* Posts by Craig Chambers

133 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Aug 2007


Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Craig Chambers

Re: Get with the program!

Point of interest...

Asiatic lions still live in very small numbers in the Gir forest National Park in India, which is also home to tigers.

Reference: Price, Willard (1979) Tiger Adventure*

* They also have them at Chester Zoo ;-)

Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Craig Chambers

Re: My opinion on this?

Attrition.org... That really is a blast from the past!

Security? We haven't heard of it, says hacker magnet VTech

Craig Chambers

Re: I've never understood why parents buy this crap

3 Yorkshiremen? Luxury! When we were growing up we had to deal with Four Yorkshiremen!

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Craig Chambers

Re: Love to see netbooks again

Or just buy a Linx 10 with dock keyboard for £150.

Brit boffins brew nanotech self-cleaning glass

Craig Chambers

They don't discuss the new windows here as they don't need cleaning. The sentence seems clear to me.

It's currently estimated - as in right now - if you install standard windows on a skyscraper, the costs of cleaning them over the next 5 years is the same as it will cost you for their installation.

I infer from this that paying more for glass that does not need cleaning and saves on your energy bills, when it becomes available, is a long-term investment that may cost you less in the long run. Obviously the cost of the self-cleaning glass is an important aspect of this calculation.

Google and pals launch Accelerated Mobile Pages project

Craig Chambers

Rinse and repeat

Hmm, will this be more successful than previous attempts such as cHTML and even (shudder) WML with WAP?

The Breakfast (Table) of Champions: Micro Machines

Craig Chambers

Classic multiplayer after pub

I owned this on several consoles and, along with various incarnations of Bomberman, it was the reason for purchasing a multitap for each of those platforms.

It was always great fun to come back from the pub with mates and play a few games of MM and BM.

I even have this on the PSP, which I suspect may have been the last version rather than PS2, but it simply wasn't the same without the multiplayer element (I'm sure it had this, but I knew no-one else with a PSP).

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Craig Chambers

Anarcho-syndical? Though I've no doubt that they are indeed cynical.

Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Craig Chambers

Re: Experts?

I'm no fan of the aristocracy at all, but one thing that could be said for life peers is that they were likely to be educated to a very high standard (even the stupid ones). It's unfortunate that the same is not particularly true of a random cross-section of the population.

Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Craig Chambers

Re: Handy tip...

Err, or just...

curl -I your-router-IP-address

No messing with Wireshark needed.


craigchambers@microserver:~$ curl -I IP_Address

HTTP/1.0 400 Bad Request

Server: Speed Touch WebServer/1.0

Content-Type: text/html

Content-Length: 57

1&1 goes titsup, blames lengthy outage on DDoS attack

Craig Chambers

Not just hosting, but also DNS

I use their domain reg and DNS services and I was unable to SSH into my server last night at about 8pm via the domain name as DNS requests for my domain were returning no response. it was working OK again by 10 pm, but I guess it may have been intermittent.

FOUR, count 'em, FOUR big rockets launching in next seven days

Craig Chambers

Orion "module"

Aww! When I saw Orion I was picturing something like this: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=project+orion&tbm=isch

Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

Craig Chambers

Re: Monster was alright.

The Doctor and Clara carried on a conversation while everyone else around them started to choke immediately (as if all the air in the carriage had outgassed as soon as depressurisation commenced). Only once Clara had spoken two whole sentences did she show any signs of succumbing.

That was the low point for me.

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Craig Chambers

Medical Doctor

Can I ask why the medical doctor is not included in those with a scientific background? While a medical doctorate is only a degree by other academic standards, it's certainly a scientific one with a strong reliance on chemistry, biology, statistical analysis and scientific studies.

I'm not making a judgement into the rights and wrongs of the panel's decisions, but the article seems to initially imply that only two panel members have scientific training (i.e. "*The* two with science degrees"), when in fact they are equally matched by two other panel members with scientific training.

So, who ought to be the next Doctor Who? It's up to YOU...

Craig Chambers

Re: Wot, no Sheridan Smith?

I know the list contained Billie Piper too, but surely anyone who has been a companion is out?

I think the plot contortions needed are too much.

Fighting Fantasy and fantastic fights in tights

Craig Chambers
Thumb Up

Nice Larry Niven reference

I always loved the ideas in the Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex essay

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Craig Chambers

Re: Why is it £500?

More components (e.g. either individual or combined 2G, 3G and LTE radio).

Smaller case requiring more compact hardware designs that don't overheat, requiring more prototyping.

As already said, more testing (both software, baseband, firmware and hardware).

More certification.

Many more licenses for intellectual property.

That said, does it add up to a £300 price differential over a Nexus 7?

Twenty classic arcade games

Craig Chambers
Thumb Up

Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

Welcome to the fantasy zone... Get Ready!

John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

Craig Chambers

Re: Sweeney

I'll take the bait.

I question and I dismiss all of the above *because* they don't adequately describe what I can see with my own eyes.

I don't look for an emergent 'Truth'. Facts are perfectly good for me.

Consequently I just happen to believe in one fewer god than most people.

iPad? Pah. Behold the EYEPAD, patented by Sony for the 'PS4'

Craig Chambers

USB keyboard

£5 for a decent USB keyboard from a supermarket. Significantly cheaper for the task you describe, and already works on the PS3.

Nursing watchdog fined £150k for confidential unencrypted DVD loss

Craig Chambers

Re: Thats the real issue..

They don't think, agreed.

But this shouldn't be about DVD copying/protection mechanisms. The video files should have been on the DVD as data files, not as transport/packet streams, i.e. readable and (un)encryptable by a computer, not playable on a DVD player.

Rogue Squadron: Unit of X-wings Kickstarts in response to Death Star

Craig Chambers

Re: Supraluminal?

Unless donning a spacesuit involves major abdominal surgery, I doubt that it involves colostomy bags.

Harry Potter's Filch conjures Doctor Who's dead first time-lord

Craig Chambers
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Re: Twelve Doctors?

I also picked this up when it was on Radio 4 extra - cracking stuff, and he's every bit the Doctor as any others.

p.s. is it sad that I recognise the Hartnell photograph as one of the stills from the missing Marco Polo story?

Google donates 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schools

Craig Chambers


Plural of virius?

Windows Media Center EPG has SWITCHED OFF, wail Euro users

Craig Chambers

Did I miss something?

Freeview in the UK uses MPEG2/MP2 for SD content and h.264 and AC3 for HD content...

DVDs primarily use... MPEG2/AC3, though there is sometimes DTS and also CSS that you probably have to pay a license to unscramble.

These are the same decoders, other than the CSS and DTS, so I'm unsure how TV could work without the DVD codecs?

The best smartphones for Christmas

Craig Chambers

Re: @Frank Bough

Do not feed the trolls!

Pong creator turns nose up at Nintendo Wii U

Craig Chambers

Re: This from the founder of the company that created the Atari Lynx?

Yes, I remember that advert. I believe that it showed them playing the surfing section of California games.

I loved my Lynx, but it was a bugger for burning the batteries. As a student, I couldn't afford to keep buying Lithium batteries, and my rechargeables only gave me 40 minutes of play time for an 8 hour charge, so you were stuck to playing while plugged into the mains adaptor. This vs a GameBoy that ran for 8 hours on rechargeables, sold for half the price and had a ton more games.

It was only recently that I met another former owner, prior to that no-one else I knew had also owned one. Hence despite the name of the console my link cable was never used.

Court blocks 12 websites for 'misleading' Olympic ticket sales

Craig Chambers
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Re: @Version 1.0 - TOTAL POLICING

Absolutely Voter Colonel

Dell readies Linux Ultrabook for autumn release

Craig Chambers

Re: Unnh

Let me see...

Open terminal app

Type "sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop"

Log out;

Select Xfce or Xubuntu session;

Log in.


E-Cat pitching cold fusion to Australians

Craig Chambers

Or perhaps a web app development platform?

I'm afraid Macromedia (now Adobe) beat you to it. Naming your band Cold Fusion to me sounds the same as naming your band Photoshop. Alright, it's a slightly less well known product, but the same outcome.

Google makes money on Nexus 7... just

Craig Chambers

Re: Ye Typo


But actually, not unless you want 'sire' to punish you for lack of respect. Thee, thy, thine etc. are the informal second person pronouns. In English we dropped these for the formal you and your in all circumstances, thus removing the chance of slighting your betters with informal pronouns. This being the case, it would never have been proper to refer to someone of the title 'sire' with thine


It seems to me, the reason that people make this mistake is threefold:

1) The constant usage of thee, thou etc. when referring to God in the King James bible - apparently this is because one always uses the informal when referring to God due to the personal relationship with him.

2) Poetic usage of the terms (especially in Shakespeare). Actually when used, they are either intimate relationships, or used deliberately to be offensive. The context is everything.

3) We aren't taught any of this stuff in school.

Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Craig Chambers

Re: Darwin nominee

Exactly how did either of them remove themselves from the gene pool?

YouView launches with pricey premium DVR

Craig Chambers

Freesat version??

Anyone know if they are planning a satellite version for those of us with poor Freeview?

I live in a valley served by a redirector tower for terrestrial TV, and as such have been subjected to the Sky tax to get more channels for the 10 years I've lived in my current location. While the switch to digital improved the terrestrial service where I live, it offers minimal choice compared to Freesat (although thinking about it we rarely watch anything outside of BBC and C4 content anyway).


Google wingmen rain Project Glass on San Francisco

Craig Chambers

Was this article edited?

Ignoring the actual content, the article is littered with typos, random capitalisation (including whole words), missing spaces, missing letters and extra words. I can understand that sometimes an article is submitted from a mobile device by a reporter in the field, but surely that is why there is an editorial staff?

It's way below The Reg's usual standards.

Successful remnant of Motorola acquires successful remains of Psion

Craig Chambers

Re: MX deathtrap

I used my Series 5 extensively while at Uni and working part time on nights, for word processing, spreadsheets, programming in OPL and playing classic Speccie games (Elite and Chuckie Egg being favourite). Perhaps I was fortunate, but I never had any issues with the screen flexi.

John Lewis Broadband - genius or foolhardy?

Craig Chambers
Thumb Up

Re: It's more expensive than Zen.

Pretty much speaks for me, except I'll have been with Zen for ADSL for 10 years this year.

I was surprised recently to see the Firefox add-on tell me I now had 103 GB of allowance for the month, but I think that they specifically monitor my activity and up the allowance every time I exceed the monthly cap and buy a top-up... I've only done that twice and on both occasions the monthly cap was increased the following month. Coincidence?? ;-)

WTF... should I pay to download BBC shows?

Craig Chambers

I don't get it

I, and presumably a lot of other people paid plenty of money to get BBC content on both video and DVD. In what way is charging the consumer for the same content via an online method any different?

I admit that when the beeb started releasing materials on video there were no online fora for commentards to kick up a storm, but I personally though it was great that I could suddenly have a copy of my favourite shows to play back any time I liked. Shock, horror I had to PAY for them!

Back then pirate copies were usually pretty bad and you still had to pay some guy at a market stall to buy them, rather than a 100% faithful copy downloaded via a torrent.

So other than pirate copies being very accurate and available more anonymously, can anyone explain to me exactly what is different about paying the BBC for a video/DVD and paying for a download?

I'm not saying I'm whiter than white, but I don't delude myself that the two are really any different simply because copying and redistributing have become both easier and more socially acceptable.

Ericsson flashes wallet, beds hot Wi-Fi and billing bizes

Craig Chambers

Ericsson was always free of Sony

In saying that Ericsson is now free of Sony you seem to be confusing a small subdivision of Ericsson called Ericsson Mobile Communications (or EMC), that made handsets and was merged with the Sony handset division to form a joint venture called SEMC, with the behemoth that is Ericsson in general.

Ericsson has always appeared at the MWC in its own capacity on top of any representation by EMC/SEMC considering, as the article points out, they are an enormous player in mobile infrastructure.

Boy died after satnav fault delays ambulance

Craig Chambers

Re: On the positive side...

Feel better after that do you? I doubt that the timely arrival of the ambulance would have helped, but the fact that she has eight other children is entirely irrelevant. Sadly this woman's chronically ill son died slowly in front of her, and you feel it's appropriate to have a tirade about her presumed circumstances?

Speaking as an atheist I find your insensitivity, attack on her presumed religious convictions and lack of empathy disturbing.

Texan TSA crew accused of nude scanner ogling scheme

Craig Chambers

God damn these electric sex pants

Your plan for electric sex pants was envisioned in the IT Crowd already...


Juror jailed for looking up rape defendant on Google

Craig Chambers

Why the downvotes?

The above comment merely reports that a juror told the paper that they had also broken the rules. The downvotes appear to imply that the poster agreed with the juror in question, which they state nowhere in the text.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Craig Chambers

Not just MMO

These are essentially RPG archetypes and not restricted to online roleplaying. To put things into Dungeons and Dragons terminology, you have Fighter (Tank); Cleric (Healer); Thief (Ranged) and Wizard (Force Lightning Damage).

There are all sorts of combinations that mix and match the above archetypes, and plenty of options for someone in one of the above roles to play a different role in the party, but ultimately a balanced party in any RPG fares better when all of the above roles are met in one way or another.

Winamp mends trio of old-school security holes

Craig Chambers

Oops, subtract one from each of the numbers above! :-)

Craig Chambers

Still a great media player IMO

I'm the last to approve of AOL, but my experience of Winamp is far better than that of certain apple shaped media software.

I'm all Linux at home, and am resigned to using iTunes lookalikes (Banshee, Rhythmbox) since I found XMMS2 a pain to find, then set-up on recent versions of Ubuntu and XMMS3 was just not very user-friendly (for my wife).

I still like and use Winamp on Windows machines at work. Their best feature IMO has always been sorting how I want it (Sort by > Path & Filename), but their playlist features are also great. I use it to create playlists for use on my phones, and their support of varied formats is also good. When I re-encoded music to the excellent he-aacv2 format for playback on my phones back in 2007, Winamp was the only player that supported the format.

As for support, once I got my recent defect noticed, it was fixed in what I would call reasonable time and is in the latest version... [aacdec] Detection of parametric stereo for AAC files made with older encoders.

NASA confirms first Earth candidate in habitable zone

Craig Chambers
Thumb Down

Water = ice

Any ship not designed to avoid/deflect ice in space is doomed.

I'm no physicist, but I'm not sure how you expect to get (liquid) water in any volume in space.

Liquid water would need to be near to a heat source capable of making it liquid. Free floating in space without something to shield it (e.g. Earth's magnetosphere) , it would be rapidly boiled away by the solar wind (c.f. a comet's tail).

ICO smacks Welsh council with record £130k fine

Craig Chambers

Secure printing?

There have been printers that allow secure printing for quite some time. The printer holds the job until the user is present and inputs a PIN. The user can then ensure that they take all relevant pages and nothing else, thus also preventing anyone else from seeing the contents.

Reg man the most-flamed recruiter in the UK?

Craig Chambers

Or to use the metaphor correctly...

Even a recruiter can't hold back the tide of idiots just by talking to them?

(Cnut's holding back the tide story was a metaphor to show that even the powers of the king have limits, not a serious attempt by a megalomaniac)

BioWare Baldur's Gate

Craig Chambers
Thumb Up

Got me back into D&D

Back in 1999 (OK I was a bit late to the party) I picked this up and threw myself back into the D&D world I had given up at age 14. The game was instantly wonderfully immersive, addictive, with a great story line and NPCs that properly interact with you (once I got over the bug that the game constantly paused/unpaused 5 times a second - fixed by pressing the pause button!)

The game introduced me to newsgroups, got me playing online, and being involved with an online community for the first time.

It also led to me pick pen and paper D&D back up, and I'm still playing this weekly online with folks I met in the alt.game.baldurs-gate newsgroup.

The game and its sequel BG2 had a thriving mod community, and lots of replay value. I sometimes wish I could blank my memory of the game so that I could discover it all over again.

Seagate pulls out the biggest hard one in the industry

Craig Chambers

Same as up to xxx MP3s

Bitrate may not be as important as the codec used, but it's still a major factor.

I'd query where you get your figures from on DVR recording bitrates.

H264 1080i HD broadcasts from the BBC over Freesat average about 3GB an hour when recorded to my PC - or about the same as an SD MPEG2 from a DVD. Given how much room HD content takes on my SkyHD box I'd be surprised if they are re-encoding it to reduce the size before storing it. It adds a lot of complexity and adds an extra point of failure to what should be a fairly simple process (take the transport stream and store it directly).

By comparison, my Blu-ray of Watchmen (also H264, but now 1080p) is 38GB for a film of about 2.5 hours, or around 15 GB an hour. Admittedly this is an extreme, other rips are around 25 GB per film.

Given this I calculate I'd manage 160 HD films at BD quality (4000/25), or 800 HD films at broadcast quality (4000/5). Obviously these are rough figures and ignore the 1024/1000 rounding that disk manufacturers get away with.

I personally would argue that anything supposedly in HD that is at less then broadcast quality is bordering on being no better than scaled good quality SD. All that real estate demands a decent bitrate, and squeezing a HD film into 2 GB (or in fact significantly less when you factor in a 384 kbps 5.1 soundtrack) does not sound like quality to me.