* Posts by James Summerson

60 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Apr 2007


Hacked flight sim site in catastrophic crash and burn

James Summerson

These backups are small, those backups are far away...

They didn't have any offsite backups or any form of disaster recovery, it seems. It doesn't say if the two servers were co-located but I can't imagine someone who's sunk 12 years of their life into a system with 60,000 users not thinking at least once, "what would happen if this place caught fire / flooded / was rendered uninhabitable" and then ignoring that train of thought ...

Hands on with SanDisk's SlotMusic SD-not-CD player

James Summerson

Interesting Idea

I can see the point of buying one, but only one. Flatten the card, drop your own(ed) stuff onto it and the kids have a cheap, less breakable, player. I am hoping that the $35 =/= £35, however.

OiNK BitTorrent admin faces fraud prosecution

James Summerson


"conspiracy to defraud the record industry"

Is there such a crime on the statue books? If so, then a huge proportion of the UK population should also be in the dock - remember the 'home taping is killing the record industry' bollox?

And doesn't to defraud mean to deprive someone *of* something? Ah, never mind, this will be driven through by mass hysteria and wilful obfuscation in court, no doubt.

Legal digital music is commercial suicide

James Summerson
Thumb Down

Agree with Joe M

I like a lot of music and have been trying to find a service that will sell me something that I want, not what's in this weeks Top 10. I've been everywhere, man, Napster (legal) Imeem, We7 etc., etc. No joy.

Went off to Lala on the basis of the article, having never heard of it before and joy of joys, something I might want to spend $7.49 on. Hold on, dollars, oh no, don't tell me...

Yup, told me in the nicest way and in three languages to feck off. FAIL!

MS DNS patch snuffs net connection for ZoneAlarm users

James Summerson
Thumb Up

Patch d/l'd

Patch zapSetup_70_483_000_en.exe downloaded and all's well in the Zone Alarm world!

Police detain Tariq Aziz's cigar case

James Summerson
Thumb Up

Thanks Boris!

"so morally ambiguous that I cannot quite think of it as theft"

That's the line I'm using should the RIAA etc., knock on my door...

GTA IV website prompts outrage

James Summerson

Stabbing Details

Hadn't we established that the stabbing had nothing to do with GTA and / or queuing for the game?

Hacker cops to $70k botnet rampage

James Summerson

@Edward Pearson

"Why not try an put his knowledge to good use? He'd probably respond well if people took an interest. It's like the teenage tearaways who go into the Army and end up doing great things, these people just need something constructive to put their energy towards."

It was mentioned in the article that Tami Quiring and staff tried befriending King, but that didn't work. It seems he's just a jerk, really.

Four years worth of attacks, from the age of 17 to 21 over what issue? Merely "I have the right to be angry". Well, you now have the right to two years in the slammer, matey.

Peter Gabriel cranks his f*ck machine

James Summerson


the filter does have a plug-in for Windows Media Player, Winamp and iTunes. Pity I don't use any of them.

James Summerson
Thumb Down

Milgram's 37

An apposite lyric from Mr Gabriel:

"we do what we're told

we do what we're told

we do what we're told

told to do"

Been thrashing through the filter and the Support Forum. Man, that thing is bugged to hell and back - it seems that if I like King Crimson, I will also like Gerry & The Pacemakers - wha?

Some of the stuff in the beta, such as errors you see after clicking on the back / forward button at 'the wrong time' should have been picked up long before this version, IMHO.

James Summerson
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@Lee T.

I agree with you about Pandora, a much missed service here.

The filter's much much clunkier and seemingly half finished, even Mr Gabriel's back catalogue isn't fully represented, missing out his first four albums. Good job he doesn't need the money, eh?

James Summerson

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

What a painful process it is to get registered - random genre picks and a very small range of items to rate.

Finally get a login and it gets worse! The first three CDs it said I'd like are:

Emenem / 50 Cent / Usher

even though I have zero rated these artists *and* genres.

OK, give it a go with something it can handle. Search for Genesis and it throws up 5 tracks to peruse - two of them are mis-titled, ffs, including the only one that has Mentor / Great Old One Peter Gabriel on it.

Time to get that Slipperman costume out again, Pete!

James Summerson

"Sorry, we're having a bad day and our site is currently down."

Typical Gabriel. Site down, much uhm-ing and arh-ing. Probably get back to you in a few years time, then change my mind and not do it after all.

Organised crime law crushes animal rights duo

James Summerson

@Sarah Bee & David

I think you're overcompensating, a little, Ms Bee & Mr David.

Pete James was calling into question "so-called animal rights bodies" that use actions against humans that they castigate as abhorrent against animals, not those organisations that are for animal welfare. There *is* a difference and I'm sure this is clear from Mr James' post.

And while I'm on a sticky wicket, Ms Bee, because it seems that many El Reg readers have no sympathy for such extremist nutters there's no need to sarcastically dub us 'Daily Mail' readers.

This discussion jumped the shark near the top of the page when Godwin's Law should have been invoked after the third post.

Heathrow T5 security tackles Transformers t-shirt threat

James Summerson



I find people wearing Hackett shirts offensive can I ask for them to be removed before boarding the plane?


But Genesis went right downhill after he left!

Mine's the one with the batwings.

The music biz's digital flops - a short history

James Summerson

All you can eat services.

Napster has relaunched, again - as one such service. I was an original 'member' of Napster back when it was evil, but I thought I'd give the new one a go as it promised no DRM etc. I used their webpage to check on the availability of my favourite obscure artist. Yup, lots of tracks available, it said, join up and we'll tell you all the details.

I went for the 'Light' version, i.e. no credit card details on start up and 79p per track. Sounds good, right?

Downloaded the software and set it up - what a feckin' mess the whole thing is.

Ran it - didn't work. Told me I needed to enable cookies - did so but no joy. Penny dropped, I needed to use Internet Explorer. Which I don't have...

OK, take 2. Put Napster onto laptop, which has IE on it. Start it up. Geez, so this is what life is like without AdBlocker / FlashBlocker. Ugly, ugly, ugly! Anyways, typed in the name of my fave obscure artist.

The few results came back quite quickly, but were seemingly random and not one album included, even the ones considered 'hits'. Now I know that this is an extreme test, given the artist isn't a big name, but the hype did lead me to believe that I would get some joy out of the search.

There is no incentive to me, as a middle aged bloke, to subscribe to a service which doesn't cover the edges of music or the 'back pages' if you will. I would spend good money to own CD copies of music I like, which isn't the new boyband / X Factor winner / 1 hit wonder, but mostly old and out of print.

Ironically, I can get lots of the stuff via music 'blogs' etc., who can provide copies for free, but then again they do have a sense of music outside of an industry or money making machine. Hell, if Metallica, the bete noir of the original Napster, can get on the bandwagon providing MP3 and FLAC versions of shows...

Swiss start-up re-broadcasting UK TV channels

James Summerson

Govt. Closing 'Loophole'

Why would the Govt. get agitated enough to close this loophole? The only reason to do so would be if it had a negative impact on the TV license fee, i.e. if you get your TV via Zattoo you don't need a TV, ergo, you don't need a license...

French Colonial Marines to get Aliens medic-datalink

James Summerson

The French Resistance

Can I refer Mr Fishbat to the numbers of Resistance / Maquis / FFI before and after D-Day? Pre 1943 the numbers were tiny and propped up by large numbers of British SOE operatives. In June 1944 the Resistance numbered about 100,000 - funnily enough it jumped to about 200,000 in July 1944 and doubled again by October 1944.

While not wishing to take anything away from any of those brave souls who stood up against occupation, it seems the French have a very long record of jumping onto the winning side when it suits them. Wartime allies, hmm yes, for a short period at the start of WWII and a short period at the end.

You'd like to think that they'd have the same attitude to us as Fishbat gives to them, given our support in WWI and WWII but they seem to take a malignant humour in ignoring history pre 1960 or so.

Byron review calls for computer game ratings

James Summerson

Oh dear.

And how is putting an [18] sticker on the back of the box going to stop Mrs Smith buying 'Zombie Death Ninja' for little Johnny's 15th birthday? Will Ms Byron, or better still, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, hem hem, pop round to see if my kids aren't being subjected to stuff?

UK's Reaper wardroid imports slashed in budget pinch

James Summerson


I have a "Don't Fear (The Reaper )" shirt.

Yes, my coat's the one with the Cronos on the back...

Optical media shrunk for mobile phones

James Summerson


And this is better than putting stuff on a SDHC card in what ways?

Hmm, seems like another way of trying to get people to buy stuff they already own...

Government piles filesharing pressure on UK ISPs

James Summerson

Legal Filesharing

Doesn't the BBC iPlayer use p2p technology? How are uk.gov going to monitor all ISP traffic without breaching Data Protection? Can't they see what a massive fcuk up this is going to be?


Inland Revenue boss quits over 'major ops failure'

James Summerson


I wonder if the IT provider for the Child Benefit Systems will take the blame as it isn't one of the HMRC users who would be able to extract the data then lose it.

Will Christmas sound the death knell for Atari?

James Summerson

Atari's legacy

I wonder how many sub-professional music studios still have Atari machines in them due to the MIDI ports and Cubase? I understand that Fatboy Slim still uses an ST in his studio, though your mileage may vary on the kudos of that.

Infamous RBN quits China

James Summerson

Cracking Down

Perhaps someone should tell the RIAA etc., that there's a whole bunch of torrents "hosted" on the RBN servers. I look forward to the day when child pornographers are hunted down with the same zeal as file sharing sites.

Marvel launches digicomics initiative

James Summerson


I'd imagine some of the available flash rippers might be turned to use - but the mere fact that Alpha Flight are in there, along with the Inhumans makes it a nice use of £30 for me.

Could someone with enough cash / influence try and do this for Miracleman / Marvelman?

Lily Allen 'in talks' to become Doctor Who's assistant

James Summerson

Dr. R.I.P.

Just as you thought it couldn't get any worse, it does! The Tardis is going to be the biggest talent vacuum in the universe, Tate, Allen, Ifans added together might make it to one Langford ( the accepted unit of Whovian talent ).

All it needs is a nice 'Bertie Basset' baddie to complete the set...

Prince sends army of lawyers to take on Pirate Bay

James Summerson

Entertaining Reading Ahoy!

Looks like there's going to be a new set of pages on the Pirate Bay Legal pages.

Hasn't Prince or his legal team read the other replies to Web Sherriff, when they've been used for the exact same role?

Remembering the Commodore PET 2001

James Summerson

Oh, the humanity!

I'm with Steve Scott in that I also spent very many hours back in the late 70s typing listings into our school PET from magazines. The only ones that worked first time were a 'Jumbo Jet Simulator', which was a dot on the screen(!) which you had to keep on a downward flight path and a fantasy RPG which was called something like 'The Tower and The Valley'.

Ah, happy days! I'm waiting for the Spectrum, Dragon and Atari ST articles...

BitTorrent site Demonoid.com downed by Canadian record industry

James Summerson

@ Anon

You forgot William Shatner in your list of Canadian artists...

Also, I own stuff on LP / CD / DVD by 10 of the artists you mention, as well as a few by Triumph, Saga, April Wine. Mahogany Rush & Voivod etc., etc. I'm not a Canuck, either btw.

I've never used Demonoid to d/l any of the above, as I bought it all legally, several times in fact, if you include LP / CD / Remasters / Special Editions! Anybody want a triple gatefold 'All The World's A Stage'?

James Summerson

Canadian Record Industry?

Well, that's the last Rush bootleg I download...

German law smites Warhammer fan flick

James Summerson

@ Jon Double Nice

"They'd ... made a film of the excellent fan fiction cartoon strip "Travellers' "

See Firefly / Serenity for that one...

James Summerson

40k® Disclaimer

The Games Workshop disclaimer for websites:


This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

40k, Adeptus Astartes, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Cadian, Catachan, Chaos, the Chaos device, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, Cityfight, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, Dawn of War, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Eye of Terror, Fire Warrior, the Fire Warrior logo, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, GW, GWI, the GWI logo, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khorne, the Khorne logo, Kroot, Lord of Change, Necron, Nurgle, the Nurgle logo, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Slaanesh, the Slaanesh logo, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, the Tzeentch logo, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2007, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners. "

Lots of those words are oddly ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2007 - Chaos? Ork? 40k?

Anyways, can't the movie just have a nice Star Warsian scrolling intro that repeats all of the above gubbins? There is the slight problem of the following, tho, even if it seems to relate to video games / animation rather than live action:


The video games that our licensing partners have created have done an incredible job of bringing the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games to life, and we appreciate that hobbyists may even want to make movies based upon our intellectual property. Unfortunately, due to the nuances of the law in some territories, we cannot allow any unlicensed movies to be created which are based upon our intellectual property. "

All quotes taken from the legal page of the GW Site.


James Summerson

A solution

Here's my solution:

1) Have the movie 'leaked' onto the internet - making sure you post a blog denouncing the leak and instigate a hunt for the perp;

2) Games Workshop demand that all copies are pulled, thus protecting their intellectual rights;

3) Games Workshop and the movie makers sue YouTube or which ever carrier is selected for step 1 - a nice little earner;

4) 'Pirate' DVD copies appear on eBay - like all of the other bootleg shows that are freely traded;

5) Games Workshop ask for all copies to be de-listed from eBay - again protecting their rights;

repeat 3 - 5 until you recoup your 10,000 euro outlay.

US doesn't need orbital battlefleet - pundit

James Summerson

Nukes? Who needs them?

You don't need nukes for your Death Star fleet. Dropping big enough rocks onto your target is more than enough to stop any problem - see Footfall by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle.

Even a 'Project Thor' would be enough of a deterrent to most operations and have maximum 'Shock & Awe' value...

Rock Xtreme X770-T7800 notebook

James Summerson
Dead Vulture

How Much?

How much is the review model?

Oh and BTW " ... a reasonable 110 minutes' battery life while watching a DVD - a bit short for a Peter Jackson film maybe, but not too shabby. When using it to do normal notebooky things like office work, it produced a battery life of just under two hours." implies to me that the battery life is just under two hours, no matter what you're doing.

Microsoft promises less-annoying Vista OS early next year

James Summerson

Vista numbers

From the site reports I use, based on around 1,400 visitors yesterday, 9.5 to 10% of users use Vista, about the same overall percentage of those that use Firefox. Is this a case of a well balanced system?

The vast majority of visitors use XP and IE [1], of course, so I can see how the lower than expected take-up might be a worry, even though 10% of a big pile of cash is still a big pile of cash, IMHO.

[1] 90% of these users still have their default language set to en-us, so go figure their want or need for easy tweaking of the OS.

Cops cuff man for burning Burning Man man

James Summerson

@ Rachel

I think you're missing the point, slightly. The problem isn't with the act, it's with the response. The so-called alternative / anarchist ethos of "Burning Man" was subverted by the act of calling upon the very forces they despise at all other times, which was perhaps the point of the 'crime' in the first place.

OK, ban him from the site and all future events, blog about why he's a bad man, post his picture on your MySpace page and have him ostracised from decent society, maybe. Call the cops? Yeah, that's the totally non-ironic anarchist / alternative / hippy thing to do, eh?

James Summerson

@Chris Collins

Yeah, I'm aware of Woodstock starting off a a music Festival in the accepted sense which ended up free, my analogy was the W99 version being set up and run for the sole purpose of major marketing concerns with cold cash the only input required from 'fans'.

Oh, and setting W99 atop a hazardous waste facility, making it a disaster zone _before_ the actual rioting was just corner cutting, IMHO. :o)

James Summerson

@ yeah, right.

"Some things are sacred, and those who don't have any self control don't belong at an anarchist gathering."

Isn't the whole idea of being an anarchist mean that you hold no truck with such "sacred" ideals, given that this is a form of government? I'm sure the nice anarchists could have sat the guy down and 'loved him through' his problems and sorted out his issues without dragging him off to jail, don't you think?

It appears that the guy set light to the Burning Man as a protest about the commercialisation of the 'Festival' and the movement away from the original ideals, rather like Woodstock 1999 being a commercial rehash of Woodstock 1969. And look how that love-fest ended!

James Summerson

Oh, the humanity!

Is it just me, or is the idea of a bunch of *hippies* calling in "The Man" to arrest someone for burning something that was set up to be burnt high up on the irony scale?

Maybe a 3.8 on the Morissette scale...

Researchers ease LCD viewing angle woes

James Summerson

Bang & Olufsen?

Didn't they have a range of TV's that rotated to face the person pressing the remote?

Music pirate convicted in Led Zep bootleg case

James Summerson

Never Buy A Bootleg!

They're freely available if you know where to look, or use Google. Free trade bootlegs are practically a Dime A Dozen...

Nintendo yanks Mario Party 8 - offensive language to blame?

James Summerson

Yes, it is offensive.

I'm afraid that those of us in the world who know people with disabilities _do_ find the word 'spastic' and 'retarded' when used as an insult offensive, no matter what Ian Dury claimed to the latter. Citing one idiot who uses 'gay' as a pejorative does not mean that this is ok, by any means.

75-year-old has world's fastest private internet connection

James Summerson

@ George

" I went to see Professor Douglas Hartree, who had built the first differential analyzers in England and had more experience in using these very specialized computers than anyone else. He told me that, in his opinion, all the calculations that would ever be needed in this country could be done on the three digital computers which were then being built — one in Cambridge, one in Teddington, and one in Manchester. No one else, he said, would ever need machines of their own, or would be able to afford to buy them. "

(quotation from an article by Lord Bowden; American Scientist vol 58 (1970) pp 43–53); cited on Usenet.

El Reg seeks ultimate 'nom de sex'

James Summerson

I see your plan!

Of course you now have a database with the answers to one of the traditional security questions. Next you'll be asking us our mother's maiden names...

Geek Squader gets fruity with customer porn

James Summerson

@ Ben Weston

Of course, the person who had the offending material on his PC can now claim, if this comes to Court, that one of your tek-geek snoops put it there. Well done, Sherlock!

Also, you say that _one_ of your 'rummages' turned up something bad, what about the others? Just the plain old abuse of trust and civil liberties then. No matter what anon might think, handing over something for repair does _not_ grant the repairer licence to 'rummage' - no matter what the self justification.

Can I pop round to Ben's house and have a quick 'rummage' through his stuff? I'm sure _his_ PC is as clean as his conscience...

CSA IT 'a turkey from day one'

James Summerson


It is a source of wonder how EDS manage to retain and win new contracts with the DWP given their almost total lack of success. It seems they take the old joke of "working, on time, on budget? Pick one." quite seriously.

It also comes as no surprise that:

"A key problem identified in the report is the agency's lack of in-house IT expertise, which left it unable to challenge EDS or remedy the numerous technical defects which emerged as the system was rolled out."

as the DWP outsourced all of their IT workers to private companies almost 10 years ago. I do think, however, that this is a smokescreen as any contract worth its salt would have a set of sign off criteria such as "less than 500 faults"...

Perhaps DWP and UK.gov will now take their competitive tendering process more seriously and not put all of their eggs in the EDS basket.

Catherine Tate to accompany Doctor Who

James Summerson

Are they crazy?

OK, I can understand the casting of Kylie in the Xmas Special - everyone's fave pop pixie will draw in the crowds, no doubt. But Catherine Tate? Aw, c'mon now that's just going too far!

Was Bonnie Langford already booked up? Beyond the bottom of the barrel, tipping the barrel over and digging 10ft down more like!

Doctor Who recruits new sidekick

James Summerson

New Companion

Abslom Daak, anyone?