* Posts by John A Fotheringham

26 posts • joined 3 May 2007

Facebook shoves your face into creepy 'sponsored stories' in 2012

John A Fotheringham

Do No Evil

People mock Google with their "Do no evil" mission statement, but frankly when a company like Facebook does something like this, you begin to see the point.

Fragged, fragged and thrice fragged! 20 years of id Software’s Doom

John A Fotheringham

Ah the Aliens mod...

Played with the lights low and the sound up, that was a seriously scary version.

Not helped by the fact that I had a mouse problem at the time which meant every so often my gun would go off in automatic mode, making me jump and wasting all the far-too-scarce ammo that I had.

Happy days...

E-petitions site: Death wish FAIL

John A Fotheringham

Aren't pro and anti the same?

Surely a petition to hold a debate to retain the ban, is the same debate (albeit phrased differently) to that advocating the reinstatement? If that's the case, all these "anti" petitioners are hastening the day when there will be a debate on the subject.

On top of which, how exactly do parliament debate to leave a law unchanged?

Sorry, time travelers, you’re still just fiction

John A Fotheringham

Well, technically....

... they only showed that LIGHT can't go faster than light.

they could have got that from a good syntax checker...

iPlayer Global iPad app price announced

John A Fotheringham

Re: Great Deal!


Lots of BBC output - probably the majority - isn't available on iPlayer.

BOFH: Pain fear games

John A Fotheringham

four candles

Or.... they might have been pellets which were half frozen...

Joy Division designer tackles England footie strip

John A Fotheringham

Does the goalie...

...get to wear Joy Division Oven Gloves?

Mines the long raincoat....

Mandy quango says Apple, Amazon are too obscure

John A Fotheringham


The kind of people who've never heard of Apple and Amazon are precisely the sort of techno-luddites who'd never want to use their services anyway?

What planet is this man on?

Britain warns businesses of Chinese 'honey trap'

John A Fotheringham

Old advice

Many years ago as a student I worked briefly at a government science lab.

As part of the induction we had a security lecture where it was made clear to us that if we ever went to science conferences in moscow (and oddly this did happen, just not to me), then Russia would send nubile agents to seduce us.

The official advice we were given was to lie back and enjoy it, but to lodge an official complaint the next morning. Seems "lie back and think of England" was government policy back in the late 70's.

I imagine it's the same today.

Manchester ID staff suffer isolation as new dawn fades

John A Fotheringham


Not one, but two Joy Division references in the title.


Is Mandy right to cut science funding?

John A Fotheringham

Same old, same old

Back in the 1980's the Kendrew report looked into funding of UK particle physics. They concluded that we won more Nobel prizes per capita than any other subject or nation, delivered large scale projects on time and on budget (those were the days!), and were producing interesting science.

They also concluded that funds should be cut by 25% and came very close to taking us out of CERN. That was what made me decide to abandon a career in science. It sent the clearest possible signal that science wasn't valued in this country.

Politicians can't see science for the money involved. They're like accountants, they see the money first, and only dimly percieve what it's being used for second. They have very limited short term vision (they seldom look further than re-election in 4 years, and often don't look that far). In short they shouldn't be trusted with the year-to-year allocation of funds to science projects, and they certainly shouldn't be allowed to play politics with it.

They're certainly no judge of what will pay off. In the same way that you have to trust that "more education" is a good thing, we should hold to the faith that R&D is a "good thing" will pay dividends, even if we can't yet see how.

Physicists assemble world's smallest snowman

John A Fotheringham


...and where's the "not actual size" disclaimer?

El Reg launches 'Comment of the Week'

John A Fotheringham

And the winner is...

...probably going to be someone (whose merest parameters I am unworthy to compute) commenting on that camel balls picture!

Tory MP to sue over sex smear email

John A Fotheringham

Let me get this right...

She's suing the guys who planned to publish the content, but actually didn't and not suing Guido Fawkes and the national newspapers who actually did publish the content and presumably acquired it through nefarious means.

Regardless of the morality of all this, surely she hasn't got a legal leg to stand on?

Custard Creams can kill: Official

John A Fotheringham

Statistics, good statistics and outright lies.

I really don't believe these numbers. I seriously doubt a third of britons actually dunk biscuits on a regular basis any more, far less that a third of the population has been seriously scalded in the act of doing so.

Landlord sues tenant over moldy Tweet

John A Fotheringham

How on earth did they find it?

With only 20 people following - unless one of them worked for Horizon - how did this tweet even come to their attention? I've missed something here...

To the Moon - with extreme engineering

John A Fotheringham

While we've still got the ability...

... I think we should build three space arks.

We could populate the second with anyone who uses the words "paradigm" (*) or "celebrity". I'm sure peopel can think of others.

(*) Oh bugger!!

Blade Runner house yours for $15m

John A Fotheringham

Is it just me?

Or does that photo not make it look like it's built from Lego>

Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse

John A Fotheringham

Giving up gmail for Lent?


US sky marshals submit to Heart of Gold randomware

John A Fotheringham

Re; In the UK...

That'll be why they always get the fat flight Marshal on flight 180 then...

OMFG, what have you done?

John A Fotheringham
Thumb Down


The new site is fine, but whilst the font used on articles is just about bearably small, that used in the comments section is unbearably small. I know I should probably get glasses, but one of the joys of the Old Reg was it's readability. Why are they different anyway?, surely what we have to say is just as important :-)

Oh... and your icons seem to have gone pastel/beige but I can live with that.

PS. The font size on the "Preview post" page is fine :-)

Boffinry bitchslap brouhaha: Higgs and Hawking head to head

John A Fotheringham

Interview from hell

True story: I once went for an interview (*) where the very first question I was asked was

"Do you find the Higgs mechanism esthetically pleasing?"

After a bit of fumbling around I basically said "no", and failed the interview. I've kinda resented it's potential existence ever since So imagine my delight to find that, albeit 20 years late, Prof Hawking has come out in public to back my point of view :-)

BTW, there is an icon here ( <-- ), it's just that you haven't yet got a monitor big enough to see it.

(*) The interview was for a a Particle Physics Phd place, so it was probably fair game although most people opened with the more friendly "so you found us alright?" :-)

El Reg drops in on Bletchley Park

John A Fotheringham

New icon required....

Save Bletchly Park!!

Chinese boffins crack invisible-shed window problem

John A Fotheringham


... this research is being done at the Unseen University?

So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?

John A Fotheringham

Coding efficiency

If you changed it to .com wouldn't you need to start adding those <irony> tags everywhere?

The .co.uk does this more succinctly :-)

Disappointed Glastonbury fans spammed by rival festival

John A Fotheringham

The spam was to those who registered

I got the spam (but haven't seen the apology, presumably because spam filters have kicked in).

Although I registered for the festival, in the event I *didn't* try to buy tickets, so the fact that I failed to buy a ticket could only be inferred by comparing the registration database with the list of successful purchases.

Which is quite different from the story we're being told.


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