* Posts by Hugh_Pym

241 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2007


Microsoft Office 2007 migration aches foreshadow 2010


The excuse has always been...

...'We stick with MS because it is what we know'. People are willing to pay for MS Office for simple word processing and spreadsheets rather than get a free tool that easily copes for such tasks and arguably much more simply to avoid a little re-training and unfounded worry about compatible file formats. This is the FUD MS have been spreading to sell Office for years. They have trained users to fear change in order to propagate lock in on their own software.

Why are they surprised then that when they change 'what people know' i.e. the familiar interface and introduce file format worries that people don't want it.


easy answer

Don't use office macros for business critical applications.

Microsoft petitions for second look at Word XML decision


I agree

There is a clear precedent for Microsoft winning their court cases either by superior spend or appellant atrophy. Not upheld in this case.

Secondly there is a precedent for Microsoft to ignore court ruling until a change of government mitigates the losses. Not upheld in this case.

In most cases MS is allowed to state 'although the email looks damning what we actually meant was...' and the court is compelled to to believe them not matter how ludicrous it sounds. Not upheld in this case.

These judges clearly have not read the same law books as MS. What is the world coming to?

CBI kills off the recovery before it's begun


And the CBI should be trusted because?

They predicted the crisis so well? Their advise helped UK business avoid the worse of the recession? They have been spot on on their recovery predictions so far?

No. They are just spouting crap the same as all the other so called financial advisers because they can't be honest and say 'We just don't know' without loosing face.

Greenpeace: Apple ain't so brown anymore


All of it.

They have employees and customers in all parts of the world. Don't be so bloody provincial. How much product does Microsoft shift in Redmond FFS?

Google open-source boss comes clean on Android


Hope over experience?

Soon WinMo's UI will be better.

Will it? Why?

Microsoft to herd third parties with licensing patent


Sounds more like...

...they are trying to take control of licensing on all software on windows machines. i.e. sign up (and pay) for our licensing or sod off and take your open source with you. They greatly envy the Apple App Store model and want to copy it for their platform.

BT names 63 more exchanges for fibre upgrades


Virgin cable?

Leicester was extensively cabled way back. After several bankruptcies and buyouts it is now run by Virgin Broadband. I can't believe they missed out Stoneygate. Does this mean BT and concentrating on areas that already have cable?

U2 frontman bitchslapped by TalkTalk


Q: How do they know?

A: They don't. All 'estimates' of illegal downloads are a guess by definition. Also illegal download != lost revenue. The current system is set up to allow the industry to control the market for the benefit of the few at the top. Bono's millions are only a percentage of the money made on the U2 music sold. There are hundreds of other's supporting high end lifestyles on their 'middleman' jobs, jobs that downloaded music doesn't require, jobs that only a controlled market can support. No wonder then than the industry spews out such crap about 'piracy'.

P.S. I believe that work hard for my money as, I suspect, do a lot of people reading this. I'm not sure how I could work 100,000 times as hard in order to enter the pop star income bracket. Perhaps the payment received is not directly proportional to the effort expended.

US word czars unfriend shovel-ready toxic assets


In the print...

... many years ago it was often called a shilling stroke. Also a dot was a full point.

A decade to forget - how Microsoft lost its mojo



I love it when someone puts their life balance ahead of their bank balance. He may not make as much money as he could by taking 'MS is computers' suckers for a ride but instead he may actually enjoy what he does for a living and feel pride in what he has created.

Ten years of .NET - Did Microsoft deliver?


Just a difference of experience

The ones I've used tend to be inefficient, ugly and seemed to be designed for the benefit of the operator not the end user. Generally speaking not a nice place to be.

As for making money, 'municipal' suggests council owned to me, as in tax funded, as in 'how can we dish out the contracts on this to gain the most personal benefit'.


The cathedral the bazar and the bus station

I think everyone was quite buzzed by the proposals for Longhorn and .net looked like the right thing at the right time. The engineers had delivered the plans for a magnificent cathedral but as usual the assorted managers, strategist, accounts and executives all chipped away until it was reduced to a municipal bus station. It started off looking powerful, elegant and expandable. In the end it hardly fit for purpose.

It's my belief that .net has had the success it has despite Microsoft not because of it. Everything they put out has a smell of 'we can dominate the market' about it. Every decision is not about improving products and services but side-swiping competitors and creating lock in.

Home Secretary unmoved by last-ditch McKinnon protests



"Then I guess David Blunkett must have been psychic, since he was talking about how good the treaty was going to be 6 months before 9/11."

It's about how it was sold to the UK. It was always talked about in terms of anti_terror legislation in order to get enough support. That is what everybody thought they were getting. This is the type of spin it got over here:

"The home secretary is to travel to the US this week to meet US officials over the war against terrorism. He said he would be meeting Tom Ridge, the US head of homeland security, to discuss sharing intelligence, information and technology. He said the discussions would also include consideration of sharing "issues around vaccines and new techniques". Mr Blunkett said he also plans to meet US Attorney General John Ashcroft about a new extradition treaty he hoped to sign. He said he would also hold talks with other US politicians about balancing security and liberty and "rebuilding a world of mutuality rather than people going it alone". (BBC 30 March, 2003)

It came into force 1 January 2004.


Serious crimes only

Britain has had an extradition treaty with the US for years. It requires evidence of the crime to be presented so that a defence against extradition can be mounted. THIS extradition treaty is a special NEW TREATY designed expressly for terrorist cases where the threat is so great that normal checks and balances should be circumvented in the interests of national security. It was drawn up jointly by the US and Britain in the aftermath of 9/11 and rushed through Parliament by methods of dubious legality that bypassed proper debate by those elected to represent the views of the people.

In the US this treaty was thought such a bad idea that US congress refused to expose US citizens to the threat of the abuse of such a treaty. They would not ratify the bill until the presentation of evidence bit was put back in. The result is that UK citizens will be handed over to US authorities on demand but the reverse is not true. No wonder it pisses people of then.

To late for us Brits though our idiot government foolishly trusted the US and ratified the treaty immediately. They also foolishly trusted the US not to abuse the treaty by using it to pretend that the term 'terrorist' covers not only suicide bombers and others who seek to impose their will by violent means but also idiot UFO conspiracy theorists.

A massive and unwieldy FAIL that the government cannot acknowledge without a massive loss of face and an inquiry into just how dirty this back-room deal really was, Some that the US are not happy to talk about either.

Special relationship my arse.



He might get a 'life means life' sentence.


FFS back at you.

"Secondly extradition treaties are not solely intended for terrorists".

This one absolutely and explicitly is.

Chumby internet-connected alarm clock


Has no use?

I think the most interesting point is that devices like this show that the home computer has changed shape. ARM+Linux means that devices can be produced at a reasonable price that have no initial 'killer app' to sell them. Novelties basically. They sell enough as a novelty to fund production but If one caches the imagination like the netbook did. It sells millions and becomes a new product category of it's own. This is the nightmare that Microsoft fears the most.

Linux hasn't made much inroads into the Home PC market because basically the home PC is a Wintel platform and trying to copy it is playing Microsoft at their own game. It may be getting harder for them to move the goalposts but they can still do it and leave everyone else playing catch up. This kind of thing represents the death of the PC. Why spend money on a PC to do my facebook/twitter stuff when It's available free on my TV, phone, alarm clock, photoframe, washing machine, whatever. On the other hand If it's cheap enough you don't need a multifunction device you can have a set of cheap devices each showing an aspect of your digital life. One wireless keyboard/controller would suffice.

The PC (aka wintel platform) then becomes the niche market. If you really, really need Word or really, really need a particular ActiveX based game then swallow the cost and buy a PC otherwise use the netbook you got free with your mobile contract or the touch screen on the printer or god know what device the next generation of entrepreneurs come up with.

Just watch the MS machine go into overdrive if one of these things looks like becoming the next big thing. It will be 'What you really want is one of those with a bigger screen and a keyboard and hinge in the middle' and 'It's not worth having if cost less than £300' suddenly you will find it difficult to buy one that doesn't have an Intel processor and Windows on it.

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 two-GPU graphics card


I always worry...

... that if I watch late night TV and I get bombarded by the inevitable 'chatline' adverts aimed at the sad and lonely I have actually become part of that target audience simply by being there.

By the same token if I bought this I would become part of the group of buyers likely to be swayed by pictures of sci-fi body armoured young women on hi-tech equipment. I'm not sure which group is sadder.

Microsoft urges Flash makers to pay fat dollar for exFAT format


File systems

Because Microsoft will not implement it and will actively prevent it from being installed on Windows so that it can use it's userbase to leverage the sale of these licences.

'Friends with Benefits' sex does no psych harm - profs


So let me get this straight

They asked some twenty year olds if 'no commitment' sex had any downside and they said no. No shit Sherlock, ask them again when they are sixty and maybe had a chance to review their life choices.

Mind you I'm not saying they are wrong.

P.S. Anyone looking for an smelly short ugly old bloke as 'friend with benefits'?

MS Jingle Bell bus rattles past Reg Towers


Is that the Glassblower...

..obscured by an ugly old bus. Can we see a picture of that instead?

Windows 7 soars while Mac OS X trips online


@Arctic Fox

Yes it does. They can only sell PCs by cutting the margins to the bone.

MS patent looks just like Unix command, critics howl



"the patent CITES THE SUDO MANUAL. " It doesn't matter what they state in the application, Prior art is not taken into account at the issuing of the patent. A third party has to pony up to challenge the application and prior art is one of the options. Only obviousness and patentabilty count and the US patent office don't seem to look very hard at those.

This is patent poker. Microsoft have opened the bidding and the other players have to either follow or fold. That give me a thought....

SCENE - wild west saloon. A tall lean stranger is in town. He faces Microsoft across a smoky table. The other players are out of the game only these two remain. The cards have been dealt Microsoft has a huge pile of gold, dollar bills and land deeds. The stranger is down to his last few dollars. All is silent and tense.

Microsoft - I'l raise $1000

stranger - All in

Microsoft - 'read 'em and weep

stranger - You cheated!

Microsoft - That's a lie!

the gun smoke clears and Microsoft lies dead on the floor. The Stranger blows the smoke from his gun as the piano strikes up and the party gets back into the swing.

... Well we can dream can't we.

You too can become a Taoist Mao Shan master


Hope you checked...

... the age of the 'model' playing the stepdaughter in your reconstruction. I know her ID (handily available on the bottom of her foot) shows 1974 but she don't look 35 to me. I would suggest she was not made before 1995. As the law stands I am now guilty of 'making copies' etc, etc. As IT professional I cannot adequately delete beyond my ability to retrieve without putting a hammer through the HD. Which i will do as soon as i have post this message.

I'm starting a class action to recover the costs.

Europe plots black boxes for cars


Don't make me laugh

If the continuous monitoring of all motor vehicles in the UK is next big government IT project I really don't think we need to worry, state sponsored IT projects having such a great reputation and all.

...Still might keep some of us in work for a while.


Bring it on.

"Insurance companies will love it. They will detect who the furious drivers are and charge them extra extra"

So I won't be subsidising the tossers who think it makes people want to sleep with them if they drive like idiots. And... in the event of an accident it is not just my word against his that I was 'progressing in an orderly manner' and he was driving like a c**t. 30 seconds? Record the last 30 years of everyones driving to show in court. That would get insurance costs down.

I just wish it had 360 degree HD video and monitored blood alcohol and mobile phone use.

Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone


Why BST?

It has been suggested that the reason for changing the clocks to BST is so that an hour less overtime has to be paid during the farmers busy Spring and Harvest periods to cover the dawn 'till dusk working day. This was foisted on an unsuspecting public by the land owning gentry who formed our government at the time.

All the 'evidence' that it is safer for children mysteriously melts away when researched.

Magpies hold funerals for fallen feathered friends


Film please

or it didn't happen.

UK telly in coke blizzard shock


Votes Please

On which TV presenters are only 'off the wall' because they are 'off their heads'.

Man posed as teen lesbian to snare girl's nude photos



I get asked (as I assume a lot of people here do) for advice about buying computers. If they have kids I always say ' Don't let and under 16 year old have unsupervised access to the internet'. Get a nice family computer in the living room or kitchen until then, get several if you like but don't let them hide in their bedrooms. As a parent you don't have to oversee everything they do just being around is enough to keep a lid on the worst excesses.

None of them ever take my advice.

DARPA, Microsoft, Lockheed team up to reinvent TCP/IP


@Mosh Jahan

Don't get me wrong I'm not against spending on research in to crazy stuff: That is where the future is to be found. My only beef is with the idea that the questionable business practices that have kept Microsoft at the top of the tree for so long will transfer over to Military technology. Failure is not an option and there is no recourse to law when it doesn't do what it was supposed to.

The thinking behind ARPAnet was to create a command/control network that would survive a nuclear attack and further that if the enemy knows your command/control will survive a nuclear attack they will be less likely to launch one. The survivable network concept was openly published in scientific journals to prove to the enemy that it worked. Trust in Microsoft's products is not very high. If Microsoft are involved in the creation of the next generation command/control network the trust in it's effectiveness is diminished and so the safety of the world is diminished also.


@Mosh Jahan

Good at business yes. Good at software... not so much.

Perhaps when Korea fires it's long range nuclear missiles at the USA the new protocols will automatically issue an injunction to prevent the use of missiles until a full review can be implemented or perhaps an IP infringement writ based on the use pointy shaped missiles. Maybe it will just lobby for a change in US law making the deployment of foreign made missiles in US airspace illegal.

Maybe they will just try to buy Korea.

El Reg launches 'Skinny Fit' fashion range

Thumb Down

not photoshopped?

You can tell this image has not been under the manipulators knife because her teeth and eyes are not massive and an unnaturally (and quite scary if you met her in real life) white.

Aerial laser gunboat 'burns hole in fender' of moving car

Thumb Up

You've got to love Lasers

A fantastically useful invention that has found millions of application yet steadfastly refuses to be turned into a weapon. In the process it burns up millions of dollars of military spending that would otherwise be used to kill people.

The only real military use is to make conventional weapons more accurate, which one could argue actually saves lives.

Laser FTW!

Hypnotist expands breasts, cures irritable bowels


Just got to write...

... to say that although I was sceptical at first, your hypnosis definitely affected my ability to be taken in by bullshit and I happily shelled out £40 of my hard earned for your flimsy flim-flam. I would never dreamed of doing so before I was brought on stage as part of act.

Thanks Knight Stage Hypnotist!

ID fraud prevention week fights UK's fastest growing crime


Fastest growing crime?

I disagree. Yesterday I pissed in a Wellington Boot for sale in Tesco's and put it back on the shelf. Today I've done it again three times already. That's a crime that has trebled overnight. Should the Daily Mail be made aware of the new fastest growing crime in Britain? Should there be a national body set up to counter this new terror? Of course not; fastest growing != biggest threat.

MSI Wind Top AE1900



Would make a nice touchscreen thin client if they added a vesa mount option...........

Ralph Lauren says sorry for incredible shrinking pelvis


@ lpopman EEWWWWHHH!

"The shaving of bits (i.e. the Brazilian) is more of a hygene thing than a paedophillia thing. It prevents things like lice, and helps keep the area clean of smegma and other such bodily secretions."

So it's because the person in question feels they stand a good chance of catching pubic lice and can feel that they are clean, fresh and clear of bodily secretions (their own or other peoples?) with just a change of pants (underwear in the US) that they shave off all pubic hair? I think I'll go for the hairy one next time they probably have a more realistic sense of proper hygiene. Anyway it's not paedophilia it's an over reaction to the fear of getting (or appearing to get) old. Why the fuck should it be considered wrong to ask a lady's age? Why is it considered a complement to say 'ooh, you don't look a day over x'? And what for christ's sake is the point of potions that 'Defy the seven sign signs of aging' (it makes me think of king Cnut 'defying' the tide). It perpetuates the myth that youth = attractiveness in order sell stuff that doesn't do anything. I'm in my forties and am finding that women in their forties are fun to be with and confident enough to talk openly about they want and what I want.

Back to the point though. I would like to see of evidence to back up the 'The public gets what the public wants' theory that a lot of fashion industry apologists at trotting out. What would be the point of lifestyle advertising if that were true.

I liked the suggestion on Mark Thomas's 'Peoples Manifesto' show that a law should be passed that advertisements could show only an untouched picture of the product and 3 verifiable facts about the product.

Microsoft sees no silver lining in Sidekick server snafu


Cloud Burst?...

... Storms expected later.

I'll get me ...

... umbrella

Google maximizes minimalist homepage madness


Re: Not minimalist enough for my liking

Do I really need to be there at all?

Ballmer mixed on Windows 7's success


@AC 07:31

"Was Windows 95 worse than Unix when it come to ease of use. I think not. The only other rival was a Mac, which at the time was roughly double the price of a pc and was only really used in publishing"

There where lots of alternatives to Windows when if first arrived, GEM for instance, Windows was far from the best of the bunch and wasn't really of merchantable quality until Windows 3.11 came along. By the time Win95 was out Microsoft had killed them all off with a combination of skilful marketing and questionable business practices.


Light at the end of the tunnel?

No it's the last train to irrelevance.

Microsoft know that the business model that has been so lucrative for so long has reached the end of it's life. Users lock in and the constant upgrade cycle only worked when the old version was badly flawed and no-one else could fix it. By a mixture of legal manipulation and technical incompetence they have managed to hold back innovation to get a few more cycles than they should have done but the truth is XP was acceptable. Yes W7 is good but is it worth the upgrade cost?

This is Balmer admitting that the golden age is over and Microsoft cannot plan on being able to use the vast and constant profits form Windows and Office to stifle competition and leverage its market. Microsoft works on monopoly positions, viable alternatives exist now and these can be used as a bargaining tool to drive down the price large corporates pay even if they never intended using them. They know that in the future they must to compete on an even playing field, no wonder Balmer is such an angry man.

MySpace confession sinks car-death conviction appeal


American muscle!

Doing 'up to 100mph' braked hard and lost control. I'll not be buying a Mustang then.

Egyptians uptight about 'Artificial Virginity Hymen'


Anybody read...

The Bell Jar? Now that is what I call proof of virginity.

MS plasters Ballmer's signature on Windows 7 special edition


A full set of playing cards!!

as opposed to what? a part set? a single suit edition? a single card to swap and collect with your friends?

Tories will let voters 'rewrite' legislation online


cynical... but true

Of course it just another channel to be ignored. The party moguls are safe seaters, their only worry is deselection by the party not by their constituents.

If they want people to get out and vote just put a 'none of the above' category on the voting slip.

Microsoft offers stickers to boost Windows 7 64-bit take-up


Anti-Netbook move?

Are they saying that in order to receive certification a vendor must be able to run Windows 7 on all it's products?

So if they make 64bit 'puters they must be able to run Win7 64bit and (as a completely unintended consequence) if they make netbooks they must be able to run win7 too. So any manufacturer who dares to deal in low spec or (god forbid) ARM based devices is not welcome in the Win 7 club.

Judge tosses out patent infringement verdict against Microsoft


What !!!!!!!!!

So the jury delivers it's guilty verdict and a judge says 'No you where wrong, the actual verdict is - not guilty'. What was the point of the jury and the expensive trial. If the judge knows best why not just ask him in the first place?

Nation's moral guardians snap over 'shag bands'


Hold on a sec...

Doesn't this make the wearing of a band an offer of sex. If the kid doesn't wear the band they are exempt from the 'game'. Seems a bit like if you can catch me you can <whatever> me.