* Posts by Andy

162 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2007


Developers take Mac, Linux-friendly Chrome for a spin


Well, it doesn't seem to fall over.

Half of it appears to be missing, but the half that's *there* seems not to fall over.


Intel confirms end of Psion 'netbook' legal fight


netbook. netbook. netbook. Am I in trouble now?

It's just a word, FFS. I don't care how much either party spends on lawyers, people are going to use it as they please.

In this case, my guess would be that if in five years time anyone still cares about small cheap laptops, they will all be called "netbooks".

In the same way that I call brown-bread-with-bits in "granary", even though that, too, is a copyrighted term.

I wish business would grow up.

UK2 brings support back to Blighty, culls execs

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UK2 are not perfect

It certainly used to be the case that they charged a wacking great fee to transfer a domain away...


UK2 have support?!

First I heard about it.

Cobol hits fifty


Not Dead Yet

Anyone want to bet whether it will still be being used in another fifty years?

I have a nasty feeling that the answer will be "yes".

Irish Wikifiddler hoaxes worldwide journos


@"Somebody heard him say that?"

I did post a link, in fact, to the entire article. I think he probably wrote it down.


Douglas Adams had it right

Spider From Mars made the point first on this thread, but Douglas Adams said it in 1999 (http://douglasadams.com/dna/19990901-00-a.html):

‘Because the Internet is so new we still don’t really understand what it is. We mistake it for a type of publishing or broadcasting, because that’s what we’re used to. So people complain that there’s a lot of rubbish online, or that it’s dominated by Americans, or that you can’t necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone. Of course you can’t “trust” what people tell you on the web anymore than you can ‘trust’ what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do.

For some batty reason we turn off this natural scepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can’t easily answer back — like newspapers, television or granite. Hence “carved in stone.” What should concern us is not that we can’t take what we read on the internet on trust — of course you can’t, it’s just people talking — but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV — a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no “them” out there. It’s just an awful lot of “us”.’

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Not the problem

The fact that anyone can edit "the encyclopedia anyone can edit" is not the problem. Lazy Journalism is the problem.

Flagged Revisions aren't the solution. Journalists checking their facts, is the solution.

Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

Black Helicopters

Today interview

Those commenters who say that the government have created a system where, once you are arrested, you are assumed guilty, will love today's BBC R4 Today interview with Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8037000/8037364.stm).

He repeatedly says that the advantage of the DNA DB is that it catches innocent people who re-offend.

No, he really says that. Twice.

Touchy Google wraps protective arm around Chrome EULA


Why do Google need an EULA anyway?

If they are supposed to be The Good Guys, why on earth have a legally dubious, unenforceable, Evil EULA in the first place?

Not drawing any conclusions here; just asking.

Boffins invent automatic net-hookup roboffinry machines


All very well and good

...but I won't be impressed until one has independently deduced the idea of rice pudding and income tax.

Texas senator wants to ban Vista purchases


At the risk of seeming to be a nerd:


Sex crime 'lie detector' pilot could prompt wider use


A much more reliable method

Just check if they weigh the same as a duck.

(Well, someone had to say it...)

Girls Aloud obscenity trial delayed


Hate SF Fans much?

About 50% of serious SF fans, in my experience, have written a story where two characters or actors in a show they like, erm, get jiggy.

As an SF fan myself I don't have to have any sort of kink to know that these things exist or that some of them get creative with the concept of "consent". (To anybody thinking "ew", at this point: quite. But it's only fiction.)

If this case goes to a guilty verdict, an awful lot of people are going to be looking nervously over their shoulders.

Companies burying themselves in IT gear



Isn't it a bit daft to assume that virtualisation will mean that you will need less hardware? Does anyone really think that?

I mean, x server-side applications will generate total load y whether they are on x different servers or one big one. So you'll still need lots of computer kit, either way...

Western Digital WD TV HDD-to-HDTV adaptor


Google "MythTV"

I bought a £25 pIII and turned it into a "media centre" using MythTV. It sounds like it would give this £100 job a run for it's money.

Okay, it helps if you're a Linux nut. And a friend donated a freeview card (about £30). But I seem to remember that Linux will read Mac discs just fine...

Microsoft preps IE 8 for the web-challenged


Who else but Microsoft

...would deliberately release a web-browser that doesn't work with a host of major websites?

And who else would get away with it, probably... ::sigh::

MPs demand investigation into unlawful police action


Needed a warrant?

The Telegraph are suggesting that the police might not need a warrant: specifically, that they don't need a warrant in cases where they have arrested the bloke in question.

I have no idea if that is true.

White space debate comes to Blighty


Everyone move up one, I want a clean frequency?

I suppose it's too simplistic to say that all the digital channels should shift up so they are closer together, then we'd have some spare frequencies at the "end"?

Nuke-nobbler raygun 747 in first full-power blast


Force fields?

Apparently (according to the picture) we have force field technology now?

New terror guidelines on photography


new legislation

Am I right in thinking that there is new legislation still in the pipeline that may make it illegal to photograph police officers? When does that come into effect?

UK.gov abandons income splitting tax law



...they've been prosecuting people who do this for a while, new law or no new law.

RISC daddy conjures Moore's Lawless parallel universe



Fascinating. And I'd love to see these new applications. But...

People will always want to write letters and add up columns of figures. So Word Processors and Spreadsheets, which Patterson dismisses, will still be needed in some form.

In fact I would guess that we will need all the current types of applications that we currently use -- however limited and annoying we find them -- for the next ten years or so.

And computers running the majority* of these applications, processor speed is no longer relevant; hasn't been for years. It's IO speed that makes things faster.

It seems to me that Moore's Law has become an excuse for an industry and so much marketing hype. The vast majority of people are today being forced to buy computers which are much more powerful than they will ever need -- except for the fact that they are running operating systems which have bloated to require that power without any real payback for the user.

But of course, I would say that. Every computer in my house is an old recycled one running Linux.

(* not video editing or animation rendering, but pretty much everything else.)

Home Office team continue work on net snooping masterplan


23AF72 30E7234 7C!

2 4329B 7E37, 476 30 47CD6. 2B76207 23A6 -- 203967 90F 234E76 203497 A 267209.

Law firm argues links to its website abuse its trademarks


google "jones day" lawyer

"Results 1-10 of about 360,000"

Plus Google itself, of course. That should keep them busy.

Beeb gets its rocks off in Second Life

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And the point of this story is?


Was it "BBC makes themselves look really stupid with an incredibly naieve story about internet sex?

Because from here it looks as if your story says "Cooor!! Wish we'd done that story!!!"

Normally the Reg is right on the button (er, pardon me) but this time I think you forgot to write the story before posting it. Any story would have done.


Before anyone says it

No, I don't have a second life account.

Preventive policing? Don't even think about it


Call me cynical, but...

"In the end, these measures will either become an acceptable everyday part of British policing, or they will thoroughly alienate Police and public."

Or, of course, the ever popular: both.

Manuelgate's goth vampire stripper fades from MySpace


Bad taste?

My opinion is that all prank phone calls are nearly as funny as a road accident, so I'll disqualify myself from judging whether it was funny or not.

Reading the transcript of the event (or as much of it as I could be bothered to, anyway), it seems to me that what was actually said wasn't much worse than Brand and Ross normally get up to.

The difference was that they weren't just pratting about on the air -- they were talking down the phone to someone (okay, answering machine, whatever). The difference is important: it's a hell of a lot more personal. When you hear an answering machine message, it's meant just for you.

Granted, the difference is a subtle one. I guess Ross & Grant didn't see it at the time. But when you walk the edge of comedy, I think you need to pay close attention to that sort of thing.

Royal Society of Chemistry requests 'Italian Job' ending



The Benny Hill character turns up with a bus load of fat women. Next, they .... Oh, hell, you get the idea.

(And if that made no sense to you, you've forgotten the movie!)


Just saving the gold? Too easy.

Charlie jumps out. The coach crashes to it's doom, killing everyone in it. Then Charlie comes back with salvage equipment.


UK Govt claims lead in 'green motoring revolution'


"UK Govt claims lead"

so long as they don't put it back in the petrol, I suppose...

Man threatens lawsuit after negative eBay feedback


UK Libel Law

... is a *lot* more complicated than US libel law. (I believe the word "minefield" works quite nicely. Possibly "insane".)

It i *not* enough that the alleged libel is true. If he has suffered loss of business then he might well have a case. The best defense might well be that he wasn't the only one to give negative feedback.

IA, obviously, NAL, so I could have entirely the wrong end of a completely different stick. But I do know for sure that UK libel law is very, very odd.

Google Maps gets gov M-way congestion overlay


Something's not quite right...

I see no traffic in Birmingham. That seems a little unlikely. And clicking on the traffic display units toggle -- the southbound signs on the M6 are saying: "congestion ahead".

It appears that either the site is a bit selective in what jams it shows; or the traffic display units really do lie about congestion ahead on the run up to the M6 toll road....

Hoon: Not building überdatabase would be terrorist licence to kill


It's not the terrorists they'll be monitoring

It's you and me.

Because as soon as this goes live, all the tech-savvy terrorists will be communicating via twitter.

Judge Dredd smartshell shotguns to hit Iraq in '09


I'm all for it

I'm all for anything that raises the price of ammo to $25 a shot in fact.

If every shot cost $25 maybe governments would consider it too expensive to declare war on abstract concepts.

'Extreme' extreme porn law puts Scots out of kilter


No problems with enforcement?

How exactly are they planning on telling the difference between non-consensual, non-violent sex and consensual non-violent sex *just* *by* *looking* *at* *a* *picture* ?

Marketing body condemns 'draconian' Olympic law


I can't say "Summer 2012"?

That's going to be a bummer for movie distributers, to start with.

"Out now in the warm season of the year after 2011"?

Israeli hamlet plans DNA database for dog poop


@"cats too"

Forgive me if I'm being thick here, but the basic difference in cat and dog toilet behavior from my point of view is not whether or not cats bury it. It's the fact that I'm actually on the other end of a lead from my dog when he does it.

If you think I'm climbing up trees and leaping over fences in order to facilitate neighbourliness and hygene, then I think you're assuming considerably more fellow-feeling than I actually possess. Not to mention the issue of trespass...

Artemis Fowl scribe to pen sixth Hitchhiker's novel



Does anyone really think that another author can duplicate Adams' style? It seems a shoddy, ridiculous notion. (And I bet the manuscript turns up on deadline too. Pah.)

I'd like to think that the Earth will develop a slight eccentricity in its orbit due to Adams' spinning in his grave...

Vehicle spy-cam data to be held for five years


If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear

I just wanted to be the first to say that.

So that I could then say "b*ll*cks".

Ray Winstone joins Mel Gibson at the Edge of Darkness


Which role?

Am I to understand that Winstone has the Jo Don Baker role? I guess that would work. I'd rather see him scaring the crap out of people with two bits of plutonium than De Nero.

Royal Society: Schools should show creationism 'respect'


"should be examined as a legitimate point of view"

Fine by me, so long as it's not examined as a *scientific* point of view, because it isn't one.

It's perfectly legitimate to hold irrational beliefs. Lots of us have them. For example, I believe that if I keep buying those little tickets at the post office I'll one day become a millionaire. (Then again, it's also perfectly legitimate to take the mickey out of those that think their irrational beliefs are rational, too.)

It seems to me that a sensitive, reasoned discussion about why creationism isn't good science would be a perfectly good way to teach the scientific method.

Assuming that the teachers and pupils can manage that, of course.

Brit trio convicted for liquid bomb terror plot


You *can* make a liquid bomb

...at least, according to all the reports on this story that I've heard in the "proper" news media today.

I, of course, remain unconvinced, thanks to the improper Register. Ta.

How to stop worrying and enjoy paying for incoming calls

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Flkawed Argument re: VOIP

The idea that incoming calls use up my bandwidth quota relies on the fact that I have one, and that it is small enough for me to care.

Ubuntu documentation in shreds


@ "demonstrates the problem"

Sorry, can't agree with you. Don't you think that the millions (?) of lines of code that go to make up a Linux distro were "hard work"? Most (not all) of that was done by people who weren't getting paid.

Or what about the millions (?) of pages of Wikipedia, for example? Were people paid for that? Granted, much of it is tosh. But much of it is not tosh. And it didn't write itself.

While I'm at it, I'd like to take issue with the idea that the Ubuntu documentation was unusable. I was certainly using it. It needed updating and improving in places, sure. But it wasn't useless. So this is not a disaster.

MSI intros cut-price Linux mini-laptop


Too expensive

I can get a laptop for £300 already, with Windows (if you count that as an advantage).

In order to get me interested you need to break the £200 barrier. I don't want high-spec, I want cheap.

BTW Linux certainly supports bluetooth.

Neo-Nazi forum hacked


@ "you're only reading this..."

[bleadon obvious]

I think the point is that the people who are deriding this are upholding the same principals of freedom and democracy that your father and his countrymen were.

The fact that you -- or I -- don't like the people that they are defending should not be relevant. Or else, who is to decide who gets justice and who doesn't? Me? You? Sort of defeats the meaning of the word "justice", surely?

[/bleadon obvious]

'Why not try nude female midgets?' says Microsoft Adcenter


Duck porn

Googling for "duck porn" gets me 93,400 matches.

Librarian of child abuse networking site jailed indefinitely

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@bugs me

My point was, it may well be a crime, but it's not *the same* crime.

It may even be that one crime usually leads to the other, but that doesn't make them the same.