* Posts by Ian 54

32 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

US plans crewless automated ghost-frigates

Ian 54

can't be legal...

So this is going to be in accordance with the rules as described in the article? Good Luck, rule 5 says "Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision." With intermittent communication back to base how exactly are they keeping a look-out by sight and hearing???

Of course this being the US they'll probably ingonore the inconvenient bits and say they comply...

Oz man coughs to DD-jub job advert outrage

Ian 54
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no, not the planker who did it, the whole Aussie attitude!

"oops, sorry, I was pissed". "OK, never mind, we understand".

Compare that to what would happen here "oops sorry, I was pissed". "Constable, add 'using a computer while under the influence of drink or drugs' to the charges of sexism, using offensive language in a pulic, erm, publication, and assaulting a police officer..." "But I haven't assaul OWWWW!" "...and damaging a police table with his head. Sign this". "What is OWWWWW!" "The sex offenders register"

Devolo dLan AVplus

Ian 54

"best in class"?

So, in the summary you say these are best in class, but in the tests you show the Belkins, costing about the same, run at 3 times the speed. Could you define "best" in this context, as to me they seem to be near the bottom of the class,?

The Great Aussie Firewall is dead: Long live the firewall

Ian 54

Rugby isn't considered violent...

...in the country that invented aussie-rules football

Ian 54

so is it true...

...that when Conroy moved from the UK to Oz the average IQ of both countries rose slightly?

Ah, British imperialism - we may not have an Empire any longer, but we can still export idiots to senior positions in other countries better than anyone else.

Critics aim to sink Titanic ice cubes

Ian 54

slow news day?


sense of

get one.

nuff said?

Free software lawyers hit Best Buy et al with GPL 'violation' claim

Ian 54

free software lawyers?

Software lawyers are free? That'll be the day...

RAF's new military airlifter finally lumbers into the air

Ian 54

not at all...

you do realise that a) this is a freight plane, it isn't going to be doing Mach 2, and b) crew can parachute from jets - ever heard of ejector seats in fighter planes???

Kidnap fears kybosh charity car rally

Ian 54


People are doing the Plymouth to Dakar rally by "shipping their cars over to Dakar directly and intend to continue by missing the "hot spots". The hot spots being, then, the Plymouth to Dakar leg of the Plymouth to Dakar rally?

German electropulse energy drill bitchslaps lasers

Ian 54

yes, but

I love the idea that taking 1.4 seconds is described as "a long time"! C'mon, how fast do you need to cut a hole?

suppose a car has, say 100 holes cut into it. Wow, with this new tech we can save the a massive 120 seconds per car. let's see, we pay the robots that do the hole cutting ah, nothing per hour. so unless we can make the cars on the assembly line race past the robots at 1 per 20 seconds (which might make the positioning of the robot cutters a bit tricky), we don't save anything.


Ian 54

2 new RUMs

Apparently there is already a split forming in the "units of measure" community with two differing proposals - the European "cars per fingernail", based on the avearage weight of a BMW 3 series, and the American version, based on one of the 5-tonne low-tech gas-guzzlers they call "trucks".

Bonuses all round for failing Border Agency

Ian 54

Simple solution

Oliver, excellent idea, but there might be some resistance at first so we'd need to make it completely voluntary at first. Then, when it is blindingly obvious that an ID card scheme that you don't have to join is about as good as a Labour Government, sorry!, I meant chocolate teapot, we can move to the "compulsory" stage, and introduce a few new "anti-terrorist" laws to let the police stop anyone they want in an area that has been designated as sensitive (so sensitive in fact that no-one can know where it is) and shoot them on the spot if they either a) don't have an ID card or b) look a bit dodgy.

Thanks for your support on this


Apple kicks prolific developer out of iTunes shop

Ian 54

my shop, my rules...

I don't see why Apple has to explain to Molinker. If I run a shop and decide that I'm going to stop stocking, say, XYZ batteries because they are inferior copies of Duracell, my decision. Do I then have to explain to XYZ? Not as far as I can see..

move along, nothing to see here

Vetting database is mighty maths mess

Ian 54

Support required

John, I accept your new wording - it will be "quite different". I was objecting to "very different".

Your example isn't a good one though - the CSA screwed up because they thought each case would take less time than it did. You are saying that this supports an argument that there would be a radical difference because of the number of cases. It's related, but it isn't the same. Also, you are quoting call centre thinking on number of staff needed for a certain call volume. My guess is that most of this "support" is going to be done in back office functions. I can't see anyone being allowed to get checked by calling in, and I really hope the process for finding out if someone is on the DB is a bit more formal than calling an 0870 number and asking for John Ozimek's details.

Ian 54

Please consult a DBA

"The support required for a database of 11 million individuals will be very different to the levels needed for one designed for, say, 16 million". Really? No, seriously, you think that would be "very different"? If you were talking about the difference between 1 million people and a billion, I admit the infrastructure would be a bit different but not for a 50% increase - any IT person with 3 braincells to rub together would allow for an increase in the data held. On the other hand, this is a government IT project, so not too many braincells are likely to be employed...

Don't forget certain government-employed numpties can lose the details of that many people by leaving a laptop on a train or posting several copies of a CD. I can't imagine there will be gigabytes of data held on each person so a decent laptop should be able to hold everything nicely.

If you mean number of people to screw up and lose, sorry, I meant enter, protect and administer, the data I agree you'll need a few more, which will help the jobless total a bit, but again, you aren't talking about thousands of data entry people.

McKinnon family 'devastated' by Home Sec's latest knock-back

Ian 54


look, he didn't just hack in and look for UFO material, that's just a bullshit excuse trotted out by his family at every opportunity. He hacked in, trashed some stuff and left a message saying how great a hacker he was. That's a bit different.

Also, what exactly has the "lopsided" nature of the extradition treaty have to do with this case? So what if the standards of evidence that have to be presented are not exactly the same, when THE GUY ADMITS HE IS GUILTY??? Again, a smokescreen used by those who want him to be let off with a slap on the wrist and a warning not to do it again.

Large Hadron Collider scuttled by birdy baguette-bomber

Ian 54

Reg Readers

Some El Reg readers were watching the temperatures online while this thing isn't even operational??? Look guys, I know some of us are sad, but seriously, get out more!

Phorm takes a bullet for the advertising industry

Ian 54


"Phorm takes a bullet for the advertising industry"!

Oh, you meant a metaphorical bullet. oh well, a man can dream...

Coin-sized nuclear isotope battery minted

Ian 54

if we can move away from the numismatics

I was amused that the new battery is "smaller and less complex than a full-blown nuclear reactor."

firstly I thought, "well obviously it is!", then I thought "I don't want my nuclear reactors fully blown!"

Madmen cling to jet-powered merry-go-round

Ian 54
Thumb Down

dull, very, very dull. Boring, in fact

That is all

Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest

Ian 54

let me just get this right...

..a bunch of Reg readers who weren't there are absolutely convinced that 4 cops confronted with an agressive, pissed-up, drug-affected shirtless man waving 2 sharp weapons at them should have tackled him in hand-to-hand combat and, without doing him any injury, arrested him. And that this would have been better than tasering him (from which he seems to have suffered no real ill-effects).

My martial arts teacher also taught us some moves that were definitely NOT for use in any competition, but purely for self defense on the streets. He was 6 foot 6 of solid, ex-marines muscle, seemingly afraid of no-one, and his view was that knives are too unpredictable - take on someone with a knife and one unlucky move means you die. Those aren't good odds.

I object to "over-enthusiastic" policing that gets reported in the UK and the US as much as anyone else, but I do have to say that when I've seen US cops in action in real life they generally give people every opportunity to do what they are told. If this guy came straight at them this actually seems a perfectly reasonable response.

AI robots to mark exams

Ian 54

errrmm, what??

"The system is not “distracted” by language-irrelevant factors such as test takers’ appearance, personality or body language."

it would be quite hard to be distracted by any of those things while marking an exam paper, since the candidate is not, in fact, there.

Mind you, I don't think a robot could do a worse job than the incompetents doing this job at the moment. in the last couple of AS/A2 exams my duaghter had one paper remarked and it went from a D to an A, and one of her friends had a paper graded U (i.e. not worth marking) that went to an A on remark. If the humans are that useless give the machines a try!!!

Novell forces customers to pay for maintenance

Ian 54

That's outrageous...

...a software company charging for support and maintenance? Do they think they should make a profit, too?

TANSTAAFL, get over it.

Oz bottle shop falls for 'double your money' scam

Ian 54

Try reading the article BEFORE commenting...


I think you'll find taking peoples money under false pretences IS fraud. However, the article says that the VICTIMS (those are the ones who got scammed, not the criminals) didn't commit fraud.


New SOCA chief battles Yes, Minister jibes from MPs

Ian 54
IT Angle


Do all martians use random capitals, or only the one posting here?

HBA market share shenanigans

Ian 54

PR departments quoting stats selectively? Wow!

Move along now, nothing to see here.

Dell mobile phone launch just days away?

Ian 54
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Just days away...

...is probably right. That's what they kept saying when they moved the ship date for my daughters PC

UK border control can't count

Ian 54
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don't blame the statisticians,

blame the moron culture at the top of any government department.

"Minister, an independent report has criticised us",

"Thank you Humphrey. Issue a statement claiming that it's wrong, out of date, and that we have taken vigorous steps to improve things. And that in any case it was the Tories fault."

"certainly Minister. I'll shred our copy so you can deny ever having read it"

McKinnon lawyers vow to take fight to US Supremes

Ian 54

the lawyers are at it again...

so, according to the lawyers, both qualified and those who think they are because the read the Sun, he shouldn't be extradited because the treaty is imbalanced - the US doesn't have to show evidence. So what??? HE'S ADMITTED DOING IT! what more evidence do we need?

send him to our US overmasters immediately, save the no doubt huge legal aid bill for something more worthwhile, like supporting the first person to get arrested for not showing a constable an ID card.

"let's shoot all the lawyers, shoot them tonight"*

*please note, use of this quotation in an ironical sense does not constitute any conspiracy or incitement to actual crime (especially in the US). Please do not shoot any lawyers. If you so desire, feel free to hug a lawyer. In fact, feel free to hug them really, really hard...

Office admin sacked for Blears abuse

Ian 54

This is a charity???

From the website...

"TheyWorkForYou is a website run by mySociety, which is itself a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy, a registered charity. It was originally built almost entirely by volunteers (see History below), but now mySociety pays Matthew to keep the site running and up-to-date as part of his wider work for mySociety. However, things are still added voluntarily by anyone who wishes."

Now, you don't email in comments, like on el Reg, so if they really did trace her through her email account she must have given it during the post and the charity then handed it over to the spooks. Nice. Or the spooks could be lying and have keyloggers etc on all the government PCs.

Their logo says "Keeping Tabs on the UK's parliaments and assemblies", but maybe that should read "helping the UK's parliaments and assemblies keep tabs on you".

Now, big brother or black helicopter? No wait - someone in dark glasses is going through my coat pockets!!!

Transformers MacBooks, robots in disguise

Ian 54

Cool vid..

...the delivery would probably have gone better if the robot had bothered to take the parcel with it. It probably left a card saying "we tried to deliver a parcel but you were out. Come and get it instead.

JustGiving.com website goes titsup after upgrade

Ian 54


Their website says "We invest continuously to make JustGiving the best and most robust fundraising platform in the world, for the benefit of our member charities"

that'll have to change then, when they have the time..."we invest continuously to change Justgiving. Sometimes we get it horribly wrong, for which we are very sorry".

Seriously, can anyone explain the point of load testing that doesn't represent real-life use of the site? Did someone think "I know, I'll see if it can support 10% of our expected load and cross my fingers when it goes live"?