* Posts by J

1044 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Apr 2007


Site news: Unique commenter handles coming

Black Helicopters

@@Peyton AC 9th June 2009 15:57 GMT

I fully agree, but... Remember El Reg does know who you are even when posting AC (Ms. Bee acknowledged so the other day in some thread). The questions then are: how long do they keep the information, and would they give it out if so ordered by the powers that be?

P.S.: is "tomorrow" an obscure word in the English language? I'm kinda new to it, mind you, but I have already learned it. So I would say it isn't uncommon. But who knows?

Apple adds 'S' to iPhone 3G

Jobs Horns

iPod Touch?

I might have missed it elsewhere, but no word on updates to the Touch? Considering it is basically an iPhone without the phone, I would think it was to be expected. Otherwise, pay $400 for the 32GB Touch when the 32GB iPhone, with better hardware and more features, is available? Sure, you escape the phone expenses with the Touch, but still...

Or are they letting the Touch die, to encourage people to buy the iPhone instead?

Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details


"that uses less computer resources"

Cool, if true. Just missed the qualifying "than the previous Windows version". I guess that is implied...

But anyway, would that be a first for Microsoft? A new desktop Windows that needs less resources than the previous one? I don't know, since I haven't been using Windows regularly since Win 98. But I strongly suspect that to be the case.

Remembering the true* first portable computer



Nice article indeed.

But something on the pictures to give a better sense of the size of the thing would have been nice. It says that the computer weighted 60-something pounds, but it look like something much heavier. Was it a typo for 600-something, or is the impression of big size just an illusion?

AMD to take on Intel's Atom... but not netbooks

Thumb Up


I'm supposing you're in the UK, in which case this won't help much...

CompUSA.com keeps selling 8.9" Acer "netbooks" for around $200 (sometimes even cheaper), although from what I can tell they are usually "refurbished" or "recertified" (fine by me, I have bought a few refurb'd things, including an HD TV, and they were always like new). At least that's what they say in the emails I get every few days from them.

Wolfram Alpha to venture beyond boron nucleus

Paris Hilton


"because of the rather narrow set of questions relating to math, science, and statistics the engine can handle"

Well, hardly surprised, at least to me. After all, most of real life is not computable, I think. At least yet.

Microsoft's Bing feeds you, tries to keep you captive

Paris Hilton


"there are unfortunate side effects when it comes to porn - seriously, didn't anybody inside Microsoft see that one coming?"

I see what you did there...

Dell axes hackintosh makers' favourite netbook

IT Angle


Fair enough, but anyone who's running Visual Studio completely misses the point of a NETbook (I see you aren't, but that's the subject of the article). And besides, wouldn't you need a magnifying glass to read anything from a 10" screen with 1080 vertical pixels?

Anyway, next they will be killing the 10" and tellings you that the 12" is so much better. Actually, why not just do 14", 15"... See? Bigger keyboard too!

Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on

Gates Horns


I just went to look at my list of add-ons and, surprisingly, only thing I had installed myself, explicitly, were listed.

But then again, I'm running Firefox on Linux.

@Steven Knox

Apparently you don't know much about how computers work.

Microsoft, Asus launch anti-Linuxbook campaign

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Honor and gratitude

They've heard of it.

As apparently did many Win-fanboys around here (who wouldn't be enjoying netbooks and cheap Windows if it weren't for Linux).

Too bad I bought my Eee 1000HE a couple of months ago. Great little machine, too bad it came with XP -- which I shrunk to a little 10GB partition and installed Linux on the rest. So I did count for the "Windows running" statistics, unfortunately. Even worse, I paid money for crap software, when I could just get my crap software for free.

FWIW to them (nothing), I will not buy Asus again when it's time to replace my mini-laptop. And of course I tell anyone who asks that they should not buy Asus netbooks, they are crap (since they are not competent enough to work with anything but Windows). Just buy anything else. They will buy XP, buy if it depends on me, it won't be running on an Asus. I have plenty of computer illiterate friends who ask me about these things, and they liked to see such a small and cheap machine last time I went home visiting a month ago. Guess which brand will be recommended against next time they ask?

Will it make a difference? No. But I like revenge and Asus won't be ever seeing my money again if I can help.

Fans decry tennis gal's breast-slash plan

Paris Hilton

I think

Well, she could also consider a change in career in a year or two...

Hackintosher to open US storefront


Apple labeled?

Why, just get a label, write "Apple" on it, stick it to the machine...

Sharp creates true-hue five-colours-per-pixel LCD



"Shows objects the way you see them"

In 3D?

Welsh mum amazed by Marmite Messiah



No clue what that is like.

Now, why people think like this:

"We’ve had a tough couple of months; my mum’s been really ill and it’s comforting to think that if he is there, he’s watching over us."

Instead of:

"We’ve had a tough couple of months; my mum’s been really ill and I think that if the bastard would stop watching over and jinxing us things might improve. Even better, instead of watching, he might actually DO something, please? Bloody hippie..."


"I can't for the life of me think WHY it is always believers who "see" faces of Jesus in things."

Actually, there has been research published recently talking about how what the brain expects to see actually influences the neurons *outside* of the brain, in effect shaping the data to look like what it expects to see. From Nature 459, 7 (7 May 2009):


iPhone apps - the 10 smartest and the 10 stupidest

Dead Vulture


It would have been interesting for the article to give the current (at "press" time) amount of downloads each app had (I'm took lazy to go to the iTunes store and check; hell, I don't even know if I'd be able, from Firefox on Linux...). And maybe give an update one or two weeks later, so just we know how much of a damage El Reg's coverage of these apps has done...

Gov spunks hundreds of thousands on mobe condom clip


@Mark Johnson

Well, given they seem to prefer little boys, no wonder...

Junk email volumes hit high


Big increase?

Apparently that's what the spam messages promise, judging by their subject lines.

@Only 90%

"Lucky them - we're current at 99.7% of all inbound messages to our company as spam, and another 0.5% being other neer-do well virus type traffic."

Hm, 99.7% and another 0.5%... You are getting way too many messages there, I'm afraid.

Getting real about Linux on the desktop


@all the "apps unavailable" talk

So... what will happen when Windows 7 comes along?

You know, all these legacy apps won't work anymore, except in VM, or XP-mode or whatever in a premium version of Windows. Or so I've heard around here. Is it true? How well will it work? What will be the cost of that again? Just keep XP. What, you aren't allowed?

Vatican declares 'the internet is blessed'



Except not even the Catholics listen to the Vatican anyway, so who cares what they say. Well, at least in the largest Catholic country in the world (Brazil), where I went to Catholic school all my pre-college life, nobody does. Maybe some old people do, but then again they don't go on the intarwebs... An example: an ex-girlfriend of mine here in the USA, very Catholic. She had no clue what the Vatican's position on evolutionary biology was (she is a microbiologist, I'm an evo biologist). She was surprised to learn what they think of it (they accept the science completely, and then have their mental contortions to reconcile reality with their superstitions, but nonetheless... that's better than the fundamentalist knuckle-draggers). I, an atheist, know more about the Vatican's positions than she did.

Anyway, best were the Google ads displayed on this story's page:

Christian Dating Sites?

Catholic Singles Meet

El Reg will get lambasted by a certain Scottish Bishop, maybe?

Now Google tracking follows you out of cyberspace


@The whole problem with current patents in a single neat sentence.

My thoughts exactly when I read that part of the article.

@ I am concerned AC

"keep there phones on there person"

You are making no sense, dear AC. What the hell are you talking about? And if you actually meant "keep their phone on their person", well... Some people might like their phones on vibrate, you know.

250kg Russian drops healthy 2kg sprog



2 Kg sounds a little on the light side to me, though... But if they say so, good.

Chinese screw sex theme park

Paris Hilton

"interested only in profiting from sensationalism"

Hm... and who isn't, now?

Facebook eliminates parts of Wales

Paris Hilton


You mean those big sea animals with annoying songs?

(damn, I can't use two icons at the same time...)

Microsoft IIS6 bug exposes sensitive files sans password


Of course...

Of course this only happens because everyone is using their software and therefore hackers target their stuff much more, and if FOSS had nearly the same... Oh, wait...

Canadian Sex Party stands proud at polls

Black Helicopters

Yeah, but...

Are they hard line? Horrible, I know...

@ Rob

I agree with the main idea of what you said there, but...

"They refuse to really tackle the issue" ... "The cynical view being that governments don't like the general public being happy or making happy by themselves unless they can put a tax on it, so next best thing to do is ban it."

They who? Gee, people love to knee jerk anytime "government" is said, or even just implied. And I like to remind such people that there is no "they", there is no "government"... All there is is us all. Each people has the government they deserve, as we say in Brazil. Corrupt, inefficient, puritanical government? Well, how did they get there, and where from? They are us, sad but true.

Next Ubuntu alpha reveals video change


Re: System with bugs in it? AC

That's right, AC. People should definitely ask Canonical for their money back. Just like the MStards do ask MS when they have the same experience and have to wait years for the next release of their favorite OS, I suppose?

Archaeologists unearth oldest known 3D pornography


Impressive detail

Prehistoric HD porn? No, thanks, DVDs are more than good enough... And physical media is so last Age. It has no chance against downloads, or so it's said.

Google suffers international outages, slowdowns



They take the data around by plane? Someone introduce these guys to the Internerd or something. No wonder so much carbon is generated by a Google search -- although the cheeseburgers and newspapers might have something to say about it too...

Don't forget to add the icon.... done. Don't we have an icon for bad joke? I guess that's what the coat one is for, then.

Dell punts £199 10in netbook

Thumb Down


Wow, you guys really get screwed over there in Blighty, eh? I wouldn't consider these machines cheap, considering I paid U$379 for an Eee 1000 HE: better screen, faster WiFi, N280 CPU, better keyboard(?), "big" battery, came with XP (promptly replaced by Easy Peasy and, later, Ubuntu NR)... £279 for a seemingly quite inferior machine? Sorry to hear they do that to you guys -- unless you are all swimming in money over there. :-)

OpenOffice 3.1 ready to lick Microsoft's suite?


@whiners in general

Yup, OpenOffice has its problems.

Ask for your money back, then.

Or better, donate them some money to help develop the features you need, fix the bugs, etc.. Funny how people will pay a lot of money for buggy software, and quietly swallow (or loudly defend) it just because they have no other choice and/or can't get themselves to admit they payed so much for that thing... They are so smart, so they can't have been conned. But when it's free stuff, then they fell that if it is not perfect then it is totally unusable crap. If only the same standards were used for all situations...


@Compatability (sic)

Well, if even MS Office can't be fully compatible with itself, it's hard to criticize others for not being... My boss runs XP and Office 2003. Other researchers in the lab run Macs, also with Office 2003. I run Linux with OOo. Yes, there are some compatibility problems sometimes (minor stuff, usually) with .doc files between my boss' Office and my OOo. But the funny thing is that there are times when my OOo will open the Office file fine, but the Office on the Macs will have some problem with the same file -- that seems to happen with graphical elements in docs.

Not to mention MS support of its own older file formats, which is abysmal as everyone knows. After all, how would they make you upgrade, right? Better software quality in the new version?

2060: Humvee-sized, bulletproof meat-eating spiders attack


*** Title

*** Spider-head trophies are a figure of speech, since a spider actually does not have a head, but a cephalothorax.

Microsoft rebrands WGA nagware for Windows 7



"activation helps them identify if their copy of Windows is genuine"

I'd say that users nearly always know already whether their copy is "genuine" or not. So WGA can go away and nothing will be lost to the users, then, according to MS.

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance



"Contrast that with the netbook battery sitting next to us, which although less than a year old will discharge from full in under 20 minutes."

Woah! What laptop was that, so I can stay away from it? Even considering you "abused" it, only 20 minutes is frightening... If my 1000HE's battery starts performing like that in a year or two, I'd be really pissed off...

French lead world in eating and sleeping



"So they eat more than us (americans) yet we lead in obesity. No fair!!"

Ha, but it says they *spent more time* eating, not that they ate more... Subtle difference, innit?

And according to Alain Godet above, they seem to have the pleasure to burn it soon enough.

Microsoft: Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC


To avoid interruption...

So long, and thanks for all the free beta tester work, suckers!

Turkey's YouTube blackout enters year two


They want to join the EU?

Why would they want to join that bunch of "insulting" folks? And why would EU want them to join, given their idea of freedom of expression? Turkey should just start their own site, what about YouTurk, and be done with it.

Apple brands UK tabloid 'obscene'


@adult cat

Uff, for a second there I thought you'd start talking about bestiality, or feline sexuality, or something...

Kebabs pose 'no danger whatsoever', Russians claim


Infanticide is natural too...

And so is piracy. Ah, the good ole naturalistic fallacy.

OCZ Vertex solid-state drive


@I can recommend

Maybe all you needed was to reinstall Windows, after all...

Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners


Of course.

"but that you’ll like Windows 7 so much you’ll then want to buy a notebook or desktop running a full version of Windows 7"

They know their clientèle. There is one born every minute.

@ Dan "The limited version of 7 is only designated for emerging areas..."

So? Screwing up "them brownies and yellows" is fine, you say?

@Stephen Bungay "Netbook Makers Shoot Self In Feet..."

I've been saying something like that for a while, apparently more people are coming to the same conclusion. Although I don't know whether the manufacturers consider this "self foot shooting"... I wouldn't be surprised if they were not scared by the prospect of "real netbooks" (not the almost-same-price-as-cheap-laptop mini-laptops on sale now, like my Eee 1000HE), you know, little things to access the NET and little more, really taking over the market. Much lower profit margins and all that, you know, not to mention the lack of MS bribes if they are not installing Windows, or the lack of money from the junkware pushers that infest any OEM Windows installation, etc..

Nikon Coolpix P90 bridge camera


Not worth it...

I suspect this camera is not worth the price.

First, it is no big leap in portability compared with a DSLR like the D40, just to stay with Nikon, apparently.

Second, the quality of the shots presented here is dubious... The crops seemed a little soft (not sharp) and many of them noisy too. If the captions had the ISO and zoom level in them it might help us figure out why...

Windows 7’s XP Mode — Virtually worth the effort

Paris Hilton


What I don't understand is why isn't MS able to use a "Wine-like" solution. After all, they have the source code and are supposed to understand how the whole thing works (although I wouldn't be so sure they do).

The Wine guys manage to make many Windows apps work to different degrees of success without a virtual (or otherwise) Windows OS running underneath, so why can't MS do better, since they have the code and all that?

Is it not possible to do completely well? Or is technological inferiority of the OS to blame? Or are MS just lazy, so they just did a mash up of previous products to achieve the same thing, only less efficiently?

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying


"the wow starts now."

They were right, after all. But in a way they didn't like.

@"what does it give that XP doesn't"

Well, I'm no computer scientist, but I know enough to know that the user visible aspects are not the only, probably not even the most important, ones in an OS. If that applies here or not, I don't know, since I couldn't care less for what the next MS Windows looks like, does or doesn't... But the fanboy brouhaha is always entertaining, surely.

Web 0.2 archivists save Geocities from deletion

Thumb Up

Ah, the memories...

Fun to read article, just the nostalgia is worth it... I also had my first site on GeoCities, at the time they had those funny names (I think mine was on CapeCanaveral or the like). Later, when Yahoo bought it, I updated the name, but the look is the same as in 1996 -- when I made it as part of a grad school course in bioinformatics using nothing but Notepad -- as required by the prof, but there wasn't too much choice back then anyway... HotDog anyone? And later, Netscape Composer...

Of course, I did have a couple of animated GIFs, including the "under construction" one from the article, a bad background (amoebas, although I took care to have the text legible at least), and plenty of broken links (by now, for sure). But I decided not to touch the main page anymore, just leave it as a web antique. :-) When I came to the US in 2002, I also added a photo/narrative page for my family and friends back home to see -- something people now do with blogs or the like -- which I updated for a year before getting sick of it.

Ubuntu's Koala food hits open-source supermarket


@Karmic Koala?

Oh, no... not again.

Homer Simpson 'nuclear waste spill' panic at nuke sub base!



While I both agree with the ridiculousness of the scaremongering and with the need, in principle and as things are now, for nuclear power to replace fossil fuels as much as possible, I also think that the author exaggerates a bit himself at some point.

I mean the last paragraph of the second page ("That, quite frankly, is insane - but that's the freakish world of nuclear safety for you."). Sure, maybe things have been regulated too much before (**in hindsight**, remember), but I suspect that things that not only go bang but also spread highly toxic elements into the environment should be approached with quite a lot of caution. Then relax as we later learn how things really go -- see for example the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, in the 1970s, which from nowadays sounds like crazy paranoia. The way that it was written in the article sounds like those crazy anarcho-capitalists common here in the USA, who think nothing should be regulated or capitalism will die a horrible socialist death. Or something. I strongly suspect that's not what Mr. Page meant, but it surely sounded like that in that paragraph.

Or do you really think any old cowboy should be allowed to play with fission as desired, in hopes of quickly advancing the field, cutting costs, etc.?

Yorkshire man wakes up Irish after brain surgery



"It might sound funny to others, but suddenly thinking you are French is terrifying."

Gotta forward this to my French amis...

London gym floors hoodies with Chav Fighting classes


@Alain Moran

You haven't been around El Reg for very long, one can tell...

Windows 7 gets built in XP mode


Sounds smart...

"If this is true, it's *extremely* dumb of Microsoft at a time when they are hoping to sell more units of Vista/Windows 7 than they did of XP."

Well, I'm just a scientist, not some business type, but this sounds like a smart move.

Who upgrades their OS, specially in the Windows world? You know, go to a store and buy a box and then do all the incantations? I don't know about enterprise, but in academia I can tell you: nobody. At home it is pretty much the same, I suspect. When the machine falls apart (or rather: is perceived to do so, when it's actually just Windows bit-rotting, but I digress), people buy a new machine. Which comes with Windows installed on it, unfortunately, and that isn't going to change anytime soon. So, there goes another Windows sale, as has been for a long time now. Then people use the thing (and complain that it looks a little different, blah, blah), and install their old programs on it. And if everything still runs, yay!, and the old OS is forgotten. If not, see Vista's history and its resulting reputation (regardless of it being deserved or not, which is another story). Same will go for developers, I think. The developing tools will be geared towards the new OS, so why not use them as they are, since the users are all adopting the new OS anyway, since it seems to work exactly as before?

So, if this works well and easily for the computer illiterate as well, it should be a success. Mucking as little as possible with the user interface always helps too, of course.

Or not.