* Posts by Bug

48 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Dec 2008

London's stock exchange crashes again



Are they by any chance using WIndows, or employ Seimens to do their IT (or both)?

Microsoft Silverlight - now with hidden Windows bias


Now? Hidden?

*Now* with *hidden* Windows bias?

Oh come on. Sliverlight is a Microsoft product. Windows bias is implicit and since when have they ever worried about hiding it?

Fedora 12 - it's a horse, not a camel


A trojan horse perhaps?

It's come to light that Fedora 12's default behaviour include allowing non-root users to install rpms. A decision that was apparently taken and implemented without any community discussion and only came to light when it was mentioned in the comments of a bug report. Unsurprisingly it's proving very controversial.



WTF? Icon for obvious reasons.

WarMouse pushes gamers' buttons with OOMouse



This is the only article I've seen which hasn't commented on the aesthetics of the device and felt the need to point out that it's not a joke.

It's a nice idea, it's just a shame they've managed to make something which looks so bloody awful.

State attorney nabbed in car with stripper, Viagra and sex toys



These are the first people to point the finger at someone else and claim what great judgment they have. They're dumber than most, I'd say...Politicians suck it.

Firefox 3.5.4 fixes critical memory flaws


Bugs don't necessarily reflect security (or lack of)

"Another critical Mozilla security flaw. Sounds like IE all over again. "

You're either a troll or simply ignorant. Software has bugs. The number of updates for a product does not in anyway indicate how many bugs there is in it or how secure it is. The only things the updates to Firefox indicate is that bugs are being fixed, that Mozilla are open enough to admit these bugs existed and that Mozilla release updates as and when they feel necessary rather than to a fixed schedule (like making you wait until patch Tuesday). You also have to take in to account not only the number of bugs but how quickly they are fixed once they are discovered. On the former, Firefox is open source so anyone can find bugs and tell Mozilla about them, even send Mozilla a fix. IE is closed source, only Microsoft get to see the code and Microsoft don't need to tell you if they found a bug because they can patch it without anyone ever knowing.

Mozilla have a much better record on the latter than Microsoft.

German boffins invent steel Velcro

Gates Horns

vandals' delight

"It would seem that the day may come when one can disassemble buildings, bridges, cars etc. simply by pulling them apart, without use of any special tools"

Great! And that would be really useful, because, well, umm... No actually that would be stupidly dangerous.

'Ring-wing' robo-sub smart swarm lands £6m oil deal


But ours can swim in molten NaK alloy!

James Pickett:

Possibly they are thinking of space exploration, on one of the Jovian or Saturnian moons that appears to have an ocean. If you spend zillions of dollars getting the thing there, 33% more mission endurance after it arrives is well worth it.

Or, they could be thinking of the robots that inspect the interior of pipelines. (Much cheaper if you don't have to empty the pipe first.)

But most likely, it is just typical engineer / scientist thoroughness: in their models, the liquid is just a set of density and viscosity parameters, and the model can optimise the design for any such set of parameters. It doesn't interest them that most parameter sets represent liquids of no practical importance.

3-tonne robot flying saucer offered to world's militaries

Gates Horns

Do they also sell Valkyr?

OK, the Aesir are the Norse gods, so maybe it's just your run-of-the-mill insane neo-Nazi warlord longing to subjugate the untermenschen with his army of flying saucers.

On the other hand -- Aesir was also the name of the drug-dealing, evil military megacorp in "Max Payne". So it could just be your run-of-the-mill insane neo-Nazi warlord longing to use his army of flying saucers to bring forth Ragnarok and annihilate the world.

Secret US spontaneous human combustion beam tested



The original article says that:

The laser beam's energy defeated the vehicle.

"Defeated?" That could mean any of a wide range of things, but the vagueness strongly suggests that, just as the smart money predicted, it wasn't particularly impressive. Why did we expect that?

Well, back in November last year, this program was investigated by the AFSAB and determined to be a complete waste of money. Since then, Boeing has had the spin machine on full bore to avoid getting cancelled. One of the publicity efforts they made showed artists' impressions of applications for the thing. And one of those pictures showed it "defeating" a vehicle ... by flattening a tire. (Perhaps due to excessive honesty, that picture now seems to have disappeared.)

Yes folks, if you stand in this beam unprotected, you will be badly hurt, maybe even killed. But to block it you don't need super-reflective mirrors or advanced aerosols, a simple plank of wood will do the job. Going to destroy ammo dumps with this thing? Not if they are covered over!

It was in the same spin campaign that they came up with the ludicrous "stealth death ray" application. Quite simply, the reason we have no death rays half a century after lasers were invented is that they are very poor weapons with almost every operational parameter far, far inferior to conventional firearms.

The one feature of lasers that is actually a positive is the light speed energy delivery, which makes them much easier to aim at ultra-high speed targets. That is the reason they are being actively investigated for missile defence. But here Boeing has been poodling around with a "miniaturised" (well, slightly smaller) version that is clearly unsuitable for missile defence, and someone has called them out on the whole "applications" issue. They seem to have had a bit of brain-storming session and tried to come up with things that sounded more useful than flattening tires, and one of the things they came up with is the "stealth death ray".

As publicity, the "stealth death ray" has worked great. Heck, it got them into El Reg!

But as numerous other bloggers have noted, it doesn't make a blind bit of sense. The USA is the only country that has a flying stealth death ray (or rather, the USA is the only country silly enough to be funneling cash to a company that is promising to build one.) Contrary to what some people have claimed, due to industrial accidents the diagnosis of laser burns is well understood. It is obvious that this system will have no "deniability" whatsoever.

What is even sillier is that the chosen platform, the C-130 Hercules, is a cargo plane that is about the most unstealthy aircraft in existence. It cannot fly at extreme altitudes, it has only intermediate range, and it has the radar signature of a large barn fitted with a pair of high speed windmills.

In contrast, in the places where you might want to use a stealth death ray (e.g. Waziristan), it is remarkably inexpensive to just pay someone to go and shoot the guy you're after. If you want it to be deniable, we recommend paying in used bills.

OnLive game beta enters public stream

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USA Only

Might help if this minor bit of info was included in the article.

Quote from the page linked to

You need to be at least 18, based in the US and have a broadband-connected PC running Windows Vista®/XP®, or an Intel®-based Mac.

Celebs join call for official Turing apology


Great Idea

Lets all start demanding apologies from people for things they didn't do that happened before most of them were born.

Opera chief warns on equal access to Windows services


Google helps forcing SVG on IE

See the short clip on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCk22AaRxiE&feature=autoshare_twitter , and the schedule on https://www.svgopen.org/2009/registration.php?section=conference_schedule

Government stamp of approval for fake weed


For our safety and health.... As if

So as usual the government claims to be thinking of banning this for our health.

Same as cannabis is banned for our health even though it has not killed anyone directly... (that I know of)

So we must all "for our health" stick to drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco both of which kill thousands and thousands each year.

All this is going to do is increase the profits for the criminals producing drugs of an unregulated quality.

Keeping these drugs illegal is ONLY helping the criminals.

ALL the deaths from drugs due to overdosing from unknown strength, deaths from contaminated drugs and deaths of children having easy access to drugs can be laid directly at the feet of the government.

There is enough proof from alcohol prohibition during the 30's in the USA to prove the link between criminal profits, deaths from badly made alcohol and easy of access for children due to criminals not bothering about the buyers age.

It's not "for our health" it's purely for the benefit of the criminals.

How much are the politicians being paid by the criminals to ignore the facts.

How much are papers like the Daily Mail being paid to print complete lies to distort the populations views.

Legalise, tax it and help keep our children away from drugs and stop people dying from contaminated drugs.

Everyone in the country takes drugs of some form or other... Caffeine (tea and coffee...it's classed as a psychoactive substance), paracetamol, alcohol (glass of wine), anything from the chemist.

Cannabis has been called one of the safest psychoactive substances that humans can take.

How much longer do we have to put up with the lies, the deaths, the lives ruined by a criminal conviction for taking something safer than alcohol, the criminals take our money that could be going towards tax and helping the health service by not having people suffering from contaminated drugs.

Interesting to see if this get printed.

PayPal moves to embed self in everything


Re : Beware Of False Security

Sorry but your comment does not match my experience. I sold an item on ebay it was paid for by paypal and I stuck the cash in my bank account. The buyer then pulled a scam and accused me of loads of provable false accusations.

Even though I had removed the cash from paypal they instantly refunded the payment to the buyer and I was left with a negative amount, unable to buy anything due to the fraudulent claims of the buyer. This was when I found out that regardless of any proof the seller has Paypal will almost always side with the buyer. I had no choice but to pay back paypal from my account.

Hence I only use paypay to pay for items. I will never use it, as it is for selling anything again.

Kingston's thumb drive is tiny Tardis



So 256GB. Assume they're using the 1GB=1000MB method of capacity calculation that's 256000MB. (256000/10)/(60*60)=7.11 hours. So it'll take 7.11 hours to transfer that 256GB assuming it's continuously writing at at the maximum possible speed. Which of course it won't be because of the overhead of all the handshaking stuff that comes with copying each individual file.

So the Tardis analogy is very apt. The product will be of most interest to Timelords since they can skip over the tediously long period of time it takes to fill the drive up or retrieve it's contents.

DHS chief accused of using no-fly list for political payback


Captain Obvious

The whole idea of the no fly list is a complete joke. As if "real terrorists" now would use their REAL name to board.

Dumb. Good thing their tactics didn't work in forcing us to chew on our own leg. Fly paranoia and the like.Oh wait...

US sinks $0.5bn into electromagnetic aircraft-throwers



They used steam because they already had it and an energy reservoir in the boilers. Loose a bit of steam pressure during a launch to be built up again before the next one.

Just how much energy does a launch take? Does the generator for a ships electric propulsion system have enough power output to supply it? If so maybe an electromagnetic system makes sense. If not then you need some energy storage which would have to be in the form of expensive batteries or capacitors and electrical systems to control it.

What is wrong with compressed air? It has the advantage of higher possible pressure and not turning into water if you don't keep it hot, a pressure reservoir could form a structural part of the hull saving weight and cost. It could use existing steam technology for the launch mechanism.

Will an electromagnetic (assuming you have a way to power it) launch mechanism have real reliability/operational/cost advantages over a piston in a cylinder?

Half a billion $? This really smells of pissing away a lot of money on leccy tech for the sake of leccy tech.

Lawyers claim ringtones are public performance

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Keep it up

The more ridiculous and outrageous the copyright infringement claims become the more people will question our unfit for purpose copyright system and the more likely it will be changed for the better.

Fifty Quid Bloke, meet Spotify's 14p man


Strange logic Andrew. Cannot follow it

@Andrew Orlowski


The record companies sue individuals (not the RIAA, you must be reading blogs) and until the Jammie Thomas case the settlement was out of court. It goes to the bottom line. They don't make money on them, since the case is settled for less than the cost of legal fees. So no net revenue, and nothing for the performers. [/quote]

Have to ask how you follow this logic with the recent case of Thomas-Rasset who was ordered to pay $80,000 per infringement mounting up to a total of $1.92 million in fines. So the court costs were 1.92 MILLION and the RIAA made absolutely nothing with your logic.

Link http://torrentfreak.com/woman-hit-with-192-million-fine-in-riaa-case-090619/

Any better answer to this question by Andus @Andus: "how much of a RIAA fine actually goes to the artist? I suspect square root of FA"

ITU calls for cooperation in keeping kids safe online


April the 1st ??

I find it extremely hard to believe that someone is "thinking of the children" and actually making sense.

Had to double check the date, then check that this was not an article from the Onion. Still I can see someone being out of a job soon for having the cheek to not claim that the internet and everyone using it must be banned/blocked/blacklisted/monitored and kept in a database to be lost in public via a USB stick or laptop

Cannot see this lasting for long before this is either quietly buried or denounced as some form of terrorism plot. Should we start a fund to help the soon to be unemployed author of this report.

Whatever next ... Someone will suggest that every single male you see is not a paedophile and that everyone with a tan and a beard is not a terrorist or that downloading a single mp3 does not lose a company £50,000 each time.

Ofcom gets power to punish pirates


How will anyone notice

Talk of throttling the internet for persistent pirates, the ISPs already throttle most of the traffic even when it's fully legal.

Virgin is a nightmare. Download 400mb between 3pm and midnight and get throttled by 75% of both up and download speed. That's less than downloading one single episode of Top Gear from the iPlayer.

How about Ofcom getting/using some power to reign in the various movie/music groups that seem to think that they have the right to accuse anyone and have that person punished without any independent checking or even any proof, sending out malicious letters demanding money with threats to all and sundry, etc, etc.

Broadband tax of £6 per year to fund rural fibre rollout

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Bloody cheek

So BT etc who have been creaming in the profits for years from over selling the same bandwidth to as many people as possible and blaming us when we try to use it. Now expect us to pay from them to extend their service so they can rip even more people off.

Amazing not only do I now have to pay for bandwidth I don't get, I'm also going to have to pay so someone else can get limited broadband and the ISPs are going to sit back and enjoy the extra profits.

Beeb says sorry after iPlayer network fail


BT Complains

So BT complain about the iplayer bandwidth. For years it has mainly been geeks complaining about the over-selling of bandwidth and at last it's now starting to affect joe public.

Typical of any ISP that's been caught out selling more bandwidth than it can provide.... Turn round and complain loudly and constantly that it's all someone else fault and hope that no-one catches on.

Google: Let us keep search data or die



Anything better than https://ssl.scroogle.org/?

Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

Dead Vulture

So not guilty does not actually apply anymore

If it was anyone other than this demented lunatic Jacqui Smith I would be surprised at this.

It now seems that even if you are proved to be completely innocent of the crime, what you were suspected of will decide how long they want to keep your DNA for. In otherwords as far as that madwoman is concerned just because you somehow managed to be classed as innocent you MUST be guilty of something and the worse the suspected crime is the more guilty you must be.

Since when did she become a higher power than the EU human rights. Oh sorry I forgot as far as she is concerned we have no rights other than to live in the open prison that the UK is becoming.

Someone please, please take her out the back and bury her. The lunatics are firmly in control in this mad place

Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service

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And the point apart from headline grabbing is ?

So 200MB for about the first 10 seconds then capped down to 512kb for the rest of the time.

I wish VM would stop sodding about headline grabbing trying to provide "the fastest service" and actually provide a usable constant speed. I'm only on the 2MB and they are unable to even provide that for more than an hour during the day then back to dial-up speeds. Getting tempted to go back to dial-up as at least it will be the same speed all the time.

Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners


I have a netbook with OSX on it...

A Dell Mini 9 with a licensed retail copy of OSX Leopard. With its 16gb SSD and 2GB of memory, I regularly run about ten apps at the same time, and it does everything a full-sized laptop can do...I just wouldn't, say, run Photoshop CS4 on it!

It uses Office. It uses all browsers. It uses iTunes and Audacity and AIM and Skype.

What would three apps be? Skype, IM, and...one other, Word OR a browser? Nice try, Microsoft, you fail again.

How the government uses dirty data to legislate morality


Stop the presses!

Headline news - politicians do nothing but lie, spin, and pay others to do it for them.

It is so endemic I don't think any of them understand the concept of truth and so actually believe themselves.

Google money machine defies common sense


Oh MAN!!

I so wanted to PLAY the game pictured in the link! -- Bait and Switch like a mo fo !!!

BT gets 8 NHS trusts in south

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So does this mean that Phorm gets a sneaky access to all our medical details then.

MEPs urge govs: Set up surveillance register

Black Helicopters

But think of the terrorists / childern

I suspect the gov will as mentioned by Dan either ignore this as they do to everything that does not suit them (phorm) or it will be quietly mentioned that they are unable to disclose who is monitoring who, when and how as the monitoring is to prevent terrorists and/or child molesters and thus it has to remain secret.

Wonder how long it will be before using the internet means you must be either a terrorist or child molester as this is obviously the main use for it according to our wonderful unelected PM and sex crazed Jackie.

Emotional arguments do not make Street View illegal

Black Helicopters

Sod google what about the gov and lack of privacy

It amazes me that so many people are complaining about loss of privacy from street view which is a single one time snapshot taken in the past and publicly shown with the option of having your image removed or blurred, but all these people say nothing about the constant LIVE video of their lives which are collected and maintained by the government, security agencies and numerous private organisation via CCTV, and all the other numerous databases the government has/building. Maybe Google should say that "it's for the children" or to "prevent terrorists" it works for the idiots in parliament.

For example the guy who was unhappy about being seen entering (or leaving cannot remember) a sex shop, when via CCTV the government can watch him enter and leave, where he came from and where he went. If the shop has CCTV he can be watched all the time he was in the store and possibly show what he bought, if not shown on CCTV then his credit card details will show what and when he bought. Then when he uses he phone, internet, mobile, drives anywhere the government want to store AND cross reference all those details as well and he's worried about a single photo online, strange priorities.

Still I can see Google taking the flack and the government praying no-one has a go at them for their extreme surveillance. Also lets be honest here the Google cars are not really subtle or undercover are they? Small car with dirty great big post on top with loads of cameras. If the government was the same then at least you would have a chance of spotting it and avoiding them.

Samsung punts popcorn flicks for pounds


What are they smoking

Iron Man - 14 quid from Samsung, 10 quid from Itunes, 6 quid for a real DVD including delivery from play.com.

Privacy watchdog barks for federal Gmail probe

Paris Hilton

Even Paris Hilton knows this...

There is no 'expectation of privacy' when posting your documents online,into a free web service hosted by a search engine company, whose terms of service state that they have all rights to any content you upload into their system.


National Express to 'ban' trainspotting

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Excellent excuse for missing work

Sorry boss could not get to work as unable to catch the train as the platform is gated off and the ticket office was closed due to staff cuts, out of working hours, or no ticket office as a local country station and the ticket machine had been vandalised, not workiing, etc, etc (choose you own to suit here). So unable to get on the platform or the train.

Amazing they cut costs (staff, ticket offices, conductors etc), put the ticket prices up and then have to spend more money because of lack of staff to enable that everyone has a valid ticket and a means of getting one.

Complete muppets, still about par for the course for modern management.

Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband


Re Price hike

@ Jerome Cheynel

I've been with Virgin since back in the days when it was the wonderful Telewest (fast, no throttling, no problems and english call centers) and so far with all of the upgrades any existing customers DON'T get charged more when the service gets upgraded (the higher prices are for NEW customers...well this has been the case so far anyway). When I first started I was on the basic pack which was 512kb up and I'm still on the basic which is now 2Mb and the price has not changed and I doubt it will change when I get the "up to" 10MB.

Had a free trial of the 10MB a while ago as they were trying to get more cash out of me (used it to the max then gave it back) and yes you hit the throttle quicker, but the up bandwidth is raised to 512 instead of the 256 we get at the moment. Just wish it was still Telewest.

I'm in the same boat as you with no BT line and the high price of getting one is the only thing stopping me moving to BE as well.

Firefox's Fennec trots onto Windows Mobile


Ignore previous comment

Just noticed the Opera do 2 browsers for mobiles one free and one not. So please just delete my earlier comment

Infant calls cops to dad's dope plantation


But Sarah...


I think we should be told.

Palm's new OS finds the sweetest spot



@Gareth Saunders

Again, the different is iPhone was javascript run in Safari. This is being touted as javascript to interact with the operating system.

webOS is supposed to let you do something like


to search the address book on the phone.

Does it surprise you that most 1st person shooters and games are created in a languages similar to javascript with the engine being C? Same Idea

US prof undermines foundations of Aussie firewall


One man, one vote on this issue

And the one man is Senator Stephen Fielding of the Christian Nutjobs party. Sorry if you're not the one man, but the AU govt does not care what you think. The kiddy porn line is a way to sell it to the masses, what it is really about is getting the man holding the balance of power in the australian senate on the site of the labor government, and if setting up an expensive firewall of limited effectiveness designed to block all porn legal or otherwise is what it takes then so be it. The p2p blocking issue appears to be an addon, presumably precipitated by the local content industry lobbyist organizations seeing a good opportunity for pushing their particular agenda.

I've voted labor all my life, but getting this thrown at me after voting out a nominally conservative govt and replacing it with what is meant to be the more liberal (small l) party feels very much like a slap in the face. Just because they messed up on preferences and got themselves saddled with a hardcore conservative overlord in the senate shouldn't mean that we have to put up with his desired policies being implemented by default.

Microsoft delays first Windows 7 public beta

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Never posted ???

it insists the public beta was never posted. (Quote)

Well this just shows how much MS knows about it's own web sites as the download was available on the UK site. I twice managed to get to the "enter your email address" page before the "server busy" appeared, followed very shortly after by 404 errors, then "this page you are searching for does not exist". Now the page address re-directs to the Windows 7 home page.


Ah the pleasure of dealing with a well set-up software company... Not

SanDisk's Netbook flash uncovered



It needs it's own filesystem in order to be able to go faster... That sounds kinda ropey there and then.

What's the random write speed at different block sizes? That's what the peeps at home want to know.

If this turns out to be similar to the product Torvalds mentioned in http://tinyurl.com/8wpkfc I would steer well clear of it.

Corrupt cop abused police database to blackmail child abusers

Black Helicopters

Someone pass this story to Wackie Jackie

She claims that her uber-database will not be abused or missused....

The gov cannot stop even the databases in use being abused. What damn hope have they got for future.

UK will save its 48-hour opt-out, says employment lawyer


Only 48

Would love to have worked only 48 hours a week. All my previous jobs have been 60-70 hours a week every week and no options. Combined with naff hourly wage it's been the only way to make a living.

Censored scenes from the Congress WMD report


re WOW

Don't worry. I'm sure this will be lost soon and we will be back to the normal mass pushing of fear, terror and loss of liberties as a way of life.

Would be nice if the UK gov did actually listen though.

Public support for ID cards dips to 55 per cent

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The latest Home Office poll

I expect a government sponsored poll of Manchester residents would have shown a similar level of support for their congestion charge scheme. Today we discovered the truth.

MacBook Air owners get laid

Paris Hilton

Hrm, annoying

Given how much they cost. bet the owners are gutted :(

Thing is, the Apple logo already shines through the panel a bit on the Air, looks like an ink splotch on the screen, so they're not really useful for on-the-go image work anyway- better off with one of the MBs or MBPs (the MBP is pricey, but it's a lovely machine, and the screen is really easy on the eye).

Don't like the Air myself, not enough ports, and the performance of the machine is "meh" for the price- more of an executive toy than a workhorse. I can see the argument for a new Alu Macbook (continuing the fine traditions of the Powerbooks, built like tanks), but not El Skinny. As an ageing UNIX bigot, graphics monkey and part-time musician, have to admit that Apple's shiney toys are great when you're on the move. However, The prices are ridiculous - and in the case of the Air, the build quality isn't there.

A lot of people can pay 1/3 the price of a macbook, and get 2/3 the performance for the day to day browing/office etc tasks- and don't need the gorgeous screen- an OK one will do. Most people are also fine with machines made of surprisingly tough modern plastics and can also live with a little extra bulk. You have to really need or want one to shell out that much.

Disclaimer: I recent bought a new Macbook Pro. It's fricken' amazing, though it does attract a few too many lustful glances. However, I know I was being really self-indulgent, I probably could have got by shoving XP and linux on a run of the mill machine, and spending a few days taming windows so it didn't suffer those funny little stalls and dropouts that you get from all the junk in systray messing with the scheduler- and hoping everything supports ASIO so latency isn't a killer. However, I chose not to- my rationale is that I already own a load of mac audio software and I'm saving money really.. honest. Not just a shiny toy really. Umm..