* Posts by pedrodude

43 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jul 2009

New York Times bans 'tweet'


Communication breakdown

So while we're all "tweeting" each other, people somewhere else will be "buzzing/facebooking/boinging/flarking/fucking" each other, while intrinsically WE'RE ALL DOING THE EXACT SAME THING BUT WE WON'T KNOW IT BECAUSE WE ALL CALL IT SOMETHING DIFFERENT YET EQUALLY MORONIC.

Are you familiar with this lingo?: @TristanYoung You are an ignoramus. plz RT


Ofcom sides with mobile operators on 0845


Problems either way...

That's still a progressive income tax though, regardless of whether it's banded or not. And US federal income tax is banded similarly as well. I don't think that any country does it like you mention in your second paragraph.

The OP's complaint was regarding the hypocrisy of the government (via Ofcom) in decreeing that this sliding scale system was "unfair" while income tax is done in more or less the same way. However, I wish him good luck in getting a flat tax law passed...

The issue isn't the amount of profit that the operators are making, after all they'll charge what the market can bear. The flaw lies in the market which is subject to statutory monopoly. The problem is that even if everything was deregulated, there'd still be a relatively small number of high-capacity exchanges controlled by an even smaller number of operators (wiki tells me this is called an oligopoly). There wouldn't be enough competition and the operators would be acting like a cartel and we'd still have inflated prices. Take SMS messages for example. Most PAYG texts are around 10-12p while they cost operators a fraction of a penny to send.

Solution? There probably isn't one as long as people continue to use centralised fixed line networks. However we should all switch to using Skype; we'll still get shafted on data rates but at least we'll have video!


Someone's been eating their Ayn Rand Weetabix

Totally agree with the sentiment but what's the solution? BT has a market monopoly on infrastructure (through BT Openreach, I think), would that really work any better if it were to be, for example, broken up?

The inefficiencies of the "progressive tax" by BT are probably more favourable (just) than the protectionism that would arise if it were broken up and deregulated.

And you've heard of the only two certainties in life right?

Sarko to walk tall in factory visit


Keyboard now, please.

Just seen the "shortarse" tag. That's why I read El Reg.

Bullfighter cuffed for lack of cojones

IT Angle

IT angle?

This story is a load of bull. 'Nuff said.

Google lets puny humans choose the news


Out of the frying pan...

So Google's pseudo-pagerank for news is being replaced by pseudo-brainrank? Doesn't seem like an improvement. At least if the algorithm listed the Daily Mirror next to the Economist, you forgave it, because it was a dumb machine. I find dumb humans much harder to forgive.

NASA telescope gazes into heart and soul of universe


Atheism as pragmatism

@ D@v3: Maybe preachyboy's purposefully confusing the term with "infidel" or "kafir". It would be interesting to know whether he does mean atheists or any other non-muslims.

@J1: You seem to be implying a point about atheism requiring a similar leap of faith as required by religion, except that atheism has no underlying guidance or morals from god or his prophets, making it presumably more anarchistic and corrupt. Well in a sense that's probably very true, but in my opinion it seems better to live a life based on what you can prove is before you rather than but what may or may not exist outside our perception. Why rely on that to determine your life choices? The only truly reliable agent to oneself IS oneself.

Oh but there's "external proof" to Islam is there? The teachings of the prophets perhaps? They were human beings too, and just as prone to fallibility as any atheist or kafir you could care to name. And even if they were entirely accurate in their spreading of god's teachings, can you honestly guarantee that their teachings passed down the hundreds/thousands of years between then and now entirely unaltered? We certainly can't with Islam or any other religion for that matter, as evidenced by the many different denominations those religions have.

So my final question is: How did an article about a big telescope become such a massive philosophical discussion? Doesn't anyone care about the amazing feat of engineering this is? The thing is giving us the most detailed infrared sky survey ever! That's not one but TWO nebulae in that photo! For us slightly-advanced primates to even be seeing that is mind-boggling enough without bringing religion into it. Honestly, we're never satisfied, are we?

Google redirects China to uncensored Hong Kong servers


Risky strategy though...

It's a bit risky for google if they are doing this for future profits though. Depends on whether the "income" percentave quoted refers to revenue or EBIT, but either way you slice it, it is still a fair few tamales. Would you really accept a [guaranteed] elective loss of 1%-2%, plus the opportunity cost of losing access to all that growth potential (they've only got 33% market share and according to this morning's City AM the chinese search market is growing 40% annually)?

It defies all conventional business logic as to why they're doing this; perhaps they've foreseen a dot-com bubble style crash in the Chinese market and want to re-enter at a later date (and perhaps even accelerate it!).

But it's dangerous because it will naff off the chinese who absolutely do not capitulate, they'll retrench and make things harder for everyone else within the market (they currently have the luxury of being able to consider saving face as a far more important factor than having an open market). Also it sets Google up for a bit of a fall. Will they now also pull out of Australia if Conroy's internet censorship plan gets approved? No business (not even Google) can afford to have a case of ethics/politics for too long.

ICANN delays decision on pornography domain


Why object? Because it's a stupid idea, that's why.

I don't think anyone's saying it will legitimise porn, as it's legitimate already... It will only make parental control easier for those websites that voluntarily migrate their presence to the new TLD. There will be nothing to stop them from maintaining their presence on other TLDs, unless you regulate them... and THAT'S where the issue is. Soon everyone will be arguing about what is sexually explicit and what isn't and politicians will make unnecessary and unenforceable laws based on subjective interpretations/populism and something that in the vast majority of cases is harmless and safe will be made illegal and stigmatized.

If anyone wishes to play the "we must protect the children" card, then good education is the solution, not restricting freedoms.

Bing shies away from gay-as-day search results in Arab countries


Good business

While totally agreeing with Cameron Colley's sentiment, it's not good business to deny yourself access to quite a large and lucrative market as the Middle East just because the customers are "stoneage twats". However backward or non-open or traditionalist they (or the Chinese as you also mentioned) may be, their money is as valid as anyone else's.

A business simply can't afford to concern itself with moral issues to the detriment of maximising profit.

British Library wants taxpayer to gobble the web



So it's fair to archive the web using an objective agent (in this case a mindless bot) to ensure no preferential revisionism or whatever. Fine, I've got that. But how is it fair to introduce yet another special interest tax on everyone, to archive this [mostly] crap for the few people who do want it. If people do want this stuff then it should be privately funded by donors or trusts and--- oh look! what's this? It's www.archive.org, what does that do?

And no it's true that it isn't a request for funding, but er... yes it is because where the hell do they think the cash to cover this is going to come from? Muggins here, that's who!

No consistency, and no bloody thought gone into this. BL fail.


We already know how

Not disputing your facts but Archive.org IS the way to do it. Yes it's slow and relatively backward, but that's because no-one's attempted to compete with it. It would certainly drive progress if another rival internet archive which was far more usable than the clunkyness that they're currently offering.

Global warming worst case = Only slight misery increase



Er and because cost overheads would be reduced... The reason businesses like to sell few amounts of high profit items is because it costs less in materials, administration, tooling, workforce, etc.

If a company's making miniscule profits, regardless of how big it's sales are, it might get a little hairy if say, a disruptive technology comes in or a supply-chain issue forces your overheads up, and you've got no room to maneuver. And by hairy I mean losses, job cuts, liquidation, and other little things generally considered as bad things for a business...

Somebody please explain to this guy how economics works.


So what do you suggest?

Be real. It's not so dramatic as that. Hardly any for-profit farmers are the 1-family 1-field 1-cow type farmers you seem to think they are.

For-profit farmers in regions that are so fragile and sensitive to disruption (let's face it, you're hardly going to turn up one year and find that your crop which was growing so lush and verdant last year is now barely managing a single green shoot in a dusty ash wasteland) shouldn't live there then because it's obvious that they're living on a volcano or behind a dragon's arse or something.

If they can't see it coming (declining year-on-year yields would be a BIG hint) or can't make a switch to a different crop (I think you'll find that generally the expertise and ingenuity magically appears when you're trying to make ends meet) then they need to get out of the agriculture industry. If they're farming for profit they should be treating it as a business anyway and hedging their bets across a diverse selection of crops.

And if they are living somewhere where only one thing grows at a time and is only fertile with the greatest of effort (presumably this would necessitate you being a subsistence farmer anyway) you need to get out and find another line of work or become an economic migrant or something.

(Not that they should should all of the blame of course, reducing farming subsidies/import tariffs in the EU would go far as well...)


Scarcity is the key

No... you haven't thought it through.

Ignoring subsistence farming (which does not significantly affect the balance of trade), food is typically produced at a surplus in developed countries, thanks to advances in agriculture tech. This drives the prices down so far that the EU/US have to step in to protect the industry (in the name of guaranteeing food supply) with subsidies, import tariffs, etc. that artificially increase demand for EU crops, meaning external producers find it hard to compete.

If global production is affected, it will affect the overall food supply; and because there will be less food to go around, prices (and therefore profitability) for all farmers will increase. This, in addition to the relaxation in protectionism that the EU/US will have to accede to (again to guarantee supply), should allow external producers to benefit from a more even playing field, even if global warming does make it harder to produce.

The myth of Britain's manufacturing decline

Thumb Down

Not very neighbourly...

Aren't we all supposed to be citizens of the world? It'd be nice to not make arms for a change wouldn't it?

(Unless we become spacefaring and have to nuke all the nasty green men before they get the probes out. Then it's fine.)

Motorola Devours el cheapo Androidphone market


Industrial design win!

Despite the budgetness of this phone, I feel it's the best looker amongst all of the qwerty-keyboarded slidey phones out there. Looks like something a stormtrooper might use to check their facebook... Not a bad thing.

The name is awful though..

Steve Jobs uncloaks the 'iPad'

Dead Vulture


Are we in fact 12 years old?


Firefox 3.6: I am more than my Monkey



It took surprisingly long for the Opera Fanb0is to start chiming in this time. Hopefully because they're becoming rarer...

French culture minister flames Google over book scan plan


El Reg strikes again

Nothing really to say about the article but props to El Reg for "Francoslap". You owe me a keyboard!

Nexus One bits and bobs cost $174


Charging what the market can bear...

If people are willing to shell out upwards of £40/month or £450 pay as you go for a Jesus H Jobs phone is it really any surprise that Google's retail price is similar? It's all the fault of the idiots who are happy to pay what really is a huge amount of money when you think of it, for a silly phone which is really not all that swish (even with all that mobile internet device stuff).

Avatar renders this earthly life meaningless


Gotta be...

... a wind-up. All of it really. There just can't be anyone THIS stupid. (Just gotta keep repeating that to myself!)


AC you owe me...

... a new keyboard!

Mozilla tries to silence add-on developers' scream



Some extensions are unnecessary though, especially many of the available UI customisation ones lacking any functionality except to to make FF look good in Aero or whatever. FF has personas, leave it at that.

Having said that I oppose the lockdown in principle; it's the user's own fault if they install a near useless UI tweak and then it goes and breaks on them when it's time to upgrade.

France floats Google music-and-movie tax


Added value?

Second this post.

If you're going to consider piracy a crime, then by all means set-up punitive measures that discourage the practice. But don't punish internet companies to prop up victims of the crime. What did the internet companies do to deserve this?

And anyway, taxation isn't supposed to be financing restitution for victims, it's supposed to fund public projects where the government adds value. How exactly is the french government really adding value here? It's not really preventing the crime by addressing the causes (an industry that won't adapt), it's just dreaming up more draconian punishments that are a waste of time and money.

Immigration spy centre hit by staff delays


Matching by the lowest bidder...

Agree with that; as if 2 GCSEs is going to sufficiently differentiate a candidate from one with 0 GCSEs...

What worries me is the wage offer. I don't want to be pulled up by the cops for invasive cavity searchingness just because someone who wasn't intelligent enough to realise that they could make more cash as a sales assistant in Next didn't realise that I wasn't the same person as Osama bin Pedrodude.

And the sodding icing on the cake is that this is OUR bloody taxes paying for these slack-jawed yokels to finger the button that determines whether WE get fingered by PC Jobsworth looking for our massive stash of coke and semtex that we've supposedly picked up on holiday in the well known terrorist training camps of the 18th arrondissement.

No sir, I don't like this at all.

British laggards told to embrace their digital futures



Ok sort your nomenclature out BCS. Just because they don't know their facespace from their blogtube doesn't mean they're neanderthals. They know how to use libraries and you know... face-to-face contact and all that - all very valid and efficient ways to "access and use" information last time I checked.

Also as if anyone needs more than say 10% of the "information" most people are peddling around. Twitter, I'm looking at you.


Superconductor forcefield to shield re-entering spacecraft?


The real question...

Will it dissipate a phaser beam? Or a direct hit by photon torpedo?

Honestly people, how are we ever going to conquer the galaxy without asking these basic questions?!

On a slightly more serious note, what happens if there's a power failure? BBQ astronaut presumably...

When algorithms attack, does Google hear you scream?

Thumb Up

Nice one El Reg

I'm with commentards Trevor Pott and Steve 116. Excellent article!

Google should no doubt receive praise for it's swish, powerful, and usable product offerings but the extent of their hegemony throughout the internet means that even the most minor developments, such as the "hundreds" of changes to their search algorithm need to be thoroughly scrutinized as their effects are highly influential.

Is this the world's dirtiest PC?


I know it's Friday and all that...

... but how is this news?

Samsung Galaxy i7500

Dead Vulture

"this one doesn't really deliver the goods just yet."

... and yet you still give it a 70%. Surely the criminally short battery life of "less than a day" usage despite non-constant use and having an OLED screen would knock more than 30% off the score alone, even if all the rest were completely awesome. Care to justify that?

And yes, I know it's subjective; so how about a review score breakdown, with categories like:

* Style

* Features

* Usability

* Ruggedness

* Endurance

* Value for money

I know those aren't perfect but at least they're slightly less arbitrary...

Mozilla plots Firefox interface overhaul


@ stephen 8

Menu bars are sooo passé. I'm guessing Mozilla are going to put all your precious options in the "Tools" button on the right. Everything else is just superfluous clutter and in most cases has been bypassed by ff extensions/other browsers... It's about time that FF windows got a redesign. In fact, my vote is simply to hand all FF design decisions to Aza Raskin and let him get on with it. Granny might not be able to use it, but boy will it be swish.

Although I do agree with the eye candy sentiment. Forget the interface, priority should be with developing Jetpack and Weave. Pretty it up later.

Asus waves farewell to (laptop) fans


Apart from all of the previously mentioned flaws...

... that creaking squeaking sound it makes when opening or closing the hinge is simply ridiculous! Hardly fits with the futuristing image they're trying to give it.

Bloody inadequate engineering...

Sony designs 360° 3D TV


Regardless of whether it's really 360°...

...It's still a nifty piece of industrial design. Even if it is just a limited viewing angle led screen wrapped around a pole.

UK government ignoring own rules on open source


Police the document?

Er... shouldn't the point be that software is chosen on best value in terms of fit-for-purpose versus total cost of ownership? If that happens to result in (as in a lot of cases where retraining would be required) proprietary software being chosen, so be it. Managers shouldn't have open source shoved in their faces as they'll just choose whatever is the most similar clone of what they've been using, which may not be the best choice.

The point is to remove any barriers to choosing a different software vendor. Not push people in a direction if they don't see any benefit to it, gonna do wonders for user satisfaction that way... If anything, regulate contract lengths perhaps. Otherwise these particular whingeing OS vendors would do well to shut up and concentrate on developing killer products and marketing them.

Labour to push for broadband tax before election


Wireless uptake

I'm *almost* seeing an advantage in that it'll increase the attractiveness of mobile networks and therefore hopefully speed investment and development on that front. But that's the only fucking advantage.

Otherwise, they can take a hike and stop trying to tell everyone they know better than us what to do with our money. Socialist bastards.

Here's hoping this is just a feeler to gauge the public's reaction and hasn't been inked into the budget.

iPhone and Windows Mobile get the (Gmail) Push

Dead Vulture

@ Monty Burns & @censored

Second both of your comments.

It's astonishing that el reg is lambasting usability. Care to explain?

Database containing 1.8m UK postcode locations leaks online

Thumb Up

@ mariushm

Spot on, mate.

Sony Ericsson's Pureness set for pre-Christmas launch


I love it! ...wait....

Genius! So presumably the transparent touchscreen, combined with a forward facing camera and a hardware spec and OS capable of running high-power image registration software, means that we're moving a step closer to Augmented Reality HUDs, perfect for applications such as Wikitude AR Travel Guide (on Android), without the associated battery drain from a full brightness video display! FTW!

Oh wait, a terrible thought's just entered in to my head... Oh please don't tell me that this is being done just to be cool... Please tell me that this is actually a well-engineered progression towards practical AR. It isn't, is it?


So instead, the biggest revelation in this story is the lack of exclusivity. Oh good grief.

British troops get nifty techno-gunsights


Second Richard 81

Get the best, wherever it's made. Might force British industry to up its game.

Firefox 3.6 trots into first alpha



Brilliant intro, then all went wrong. I don't think there's any more to say than that really...

British Council faces legal action for offshoring



Ahh yes, jumped the gun in my readiness to rant. Thanks for that; my plain english obviously isn't up to scratch, guess I'm ready to be shipped overseas...?

We need a looking sheepish icon...

Thumb Down


This kind of irrational short-term thinking is bloody typical of these protectionist unions. The British Council's offices are located in India! They're willing to penalise the taxpayer who will end up subsidising the higher wage demands of UK workers and their transport out to India, in addition to all local orientation/accommodation costs that this will surely incur, simply to protect a paltry 100 UK jobs for a short period of time. Even if it were 10,000 jobs, the business benefits of employing a cheaper workforce in terms of easing the tax burden on the UK would outweigh the temporary preservation of UK jobs.

We're never going to get to a truly globalised world if the unions keep getting in the way of free markets like this. All to satisfy their members who are too stupid to realise that they're giving a disproportionate voice to idiots like this, in return for benefits that are nominal at best.

No I don't work for either the British Council or have a grudge against the PCS. Just an angry capitalist.