* Posts by tom 24

122 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Apple sued over Mac OS X 'quick boot'

tom 24

In short

In other words, this *can* be used as an example of how the *current patent system" is wrong.

Utah cops baffled in case of mysterious anonymous cuffee

tom 24

I just felt like sleepin'..

Perhaps he's just stubborn. "I haven't done anything wrong and my name is my own business. I can wait." Here in the USA you're innocent until proven guilty...unless you want privacy, in which case the press can get tetchy.

Beyonce bigs up girls in space

tom 24

Oh yeah, I remember Beyonce...

Beyonce. Yeah. That's kinda cool...I guess. But very "five years ago." Then again, so is the shuttle.

The Cube: Apple's daftest, strangest romance

tom 24

You'll dance to anything...

"Dull people will always cheer a bold experiment that goes wrong."

Hey, I'll cheer for anything that delivers a change from the tedium of daily life. :) And I like a cool concept, especially when it's doomed. So of course I liked the cube. But, of course, I didn't buy one. Duh!

I wouldn't say I'm dull, exactly; I'm just getting an early start on the weekend. This round's on me!

Lego Star Wars to be celebrated in TV special

tom 24
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I don't want to get in trouble...

OK, so while the very first Lego Star Wars was pretty good, everything that has happened since Lucas noticed that it existed can be described in one word. However, I don't know the reg policy on one-word comments, so I've explained myself here. Oh, that word?


Apple will 'own games industry'

tom 24
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Without Irony?

I would disagree with the "without irony" part of that accusation. The quotes give it away.

Google bypasses admin controls with latest Chrome IE

tom 24

*Huge* performance advantage

oooh, 30 percent faster. I can see why people would subvert their site security policy for this huge improvement in speed. Hold me back.

Duke Nukem Forever

tom 24

So it's dated...

What, it doesn't have a cover-based shooting mechanic? I'll bet it isn't "cinematic" either. I'm crying.

Let's see, what have I been playing lately: Descent 2, Deus Ex, New Vegas... hmm, yes a dated looking app with low polygon counts is going to really offend my eyes.

IAEA: Handling of Fukushima has been exemplary

tom 24

Melt-through, anyone?

So maybe, possibly, there might be a melt-through. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/08/3238720.htm Sounds like they're trying not to give us the bad news all at once.

Fukushima is still a good example of how good engineering not only attempts to minimize the chance of failure, but also set up failure modes to mitigate the effects of worst-case scenarios. As events unfold, it is also becoming a reminder of what is at risk.

There are three parts to risk management: 1) the odds, 2) what you have to gain, and 3) what you risk losing. The problem with nuclear power is not 1 or 2, it's 3. If I wasn't addicted to cheap, plentiful electricity, I'd probably be against it...

tom 24

OK, so I guess it kind of *is* a meltdown. Three, actually...

"Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday."


Oh well.

Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default

tom 24
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At least you *can* turn it off...

Thanks for the heads-up! It's not like Facebook bothers to tell us when it makes changes like this. What would I do without El Reg?

tom 24

Who's posting pictures?

It doesn't matter what you do, your STUPID friends will still upload pictures of you, tag you in them, and share them with the world, along with some helpful comments about the easiest way to break into your basement and your home address. But I suppose you're still asking for it, right? Better if you don't have any friends...

I know it's trendy to blame the victim, but it's still weak.

Hackers pwn PBS in revenge for WikiLeaks doco

tom 24

Just not impressed

Hacking PBS? Weak.

If you can't take a little criticism, it says a lot about the strength of your position.

MS announces Windows Phone 7.1

tom 24

Version... 7.1?

I still don't quite understand why the first version of Windows Phone is called 7.

Well, that's not true... I *do* understand: they're ashamed of version 1 because of past performance. Everyone knows that version 1 of anything Microsoft releases is incomplete and generally to-be-avoided, version 2 is probably useful but not complete, and version 3 is probably worth buying. So they call it "7" to confuse us and give us the impression that it's somehow as mature as Windows 7. But of course that doesn't work. All this means is that we will wait for Windows Phone 10 and then go queue up to buy one. It's not difficult math. What, do they think consumers are stupid?

Oh, right. Never mind.

LinkedIn slashes cookie lifespan after research exposes security flaws

tom 24


Wow, the addressed a security flaw? Maybe next they'll stop sending me reams of unsolicited spam.

UK student hacker sentenced over gaming Trojan

tom 24

All users of software are crims

If you've never downloaded a no-CD (or no-dongle) hack to use with software you legally purchased, you're a square. Illegal does not necessarily mean immoral. And it doesn't always mean stealing.

Granted, it's getting hard to find clean wares these days. Trojans everywhere. Where is the love?

tom 24

Not so bright, was he?

So the FTP account was easily traced to him? What would we do if there were smart criminals?

Designer punts ultimate customisable keyboard

tom 24

Darn you for beating me to it!

However, the Ergodex is missing the "feature" of allowing you to put a trackpad anywhere you want on the board. (Since I hate trackpads, I can't help thinking of a giant trackpad as an antifeature but...)

As all of the pictures feature "laptop" style computers, I find myself imagining the ability to put short-throw keys with edges that grab my fingertips in any layout I can imagine. Joy!

Pope says gravity proves technology can't supplant God

tom 24

Gravity - it does so many things!

Tide comes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication!

^ Gravity = proof of God! :D

Amazon splatters ads to cut Kindle price

tom 24

Not just a book, it's a Service!

Which is why I don't own one. I really just want a book.

I hate when the author "revises" a book and the original edition is no longer available[*]. Of course, you need a replacement copy because you loved that book so much you loaned it out until, inevitably, it didn't come back. Now...that book has changed. It's "available" but completely different. It's no longer the book you love, and because the "new edition" exists, you can't get the original at all.

My nightmare: your favorite book gets "revised" by the author and you no longer have the original copy. Because it is an e-book controlled by the publisher, you do not have control over the book, you don't even have the right to read the original version any more. For a list of other ways in which technology has failed to improve your quality of life, press 2 now.

* - Treason and A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card. The original edition had magic, the revised edition does not. His writing went into the toilet when he started letting fans tell him what should be in the books. See also Star Wars Episode IV.

Indonesian anti-smut MP caught ogling filth

tom 24


But we need to be cautious, because treating powerful people the same as regular people is a slippery slope, and could lead to equality.

Nude Florida man in gunfight with police SWAT robot

tom 24


"He racks the gun twice." When gun fanatics use this highly technical gun jargon like "rack", it totally leaves me behind. How do you rack a gun, and why would you do it twice?

It doesn't look like the camera was hit, it looks like maybe its brightness auto adjusted after the muzzle flash. Or maybe it's one of those self-healing video cameras I've heard so much about lately.

TV news. *sigh*

Windows 7 gets the Star Wars treatment

tom 24

The Snap Feature!

I just want to state for the record that I still hate the snap feature. I've tried it. It is not an acquired taste. It has not grown on me.

So of course I find this hilarious.

Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

tom 24


I noticed that Mr. Page's series of articles defending nuclear power stopped. When is there going to be another followup?

I actually was influenced positively by the previous articles, but I'm curious what takeaways *he* will have in light of new developments. Most of his points are still valid, but the current situation highlights how his analysis sidesteps the negative consequences of failure. Risk management involves both 1) risk, and 2) consequences. Considering that we are a long way from the worst place scenario, the consequences still look, how can I say this, yucky?

We need another update on the situation from a Page perspective. Don't wuss out; follow through!

Duke Nukem Forever DELAYED

tom 24
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Delayed vs Buggy As Hell

I'll take "Forever Delayed" any day, over some^H^H^H^H most game releases that are barely playable. Seems like about half the recently released games require 12 months of patching before they reach a playable state, but by then the reputation of the game is so sullied that sales are in the toilet, and the developer abandons support to instead make their next game.

I'd rather have $60US in my pocket waiting for a game that is never released, than an on-time release of another turd sandwich.

Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

tom 24

Yes, the end result was minor...

But there was risk. To overcompensate by calling it a minor incident with no danger at all is to invite a reaction that negates the point you are selling.

Interwebs stunned by musical atrocity

tom 24

Why oh why did I click Play?

I may never forgive El Reg for posting this video, or myself for clicking on it.

Calling this track "derivative" would be like calling the music it copies "derivative." In fact, trying to describe the lameness of this track is as pointless as the track itself.

Oh man, that one stung.

Duke Nuke teases with sapphic siblings

tom 24

Unicorns, Santa Claus, DNF

I preordered, and I'll believe it when I see it. Actually, no, I won't believe it then either. When it's running on my system I still won't believe it.

More cocaine found at Kennedy Space Center

tom 24

Re: *All* staff shuold be eligible for drug tests...

Well... except that we never test executives, obviously. This is the US after all, not some communist country. ;)

Ubisoft reveals rock game with REAL guitars

tom 24

But it's Ubisoft...

They made some good games once. I'm generally opposed to edutainment, but I do have a Gibson Explorer hanging on the wall right next to my PS3 gaming station... if they do it well it could be good. One for the "wait and see" list, I think.

Republicans believe in 'climate change' but not 'global warming'

tom 24

Tampering in God's Domain

And whatever you want to call it, we will never know what causes climate change, because any time humans try to launch a satellite to get useful data that would help answer that question, the hand of god swats it down. Cower, puny mortals!

Anti-religious campaigners smack down census Jedis

tom 24


It's not right to trivialize someone's firmly held beliefs like that. If a person says he's a member of the Jedi religion, he is. That's how religion works. It doesn't matter what others think about it.

Wordpress traces 2nd DDoS assault to China

tom 24

Again, why?

I still don't get why anyone would attack Wordpress, except either as a test of DDOS capability or because they hate free speech. So I could see the Chinese /government/ attacking it...or actually any number of different governments for that matter...

WordPress comes under 'extremely large' web attack

tom 24

Pardon me for asking...

This may seem like a weird question, but... WHY? Why would anyone want to DDOS Wordpress? I really don't get it.

The world is going to hell. I'm going to get a beer.

Hollywood eyes Blade Runner replicants

tom 24

Ah, so that's the answer

The other day, as I was reminiscing about how Hollywood has taken every wonderful childhood memory and milked it until it is a lifeless husk, I wondered whether there were even any good memories left to destroy.... guess so

Jacqui Smith 'shocked' to discover we're drowning in sea of porn

tom 24

She knows why men watch porn, but...

Does she know why *women* watch porn? Should we be worried when she implies that she doesn't?

Westboro Baptist Church taunts Anonymous over supposed attack plan

tom 24

God knows, WBC could use some good PR, any good PR...

When you want to be a martyr that badly, it's just sad.

"It's just sad" pretty much sums up everything about Westboro. Actually.

Ten... over-ear headphones

tom 24

Beyerdynamic FTW

I Heart My DT880s! (insert multiple exclamation points here)

You can order them in custom colors too. If you live in the right country. :(

Great for music *and* gaming. Sure, a street price of about $200 (us) is a bit high, but compared to about $160 for Razer's crappy surround headphones, it's not bad. Which is exactly what I compared them to.

Incidentally, my Razer crappy surround headphones are going on eBay this afternoon...you should be able to get them for under $50. So if "three figures" seems like too much, buy my crappy phones instead

Anonymous security firm hack used every trick in book

tom 24

A firm handshake... Maintain eye contact... Confident...

"Given that Anonymous has had these emails for days I would be highly suspect [sic] of them"

Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter-accusations.


Julian Assange gets helping hand from OJ Simpson's briefs

tom 24
Black Helicopters

You are preapproved for a free trip...

"...claim that prosecutors must charge him with an offence, and therefore disclose the evidence against him, in order to qualify for extradition."

No, that's not true. We can just send him to Guantanamo any time we... wait, did you say EXTRAdition? I thought you said RENdition, because here in the US, we routinely disappear people to other countries without any kind of due process. It's practically legal if they've been publicly accused of terrorism.

I get those two things confused all the time! Of course you can't extradite someone without some sort of reason. Heh, silly me. Is it beer time yet?

HP gives Lou Reed a right shoeing

tom 24
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Are we supposed to identify with...that vocal?

You should only perform other people's music if you think you can improve on it. Sadly, hubris tends to render this rule less useful.

I think they should have used "Heroin." No, not the song, the drug.

Disabled dude demands EA improves gaming access

tom 24


Speaking as a non-disabled gamer, I agree! With modern consoles that are basically special-purpose gaming computers, the 20-year-old console paradigm of hard-coding one or two control schemes is lame.

Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

tom 24
Black Helicopters


Authority figure has plan to "deal with those sneering punks on the corner once and for all" and ends up in way over their heads. It's like a sitcom. (Except that it's funny.)

The assumption that Anonymous had (or has) shown their strength, considering the organization name, seems pretty poor.

Crocodile keyboard becomes top Android app

tom 24

Useful Comments

I had to check the reviews again after reading the developer response. I don't see his complaint, as the few comments seem to be pretty helpful:

* It is not convenient to slide to get to the characters/symbols

* People still need some form of auto correct, which is not supported (?)

* Runs very slow on HTC Hero

And an average score of 3 stars (no pun intended) speaks for itself.

With only four comments and 16 ratings, the app is already on track for a big slice of failure. It looks like some good research went into the idea, and I find it appealing. But, making good software is harder than it sounds. The concept is great, but the reviews say, clearly, "stay away!"

tom 24
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Top men... top men.

When you say "Top App", I assume that you mean "two out of five stars" based on AndroidPIT users, or 3/5 in the Marketplace.

Let's see what people have to say about it. "Almost unusable." One star from a user angry that it's non-refundable. "Stock keyboard is much more friendly."

Top shelf!

Microsoft hits autistic Xboxer with cheat evidence

tom 24


Hands up everyone who did *not* see this coming. Anybody? I didn't think so.

Autistic or not, nobody likes a cheater.

Malawi poised to outlaw farting

tom 24

Surely you can't be serious!

"...making it criminal is a joke of democracy."

Welcome to the world of "representative" democracy. :(

Beeb say sorry for Stephen Fry A-bomb quip

tom 24

Well, was it funny?

Now I want to hear the joke and decide for myself. If I was a survivor of something awful, and I was described as unlucky, I would simply agree. On the other hand, if the surrounding tirade was coarsely constructed and insensitive, I would probably decide whether it was insensitive based on whether or not I hurt myself laughing.

(Beer, because, uh, because I like beer?)

Nine per cent of gamer kids are 'addicted'

tom 24

How deep does the disease go?

I wonder what percentage of kids are addicted to baseball, football, or other sports, by the same standards?

World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

tom 24

Feline Dentistry vs 3D

It's a depressing result--as a gamer I already have several games that support 3D, but I also probably won't be buying a 3D setup until at /least/ next summer, probably more like a year. Because they're so expensive! I love gaming but where am I supposed to get the money to afford it? Heck, my cat needs dental work; as much as my geeky self is ashamed to admit it, my cat's teeth may actually be more important than 3D. I suppose that puts things in perspective a bit. (ooh, did you see the joke I made there?)

The same applies to 3D on the PC, actually. I'd have gone 3D a long time ago if I could afford a high-scan-rate monitor. But... ouch!



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