* Posts by Subliteratus

40 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jan 2010

ISPs torch UK.gov's smut-blocking master plan


Heh, this is the same Claire Perry who got a bit miffed that the speaker wasn't giving her the chance to bang on about tuition fees in a Commons debate just over a year ago. She left the chamber in snit, went to the tea room and - using her outside voice - asked "What have I got to do to be called by the Speaker? Give him a blow job?"

I wander if part of her zeal for filtering naughty thing is to stop that particular search result from popping up every time the good people of Devizes google for info on their elected delegate?

Zuckerberg blew $1bn on Instagram 'without telling Facebook board'

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Not a lawyer, but isn't this the sort of unilateral decision that gets CEOs sued by their shareholders for failure to perform due diligence?

What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

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As long as George Lucas gets told to take a hike...

This sounds like a pretty good idea - one licence to rent or buy the content with a number of ways of getting hold of the data. The only fly I could see in the ointment is some dick like Lucas coming along, selling a version of Star Wars, then coming back next year and superceding it with the Double-Secret Probation Edition and removing the earlier version from the servers (cos you know he would). Disney, with their limited-time releases of their animated features, aren't going to play cos anything that sounds like it might give their customers a fair deal brings their execs out in hives (probably).

The two questions I'd ask are: when you "buy" a film what are your rights if the distributor goes into receivership (i.e. is your licence held in escrow and whoever picks up the copyright has to honour your licence)? And do you buy licences separately for SD and HD content, or is it one price for every version?

Bloke drives with knees while manipulating two mobes


Oh dear, feeding the troll...

"And using a police radio whilst driving is... Absolutely fine apparently. Not to mention all manner of other electronic equipment that I have seen plod fiddling with"

Get a grip. The difference is NECESSITY. The Police are emergency responders - they need to able to take a call / fiddle with the buttons / drive over the limit because someone's life may depend on it. They also get a shedload more training in driving a car than Joe Muppet.

I have my own issues with the police overstepping their authority and getting away with offenses that see anyone else spending a significant stay in chokey but your comment is ludicrous.


A ban probably won't do the trick

... directly to jail. Cos a ban's not going to stop a clown like this driving. He was already sticking 2 fingers up at everyone driving uninsured and the dual mobi action was his way of making sure everyone knows a free spirit like his can't be repressed by common sense or regard for his fellow man.

The uninsured car should be crushed and its owner invited for a short stay at one of Her Majesty's guest houses for the pathologically reckless and nasty.

/New icons but no muppets like wot I wanted. I has a sad.

Radio 4 bumped off Freeview by Gaelic TV

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Yeah but, no but...

"A common language for commerce is useful, but we need to encourage the survival of languages in order to maintain the unique viewpoints they provide."

Viewpoints that will remain inaccessible to the people that aren't fluent in the legacy language. You provide examples of concepts from Ancient Greek and Hebrew that are difficult to translate but not from Scots Gaelic - I wonder why? I think it's because those Greek and Hebrew still have a relevance that Scots Gaelic cannot match. How many contributions to science or philosophy were originally expressed in Scots Gaelic? Bugger all.

If the Gaelic speakers could effectively translate the concepts then we'd no longer need Gaelic. If they can't - who cares apart from crofters? And so we're back where we started, questioning the utility of continued effort into maintaining an effectively dead language. And getting back to where we started in terms of language too: one of the languages Scots Gaelic supplanted when it arrived from Ireland in the 4th Century was Old English.


What's the point?

"Do all the people who speak Gaelic also speak English?"

Yes they do (or the 2 people that don't are superannuated crofters on Lewis I'll never meet, so who cares?) and I'm with you on this. As a Scot, I have never had any interest in learning Scots Gaelic (or Irish, or Manx, or Cornish). It's not a significant part of my heritage at all and I get fed up with people telling me it is. The only thing you can do with Scot Gaelic is teach other people Scots Gaelic so they can teach other people... and so on in a never-ending cycle of futility. The language just seems to be kept up as a nod to nationalist aspirations, and for purely sentimental reasons.

This is the 21st Century now - it's time to cut some of the past loose. But seeing as far too many Scots live in a fantasy world where everything will be made better by going back to an imagined past, this sort of pointlessness is bound to continue.

Steven Moffat fumes over Doctor Who plot leak

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I know his pain

Folk may bitch and moan about the plots being too dependent on twists, surprises, and the obligatory sudden reversals but I still think it's a dick move to have the privilege of an early screening then blab about it. For instance, I'm *still* pissed off with Zoe Ball blowing the ending to Buffy Season 5 on her morning show on Radio 1 10 years ago. I swear to God that gobby moo timed it so everyone whose alarm went off at 7am wouldn't be awake enough to get to the snooze button in time.

Tell people it's great or it's crap all you want but don't give away the ending without fair warning.

Calling all readers: Want some new icons?



A nice picture of Fozzie Bear for when a person of organisation's slackness and incompetence can no longer be stoically borne.

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

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Proper space opera

Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. Thrills, mystery, action, romance, spaceships, pirates, gangsters, satanism, spectral possession, antimatter explosions up the wazoo (very nearly literally in one case), inter-dimensional travel, god-like aliens - it ticks every box. It'd have to be a mini-series or about 6 films (going by the Harry Potter waste-of-a-film technique of splitting up nasty big books). The Greg Mandel trilogy would probably be easier and cheaper to adapt though.

While the more cerebral, speculative side of the genre exists, it's very hard to adapt into anything that people actually want to watch.

Everything Everywhere accused of lining pockets with charity cash


Hold on...

Which charities are we talking about here? Plenty of the national charities provide paid-for commercial services, have paid employees, organise marketing campaigns, sponsor entertainment events, lobby the government for favourable laws and in pretty much every way act like corporations. Except with the special tax status because they bung a few quid at some sociologists or some unlucky sod - and only a small percentage of their total turnover too. Why shouldn't they pay?

Try looking at a charity's published accounts sometimes - their spending is all wrapped up as 'programmes' where they hide how much they don't spend on actual people by bunging it together with all their admin and advertising costs. They look like they're spending a ton but are pretty cagey about how much actually makes it to the front lines.

If you want to help real people, try volunteering at a local level - don't only give cash to JAF corporate entity.

Virgin preps step-down Tivo box



I still can't get a new Virgin package with the 1Tb TiVo anyway - all I seem to be able to sign up for is the V+ HD box. Seriously, they've only been bigging up the damn TiVo for nearly a year now and only celebs and triallers seem to be able to get their mitts on them. If they even exist at all. So who cares about a non-existent 500Gb version?

Sweet merciful Jeebus, given how long it take these muppets to get a product to market, we'll all have the Alzheimer's before we see it. At least all our shows will seem like new again.

Facebook twins lose court case


Sums and stuff

"Does that mean they are only left with $20 million?"

The way I read it was that they keep their $20m in cash, plus another $45m in shares that have tripled in value since issue (from a previous article - but that could be the current market value). They just didn't get their award super-sized. So they're currently sitting on assets of between $65m-140m between them for subcontracting development of a concept. I'm finding it quite hard to see the source of all their butthurt.

Beeb reworks Wuthering Frikkin' Heights


The past is a different country

A modern remake would make no sense - half the plot hangs on characters dying of diseases that can be cured with a two week course of antibiotics now. Are they going to have Catherine die of Super-AIDS?

Fans face freezing Apple MacBook Pros


Software, not hardware

Word on the forums is that it's a problem with a 3rd party bundled application, iStat and its fan control software (smcfancontrol), and the fix is to just yank it out.

As a test analyst, this sort of screw-up makes me smile - cos it means one more set of muppets gets the message on QC. Testing may not be rocket surgery but it is essential.

Three to drop mobile smut shield


Is it really about teh kiddehs?

I ran into 3's filter trying to surf for info on breast augmentation the first week I got a SIM-only contract from them. I cancelled that contract less than half an hour later. I don't want to have to phone some call center minion and tell them I want to be put on the perv list.

But Vodafone, my next provider, were worse. I specifically told the salesperson that I didn't want adult filters on my contract, and I saw her click the checkbox on the application page to disable the adult content filters but they were still in place when I checked. Muppets. Luckily I'm on a SIM-only plan - ditching Vodafone at the end of the month now.

I'm convinced it's less to do with protecting the kiddies than it is with reducing their data volumes. Most customers would be too embarrassed to enable the content and there's no way (I can find) to do it online - you have to phone and talk to someone. Fewer skin pics = lower data costs.

Whitehall to puff punters: 'Hide your fags'


Re: Sounds good to me

"Then there is also no evidence that it won't work. Might as well give it a go and see if it does work."

So the government should march into people business, demand that they refit their shop at their own expense, and (in the case of small retailers) cut their margins and push them closer to the edge of extinction, with no evidence that it'll have any effect whatsoever. You're a real champ at spending other folks' money. Bet you're the sort that bitches and whines about how supermarkets are homogenising the High Street too - ever wonder why?

"Anything that discourages people from starting to smoke must be a good thing, right?"

Why? After 30+ years of education on the topic, smoking's an informed choice made by an adult (me). A choice that brings more money into the economy than spent of treating smoking-related diseases (a surplus of about £6bn annually). Then you can add in savings in pensions that nobody seems to bother working out (me too). It's none of your goddamned business.

Smokers have accepted concession after concession and our willingness to compromise has just made the zealots greedier. We already smoke outside - and it's funny how people whinge about the smell of smoke but completely ignore the taxis, vans, trucks, and buses belching diesel fumes. We have laws to prevent minors buying tobacco already - if they aren't being enforced that's the fault of the enforcers, not the adults smoking legally.

There's news coming from the US that some local governments there are drawing up plans to ban e-cigs too. No provable harm to the smoker or anyone around them but they want them banned anyway. The agenda of the zealots is clarifying - health's just the foot in the door. It's about control, social orthodoxy, and meek little sheeple finally getting the juice to impose their broccoli-tinted vision of how life should be on their peers.

Woman sentenced for breaching former employer's PCs


Incurring a debt

"If I get into a taxi and don't pay what crime would you say that was[?]"

Uh... theft (and possibly fraud). You incur a debt for the cab driver's time - that's what you're paying for. You're not leasing the cab, you're paying the driver for a service. Unless you have some way of giving the cab driver the minutes of his life you've used up, you have to pony up the cash. Same as if you go into a restaurant, eat a meal then stick two fingers down your throat and puke it up all over the table. Every atom of the original meal may be pebble-dashed over the tablecloth but you still owe for the meal and the service.

Fort Wayne officials refuse to slap Harry Baals on public building



Tickle Cock Bridge in Castleford. And yes, it is for exactly the reason you're thinking about.

Assange relishes US banks 'squirming' over 'megaleak'


I say, I say, I say...

What's the secret of comedy?

I don't know, what is the secret of good...



Maybe he's just waiting for a slow news day, you know one where the whole of north Africa isn't a tumultuous mob, howling for the blood of dictators.

Morricone makes music for Android smartphone


Pluralism rules!

Yeah maybe back in the 1950s when there was only 1 phone in the house, you knew who's phone was ringing: yours. Now we're in the future, we need to be able to discriminate. And I don't mean who's phone belongs to whom, I mean we have to be able to hate the owner properly based on the couple of bars they chose to identify themselves. Classical music for a ringtone? Stuck-up douche. Steps? Metrosexual moisturising, eyebrow-plucking douche. House music? Brain-dead juvenile douche. Techno? Drug-addled poser douche. Default ringtone? Cheap douche. The watch chimes from A Few Dollars More? Me-too douche. The Professionals ringtone: coffin-dodging douche. GPO model 706 ringtone: trainspotting douche.

Haters be hatin'. Just as nature intended ;)

Boffins crack walnut-shaped Iapetus moon mystery


Not a walnut

It looks way more like a pistachio to me. If you're going to use a nut-based toxonomy at least visit a more upmarket supermarket than Lidl.

Flatscreen makers fined €649m for price fixing

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Samsung ftw!

I have a Samsung 40" LCD that I bought about 4 years ago so I probably took a hit from the price-fixing. But, in consolation, my telly was built by the sneakiest and smartest manufacturer - the one that managed to stitch up all the rest. Those are both traits I admire and, if their engineers are as sneaky and smart as their regulatory risk team, then it's just possible I got value for my money anyway.

Stuff's worth what people are willing to pay for it and, even with the price-fixing, can people really claim they were cheated? They felt the deal was fair when they ponied up their cash at the time. No-one made them pay £1500 for a telly...

Judges reject Operation Ore appeal


Judgement tl;dr

You can find the judgement at


if you're interested. Actually the evidence against him is pretty good - they have logged IP addresses for his initial subscription, credit card billing addresses matching his home, hand-annotated credit card statements that mark the billed items (that he didn't query when he's followed up other items in the past), and passwords from the gateway site matching passwords (and account names) he's used for other subscriptions. All in, I'd say reasonable doubt had been met, cos the only alternatives are OCD identity thieves, police fitting him up, or magic fairies.

Nude trampolinist bounces free from court


Alarm and distress? Really?

If I woke up at 5am, looked out my window and saw some oldster giving it the beans on a trampoline out the back I'd pee myself laughing. The complainant must have had a way sheltered life - so sheltered it's amazing that she even knew what she was looking at.

Of course, given the Daily Record's tendency to rip the arse out of any story with even a hint that social orthodoxy has been transgressed, and a large section of the Scottish population (I'm Scottish btw - glad to be out of it right now) willing to believe their inflammatory proclamations are holy writ, it's amazing this guy wasn't chemically castrated and sectioned.

A spank on the wrist from the coppers would have done the job, not an entry in the sex offenders register. And what ever happened to mens rea?

Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality


Apple store

Interestingly, I was in the Apple Store in Regent Street on Saturday and one of the Apple minions told me that they weren't expecting stock for over the counter sales for another 2 months. If I had a suspicious mind I'd suspect that the 22 days was spent revising the antenna design and getting the production lines re-tooled. I was about to buy the phone (hey, free bumpers - woo!) but I think I'll hang on til the new stock arrives. Then let someone else buy it and maybe upgrade a month after that.

UK.gov abandons 2012 rural broadband pledge


Aw boo hoo

Given that people go to live in the country to get away from all the bustle and crowding in cities, they just have to accept there's consequences too. One is that it's a lot more expensive to install and maintain telecoms to fewer houses that are further apart. Same reason no-one's built a metro system to get them to the local shop (for local people). Which they'll want next.

If they want half-decent broadband they can pay the extra it'll cost or get on their bikes to civilisation. If they don't like it, then resilient areolas to the lot of em. Bumpkins.

Bendy bike inventor scores design prize win

Paris Hilton

It's a nice idea but...

If it didn't bend, you could get 2 bikes on a lamppost, one either side, but this way you can only get 1 bike per lamppost so it's actually worse. And, it doesn't really do anything to enhance a bike's security. A pair of boltcutters are going to have most chains off in seconds even if threaded through both tyres. And, if a thief needs more time with a sturdier chain, all they're going to do is what they do now - thread their chain through your frame to keep your bike where it is til they can get at it at night.

But as a foldable bike for taking on the train it may well be a winner. Cos, let's face facts, those foldable bikes with the tiny wheels are for gimps.

Paris, for promiscuity/bicycle semantic conflation.

Belkin Play Max dual-band wireless router

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Never again

I once bought a nice bit of Belkin kit, a 4-port KVM switch. It was great and worked happily until VGA and PS/2 connectors went nipples-ascendant. In 1997. I made the mistake of buying their 2-port mutant octopus-looking KVM (DVI/USB) switch a couple of months ago (for £80!) and it was the worst junk I've ever paid money for. Seriously, if a company doesn't have engineers competent enough to put together a working 2-port KVM switch, who'd trust them with anything more complex? Pity you only learn this after getting burned...

iPhone 4 Day: pre-orders and pregnancy cut no ice with 02


Enough's enough

I paid my final payment on my 18-month contract to O2 2 days ago and I'm going to be asking for a PAC code today. Visual voicemail is not enough incentive to deal an entity whose official policy is waste my goddamned time. All the O2 stores I visited today had queues along the street and were sold out of the 32GB models to boot. The shop in Cannon Street was only serving one customer at a time even though there were about 2 or 3 guys standing in the store staring off into space. Let retards queue all they want for the iPhone - I'm done.

You'd think that given the iPhone's star is waning and Android's on the rise, now would be the time to play hardball with Apple on pre-orders and stock allocations. But no... O2's legendary ineptitude in every field of endeavour continues unabated.

O2 apologises for iPhone 4 glitch



I'm an O2 customer with an iPhone and my contract's up for renewal this month. It seems that I am unworthy to receive the pre-order offer. I was planning on queueing up outside one of their less popular stores tomorrow to see if I could get lucky but they can go fornicate themselves if they think I'm paying to be treated like a second-class customer.

And this queue-up-at-the-store-and-take-your-chances bullshit is getting old.

Best Buy tech finds 'child abuse' wallpaper on broken PC


Local news report

If you follow the local report link, the arrest report summary reads like the technician tampered with evidence by attempting to replace the wallpaper before searching for and finding more images, then reported the images to his manager. I don't know about anyone else but if I found even 1 image of a child being abused I'd close the lid, stop getting my fingerprints all over the machine, and call the police. I'd tell my manager but only to report progress, not ask permission. I certainly wouldn't try changing the desktop settings while the store's copper-friendly CCTV cameras record me, for accessory-after-the-facty goodness.

As for "How stupid do you have to be to take your kiddie-pr0n-o-tr0n in for repairs?", do we *really* have to keep asking? Nearly 7bn peeps on the Earth, plenty of them are going to be way, way down on the bad side of the Bell curve.

Broadband boss: 'The end of freeloading is nigh'


Wow... just wow...

Comparing electricity - twice as much electricity needs to consume twice the resources - to information - resource expenditure up-front to create content then negligible resources to replicate and transmit digitally - is not a valid comparison. Yeah, pushing electrons does cost money - just not very much. Many, many orders of magnitude less than it'd cost to produce new content (or distribute the information physically).

And, did you even bother checking those sums your paymaster provided? They're way, way off.

Weak sauce old chap.

Met launches net café spy operation


What they'll really be thinking...

... is "what a bunch of hypocrites!" We call ourselves a free country, and tell the world that we're the ideal liberal democracy that all nations should want to become. But then our coppers pull retarded stunts like this so they can throw a bone to the hard-of-thinking. And, of course, if anyone questions the coppers' strategy then it's all "do you want the terrorists to kill your granny?" and "all it takes is one".

Meanwhile, we're just hardening the attitudes of the guys that are the real nutters and handing them another set of grievances to get the kids (they blow up too fast these days) into the gang.

LibDems score copyright coup


Facilitating legal access

I've always thought there's very little point in getting into an arms race with the copyright infringers - they're never going to pay. You can try making life difficult for them but that'll just mean someone's going to come along with an app that can use a decentralised tracker with encryption and proxying built in, along with a recommendation system for other torrents the infringer might be interested in. I'd give it a year or so now.

Then where do the content guys go after that? Where they should have gone in the first place: releasing a DRM-free version of their shows & movies for paid download when they're first shown/released and stop forcing people to go through the whole cinema/dvd/movie channel/itunes/tv cycle. Sell to the customers who'll buy but sell when *they want to buy*, not when studios want to sell. I don't want to have to wait for BBC2 to get around to showing Heroes before I can buy the DVDs.

Shows like Sanctuary demonstrate that approach can work but there have been no others I've seen taking up the same model. The producers of Sanctuary even give the SD version of the show away for free and only charge for the quality version. And, with brazen irony, they used all those websites that distribute infringing content to get their legal content out to the community.

In essence: you're a dummy if you expect people to wait half a year to pay you for stuff they can have free today. And that stays the same no matter how many conniving, unelectable, morally-bankrupt life peers you solicit.

Old PS3s locked out of PlayStation Network



As they've hosed folks' access to PSN, how are they going to get the firmware updates out? The next round of BDs from Sony? It'll be a laugh to see how this all pans out.

Apart from the bit where I'm not laughing because half my games don't work any more.

Mozilla ditches Mac OS X 10.4 support in fresh Firefox


Oh boo hoo

I got into computers because it was all new stuff with shiny lights and buttons. The lure was being at the cutting edge of a new enterprise for humanity, finding out how to do new things on new toys. Now I'm surrounded by folks describing themselves as IT professionals who don't even have their own computer in their homes. And people are seriously whining about how they can't use the most modern version of Firefox on their superannuated junk piles? A program that did't even exist when they bought their dusty difference engines?

Ditch the old crap, send it to the 3rd World or just chuck it in a skip for the love of the sensless, uncaring, mechanistic universe. And buy a new computer even if baby's teeth have to grow crooked.

Twitter 'airport bomb hoax twit' charged

Big Brother


The magistrate is just as likely to give him a slap for forcing the police to waste their time. They *have* to investigate this crap - they aren't allowed any discretion for terrorist threats. There had to be a prosecution too so all those hours spent didn't go to waste when the coppers are reporting their stats.

He should be cautioned but that only seems to be used for real criminals these days. Personally, I'd make him wear a sandwich board at the airport for a week with "I'm a legally identified idiot - ask me why!" on it.

Ofcom opens debate on Freeview HD DRM to punters


Here's an idea

Why doesn't the BBC stop buying a load of crap from the US and make decent programmes of its own instead? You know, like it used to. Then they wouldn't have to worry about the rights-holders getting all huffy.

Unless, of course, the real plan is to prevent us from recording the stuff they plan on knocking out later on DVD for themselves. Members of a public organisation pursuing their own agenda and willfully deceiving the British public? Unthinkable!

Prysm pitches ultra-green laser telly tech

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Angles are tricksy

If the beam's being bounced in from the sides to a centre reflector then out to the screen, the edges of the display would be a lot dimmer than the middle (especially the left and right edges) because the beam is hitting the screen at a much more oblique angle. You could compensate by having the beam linger towards the edges and sweep the centre faster, I suppose, but it'd increase the complexity and there'd be one more thing to go wrong.

Even if it did ever get to market, the only reason to buy it over a proper telly would be because of the "carbon footprint". Newsflash: crusties and road protestors don't have the cash to stump up for a new telly.