* Posts by Hnk0

45 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2009

But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?


It isn't the fact that he hasn't heard of it until now that grates with me, that happens. I am sure there are apps out there used by hundreds of million of people that I am completely unaware of.

It is the fact that, after hearing about it, he made no attempt whatsoever to inform himself, despite supposedly being a journalist, and then writes about it waving his ignorance about as if it was something to be proud of.

Ignorance is forgivable, no one can know everything. Wilful ignorance just pisses me off.


That's pretty poor. OK WhatsApp may have been vastly over valued, but you clearly have no idea what it does so you're not exactly in a great position to criticize. Maybe do some more research than just asking your mates next time?

FYI, it does texting "for free", including multimedia (photo, audio, video), and has a great "group" function. Not forgetting the fact it works cross borders. Ever tried to text a video clip to someone in the UAE? Oh sure you can email but there it is part of a conversation with a group etc.

Where things are going wrong is that part of the appeal was that it was NOT FarceBook, but there you go.

French ministers told to use only secure comms post-PRISM


The French parliament and the Gendarmerie already both run on Ubuntu:



Here we go again: New NHS patient database plan sets off alarm bells


Re: Haven't we failed at this just recently?

Most importantly, it has prevented the wrong drug being given out by the pharmacist because of doctors' atrocious handwriting. Pharmacies have a similar system to check doses/potential interactions. But yeah, it is far from being an interoperable system.


Re: Ambulances

The thing is, this type of record isn't designed to help first responders. As you pointed out, you show up and try to figure out what's going on.

It is a lot more useful in other situations. Let's say my usual GP surgery is closed, I could just walk into any other, have an equivalent of France's "Carte Vitale" scanned, and the GP has immediate access to my records, including prescription history, so they can re-issue a prescription for example. No need for registration. There are "pharmacist precribers" as well, so if they have your records they could e.g. renew your prescription for insulin, without you wasting doctor's time for what is effectively an administrative function. After (limited) renewals, you would have to go see your doctor again, but that could be customized to the drug/patient, or over-ridden entirely.

Again following the French system, once I have my prescription I got to the pharmacy get my drugs. The pharmacist scans my card, and discounts/waives are applied automatically.

Also it prevents "double prescribing". A distant relative of mine had studied which symptoms to describe to get which drugs she wanted, so she had a GP prescribing her antidepressant, another sleeping pills, another heart drugs, etc., and picked it all up from different pharmacies so they wouldn't pick up on interactions. All for free (well, paid by French taxes anyway) because of special circumstances. She had to give it up when the Carte Vitale came into place. Had to go cold turkey, but did her good in the end.


Re: cloudy flexibility meets touchy-feely

"a country wide system will never work", and yet in other countries that is exactly what they have, and it works (or at least, the advantages are greated than the drawbacks). Off the top of my head at least France, Iceland and The Netherlands, I think Norway, certainly other European countries. How about we ask them?

Oh no an expensive US consultancy will be hired, who hire an expensive US software company, who will outsource the work to India/China and walk off with billions and we'll have fuck all to show for them. And then as if by magic an incredible amount of politicians will get directorships in the same companies involved.


I don't know about your area, but in London Boris is cutting ambulances and firefighters, so pretty soon there might not even be someone to take you to hospital.

After Sandy Hook, Senator calls for violent video game probe


Re: Japan is sick murders

Maybe Japan has truck murders, but you will notice the discussion is about murders committed with guns.

And anyway, I like data, so take a look at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country

Japan: 0.3 per 100,000 inhabitants

UK: 1.2

US: 4.2


Re: "68 mass shottings since 1982" or "I don't like Mondays" revisited.

John Smith 19: yes, I understand that some Jewish sects are exempt from military service as long as they are in religious school (called yeshiva if memory serves).

Not sure why I was downvoted up there, all I did was point at some data. If you take decisions as important as gun ownership etc not based on data, then you are a very scary person indeed...


Re: "68 mass shottings since 1982" or "I don't like Mondays" revisited.

Want evidence? Here you go. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/15/what-makes-americas-gun-culture-totally-unique-in-the-world-as-demonstrated-in-four-charts/

You'll notice Israel as a whole doesn't own that many guns, you're thinking about the settlers.


I'll help the moronic senator: Japan, haven of the most bizarre, hardcore and violent video games, also has the lowest rate of firearm murders in the developed world. Maybe not unrelatedly, it also has the lowest rate of gun ownership of any kind in the developed world. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Samsung Google Nexus 10 tablet review


"iOS is the killer feature for most people "

I nearly went Apple at one point, until I realised I'd have to use iTunes for EVeRYTHING. That truly killed it for me.

Ten... Apple iPad Mini alternatives


"The killer app that the kindle has is lovefilm streaming"

Funny, this is what enticed me to go to netflix so that I can watch on any device I choose, not what Bezos decided I should be watching on.

French gov 'plans to hand Google €1bn tax bill' - report


Re: Tax Rates

Income tax doesn't work like that (in the UK anyway).

To take your eaxmple, what you earn up to £30,000 would be taxed at rate A, and anything you earn above £30k would be taxed at rate B, so you always get more net pay when your salary increases. Note that when you take into account benefits (for total income) this might not be true anymore.


Re: @Hnk0

I meant tax avoidance, as you rightly pointed out. Thanks for the correction, no thanks for the "spouting", I ain't no teapot.

Rest of my post stands.


Re: Lead the way then...

The question is not whether they should pay more tax than they legally have to, but whether their tax evasion schemes should be allowed to remain legal. As most of us are on PAYE/not rich enough, we do not have the opportunity to reduce our tax burden by registering in Luxembourg (amazed they and Malta are in the EU). It is about time our governement clamped down on tax evasion and tax havens. Here is a short list we could start with:

Channel Islands

Isle of Man


And for the French government:



Personally I like to hear of who is using these schemes and then I do my best not to do business with them, as is my right. For example I buy my coffee at Costa, not Starbucks (although I admit the fact that their "coffee" is brown piss helps my resolve).

Take away bad drivers' mobile phones, they still crash their cars


Re: Hands free

See http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/DrivingIssues/20060830105036.html

it does make a difference.


1. There is an advantage to there being a specific law, in that you can go to the phone company and check if the phone was used in the time-frame during which the accident happened. Proving "without due care and attention" is a lot harder to prove without hard evidence, this is why you see so many cyclists recording their commute on video.

2. Although driving while on the phone has been shown to be as dangerous as driving above the drinking limit (http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/DrivingIssues/20060830105036.html), the penalty is much lower. Three points and £60 fine for mobile phone offence, for drinking see here http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Roadsafetyadvice/DG_195019

3. The law is unfortunately not applied rigorously. I am in favour of systematically crushing/seizing the vehicles of drivers caught on the phone, drunk, without insurance or when they reach 12 points (currently thousands are driving with more than 12 points with the blessing of the courts). If they need to drive for their work, well that just too bad they should have thought of that before being a prick.

Google spikes old MS file formats


Re: xxxxOffice

Ain't that true Ben, ain't that true...

I had to fight with IT to get the software I needed to DO MY JOB. First they complained that the Adobe Creative suite was too expensive, so when I pointed them to GIMP, which does what I need and is free, it was a case of "but if it's free how do we know it's not full of virus/trojan/STDs?"

After weeks of the IT higher ups "investigating" (I guess that means they asked their nephew if GIMP was OK), they relented, more probably because I was being a pain in the arse than anything else. Hey, at least I have GIMP now!

Sony SmartWatch Android remote



I don't walk-race like Bassey above, but I cycle a fair bit and this thing would be great to keep track of my progress, and to find where I am in the Big Smoke, without having a conspicuous (aka thief magnet) mount on my handlebars. Unfortunately like Bassey mentioned it can piss down severely in this country, and an indication of the presence or absence of weather proofing would be good. I don't want to part with £80+ and then find I have to pack it in every time a shower comes my way.

Note that the Sony website has a list of compatible phones in the specs: http://www.sonymobile.com/gb/products/accessories/smartwatch/specifications/

Raspberry Pi safe and warm in TINY Lego fortress


I am legally obligated to point out the Lego Antikythera mechanism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLPVCJjTNgk


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Re: paywalls

Tried it, but when I go in the settings and select "manage site subscriptions" it says "feature not currently available for devices with Android 3.0 or greater". Bollocks.



Can it handle paywalls? I get no end of trouble on nature.com articles. Tried Read it Later and the Google weird circle one, neither were good.

Solving traffic jams with maths


Re: simple

If you don't live in a city, then presumably traffic jams are not an issue.

Grab your L-plates, flying cars of sci-fi dreams have landed


In London, 50% of car trips are under 2 miles. There is only little/extortionate car parking (let alone helicopter) in zone 1, where most work. The energy usage of anything flying, but especially VTOL, is an order of magnitude larger than for ground transport. Helicopters are LOUD and inefficient.

For all these reasons flying cars are, unfortunately, a dream. In the meantime there are tried and tested solutions that do work and help with all those problems: congestion, parking, energy (fossil/electric), and pollution. Those solutions are unsexy but work, they are efficient public transport, cycling, car sharing and remote working. Shame the powers that be are so uninterested in them.

HTC One S Android smartphone


No SD expansion = no sale

that is all

Warner Bros boss moots 'disc-to-digital' scheme

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Looked like a good plan until they said "DRM". So I can access it only on approved devices (no Linux), and I can't put a copy on my smartphone/tablet for when I travel and won't have connectivity. Fail, fail, and fail again. I'll keep ripping.

New driver-snooping satnav could push down UK insurance premiums


My theory is that you're a prick, substantiated by the fact that you have theory that panders uniquely to your prejudices while having no data to back it up. There is a reason your insurance premium goes up when you are caught speeding on the public highway, and it's not only because insurers love money. Get on a track.


If you have corners AND drive at 30mph max, then your average over the same time will be LOWER than if you're driving in a straight line.

Say your drive A to B is 2 miles and 10 min, that's 12mph average (you live in London and there is no traffic). The GPS is borked and thinks you drove in a straight line between A and B, 1 mile in 10 min, average speed 6mph average. Ta-da, no premium to be paid.

That said I have had my GPS record me running very briefly at 60mph round a track once, so I do hope there is some sanity-checking in place.

Phages: The powerful new bio-ammo in superbug war


As far as I'm aware Nature published no such thing, and I should know, I have the copy on my desk. There is however something about about tails, velociraptors and robots that could interest El Reg's readership: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v481/n7380/full/nature10797.html

I thought the official name was "uber-boffinry glamour mag Nature"?

iPhone banned in Steve Jobs' ancestral home


smart arses not that smart

I'd like to see all those smart alecs explaining to the kind man in a leather jacket holding electrodes that their HTC Desire is not an iPhone. I wouldn't be surprised if in Syria they use the term 'iPhone' for anything that can take photos and connect to the internet.

Lost cities found beneath sands of Sahara by satellites


Interestingly, in the most fundamentalist Islamic state of all, Saudi Arabia, archaeology/historical research of Islam/Islamic sites is the only one forbidden, anything prior to that is fair game. In fact, the only sites they allowed UNESCO to classify as World Heritage Sites are pre-Islamic, but not Mecca and Medina (and other places).

See e.g. www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mecca-for-the-rich-islams-holiest-site-turning-into-vegas

Airbus brews Scandium smackdown for carbon Dreamliner



I understand an alloy airframe can be recycled, whereas when a carbon fibre one cannot. But then I might be talking out of my arse there, and even if I'm correct, does this have an impact in terms of end of life disposal that is so big it will influence purchasing decisions?

Corning launches can-stand-the-heat Lotus glass for phones


The unit is /degC, as indicated in the article and your post.

Gulf of California terrorized by ONE-EYED MUTANT SHARK!


Mutations in the hox genes will do that (and other horrible, non-viable things) to you.

Amazon revamps E Ink Kindle line

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Add 20% VAT and the Fire comes up to 240GBP, whereas you can get the Archo 80 G9 for 200GBP, it has cameras and isn't tied by the nuts to Amazon. I know where my money goes.

Hannspree Hannspad 10.1in Android tablet



I fought Cherman vaz like Enklish vif a few letters changed fur Komik effect.

Ten... Core i5 laptops


UK based here

I don't want to muck around with importing stuff from the US. PCspecialists.co.uk have very interesting configs that you can customize (SSDs!), but I'm hesitating because of the Optimus thing and all their good machines have Nvidia graphics. Same with Novatech.


some Linux love?

Tried any of those with a standard Linux install? I'm in the market for a new laptop, but with the current Optimus travails I'm wary... Although the situation seems to improve: https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee

Libya fighting shows just how idiotic the Defence Review was



buy F18s when the French would be delighted to sell more-modern, also carrier-ready Rafales?


Motorola dual-core Android phone to pull off laptop trick?

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beware Moto's "update"schedule

Looks interesting, with more phones catching up spec-wise I even expect some third-party will come up with a universal "laptop add-on" with matching app. I'd be wary of buying Motorola though, I am a Milestone customer and flash still doesn't work on it, one of the reason I had bought it. Check out their Facebook page and forums, it's enlightening...

Car immobilisers easily circumvented by crafty carjackers


Nissan with Renault NFC

Nissan is 50% owned (at least) by Renault, so no surprises here. And R are real bastards when it comes to new keys, for my 11-year-old Megane they charge £75. I said fuck it, key loss insurance is cheaper.

Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam


bullshit AC

"everytime you try to check into a hotel in Europe - You have to show your passport"

No you don't. This isn't North Korea you know.

Google suggests Islam is nothing


are you kidding?

let me burst your bubble here: Christianity was the official religion of the late Roman Empire (see Constantine), and they did plenty of atrocities in their new religion's name. Then there were the Crusades (started by the pope to stop Europeans killing each other, and during which the westerners also massacred plenty of eastern rite Christians). Then there are the wars of religion (cathos vs protestants) that bled Europe for centuries. Then there is colonization, associated with "let's bring the savages our good education and religion". On the other hand, the Muslim world used to have one of the largest empires on earth, and that wasn't held together or acquired by brotherly love, but it was relatively peaceful. And that's it. The Armenian holocaust was perpetrated by a Muslim country, but religion had little to do with it (as far as I'm aware).

Maybe you're thinking about the current terrorist idiots? Well they have murdered by far more Muslims who don't quite agree with them than westerners, just look up Algeria for example. So most of the Muslim violence (which exists, between dictators and nutjobs there is plenty around) actually is directed towards other Muslims, and some of it spills over in the West. Boohoo.

Feds bust world's most prolific music piracy ring



THAT's piracy. Notice how they got their hands on material through insiders? hmmm wonder if the big studios are now going to sue themselves...