* Posts by Iain Cartledge

21 publicly visible posts • joined 22 May 2007

Virgin Mary appears in Google's Iowa data center

Iain Cartledge

The way I see it

either Google is actually trying to be nice and help out a community, or, more cynically and more likely, they are trying to get people to start thinking of that Do No Evil slogan again and using this as not only an opportunity to get a new datacentre, but also to make it look like they really care. Whichever it is, it doesn't really matter, because it clearly will impact the community. Whatever their motives, attacking Google skirts the fact that it's quite a good idea.

For once, I'm fully agreed with Blackly, stop blagging your book, I was quite interested in the basis of the article, but the content put me right off.

Currency launched to cover the cosmos

Iain Cartledge
Thumb Down

You won't need to worry about the distance issue...

because obviously it won't update your credit instantaneously, you'll just pre-purchase a temporary card with a certain number of credits on it and use that. It will be only usable with the correct ID chip, which by that time will, of course, be inserted under the skin of the person who buys the card. If you have credits left you can either keep the card or redeem them by 'selling' the card back to your bank. Simple enough?

Computer glitch nixes death row appeal in Texas

Iain Cartledge
Thumb Down

I thought...

the court could only convict if there was "no reasonable doubt", so sentencing a man to death and ignoring an appeal is bad whether you're pro or against capital punishment. Whether you're all for capital punishment or not, suggesting that once a person is convicted appeals are worthless because he "must have done it", history has time and time again shown us that this simply is not true, and that if the appeals process was more thorough, or if humans were less fallible it might not be a problem, but until it is, giving someone a few more hours for the chance to save their life doesn't seem like a problem really?

The real problem I have with capital punishment is that the criminal justice system's purpose is punishment and rehabilitation (it is in the UK anyway), making it about revenge fulfils neither of those goals. Anyone who says "he killed a 21 year old mother of seven, he deserves to die" is asking for revenge, not punishment. I'd like that person to be punished appropriately, and I'd also like to give them the chance to realise what they had done wrong. Go watch 21 Grams or Things to do in Denver When You're Dead. Good films, and make a better point than I ever could.

Renewing the mythology of the London ricin cell

Iain Cartledge

Re: Chris

Sorry for being pedantic, but you'll just get it in the eye from Tony for putting terrorist plot instead of global terrorist plot.

The point of the article is clearly to point out that there was no link between Bourgass and aQ. The US and the UK are in positions where anything that can be remotely tied to terrorism, is. Just because this guy is actually a criminal doesn't make him more of a global terrorist, or part of a global ricin conspiracy. Even if you disagree with the authors on some of their opinions, I think it's pretty fair to say that the paper they are commenting on is clearly tripe.

'Happy slapping' vids prompt Brown to push net filters

Iain Cartledge

Re: Stalin era Russia

While I appreciate and agree with the sentiment in general, I think it's an unfair comment in this context. Educating parents on how to protect their kids from online violence and helping them has nothing to do with government censorship. Every parent has the right to be able to protect their kids, and even though I'm not a parent I'm not naive enough to believe that it's possible to watch your kids every minute of the day, or even the time they spend online. Anything that helps parents is good, and no doubt if the parents got charged with neglect for letting their kids look at violence because they didn't understand what their kids were doing critics like you would be quick to suggest that the parents should 'educate themselves'. Of course they should, but then criticising a government initiative to help them educate themselves is a little bit hypocritical.

World of Warcraft exploit PKs servers

Iain Cartledge

Re: Slow response

The WoW setup is actually pretty sound and I don't see what relevance backups have in this case. Until they could find the exploit's cause the same users would probably just keep on crashing the servers when they brought them back up. As with all software crashes, finding a bug like this could take weeks. Even assuming every user's actions are logged, unless you're lucky there's going to be a lot of logs to look through, and the speed at which they fixed it, in my eyes, is pretty impressive.

I can understand user frustration, as I used to play WoW, but this response is actually a lot better than most other companies would have if they had similar problems. Kudos to Blizzard.

Livid woman torches ex-hubby's wedding tackle

Iain Cartledge

Is Spike Ravenscroft...

A man or a woman? "you guys"? Never heard Spike used as a woman's name before, maybe I'm just being naive but I call shenanigans.

Cadbury bows to 'bring back Wispa' net campaign

Iain Cartledge

Re: While they're at it

Anyone remember the chocolate + marshmallow pizza they brought out when they were promoting the original Turtles films?

There seems to have been a resurgence in nostalgic food recently. I hadn't seen Gold bars for years until recently, and I'm amazed that you can still find Double Dips and Sherbert Fountains in supermarkets. We should get kids eating those instead, and Flying Saucers!

Jason Bourne disses James Bond

Iain Cartledge

Re: Not quite

Until Bourne gets his lower regions beaten with knotted rope you can't really use the fight argument.

Both are highly unrealistic franchises, the difference is that the Bourne trilogy started later and so never had to live up to its legacy. Most Bond fans enjoyed the grittier films such as On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Casino Royale. Casino Royale raised the stakes, and unfortunately whilst the books are fantastic, the Bourne films look like all too much Hollywood candy floss in comparison.

MS-DOS paternity suit settled

Iain Cartledge


I'm 25 and we used to have GEM on the family 386. On the Amstrad we had before that we used CP/M. And yes, I remember a DTP package we used on GEM, can't remember name though.

'Mac worm' hacker in death threat farce

Iain Cartledge

Re: Re: Sheesh. These fake 'switchers' are really boring.

I've used MS PCs for development, gaming, writing and general web use for the last 17 years or so and I've had 2 virii over that time. One was a Word macro virus which the family PC got when I was about 12 and the other is an IRC worm which I picked up when I first started using IRC and was a bit uneducated about its use.

If you're sensible about your PC or your Mac you won't get infected, it's pretty much your own fault if you do. Seeing as I like to play games I use a PC, especially since I want to keep my PC up-to-date hardware wise without doubling my carbon footprint and buying a new box each time I want to upgrade.

Saying that, Eclipse is great..and when I was doing Java, using IntelliJ IDEA was amazing (until its refactoring deleted a load of stuff I had been working on the weekend before I had to hand it in).

US seeks mini-Imperial Walker mule-bots

Iain Cartledge

Breaking News

Iran demolishes nuclear facilities, to replace with string factories.

Also, if you've ever smelled a mule you'll know why they'd prefer a robot.

El Reg lobs iPhone at Genius Bar

Iain Cartledge

So, Macs...

I've never owned a Mac, although I've worked on them and I have always respected Apple for creating things that are relatively bug-free and are pretty much off-the-shelf (compared to MS anyway). Most of the things that MS have brought to the software world have had problems. Yes, a lot of what the Mac/PC adverts say is valid as well (although flawed in its reasoning, you never got many games for Macs for exactly the same reason that you get more virii on PCs), however I also take exception to many things Apple related. Their environmental impact, their "it's really cool" approach (far from just being peer pressure, it means that people who have no idea about computers don't bother learning, they just buy it, I hate PC World for the same reasons), etc.

Unfortunately Apple have now taken away my respect, by doing exactly what MS does with every release of Windows. They haven't released a finished product, the product (as usual from them) is overpriced for what it is, and it's just not that good (even if the UI is fancy).

Lastly, the peer pressure argument of "would you jump off a cliff if..." is used in completely the wrong context above. It should be used to teach children not to give in to peer pressure. Whilst I don't see any kids jumping off cliffs, I see plenty smoking and drinking, which I'm sure is in part down to peer pressure and at their age (qualified for the drinking) it is just as dangerous as jumping off a cliff. Peer pressure exists, which is why most kids have mobile phones these days (even though the majority don't use them except for texting friends who live round the corner), and Apple relentlessly release products that are aimed at working their way into the subconscious of society.

I fear there's a more sinister angle to Apple's marketing. Guinness created adverts years ago with the idea of embedding their brand name into the children's brains. Maybe not inclining them to buy it, but making the name known so that when the kids grow up, the first name that pops into their heads when they take those 3 seconds to decide what to drink is Guinness.

Go figure.

How can you possibly test modern software fully?

Iain Cartledge


The article only uses IE as part of the example, if it was to use all versions of IE it would clog the diagrams. The constant of note is that the number of tests is reduced. If you followed the same route with different versions of IE you would get the same conclusion, the path is irrelevant and only there to illustrate the point.

140 = 5 * 8 * 3 + (5 + 8 + 3) + (1 + 1 + 1) + (1)

Brackets for clarity. 5 + 8 + 3 for when one or two other settings are either outside bounds or unused, 1 + 1 + 1 for the settings outside bounds or unused (1 for each out of bounds setting) and + 1 for when all settings are outside bounds or unused. Unlikely in this situation, but I think that's how 140 was found.

'Suspicious looking' man hauled off translatlantic flight

Iain Cartledge

Missing the point slightly...

The problem with a fear reaction to anyone with dark skin on a plane is really because it encourages racism. If our leaders and security forces are seen to indiscriminately arrest people based on the colour of their skin (maybe not exclusively, but they wouldn't have reacted the same to a white person, no doubt the reason he bypassed security is because he has seen other people do it without trouble) it filters down, and you either get angry youths who feel opressed or you get angry youths taking out their fears on "terrorists" (read foreigners). All of which leads to easy-to-persuade fodder for real terrorism (which appears to have succeeded).

As for white terrorists, Basques, Chechen rebels, still some rogue elements in Ireland, the KKK, Millwall fans.

Why people are so happy to jump on the fear train and go along with this tosh (I love that word) despite the stupidly low odds of being in a terrorist incident I will never understand, but I'd like to think our leaders would have more presence of mind and actually do something about things like this.

Also it's true you can't just lynch people you think are terrorists in the middle of the street any more, you tell the government and they'll ship them off to a secure facility where they'll torture them and lock them away for 4 years without trial. <enter comment about Stalin>

Chileans mislay large lake

Iain Cartledge

Re: Actually, it should be soccer

The only other place in the world I can think of it being referred to as soccer (and even there I don't know if they do) would be Oz. If I started calling volleyball handball I wouldn't expect everyone else to call the French game "French handball" just to make it clear to me. Especially if I was in France.

Robot brains? Can't make 'em, can't sell 'em

Iain Cartledge

Re:Blue Screen of Death again?

Meanwhile, Apple are beavering away at producing a robot that has one button, cleans only the bathroom, uses a broom, doesn't quite have good enough sensors, so keeps on walking into things, is made of shiny white plastic, costs three times as much and needs to be scrapped for the new version every two years (or else the battery dies).

The Linux robot is incredibly efficient, cheap, very fast, and prevents your neighbours from using it with incredible security features, but you need to spend a month to get it to understand what your bathroom is, and it looks like a penguin.

The Dos robot fell over because its cache wasn't big enough.

I saw aliens at Roswell, claims dead PR man

Iain Cartledge


Given the current media climate over a couple of idiots setting their car on fire and ramming some bollards, if this was true, surely the mainstream media would explode. Not a terribly bad thing, you might say, but how would the Government's of the Western world get the people to understand that they are in a "difficult position" and that our removal of freedoms is "necessary". Clearly a coverup!

Manhunt 2 banned

Iain Cartledge

Good decision

I've played just about all the violent games over the last ten years at some point, including the original Manhunt. Even with those experiences behind me I still felt a bit off using the Wiimote and Nunchuk to strangle people in the Godfather game the first time I played it. I can understand how a game like Manhunt could have horrible repercussions on a person's psyche, and while I think the nanny state has gone crazy in some respects, the BBFC is perfectly justified to ban the occasional game, seeing as that's why they're there in the first place. Considering the games I've seen come through (all the way back to Wolf3d) I have confidence that they'd only do something like this if the game was really bad.

Saying that parents should be more responsible is perfectly valid, I agree with the point, but they're not, and until they are (and until shops are) there's really no way to police the market, and it's simply unfair to the children to blame the parents but leave the problem.

Microsoft demos mind-bending photo app

Iain Cartledge

Technology Demos

A tech demo is not intended to be representative of the final product, it's only there to show off the underlying technology (usually with greatly reduced functionality), hence the name. This is why the specs of the demo are so limited. The base tech is amazing, now that that is established they can concentrate on making it multi-platform compatible, and sorting out some sliding scale of detail for different specs.

However it is true, you should have spent the money you bought the Mac with on upgrading your PC. Not only would you have twice as much kit for your cash, you'd be helping the environment and wouldn't have to buy a new one in a few years time.

Virgin Media still claiming no usage limits

Iain Cartledge

That's not the point..

I am quite happy with a 2 meg connection, I have never had anything more, and for the first time in a long time my connection was pretty stable after the VM switch. I am a gamer, and as such I don't like choke, loss or high latency, and for once I had 20ms latency and no choke or loss to just about any server in the UK.

Since the speed increase and caps, I have a 60 ping to almost every server in the UK and high amounts of choke and loss. I can only put this down to VM being unable to cope with a speed increase. In fact that's the only reason I can see for them introducing throttling, as they appeared to be coping fine until they increased the speeds.

The argument about it only affecting high bandwidth users is utter pap as well, there is no reason anyone needs a connection faster than 1 meg when they are only browsing and occasionally downloading.

The last straw for me was sending us a letter explaining that they had reduced phone bills to £4 a month for the deal we have, and how amazing they were for doing so, then explaining that we would still be paying £11 a month because of our contract, which is practically as expensive as their best package now.

They are completely useless.