* Posts by Paul Barton

10 posts • joined 23 Apr 2007

Windows XP repair disk kills automatic updates

Paul Barton

RE: Forced Upgrades to Vista

Some people mournfully predict (half jokingly) that MS will deliberately cripple XP to 'force' people to buy Vista.

If a company releases a product that is so broken and unreliable that even the part of it designed to keep its brokenness under control ends up breaking it even further, and a person responds to this by rushing out to buy even more products from that company, well.....

All I'd say to them is 'Go for it'. Fools and their money ~are~ quickly parted after all, and Paul Allen's yacht isn't quite as impressive as it once was, is it?

Jack Thompson might go down in gay porn shocker

Paul Barton

RE: WTF ? [shoe-horning 'jokes' into every other sentence makes it hard to read]

If you don't get The Reg's wry sense of humour, you really are in the wrong place.....

And as for double entendres, the best has got to be this story's headline itself!! ROFL

'Law and Order' cop accused of child porn possession

Paul Barton

RE: Typical

What's typical is the assumption that files on a person's hard disk are their responsibility!

I'm pretty sure that everyone is aware of incidents where illegal images have been found on a person's PC after taking it in to a repair shop.

So do you really think that a paedophile today is going to take their porn-encrusted PC into Best Buy for a routine repair?

Aren't they much more likely to either fix it themselves or - if they are as well-off and as well-respected as this particular PC owner - wouldn't they just bin it and get a new one?

I mean, really, come on people.

This particular 'suspect' is an actor, such people are well known for sociable activities, such as having guests in their house, including guests they have not vetted for sexual deviancy. Maybe that's a crime now??

Why is Hotmail so bad at spam?

Paul Barton


Did some smart alec really 'casually' throw that into a comment???

That's got to be one of the more annoying habits to surface in recent times! Virus is an English word, the accepted plural is viruses, not viri.

I wonder if this wannabe clever clogs uses the correct accustive, dative, genitive etc declensions of words with Ancient Greek/Latin origin? Or if he/she/it always (as I suspect, not that it would make it any worse if they didn't) uses the nominative form?

People who use this and other non-standard plurals out of what can only be sheer vanity should have their IPs permanently blocked from the entire interweb. (fora instead of forums must be the most common, but I've also seen people use the nominative singular erratum even when ablative case would have been applicable in the original language! Can you believe it?)

BMW helps nail 105mph V-sign biker

Paul Barton

RE: Data protection

Look, the police already know who owns what bike and where, what they don't know is how to tell one model from the next. I would say BMW almost certainly helped in just identifying the exact model of bike in question, thus allowing Mr Plod to trawl through his nice little registration database.

So, to not get caught, make sure you only do this sort of thing far from home....

(But anyway, why is the fact he has a helmet relevant in any way at all? Having a pic of a driver's face is only helpful when the owner of a known vehicle says it wasn't them driving - as far as I know, there is not yet a national database of every citizen's face nor the tools to make searching it remotely feasible.)

US 'war czar' to attack internet safe havens

Paul Barton

RE: Internet Anarchy

Yes you can track the source of contributions on the internet. If the IP address is in the west, you can track it to a single house, office, hotel or internet cafe. The latter three could help narrow your search to hundreds perhaps tens of people.

If the source was a house, then you know that someone used a computer at that house for the dastardly deed - ie one of the residents, one of their friends, relatives or neighbours. Unless of course they have a wireless network, in which case you have to add in any passing hacker, or, if it's an unencrypted wireless network (as many people are baffled by implementing such things), you have to add in any passer by with a laptop.

So yes, we can track such things already, but unless you believe the spin from the police or the RIAA, we can't pinpoint the guilty party. Not possible.

'Gay or straight?' ruling looks bad for all US social networking sites

Paul Barton


If I read the article right, "For example, a straight male seeking a room could only search profiles of those users who had indicated during registration that they would live with a straight male" is the crucial issue in this case.

The court, apparently, has no problem with users saying anything that is illegal eg discriminatory as the article at first seems to imply. Roomates has filtered the information its users have submitted to provide different content to different users (not different content to the same users depending on how they search or browse the site), so the judgement does not extend to MySpace and especially not to Google.

Should all automated processing of 3rd party content be covered by the Section 230 immunity? I don't know, this court thinks not, but the problem isn't as wide-ranging as your reporter seems to believe.

Woman smuggles live budgie into Irish prison

Paul Barton

RE: Wot? No Davy lamp?

I was gonna say... if they did a really thorough search, they'd probably find the rest of the mining team

Milton Keynes: world centre of porn and sex

Paul Barton

How it works

If you click the 'normalize' link on the cities tab, it explains how they do the ranking.

I think they pick the top ten cities with the most searches for the term entered, then they rank those in order of percentage of total searches for each city.

So the city with the highest overall number of searches for a term might well be at number 7 or whatever. And even the city with the highest overall ratio of searches for a given term might not even be in the ranking at all (if it didn't have a top ten placing for searches on that term)

For instance, for eskimos at the North Pole, there's probably a high ratio of searches for the term 'penguin' to total searches. Up there, 99% of searches are probably for one of 'penguin', 'snow', or 'wankers'.

Type it into Google trends though, and just a load of Ozzie cities come up - even though only a maximum of half all searches from Oz could realistically contain that word. There's another surprise with Thames Ditton, which tops the rankings, but presumably because of all the concerned mums checking the nutritional value of their kids' snacks.

Liverpool uncages pigeon-busting 'robofalcons'

Paul Barton

RE: Real birds would be cheaper

it would be cheaper for you or I to get real falcons, but don't underestimate how much it costs the powers that be to do anything you or I could do at a fraction of the price!


That's £100k for one real bird for a year, maybe he insisted on staying at the Grosvenor?

Now as long as they don't go crazy on the batteries, Liverpool must surely be able to run the robot ones for, ooh, how's £50 grand sound?


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