* Posts by theSensibleGeek

33 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jul 2009

MobileMe drove Steve Jobs to foul-mouthed fury



Because giving all your data to Apple is SO much better! </eyeroll>

CenturyLink borgs Savvis for $3.2bn


Pedant Alert!

How can global fiber be less than national fiber? Last I checked, the nation was on the globe. Perhaps the verbiage should be changed to "The combined CenturyLink networks now span 207,000 miles of fiber nationally and 190,000 miles **abroad**."

MythBusters: Savage and Hyneman detonate truthiness


Episode 1

He didn't write the dialog, or make the decision to have a character named, of all things, Jar Jar Binks, so he's still good in my book as well. Dialogue and stupid characters notwithstanding, the movie was solid from a visual standpoint.

Microsoft wraps Windows 8 in Ribbon UI?


What's the big deal?

I'm not sure why folks are making a big deal about ribbons. It's basically the same thing as the old dropdown menus except you don't have to go through those silly nested menus, and the last "menu" you clicked on stays active after you click it, which is nice for doing things repeatedly.

While yes, I had to learn where they had put stuff, the usage pattern really isn't all that different.

Folks that have smoke coming out their ears seem to just be anti-learn something new.

The same backlash happened when MS went from the 3.1 interface to the 95 interface, and again when they changed the default start button look at feel in XP. And yet, all those changes have ultimately proved (in my own usage) to be positive changes.

So suck it up, tech weenies, and embrace the madness!

Microsoft's Google complaint not an April Fool



I'd go with "fairness". It's not hypocritical to expect others to be held up to the same standard as you.

Apple 'gay-cure' app severely slapped


Freedom of Expression

That's the thing about freedom - other people have it too.

You may not agree with what someone else says, but that doesn't revoke their right to say it. If I want my right to dissent to remain intact, I must defend someone else's right to say inflammatory, bigoted things because they have a RIGHT to both have and express that opinion. I have the right to despise them for it, but I do not have the right to duct tape their mouth shut.

Google copyright purge leaves Android developers exposed


Copyright vs Patent

What interesting is that based on how I understand copyright (I am not a lawyer), I could thoroughly review someone's GPL code, figure out how it works, then turn around and use the same concepts to write a piece of software that does the same thing and whose code is nearly identical. If the software were patented, then they could lay claim to the *process*, but copyright protects *content*, not *concept*, so unless I actually copied their code, even though my code accomplishes the exact same thing, using the exact same concepts, it's my code not their code, and copyright wouldn't seem to apply.

But as I said, I am not a lawyer.

Dear US gov: Stay the hell out of Silicon Valley



To have a sensible conversation, one must draw a distinction between regulation and intervention. Sensible, enforced regulations are not necessarily a bad thing, such as regulations that used to require banks keep a certain ratio of reserve to money lent. (a regulation, I might add, that government relaxation of has caused the various bubbles we've seen over the last 30 years). Regulations that require you to front at least half the face value of a stock when you buy at margin (instead of the 10% that was the rule before the 1929 crash) are sensible.

These things are passive in nature and serve to protect people from abusive practices. These things are the government playing referee, keeping the game fair and making sure the playing field doesn't have whirring saw blades protruding.

On the other hand, there is active governmental intervention, such as bailing out a bank, or an ailing car manufacturer, where the government takes a step further into not only protecting people from abuse, but trying to assume responsibility for people's success. In these examples, the government isn't the referee any more, they're a player. Refusing to allow GM to collapse, for example was one of the biggest affronts to the free market in known history. If a company is too bloated and sluggish to adapt to changing demands, they DESERVE to go under, thus making room for more innovative companies to succeed.

The last line of your comment is particularly unnerving. "the government [...] essentially had to clean up the mess they made AFTERWARDS." The government didn't HAVE to do anything. The government found it politically expedient to do something, or at least politically risky to do nothing. The beauty of a properly functioning free market is that the government doesn't have to screw around with it all the time. When the government starts meddling, they create market inefficiencies/imbalances, resulting in issues that then require further government meddling, repeat ad nauseum. The reality is that if the government kept its nose where it belonged (refereeing, not playing), many/most of the issues we've seen in recent memory would simply have never occurred in the first place.

We'd all be better off if the government didn't think it was their job to make people and businesses successful, and the only way that's going to happen is if people take responsibility for themselves. And therein, as they say, lies the rub.

Cameroonians cleared in 'surreal' dyed banknote scam


useless title

You can't cheat an honest man...

Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'



$10,000 in apps via gift card, which they'll never fully use.

And yet they'll still have the claim the $10,000 as income on their taxes (or would if they were American - not sure how British taxes work).

Horror AVG update ballsup bricks Windows 7


Jacka$$ M$

The thing that annoys me about Microsoft's Security offering is this:

Microsoft builds operating system that has security holes, and you pay to have it.

Microsoft builds software to plug security holes in it's own operating system, but you have to pay for that too.

WTF? If you can make software that plugs the holes in your OS, just effing plug the holes in the OS!!

Google ends 'do be evil, if you want a top ranking' policy



So now Google tells us what is "good" and "bad"...

Honestly, if you base your purchase decision on Google search rankings, you deserve to get fake glasses.

Tea Party activists accused of rigging Dancing vote to favour Palin



When it's an altogether meaningless vote on a game show that benefits the daughter of a conservative, OMG SHOCK HORROR!!!

When dead people elect a half-black liberal president, meh, no big deal.

Verizon: we like Microsoft, but not Windows Phone 7

Thumb Up

"...and its network is ripe with Blackberries."

I see what you did there...

BOFH: Little ups and downs

Thumb Up

Are you crazy?

When the hot chick comes over to the elevator, you invite her in and press 11 several times. Good times! Of course, she may just not be into you, in which case, put on your gas mask and press 12!

Superslim iPhone 4 enough to fend off Android?


@Stephen 10 & RichyS & jecrawford

@Stephen 10:

I don't think you and I actually have any disagreement. My point was that RichyS' comment was idiotic, because he assumed that the only reason people would buy an Android device over an iPhone was because they couldn't afford an iPhone. I was pointing out that the common costs to acquire each phone are comparable. Being as the average user will accept a contract, the contract price seems to be the most appropriate comparison. GIven your comment that the Droid seems to mop the floor with the iPhone 3GS, it seems clear to me that the reasons people would buy an Android over an iPhone extend quite a bit beyond affordability.


Yes, I picked pretty much the top end Droid phone. I also picked the top end iPhone that pricing is listed for, so I'm not sure that gives you anything. Secondly, Verizon's buy one get one free deal is because they released the Incredible, thereby decreasing demand for what could be considered the "previous gen" droid leader. Likewise, for the price of an iPhone 3GS, you could buy two previous gen iPhones.

Yes there are much cheaper Droid phones out there, but your initial comment doesn't make that relevant. Your implication was that the only reason someone would buy an Android phone over an iPhone is because they can't afford an iPhone. My point was that if someone can buy a Droid, they can buy an iPhone - therefore, if your implication is true, the Droid should have sold HORRIBLY. It didn't, and therefore, your implication is crap. You may have MEANT that the only reason someone would buy an old G1 is because they can't afford an iPhone, and were that the case, I might have even agreed with you, but that's not what you wrote.


Two for one is a way to move excess inventory, caused in this case by the release of a better, faster, stronger Android phone (HTC Incredible).

When you have too much product sitting in your inventory, and it's not selling very well, would you rather:

a) let excess inventory (for which you have already incurred costs) sit on the shelf, or

b) discount the excess inventory to move the product (thereby receiving revenue).

The choice seems pretty simple to me.



"Android's nice enough. And it's doing okay in certain sectors (like the lower end of the market populated by this magic age group the author talks about). You can bet they'll all get iPhones when they can afford one!"

iPhone 3GS: $199 @ Apple.com

Moto Droid: $199 @ VerizonWireless.com

Looking like an elitist tool: Priceless.

William Shatner to star in Twitter-inspired TV show



Um...Heroes is on NBC and Flash Forward is on ABC...

Pink Floyd remastered for Nintendo Entertainment System

Thumb Up


My life is complete.

Irate Aussies go after US website


America doesn't expect anything

@AC: "It seems America thinks other countries should obey it's laws (e.g. DMCA) but doesn't like it when the roles are reversed.

How arrogant."

It's not so much "America" that thinks the whole world should follow the DMCA - it's the RIAA and MPAA, to name a couple, which are comprised of record companies and movie studios, which are owned to a significant degree by foreign interests to begin with.

The average American finds the DMCA annoying as hell. Before you try to brand "America" as one unit (not that I'm surprised) you might want to get a clue first. Willful ignorance is far worse (and more dangerous) than arrogance.

Twitter bomb hoax man changes plea


The real question...

...is "what constitutes public vs private communication?"

Certainly, my highly visited website about the Beijing Tea Market would be considered public if I posted a "threatening message" there, but what about my family genealogy website? It's equally open to the public, but is visited less, which could open up a slippery slope of determining at what traffic level a "private" website becomes "public".

How about facebook and twitter, where the user can control the visibility of what they write? Surely, if my privacy settings only allow my friends and family to see my comments, then that should be considered private communication, in my opinion, but I'll bet the government would disagree.

If the government can decide what is public vs private arbitrarily, then what's to stop them from deciding that your phone call to your friend down the street is no longer private? What's to stop them from saying that your pillow talk with your spouse is no longer private? Clearly, what I say to my wife in our bed is no business of the government, but at what point does their right to classify our communications as public or private stop?

I hope this case addresses some of these issues, though I'm sure that ultimately it will just result, as it always does, with the little guy bending over as we slowly erode our freedoms.

Of course, there's always that question of whether people that are going to blow up airports warn them first...but that's just crazy talk...

Woman sues rail line for 'exploding' toilet



This is why we have sex ed. HIV is transmitted via blood, semen and vaginal lubrication... I suppose it's theoretically possible for there to have been a *ahem* crap-ton of blood in that toilet at the time, but come on... Use google before making an asinine comment.

Air France offers two-seat deal for fatties


Good and bad...

First, in the interest of full disclosure, let me say I am not a small man. I do however carry my excess primarily on my front, not on my sides.

The problem I have is my bloody shoulders. No matter how much weight I lose, my shoulders are not going to get any narrower, and it's not as if airplane seats are sized for Joe Average to begin with. So what do I do on an airplane? I cross my arms, or do whatever I can to roll my shoulders forward to decrease the total width of my torso. This usually results in an afternoon of discomfort for me, but they're my shoulders, and I shouldn't expect any one else to sacrifice their comfort on account of me.

Having said that, part of me is all for a compulsory extra seat purchase. The realist in me, however, asks the question of where to draw the line. If someone is 1 cm over "the line" they are "as bad" as someone who would literally fill up both seats. I just foresee "the line" being made smaller and smaller as airlines figure out it's an easy way to generate a lot more revenue.

One second-hand space shuttle: Yours for $29m


@AC 15:52

Innovation: "something new or different introduced"

Let's evaluate this based on the test of "seeing it in action for the first time".

Concorde? Please...it's derivative at best. Breed a supersonic fighter with a passenger jet. It was neither the first supersonic aircraft, nor was it the first passenger jet, it just combined the two. Upon seeing the Concorde for the first time, you'd be thinking something like "I know it goes really fast, but it looks like any other airplane. An oddly shaped one, but not that different.

Harrier? All together, not that impressive. The directed thrust idea was certainly a new thing, so I'll give that particular technology the term innovative, but the whole rest of the aircraft...not so much... Upon seeing a harrier take off vertically for the first time, you'd think "hey, that's a neat improvement on other fighters".

Now as for the space shuttle, I don't recall anything even close to a spacefaring reusable glider ever existing BEFORE the shuttle, so it's a simple matter of *fact* that it was innovative. It might not be all that new and exciting NOW, but it's also been flying for 29 years. Upon seeing the first shuttle launch, you'd be thinking "holy s***, this is a completely different way of going into space".

There really is no comparison. Don't get pissy just because Brits didn't invent it. It's not our fault the UK hasn't done anything useful in space exploration...well...ever...

El Reg sparks international incident with Olympics committee


Wrong Target?

Seems to me if your piece was quoting Cisco, that Cisco should sort their own shit out before they come crying to El Reg...

Word to the wise, Cisco: If you don't want to be quoted, keep your mouth shut.

Will Ferrell is Hollywood's most over-rated overpaid star


@ Mike Moyle

To be fair, the methods describe that they used each actor's last THREE films. If all of an actor's last 3 films sucked, it's either that actor's fault, or they really ought to be more selective of which roles they opt to take on...

NJ teen jailed over Scientology DDoS



First of all, doesn't the plaintiff have to show proof of financial harm in order to have such a monetary judgment passed?

Secondly, violent offenders get lighter sentences than this guy...

Can you say corrupt judge?

E-car driven from Dover to Calais


Speed Limit

The speed limit in the service passageways is actually 30.87 MPH, but they rounded up for print.

The reason is that if they went any faster, the drag caused by the car passing through the air would generate too much heat, which when added to the friction of the trains going through the tunnel, would throw the tunnel's environmental systems out of equilibrium.

Of course there's an alternative explanation that the service passageways are just REALLY narrow, but that's just crazy talk...

Dell refunds PC user for rejecting Windows



One would think a Linux geek would know better than to buy a Dell...

Make it yourself for half the price??

Malvertisers slapped by Microsoft lawsuits




A) make an OS that comes with the default privs set to full/admin (XP) for users.

B) Sell spots to malware authors with out actually doing a full check of their wares

C) sue them once you find out they are naughty, thus finishing off the 3 level of profit making."

Precisely. When MS came out with OneCare antivirus, I found myself scratching my head, thinking "If they can detect threats, why isn't it built into the OS to make it secure".

Then it turned out OneCare sucked donkey balls.


AMD to reverse pay cuts



"Who got the biggest pay cuts? So who was the first to reverse them?"

While I see what you're getting at, it's a little disingenuous. Who ELSE could have reversed the pay cuts, OTHER THAN the top brass? Answer: no one. As a result, this statement doesn't really have teeth.

Model-slag blogger sues Google for blowing her cover



You don't have the "right" to speak anonymously. You have the right to speak freely. The Supreme Court, on more than one occasion has affirmed that freedom of speech is not absolute. For example, you do NOT have the right to yell "fire!" in a theater. You do not have the right to speak threats against the President. You do not have the right to make bomb jokes at an airport.

Actually, you DO have those rights. The right to speak is not the same as the right to speak without consequence. The founding fathers wrote under pseudonyms, because what they were doing was treason, and they'd be executed for it. Hardly comparable to this lady's comments.

All in all however, good luck making the case for defamation. Unless her comments were adequately presented as factual, rather than statements of opinion, there's no defamation.

MySQL.com sites go dark


@ Nick Loman

"Well, given it is the place all the source code is distributed from, and where the documentation is located, and where the bug tracker is, and where the support forum lives etc. it might make it a bit hard if you were doing a new MySQL installation today, which I was! Serves me right I guess ..."

You're absolutely right, because there's nowhere else online where you can get mysql installers or support.