* Posts by Frank Haney

48 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Apr 2007

Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Frank Haney

Re: Another balanced article by Orlowski

When I read an article I usually just read the article. Occasionally, when I find the article interesting I check who wrote it. It's surprising how often I start reading an anti-Google story, check the author's name and find it's written by Orlowski. There must be more than one writer in the world who has a thing against Google, why doesn't the Register give one of them a chance. Bring a little freshness to the hatred.

NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

Frank Haney
Thumb Down

I'll be opting out

For one thing, I know for a fact that there was at least one typo in my medical records. It was fairly insignificant, merely showing me to be a few days older than I am but I don't know how many more there are.

And another thing: the name of the town is misspelt on the surgery's web site. I've told them several times but they appear to have better things to do than correcting it. It doesn't give me the warm feeling that I'm in the hands of professionals.

New NSA leak reveals invasion of the management consultants

Frank Haney
Big Brother

Re: What happened

Paradigm is missing as well.

And worst of all, I don't see anybody going forward.

Boffins confirm quantum crypto can keep a secret

Frank Haney

Alice, Bob, Charlie... and Eve. What happened to Dave? Or Desdemona?

How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Frank Haney

Let's call the whole thing off

You say "fragmentation", I say "choice".

It doesn't scan as well as "tomato/tomato", it probably needs a bit of work, but your choice of words says a lot about your biases. "Fragmentation" has negative overtones. On the other hand, I like having a choice.

Motorola shows off tattoo and swallowable password hardware

Frank Haney

...tenants of Christian bureaucracy?

Surely you meant Tennents, the amber nectar beloved of our Scottish friends. Or, and this is a long shot, maybe you meant tenets: principles or beliefs, the main principles of a religion or philosophy.

'I've read all the Harry Potters - and I'm proud to have done so for adverts'

Frank Haney


Sorry. Maybe I didn't make myself clear.

Do you hoover your carpets? Do you write with a biro? Those are trademarks that have become diluted. Google is a trademark. If you don't enforce your trademarks you can lose them. If they become generic words you can lose them. That is why the likes of CocaCola, Disney and now Google are so aggressive defending their trademarks.

Google, quite rightly, doesn't want its trademark to become diluted. Trademarks are valuable intellectual property and they can last forever, but once they're gone, there's no getting them back.

Frank Haney

Google, like other companies, has to protect its trademark(s). Companies complaining about their names becoming generic words is why you can still ask for a Coke and get CocaCola rather than some generic coloured, flavoured, sweetened water. It's why you can buy an iPhone and know that it's made by, sorry, marketed by Apple.

There's more but I'm sure you get the drift. Anyway, must fly, I've got some hoovering to do.

Rivals to Brussels: Google labelling its own stuff won't help us

Frank Haney

Build it and they will come

I used to use Yahoo! to search the web. It did a reasonable job and experience told me it was the best of the available search engines. Then along came Google and within a month or so of discovering it I was using it almost exclusively. Because it was better.

Google didn't need to go to some competition regulator to get the playing field levelled (sorry, I mean tilted in its direction). Google just produced a better search engine. Maybe Microsoft could learn something from Google: Produce a better product and people will use it.

EU antitrust chief growls at Google, hopes to avoid sanctions

Frank Haney

I used to use Yahoo. Within a few weeks of Google coming into play I was using Google. Why? Because it was easier to use and seemed to give better results.

If Microsoft and its cronies want me to stop using Google the remedy is simple: create a search engine that gives better results and is easier to use. It might be difficult to implement but is that too difficult to grasp?

The 'Digital Economy' in 2012: A big noisy hole where money should be

Frank Haney


My reading comprehension is pretty good thanks. I did read the whole article but it was when I read the dig at Google that the bells rang and I scrolled back to the top of the page to see if my suspicions were correct. One article with an uncalled for dig at a particular company would just slide by. Mr Orlowski seems to be able to shoehorn one into everything he writes recently. I haven't seen a similar pattern with respect to the other big players in the field, Microsoft, Apple and the rest get a free pass from his barbs. I just wonder what Google has done to cause him such annoyance.

Frank Haney
Thumb Down

Whenever I read an article on The Register that gratuitously slags off Google I think to myself "Andrew Orlowski". About nine times out of ten I'm right.

It's become very obvious. What have you got against Google, Andrew?

Coffee next on climate chopping-block

Frank Haney

Let them drink tea.

Or beer.

IT support bod? Whatever you earn, it's not enough

Frank Haney

There was the woman who made a habit of calling me with obscure problems that I couldn't fix over the phone. "O.K. I'll come and see you" 30 seconds later I arrive at her desk and she's nowhere in sight. The first time I wasted about 10 minutes looking for her. The second time I left a message for her to call me when she got back. The third time I told her I'd be right there and stayed at my desk until she phoned again.

Then there are the people who are too busy to show you what the problem is, they just want you to fix it as soon as you can but "don't get in my way".

And a tip: if Windows is set to remember the last used userid some users don't bother to remember that their userid is (e.g.) their initial and their surname. If I had to use an administrator logon I used to make a note of the last userid and change it back in the registry before logging off. It saved a few stupid helpdesk calls.

Two weeks 'til the internet disappears, for 58 Fortune 500 companies

Frank Haney

Oh no, another computer virus

According to fsecure, which was one of the first hits on Google, its full name is W32/DNSChanger. I wonder what W32 signifies. :)

Kodak's using bankruptcy to rob us of our rights – Apple

Frank Haney

I must be missing something

Kodak has over 700 patents and needs money fast.

Apple is contesting 10 of those patents.

Why can't Kodak sell the 700 (or so) patents that aren't in dispute and argue about the other 10 at leisure?

Or are these 10 the only patents that have any value?

EU gives Google till July to offer fix for search dominance

Frank Haney

Re: What Google has done!

OK. I read it.

One thing that struck me was that in one paragraph Google may be copying: "Google may be copying original material from the websites of its competitors such as user reviews and using that material on its own sites without their prior authorisation." In the next paragraph they are copying "In this way they are appropriating the benefits of the investments of competitors."

How did that happen? Deliberate misdirection or error in translation?

Microsoft forbids class actions in new Windows licence

Frank Haney

"Windows 9 will not have these terms because all the bugs, instability and crap interface will have been ironed out."

I like you. You make me laugh. :-D

Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS

Frank Haney
Black Helicopters

"No plans..."

The exact quote from Teresa May was "There are no plans for any big government database. No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's emails or Facebook posts. Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated,"

And El Reg fell for it. "The Register can't help but note the language here: To repeat, May said no big government database would be created"

To repeat: no she didn't. She said they haven't got around to planning a big government database. Yet.

Choosing a desktop OS

Frank Haney

Dicking Around With The Desktop

I agree with you a bit re: dicking around with the desktop. I'm using Ubuntu 11.04 but I'm using what they call the "Classic Desktop" 'cos I'm an old stick-in-the-mud. However, if you used Ubuntu in a corporate environment it would probably be one of the "long term support" releases. 10.04 was the last one, the next one is 11.10 but you don't need to upgrade then, 10.04 is supported for three years so you've got another two years to play around with the new desktop on your development machines and if you still don't like it you can still switch to the Classic Desktop.

I sound like a fanboi. :-(

Open sourcers urged to adopt dancing poultry license

Frank Haney

My thoughts exactly

Was this a press release that should have been embargoed until the beginning of next month? The joke doesn't work otherwise. It's just to silly.

Dell kept buyers in dark over hardware problems, say docs

Frank Haney

It doesn't matter whose fault it was

What matters is who you bought the computer from. The purchaser of a Dell computer does not have a contract with the capacitor manufacturer.

Thieves drive off with 10,800 Western Digital drives

Frank Haney
Paris Hilton

£75 a drive?

That sounds like retail price. At that point in the distribution chain I'd be surprised if they were worth more than £10 each.

It's like when the customs nab a drug smuggler with £1000 worth of cocaine and it morphs into a "street value" of £1 million.

Paris, 'cos even she would be able to do the math (sic).

UK.gov sticks to IE 6 cos it's more 'cost effective', innit

Frank Haney

Another success story

Come on guys. You know IE6 is the best browser there has ever been. It would be a sin to discard it just because something a bit flashier has come along.


Join the campaign.

US word czars unfriend shovel-ready toxic assets

Frank Haney

Moby and Lappy

Please tell me that "moby" and "lappy" are still double plus ungood unwords.

And txt spk, of course. LOL

Peugeot's bulbous BB1 e-car bound for Blighty

Frank Haney

What was the design brief?

Make a car that's uglier than the Fiat Multipla? I think they succeeded.

HP launches Linux-fiddling support group

Frank Haney

That Disclaimer

That disclaimer. It sounds reasonable to me. If you get duff advise from the official HP website you'd expect to have some comeback. They're just making it clear that this isn't an official HP website and you're on your own. Caveat Emptor so to speak.

Launch your own satellite for only eight grand

Frank Haney

@ James 12

"So how long before the first person ashes are scatter in space?"

It's already been done. Gene Roddenberry (of Star Trek fame) was one of the first.

Ballmer's big regret at 10: Losing the interwebs

Frank Haney


"At the turn of the millennium, Microsoft took a fundamental decision that the PC remained its destiny and that the internet was a treat to Microsoft's hard-won desktop business." doesn't seem to make sense. Did you mean "..a THREAT to Microsoft's hard-won desktop business"?

Human rights court rules UK DNA grab illegal

Frank Haney
Black Helicopters

@ bobbles31

"The only way they will get my DNA is as a swab from my corpse."

I'm sure that can be arranged. Is next Friday convenient for you?

ISO rejects Office Open XML appeal (redux)

Frank Haney
Gates Horns

OOXML - a standard looking for an application

It's not clear if the following is the author's opinion or the Microsoft spokeman's opinion:

"Critics of OOXML have two main objections against the standard. First, Microsoft does not support Open Document Files (ODF), a rival ISO file format standard used in OpenOffice, among others. MS-Office 2007, for instance, uses OOXML formats lacks native ODF support. (In the toing and froing over the OOXML standard, Microsoft said in May that it will build ODF support into SP2 of Office 2007, due out sometime next year.) Second, many in the anti-camp are against OOXML - because they are against Microsoft."

It reads as if it's the author's opinion but it does hold the Microsoft line perfectly.

I am a critic of OOXML so let me take those two assertions in turn.

1 Microsoft doesn't support ODF. So what? Microsoft is free to support whatever file formats it wants to. It would be nice if Microsoft supported ODF but if it did it wouldn't need another standard so the argument is somewhat circular.

2 We're against OOXML because we don't like Microsoft. I am against OOXML because of the way Microsoft has ridden roughshod over the standards process. We didn't need anothert document standard and remember, this is a "standard" that doesn't have a working application and is unlikely to have a working application since Microsoft won't be implementing it.

And finally, you say "because they are against Microsoft" as if that's a bad thing. Look at the company's record of illegal behaviour, what's not to dislike?

Mystery web attack hijacks your clipboard

Frank Haney

MSNBC Breaking News

I've received a lot of spam email today, supposedly from MSNBC Breaking News. Actual return email addresses vary.

Is this how the virus/trojan/malware is being spread?

Hasbro kills Colonel Mustard in the corporate office with the marketing ploy

Frank Haney

More Pedantry

I also made my UK debut in 1949.

Please don't describe ME as a 60 year old.

McKinnon UFO hack 'looked like cyberterrorist attack'

Frank Haney

@ Turbojerry

You seem to be mistaking freedom fighters for terrorists. An easy mistake to make.

Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Frank Haney

The numbers don't add up

So there's been a reduction in KSI (killed and seriously injured) figures. What they don't tell you is that the reduction is almost completely in the seriously injured figures. The number killed each year has remained almost the same in spite of improvements in vehicle and road design.

And when you think about it that doesn't really make a lot of sense. You would expect the number killed to be a more or less constant percentage of the total KSI number. But I'm sure nobody would stoop to massaging the seriously injured figures just to pretend that speed cameras actually do what they promised - save lives.

Mine's the one with the abacus in the pocket.

Gordon Brown claims a Brit invented the iPod

Frank Haney

Shome Mishtake, Shurely

"...Gordon Brown claimed the ubiquitous device in the name of Mother England."


I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the absurdity of a scotch person claiming an invention for the sassenachs.

British youths think Churchill went to moon

Frank Haney


"i have yet to hear a convincing argument to-date to say the moon landings were faked... and none of thes nubile rantings about mulitiple light sources, no stars in the sky, perfectly framed pictures from chest mounted cameras with no viewfinder.... proper arguments....."

He he. I caught one.

Frank Haney
Black Helicopters

The kids aren't so dumb

There are adults who believe that Neil Armstrong was on the moon not on a film lot in the desert somewhere. How dumb is that?

Germans send teen tearaway to Siberia

Frank Haney

You call that a punishment

"If he doesn't fetch water, he can't wash."

He's a 16 year old boy.

Not washing is what they do.

Penguin 'cos it's cold and there's no polar bear.

Concerned comrades floor China's anti-graft website

Frank Haney

A 5 year plan. Hurrah

Where would the world be without 5 year plans?

I wonder if the Chinese authorities will be taking lessons from our own glorious leaders...

"Thank you for supporting the petition on the Number 10 website. The Prime Minister is aware of your concerns but will continue to do just as he damn well pleases.

"Please don't hestitate to contact us if you have any other burning issues you want us to ignore"

How much does El Reg cost the global economy?

Frank Haney

@Hedley Phillips

Hedley Phillips wrote "...Surley companies are save millions each year by their IT staff keeping informed of the latest threats..."

Surely you meant "surly".

Dell moves 40,000 Ubuntu PCs

Frank Haney
Thumb Down

I'm surprised they sold so many

The last time I checked a Ubuntu laptop was £40 more expensive than an XP or Vista laptop. If you just look at the base model machines Ubuntu is about £50 cheaper than XP or Vista but it will cost you £90 to bring the processor, memory, hard drive, DVD drive etc in line with the Windows machine.

If I wanted to run Linux on a Dell so badly I would load it myself and save £40

England flops shafted by enormous todger

Frank Haney
Paris Hilton

I'm Sure...

I'm sure there must be a Paris Hilton angle to this story.

Inventor of revoked payment patent says UK system is a joke

Frank Haney

A patent for using a computer

This is another "Using A Computer" patent. That is: find something that people have been doing for tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, describe it then put "using a computer" at the end.

IBM once managed to get a patent for queuing "Using A Computer".


Half of computer users are Wi-Fi thieves

Frank Haney

Another crime against atatisics

"...extrapolating the results to every computer user in the country is probably a crime against statistics: so that's exactly what The Times has done.


...and if the person next to you has never stolen a Wi-Fi connection then we have to assume that you have."

Is it safe to assume that the last sentence of the article was included as another example of a crime against statistics?

Ballmerized Nigerian PCs might run Mandriva after all

Frank Haney

@Steve Browne

"if they were complying with laws what were they doing in court?"

I suppose you've never heard of a trial where the accused was found not guilty. I wonder what they were doing in court.

X-Factor singer withdraws over 'happy slapping' vid

Frank Haney
IT Angle


"She's supposed to be a role model, what does being a murderer or peadophile have to do with singing ability"

Being a murderer didn't do Leadbelly's career any harm.

I've got to agree with Declan, although I'm sure that if we got rid of X Factor they'd only come up with an even worse, just when you thought it was safe to turn on the telly, Son of X Factor.

And the centre of your desktop is...

Frank Haney

Open Office Is Good For One Thing At Least

Under the heading "Open Source? No kidding" the anonymous poster, in amongst personal attacks on "Open-source fanboys" etc writes:

"Open Office is the weakest link. It's slow, bulky, and lacks interoperability with the common office formats (Microsoft's) that everyone else uses...

"All we know is, that Open Office can't open .doc documents, and that other people can't open the documents that we send them."

A mildly amusing rant. I'll give it 5 out of 10.

It just goes to show how little he really knows. One of my favourite uses for Open Office is to rescue MS Office files, especially Excel but Word as well, when MS Office refuses to have anything to do with them. Does that mean that Open Office is more interoperable than MS Office?