* Posts by Ball boy

125 posts • joined 10 Aug 2009


Don't be shy, vendors: Let's see those gorgeous figures

Ball boy

Okay, say I buy an array of disk that claims (and can back it up with evidence) that they're hitting the 5 9's. I do the same with the server box and switches, etc.

It's all fine until I stick an OS on and then load an application on top of that - anyone seen any claim for reliability from an app? Yes, I can have multiple copies running in a cluster but they'll all suffer from a generic code fault (a modern Y2K bug, for example) at exactly the same time and make a mess of my systems' reliability.

Surely any business wants to know how reliable their full system will be - what the failure rate is for a sub-component of it is only of passing interest but how would any vendor go about offering trustworthy data?

Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

Ball boy

My money's on this being nothing more important than a pair of handlebars from a Martian bog-trotter. Poor chap went in the mud a little too deep, got suck and abandoned it (Martians are rich enough not to care 'cause Mars is a tax haven even Vodafone are jealous of). The mud hardened and, eventually became the rock Curiosity is now driving over.

Yobbo's have since stripped them of the brake levers and switchgear. I wouldn't advise Curiosity to go back to examine it in detail; if those swines are still about, they'll nick the explorer's wheels for sure.

O2, GiffGaff network goes titsup for unlucky punters

Ball boy

Re: Giffgaff?

Thank goodness for El Reg. I've got problems & have rebooted, moved the SIM to a spare phone and still got nowhere.

Oh - and as of 17:20 the O2 website's support section is nothing more than a terse message saying "Knowledge Server is temporarily busy. Please try again." Helpful, no?

Microsoft's Azure cloud down and out for 8 hours

Ball boy

Re: Yay I finally beat the odds!

Not so fast: it's 'only' the management interface that's down so your app. should still work fine.

BTW: management is up now - 14:40 as I write this - provided you don't want to manage any Database, Datasync, Reporting or Service Bus, Access Control and Caching settings.

So, just the Hosted Service, Storage Account & CDN or Virtual Network configs available then.

What's the betting this resolves itself as the data centres move out of the Leap year 'danger zone'?

El Reg to unleash rocket-powered spaceplane

Ball boy

Working title

The project might be LOHAN but as any fule kno, the ship itself will need a nickname.

Following on from the success of PARIS may I humbly propose 'High Hilton', complete with a suitable graphic? Perhaps her ladyship in reclining form underpinned with a long white line representing...err...the exhaust gasses.

Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'

Ball boy

Argument for expensive cable?

Okay, tongue in cheek but here goes:

Of course you need an expensive cable for HDMI / TV 2.0 or whatever else I'm selling! The reason is simple: if you're watching, say, motor sport from Japan, the signal has to come from many, many miles away and this final selfless act on your part helps ensure the quality is right up there.

Sold. Wasn't so hard now, was it? ;)

btw: 2.5mm twin and earth (ignore the earth line) for speakers is excellent. Far better than bell wire because, believe it or not, moving a bass unit requires current and with only an 8 Ohm load, that 0.25 Ohm in-line resistance starts to make itself noticed. As a number of people have said over the years, improving on the standard bell wire for speakers is the cheapest, most cost-effective upgrade most HiFi owners ever need do...

Boffins build copper-crunching laptop cooler

Ball boy


...and with a surname like yours, Francis, I'd be surprised if you couldn't think of a relational law that concerns gases.


Prof debuts miniature laser diode for fast networking

Ball boy

Brazilian in orbit?

Old news: Marcos Pontes was the first Brazilia.....ah, I'm with you now. <snigger>

It's a joke: don't feel compelled to believe I'm a fool; enough already think this - but then they probably know me better than you do.

Police expert caught with abuse images

Ball boy

Worrying fact

This guy was an 'IT expert' who worked for the Police. And it didn't cross his mind to hide his perversion behind TruCrypt or something? That's the real IT angle: how little one needs to know & yet be classed as an expert. <sigh>

Mobile spyware tool helps paranoid spouses prove themselves right

Ball boy

Locked down phones?

To support applications like this and other 'user tracking' tools (I'm neither promoting or dismissing them) but also to prevent the spread of viruses, isn't it time smart phones came with multiple levels of login? I might like to install something on my kids' phone - but if they're as tech-savvy as the media always makes out, they'll be able to remove it.

Good example? Soon, it'll be hard to get a phone that doesn't have fast connections and a browser...one slip of the finger and, whoops!, up comes some interesting pr0n. I'd like to securely install a site blocker and so on. C'mon Andriod: you've got no excuses ;-)

Nissan readies ultra-low CO2 petrol engine for Micra

Ball boy

It's not about CO2

If we were really interested in charging for CO2, we'd be playing merry hell with the fire extinguisher and dry-ice manufacturers! Yeah, yeah, okay. So there's not that many of them but even so...

However: if - and it's a very big if - we all changed to ultra-low emission cars, our wonderful overlords would simply raise the barrier to qualify for the zero rating.

I'm waiting for portable technology that splits CO2 back into carbon and oxygen: a car that smells very fresh but sh*ts pencils? Count me in! ;-)

Airport face-scanning robots switched off

Ball boy

So what value do we get from these?

“There was no breach of security or immigration control. E-Gates are used in conjunction with manual checking by border officials and in this case both individuals were stopped by the Immigration Officer responsible for supervising the gates."

So this farcical recognition system is being 100% duplicated by...err.. the very people these systems are meant to be replacing!

It's obviously a nice contract to win as a IT supplier but, heck, this is coming from the public purse!


Dutch develop world's largest touchscreen

Ball boy

Minority Report

Hey! Tom: we've finally got your wavy-hand interface working! All we need now is a police state and thought crime. Oh, hold on... ;-)

Italian white van man nudges sound barrier

Ball boy

what was he overtaking?

...another white van, natch.

As you say, there's nothing faster....

Ball boy

White van man in Doppler gun run

C'mon Lester, you're known for good subtitles but you're missing an opportunity for a good^H^H^H pun!

What's all this about checking facts and engines exploding? Umm... you're not taking this reporting as a factual event, surely? Tell me the readers of El Reg have more common sense than /that/....

Mine's the one with a plaid effect. I call it my Reality Check (geddit?) No, oh, never mind...

Pentax 645D medium format digital camera

Ball boy


H2's aren't /that/ expensive - I can get a new '40 with an 80mm on it for 12.5k GBP. The Pentax, at 10k, isn't what I'd describe as 'fraction' of the 'blad. If you were thinking of the newer H4's I might agree with you - but you'd not be comparing like with like if you did because the 4's are far higher spec.

However, interesting to see that the US price is also 10K..but in Dollars. If I were getting a couple of bodies for a business , I'd be seriously better off taking a flight over the pond. What, no guarantee on grey imports? I'd have it under an extended cover anyway 'cause they're not exactly disposable items. Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing when it comes to getting a decent deal? ;-)

419ers strip lonely heart mum of £80k

Ball boy

A parallel?

Change 'US Soldier' for 'software house' and 'lonely housewife' for 'application implementation engineer' and I think you'll find we're all gullible to shelling out for something that, if we really had our head screwed on, we would't have believed in for a minute.

Yeah, I'm making fun but there's a problem here that we experts should concern ourselves with: not everyone can tell fact from fiction as easily as others and aren't professionals the very people the vulnerable rely on for protection?

Boffins squeeze a mesh onto Android handsets

Ball boy

re: not really

May I question some of your logic?

"If [a] government wanted to, they could jam the wi-fi band and still stop all communications in an area.

So creating a 'mesh' really wouldn't be a good idea and it would probably let them know where you are"

True in theory but it will prove difficult to jam a network that was designed /from the outset/ to cope with some relays going missing. Depending on the geographic area (and knowing that both the spectra and the antennas that are used for WiFi is, by nature, reasonably short-ranged) this could require a load of power in multiple locations. Not always easy to lay down.

"But if your objective would be to get the word out... You'd want to set up a series of packet switched networks run by ham radio operators. Much harder to detect and jam."

I'd disagree - 'ham' operators (an Americanism we prefer not to use over here, btw) are known to the authorities. To make matters 'worse', their PSN usually operates at 145 and 432MHz - and at high power (massive power compared to an Android) - using physically visible antenna systems. I know which chap I'd rather go hunting for...

Having said that, in a situation where there's been a disaster, the radio operator is usually first up and running with voice rather than data because it has less reliance on 3rd party components to decode, it can be used - if required - by non-trained, non-skilled operators and it's fast to relay messages in the voice modes. Give them a big enough disaster and they'll turn to morse code because it'll get through when nothing else does (frequently, there's nothing but 'make do' kit and antennas available) - but it's slow relative to voice and in practice there's nowhere near enough skilled proponents these days to be confident there'll be one on hand, as it were.

"you'd want to restore SMS/Text services first since it would allow more people to communicate"

I'd suggest the very last thing you want when you're passing priority or emergency traffic is a ton of regular users all trying to send messages of singular importance: one of the first acts of RAYNET (the UK's answer to this communications need) is to set up a net controller who's job is to manage the relaying of messages and that priority is given to - and bandwidth reserved for - urgent traffic. Allowing a precious resource like this to be (ab)used by the general public is inviting a communications collapse.

Sporting events? RAYNET 'do' the London Marathon (and other events) to hone their skills whilst offering a valuable service to the core emergency services. In the event of a serious disaster, I predict these guys would be up and running way before the phone network got off the ground.

Rescue mission begins for Hitchhiker's Real Guide

Ball boy

/sell/ it to us? How's that work, then?

Hold on: the BBC is a Corporation wholly owned by the British taxpayers...I pay my tax and therefore I already own the H2g2 site and wouldn't have to buy it from the BBC!

Granted, we should /sell/ it (at maximum profit) if we're letting a non-tax payer take ownership but if it stays in the UK, it should be a non-profit transfer of domain management.


Okay, okay. Anyone who remembers British Gas' 'if you see Sid, tell him', the days before *Water PLC and so on will recognise that Government take a very..err..specialist view of 'ownership'.

Where's my Wealth of Nations when I need it?

Tory MP accidentally endorses... German pr0n site

Ball boy

Politicians checking websites?

Only now do we realise the impact of de-seating Jackie Smith: her husband would have been a shoe-in for such an important and stressful job!

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

Ball boy

Less fatal fix for your flaw

only $999? Okay, so he'd have to buy 10 copies of his own app...Do I have to think of everything around here? ;-)

Oh noes – they've stolen the internet!

Ball boy


What's that mean, then?

Surely it'd be 'half-inched' if you're after local flavour?

Harder to read = easier to recall

Ball boy


You can't do that and not let on how!

Samsung EX1 compact camera

Ball boy

Fast lens != always good quality images

"A fast lens delivers pin sharp detail, perfect contrast and no cheap special effects like vignetting and colour shifts in the corners"

You sure about that? I think you'll find that a fast lens requires far more careful crafting of the elements if it's to remain free of defects and the likes of Nikon, Canon, Mamiya, etc. all charge a premium for their faster optics for a good reason: they're horribly expensive to make well.

You'll also find that most lenses perform at their best (if, by 'best' we mean free of distortions) when they're stopped-down 3 to 4 from wide open. If anything, vignetting is more likely to happen with /any/ lens when it’s wide open because, by definition, you're pushing the very limits of the optics. Stop down a couple and you'll also get more tolerance to focus because you'll get a greater Depth of Field.

Will you get punchier images with a fast lens? No, not necessarily. Arguably, it’ll help to some degree but in digital kit contrast is more affected by the anti-aliasing and pre-processing filters than by the f-stop. Oh - and colour shifting /brought on by aperture alone/ is usually associated with very high f-numbers (32 and above – well beyond the reach of almost all amateur-grade kit) but shifting will happen regardless; it’s even more frighteningly expensive to manufacture optics that bring the entire visible spectrum to focus on one plane than it is to make them distortion-free at wide apertures (the red dot that was a few degrees past the ‘normal’ focus marker on their old 35mm lenses was there to show the focus offset one needed to apply if shooting with IR film).

Aside from that, an interesting article.

Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED 3D TV

Ball boy

Sum up?

So, it's broadly the same as the box reviewed in September but bigger. The sound's not outstandingly good - but if you're able to afford 2100 on a display unit, you're more than likely to have a dedicated system for sound anyway. The main difference is the inclusion of 3D tech. but that's not widely supported now, nor will it be for the next three or four years (again, if you're prepared to shell out 2k for this feature now, you'll be back for a 3D 2.0 setup in three years' time regardless).

So, who's this device aimed at? If they're AV buffs, they'll want 'box that's pure 'V', leaving all the 'A' to other kit. If the intended market is the general buying public then it's overpriced. Perhaps the target buyer is anyone with a very high disposable income? If so, these are (generally) not that interested in knowing if this is technically any good - so I'd question if Reg. is the right place for a review: 'Surrey's Banker Belt Digest' would be a better bet....

Just saying. Mind you, it does look nice. For the money, I'd expect to be able to change the bezel to blend it better with my decor, especially if it has the Ambipure or whatever it's called that lights up the walls ;-)

Hoxton social media types hit by Silicon Roundabout power cut

Ball boy

<none required>

Ummm....hate to be the pedant here but most types of wanking don't /require/ electricity.

Perhaps you meant: Wanker Nathan Barley types like that require large doeses of electricity. Ideally, delivered via damp sponges.

okay, okay..I'm leaving...

(who's this Barley character anyway?)

Ion readies book scanner for e-book buffs

Ball boy


Slightly off topic now but isn't this what the ALTO XML extensions were designed to address?

Maintained by The Library of Congress (www.loc.gov/standards/alto/)

Ball boy

Book scanning

Ah, an area I /can/ add professional comment at last! To address many of the comments:

Bulk book scanning is possible - indeed, there's many providers out there that cater for it today (both for rare books that need delicate handling and for 'normal' processing). You can buy hardware that turns pages - but it's pretty expensive and usually reserved for high-volume processing work. When the book can be sacrificed, I'd suggest the average joe will get far, far better value by cutting the spine off and using a quality sheet-fed scanner.

Non-destructive book scanning requires more intelligent processing too - without a glass plate over each page, which is slow to manipulate and consequently expensive in terms of time and hardware, the pages will curve and the resulting images require a camera that allows for depth of field variations - not something the cheap end of the market caters for that well. The image will also contain lines of text that curve; again, something the processing software needs to take account of (searching for 'straightening curved text lines' would be a good start!)

No matter what book scanner you select (I assume we're not in the 'pro' end of the market now), you'll have to light the work correctly. What usually happens is that two lights are provided, positioned outside the left and right edges and angled in at about 45 degrees. This avoids reflections and ensures the page is lit evenly and there's minimal contrast changes over the image. However, I'm not sure how you'd achieve this with the Book Saver as there's nowhere the lights could go without casting a glare into one camera or the other. This implies the whole workspace will have to be very well - and evenly - lit. This is expensive: to get a decent, high-contrast image requires a lot more light than most of us are usually working under. To keep illumination consistent, given the legs and overhead box casting shadows? An angle poise or two simply 'ain't going to cut it.

If you have very delicate material, it should go without saying that you're better off leaving the job in the hands of the experts - the hardware costs alone will put you off trying it yourself - but for personal or occasional use you could consider taking photographs with a digital camera, paying attention to strong and even lighting of course - I can't stress this enough, and submitting the images to your software of choice. At a push, use your Smartphone camera (again, there's software out there designed to handle the distortions that mobile camera images delight us with)

Of course, you might want to check and correct any errors in the OCR before you finally convert to your format of choice. If you're creating PDFs, you'll need to use OCR software that can give you an ability to review and correct the text - not all do this.

Have fun.

Speed-cam stats to be published, indicates gov

Ball boy

Farborough speeding policework

That'll be the same section of road where they nicked everyone by parking-up the monitoring van over the double-yellow lines in said side street, I'll bet. Yes, was clearly okay to violate one law to catch people breaking another!

It's all stopped now but what a lot of fuss for 6-700 yards of road and I did wonder why they bothered. Your logic is entirely reasonable!

BTW: monies raised by speeding fines don't go to ACPO but instead end up in the Treasury's pocket. Yes, arguably ACPO get some of this dosh - but then so do you in any state handouts you might qualify for!

Ford cars get draconian parental controls

Ball boy
Big Brother

Good idea

Lock the radio to only deliver BBC R4 or Classic FM* and you'll avoid any child wanting to borrow the car in the first place. Mind you, how long before said 18 year old works out how to defeat the system? If the popular press are to be believed, kids are more adept at IT than the average parent and I foresee dad being the one who gets locked out! Also: odds on getting locked out while on holiday and Ford having to recover the car to your local dealer to repair it? And the ‘repair’ bill (a.k.a. password reset)? Steller, I would imagine.

If you're going to control the cars speed, wouldn't it be better to know where it is first? I don't want to be stuck behind someone’s idea of a ‘safe’ 35MPH lockdown when the kiddie takes the car down a dual-carriageway running between two towns** – that’s more likely to cause problems than avoid any.

* For the non-British readers, BBC R4 is a news and current affairs program. Classic FM is, as you can well imagine, focused on 'real' music - you know, the stuff with tonal range and variations in its volume.

**Out of town dual-carriageway, out of peak times, usually has traffic running at about 60 MPH

Ball boy

Re. yes and no

Cheaper insurance? C'mon, it won't make a blind bit of difference! You see, if you have the options on then the insurance guys will assume you know 'you' kid needs these things and is thus a danger to everyone on the road - higher premium. If you don't have these options turned on, *you* are clearly a liability to others and your premiums....you get the idea.

Insurance going down? Show me any evidence of this happening in the past and I might believe it!

Stephen Fry security whoopsie leads to prank fart book order

Ball boy

@ fixit_f

Well, yes it is. Equally, the library has forever been frequented by educationalist-types and their reading lists aren't (no offence to anyone) the kinds of things anyone would normally care to play with.

The problem comes when you give access to a household-name entertainer who then compounds the problem by bragging about his new-found love and posting pictures of his ID. Now, when said board-walker is one that seems to get up the noses of a decent number of people, errors like that are bound to be taken advantage of - and so they were. Amusingly, in my opinion (I'll bet the majority were fellow Bodleian users, too).

Errors on both sides, I'd say. Bodleian need to tighten security on something most people didn't give two hoots about cracking, Mr. Fry's ego needs to be taken down a couple of decibels.

Microsoft says no to Kinect sex game

Ball boy

Don't forget the American market

...tends towards the Victorian: It's okay to let the undercurrent population get maimed or killed but sex? Ah, well. That's really not suitable for us prudes, don't you know.

After all, there's plenty in the Bible that covers destruction of life - backed by the right to bear arms - but very little to do with sex beyond '...and Mary didn't know Joseph' (which is rather tame these days). Come to think of it, I'm not sure the US constitution even mentions sex beyond brotherly love (yes, I'm taking it out of conext. Calm down at the back).

Bummed-out users give anti-virus bloatware the boot

Ball boy

AV gets bloated? Join the club!

All software does, doesn't it? In general the motivation to upgrade to the new version of anything is driven by new features rather than cleaning-up and enhancing the raw performance of the existing version - cf. Office, every print-driver I've ever seen, WiFi helper apps (50Mb+ for the drivers for mine? Come on..)

Perhaps the best way to reduce the need for complex AV is to reduce the chances of the bad guys to get in and do something. Of course, this means we should consider a more secure environment - but we all know that every time Windows gets more security conscious, users bypass the model because it's a pain to live with!

You pays your money and you takes your choice. Yes, I'm frustrated with my AV dragging my machine down - but no more than Office et al for doing the same!

Imagine: a s/w industry that releases new versions with the promise that 'nothing added but we've removed all that legacy code that made it run like a pig'. Good luck selling it 'cause very few consumers will 'upgrade' without seeing new features they (mostly) don't need.

Seagate puts out Barracuda Low Power Green

Ball boy

Umm...are you sure?

"The 6gig 2TB drive is much better, operating with 3.8watts, starting up with 2 Amps at 12 Volts, and idling with 4.5watts"

So it's more efficient to drive this all the time than it is to leave it idle? I doubt it - could someone review the core data?


Ball boy

Article quote: 'But more research is needed, clearly'

I can't believe no one has picked up on this yet: if there's research to be done in this area, well, ahem...may I respectfully offer up my services? fnarr, fnarr and all that.

Okay, shall we agree we sum up his life's work with the pithy statement 'Gentlemen prefer blondes'? Now, I'm positive I've heard that phrase well before I heard of him but full marks to him for getting column inches out of rehashing it.

I've got some ideas for his next 'discoveries': Bears have been known to defecate in forested regions & the Pope's reasonably sure he's into Catholicism!

Reg hack tickled by Kent schoolgirl

Ball boy
Thumb Up

Notoriety - as if you needed it, Lester

But then, we know you're well-deserving: anyone who remembers The Rockall Times can testify (and to think I still have my 'There's F..al on Rockall' t-shirt, given in recognition of..well, whatever it was I wrote at the time).

Go Lester, I say.

Ah. Just to clarify: that's not to be interpreted as instruction to leave.

Sarah Palin calls for US to stand by North Korea

Ball boy

Does she know where Korea is?

It's amaze me if she did. Last I heard, she wasn't *entirely* sure how to tell her a** from her elbow; two things that are both within easy reach - and she's had 40-odd years to practice finding 'em.

Korea? That's not even on the same continent!

ASA rules 'Bare T*Ts Project' ad offensive

Ball boy

That's not right...

I paid for the damn channel *because I wanted to see nudity* so can I now pursue Ropert 'Smut-Merchant' Murdoch for a refund?

/in anticipation of Ms. Bee running a book on how many references to Paris will this one will raise...

'Hippy' energy kingpin's electric Noddy-car in epic FAIL

Ball boy

Re: How many 13A sockets does your house have

Hmm.. without getting technical and confusing you, a 13A socket is /The/ standard way to connect portable things to the mains - the shower you mention is hard-wired; betcha can't detach yours from the wall, take it to your mates house and reconnect it, can you? Well, the same problem exists with the car: you can't go around installing specialist outlets in your house, near your office, your parents house and everywhere else you frequent without frighteningly high costs and so the logical thing to do is base your car's recharging ability on this well defined and highly available 13A socket.

*In theory, you could pull 2 x 13A from a ring main by having TWO plugs on the go - a correctly-wired ring will cope - but you're pushing your luck if you have anything else on the same ring (and most people will have one ring for the entire downstairs floor, knackering that idea) and you also have a small problem of maintaining a balanced load. It's not generally advisable!

Old PCs: When it's time to die

Ball boy

Will this become a less significant problem? Yes, probably

With the rise in virtualisation and SaaS, I suspect many people won't need to upgrade their desktops. Consider: my CRM is on-line, my accounts package is on-line, my email is on-line: why do I need to upgrade my local box when my most common interface to my world lies within a web browser? I only really use the power of this expensive hardware investment when I'm presenting to someone - the rest of the time, I'm more relient on the performance of the 'net and remote hardware and, if I'm honest, there's no real *need* to have much power available to me here and I could do my job just as well with the old laptop I had six years back. Okay, we adopted the SaaS route with gusto a couple of years back - but we're not that far ahead of the masses really and, I suspect many mainstream businesses will move more to SaaS in the next couple of years.

However, if we all go down the terminal services route, surely the local box is even less relevant?

Either way, I don't see a pressing need to move to the latest OS on the desktop; yes, it looks nice; yes, it's powerful and allows me to task-switch better and yes, I can probably avoid some security issues that might eventually bug me in the old OS and old hardware - but if all I'm doing is running a web browser or a terminal session, do I care about all the above? I suspect it's not so much of an issue.

As an aside, I'm not convinced businesses realise the true cost of IT. Back in the day, we'd all sit a new employee down at a desk and give them a phone, a typewriter and a desklamp. Their business model didn't require any of these things to change for ten years or more but now, we're spending vast sums on maintaining what we bought only last month, just to protect it from attack and so on - and after three years, we're under pressure to replace it all with new. I don't think business mind this, providing we can prove there's a productivity gain in doing it - and that's getting increasingly hard to do! Once we shift to SaaS, what reasons are there to spend anything on flashy desktop upgrades? Surely, they become as irrelevant as the desktop lamp and typewriter?

Hand over illegal porn at the border, please

Ball boy


You can't come in if you're breaking laws?

Heck, we used the country for *law-breakers* not that long ago. How times change! ;-)

/Flame war to follow, no doubt.

C'mon: we won the Ashes; it's our turn to do some gloating :-))

WD thrusts forth its mighty 3TB internal hardness

Ball boy
Paris Hilton

Agree 100%

Exactly, Annihilator - the OS will catch up exactly as it did in the 90's with the problems we had with RAM and so on.

Question: how would a home user backup 3Tb of video featuring Aunt Aggie and her mildly amusing dog? Mind you, how many backup what they have today? Best we avoid that whole issue, eh?

Paris: High time she got a look-in & anyway, can you /imagine/ what 3Tb of video of her would do to a grown man?

Ball boy

Re: Bootable 3Tb

"Are there going to be many examples of people trying to boot from a 3TB drive?" Yes, of course - anyone who buys a PC from a mainstream outlet and doesn't understand the value of partitioning /usr away from the system will end up booting from 3Tb drives once they're commonplace.

We had this same problem when 16 bit Windows couldn't address the latest set of big drives and the world resolved it by migrating to 32bit Windows (there were patches you could apply if you insisted on staying with the 16 bit platforms IIRC).

In simple terms: the majority of home users and small, self-supporting businesses don't 'get' OS space vs. user data space - and why should they? We don't expect the average user to be aware of the inner workings of their cars engine and the same philosophy is applied to IT. We're in a good position to laugh about that but we really shouldn't: we (readers of El Reg generally make our living because we know more than the masses about technology - just as my plumber lives of me not wanting to know what happens when I flush the loo and my garage ripping me off ^H^H^H^H helping me when each service comes up.

Lexmark adds Twitter to printer

Ball boy

Just because it *can* be done doesn't mean it *should* be done

title says it all

Tony Curtis goes to grave with iPhone

Ball boy

Come on - you've missed a trick

'porn big wheel Ron Jeremy'? With respect to Tom Wolfe, surely "big swinging dick of the porn world" would have been a more appropriate reference to a man of his..ahem..calibre.

okay, okay, I'm going.

iPhone apps put user privacy at risk

Ball boy

<The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits>

True - but a phone is always going to lead to an individual; a MAC address is the same for any logged-on user. Granted, that's quite possibly the same person each time but I don't know if *any* software houses store personal data (e.g. your latest BMI-busting diet performance, gaming preferences and the like) against something as variable as a MAC address. For one thing, your preferences wouldn't follow you from office to home PC and back...

In this case, Mac appear to be promoting this as a personal identification key and I suspect data stored against it will contain some useful things to know if you're suitably-minded to abuse them.

Fail - but I imagine the intention was to create a useful way for remote data to be linked back to the correct device. No one could ever possibly steal it because Steve says you're not allowed to - so what's the harm? Okay, that last bit was a joke.

Samsung Q430 14in notebook

Ball boy


Actually, it does make sense: these cells are all charged with a constant current source, making it difficult to tell when it's truly 'full' as opposed to 'overcharged' (this problem gets worse with cell age, as I understand it). Leaving the cells slightly depleted will extend their usable life, especially for the folk who leave the thing on mains pretty much all the time (Mrs. Ball boy: are you listening?) even a laptop has overcharge prevention - which all should have these days - because the initial state when the laptop is powered-up is to go into a charge cycle...hence the long-term overcharging effects.

As the author suggests, how useful this is depends on how long you intend to keep the laptop - personally, I'd keep a home laptop for a while & would probably still have this when brushed silver came back into fashion!

Seat in sexy e-sportster shock

Ball boy

What's an 80 mile range really translate to?

Given that most practical tests suggest the 'up to x miles range' is about as optimistic as my ISP telling me I'll get 'up to 8Mb/s broadband'

I'd wager 80 becomes 50. Somewhat less if it's raining and you need the lights and heater on.

Actually, how long before the batteries start to suffer? We're all aware that rechargeable cells slowly degrade; their ability to hold a charge and their discharge profile becomes somewhat more erratic.

I can well imagine replacing the cells will be part of the annual service and surely, this'll affect its green credentials somewhat. It'll certainly affect my pocket - you know we'll have to use Seat cells in a Seat if we want to maintain the warranty..."Hi! Dropping my car in for its service. Wow, that looks just like a tube of KY! What'd ya use that fo....ing heck, that made my eyes water!"

Coat because the man looks like he's already assumed the position.

Pentagon out to 'destroy' Wikileaks, founder says

Ball boy

Ah, come on...

Maybe I'm over-simplifying this but surely the Pentagon, with all its contacts, wealth, black ops. background and so on wouldn't have any trouble at all in "destroying" Wikileaks if it chose to.

I suspect Messers. Assange & co. to be attention seeking - something I believe they thrive on as 'information brokers'. It's been a very productive day in the office for them, then?

Whether the Pentagon taking them down is a good or bad thing is debatable. Not by me tho', I don't give a damn for their site or its content either way.



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