* Posts by Martin 6

233 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2009


Hackintosher's new line: Linux and T-shirts

Martin 6 Silver badge

Which part of..

>You don't "purchase" software, you purchase a *license to use it*.

So if I take the proof of purchase from my copy of OSX to best buy i can just walk out with as many of the disks off the shelf as I like?

After all I own a license for it, I'm not purchasing the disks.

ISPs slam Digital Economy Bill's multi-million pound price tag

Martin 6 Silver badge

Hands up ...

All of you who ban torrent on work machines - except the boss, and the CFO and a couple of his VP mates who have their own laptops which are crawling with so much crap that the network shudders when they come in.

These are the same ones that insist on reading their mail over http from every free airport and coffee shop wifi, and don't want to have to remember all those passwords.

And you better allow them to do what they want - because they pay your wages.

Then add-in the bosses' kids who are 'working' there over the summer.

Workers I can deal with - it's the bosses that are the problem.

Multiple travel firms refuse ID cards as passport alternative

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Just a minute..

Because the airlines get fined if they carry somebody who claims asylum at the other end.

This allows governments to subcontract out refusing a lot of people entry without any faillout.

Software fraudster 'fooled CIA' into terror alert

Martin 6 Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Magic bomb detectors

Nothing changes.

But how come el'reg hasn't run a story on the magic bomb detectors being sold to Iraq by a British company?

Is the British company in question Lewis Page Industries?

At $15K each for a box with a flashing LED it's a pretty good business, could we get a cheaper version in the reg shop for next christmas.

Googlephone Nexus One leaks more news

Martin 6 Silver badge

Shurely not a cynical marketing ploy

It worked for Eric Cartmann's amusement park, it worked for Gmail and Wave

UK air-traffic offers flying-car-style safety gizmo

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Henry Helmet

Remember when it comes to court reality takes a day off.

Pilot strays into wrong place and blames his MEGA$CORP GPS.

Lawyers for the other guy have a choice between going after someone whose only assets are a pair of cool sunglasses and a flying jacket - or MEGA$CORP.

If this unit is mandatory to keep people out of class A airspace, you are going to have a hard time in the same court claiming that the user shouldn't rely on it.

Martin 6 Silver badge


I'm surprised they can offer it at that price.

When recreational GPS first became popular they were limited to 99mph to stop people using them in planes. The aviation version of the same unit was about £1000 more simply to cover the cost of the makers liability insurance.

If somebody relying on one of these flies into the way of a 747 it's going to cost somebody a lot of pennies and if the unit is being flogged for £149 they aren't going to get a lot of lawyers for their money.

US politico calls for cancer warning on cell phones

Martin 6 Silver badge

There's no evidence for it ....

But it is scientific fact

The Avatar storage effect

Martin 6 Silver badge

Jumbo sneakernet

If they have the entire 45Mb/s pipe and their super-low overhea coms then they might be getting 5MB/s.

A flight LAX-NZ is about 9-10hours, so with checkin , say 40,000secs.

So while you are eating Air New Zealand's delicous scones with cream and watching Mr Bean for the 20th time, they can ship 200Gb over the wire

Assuming I can fit 20*1.5Tb drives in my hand baggage - I would say that sneakernet is winning by a factor of 100.

Vatican awards self 'unique copyright' on Pope

Martin 6 Silver badge

Other churches already do

I believe that DRM (Digital Rabbi Management) is already used to stop illicit copies of Lionel Blue.

It might make Mr Paisley's speeches a little tedious if he has to say "tm" at the end of each denunciation.

Google: Do no evil, pay no tax

Martin 6 Silver badge

Other US companies are worse

Dell, and IIRC HP, were doing even more. They supposedly lost money on every computer they sold in Europe because they bought them wholesale from Dell-Eire for more than the retail price. Not only did they not pay tax anywhere except Ireland they made money on the difference in Vat rates.

The reason Ireland can do this is that foreign multinationals make up most of it's income (until recently!) so the gain by having Google HQ there offsets the loss in tax from the local businesses - if the UK dropped it's tax tot he same rate it would have to attract a lot of foreign businesses to make up for all the tax it would lose from existing UK firms.

UK e-Borders scheme thrown into confusion by EU rules

Martin 6 Silver badge

Simple solution

The airlines will simply insist on collecting this data as a condition of travel - its purely a commercial requirement so no legislation and no problem with the eu.

The airlines will then simply hand over the data to the government, either secretly to avoid any data protection act or the data will be collected by the airline's data collection subsidiary headquartered in Mongolia so it doesn't apply.

Hackintosher goes titsup

Martin 6 Silver badge


Conspiracy theory - they were funded by Jobs.

By having a rather colourfull bunch of characters lose in court Apple got a judgement that says that first sale doctrine doesn't apply to software.

So you buy something and the maker gets to say what you can do with it afterwards.

El Reg uncovers Tiger Woods tech angle

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Accenture on Tiger

Funny really, because someone who fucks everyone they meet should be a perfect symbol for a management consultancy

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Grow the fuck up, ElReg

It's not about Woods, nobody gives a fuck about some golfer.

The point is that an American celebrity screws around, every news outlet in America carries the story and pictures - but because of our 3rd world legal system he can order everybody in Britain to ignore it.

Pity Tony didn't employ Carter-Ruck, he could have banned any mention of the Iraq war or the inquiry.

Martin 6 Silver badge

Long term Solution

All the papers have to do is ignore the end of the injunction.

Never mention Mr Wood's name again - when he wins some golf match, just list the winner as [blank].

See how much his endorsements are worth if his name doesn't appear anymore.

They can hardly sue for not mentioning him!

Martin 6 Silver badge


The libel courts aren't paid for out of taxes, they make a fortune.

All those foreign stars arriving and paying thousands/day QCs to sue each other in London is a big foreign income earner.

Now that UK industry is stuffed, the invisible earnings in the City are stuffed and there are no tourists because we keep shooting them - fees paid to libel lawyers are probably the UK's only source of hard currency.

Opera on Google Chrome OS: what me worry?

Martin 6 Silver badge

No reason not to allow Opera in

MS has a business case for stopping Opera, IE only sites require the user to buy a Windows OS.

Google's aim is to have a net where anybody can get to Google rather than MS users being redirected to Bing or iPhone users being limited to iApple's own iSearch.

Keeping Opera out of Chrome just shoots themselves in the foot for no strategic advantage.

Headteachers slam 'disproportionate' vetting database

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Good plan

That already came up where I used to live.

They were creating a super-mega-intensive-educational-academy-facilty (I think we used to call them schools) which put a secondary school with a 6th form on the same site as a junior school.

The idea was to share facilities and save costs.

But it meant any A-level students that reached 18 would have to be checked because there were also 10year olds on the same site.

The proposed solution was then to duplicate all the facilities and put a barbed wire fence down the middle to separate them.

In the end the plan was abandoned because of the fears of parents for the safety of their children.

Police snapper silliness reaches new heights

Martin 6 Silver badge

We just need a badge

City of London Police said: "Photographers should carry identification where possible and be prepared to answer questions about why they are taking photographs, "

Can I suggest a little flash symbol, perhaps something yellow in a star shape?

WebGL draft spec brings 3D interweb future one step closer

Martin 6 Silver badge


OpenGL in the browser means you can have a 3d view of a product, or do Google Earth inside the browser - without plugins

Theres no reason the graphics card makers need to open anything, in fact they can do less - you could even imagine the webgl commands being routed directly to the card more-or-less bypassing the OS.

RAF's new military airlifter finally lumbers into the air

Martin 6 Silver badge

@And why has it desended to this state?

Think of it in IT terms.

Imagine a single company building an OS, by improving on its previous design, adding new features etc = works

Now imagine one built by a bunch of amateurs just turning up and working on the bits that interest them also works.

Now imagine writing an OS where the same proportion of lines of code, screen pixels and features have to be written by each country. There is no cost limit and every year 1/3 of the suppliers and customer requirements change as a new party is elected in 1/3 of the countries.

Tax dodgers aided by old IT

Martin 6 Silver badge

@The BigYin

You forgot the step where having spent £8bn and not received any savings they announce they are scrapping the system to save £500M

UK air traffic control goes after Wikileaks

Martin 6 Silver badge

@A number of reasons for this

But fully releasing ALL the details is the only way to reassure the public that it's safe.

How would you feel if NATS (owned by BA and BAA) released a report saying that BA and BAA were completely free of blame - but all the details must be kept secret?

This has been a problem with the FAA recently - their job is to set safety stands and perform inspections, but at the same time promote airline travel.

Even the NTSB has been accused of being a little too close to the aircraft industry.

Martin 6 Silver badge


Being broadcast doesn't stop it being copyright.

It does make it difficult to claim it is confidential or a 'matter of national security'.

Which is why NATS's lawyers presumably told him to play the copyright card

Which of course means that they do intend to publish it themselves - why else would you claim copyright ?

New DNA rules may still breach human rights

Martin 6 Silver badge

Council of Europe

You know it's looking bad when your police are being lectured on human rights by a group that includes Russia and Serbia as members!

Darling promises IT cuts, years of pain

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Anyone else see a loop-hole in the banking super tax?

Already happened in the USA.

The fed put a limit on the amount of cash bonuses so it wouldn't look bad getting $M handouts while being banks were being bailed out.

So they all got their bonuses paid in shares, priced at the bottom of the crash - and now worth 50-100% more than the cash would have been.

The result is that this is the highest bonus year on Wall st ever !

NASA aims for Friday WISE up

Martin 6 Silver badge


It's thanks to things like this that you have a DSLR.

The first CMOS arrays ( the replacment for CCDs in most cameras) really got good for the infrared camera on Hubble.

About 15years ago they made a 1000x1000 array which cost $100K (with a 1-2um infrared sensor layer) and had noise comparable to a CCD.

1 MP camera at 22um is very very impressive at any price!

Martin 6 Silver badge

In real units

1 polar bear is about 16Firkins

But with global warming and all the Polar bears melting it's not a very useful unit.

I was involved with it's predecessor WIRE launched almost exactly 10years ago.

Unfortunately just after launch somebody removed the lens cap and pointed it at the sun which didn't do it very much good.

EU rolls out out astroturf guide for consumer laws

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Keep off

So there would be no problem with VW or BMW secretly paying Jeremy Clarkson to make sure their cars always won, or Ryanair owning a share in tripadvisor to make sure their excellent airline was always voted top?

After all they are foreign companies, nothing to do with us.

Israel tests biometric database

Martin 6 Silver badge

@Not the first national database of Jews

I assumed that it's previous experience is how IBM got the contract.

Simple software change - shoot the ones NOT wearing the yellow star.

PGP disk encrypt approved by MoD for military use

Martin 6 Silver badge

Closed source?

>MS is not closed source if you are a government or any company over a trivial size.

Yes you can get a license to view the source code yourself.

But not hand it out to every crypto researcher in every university to look for vulnerabilities.

You can't recompile and replace the signed code running in the windows kernel - so you have no idea if the source you have been given is the code that is running.

You don't know if the next windows update will replace the code with a version that has a backdoor.

Paranoid? Yes - it's also paranoid to think that somebody is going to attack you, but they still let the army have guns.

Martin 6 Silver badge


Runway resurfacing would be properly protected - it's commercially sensitive.

Restricted is just personal detail stuff - like the names, adresses, social security numbers and passport details of everybody who had ever expressed an interest in joining the army. Stuff that couldn't possibly be of use to the enemy.

This must now be PGP encrypted with the password (which should be either "password" or "secret") written on a post-it note and stuck onto the CD or laptop.

Brown launches 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it' net code for children

Martin 6 Silver badge

@to be fair

>aware of the risks of, for example, sending their boyfriend a rude photo.

They will be arrested for distributing child porn. Be listed with the local police as a danger to children and simultaneously put on the 'at risk' register

>possibly pitfalls of telling someone online what school they go to?

The information will be combined with their medical records and their parent's bank account details and left on a train somewhere

>discuss the problems and dangers of the real world with them.

Walking in front of a car is a real danger, clicking on a banner ad isn't

>the teacher was clearly speaking from notes without any real idea of what her own words meant

Her own words wouldn't have been officially certified as meeting the objective criterion requirements for key stage 5 subsection b of the national curriculum.

TSA, HSBC in secret doc redaction oopsie

Martin 6 Silver badge

Top Secret

The not-quite-as-redacted-as-we-intended bit of the TSA leak was a list of countries where the holders of such passports might be asked a few extra questions at check-in.

In case you (and the leaders of international terrorist groups) couldn't have guessed, the countries are:

Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, or Algeria

Nice to see plucky little Cuba keeping top spot as the USA's most feared enemy.

Sad that Saudi Arabia didn't make the top ten, in spite of the 9/11 hijackers carrying Saudi passports - better luck next time guys ;-)

Gordon Brown declares another new era in gov IT

Martin 6 Silver badge

Basic government IT

10, Hire EDS to implement new IT system because they claim it will save huge amount from efficiency gains.

20, Discover cost of system is 2-10x as much as they claim

30, Discover savings are 1/2 - 1/10x as much as they claim

40, Abandon system

50, Goto 10

Bing dies (briefly) after Microsoft hits wrong button

Martin 6 Silver badge

>They running everything on 1 server?

Well have you ever tried clustering MS-Acces?

When they get a second user they might have to look at a new database.

VW unveils slippery four-seat hybrid

Martin 6 Silver badge

>David Hasselhoff not included

If you make it an oil burner it won't sell in Merika.

Microsoft's Silverlight 4 - Flash developers need not apply

Martin 6 Silver badge

Not so sure

I was just at an MS developer conference where they were plugging Silverlight like mad (along with sharepoint for some reason!)

It runs EVERYWHERE they said - well if you define everywhere to be Windows + MAC.

What about phones we asked = "we can't confirm anything but there may be some news in the next Windows mobile release"

So it might be available for the worlds worst selling phone platform.

WinForms and WPF is dead - Silverlight is the new desktop.

So can we open files? Yes - in my documents, if the user agrees to a whole bunch of scary security pop-ups.

And they now have it working in Chrome (mostly, and unofficially)

MS kills 'Bing buys the news' furore, but Google could still lose it

Martin 6 Silver badge

surely not

[Microsoft has firmly ruled out the notion of paying news publishers to de-index their content from Google]

Because paying people not to use competing products might just be taken as anti-competitive. But if Murdoch decided to block Google anyway and went to Bing, and MSFT were to place a large amount of advertising with News corp - that would be perfectly ok.

Manchester journo gets first ID card - late

Martin 6 Silver badge

>Does anyone know what the 20 questions are

>What is your name ?

Gordon PM of the Britons

>What is your quest ?


>What is your favourite colour?

Blue - no Red - no Aaarghhhhhh........

World Cup to be shown in 3D

Martin 6 Silver badge

For which species?

My eyes are only about 10cm apart, I don't have much 3d stereo vision beyond about 10m.

So exactly what is the benefit of 3d for a football match ?

Govt promises unemployed free laptops, net access, websites

Martin 6 Silver badge

We can do better than this.

The government is going to be out on it's ear in the next 6( 3,4,5?) months so it can promise anything it wants - and this is the best it can do!

It's basically last day at shcool for the government so you can suggest any daft plan you want. I call for free aircaft carriers for unmarried mothers and rocket cars for ex-miners.

Any more suggestions from the el-reg brain trust?

Navy's £1bn+ destroyers set to remain unarmed for years

Martin 6 Silver badge

Slight misuderstanding

I think Mr Lewis is under some sort of misapprehension about the purpose of these vessels.

The purpose of most of the armed forces is to transfer government money to people who would be otherwise unemployed and vote. It's the same principle as the YTS, pay someone to dig a hole, pay someone else to fill it in - reduce unemployment.

As somebody said, "a boat is a hole in the water to pour money in" recent governments have simply optimized the hole making. The Navy is really just a series of expensive holes to pour money in.

It would obviously better if they hadn't been fitted with engines, then they would also have reduced their greenhouse emissions and being stuck in port would have boosted Portsmouth's alcohol and hospitality industries.

Sun VirtualBox gets live migration

Martin 6 Silver badge

No longer GPL

They have stopped the GPL version - it's now a free 'evaluation' license.

Of course somebody can just fork the last GPL release and add this functionality, but exactly what's the demand for a type2/desktop visualization with migration when you can have Xen for free?

Other than people running old Pentium based, none-Vtx servers.

Cartoon smut law to make life sucky for Olympic organisers

Martin 6 Silver badge


I think you're forgetting the "one law for us one law for them" clause

Aus gov dredges up cuter panic-button for kids online

Martin 6 Silver badge

And do what

>instantly connect them to police or child protection groups.

So a chat window will popup and the 'grownup' on the other end will ask them lots of questions that they must answer because they are the police - can't see any risk in that.

Or the police will send round a SWAT team?

Or somebody will just collect statistics on how many children are being 'abused online' (ie pressed the button) each day - to justify allowing Murdoch to run a private Aussie net.

'Whales can't even hear naval sonar' says Navy boffin

Martin 6 Silver badge

Can't hear doesn't mean no damage

Excellent news, it's a real pain making our infrared lasers eyesafe. If I can prove that people can't see the frequency used then they must be safe at any power level. Same thing probably goes for x-rays, neutrons, microwaves etc.

What the research says is that the animals can't hear the sonar and so aren't running aground looking for it. It doesn't mean they aren't dying because their brain/sonar/senses/body has been turned to mush by a couple of KW of sonar pulse.

At the moment the rules say you cant have divers in the water within about 5000m of active sonar - if this research is true the Navy can have divers working on active systems. I'll wait to see that.

New York to beam disaster alerts to Xbox gamers

Martin 6 Silver badge


Isn't the obvious way to reach the little darlings text messaging.

"U R going 2 B anil8ed" ?

Weather balloons no longer a crazy idea for rural coverage

Martin 6 Silver badge

No need for the ballon

If you only want to do one house then you just need some sort of pole on the roof to attach it to. All those redundant TV ariels should do,