* Posts by Ian 56

43 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Nov 2009

Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

Ian 56

Tautology is a tautology

Tautology: noun. A statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.

For example:

"Multinational companies must pay all taxes due and we don’t settle for less"

"What's that? Who decides what taxes are *due*? Why, we do of course. Thanks for asking."

Queen's speech announces laws to protect personal data

Ian 56

Re: to protect personal data...

Look, it's very simple. Our personal data will be protected, held safely in the hands of trusted employees at MI5, who have only our best interests at heart.

There is literally nothing at all to worry about. Nothing at all, nothing whatsoever.

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Ian 56

Public wifi?

Might I respectfully suggest, that if security is in any way a concern, that you DO NOT USE PUBLIC WIFI!!1!

Ahem. Sorry got a bit shouty there.

Also, there's a fine line between mocking the type of beverages sold in coffee shops ("extra-hot fair trade soya decaf caramel mint chocka mocha focka carbonated Bulgarian snow forest chai espresso latte plus vegan sprinkles and a twist of lemming"), and mocking the type of person that frequents such establishments. I tend to the latter, though I realise there is more than a little element of reverse-snobbery involved. I'm sorry about that too.

The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

Ian 56

The (obvious) difference is that one wishes, and is trying to improve their reliability, and the other does neither.

But, I guess, y'know, both are frequently unreliable, so let's all get on board that false equivalence bus.

5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

Ian 56

I know roads. I have the best roads. This road is the best.

Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

Ian 56

This just in: Jeremy C Hunt describes the Opera organisation as "digital terrorists". Says "this wouldn't have happened if my buddy Rupert was in charge."

Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Ian 56


I get 4G for £10 a month (sim only), on a rolling 1 month contract. All you need is a compatible phone. It would be less if I accepted a lower bandwidth allowance.

As for coverage it probably helps living in a civilised part of the country.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

Ian 56

Just dropped by to recommend the Star Wars Revisited fan edit:



Go for the Purist edition - which is as close to the original release as you will find. Han shoots first, the Death Star explodes without the extra ring-of-fire, etc, etc.

Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

Ian 56

Re: Fight ! Fight!

How old are you?

Have you heard of Saatchi & Saatchi? Do you remember Bernard Ingham's relentless propagandising? Do you remember Thatcher's image realignment, the voice-coaching?

The idea that spin is some kind of left-wing invention is just right-wing spin. Spin, and it's obvious utility to governments of all persuasions is here to stay. It has never been a partisan issue.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – a true monster in the making

Ian 56

Re: What a co-incidence

"sure looks good"

You're gonna love it when you get to Vizima :) *. The first area is usually regarded as being quite dull compared to the rest.

* Assuming you make it past the first boss :(.

Bulk interception is NOT mass surveillance, says parliamentary committee

Ian 56

"Greater transparency"

Fkn winds me up this does.

How about SOME transparency?

In this country as in almost every other the system of regulation is exactly backwards. Those with the most power should be the most heavily regulated, those with the least power should be the least regulated.

Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Ian 56

Think of the children!

Etc, and so on.

Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

Ian 56

Re: Confidence Trick

Never said it was. It's a response to the assertion that:

"A voluntary transaction is, by definition, mutually beneficial."

... which is obvious cobblers.

I might also take mild issue with the idea that submitting to Google tracking is "free". I guess it depends on your definition of the word and, specifically, whether you're only implying a financial meaning. Here's another:

4. (free of/from) Not subject to or affected by (something undesirable):


Ian 56

Re: Not so fast

Another example of a "voluntary transaction": a confidence trick.

Ian 56

Re: Not so fast

I agree.

"A voluntary transaction is, by definition, mutually beneficial."

Hard to believe somebody could write that without irony.

It's only true if both parties have full access to all relevant information, and have the tools* to process that information. If not then it is, by definition, not mutually beneficial. It is, generally speaking, one party "leveraging** their superior bargaining position" - or in laymen's terms: a rip-off.

* Think: knowledge of the jargon, legalese, full awareness of the consequences of the transaction, full awareness of your legal rights and responsibilities, etc, etc.

** ugh

Care.data refuseniks will be DENIED CANCER SCREENING invites

Ian 56

"but does not impact on their direct care"

Nice use of the qualifier "direct" there, neatly rendering the rest of the statement meaningless.

Anyone care to define the word "direct" in this context?

Supplementary question: Did the Reg ask for a clarification of this?

Trolls pop malformed heads above bridge to sling abuse at Tim Cook

Ian 56


I think you'll find it's about ethics in games journalism.

Spies would need superpowers to tap undersea cables

Ian 56

Re: Greenwald never said the cable was tapped underwater.

"Has no other commentard bothered to do so?"

Yeah, me (see above) ... :)

Possibly, we were the only two.

Ian 56

"In running the line that undersea cables were cut, Greenwald is straying far enough from what's feasible and credible that his judgement on other claims needs to be questioned."

You might want to go back and read the original article (linked back from this piece (via the last one)). I have, and I don't see anywhere Greenwald saying that the cables were cut. The closest he gets is this:

"Top secret documents provided by the whistleblower demonstrate that the GCSB, with ongoing NSA cooperation, implemented Phase I of the mass surveillance program code-named “Speargun” at some point in 2012 or early 2013. “Speargun” involved the covert installation of “cable access” equipment, which appears to refer to surveillance of the country’s main undersea cable link, the Southern Cross cable. [...]

Upon completion of the first stage, Speargun moved to Phase II, under which “metadata probes” were to be inserted into those cables."

Then he goes on to provide his evidence for those statements.


So you have "access equipment", and "probes", which could mean almost anything. Nowhere does it say "cut".

UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Ian 56

"Excuse me sir... can you tell me if your shiny new phone is password-locked."

"It is? Excellent, very important to check that sort of thing you know. Now hand it over immediately, there's a good chap."

'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the Oxford English Dictionary

Ian 56

"... a reminder that even widely respected businessmen can knowingly commit unlawful acts in the zealous pursuit of profits"

World. Turned. Upside. Down.

Source code for world's first MUD, Essex Uni's MUD1, recovered

Ian 56

Re: Optional

Sheee... were you sat next to me?

Ian 56

I actually played that very game back in the day (1986-ish). Hacked* in from another University's mainframe.

Good times.

Also, the very last time I felt even the slightest desire to play a MMORPG.

* Meant something different once ;)

NSA plans to FREE YOUR DATA with range of cloud services, analytics

Ian 56

"Exclusive [... blah ...]"

Ha! Nice one.

Putin to battle Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize

Ian 56

It's precisely because they're not "collateral". The killings were intentional. "Collateral murder" is an oxymoron.

Or if you prefer... it's ironic innit.

Ian 56

"... Julian Assange, who may himself be under consideration for his tireless work in uncovering the truth about what US diplomats said about European politicians' personal hygiene and other such earth-shattering revelations."

Or you could have gone with the "Collateral Murder" video - some of the most shocking footage I have ever seen (not being old enough to remember Vietnam).

Still, carry on with the snark. It's what keeps those clicks coming in.

Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Ian 56

"95 per cent of our fellow games players – those who fill server upon server with online Call of Duty and Battlefield sessions – tend to disagree"

Citation please.

CoD and Battlefield players are no fellows of mine.

Heck, online multiplayers are no fellows of mine.

Why would anyone give the first shit about what is, in a very crowded field, the most notoriously abusive online gaming community?

Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android

Ian 56

When asked, my iPhone-using friends only ever mention two "features" - build quality, and the ecosystem (i.e. the fact that apps work together seamlessly), and it's the second that really matters to them. Neither of those need to be any issue at all - assuming Apple wanted to come over to the light side.

The OS "experience" is obviously weak compared to equivalent Android and Windows devices.

The appstore has a larger selection than the Play Store, but that won't last, and in any case Google's store is already large enough to support anything you're likely to need.

Bradley Manning: 'I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States'

Ian 56

That Stockholm Syndrome will get you in the end.

After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Ian 56

Sick and tired

I am sick and tired of media types saying "what they did was against the law already, so where's the problem?".

The kind of justice available to ordinary people (i.e. non multi-millionaires) is a world away from from that available to the powerful. Our libel laws operate counter to their supposed purpose; the PCC is ineffective; and as has been shown multiple times over the years, the police are uninterested unless forced by overwhelming public or political pressure.

I honestly wonder what kind of person can sit down, and with a straight face, write: "The British media is, in fact, very heavily regulated already by the existing laws of the land."

Oh, and btw, the media is already regulated by government. It always has been. In the absence of a proper constitution in this country, *everything* is (or could be) regulated by government. The only question is to what degree.

Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

Ian 56

1. Which Home Secretary famously made up a story about "having a cat meaning an automatic right to stay in the UK", claiming that "You couldn't make it up".

2. Who, or what is "Maddie"?

A. A blonde, blue-eyed victim of dastardly foreigners?

B. The major source of revenue for a national newspaper.

C. Both of the above.

3. In the average comments thread on a subject related, tangentially or otherwise, to "immigrants", what percentage of comments will be written by retarded xenophobic eejits?

A. 30%

B. 50%

C. 70%

Web users: We've got NO IDEA if we're stealing content or not

Ian 56

"The five per cent of users who only ever used unlicensed material spent much less than the average: £13.80 over three months, compared to £77.24."


Shirley, given the phrasing, I'd have thought the amount would be £0.00, y'know, by definition.

"The survey demolishes the myth that devoted pirates are also high spenders."

I've not heard this. I have heard that those who pirate also spend the most, but this is not the same thing at all - the "myth" as you put it does not refer to the top few percent.

Revealed! Prime Minister's iPad 'dashboard' for controlling Britain

Ian 56

I've read the article.

1) It doesn't say it's an "iPad App". It says: "It is a web app".

2) The word "sentiment" is not used.

3) It doesn't say that it is exclusive to Cameron.

So, to paraphrase, almost every piece of information provided about the article turns out to be fanciful and bogus.

Same old, same old.

What's copying your music really worth to you?

Ian 56

Re: Where is the economic harm...

My thoughts exactly - the economic "harm" would be zero.

Of course, if a load of bureaucrats started investigating this, quite a lot of people, including certain usual suspects (coughOrlowskicough), would waste no time complaining about the waste of taxpayer's money.

On the other hand, the economic benefits from liberalising the regime and allowing companies to officially target format-shifting as a service or feature, should be obvious to anybody (coughOrlowskicough) - if not so easily quantified.

Top Brit authors turn flamethrowers on barmy IPO

Ian 56

Re: Not very much apparently

Sort of a shame then that you chose to start your article with an insult.

"Moral high ground" Look it up.

October 14 declared 'Steve Jobs Day'

Ian 56

You have to admire the PR company involved.

Still, obvious troll is obvious, and it's a shame that so many immediately fell for it.

*casts significant look upwards at previous comments*

Vote now for the best sci-fi film never made

Ian 56

<title here>

And with 100x the votes of any other competitor, I smell a rat...

Ian 56


Neuromancer on the single condition that Keanu Reeves has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Calling all readers: Want some new icons?

Ian 56

3 for you

The "Professor Brian Cox" ... lookit that's AMAAAZING!

The "Double Rainbow" ... caution, ephemeral internet meme alert.

The "Tumbleweed" ... gosh, what an interesting comment / article, moving on.

So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Ian 56

William Gibson / Alien

If you search the intertubes you can find a screenplay written by William Gibson for an Alien sequel, the hook being that the Aliens reach Earth and much hilarity^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H mayhem ensues.

I've got a copy somewhere - it's effin' good.

Teens who listen to music a lot are at high risk of depression

Ian 56

Correlation / causation

"The researchers found that young people who were exposed to the most music, compared to those who listened to music the least, were 8.3 times more likely to be depressed"

This is called correlation.

"...research has shown that listening to music all the time as a teenager turns you into a doleful depressive"

This is causation.

How did you get from the first to the second please?

Apple IDs the next-generation iPhone

Ian 56

Reality Distortion Field

"... can Steve Jobs sell the technology that no one else seems to want?"

Ho ho.

You just need to add "or need" to the end of that sentence.

Of course they can.