* Posts by Peter

10 posts • joined 8 Nov 2008

Moderatrix quits El Reg: Latest


Well played

I visited the reg today specifically to see what April fools there might be, and thought for a while I was going to have to settle for the somewhat predictable Google CCTV story. This may be almost as memorable for me as the 'anechoic chamber simulation' plugin from Smartelectronix and associated threads on kvr-audio.

Still not sure why I ever come and read or write comments here - I'm sure I lose a few IQ points each time...

Google, Mozilla back 3D interwebs


If text you want, go ahead and use Lynx. Please stop whinging.

I know that multimedia features and animation are often abused in irritating ways on the web.

However, if the development of web technology were left up to a load of grumpy old men complaining about the very idea that people might be allowed to make anything pretty then life would be rather sadder.

I hope that this endeavour is successful. There isn't yet a very good option for doing 3d graphics on web pages.

Mr. WebTV gives games thin-client treatment

Paris Hilton

Isn't it a little early for something like this?

About a week early with this announcement, I'd say.

"The catch is it requires considerable bandwidth to do so."

No, the catch is that it is fundamentally a ludicrously bad idea on many levels. You have a load of clients that each individiually need to do a lot of heavy computation as well as transferring a hefty bit of bandwidth on a pretty much constant basis with great sensitivity to latency and any potential signal loss. How does it ever make sense to have a thin client for that?

Paris: I'm sure she could serve a good portion of the cloud.

Rogue Facebook app creates malign buzz


Installing without warning page?

That definitely shouldn't be possible.

Neither should this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7376738.stm

Investigative journalists for the BBC managed to create and publish an application which gathers data not only of those that opt-in, but also their friends.

Pentax K-m entry-level digital SLR


Movie mode, wide angle...

A lot of people seem affronted by the idea of movie mode on a DSLR. Sure, you won't be able to use the viewfinder for video, and the handling might leave something to be desired but the benefit of being able to use the same lenses for video and stills, and not requiring two separate devices with somewhat similar components.

I'm not quite sure why people are directly comparing 18mm kit lens to '28mm' on the FZ28. The FZ28 lens is 4.8mm at the wide end... in the context of field of view the two lenses give on their respective bodies, they are both approximately equivalent to ~27mm on a 35mm camera. It's about time people started learning to talk about actual FOV, rather than '35mm equivalent focal length' so that these confusions can be avoided.

Nikon D90 digital SLR with HD video recording


Glad that this is finally happening.

"An example of the close-up performance offered by the D90"

Surely this is dependent on the lens used, which isn't mentioned here; presumably all of the images in the review used the kit lens.

That Casio Pat mentioned seems very interesting but isn't a DSLR and, perhaps more importantly, doesn't have interchangeable lenses. I'd like to be able to use fast prime lenses to shoot video and I look forward to future camera bodies hopefully doing a better job at this. It's pretty inevitable that the earliest models will leave much to be desired.

Teen hacker confesses three-year crime spree


Look; I know these kids, I've worked with them

...and in my opinion the only solution is to cut their goolies off.

Reg readers in Firefox 3 lovefest



I use Chrome at the moment. It's not quite ideal, but I was getting a bit fed up with FF refusal to implement some kind of multi-threaded / process model. For some reason, at the time I was first trying out Chrome, something made my FF installation highly unreliable, so I've stuck with it.

I had FF tweaked very much how I like it. But it seemed to start a) crashing quite a bit on my system and b) saying stuff along the lines of 'oh hai, I've upgraded myself to version n+1e-6, and that means TabMixPlus won't work any more. kthxbye'. Chasing around fixing stuff like that is *dull* in the extreme.

Actually, Chrome has also had it's odd funny moment, with the interface not responding or the browser crashing.

Opera's a good browser. Maybe I should use that more. I used to be put off by not being able to replicate my FF setup, but I've trained myself to be less fussy now...

Preventive policing? Don't even think about it


Careful now

"The Itemiser is already being used in pubs in England where concerns have been raised about the possibility of customers getting a positive reading simply by touching a surface where there are traces of drugs.

But a spokeswoman for the SCDEA said the device was able to tell the difference between this type of contamination and drug use." (from the BBC article)

Whether that's really true or not, I don't know. Although the story as a whole is worrying, I'm willing to believe that the people behind the technology aren't completely stupid. Knee-jerk reactionary statements don't really strengthen a case - and we really do need to make the case for civil liberties as strongly as we can.

In other news, I had my bag searched in Embankment station shortly after the London bombings a few years ago, under no grounds other than that they were 'being really careful and searching anyone with a big bag' or something, IIRC. I can't remember if they told me I absolutely must comply. They were ever so polite, though ;-), and they did give me a form.

@John F***ing Stepp

The States have been looking a bit like they could turn into a police state from where I'm sat, with things like the Patriot Act...

I've read some bad accounts from the US on forums. Someone apparently got a house visit from police armed with automatic weapons after they'd been seen taking some photos of aircraft or something. They'd literally just been taking pictures of planes from public property and were covertly followed back to their flat which was later searched by armed police on grounds of suspicion of terrorism. They mentioned that they happened to be black, and the really scary thing was that they actually said they didn't mind! Unfortunately I can't find the link I saved to this, and it was just a post on dpreview forum; season appropriately. It seems almost too farcicle for words now and hardly worth posting - I wish I did at least still have the link.

Silverlight 2.0: killer features, no Flash killer

Gates Halo

Killer Ap

If MS had managed to coordinate themselves well enough and get the tech up to scratch so they could PhotoSynth as a Silverlight application, I think that would have done a better job of convincing people that Silverlight was actually a really powerful and worthwhile new technology.

Without a killer ap like that that will really wow end users, all that will happen is people get put off by the Microsoft smell. WPF, LINQ and so on may be great tools for developers, but important as that is, a development environment that turns on a few developers isn't enough.


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