* Posts by dr_forrester

63 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jun 2009


Apple refuses frozen iPhone repair


@ AC 16:18

This assumption, the law requires that I be able to make. It's called fitness for market.


Not quite...

The block heaters to which you refer keeps the oil's viscosity from dropping too far for the starter motor to turn the crankshaft. It has nothing whatsoever to do with either the internal temperature of the vehicle or of the under-hood electronics.

Now, we'll often go out and start our cars (or use the remote start, which we had decades before they became fashionable in warmer climes) so the coolant-and therefore cabin heating-can warm up, but that's a different concern.



...your device is not specced to operate in the temperature range an area frequently inhabits, don't sell it there.

...you sell me a device in a given geographic area, I'm going to assume it can operate in the conditions one normally expects to find there.

Apple fails. Again.

Apple patent endangers unbiased product reviews


Don't bet on that...

Clarke's (then-)fictional description of the design and operation of communications satellites made them unpatentable when actually invented.

Man wins $650k for stripper shoe eye snafu

Paris Hilton

And don't you think...

...that that might have been exactly what was on the mind(s) of those who invented the pseudonym?

Jobsian fondle-slab in SEXY FILTHGRAM CRACKDOWN



Don't try getting one in or around the various *sexes which appear throughout the UK and US.


This title contains letters.

Also, Intercourse, PA borders the town of Paradise, PA.

Thus, in Pennsylvania, Intercourse is next to Paradise.

No, I'm not making it up. Nor is the line original; you can get it on plaques, keychains, and other trinkets through much of Lancaster County.

NZ woman pays motorised tribute to A RYAN 1


@Anthony Garrett

No, I do not. See earlier posts.

Of course, in base 13, 6x9 really does =42, but Adams said (repeatedly, IIRC) that he did not work that out, rather he just picked a funny 2-digit number.


I've wanted to try...

NULL or /0 to test the input-checking on the DMV's database. But yours is probably a bad idea, as you'll get a summons to court for all the unpaid fines of people with no, illegible, or missing plates - happened to a guy (can't recall source) who used NONE for his vanity plate.

Actually, the one I really want is 6X9=42, if the '=' is a valid character for plates in my state, or 6X9 42 otherwise.

Beeb deploys ISS as unit of measurement


Maximum speed...

I thought the maximum speed of a sheep in a vacuum was c=300 000 kps=~186 000 miles/sec. There is of course, so resistance in vacuum, so only the universal speed limit applies. Actually, we don't really know if it's a universal limit (or indeed, the constant it's alleged to be), as all our experiments have been carried out in an extremely limited area...

Mine's the one with The Space Traveller's Guide to Mars in the pocket.

US appeals court bashes warrantless GPS tracking

Big Brother

And this...

is why I absolutely refuse to gen a vehicle equipped for OnStar. Every ad they run just increases my determination. What amazes me is how many people think it's a great idea for their cars to be bugged tracked, and remotely disabled.

Fanbois love sex toys: Official


Try again...

"LoveHoney director Richard Longhurst opined: 'Apple users might spend more than Windows users because they’re sexually more confident and are more adventurous in the bedroom.'"

Or perhaps, given the relative prices of Apple and non-Apple computers and devices, perhaps they have (on average) more disposable income. That theory seems far more defensible to me, what do you all think?

Venus home to lost cities left by long-dead aliens, says ESA


Very true.

However, Venerian is rarely used except by SF writers/readers and pedants, due to its similarity with "venereal." Shouldn't be, of course, but that's the way it is.

Sex offender downloads child pr0n to get back into prison



The end of the story says he has now found a home. Perhaps he's read O. Henry's short story "The Cop and the Anthem." Seems to be the same old story.

Hybrid CD vinyl unites warring tribes


Remember them not-so-well

As I'm actually younger than the CD spec - though not by much. I do remember-and used myself-my parents' collection of LP ROMDs, though.

As to the RWAC devices, I actually prefer one in a used car to a CD player, as most of the latter-in cars of my price range-lack an auxiliary input jack. Simplicity itself, though, to hook up a RWAC adapter to my MP3 player, or any other new (or old, if I find a portable 8-track player and want to use it) device that comes along.

'World's largest' airship inflated in colossal Alabama cowshed



We don't paint them with thermite anymore. That also tends to reduce flammability.

Britons: iPhone eighth most important invention — ever


OK, If you want to be pedantic

We'll call it the ability to start a fire at will.


So, according to this survey...

The average Briton would rather children's, um, wastes dropped freely than be deprived of the opportunity to buy an iPhone and considers the WonderBra more important than fire - didn't even make the top 100.

Please tell me this is a joke. Please?

Best Buy tech finds 'child abuse' wallpaper on broken PC


Good idea, but...

It would be quicker and cheaper to be ordained in the Church of the Holy Data, in which computer repair is a sacrament. Also invokes privilege, and doesn't involve going to law school. Further, I'm not sure (IANAL) that attorney-client privilege would apply-as repairing a PC is not a legal service-but if it's a sacrament, it is-like confession-privileged, and the state can't tell a church what is and is not a sacrament.

Mine's the one with the O'Reilly Guide to C in the pocket - it's our Holy Writ.

Reg reader applauds World's Crappiest phish



That's been floating around the web for some years now, as the "Amish Computer Virus." One incarnation here: http://www.upperregister.com/~charlie/AmishVirus.html

Black Helicopters

I forget which book it was...

But I remember reading something where the main character either places or receives a coded message in the homosexual male section of the personal ads. The character finds himself wondering how many of the other personal ads are in fact coded messages to other secret agents. Today, spam email would be a good replacement due to their ubiquity and invisibility by Purloined Letter methods.

CA rechristens self CA Technologies


Countries trump states...

Yes. And given that California was a country long before Canada was, it seems logical to give the historical priority to the Republic of California. Or people could just use a little common sense to figure out where a .ca site is from versus a .ca.us - or is that too much to hope for?

Five in slammer over iTunes/eBay card-laundry caper


One must admit...

This does seem to be a fairly simple way to launder the money, and probably gives a competitive - if not above average - return on the money to be laundered.

UK polling stations turn away 'hundreds' of voters


It's just like turning up to the match...

Except that watching the match isn't a guaranteed right. Here in the States, if you're in line before polls close, you have an absolute right to cast your vote. As for polling places running out of ballots, as others have said, that's completely inexcusable.

Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction


One point...

As a US citizen, I won't comment on your upcoming elections. They're up to you - just as I expect you'll keep out of our elections later this year.

But I did want to agree with the author on one point. I have long said that nuclear weapons - both fission and fusion - and intercontinental delivery systems - manned aircraft or missiles - saved more lives than any other 20th century invention with the exception of antibiotics.

Let's face it. Either Korea or Vietnam would have been more than enough to spark the Cold War hot - in fact MacArthur strongly advocated invading the PRC during Korea. The only reason he was overruled and those wars didn't spread was for fear of Mutually Assured Destruction.

"A curious game. The only winning move is not to play."

Again, no mushroom cloud icon, so I'll have to go with the hand grenade.

ATM hacking spree foiled by tip from ex-con


No, LEO is...

Just the astrological sign represented by a lion, or the titular constellation.

Anne McCaffery's book _Pegasus in Space_ has a scene with confusion over which meaning when the Law Enforcement and Order commissioner walks into the Space Authority's office.

Mine's the one with the plans to terraform Mars in the pocket.

Microsoft's Linux patent bingo hits Google's Android


@Giles Jones

Taiwan = Republic of China

"China" = People's Republic of China

Therefore "They're from taiwan [sic] not china. [sic]" is incorrect. Also, names of countries are capitalized, genius.

Microsoft: 'Prepare for 15 billion more clients'



And how does that differ from the modular kernel that Linux uses? Old news there, in a shiny new package out of Redmond.

Sony sued for dropping Linux from PS3


@I didn't do IT.

Try again. The comment says "My games come off ebay..." This is not piracy. The courts have long established the concept of right of first sale - that is to say that once you purchase an item, you are free to sell it used, loan it out, rent it, etc. This doctrine is what permits libraries, used book stores, movie rental stores, and so forth to remain open.

On a semi-related note, one of the reasons I don't buy a console is that I have the odd notion that I should be able to write software for a computing device, and to run that software without paying a licensing fee to the manufacturer or risking prosecution for circumventing DRM.

Scammers plunder gullible iPad owners' backdoors


Oh, yeah

That's the question a LOT of people are going to want answered, if I don't miss my guess. Of course, a lot of iPad users have been blogging about them, or tweeting about them, etc. ad nauseam. I suppose if you simply searched on google or twitter for "my new ipad" you'd get a lot of addresses right there. But still, there will be questions.

Leonard Nimoy in 'no more Spock' shock


He fought with the goblins...

The line is "only three feet tall."

Verizon dubs sec researchers 'narcissistic vulnerability pimps'


I suppose...

...he also doesn't want Grey's Anatomy published, as it tells the reader where the most vulnerable portions of the human body are located.

One could think of dozens of similar examples. Suffice it to say that the researchers - sorry, narcissistic vulnerability pimps - are not creating the vulnerabilities about which they warn consumers. Their actions are no different than those of a product-testing group which warns consumers of a top-heavy vehicle's propensity for rolling over. I guess if this guy worked for Toyota, he'd be suing the NTSB for warning customers about the dangerous failures in that company's designs.

Pentagon looks to revive Nazi space-bomber plan


Why not...?

Just take the ICBMs and SLBMs and replace the nuclear warheads with simple, large weights. This, of course, turns them into KEW platforms, but a KEW will do a lot less lasting damage than a nuke-and at escape velocity delivers a far-from-negligible kilotonnage.

Grenade because there's no mushroom-cloud.

Rogue admin waits for verdict


Makes sense

Title says it all. No one employee should be that critical for password retention.

Also, one wonders if they had it in writing that he was required to tell them the passwords after termination.

Steve Jobs: 'Pad? That's my word'


What t means...

"although exactly what "in part" might mean is mind-numbingly amorphous"

Apparently, t means we're not allowed to use the letter 'i' anymore. t will be removed, per Apple demand, from the ASC charts next year.

Forget SETI, this is how you find aliens: Hefty prof speaks


Dyson Spheres

As I recall, were designed to capture 100% of a star's radiant energy, as energy, while everywhere, is also important to capture. The problem I see as most troublesome with the Dyson sphere, besides stability and gravity, which could be dealt with (spin to provide pseudo-gravity, add ramjets to compensate for wobble) is heat escape-see the Puppeteer homeworld in Ringworld.

Before you ask how spinning is going to help with pseudo-gravity at the poles, it's quite simple. It won't. The poles are devoted to solar energy capture, in the form of photoelectric power generation, tanks of algae (or similar) producing biofuels, or whatever else the constructing civilization finds convenient. The remainder of the inner surface is terraced, so that the ground is always flat, or nearly so, rather than curving more and more steeply as latitude increases. Thousand-mile walls, with elevators built in for transport and airlock functions, keep the atmosphere from flowing down from the higher-latitude terraces to the equatorial terrace-much like the rim walls on a Niven Ring. It is possible that deep oceans with external cooling fins could be used to cool the interior, but I just don't have the thermodynamic engineering to know what-if anything-could be done to prevent the Dyson Sphere's inhabitants from boiling in their own steam.

Not to mention what to do when the sun starts expanding into a Red Giant.

Also unexplained is how we're meant to FIND another species' Dyson Spheres. After all, the intent of the sphere is to trap all the radiation from the sun, so one assumes it would not radiate itself. And, after all, "Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space..." The galaxy is approximately 7.8x10^15 cubic light-years, while a 1AU radius Dyson Sphere is approximately 2x10^3 cubic light-minutes-and there are about 144x10^15 cubic light-minutes in a cubic light-year. This makes for a very small needle, and one humongous haystack.

Mine's the one with the blueprints for a Niven Ring in the pocket.

Lawyers pursue banned Xbox Live gamers



Imagine if anyone tried this same heavy-handed approach to the Internet - "OK, you're not using precisely the same hardware/software config as when you bought your computer, so you can't get on the Internet. Meanwhile, you can't even write your own software or use software a friend wrote without either (a) paying us money so we can slap our logo on the disc or (b) modifying your PC" Meanwhile, Corruped Shadows, the XBL network as it exists now is ripe for virus attack. Just like when Dutch Elm Disease wiped out nearly every elm tree in the United States, every box hooked to the VPN has the exact same hardware/software config and therefore the entire network is incredibly susceptible. A healthier network, as a healthier biodome, has a variety of "species" and "varieties" so that what damages one will not harm all.

Apple voids warranties over cigarette smoke, users say

Thumb Up

Sounds fair

Why should Apple have to pay to fix a computer which failed due to the environment in which the USER, not Apple, placed it?

My wife accidentally went swimming (for about 30 sec) with her phone still in her pocket, and that (justly) wasn't under warranty. These Macs were in a toxic environment, with a nasty chemical soup (including, but not limited to, carcinogens and nerve toxins) building up on their interiors. Why SHOULD that be covered at all?

On a related note, I do think cell phone warranties should not be allowed to exclude dropping from below a certain (1-2m) height, as that's part of a normal environment for a handheld device - every so often, the user will drop it. Admittedly, it would be tough to determine how high it fell from by visual inspection, but they could put G-shock stickers inside the battery compartment like they already have water-sensitive ones which change color when they get wet.

Boffins try to get closer to hot bodies

Paris Hilton

We don't need no stinking title

Well, gee, if you can get energy from hot bodies, why are we drilling in the Middle East and Alaska and places like that? Why not just go to LA?

Paris, for obvious reasons.

US data firm blows s**t out of server


And haven't we all...

Had days we wanted to go do that?

Off to send the video to MythBusters. No idea quite what they'd do with it, but I'm sure they could figure something out.

Windows 7's dirty secrets revealed



How do they "[not]... really understand those dependencies". This is basic project management. Shouldn't there at least be some sort of diagram or something somewhere that MUST be added to each time a new module or dependency is created?

iPhone saves woman from bear



I live in an area where encountering bears is not unheard of. During certain times of the year, and in certain areas, hikers are advised to carry/wear jingle bells (yeah, the holiday kind), as the noise will keep bears away most of the time - not being a "natural" sound and all that.

They say you can tell brown/grizzly bear scat from black bear scat because the brown/grizzly bear's poo has little jingle bells in it. I guess it's got iPhones in it now, too.

But, surely any Vermont state official, who hikes in bear country, should have known that.


That said...

I have to agree with the earlier poster. Why was she expecting that her warranty would cover throwing the phone at a bear, when it doesn't even cover dropping it. I have dropped far more items, and far more frequently, than I have thrown at bears. If going in for a warranty replacement seemed a reasonable expectation, she should no longer be working for any government office.

Coin-sized nuclear isotope battery minted



Just to add to the unnecessary pedantry on this thread - a loon is not a duck. Further, although a loon does float, an individual who weighs the same as a loon is not made of wood, and is therefore not a witch.

Royal Mail lawyers demand closure of postcode lookup site


Wait, what???

OK, I give up. Wouldn't that be like the phone company trying to claim that a phone directory is their IP? It's just like any factual data - the format is IP, the data is not. The fact that RM made up the codes in a non-arbitrary fashion does not give them IP rights on it. The US 5+4 digit ZIP code is also non-arbitrary (at least in the first 2 digits, and the second 3 are semi-arbitrary), but they're public domain. Of course, the US also has a law that ANY work by a government official in the performance of his/her/its duties is automatically public domain, but still, this is common sense here, people.

Swedish military combustobra: Jubtastic snap

Thumb Down

When I said pictures...

I meant photographs of the actual event, not of a Playmobil (seriously, folks, why not LEGOs?) recreation. Far as I can see, it still never happened.

Swedish military bras burst, melt during 'rigorous exercise'

IT Angle


Or it never happened. Come on, people - did you expect NOT to get these comments with this article?

Apple accused of lowering cone of silence over iPod flame out


@B. Frank

From article: "According to _The Times_, Ken Stanborough, 47, *.from Liverpool*" [emphasis mine].

They'd have to have known this level of publicity would happen (if not in this particular case, then in another), which kind of makes me suspect that such a contract is enforceable over there, due to the large quantity of lawyers (sorry, sorry, would it be solicitors or barristers?) who are no doubt descending on Mr. Stanborough's residence as we type if it is not. Anyway, at least under US jurisdiction, the family'd be much better off taking this route - publicize, then if you don't get offers of huge (enough) compensation, ask a court for massive punitive damages.

As far as actual liability is concerned, I'd need to see a lot more data than this article contains. I, too, think a drop from a reasonable height (1-2m, between waist and eye level) should be considered part of design spec. If I were a product safety bureaucrat, (CPSC here in the States), I'd be looking long and hard given these reports. OTOH, there seem to be (maybe) a few dozen out of however many millions of iPods sold. So, looks like more data are needed.

Landlord sues tenant over moldy Tweet



You do. The ex-client does not. Fortunately for her, over here, the burden of proof (in re. the accuracy of the claim) is on the plaintiff (i.e. the alleged victim) in slander/libel cases. So, if she can prove they didn't do anything about her mo[u]ldy apartment, she'll win.