* Posts by dodge

88 publicly visible posts • joined 30 May 2007


Adobe offers free trip to PowerPC era


Gimp Schmimp

The Gimp? The Gimp??????!!!!! The Gimp is awful. Nasty. Horrible. Terrible. The yuckiest, most unintuitive interface, obscure ways of doing things (anchor layer? Just to do a paste? Save as JPEG? Oh no, you have to EXPORT as JPEG! Change pen size? Oh, let's not make that easy).

It makes me want to drive red hot brass nails through the joint of my big toe, just because that would cause me less pain.

I'd rather downgrade my machine to get Rosetta and run CS2. At least it doesn't suck^H^H^H^H cause intense emotional pain.

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK


Re: Idiot

Yeah, a 7/8" inch bolt (if you were to be American using imperial) you totally know what half that width is when finding a radius clearance then multiply out for the five bolts you're drilling in a row.

SO much easier than taking a 17mm bolt, divide by 2 (13.5) multiply by 5 (67.5mm).

That I could do almost instantly in my head. In imperial that would be... um 7/8ths in half is 7/16ths, times five is 35/16ths, which is er 2 and 3/16ths.

You're right. That's so intuitive and easy to do. Made my head explode it was so much easier and more intuitive. How could anyone not see that?

So far there's been NOT ONE SINGLE GOOD REASON to measure beer in pints. Measure it in ml, sell it in a glass marked to 570ml, which is a pint.

What is the problem? Jeeezuz. Daily Mail reading Brits.


Oh for crying out loud you can use both

It's really easy. In South Africa, and many other civilised places, you have a standard size you're pretty much used to. You call it "a beer" or "a pint" or "a tin of tuna" or "a loaf of bread. The exact volume, weight etc is itemised on the package. A beer is 330ml, a tin of tune is 200g (or whatever) a loaf of bread is 700g. I don't buy my 700g of bread, I buy a loaf of bread.

You can order "a pint" which is 0.57l. I regularly order my .57l 'pint of draught beer' at my local.

Exactly why is it a problem that your pint is 057l, and not 1 pint? What's the f*************ing difference?

Path runs screaming from privacy snafu


Morin - cut from the same "we're totally sorry for totally lying" cloth as Zuckerberg

So Morin says in 2010 "we do not store personal data" in an email to a journo (http://gawker.com/5883549/dont-forgive-path-the-creepy-iphone-company-that-misled-us-once-already), goes ahead and does it anyway, and then issues the slimiest of bullshit responses... "this is an important conversation", "if users are uncomfortable", "We care a lot", "no problem. We are not trying to do anything evil here. Hope that the proactive work we've been doing shows that."

Proactive? Stealing users private information is proactive. Lying about it, and then pretending that it's ok, and then fessing up and saying you won't do it anymore is "being proactive"?

Pretty much page-by-page from the Mark Zuckerberg School of Business Ethics.

Nokia Lumia 710


No OTA address book sync?

"Given that the phone doesn't sync with PC or Mac address books, this is quite an important feature."

Seriously? What the hell is MS thinking? This is THE make-or-break usability feature on a new phone IMHO. The thing that lets you get a new handset, and immediately start using it. Boggling.

Team Philippines solar car in self-combustion drama

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Brits in the bush

Ah yes, the sight of a Brit out in the bush, legs clad in shorts and freshly exposed skin glowing the unique shade of white-blue that only a lifetime growing up under lowering grey skies of Lower Dullswitch or Smegma-on-Trent can give...

The amazing shipping container: How it changed the world


...but ruined the joy of seafaring

I spent a fair bit of time cooped up in a small desolate town with an old gent that used to be in the merchant navy - and he recons it was shipping containers that changed the nature of a life at sea forever, for the worse.

You see, it used to have some romance and excitement - your ship would put into harbour, and they'd start to offload, then when that was done load the returning cargo. It was bags, and pallets, and holds full of dry goods to be pumped - it used to take days. In this time, the ship's officers and crew that were not on duty could go into town and take up in a whorehouse, or in this gent's case, spend a few days exploring somewhere exotic.

Then came containers - an entire large ship could be unloaded and loaded in a few hours, ready to sail on the next tide.

Sea life then became a dreary succession of weeks on the open water, a day in port, then back out into the blue.

Why modern music sounds rubbish


And the reasons for the loudness wars are bunk

Check this piece, which looks at Jack White and his defence of it, and also why the record industry thinks it needs to crank the loudness (but doesn't actually, it's all just group think).


Chess crown stripped in plagiarism furore


...but needn't be

>...isn't the idea of Open Source that you CAN copy it and modify it....

Yes - but you can't claim credit for it as your own work.

30,000 Shreks besmirch BeautifulPeople


Site still down

If it was a PR stunt, it appears to have backfired spectacularly.

"The site is currently down due to software updates. Sorry for the inconvenience. Sincerely, beautiful people."

I guess they had to finally man up and get in some plain-looking technical people to fix it. Quelle horreur!

Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default

Black Helicopters

Why is it scary? Uhhh... three reasons

1. You don't tell Facebook to not tag you - you can only tell Facebook not to volunteer your name to others when they put up pics. Facebook still keeps a profile of your tagged face, with or without your consent.

2. Knowing this, imagine a situation (not evne a far-fetched one) where you go to an anti-war protest. Cops take pics, and demand Facebook identifies you (in the US without even a court order).

3. Most people will either be ignorant of the 'feature', or it's implications, until far too late.

Now you are welcome to cue the "ooooh" sound effect and "doo dee doo dee" music.

Texas cinema texter becomes foul-mouthed movie star


Not brilliantly well handled by the theatre

Most (right thinking) people agree that people texting during a movie is bloody irritating and inconsiderate. But in the ad above, the movie house is preaching to the converted.

Nowhere do they appear to explain that the pointless rambling chickie was asked to stop, and they don't say WHY it's their policy. So thick-heads that text will still not understand why their behaviour is unwelcome.

Messaging fail.

Ten... on-ear headphones


Terminology, guys, please

As Some Beggar bangs on about, these reviews are close to useless as they only use subjective language. Please study up a little on audio. Something may sound "cystal clear on the high frequencies" because of non-linear distortion (some manufacturers even design for it, as it makes highs seem "brighter", good for the department store quick listen, but quickly gets fatiguing for longer listening).

At the very lest get terminology right - a speaker or phone is not "louder" than another (which is a function of how much power you're putting into it), a driver is more or less "sensitive" than another (i.e. efficient at changing electrical energy into mechanical energy into accousitc energy), measured in dB/W/m

This year's classy compact cameras


So not really the best compact cameras, then

Which part of "compact" is not clear? These cameras are as compact as a bloody great bulky thing with a big ol' lens slicking out of it.

Compact cameras look at Panasonic TMZ10 (phenomenal value, optical quality and control), the teenzy but quite clever Sony Cybershot TX9, and the Canon S95 (good as the G12, but much more...well... compact).

This year's DSLR stars


Nahhh bollocks. It's not all about MP

Pahhh, you're talking bollocks. Just because you have 12,000,000 pixels instead of 6,000,000 pixels doens't mean all those extra pixels are any good. You can't do a huge crop of a an image if it is not sharp, undistorted, unfringed, un-noisy and otherwise unmolested by poor glass, or poor CCD quality, or poor image processing. Start with good glass, always. Then a good body with proper AF, AE, etc and usable handling.

An old 6MP Nikon D40 can almost certainly and almost always take vastly better images that you can blow up much bigger than a 10MP compact.

It really, really, really isn't about megapixels.

Ad man offers fine drugs and finer print to Macbook thief


What an awesome surveillance camera

So what, pray tell, is the bloody point of a CCTV camera so crappy that it can't even resolve a licence plate a score metres away? What a monumental waste of money.

YES! It's the twists-in-midair FALLING GECKO ROBOT!


Close but no banana

He got me at "squamato-tumblewrithe tech".


Hacker almost derailed Mandela election in South Africa


20-30% of US voters will use non-auditable machines

Now isn't this relevant:

The Faith-Based Vote


As we barrel toward Election Day, Direct Recording Electronic voting systems—usually touch-screen, always entirely unverifiable—are still being used by 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. voters.

Bacon thief leaves rasher on door knob


Mysterious malingerers

Wonder if this bloke is related to the criminal mastermind that scaled my 10-foot garden fence (with decorative victorian spikey bits) and stole a solitary tray of seedlings, leaving behind the identical seed tray sitting next to it, along with the lawn mower, watering can, etc also sitting on the porch, then re-scaling the fence and leaving nary a trace.

Lady vicar tells Anglicans to learn from Black Sabbath


*Ahem* that would be _three_

>Donington (note only two 'n's)

Note: look more carefully.

Unibody MacBook unzipped


Hope this fixes the old one's niggles

...the edge of the top case at the front that chips (known prob, they don't even blink when you take it back) and requires the replacement of the whole top case and keyboard

-- the case starting to bend in the middle from being pulled up to open

Scientists: Tasers work, but we don't know how


Water has other uses, stupid

That must rank up their with some of the stupidest, most self-serving bits of nonsense in the world -- that you shouldn't blame technology for the uses it's put to, and that this line of thinking would mean water should be banned because of Gitmo.

You may find, Rocket Scientist, that water has uses other than waterboarding. Tasers, on the other hand, have one use... disabling people through violent electric shocks.

Technology that exists almost exclusively for security/military use can and should be regulated.

Google feeds Analytics API to world+dog


Ah, the fear, the fear

Imagine someone develops a PowerPoint lugin that lets you pull Analytics stats. Web 2.0 salesmen could now bore you to death in real time!

Mimecast and file server destruction


@AC -- you're wrong, it's not stuck in the cloud

It is not outsourced email. Mimecast's system sits between traditional mail servers and the intertubes -- they don't replace them. They do replace all the spam/virus filters, the attachment/sigs stuff, local archiving, etc, and allow easier search, etc and remote mail access (e.g. check mails via secure Web connection, or send/receive mail via secure Web because your Exchange server has fallen over again -- a lot more likely than a carrier-class datacentre falling).

So if your Internet connection goes down you still have access to local mail stores. Needing super-urgent access to archives is not that common - it's more often needed in e-discovery, etc.

And @ Xander -- you telling me that your local tape archives are 100% reliable and available? Puh-leeze. Assuming you remember to actually DO the archive...

Nude Oz politico snaps a 'con'


Surely he should appologise for being a tacky media whore

I don't get it:

> "I have said all week I'd be the first person in Australia to apologise to

> Pauline Hanson if it were proven the photographs were not of her. We've

> proven it ourselves, so Pauline, I'm sorry."

Shouldn't he be appologising for publishing very old nude pictures of someone taken decades before they entered public life, and completely unrelated to their political aspirations, and absolutely not of news or public interest value?

Shouldn't he be appologising for being a tacky whore? Appologising for being editor of a publication too lazy and greedy to do proper checks? Oh well. C'est la vie su le monde.

Obama CIO's 'youthful indiscretion': shirt thieving


@politics: What's has Jesus' sex life got to do with this?

He can come when he's good and ready.

As for the poor sod in question, did the crime, did his time, I think it's called "paying your debt to society". Unfortunately Fox is going scratch and scratch and scratch and scratch until a man who looks like a perfectly competent CIO gets bulletted.

Oh well, c'est la vie political.

Google shakes AdWords snowglobe again


Wonder if wires, newspapers like it?

Wasn't one of Googles defences in the "you bastards are scraping our news and diverting viewers from out homepage" spat with newswires and various newspapers that it didn't monetise the content, and was therefor lilly white?

Seems so long ago...

Cisco waves excuse boilerplate as profits fall

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The master of weasel

From the chief exec that used to be known for his forthrightness and old fashioned southern straight talking, truly Chambers has become the master of the weasel words.

>"While there are no guarantees, we think the odds are reasonable

>that if we execute effectively...we may be able to avoid large downsizing events,"

Translation: I'm too much of a pussy to fess up, but arterial blood is going to soak the halls of Cisco offices around the world. Start prepping your CVs, boys. But don't be scared, we'll do it in two or three smaller hacks so that no-one notices your screams of pain.

Disabling Windows Autorun - there's a right way and a wrong way


XP users - download the TweakUI PowerTool from MS

The powertools are cute - developed my MS guys, but not "official". There's a really useful one called TweakUI that let's you pick which drives you want to disable autorun, and since any physical drive mounts as a logical drive letter, problem solved.

I think. YMMV.

GM's Lutz shows luxury 'leccy Cadillac


Solar panel sunroofs and other GM spin

Ah, GM. How you spin. You spun your financials for a decade, even though anyone with a clue could see you were burning. You insisted that "bankruptcy is not an option" even unto the point where you took your begging bowls to Congress. You spun your so-called electric car, you spun your so-called hybrid technology (that you mostly licenced), you spun you spun.

And now you have a hybrid with solar panels that will give you extra range. Really? No, not really. Toyota is putting some on the new Prius, and they are honest enough to admit that it's just enough power to keep the AC running when sitting in traffic, that it has no bearing on the vehicle's propulsion.

But GM, you've been lying for so long, you don't even know how to stop.

Palm to take on iPhone with web 2.0 banana phone


Café. Décolletage. Attaché... Pré

Surely it's pronounced "pray".

Which I guess is what Palm management is doing right now...

Nikon D90 digital SLR with HD video recording


World first?

Very debatable. Apart from the Casio on the lower end, Canon's EOS 5D mk II hit the stores in December. 21MP, full HD video.

IMHO the Reg Hardware camera reviews are fairly poor (largely spec-fests) -- and for some reason littered with typos. Stick to mobiles and mp3 players.

MIT boffins crack fusion plasma snag


Yes, more tech is the solution to our food problems

>Farms in the Third World could easily feed the world's hungry if they had energy-intensive fertilisers and powered machinery: starvation is essentially an energy problem.

Now I know that our correspondent gets a giant robot chubby for anything high tech and horrifically expensive, but this is just depressingly stupid.

How about agriculture issues like, say, soil managament, animal husbandry, veterinary and crop disease knowledge, access to markets, etc etc etc etc. Throwing lots of cheap energy at farming is a recipe for disaster. Go visit one of those large indoor air-conditioned dairy farms in Saudi Arabia.

Applying "energy" as a solution to farming yeild is the same blunt-instrument approach that got us into the climate and ecological mess in the first place -- like building huge industrial farms using heavy irrigation and synthetic fertilisers in sensitive desert environments (bloody grapes for wine in the Orange River/Namib desert, anyone?) -- which collapse after years/decades leaving a huge mess that the poor locals then get stuck with fixing.

Lewis, you know close to nothing about agriculture or environmental geography. Just stick to talking about whizzy things that go boom, there's a good chap.

Networked multipack cruise missiles in successful test

Thumb Down

Cool kit. Kills people.

Just sayin' is all.

Gov beta test for grid-friendly, carbon-saving smart fridges


Are we not creating a dangerous resonant system?

Just tossing this on the plate to see if anyone pours mayonnaise on it, but the beauty of the current system is its randomness... you may get some clustering (gaussian?), but generally one assumes fridges will turn on in a pretty random distribution.

But now you fit a whole bunch of devices with electrickery that essentially links them to a system, would this not start to bring them into a synchronisation with each other, possibly creating an avalanche of fridge power-suck? All the fridges in Blighty all stay off because they detect grid strain, and when it relieves they go "phew" and turn on. Goodbye handy random distribution. Fair enough in the evening when grid is under least strain ... but ...er... that's when you don't really care. And its during the heat of the day that they'll be turning on and off more often.

Porn doctor jailed for 33 years


@paul - are you mad?

>I've never heard a convincing argument for how sharing child porn,

>for free, on KaZaA supports real abuse

You don't see a causal link between actions the perpetuate and stimulate the market for child porn and abuse?

Child porn BY DEFINITION means a child was abused. In a horrific way, that will scar them for life. Any deliberate act that circulates or promotes media containing child porn is at least complicit in its creation.

Saying "oh, but they pirated it and didn't pay the creators so it's not a problem" is just bizarre. How much of it is "amateur" stuff by twisted individuals just doing it for the kicks of passing it on to other peadophiles?

If you consumer child porn, or share child porn, you are guilty of a horrific crime.

MP calls for Jezza Clarkson's head


Not reason enough

Can't they just dismiss Clarkson for being an odious oik with a tired line of argumentative pablum that is by now entirely predictable? And for having stupid hair?

London drum-maker dies of inhalation anthrax


What, no "funeral drum" jokes?

Tut. tut.

Sarkozy fails to stop sale in voodoo hoohah



Hey Kenny, you left your ROT13 encoding turned on, mate.

Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista


@ Sean Aaron ... +1

>If they will also eliminate the idiotic way XP locks focus

>on every config window that opens up then I might be able to finally use it without swearing.

Yeah, I'd like to find the knucklehead that decided this was a good idea -- so that when you really need a bit of information from a window that's hidden under a daughter window, you're screwed...

@ AC...

>This is precisely why there so many unintuitive, unusable and

>downright bloody awful PC apps out there.

I was talking about the standard Windows environment (dialogue boxes, etc), not app skins... if the particular app interface is ugly you can choose to not use the app. I designed a nice little "desktop theme" for XP that takes away the ugly, Tonker Toy "My First Little Operating System" look of standard XP. Takes about 5 minutes to set it up like you want, and save it.

Ugly interface design is not Windows only. Some of the interface designs for Mac under Cocoa are really grim too. I'm looking at you, Twhirl.

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Dock and app shortcuts

>In a nod to OS X, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps

>into the doc to access them quickly. It'll be possible to open applications from the

>doc that are coded to support Windows 7.

Is this ignorance or incompetence talking? Even Win XP allows you to easily drag app shortcuts into the start bar "shortcut" area, or into the quick start area on the task bar at the bottom, or or or or or.

The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks.

With OS X it's one way only, and screw you anyway. Apple's dock is just shite. Finder is shite, with shite cross-application drag and drop and selection interface.

Unfortunately the great strength of Microsoft Windows (being able to make it do things in the way you choose) is being smothered by MS desire to ape Apple's "there there little boy - we won't give you freedom so you can't screw it up" school of interface design. They've lost confidence in their own ability to design a decent interface, and are now just doing me-too Mac rubbish.

Except that while Apple make it dumbed-down, they make it elegant. MS is just making it dumbed down and opaque. Vista? Vomit!

Peaches Geldof cops a severe shoeing


Bravo! @ AC on 28th at 23:18

Could you submit your comment to Nylon, you could get your own column. Or not. It may not fall within the bounds of their editorial policy of trivial style-centric emptiness.

I think as an ironic comment on the shifting nature of the ownership of intellectual property I'm just going to go ahead and post it to Nylon anyway.

But in a counter-ironic twist, I will credit you as "Anonymous Coward".

And they all laughed, and laughed, and laughed. And then stopped. Because it was time for a latte.

Finnish blogger amputates Google from Google


Objoke -- why not call it Googless?

You know... googless... like legless. Geddit?

Never mind.

US utilities plot remote switch off


And enter firewalls for your mains power

I can just see how this will play out... utilities push this remote management tech, consumers get pissed, smartypants electronics dudes develop a little box that sits on the main incomer cable to the distribution board and low-pass filters out anything but 50/60Hz line voltage, cost a few bucks.

Bye-bye remote device management via powerline - unless utilities can get consumer buy-in by demonstrating cost savings/user benefit -- AND that they won't f*** it up. And since they often can't even reliably get basic billing right ...

Hell -- will they have to encrypt the signalling on the remote powerline to stop local hackers/crims from monkeying with the neighbourhood's devices for kicks?


E-voting outfit confesses vote-dropping software bug

Dead Vulture

@Webster Phreaky

Are you mad? Diebold an Apple division. You ever heard of Google? It let's you check your wild guesses before placing them before the world.

No, Diebold is a publicly listed company (NYSE: DBD) with the vaguely nauseating corporate barf-line: "We won't rest until we measurably improve the extent to which our customers' customers are delighted with our self-service and security solutions; and we measurably improve the effectiveness and profitability of our customers' business. "

Diebold spun of Premier Election Solutions to stop the stink of it's numerous scandals tainting the mother company. There is now no mention of Premier AT ALL on Diebold's site, and Premier's site has no mention of Diebold.

In the "about us" on Premier: "Facilitating democracy is an honor, a privilege, and a challenge."


Scientists unravel galactic spaghetti monster


And I, for one, welcome our new tentacley overlord

Love the tentacle!

Ohio official sues e-vote vendor for sloppy counting


Please don't blame the marketing droids

As a marketing droid myself, there is no question where the fault lies at Premier (formerly Diebold): engineering is clearly exceptionally incompetent, and management even worse.

Marketing would not push engineering to use old OS, insecure passwords, stupid physical security and a system architecture that a well-informed six year old child would spit on.

The marketing team at Premier (formerly Diebold) is guilty of gross dishonesty (and stupidly trying to spin things where they've taken massive black eyes), but that's more or less what they're paid to do.. they get briefed by engineering.

Now management - who have run a company that makes ATMs, and _should_ known something about bullet-proof, KISS security, should have made damn sure their engineering team had their shit together. And after the first public fiascos, should have fired the senior technical managers for incompetence instead of becoming belligerent, litigous and -- ultimately -- pushing it to arms length to drop like a hot potato when no-one is watching.

More to the point, why is the board of directors of Diebold, owner of Premier (formerly Diebold), not cracking the whip for managament decisions that have fundemantally and permanently eroded the credibility and reputation of the company?

PS - the model of choose a candidate, print it, check it, stick in an OCR machine to register it, and then spit it into a lockbox sounds emminently sensible - it splits the "registering" part (which can be permanently locked down -- Candidate 1: x votes; Candidate 2: Y votes; Candidate 3: Z votes) from the "candidate name" part (which has to change every single election). And you have a guaranteed chad-free paper audit trail.

US woman celebrates cloning of 'precious Booger'

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"clone camels for rich arabs..."

Quoth Ra Jeong-Chang, CEO of RNL Bio in a Daily Mail article...

'For my next project, I will consider cloning camels for rich people in the Middle East,' he added.


Rogue SF sysadmin coughs up passwords

Dead Vulture

The inside skinny

I can't vouch for veracity of this, but here is apparently the inside story...

(from infoworld, linked by geekpress.com)


Vodafone presents punter with £500k phone bill


What's the panic?

So he got a wrong bill, phoned up accounts at 6pm, and they couldn't sort it out because management was packing off home. But one would assume his phone was still working, so what's the big panic?

Why is he surprised that getting an accounts problem is hard to sort out late in the evening? And why didn't he just phone back the next day? (Or better, Voda calm him down, and tell him that a manager would call him back the next day).

It's pretty demanding to expect every company you buy from to have 24*7 support on every issue - especially relating to accounts. Tech support relating to usability, sure. But accounts queries?