* Posts by Balefire

50 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Why don't System designs include end of life migrations?


It's called Vendor Lock-in. Basically means once you rely on their software, you either:

a. Suck it up and pay them Extortion, er, I mean Maintenance & Support for the rest of your life

b. Pay them a shed load of money to be able to extract YOUR data in a transferable format

c. Not sure I can think of a c TBH

And when they can't even be bothered to follow their own "standards" so later versions of their own software have issues reading data from an old version, you are stuck in the situation you are now.

AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world


Lucky Me

Thankfully I was told by the SSE meter engineer who came round to fit a "Smart" meter (one I hadn't asked for) that there wasn't enough room where the old meter was. He was surprised when I told him that I didn't want one anyway.

So, what IS the worst film ever made?


I have to admit being a bit hazy on the name - I did get horrendously drunk shortly afterwards in an attempt to block out the nightmare.


I gave up after 7 pages. Can't believe nobody mentioned Return to the Dark Planet. The plot was awful, the acting, where there was any, was worse and the set pieces must have cost about 50p.

It opens on a space prison where the walls were so thin one of the actors manages to tear one when his elbow bumped into it. The "electronic lock" on a cell was a casio calculator. You could tell because they hadn't even bothered to paint out the name! I gave up after about 15 minutes of it's 75.

I had to go out and get extremely drunk after that.

Ereader sales to slump as punters snap up cheap slabs – report

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Get one of the cases with a built in reading light. I got one of the Amazon ones and it is perfect for my needs. Protects the Kindle, the light tucks away inside the case when not required and uses the Kindle's battery.

iPad users 'risk shoulder pain', say US gov, Microsoft boffins


No shit, Sherlock

in other news, eating too much chocolate make you fat and sitting at a computer incorrectly will get almost exactly the same results.

Another useless government group (with private sponsorship) trying make news out of nothing. Why were Apple and Microsoft singled out in this report? Is it because Apple sell more tablets than anyone else and Microsoft are becoming a pointless relic trying to justify their existence?

Yes I have an iPad2 - would have bought a Transformer Prime instead if it didn't have the GPS/Wifi issues.


Nah - read the last paragraph. El Reg beat you to it and your claim of inventing it first is an obvious IP theft. Please do not move from your current location - a crap team of FBI agents are en route to escort you to gitmo.

Why GNOME refugees love Xfce

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You can mount sftp/smb in 4.8

Although adding a shortcut to the sidebar seems a little pointless - it disappears when the connection is closed (well, it does on my LinuxMint version, anyway).

WHSmith Kobo Touch wireless e-book reader

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This was one of the major factors when I bought the wifi only v3, I wasn't forced into running either Windows or OSX. Just drag and drop onto the kindle when plugged in via USB and off you go.

Calibre does a seamless job of converting non-mobi files before uploading to your kindle. You can even configure Calibre to not ask you if you want it to convert and just do it.

Ubisoft revisits Internet-at-all-times DRM

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The answer is simple.

Vote with your wallet and don't buy it! If you keep buying games, OSes, other software with this sort of crap then of course they are going to keep adding it.

I'm not sure who's the dumber - the companies who put this crap in, or the people who keep buying it. (You can probably guess which one I vote the dumber).

Diagramming for web development


Web/Interface mockups

I have found only one mockup program that is actually any good - Balsamiq Mockups (http://balsamiq.com/products/mockups). Multi-platform so you are not restricted to Windows and has some very nice features.

Microsoft inks patent deal with yet another car tech firm


Why use FAT32 anyway?

If this is what it is about, and their device is linux powered, why not use a native format like EXT3?

If it's a linux based device, it is more than capable of reading non-Microsoft patented file formats. Connect it to you PC via USB, and use it to read/write to the storage card instead of Windows accessing it directly. It should be no different than using network storage - Windows can access files on linux filservers using EXT3 without having to install drivers.

Dell cuddles Canonical for big Ubuntu fluffer love

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Dell sell Linux PCs?!!

From their website you wouldn't guess it. Try finding anything with Ubuntu as an option and when you finally do, then see the big "Dell recommends Windows 7" adverts plastered all over the page.

Bastards. They claim to be linux supporters, but their "support" is mainly talk and fluff pieces of PR. About time they offered Ubuntu as a real alternative to Windows, available on all if not most of their hardware.

Before anyone mentions compatibility, I refurbish Dell PCs for a living and 99.9% of the time their PCs work with Ubuntu without any issues once I've fixed them. Hell, installing Ubuntu takes anything up to 50% less time than Vista/7 on the same hardware. Even more (less?) if you include the time for installing updates. And then the Windows updates to the updates, and their updates.

Canadians form adulterers' privacy campaign


Fed up with people blaming everyone but themselves

"she had affidavits blaming Rogers for ruining marriages" WTF?! Nice way to get out of accepting responsibility for her own fuck up. If anyone is dumb enough to use a phone on a consolidated bill (which they asked for!) to arrange illicit affairs, then they deserve getting screwed by their partner in divorce court.

I don't care if you are male or female - if you can't keep it in your trousers or your panties on, then you deserve everything you get/lose. Hope her (soon-to-be ex) husband gets everything and she gets nothing.

Ubuntu fights iPad fever with netbook shot


I think he hit the nail on the head

"The way you interact with them assumes you've got a keyboard and a mouse" absolutely correct. Nothing designed to run on a standard desktop computer is designed for touchscreen interaction. Windows for touchscreen is complete arse. I have yet to see a Linux shell/GUI do any better.

I love my HTC Hero, but not sure how Android or iOS would handle being able to update a spreadsheet, create a text document or program a website. Text entry on a touchscreen forces the emulation of a keyboard which interferes with the screen real-estate. Until an interface which allows you to do away with traditional text entry comes along, a keyboard and mouse will be essential for more technical or business use.

I kind of think that the drag icons, click links, etc, interface you see in Star Trek would be kinda cool, but how that would get turned into code or an email I have no idea!

eBay shill bid scammer convicted


@Anonymous John

IANAL but I think it is legal for an importer to reduce the odometer to the correct number of miles if the vehicle is imported from a country using kilometres instead of miles. Most just note the difference on the relevant paperwork though. For example, my car's odometer shows 36k more than it's true miles as it was imported from Japan (had @94k on the clock).

Can be a real pain when it comes to MOTs and my insurer needs reminding every time I renew that I havent managed to run up nearly 50k on a 25k policy!

Microsoft wants pacemaker password tattoos


In other news

if you can't remember your password, write it down on a post-it note and stick it to your monitor.

Was my first thought when reading this.

UK shoppers ignorant of online rights


@mike2R - Not quite right

If you do not tell the customer, in writing, about the 7 day cooling off period, it runs from the day the customer is made aware - even if that is 3 months after the initial purchase! You also have to state if the customer is responsible for the return postage during this period as well.

I always put a notice in with any item I ship which has been purchased over the internet stating the information required by the DSR, plus in the order confirmation email.

Haven't been stung too often by people who buy items then use the DSR to return them, thankfully.


Almost right

the DSR entitles the customer to a refund of both the cost of the item AND the initial delivery charge within the 7 day cooling off period. The seller is responsible for the return costs by default UNLESS they have stated the customer is responsible.

No administration fee is allowed if the seller is notified IN WRITING (by post or email) within 7 days starting from the day after the day the item is delivered.

Microsoft embraces another Linux company



The underlying filesystem of a fileserver is important only to the server itself. You can have a linux fileserver using ext3 to store files and a windows client will be able to access any file allowed - the client is talking to the server, not the filesystem.

Apple strips top shelf, leaves corporate smut in place

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Wow. Just wow

Why do people still bother developing for this platform if that level of contempt and blatant double standards is constantly being shown by Apple? Just because the iPhone is currently the biggest Smartphone platform doesn't mean you should write for it.

If the developers leave, how long will it remain the biggest if there are no new applications?

US mum calls 911 over Grand Theft Auto

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Yoof of today, huh?

Please let them have tazered the little scrote!

Senior IT workers caught in bank bonus tax crossfire

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Missing the point, maybe

"...if someone has reached their required targets for the year and isn't paid their bonus..."

But the main problem is that the biggest bonuses appear to be going to the ones who caused the problems we are all having now. Why should the ones who have not performed their job properly get a bonus? They should consider themselves lucky to have a job come 1st Jan.

Muswell Hillbillies force BT to move broadband boxes


F@ck 'em

I'm finding it dificult to choose which side to be on - one part of me says "F@cking NIMBYs - why give them faster broadband when they obviously don't want it" while the other says "if BT get away with putting these oversized cabinets in conservation areas, you can bet that the mobile operators will be clamouring to get their radiation emitters^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H telephone masts put up in the same area."

If these bastards are complaining about slow broadband as well, then fuck 'em. Give it to someone who wants it and do not care if these boxes are the size of an elephant in bright purple with fluorescent yellow spots.

Beer coz it helps me forget

Mozilla glares at Microsoft, chews on Direct2D graphics cud


Freudian slip

"while Microsoft has only just begun work on IE 9 and hasn’t yet revealed when that iteration of the browser will rock up."

Why did I read that as "... that iteration of the browser will cock up."?!

Probably because they have yet to release a browser I don't have to fudge and hack CSS to work with properly.

Amazon punters go mad for 'Laptop Steering Wheel Desk'



Unfortunately not - most of the time the fucktards who use this sort of item cause death and mayhem around them whilst escaping without a scratch.

And then complain to the SO about the terrible driving of others who end up crashing.

Aspiring model pleasures Taoist master

Paris Hilton

Quote of the Year

"Because we belonged to the entertainment business, the ritual involved oral sex, sexual intercourse and burning incense."

Nuff said.

Paris, obviously

Electronic ink: The whole story in black and white

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The Readius - (almost) exactly how an eBook should be

For me, an eBook reader should be like a newspaper. Well, apart from the brainless drivel content. A nice big viewable area, easily readable in ambient light. When you need to carry it, you can roll/fold it up and stick it in a pocket.

It should also be easy to update and change the content no matter what OS you are using and with a large storage capacity.

The current crop of eBook readers just haven't got the point - their screens are either small for portability, or big, for readability. But both are on inflexible screen media. Changing content if you are not using Windows based software is also a PITA - why can't they be accessible as a simple USB drive?

It has been proven that eInk can be used on a flexible surface, so why no more devices like this?

Accused NASA spy billed US gov for swimming pool upkeep


Sooo, our (UK) politicians are not so unique

Just goes to show that almost anyone with their face in a public money trough will fill their pockets. Greedy bastards

Blogging vicar casts Tina Turner into hell

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I agree with him

As an Athiest I feel that having any religious figure at my funeral would be hypocritical. Mind you, there wouldn't be much left of me to have a funeral over - I'm registered as a full organ donor and looking into how to donate what's left to science.

As far as I'm concerned they can do whatever they want once I've finished with this body. I certainly wont be needing it again!

I've chosen "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake as my parting tune.

UK fatties demand 'hate crime' status for lardo-baiting


I'm short & fat

and I've been to the doctors about 1/100 of the time the skinnies at work have been. Last time I went was because I had a burst appendix about 6 years ago. Time before that was about 15 years ago for an ingrown toenail. Some of the people I work with have been 10 times in the last year alone!

Liquid electrocar batteries could be replaced at pumps

Black Helicopters

The final paragraph

The final paragraph may well be the most prophetic I have ever read in el Reg. Far too often superior technology is made by the smaller, more agile developers/inventors, only to crowded out of the market by the crap tech big companies push with their marketing, lobbying clout.

Either that or bought out and buried.

How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party



You (el Reg) have been suckered into exactly what the Microsoft marketing droids wanted. Well done.

Can I have a party now?

Vegemite unscrews lid on iSnack2.0

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They can't make it taste any worse

I like marmite. In fact, I love marmite on toast. An Oz friend of mine gave me some vegemite instead one day and it nearly made me spew. Fecking awful stuff.

Microsoft assaults our senses with 'viral' Bing video


Horrible, horrible, horrible.

But at least it worked - now countless unsuspecting Reg Readers have seen it. Personally I'm praying for Alzheimer's so I can forget it.

I thought the "We're Linux" winning video was clever but pointless - no real clue about what the video was about. This was mindless, boring, aimed-at-the-sub-5-year-old cr@p.

I will now use anything BUT that product.

Brit firm sells hi-tech fabric vehicle armour to DARPA


Go on, admit it

Who else read:

"Today, DARPA has announced that it intends to give Amsafe a $100,000 sole-source order for thirty "test articles"."


"Today, DARPA has announced that it intends to give Amsafe a $100,000 sole-source order for thirty "testicles"."

Gaming exec calls for videogame price hike


Stop producing crap

Trying to put into words how I feel about the current games industry but kept falling into the potty mouth trap.

I have yet to see anything worth buying this year. And most of the ones released are just re-hashes of the same crap released last year, maybe with a slightly updated look.

Windows 7 Ultimate product activation hacked?


Business as usual then

Microsoft make this big song and dance about how you must "activate" your copy of Windows, cram it full of DRM and tell everyone that you must buy a copy if you want to use it. Then they make the whole unique serial number activation scheme so weak that people find it easy to circumvent.

Call me cynical but it seems to me that the whole thing is designed to ensure people run their OS and no other. Same when DOS & then Windows 3.x was released - OS/2 was copy protected and cost a fair chunk of folding, DOS & Win were not. So few people actually bought DOS & Win - they just installed a copy from their mates.

Either make the activation scheme work and work properly, or get id of it altogether. Again, the only people inconvenienced are those mugs who actually part with money for it.

Microsoft! and! Yahoo! finally! sign! search! deal!


Market domination

"This deal will combine Yahoo! and Microsoft search marketplaces so that advertisers no longer have to rely on one company that dominates more than 70 percent of all search."

MS have shot themselves in the foot. The exact same thing can be said about the Desktop OS market - being dominated by one company must be a bad thing too.

Oh, sorry, it's only a bad thing when it's not MS.

eBay hands badges to top-rated sellers


eBay policy = screw the seller

Basically they are a bunch of w@nkers. Every single policy change has been to gouge more out of the seller and remove more and more incentive to actually use their service to sell items.

Make you give free delivery on certain items so any profit margin you had is taken away? Don't worry, you'll get a nice shiny badge! They can shove it where their heads are obviously stuffed.

Before anyone goes on about excessive delivery charges - I charged £1 to £1.50 on top of the actual postage cost to cover the cost of packaging, so there was nothing being made there.

No wonder eBay are losing more sellers than they are attracting each month. Frankly eBay and their scamming buyers are welcome to each other.

IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?


I was with him until now

I mean, really. This is beginning to be embarrassing. I don't like MS or their software but this is taking the piss. As long as the "Tell me more" link doesn't go on about how much your Windows experience will be retarded (if possible) by using another browser, this is close to acceptable.

They can easily tie the Windows Update service into a separate program (like Synaptics, YUM, etc) so you don't have to have IE installed.

New attack resurrects previously patched security bugs


Sloppy coding ethics

Seems to be the mentality - instead of actually fixing the problem, write code to work "around" the bug. Then write more code to work around the problems in the code which goes around the bug. Rinse, repeat.

Which is why a fresh install needs about 8 to 10 rounds of updates. An update should only need to be done once on a new install and then be completely up to date at that time.

Rockstar opens up about GTA-based film

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Just don't let Uwe Boll anywhere near it!

You know that if he has anything to do with it, it'll be an absolute pile of arse. He has the reverse Midas touch - anything he touches turns to shit.

Microsoft GPL violation hits memory hole



No, seriously, what did you expect?

Anyway, I always thought the idea was that the unstable OS in a VM on the stable OS...

Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

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To all the detractors out there

I'm sorry, but leaving aside the lazy aspect of it, this is a work of sheer genius! Have you looked at their website? I have and I couldn't believe it. There was something charming and vaguely childish about the whole thing.

Personally I wouldn't buy them as I prefer my eggs with the shells still slightly soft and warm from the chickens bum, but I could see the attraction for a quick snack at lunchtime.

Lawyers claim ringtones are public performance


Almost agreed with them, up to a point

If you buy a ringtone version of a track, then maybe they are right to claim royalties on the purchase price from the ringtone source (note that I am not including ones you make yourself, for your own mobile, from your previously purchased copy of a track). However, as they are claiming that it is a "public performance", they can go stuff their heads up their collective arse.

Public performance? More like public fecking nuisance.

X2 supercopter in first tail-drive flight


Remember the aircraft in 6th Day?

Now they would be kinda cool. Almost Transformeresque in the way they went from chopper to jet. Not sure how they would overcome the tendency to fall out of the sky as they transformed from one to the other, but I'm sure they could overcome that somehow.

Hollywood prepares to battle Asteroids


What about Defender?

Surely that has far more plot potential (not that I can think of one atm) than asteroids?

Ecopocalypse causes giant fish ears


Isn't this how eveolution works?

"The assumption is that anything that departs significantly from normality is an abnormality and abnormalities at least have the potential for having deleterious effects."

Yes, but it also has the potential for the beneficial effects of helping them survive the changing environment?

Mine's the one with the third arm

Microsoft forbids changes to Windows 7 netbook wallpaper

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How to stop change?

To all those who say "Why not just overwrite the file?" Either Lost @19:08 is correct and they are using it to cover for something else which is worse, or they could bury the graphic in a required .dll file which cannot be changed without screwing the entire system. You know, the same way they embedded bits of IE into random system files purely so it is impossible to completely remove.