* Posts by Otto von Humpenstumpf

58 publicly visible posts • joined 31 May 2010


Damn you El Reg, Call me a Boffin, demands enraged boffin

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: @stanimir

And don't get me started on the Germans with titles like 'Dr. Dr.' ...

"The Germans", as you like to put it, don't have a class-based society -- this was abolished by law in the Weimar Republic, if I remember correctly.

Instead, degrees like "Dr", "Prof", etc. are highly respected, *because they're earned, rather than inherited*. Holding the title of Ingenieur (engineer, or "Dipl.-Ing.") is something to be proud of, and commands respect. In Germany, there aren't any "maintenance engineers"; they're called what they are: mechanics. And there's nothing wrong with that either, as the vast majority have served an apprenticeship of three years, and really know what they're doing.

Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

Otto von Humpenstumpf

This needs to happen...

If only to make the little girl happy. :)

And with a name like Ariadne, she's all but guaranteed that LOHAN will find its way back to earth.

'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Same old story...

all over again. If you've worked in the industry for any length of time, you'd know that more likely than not any employee on the shop floor will have his/her warnings ignored, painted as a doom-monger, and be told that "negativity is unproductive", whilst the good ship "IT Project" plows on towards the abyss under full steam; simply because what must not be, cannot be.

Rather than correcting the course, or abandoning a project and saving huge amounts of money, over-ambitous designs and overly complex architectures are being adhered to because of a perceived "need to be on the forefront of technology".

I've been in the situation of having my warnings ignored on a number of occasions, and have learned my lesson... these days, I tend to keep my mouth shut and if it gets too bad, I just jump ship. Simply cannot be bothered anymore.

Violent Hamlet 'bard' by British Library Wi-Fi filters

Otto von Humpenstumpf

If young David and the lass from Devizes have their way, there will be a lot fewer cocks up come January.

They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Very nice, I like it a lot. Doesn't look like they've got an accessible alternative though. :(

Planetary paparazzi snap candid pics of Earth, Moon from space

Otto von Humpenstumpf

It's kind of nce to know that...

...when you're returning from your interplanetary travels, you can already see your home by the time you pass Saturn, and you know it's only a few million miles more. Which is nice.

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Am I the only one...

...who thinks that the bandwidth requirements for this sort of thing are likely to be silly?

In particular for mobile devices, the thing looks like a non-starter to me... downloading all languages/commentary tracks, subtitles, camera angles, whether they will be used or not strikes me as not particularly clever, really.

Germans purge selves of indigestible 63-letter word

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

translates into German as "Quarzstaublunge", literally "quartz dust lung".

Never let it be said us Germans weren't efficient... :o)

EFF files objections with W3C decrying addition of DRM to HTML5

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: eBooks


What I object to is the attitude of "oh, I can't get my books from the library, so I'll have to torrent them" that Mystic Megabyte displays.

If you can't get them from the library (either because they don't cater for your OS of choice, or for other reasons), and you can't afford to / are too cheap to buy them, you're still not entitled to torrenting them, neither legally nor morally.

If you want to read a book, purchase it, in e-book or dead tree format. If nothing else, it will allow the author to keep on producing stuff we enjoy reading.

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: eBooks

I know it sounds crazy, but stay with me here: Have you ever thought about... *buying* the books that you want to read? You know, to allow authors to *actually make a living*?

Adobe's Creative Cloud fails at being a cloud

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Looks more and more...

as if Adobe has bought out Electronic Arts while nobody was looking...

Senators: You - Cook. Apple guy. Get in here and bring your tax books

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Why such a fuzz?

There's a simple solution to that... just pass a law that states that any returns on bonds issued in the US need to be repaid upon maturity with monies coming out of US accounts, ecause they were issued in the US in the first place.

Apple (and any other of those scheming b*st*rd comapnies) would then have to repatriate the funds to the US, and get hit with the tax as soon as they do. But that would presumably un'Murican.

Come to think of it, that should work here in the EU as well.

German govt DUMPS 170 NEW PCs riddled with Conficker

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: No way it would cost that much to disinfect

Unfortunately, there's more than just 'something' wrong with the state of IT in Germany.

Source: I'm German.

Windows Blue preview to land at end of June

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: I think it's just a bit of a shame.

I agree... although I think that it was a mixture of a few things things: Too much too soon, as you said; and the fact that a touch-centric interface tends to not work particularly well when used with a mouse. Also, abandoning windows in favour for the split screen didn't work for me at all.

That said, I had a similar experience to you: when I first played around with Win8 on a touchscreen device, it felt completely intuitive, and really was a joy to use. I also really like the look of the Metro interface, and the live tiles make a lot of sense to me.

When the first Win 8 previews surfaced in the press and blogs, I was absolutely convinced that MS would release two versions of it, one with the Metro UI for touchscreen devices, and a standard Win7-based one for desktops, or ask the user during installation which version to install... I firmly believe that the adoption would have been a lot better if they'd done that.

To their credit, MS listened to the feedback they received, and they are making changes. Of course they're forced by the market to a certain extent, but still. They admitted that mistakes were made, and are working to rectify them -- you've got to give them credit for that.

I don't want to spark a flame war, but I honestly don't believe Apple would have shown that kind of contrition in the same situation.

Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Not really worried about the Rise of the Machines...

Any Scouser worth his salt would have disabled the thing by propping it up on bricks. And then gone down the pub to flog its wheels.

First Google wants to know all about you, now it wants a RING on your finger

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Thumb Up

I don't know...

I think it's definitely a step forward from easy-to-guess passwords, and passwords used across multiple sites...

I'm not naive enough to suggest that it's the ultimate solution, but I can see those things, potentially in a number of form factors (e.g., finger ring as suggested in the article, key fob, USB stick, etc.), being a solution.

I could potentially see this being the killer app for NFC that everybody has been waiting for -- not pay-by-bonk, but login-by-bonk; NFC receiver in your phone / laptop / PC keyboard / mouse, and when you need to login, just bonk.

If you incorporated it into a keyboard or mouse, you could simply replace your old one, and not have another piece or USB gadget to connect to your laptop / PC.

Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: And "customers who bought new PCs or laptops with Windows 7 preloaded got the best deal of all"

That's why, when I bought my new laptop a couple of weeks before Christmas, I deliberately chose the "older" model that still came pre-installed with Win7, rather than the latest model with Win 8. As an added bonus, it was reduced by £150 because it was 'end-of-line'... :o)

I do not intend to upgrade to Win 8, despite the £15 upgrade offer, since it doesn't have a touchscreen (where, incidentally, I see the whole Win 8 thing is moving towards).

My theory is that MS are using Win 8 to get users to become accustomed to the 'tiles' metaphor, and keep the 'old-style' desktop for legacy apps. In Win 9, we will probably see the latter disappear in favour of a windowed, VM-like desktop, so that legacy applications can still be run, in a similar way that Windows 95 removed the necessity to run Windows on top of DOS, but still providing a DOS-like CLI in a window.

Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

Otto von Humpenstumpf

If she couldn't figure out...

...that on your average 80km road trip the road signs usually do NOT magically change languages, and it also does not require you to have "a few naps in the car", she should be put to sleep for good, for fear of managing to get behind the wheel of a car again in the future and doing some damage to an innocent bystander.

Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

Otto von Humpenstumpf


I get spam calls pretty much on a daily basis. Nearly every evening when I get home, there's a recorded message on my answerphone. On top of that, I get silent phone calls in the evening and on weekends every other day.

The irritating thing is that there's bugger all I can do about it -- 1471 says that it doesn't have the caller's number, and I simply don't have the time to start battling with BT.

On an unrelated note -- is anybody else getting spam emails from Korea (South)?

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: Whats good for the goose..

Not forgetting that, in order to sue American corporate entities, the UK would have to crawl out of the rectum of the US first, where it's been making itself comfortable for the last 50 years or so.

Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Re: I got myself the 13" version a couple of weeks back

Thanks for the heads-up... I was. In fact, I got the confirmation email from Samsung just a few minutes ago... I hope I'll get it before the Christmas holidays!

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Thumb Up

I got myself the 13" version a couple of weeks back

It's by far the sexiest-looking piece of kit I have ever owned. The screen (same resolution @ 13.3") is an absolute delight, the keyboard is usable, and it's hard to tell if the thing is actually present in my laptop bag, seeing that it weighs next to nothing.

I opted for the previous model though (NP900X3C) over the latest one: the dark grey looks IMO much nicer than the silver of the new one, it's got the latest Intel chipset in it (the new model, NP900X3D, curiously, doesn't seem to...), also runs Windows 7 (Home Pro) instead of 8, and it's substantially cheaper if you hunt around (£850 at Amazon vs about £1000).

Still not cheap, but well worth it for me.

There are a number of reviews out there that complain about issues with the trackpad, but i can't confirm this; so far I've had no trouble with mine.

RIP heroic SPB playmonaut

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Flotation device

In order to secure the safe return to the shore, and hopefully to increase the chances of rescue of the ones following in the footsteps of the heroic, albeit late, El Reg playmonaut (I will forever think of him as Bob, because, well, he probably did), may I suggest a flotation device me added to his capsule for future launches. Here's the one I'm thinking of: http://www.water-buoy.com/

Surely a small price to pay to increase the chances of survival in case of an unplanned splashdown, which is regrettably only too likely given that the launch site is situated *on a bloody island*.

Obligatory disclaimer: I have no connection with the company producing the Water Buoy, nor do I know any of the people working for them. I'm just concerned about the chances of survival of future generations of Playmonauts.

Pirates, because they might have rescued and abducted him.

El Reg in email address blunder

Otto von Humpenstumpf


"No passwords" -- so I guess we should be grateful for that? Does that mean you're storing passwords, rather than hashes?!

And stop making yourselves sound like you're bloody heroes for reporting this to the ICO -- it's not like you've had a choice.

To quote from the email "You can delete your account here" -- fat lot of good that does now... how about making sure your marketing drones learn how to deal with your customers' data instead?

Finally, thank you for exposing my email address that has been spam-free for the last 10 years or so to god-knows-who.

So you won't miss out on all the fun, I shall forward a copy of all the spam emails I receive following this desaster to marketing@theregister.co.uk, in order to keep you abreast of all the latest development in todger enhancements.

Google shamed by Apple in race to HTML5

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Opera on Honeycomb

Installed Opera mobile on my Transformer (running Honeycomb), and it might just be okay for web sites, but as far as the rendering of web-based applications that rely heavily on hiding/showing/creating/deleting DOM elements on the fly is concerned, it's a disaster. Breaks dynamically generated layouts that render on any other browser.

Granted, the JS engine is fast, but if I can't click on a link to call a JS function because it's somewhere off the page, it's simply not good enough.

Innocent passengers targeted to protest subway agency

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Why on God's green earth...

...did you post a link to the published hacked data?

I would have expected much, MUCH, better from ElReg. This is a fail of such epic proportions, I can hardly believe it. Seriously.

Germans completely humourless: Official

Otto von Humpenstumpf

I don't get it.

I don't get it. The German pilot would have flown a German plane. Of course the engines wouldn't have failed in the first place, being German-made.

Japanese nuke meltdown may be underway

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Don't know.

"Are we still as smug now daylight has broken?"

Don't know -- you tell me, since you seem to be the expert on smug.

Apple bans iPhone 3G patch omission talk from forum

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Jobs Horns

Updates for a 3G?

Why would the guy need a security update for an iPhone 3G?

To paraphrase His Steveness: "Buy a new iPhone. Not that big of a deal."

Man pockets $8m running computer fraud ring

Otto von Humpenstumpf

not really.

The article states that the scam was running from 2003-07, i.e. 4 years. Assume $8m and 250 victims over that period, that gives you $8m / (250 vic * 48mth) = $667 per victim per month over a period of 4 years.

That's not a lot if you're a company, and might well be below the threshold of being noticed. The guys in the accounts department might even have noticed when it first spiked, but not worried about it once it flattened out over the next few months.

Having seen phone bills for a company of about 60 people I certainly can see this happening... $700 (at the time, about the same amount in Euros, if memory serves) is simply within normal tolerances for some.

iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red

Otto von Humpenstumpf

PAYG credit cards

I use a pay-as-you-go / prepaid credit card for most online transactions with only a few notable exceptions.

That way, the damage will always be limited since I don't "charge" it with a lot of money.

There are quite a few reasonable deals around, some charge you a small percentage fee only when you transfer money to the card. If you think of that as an insurance premium, it's quite a good deal.

As a bonus, you can also use it when you're on holiday abroad...

Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

Otto von Humpenstumpf

no title here.

That's probably the *only* thing she's not in need of...

Hackers eyed sale of celebrity iPad data

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Thumb Up


...common sense emerges. Agree 100%.

Greyhats had up for AT&T iPad celebrity backdoor slurp breach

Otto von Humpenstumpf

We're fresh out of titles, sorry.

John, why did you put the word 'theft' in quotes in your article? Do you want to suggest that it wasn't really a theft because "nothing got stolen, only copied" (Welcome to Freetardia), or because there were security issues with the application?

Perhaps you don't consider the theft of thousands of email addresses and other personal data as not so serious?

If it's the latter, you might change your mind once your email address gets stolen and as a result you drown in "undeliverable message" notifications because some twunt somewhere in Russia used it to forge the Return-to address.

WikiLeaks' Assange to be indicted for spying 'soon'

Otto von Humpenstumpf


Freisler? Can I invoke Godwin on that one?

Berners-Lee: Facebook 'threatens' web future

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Why don't you...

...feck off then, and take your superiority complex with you while you're at it.

Would make the cyberspace a much more pleasant place for the rest of us.

Facebook unveils 'next-gen' messaging system

Otto von Humpenstumpf

I'm not...

...as negative about this as most commentards; I think there's some merit in the idea to join social (as in 'friends', as opposed to 'professional') email, SMS and chat in a single interface, especially since every smartphone on the planet offers FB access.

The biggest issue such a feature faces is that it's potentially going to be a spam magnet of epic proportions. Every spammer on the planet is going to chuck spam at every possible combination of <firstname>.<lastname>@facebook.com.

HABITABLE ALIEN WORLD discovered 20 light-years away!

Otto von Humpenstumpf

For a title-free universe

"...before some galactic equivalent of the Germans chuck their beach-towels on all the best planets..."

Already starting to colour the map of the universe pink, Mr. Page, are we?

Trojan-ridden warning system implicated in Spanair crash

Otto von Humpenstumpf

To those blaming Windows

Absolutely. Also, assuming for a moment that the story is largely correct, and a malware-infection is to blame for this (something most commenters seem to agree with), I am utterly puzzled by the fanbois of various denominations frothing at the mouth at the chance to bash Windows.

Clearly, blame has to be laid at the door of the coders of the malware, rather than the operating system? This is something I find sorely lacking throughout this discussion. Fact is that all operating systems have bugs, but that doesn't give anybody permission to hack them, or absolve them from the consequences of their actions. The problem is the juvenile mindset of some programmers, who consider it an achievement to wreck systems with scant regard to what they are used for.

Unless programmers develop a sense of morality and ethics, and start to think about the possible consequences of their actions, nothing will change.

Linux kernel purged of five-year-old root access bug

Otto von Humpenstumpf

If this had happened to Windows

the Linux fanbois wouldv'e ripped Microsoft a new one by now for letting a bug like this lie for over 5 years. Only thing I can hear so far, though, is the deafening silence.

Where's the horned penguin icon when you need it?

Apple iPhone app patent claim 'doesn't feel right'

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Jobs Horns

If nothing else...

...he's got Apple by the short and curlies for copyright infringement, I would have thought.

Malaysia bans 'satanic' Man Utd kit

Otto von Humpenstumpf

A crescent on the jerseys would presumably be fine?

Must be all Pompey fans then, those Malaysian imams. Would at least explain why they're so grumpy.

Mine's the one with the red and white stripes and a ticket to Southampton in the pocket...

The Reg guide to Linux, part 3

Otto von Humpenstumpf
Thumb Down

Linux ccommand line fail

> "It's actually dramatically easier than Windows."

Imagine a Windows user who whats to give Ubuntu a try without the benefit of having read this article that list the commands. How and where exactly would they manage? This is an EPIC fail and you know it. You might not want to admit it, but that's a different story.

> "It just looks intimidating."

If it looks intimidating, it is. Which is why Linux fails as an OS alternative to Windows.

> "Knowing what you need and where to find it is usually the more interesting problem."

Unfortunately, it's not a problem that the average user is interested in solving. Most people use computers to *get work done*, rather than fiddling with the o/s and buggering about with shell scripts.

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Average users are scared!

This is exactly the point: command line stuff scares people away *in droves*.

So called (and mostly self-appointed) Linux "evangelists" continuously gripe and whinge about the dominance of Windows and how Linux is so much better and open and god-knows-what-else, and that people would switch to Linux in a heartbeat if they only tried it.

What none of these people get into therir heads is that

1. most people simply have no desire nor the time to invest in learn a new operating system

2. a lot of people (if not the majority) are NOT geeks. Linux-heads are so isolated from the real world that they can barely comprehend how little the average user knows about operating systems. This kind of user sees a command line and panics. Typing some cryptic commands that they'd have to write down to remember is bound to end in tears.

Lets be clear here: I'm not dissing these users -- they may not be able to install a device driver or edit the registry in Windows, but they tend to be highly skilled using the applications they work with on a daily basis, like Excel, Word, Photshop, etc. Which is usually all they want.

The ones I *am* dissing are the Linux -geeks who bemoan the low acceptance of Linux, but at the same time are completely unaware that concepts like "usability" and "user experience" even exist, much less that they will have to embrace them.

The day there's a distro that doesn't come with a shell is the day Linux is ready for prime time.

Oh, and where's the "penguin with horns" icon?

Android apps: Shifty little bleeders

Otto von Humpenstumpf


However, mobile phones are consumer devices. although Android phones are probably a bit more on the geeky side of the spectrum, they are aimed at an audience that simply isn't tech-savcvy enough to make these informed decisions you mention. These users simply don't know the consequences of them clicking "Agree" when they are asked for certain permissions. If an app requests internet access, the average user will think that it'll be used for registration, not for the potential of some nefarious data-sniffing. It simply won't cross their mind that the latter is a possibility.

Scotland Yard mulls Google Wi-Fi slurp

Otto von Humpenstumpf


Google installed equipment in the cars that was able to intercept WiFi signals. It also installed software that would record brodcast **as well as** non-broadcast SSIDs and MACs from wireless networks. This software also wrote this captured data onto permanent storage media.

If that doesn't show intent, I don't know what does.

Man charged with malware 'sextortion' plot

Otto von Humpenstumpf

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

My guess is that the only victims that could be identified were of legal age, and/or there wasn't any way of identifying the juvenile victims, so their age could not be established.

So the prosecution are going for the obvious (and pretty safe) conviction, rather than jeopardising the success of future convictions with bringing a weak case now.

IANAL though, so what do I know...

Oz Attorney-General wants ISPs to hold data for 2 years

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Dear Ozzies,

do yourselves a favour and chase these clowns out of Canberra while you still have the option. Otherwise you'll be in the situation as we've been over here on the UK, and you'll end up with a thirteen-year long nightmare of disappearing privacy, data-collection mad ministers, and a government that dumps on civil liberties from a great height.

All the best.

Pakistani lawyer petitions for death of Mark Zuckerberg

Otto von Humpenstumpf

This is a public service announcement

We will shortly be stopping the planet for a short period of time to allow all reasonable people to get off. Religious fanatics, bible bashers, god-and-other-deity-botherers and assorted fruitcakes of all denominations, please do nothing until normal planetary movement is resumed.

You will then be able to continue killing each other.

There is no need to thank us. No, really -- we're looking forward to a better life without you.

ToryDems stoke ID card 'bonfire'

Otto von Humpenstumpf

Tax or pay? Tax and pay.

Remember that the cost for building the system came from taxes, whereas the cost of the ID card was to be paid by the applicant.

Your question ("Why does no-one in government ever seem to notice that whatever the government does, the taxpayer pays anyway?") seems to imply that this was somehow an oversight. It was not: it was a calculated ploy by Johnson, Brown, Darling, and the rest of the morally bankrupt NuLab clique to extract the maximum amount of money from the taxpayer.

To make Johnson's remark clear: The taxpayer (we) pay for a system that will then be used to extract additional cash from us. This way, the government was planning to make a profit. The hight of cynicism was to openly admit this and to unashamedly call it a "revenue stream".

So you would have been taxed maybe three hundred quid (for the system) and ON TOP OF THAT would have had to pay thirty quid for the ID card.

Given the choice between these guys and a dose of the clap I know what I'd choose. I prefer getting laid to getting screwed.