* Posts by Nick Wallis

36 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2007

Sitting down all day is killing you

Nick Wallis

Am I that old?

Guess I picked the wrong week to give up smoking...

made me smile.

Now, who wants a brew...

Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Nick Wallis

Sliding scale

Seeing as it's the third time that L'Oreal have been done by the ASA this way they obviously feel that they can ignore the ASA and produce this sort of rubbish until told not to. By which time the damage is done.

How about the ASA has a sliding scale of punishments which would allow them to force multiple transgressors to remove products from sale not just adverts from showing. Not forever, but for a period equal to that from the first advert being shown to the ASA imposition.

HP, RIM, ARM among thousands in ICANN dot-brand ban

Nick Wallis

Houses of Parliament?

I may work in IT, but HP still always means the sauce.

Google won't open source fondleslab Android before 'year end'

Nick Wallis



Sony continues slog from pit of shame

Nick Wallis

A title is required


Sony implicates Anonymous in PlayStation Network hack

Nick Wallis

Keep Up El Reg


With their past record Sony calling in security experts will achieve sweet FA

Goodyear blimps to be replaced by German Zeppelins

Nick Wallis

We've seen those numbers before

100 and 101 that is...



Let's hope that N07-100101 isn't as ill-fated as it's R101 namesake.

Does the mayour of Cardington not have a similarly handy fund so that we can bring back the R100.

And, yes, I am related.

Georgian granny disconnects Armenian internet

Nick Wallis

You'll be needing RFC1149

IP over Avaian Carriers - http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149

Landlocked Bolivia seeks legal route to Pacific

Nick Wallis


>> Oh wait what does Bolivia make?

Lithium. I hear it's going to be quite an important mineral in the future.

Hackers find Google's music cloud

Nick Wallis

100 hours

and that's what the 'Unplayed this month' playlist is for.

Bit harder to manage with the 9 foot shelf full of vinyl to my left though.

Eurofighter Typhoon: It's EVEN WORSE than we thought

Nick Wallis

employed != working

> Lots of people were employees making these

There were thousands employed on Typhoon, very few of them actually did any meaningful work. Some of them even used to turn up on Saturday mornings at overtime rates just to read the paper.

Debian 6: Have your Debian and eat your Ubuntu too

Nick Wallis

Don't be so patronising

> Ubuntu and doesn't benefit at all from the eye candy Ubuntu adds

What a fatuous remark. Ubuntu benefits because the eye candy, brings non-techy people over from Windows, increasing the size of the Linux communit.

PHP apps plagued by Mark of the Beast bug

Nick Wallis

Define Proper Testing

"What's so amazing about this story is that it has taken so long for this bug to emerge. I can understand how most PHP programmers wouldn't bother with proper testing,"

Testing is incredibly valuable, but there are diminishing returns as you generate a more and more comprehensive test suite. When the value of the returns is less than the cost of fixing a bug when it occurs 'in the field' as a project manager you have to say "enough is enough".

Given that this bug hasn't manifested itself as problematic in the real world (or there would have been much squealing well before now), and the code-base of PHP driven websites out there, then I think someone pretty much got that balance right.

I'm glad you're not my boss on the one hand demanding such a comprehensive test suite on the one hand that hard to hit, obscure and esoteric bugs are found before release, but also pushing us to ensure testing - always pushed to the right by development slips - doesn't delay a ship-date.

"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."


MEGA DINO-WHALE from 'Valley of the Whales' exhibited

Nick Wallis

armed dinosaurs

4chan has an image of bazooka equipped raptors riding sharks somewhere.


kiloWales - an area 1000 times the size of Wales?

Dutch hacker group offers to 're-educate' teen hacktivists

Nick Wallis

Security Experts in stating the bleeding obvious shocker

The findings of that university report could have been knocked up in five minutes if they'd downloaded the (freely available) souce code of the LOIC. But then going to all the extra effort of packet sniffing and setting up test networks probably sucks more cash into your research budget.

There's a lot of other silliness talked about the LOIC by 'security experts'

"security expert Peter Wood said that in practice it would be very difficult to track down the people involved because the attacks used "anonymising software" to hid their tracks online." [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11968605]

Eh? Did Peter even bother to look into the LOIC before expressing an opinion so authoritatively? And, as he'd have seen *if he'd bothered to check his facts* incorrectly? I note that the BBC doesn't name his organisation or give his credentials. Which is shame as I for one would like to know who to avoid them when buying in pen-testing.

Join in the Wikileaks DDoS war from your iPhone or iPad

Nick Wallis

Stress Testing My Arse

If you really want to stress test a website you use some thing like grinder which allows you to record all sorts of stats not about how well it's coping.

Anti-virus skulduggery - upgrade licence clock shock slammed

Nick Wallis

Kids in school

> I have kids in school so AV isn't optional - its necessary.

Bullsh*t. Give 'em Ubuntu and a lesson in when to use the password (or even better don't put them in the sudo list)


And don't give me any arguments about it being too complicated for them. Too hard to understand for their dinosaur teachers maybe, but not for the kids.

Microsoft's Office ribbon hits Mac fans

Nick Wallis


I'm an end user of Office 2007 on Windows who likes the ribbon and I'm glad it's coming to my Mac.

Google boss: 'Creeped out by Street View? Just move'

Nick Wallis

Wireless Snooping

IIRC Google offered to destroy the data without looking at it.

It was the 'privacy watchdogs' in various governments not known for honouring their citizens privacy that insisted they get their grubby mitts on it to have a look see to determine if our privacy had been invaded.

However much Google stepped over the creepy line and violated our privacy the f**king retards in government went a whole leap further.

One-third of iPad fanbois don't download apps

Nick Wallis

re: built in apps-sufficient for requirements

email client, web browser. Perfect for it's target non-geek audience.

OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

Nick Wallis

OO is too slow...

...on a 5 year old g4 iBook.

Office 2008 for MAC OTOH just works, and at a usable speed.

Ubuntu 'Maverick Meerkat' erects own App Store

Nick Wallis

Really, Who cares about the underlying OS?

For email and browsing and anything your granny needs to do on a PC Linux, and especially Ubuntu, is a far better choice these days than Windows, and that UI from the 90s looks far better than the interface designed by a 6 year old after a day of E numbers playing Simon* that Windows 7 comes with.

As for Macs? If they were crap why does a 5 year old iBook G4 still fetch as much on ebay as a new Windows laptop? They're only expensive ion the short term. Over a lifetime I would suggest that they turn out cheaper, especially as so much software and functionality that costs extra on Windows is built into a Mac. And Linux for that matter.

* For anyone under twenty... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_(game)

Diesels greener than electric cars, says Swiss gov report

Nick Wallis

Small and Manual not necessary

2.7 litre German turbodiesel automatic from 2003 regularly gets over 60mpg on motorway trips, especially on cruise.

IME whose fuel you buy makes a bigger difference than driving style. Supermarket fuel is about 5-7mpg worse than premium fuels.

Apple Magic Trackpad

Nick Wallis

Missed A Trick

Ordinary mice are just the wrong shape for me and I get RSI, so I prefer a trackball which doesn't bump into mugs, books etc, and stays handy next to my keyboard. I'm definitely going to try the trackpad.

I can't help feeling they've missed a trick. Apple sell two versions of their keyboards, wireless and wired. It would make sense to do the same with the trackpad. For desktop users a wire into the PC would have been no hardship, and it could have been fitted with some extra USB ports and doubled up as a USB hub. For sofa users sell the wireless version.

Hackers spoof car warning system

Nick Wallis

Static Identifier privacy concerns

Interesting that the use of 32bit static identifiers "raises privacy concerns as vehicles can be tracked through these identifiers." when you need to be tracking the vehicle within "40 metres" in the first place.

At which distance you can see that rather larger static identifier the number plate.

Point well and truly missed.

Oz privacy boss says Google Wi-Fi slurp breached law

Nick Wallis
Black Helicopters

But this data would have remained private

Google may have taken the data but it wasn't viewed or used. It was only when various government watchdogs all insisted on viewing the data that it was actually exposed.

Kind of like Google taking letters off peoples doormats, but the governments insisting on opening the letters for a good read.

Fetch me my tin foil hat because I'm not sure the governments didn't have another agenda here.

Handset makers, the criminal's friend

Nick Wallis
Black Helicopters

Ha ha ha ha ha

<i>In the UK a fairly comprehensive system exists to allow police to extract data from network operators, with some judicial oversight and budgetary considerations that prevent fishing expeditions.</i>

Does the authour actually believe that?

CentOS back from brink of death

Nick Wallis

@Jason Fossen

@Jason Fossen

> And even the old die-hard Linux advocates don't run Linux anymore, they all have Mac

Probably running Linux in a VM.

@ Nuno

> CentOs is a server OS

What's this running as my desktop then?

Apple's panties in bunch over Microsoft ads

Nick Wallis

Macs Expensive?

I use Linux (CentOS and Red hat flavours), Windows XP, Solaris 10, and Mac OSX at work - I have 5 screens _and_ still need a KVM! - and each have their advantages/failings. Based on my experience with them all four years ago when I had to pay out _my_ money for a laptop I ditched Windows and bought a G4 Mac.

It was the best choice I made.That was OS X 10.3, and since then it's performed faultlessly and reliably, and the upgrades to later OS versions - it's now on 10.5 - have actually made it run faster. You can't say that about a PC, especuially if you're doing video work. At the same time it has a better UI than linux (OK, subjective statement, YMMV), but still has the BSD underpinnings that made setting it up and running it as a XAMP server a piece of piss. Plus it gets all the command line tools linux developers take for granted.

Cost to buy might have been more than a Windows PC, but for TCO I think my Mac has nothing to prove.

Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

Nick Wallis

Supermarkets to sell pre-digested food




Experts trumpet '25 most dangerous' programming errors

Nick Wallis

@alain williams

"If you can write a program without using dynamic memory allocation - then it is probably solving a simple problem - that is why it will run for years."


flight control software


The 'blem wit' error messages

Nick Wallis


A colleague of mine got in serious trouble when one of his Pratchett-esque error messages flashed up on a customer screen:

"Out of cheese error"

Though there is at least one system out there that suggests that people "Eat More Lard".

The Return of iTuneski

Nick Wallis

Artists not being paid.

The British equivalent of ROMS does a similarly shoddy job. There was an online list somewhere of artists that were not being paid by the UK MCPS-PRS organisations. It was rather large

Gmail: a short, sharp rant

Nick Wallis

The (free) goods are not as described.

Gmail might be free, but it was Google who said "never delete an email again".

BMW helps nail 105mph V-sign biker

Nick Wallis

The police don't care about what is and isn't legal