* Posts by Martin Kirk

37 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Apr 2007

iOS 13 leaks suggest Apple is finally about to unleash the iPad as a computer for grownups

Martin Kirk

And adding arrow keys to the keyboard!

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Martin Kirk

No guilt here. Now, if they gave me a cut of the revenue they get when they show me an ad, I might reconsider.

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook ads

Martin Kirk

Re: Social Contact

"The real problem here is that an essential service - "social contact" - has been privatized and monopolized."

Essential service? Really? Come on.

Martin Kirk

"The bit where you assume that they will provide the service for free with no way for them to make money off it. Would you be willing to pay a subscription fee for facebook if it meant no ads, no info to advertisers?"

If it was something I actually wanted to use, then yes.

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet

Martin Kirk

Re: People who use adblockers...

Some of us don't want see ads at all. Period. End of story.

Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Martin Kirk

Re: Does no-one remember Minix?

In 1996, Bill Gates said that for a long time Microsoft had the highest volume AT&T license!


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Martin Kirk

Re: Makes sense to me..

Might be the right car if I really do end up moving to Orkney. Mostly short trips into the great metropolis of Kirkwall, but has the legs to handle the inherently long trips when you have to go to the mainland.

Microsoft discontinues Media Center with Windows 10

Martin Kirk

The biggest problem with alternatives is finding one that will control a Sky Digital box properly. EVerything else is fixated with DVB-T. Wile MCE was not ideal (I still miss my TiVo), it did interface very well with SKY and allowed me to have decent TV window running on one of the monitors in my home office.

I'm busy looking around for alternatives, but so far not finding anything that will do what I want.

Kindle, meet my partner. Darling, play nice with Kindle, please

Martin Kirk

One glaring obstacle

When you dig into it, you can only set this up if you have a latest generation actual Kindle device. You cannot so it from the Android or iPad reading Apps, nor can you do it from your account settings page on the Amazon website.

Older Kindles andf Fire tablets can't set it up either.

I guess that those who don't use a "real" Kindle are just second-class citizens.

Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

Martin Kirk

I have a model dalek someone gave me many years ago. Press a button and it comes out with some useful phrases, such as "You will be exterminated". It can be quite interesting listening to them trying to engage it in conversation.

Loathed wiggly-word CAPTCHAs morph into 'fun' click-'n'-drag games

Martin Kirk

Gonna be a problem for website operators when they are hidden by Adblock.

The last thing we need on the internet, more advertising.

100,000+ Earthlings star in 'reality TV contest' for ONE-WAY ticket to MARS

Martin Kirk

Re: @Pete 2

Could we change this around a bit and have a reality TV show where we choose which "celebrities" to send on a one-way mission to Mars?

And you have to be impressed by the prcision parking of the "landers" in the mocked-up photo. How is this going to work when they actually arrive too far apart to be joined up into a single convenient habitat?

The terrifying tech behind this summer's zombie assault

Martin Kirk

It is all very clever, but the experience is still painful to be enjoyable. I'm holding out for proper 3D as depicted in "The Flipside of Dominick Hyde" (for thos of you with long memories).

Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

Martin Kirk

I always position the leading { on the line following the conditional. This way it is at the same indentation as the closing }, and it is much easier to spot errors.

Leap Motion Controller: Hands up for PC air gestures. That's the spirit

Martin Kirk

Waiting for mine to arrive, too. It is a speculative purchase. I do not have over-high expectations of its usefulness, but it should be interesting to experiment with, at least for a awhile.

Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base

Martin Kirk

Re: Worked there for 20 years

Hi Nigel. Yes, happy days. Been gone from BT Research for 23 years now, but it was a great first 15 years of my career. A lot of fun, and some great 'firsts'. Some great folk there in the 'good old days'.

Verizon CFO: 'Unlimited' data is just a word

Martin Kirk

What an idiot!! I would love to see his lawyers explain away that the word means what we think it means, not what the customer understands.

Amazon flings open doors to Android Appstore in Europe

Martin Kirk

Curiously, it seems that the App Store on my (US-bought) Kindle Fire will still not allow me to download apps. Eben free apps such as the BBC News app complain that my credit card does not have a US billing address.

UN set to dump GMT for tech-friendly Atomic Time

Martin Kirk
Thumb Down

"One positive outcome for Brits distressed by the loss of our Victorian superpower status is that the end of GMT as an international standard could accelerate the move to keep British Summer Time into the winter, letting us have lighter evenings."

Those of us living in the North would like to register our opinion that this would be a Bad Thing. We don't want to wait until 10 am for dawn to break!

Amazon intros $199 movie Kindle

Martin Kirk

US-only so far. Grrrr.

As I suppose was to be expected, it is only available in the US at the moment. I was going to get my brother-on-law to order one for me, but according to the little video, it comes "pre-registered to your Kindle account", so it looks as if that may not work.

Very, very irritating.

Rescue privacy before it vanishes forever

Martin Kirk
Big Brother

We need more anti-social networking

I am a great proponent of anti-social networking. Everything should default to opt-out. Existing providers, including Google, should be required to trash their existing databases and start again on the basis of requiring specific opt-ins. Somehow I doubt this is ever going to happen.

Natty Narwhal with Unity: Worst Ubuntu beta ever

Martin Kirk

Hate the universal menu

I have never like the Apple idea of attaching the application menu to the top of the screen. If you are working with multiple windows on a large screen, it is very irritating to have to keep moving the focus out of the window to use the menu.

Unfeasibly vast amphibian found croaked on video card

Martin Kirk

Me too

About 8 years ago I too found a dead frog in one of the servers in my lounge. Somehow it must have got in through a missing blanking plate. I can only assume it was trying to get away from my cat!

Google chucks personal ratings to the Hotpot

Martin Kirk


Once again, a "social networking" idea based on the false premise that I will like what my friends like. Only works for lemmings.

Facebook Places checks in to UK

Martin Kirk
Thumb Down

Will the madness never end?

Yet another reason never to touch Facebook.

Google execs protest Italian guilty verdicts

Martin Kirk

Not quite like the Post office

I see that a former UK Information Commissioner said that the case was ridiculous because "It is like prosecuting the post office for hate mail that is sent in the post". I think this analogy is flawed. The difference is that most postal material is hidden inside an envelope, and the Post Office has no way of knowing the contents. Material posted on the Internet is visible to all, so Google (or anyone else) is able to inspect the contents. It may not be commercially viable to do it, but it is far from impossible.

Dirty, dirty PCs: The X-rated picture guide

Martin Kirk

Not a bug, but a frog

I wish I had taken a picture, but regrettably I didn't. The strangest thing I found in one of my servers was a dead frog. My cat tended to bring frogs into the house, and I would find their dried out bodies under the sofa months later.

Then one day, I was adding a new video card to the server, and inside I found a dessicated frog corpse. As to how it got in, I can only imagine it jumped in through the one missing card slot cover. The alternative is that the cat posted it inside, which is too weird to contemplate.

New Doctor Who is 'simply the best'

Martin Kirk

I remain to be convinced

Personally, I think he has a lot to do to win over the audience. Matt Smith looks completely wrong for the part, and it has all the hallmarks of an "appealing to the younger audience" gimmick.

I'd like to be proved wrong, but I am far from hopeful.

Barnes & Noble's ebook reader takes its bow

Martin Kirk


Looks quite nice. Unfortunately, the B&N eBook store only seems to be capable of selling to people with US addresses! So effectively useless over here.

Australia mulls botnet takedown scheme

Martin Kirk

It may be the only way

This may be the only way to educate the average user about security. I have long thought that ISPs are the best placed to identify compromised PCs that are generating spam or other bot-net related output. There is little difficulty in identifying spam e-mails that are in circulation, and identifying PCs that are generating them would not be rocket science, although it would likely involve a significant investment in compute power and packet inspection.

Taking infected systems off the net is the only way to both solve the problem and educate the user community at the same time. The problem would be in finding the funding to put this in place.

Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on

Martin Kirk


How about we all bill MS for our time spent removing this add-on from our systems?

US teen clocks up 14,528 text messages

Martin Kirk

I just can't be trying!

Hmm. Makes my total of around 200 in 10 years even punier than I thought! Still, at least they were all properly spelt, capitalised, and punctuated. Bet she can't claim that - it takes time to find all those semi-colons!

Phorm launches data pimping fight back

Martin Kirk

No, No, No!

Like several others her, I use AdBlock and NoScript to virtually eliminate ads from all the web pages I visit. The 30-second skip button is the most worn button on my TiVo remote. As far as I am concerned there is no such thing as a relevant ad. IMHO the Internet actually makes advertising unnecessary. If I want to buy something, I can research it easily, so why bother looking at ads?

I agree with the other commenters, the ISPs and Phorm are seeking to make money out of information that they have no right to use. Otherss have articulated the arguments why so thee is no need to repeat them.

I suspect that the only way to stop this is by legislation making it illegal to sell personal information, even when anonymised. This has to apply to Government agencies as well, eg.g DVLA. This way we can kill off the whole junk paper mail/junk calls business in one go.

The 'blem wit' error messages

Martin Kirk

Wandering wild creatures

My personal favourite, produced by a compiler for a language that allowed type definition:

"Integer expected, but rabbit found."

Camelot pulls scratchcard amid numerical anarchy

Martin Kirk

Pot, kettle, darker shade of pale

And people who do not have a basic grasp of English should not be allowed to leave there (sic) comments.

Program Names govern admin rights in Vista

Martin Kirk


"Installation programs are applications designed to deploy software, and most write to system directories and registry keys. These protected system locations are typically writable only by an administrator user, which means that standard users do not have sufficient access to install programs."

Write protection, anyone? It isn't rocket science. If a program, whatever its name is, tries to write to a protected area, that is the time to either reject the operation or prompt for the admin password to temporarily raise the privilege level. You either have a system with proper separation of user and admin roles or you don't. UAC fudges it to try and make admin painless for the non-technical user, but in reality they will almost always say yes to whatever the system asks them. It really only provides Microsoft with the ability to say "Well, we warned you", when things go horribly wrong.

Basing security on program name is frankly absurd.