* Posts by Roby

107 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2009


Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse


Re: BT are the problem

Same situation here. City centre, the exchange we are connected to has been fibre enabled for many years, residential buildings across the street have had it for years, but as a business our cabinet has not been connected. BT is hoping that businesses will pay a lot for leased lines, so they intentionally do not connect fibre to cabinets that primarily serve businesses.

BT is simply being competitive. They can make more money by not providing fibre to businesses, so someone needs to intervene to make them do it. All the focus has been on rural areas, but there are these paradoxical not-spots in the business areas of the largest cities of the UK, when apartment buildings 20 metres away were amongst the first to get it.

Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star


I hate this

This really does not belong in my browser. Just because I am looking at a website it means I am available for video chat? No. But it will show me as online apparently. The two options are "Available" or "Do Not Disturb".

I just don't understand this. I want my web browser to browse websites. I don't want it to arrange phone calls or video chats. If I did I would use an add-on of some kind. This is one of the worst things Mozilla have done in a very long time. I really mean that.

Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart


Re: The New Fashion

The current trend of promoting protein as a guilt-free health food is concerning. So many processed products now advertise themselves as "high in protein" in a manner similar to the old "low fat" labels. Demonising one food group (carbs/fats) and promoting another (fats/carbs) is nothing new. People want magic bullets.

The truth has been known all along: eat a balanced, varied diet of home-cooked meals with lots of fruit and vegetables, and everything in moderation. But that takes effort. So people will buy their low fat yoghurts, their protein bars, and since they consider them to be "healthy" they actually offset them against other unhealthy things. "Since I ate that healthy cereal I can now eat this muffin", and the fact that the cereal is packed with sugar is either not known or ignored.

Guess what? I eat carbs. I eat fat. I eat protein. I eat meat (but not every day). But I cook all of my own meals from fresh ingredients, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (mainly vegetables) and avoid processed food. There is no secret to it. All it takes is knowledge and effort. You don't even need to exercise, although it's very good for you. But I don't get fat whether I'm exercising or not, because I eat a healthy, balanced diet which fills me up and I don't treat food like a drug. If you eat the right things your appetite control works. When I exercise, I eat more. If you are fat, fixing your diet is the best change you can make.

Most people are always chasing their next fix, snacking between meals, drinking their calories in sugary drinks, eating things out of a packet which are heavily processed with an unnatural combination of sugar, fat and salt that makes them incredibly delicious, but barely nutritious or satiating.

Fad diets, such as cutting out an entire food group or only eating one type of food might work, but it's usually because the number of calories you consume goes down and you are controlling what you eat. The best long-term solution is just eating a balanced, varied diet rich in vegetables. When your body is working correctly and being fuelled in a natural way that keeps you feeling full and doesn't overload your pleasure centres, you don't need to count calories or watch what you eat or only eat one thing. Nor do you need to exercise to offset eating too much (although exercise is good for other reasons).

Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title


-- The Bible is on the list because it "contains principles and guidelines to be a good person”

That is not why the Bible is on the list. The Bible is on the list because it has influenced our history and culture for thousands of years. I have no problem with The Bible being labelled the most influential book, but NOT for giving us morals. There's so many things wrong with that statement.

DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned


Re: Total nightmare!

Indeed. Many of us are in the same boat. It's very difficult to go back to week old backups, especially when you built the Drupal site in your spare time for a friend.

Some of the things you can check for include new users, new roles, any new PHP files (especially in your sites directory) or a change to the .htaccess of the files directory. If you use any kind of version control like git then you can see if any files have changed or anything has been added. Unfortunately the files directory is usually excluded from git, so you'll have to check it manually. But there should really be no .php files or executable files in there, so you can check with one recursive search. Also check all of your views for PHP code, and if you have the PHP filter enabled, check all of your blocks for PHP code too. Probably also worth checking the database directly for any content using the PHP filter, because it could be in the nodes as well.

There's also this Drush command that you can run on your site: https://www.drupal.org/project/drupalgeddon

But none of this can make you sure that your site is safe. You can only tell if your site has been compromised, not if your site hasn't been compromised.

Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman


It's kind of strange how virtually every news story about Australia makes me glad that I don't live there. Whether it's the deadly wildlife, the higher rates of skin cancer, the extremely high prices for games and movies, or, most often, the highly conservative and regressive policies of the government, taking away people's liberties.

I'm not saying it's not bad in the UK, but the Australian government is becoming a parody of itself. Some articles about it remind me of Poe's Law, e.g. when they banned small breasts.

Football legend Gary Lineker in TWITTER POO TROLL SCANDAL


The Streisand effect

The first time I heard about Lineker pooing himself was in an article about how he wants people to stop talking about it.

Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome


The sooner Netflix goes to HTML5 instead of Silverlight, the better.

Six of the best gaming keyboard and mouse combos


Re: Functionality remains poor

I play a lot of FPS games, but I don't think I've ever pressed Q to advance. I'm not even sure what that means. Must be from a game I haven't played, but doesn't sound like something vital to FPS games. But I don't even press Q with my middle finger. That would be awkward. Do you also press E with your middle finger?


Re: Hmmm

I've always used a standard black Logitech keyboard with no frills. It might not be mechanical but the keys feel nice and firm and you always know if you've pressed them (not like some laptop or thin keyboards) and it is built to last. Had my current one for nearly ten years and it probably cost me under £5. I am curious about mechanical keyboards, and might eventually invest.

In terms of mice I find many gaming ones are just trying too hard. They're too heavy or too bulky or not particularly ergonomic. So long as it has a few extra buttons and scroll wheel and is fairly accurate, then it does the job. All of the gaming mice posted here look monstrous. I wonder if they're more about parting fools with their money in a similar vein to sports cars, rather than about actual usability.

Kickstarter unplugs iFind miracle battery-free locator



We thank you for your support of iFind and support Kickstarter’s decision to suspend the campaign. Not in any way because of the fact that we are a scam. WE ARE NOT!!

Is it me or does this make it sound more like a scam. Looks like something I would read in a spam email.

Facebook gobbles WhatsApp for SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS


I really hope Facebook won't try to link WhatsApp with Facebook accounts or interfere with my privacy or force me to link my phone number to my Facebook account.

MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY


It's only a matter of time before wearable cameras become commonplace and even undetectable, like in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. The MPAA etc. will need to adapt. The idea that a recording is worth something will only be eroded as time goes by.

Firefox reveals new look: rounded rectangles


Re: No combined search/URL

There is a combined search/URL bar, although I'm not sure if it's disabled by default. But I've been searching in the location bar in Firefox for years (as well as using it for history). My only complaint is that if you put 1 word in, Firefox seems to do a DNS lookup for about a second before doing a search. If you put more than one word this doesn't happen. On the other hand, Firefox works well if you are developing using custom domains in your hosts file, whereas Chrome assumes it's a search if it doesn't end in a real TLD, which can get annoying.

HTC phone STOPS BULLET, saves Florida gas station clerk's life


Lucky it wasn't an S3.

Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom


Why do you have to sleep in the same bed? Have sex in one bed, sure, but you don't have to sleep in the same one. It can be very good for marriages not to sleep in the same bed.

Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986


I bet they still consume modern day American fast food. They would do far better to cut that out rather than cutting out the gadgets.

Amazing that they were born in 1986. They look about 10 years older than that.

Transdimensional rift appears above Australian bolt supplier

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I for one welcome our new tooled-up lizard overlords.

Our week with Soylent: Don't chuck out your vintage food quite yet


Re: Organic?

I make my own peanut butter at home, and let me assure you there is a need [for sugar]

I eat peanut butter without any added sugar and it tastes fine to me. I wouldn't want it to be overly sweet (equally I think mixing it with jam would be horrible). But each to his own. Some people think tea cannot be drunk without sugar in it, whereas I find it far too sweet (again).

anyone who believes food shouldn't have any salt added needs to learn to taste properly

Anyone who thinks salt needs to be added to everything needs to learn to taste properly. Salt levels are something you get used to. If you add salt to everything, then everything will taste bland without it. I don't add salt to my food and if anything my tastes are more sensitive as a result. I get more than enough salt in my diet already.


Re: Organic?

I've tried the peanut butter which only has "peanuts" on the ingredients list, but it's much harder to spread (found myself tearing the bread up it was so hard) and the oil separates after a while and needs stirring back in.

There's no need for added salt or sugar but I don't think there's anything wrong with a tiny amount of vegetable oil just to make it spread easier and not separate. The peanuts contain their own natural oils anyway, there is no need to be afraid of 1% vegetable oil added to it. I get more vegetable oil than that from my own cooking.

Washout 2012 summer, melty Greenland 'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'


Re: Our opinion is that we don't have an opinion

"We don't know enough to say" is a more useful scientific result than claiming to know something in spite of evidence to the contrary and proven theories that suggest otherwise, or fitting the evidence to fit what you want it to show. It just means you do more research until you can explain it. It doesn't mean "oh, let's give up, we'll never know".

If you really want to know what the weather and climate is doing; go outside for five minutes and have a look.

You are confusing weather and climate. Going outside and looking for five minutes will tell you virtually nothing about climate or climate change or the theories about climate.

Chewbacca held up by TSA stormtroopers for having light sabre


Wait, is 'Mrauuun' supposed to be a phonetic transcription of the sounds wookiees make?

The IT Crowd returns to Channel 4 for a final episode


Re: So glad these are still live!


Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal


Re: Oh bollocks

Same here. I've had no usage limits, no slowdowns, just fast, reliable internet, and it's cheap because I have my mobile with them. I suspect the first thing to change after Sky takes over will be the price going up, shortly followed by terrible slowdowns in the evenings. I've had Sky before and between 6pm and midnight it was sometimes like dial up.

Keyboard, you're not my type


I like proper keyboards, with big keys that you can tell when you've pressed them. They last ages and I find them easier (although maybe I'm just used to them). I don't like laptop keyboards or ultra thin keys, and I've often found them to be questionable (sometimes requiring a firm press to get a response).

I don't beat my keyboards into submission because since I am quite young I never used a typewriter. My fingers fly over the keys pushing them just enough to get a response, but I still like the traditional basic Dell or Logitech black keyboard with large keys where you can really feel you have pushed the key. My dad learnt to type on a typewriter and he murders keyboards and claims he cannot relearn to stop hitting the keys so hard.

Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'


Has nobody seen Taken? His Tweet is a joke reference to Liam Neeson's character.

Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa


Re: "You sick, sick man," responded one shaken reader.

I tried cofftea once. Never again.

My logic was that I like coffee and I like tea, so together it must be awesome. Actually it's a case of two rights making a wrong.


Someone at work gave me the wrong mug and I had a colleague's tea with sugar in it. It made me want to die. How can people drink that?

Opera joins Google/Apple in-crowd with shift to WebKit and Chromium



I think this is sad news. Not bad news - it's probably good news for the web - but it still upsets me to hear it for some reason.

I don't use Opera (apart from for a few months many years ago) but I liked it and I was happy that there were people who use it. Variety and competition is good. Even now when I use it to test websites I am amazed at how fast it is at loading pages.

I can foresee a future where every browser uses and contributes to the same open source rendering engine. It would certainly be convenient for web developers. I'm not sure if there would be negative consequences to such a future.

I hope Opera Software will still manage to keep going.

Illicit phone rings in Sri Lankan inmate's back crack


Re: Bit dim.

It must have turned on inside him. I can't believe anyone could be so stupid to leave a phone on when you put it up your bum.

Also I wonder if he had the charger up there. On the X-ray it looks like just the phone and some headphones, so surely you'd conserve the power while smuggling it in.

Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock



I reckon it will turn out to be a shiny rock that got especially polished by duststorms and then happened to catch the light in the right way. You can sometimes see things that look like metal on a beach when the sun is at certain points, but when you get closer it's just a rock. Or, tarmac can look like water in the distance on a hot day... I don't claim to know the specifics but it'll be something mundane.

YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month


I wouldn't pay to see any of the things I normally watch on YouTube, i.e. short (sub 15 min) videos made by an amateur about a topic, or very short humorous clips, or music videos. I would pay to see actual American or British TV shows (e.g. Netflix kind of thing), but YouTube's current content is not worth anything to me. If they charged for it, I would stop watching it.

Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 into booze


Re: If it is ~ same efficiency as plants..

If it is the same efficiency as plants.... why not just use plants? They look nicer and have other benefits for the environment and even mental health in humans.

Ofcom: You like to make CALLS, yeah? Tell us what you want from mobiles


Data is by far the most important thing to me now (as I imagine it might be for most smartphone users). Most operators give me ridiculous amounts of minutes and texts that I don't ask for and never use and then a tiny amount of data.

I would happily pay less and get less calls/texts or even go back to PAYG so long as I can have a few GB of data. I know that's not the kind of freedom they would allow though. I'm sure I wouldn't be as profitable to them as I am when I have to pay for things I don't use.

A very similar situation to my home phone line that I pay monthly line rental for as well as a calls package - the cheapest one of course - just so I can have broadband. I never use the phone as a phone. In other countries of Europe you can just get broadband on the line and not pay for a phone.

The Spherical Cow lands, spits out Anaconda



I really hate GNOME 3. It massively reduces productivity, and not because it's new and needs getting used to; it's because it's terribly designed. It seems like somebody did some research on good UI design and then did the opposite. I can't see how else you could get it so bad.

Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link


Ignoring the massive elephant in the room then.

O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product


Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

I'm actually very pleased with my O2 home broadband. It's basically the same service as Be. It's been very fast and unthrottled and I get it at a massively reduced price on an offer since I have O2 mobile. I get a good speed and don't experience slowdowns. It's a shame (and a little suspicious) that they have no FTTC plans. I guess they will milk their broadband customers and then offload them, so they won't be investing in their infrastructure.

Bringing Iron Man to life: Exoskeletons, armour and jet packs


I totally agree. Wars of the future will be fought by drones, either with their own AI or controlled remotely. There's no point in putting a human life in danger when a skilled operator can be safely in a bunker or nearby hidden armoured vehicle.

Valve chief confirms Steam-centric console-killing PC


I love the keyboard and mouse

This could be good for the industry. So long as I can continue playing computer games on my PC using Steam, and they won't be more consolified (than they already are).

I can envisage a world where many vendors make "Steam boxes" running various Linux distros and with differing hardware at differing prices, opening up more choices, and the hardcore people still being allowed to play on their custom-built PCs.

Unfortunately I can also see a dystopian future in which Valve sees the console market as the most lucrative way to go and abandons the PC in a similar way to Microsoft after XBox or Epic. I'm sure that won't happen, but I still feel like an endangered breed being kept alive mainly by Steam and GOG.com, and anything that slightly threatens that worries me.

Hero Playmonaut lost at sea as SPEARS ditches in Channel

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This has brought genuine tears to my eyes. I won't forget this brave sacrifice.

Jubcropgate: El Reg in snake-fondling nude nipslip outrage


Great, that's another monocle smashed.

Dogs would say: size is important, shape - not so much


Re: I always wondered...

I'm pretty sure if a dog was chasing me while I was jogging then my reaction would be to run faster. Why would I stop and get mauled?

Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs


I used to pronounce it with a hard G because I had only read it and I assume that's how an English speaker automatically would pronounce it unless specifically learned otherwise. Of course, there are words like "giraffe" but these are learned. I think the soft G exceptions are generally learned and for most people "gif" would mainly be read first, and they would default to the hard G.

However, over a decade ago I read that the creators wanted it to be "jiff" so I switched to that, much to the annoyance of nearly everyone I meet. I think using the hard G must be in the majority since anyone who hasn't read that it should be "jiff" would automatically pronounce it as "gif". Most people will have read the word first rather than hear the word first.

Omnishambles beats off mummy-porn, becomes English word of 2012


Why I think GIF hasn't died

I think the recent resurgence in GIF popularity is due to the increased connection speeds allowing animated GIFs of a few megabytes to load in a couple of seconds. It suddenly is possible to post them on image boards and blogs without people having to invest time waiting for it to load. If you don't have to wait then suddenly the stuff you are willing to check out increases.

I can recall being on a very slow connection a few years ago, where every click was carefully thought out because after a 2 min wait for a website to load, it better be worth seeing. Now I click all over the place, pages load instantly, and if I'm not interested I close it.

The lack of a viable alternative also helps keep the outdated GIF going. Even if an alternative IS made (MPNG/APNG?) browser support would lead the older format to persist for a long time (also known as the IE effect).

El Reg mulls Forums icon portfolio shake-up


It's the only way to be sure

How about a "nuke the entire site from orbit" icon? Could be used in situations of security flaws, webSITES that people don't like, or just generally when the poo has hit the fan or someone thinks there is no hope for a certain technology/company.

It would probably end up looking a lot like the "Eat this" icon though.

Hacker sentenced to six years – WITH NO INTERNET


It was horrible

I recently went for 2.5 months without Internet at home (although I did have my smart phone). But it was astounding just how difficult it was to get anything done compared to only five years ago, and surprising just how reliant I'd become, particularly on Googling any stray thought.

But I found it difficult trying to find out information about government stuff (e.g. taxes), trying to sort my utilities out, booking appointments.

Arranging to get a phone line and a broadband connection installed was a bit of a catch-22. To find out any information to compare the prices and policies I basically needed to be online already. Even just finding out the phone numbers for anything. It's amazing just how disconnected and useless you feel without Google at your fingertips.

Of course, I did cope and didn't die without the Internet. In fact I found myself going to bed earlier. I did eventually sort everything, although some things proved more difficult than others (frequently being told to use their website or register with them online grrr). I think phone services in particular have become much worse because they expect you to use their online service. Most of them suggest that you use their online service as soon as you call before putting you in a queue for hours. I recall being in a similar situation only 6 years ago (moving house and having to set everything up) and it was nowhere near as difficult as I found it this time.

I expect the trend will continue. It makes sense because online services are generally better for the people who DO have an Internet connection and they are cheaper to provide. We will only become more connected. The Internet will be always available to us with smartphones allowing us to view any website exactly as it would look on a PC at any moment wherever we are. I wonder how far we are from glasses/contact lenses with Internet overlay.

Cockatoo grabs his tool, manages to get hold of boffins' nuts

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Re: "Max Planck Institute in Germany"

You beat me to it.



Correlation does not imply causation

As someone else said, the ones with smartphones are probably more spoilt and allowed to do whatever they please and overall experienced worse parenting.