* Posts by robhogg

8 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Dec 2009

World Cup: Holland to win, Spain to slump

IT Angle

We said meh! M - E - H meh!

I call on you all to join with me - let's make El Reg a football free zone|

Geeks of the world unite!

Should you own your own data?


Actually, I like the chill

"A bigger problem, surely, is that personal information is so weakly defined in HR 5108 that it would be used to censor reporting.

"European privacy legislation is already used in this way: it's had a chilling effect as celebrities use it to keep even established, previously reported facts from being reprinted."

I disagree. There needs to be a public interest defence that allows reporting of certain "private" information (e.g. the sort of things that British MPs had been purchasing out of their expenses). However, I am sick, disgusted and aggressively disinterested in the prurient bile published as "news" by the likes of The Sun and The Star here in the UK. If celebrity A sleeps with B, it's between them and their loved ones. I don't want to know.

Google opens alphabetti spaghetti with refined spelling in search


Please don't.

Just... don't. Or at least give us the opportunity to turn the auto-correction off.

I tend to search for things with slightly unusual spellings. I often also use French or Spanish search terms. I already get irked by Google asking "did you mean...", or even (on one occasion) deciding that I actually didn't mean to search for "sp_dbcc_faultreport indid", and giving me the results for "sp_dbcc_faultreport india"!

This sounds like it will lead to more of the same. In return for making something easier to use for newbies, we are going to end up with something that is of less use to power users.

PHPers prefer Windows desktop to Linux


Setting up a straw man?

"... forty two per cent of PHP programmers named Windows as their primary development operating system. Linux came second, with 38.5..."

Consider the vastly smaller install base of Linux on the desktop, compared to Windows. Consider further that almost all new PCs come with Windows pre-installed, and the fact that most employers will supply people with a Windows-based PC. The 42% using Windows will generally have just gone with the flow, while the majority of the 38.5% using Linux will have made a positive choice to do so. In that context, the fact that there is only a 3.5% difference between the figures for Linux and Windows could be argued to show that PHP developers who expressed a preference prefer Linux.

Red Hat projects to seed cloudy IT


Like he said...

In fact, my understanding is that any license that forbade selling the software, would violate the first clause of the open source definition, (although it does require that the software is also available, at least in source form, free gratis):

"1. Free Redistribution - The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale."

What RedHat are mainly selling, though, is support for the software they distribute, and this is why people pay for it (rather than downloading essentially the same software at no charge from CentOS).

Discrimination warning over airport body scanners

Big Brother

Exactly, @Valerion...

... but also:

1) "Terrorists" or "extremists" are not a fixed, well defined group. Ordinary, law-abiding moderates can be turned into extremists. If they experience extreme injustice, or see injustice inflicted on people with whom they identify, they become angry. If they are then made to feel excluded from the mainstream, then perhaps they become receptive to the argument that violence is the only way.

2) The likelihood is that the profiling will be done on appearance (i.e. skin colour). This means that the white convert who attends the meetings of an extreme group will walk through without challenge, while respectable Muslim community leaders, Sikhs, Hindus and so on will be being targeted.

3) It will lead to neglect of the potential of people from other groups to commit violence, and so possiby increase the risk we face:



West Country pagans tie horses in knots

IT Angle

Slow news day?

Or the duck!

"Peasant 1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.

Sir Bedevere: And therefore...

Peasant 2: ...A witch! "

Bad glass delayed Apple tablet?


It depends on how you think of it...

@armanfromMars - I'd agree with you, thinking of a tablet as a laptop replacement. However, thinking of it as a mobile internet device / document reader / netbook replacement, I think there could be a market, if it's done right.

Current ebook readers are pretty limited in functionality, while the form factor of netbooks makes them difficult to use in some places. A tablet would be ideal to use while held in the crook of your arm, on the bus, on the sofa or in bed. With a decent touch interface, web browsing should be a breeze, and the bigger screen would be better for sites that don't yet make allowances for smartphones (or ebooks containing many diagrams).