

IT pay jumps as skills gap widens


Degree not worth the paper it's printed on?

I concur with the theme that seems to be running here - a good degree alone (or even at all) is not necessarily worth much...

I did a BSc in CS and managed to get a First, which was nice, but the amount of interviews I did before landing a job was scary. Luckily I'd a few things backing me up, which sealed the deal. During college I had gotten summer jobs working as a junior programmer for a small firm that produced financial software. I'm slightly ashamed to say that even after 2 years of the (4 year) course I only heard what the registry was during the work. I did the same again after 3rd year, then during final year I worked in a call centre (not IT related). I managed to convince the manager that my time would be better spent writing some software to them that would analyse and present stats to them, than if I was answering calls. He agreed, so I did that.

While seemingly small things these summer jobs and blagged experience was what got my foot in the door, I later found out just how - my first real job was with a large, well known consulting firm. Within a few weeks I was given a task by an overworked HR person to vet some new graduate CVs - I was given strict criteria - bin them if they didn't have a 2.0 degree at least (so that's only the first step) then they needed some form of practical experience, a willingness to travel, also extra activities that weren't IT related - so if your hobby was "running own server farm" you were ditched. And then the hard to quantify "fit with the company culture". Following these rules I had to ditch at least one outstanding CV - the guy had a first, a masters, loads of decent lab experience - but still didn't make the grade.

Otto Z. Stern possibly dead at 57


@Gordon @TVOR

- Gordon, agree "funny as arse cancer" is a great comment. Must find a way to use in a meeting to see how it goes down!

- VOR, agree, I'm quite tired of the amanfrommars posts - don't think it's software, I think it's someone thinking they're being clever and/or witty. Either way I really don't see the point, and certainly don't think he's a hero of any sorts, as has been suggested ;-)

Winehouse jibe wins Fringe's funniest gag

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Ditto to David

I agree with David - I too think the second joke is funnier - although the throwaway comment from the winner ".. I know self-harming is not funny but it's just a joke, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it." is genius.

YouTube pros cash in on deaths with fake vids


@AC 16:34

<quote>or should that be "they're" not "their"?</quote>

In this sentence?

"But the fact that their remixing of someone else's footage is not immediately clear.."


Read again - it says "their remixing of" - the "their" implying ownership of something, the thing being the "remixing of". Had it said "remixing someone else's" they're would be more appropriate as then it would have read - "But the fact that they are remixing someone else's.."


Old timers rattle zimmers at 'Elderly Persons' sign


@ Joseph Haig

What if the road was so slippery the car actually did a 180 and is now carrying on skidding forwards facing in the wrong direction?

Ex-Googlers reinvent web search


Unfortunate choice of name there chaps, not so "cool"

As a former student of Gaeilge, I'm not 100% convinced on their choice of title, or their pronuciation (I'm willing to take corrections on this, it's 14 years since I've spoken or written any Irish)

The vowel sounds in "cuil" would not afaik make a sound like "cool" but more like "kwil" or the word quill in English - there's no fada (accent) to broaden the sound. "Cúil" on the other hand would sound like "cool".

Here's the funny bit.

cuil (no fada) translates to "fly" or ... "bug"

cúil (with fada) translates to "back", "back end", or better again "dump".

I think they may have been thinking of the word "ciall" (pr keel) which means "wisdom". Then again, maybe they're secretly telling us that cuil.com really is a buggy dump?

US nuke missile crew falls asleep on the job



Hence the atricle being in the Bootnotes section, genius.

HP shatters excessive packaging world record


@AC - dodgy maths


2 sheets of paper is not 32 pages, or have the rules changed since my last reincarnation?


No rule change. Read again.

What the überbox did contain was 16 smaller boxes "which in turn [each] contained (wrapped in foam so they wouldn't get broken) exactly two sheets of A4 paper":

Key phrases here "in turn" or "each". 16 smaller boxes **each** contained two sheets of paper. Guess what 16 * 2 equals, go on, you'll kick yourself!

Ubuntu trumpets aromatic pistou of borage


All together now

"participation of the entire table is requested"

You what now?

Isn't this how restaurents generally work? I.e. everyone at the table eats. Are they worried that large groups will show up and take up seats but everyone will actually eat?

Mayor Boris to cover Porsche costs in CO2 tax brouhaha


@ Sean Ellis

I agree - often thought this myself.

I own and drive a 4x4. Oooo, booo, I must hate the world and puppies and kittens. I will admit there is no real reason for me to have one (never drive off road, pull horse boxes etc) so why do I have one? I like them. Next car will probably also be a 4x4.

Having shown how evil I am consider this - I get the bus to work so I drive the car only at weekends. I cover ~3.5k miles a year. Yet the road tax I pay is huge. And if I was in London (or CC is brought to other places) I'd be paying huge chunks of money on that too.

Now consider the person with the <1.0L VW "Tinything" who drives to work every day. I won't do the maths here, but there's a cutoff point of me doing 3500 miles in a year becomes less evil as the everyday use of the little car - who pays less tax, and isn't considered as evil.

Proper way to tax this fairly - on fuel. This rewards both small engined cars as they'd use less fuel, or low mileage cars, as well, they'd use less fuel. Surely the less fuel being used the better - as apposed to measurements that are assumed anyway?

Google's Street View spycar clocked in London


Opel v Vauxhall

Off topic a bit:

Essentailly Vauxhall cars = Opel Cars. Both GM brands (since the 30s or so I think) since the 70s both have had pretty much the same range, badged differently for different territories.

Sony pulls PlayStation 3 software update


No Problems Also

Installed the update (via t'internet) yesterday at around 12:00 GMT no problem, all the new features seemed to work ok, was able to play online for a couple hours, no problems. All good.

Only question is: how do you turn the console off now?? Before 2.40 pressing the PS button on the controller brought up a list of options - one of which was turn off the system, now this appears to be gone. Now it means I need to get up off my ar$e to turn it off. Very inconvenient ;-)

Canadian toddler dies after VOIP 911 call


Voip + emergency

I briefly had a voip phone in the last house I was in (moved a year ago and went back to a boggo pstn line). I remember - not sure if it was in the Ts&Cs or just general details from the Voip provider, but it stated that you shouldn't rely on the voip phone to make emergency calls, and to have an altenative system to make emergency calls on.

Not sure if this was purely from a legal/cover their asses pov, or was there a technical reason for this...

'Extreme porn' law could criminalise millions


@Steve Kay

Am I right in thinking that you can be done for using encryption and not handing over the passphrase if requested by the roz?

'Virtual strip search' arrives at JFK and LAX



Doesn't Heathrow have this type of thing? (well, not hand held, but the same images are produced).

I was "randomly" selected to have one of these scans done a while back - summer 2006 if I remember correctly. Out of curiosity I asked the guy could I see the image - and then immediately regretted doing so - it was quite a shock to see how flabby I really am! These things are not flattering at all!

It did nicely blur out my face though, so I could deny everything!

Were the snatched Brit sailors in 'disputed waters'?

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Great Article

Really enjoyed that - as pointed out already, well researched/written. Cheers

I'm a different Matt to the former poster.

Naomi Campbell cuffed in Heathrow Terminal 5


Odds & Sods -> Entertainment

Perhaps all you "where's the IT angle"/"this is tabloid fodder" naysayers would be best if you avoided any article that appears in this section in future.

El Reg offers cut-and-paste comments service



Great, very funny!

I love the way you've taken the p*ss out of us all and our style of commenting!

Wait a second...

Mozilla CEO blasts Apple for putting security of the internet at risk


@Grant Mitchell

Stop whining... xSc0de - if that really is your name ;-) has explained this... you musn't have understood, so...

Firefox Update:

Menu -> Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Updates

You've three items (Firefox, Installed Add Ons, Search Engines) that can be updated automatically, with an "ask me what to do" prompt or, guess what? Unselect all three and (drum roll) Not at all.


Yahoo! wins sponsored links ruling in High Court

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I know this isn't the point but...

Come on, "Mr Spicy".

What a dreadful name.

British software pirate faces up to 10 years in jail


RE: Maximum Sentance

Stuart correctly said:

"Newspapers (and The Reg, it seems) like to publish this maximum sentence"

Reminds me a bit of the plethora of articles giving out about the broadband providers who correctly, IMO, use the phrase "up to" when describing bandwidth.

Seems pretty straight-forward to me; if you like, where you see "up to" replace with "no more than". That's better, isn't it.

Man uses mobe as modem, rings up £27k phone bill


Not only the phone bill...

I wonder were all those tv programmes he downloaded from a legitimate source?

Viacom shuns Google's DoubleClick for Microsoft



Good point, never really thought about that. I use a combination of AdBlock, FlashBlock and GreaseMonkey to "tidy up" the various sites I look at, and never really thought that without the revenue from the ads the sites could be at risk.

Having said that I'd be happy to pay a small member fee for any sites such as El Reg that are "necessities".

Microsoft spits out final XP service pack, beta version



First rule when making sarcastic posts about other people's bad spelling is to spell everything correctly yourself.

Where's the icon for eating humble pie?



Doesn't Ubunt*u* come with a spelling/grammer checker?


Happy too

Glad the vista stuff isn't being sneaked in;

I've happily avoided the beast so far - XP in work and Ubuntu at home - was looking at a new laptop the other day - had 2 gig of memory. With nothing running other than the o/s and it's various sub processes 31% of the memory was being used. That's over 600meg! What the hell is it doing??

Israeli eggheads in pinhead bible publishing breakthrough


Poor camel

@ David W

Brilliant! Haven't laughed so much since, well probably the last BOFH.

How much does El Reg cost the global economy?


Bean Counter maths

I love this bean-counter style maths - "if you're doing x for y amount of time, then you're costing z amount in lost productivity".

Just what work am I supposed to do when:

a. waiting for something to compile

b. waiting for something to run


c. it's friday ;-)

Welcome to the El Reg bumper demographic survey

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"anti-septic", the anorak with the "titfer".



.com vs .co.uk etc etc


Have you tried running the "American" pages through babelfish or google translation to get them into "English"?

As for the currency units surely we can come up with a Register standard unit for this that we'd all understand. Eg 1RFR (Register Friday Round consisting of 2 bitters, a Guinness, 2 scumpys and a packet of pork scratchings)


BOFH: Budget cuts




Slightly more subtle than normal, and all the more funny for it! Even without the usual body count/carnage :-)

L1NUX number plate roars onto eBay


Think UK "custom" numberplates are limited?

The Irish (Republic) system is even more restrictive -

The standard for regs is YY-C-NNNN, where YY is the year ie 07, C is the county e.g. D=Dublin, C=Cork etc, NNNN is a sequential number eg 34704. Nice and simple, the age of the car is easy to pick out, and where it's from.

One problem with this is that while at the start of the year all is fine eg. 07-D-123 is nice and easy to read, towards the end of the year the numbers get longer eg. 07-D-110573. Try reading the numerical part of the reg after the car does a hit and run. Not too easy. And think of all the regs that it could look like if you're out by a digit!

Right, back to the matter in hand - customising - you can't. Even down to the format of the plate and the font itself. Changing the font is an offence (afaik), and will certainly fail your NCT (MOT equiv) if you do.

The "creative" types try to do things with the number part. So every single Porsche in the country has some variation of YY-D-911. Well done. Its a 911. We know. (This technique also works for Peugeots, Rovers, BMW etc)

Having said all this, I do think that in Cork, in 2036 or Dublin in the same year, there will be sniggers as all the regs start with either 36-C or 36-D and a few lucky punters will get their grubby mits on the 7175th car, or even the 80085th car in their county. (Squinting may help, also having a juevenile mind!)

Fnar fnar.

Public tracks down Gordon Bennett


@David S re Box Deluxe...

It was indeed on QI - or at least I saw a similar explanation on QI - the boxes in question were for Mecanno.

Or so said the QI Master himself, Stephen Fry, and he seems trustworthy!