* Posts by crowley

167 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jun 2010


Walmart's $99 crap-let will make people hate Windows 8.1 even more


Missing the point

Yes, having a Windows presence.

But I think more significantly making their cloud offering more widely present; Win8 as loss leader dumb client into the MS fog - performance with regard to other apps is barely relevant as long as media, the browser and Office365 work peachy.

This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO


Re: Carbon Tax

It would be really great if Tim would explain how I can use Exxon and BP products in my life, and avoid emitting the carbon; if I'm to be deemed personally responsible for any carbon emission tax, the implication is surely that these products are not inherently polluting, so I must have an element of choice by which it becomes meaningful to tax my individual behaviour instead of the producer of the product.

CCS for my car perhaps? Help me Tim - eBay is not forthcoming.

Apple DID buy social video network - check out this BONKERS lawsuit


Nguyen was described as "charismatic"

...as are many sociopaths, I understand.

Reminds me of 'The Authoritarians'. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Had Nguyen set up in the 'right'* state, I'm sure he'd get showered in admiration.


Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag


Re: And regarding the "Revelation" rant...

"If you believe in ultimate evil you must believe in ultimate good."

I believe in brain damage which deprives people of empathy.

That -resembles- ultimate evil, but doesn't require a spooky father figure to balance it out.

Ten Linux apps you must install


Re: Normal people don't use Linux

"I've just wasted several days trying different versions of Ubuntu and Mint on a new netbook."

New. It quite likely has new device variants requiring updated drivers which aren't available in existing distro releases. And it might even have devices from vendors that assist Microsoft by refusing to release data sheets to enable non-Windows drivers to exist. Give it 6 months, or try on your old one.

Oh, and try installing a generic OEM copy of Windows onto your new netbook too.

You'll surely have just as much joy, without any vendor supplied disk to fill in the driver gaps.

Of course, if you're too much of a muppet to realise any of this, you should stick to buying pre-installed kit.

I don't try to change the engine in my car for similar reasons.

Another Microsoft Trojan? Sinofsky might just want a RIM job

Thumb Down

Conspiracy theory?

Maybe the poor bugger had his 1 in 3 cancer chance come up, but held out to finish the job.

Or maybe he's been banging his secretary, and now needs time to fix things with the wife.

Or maybe he fancies a go in the political arena.

Or maybe he just got bored of it all.

Perhaps US monoculture means he'll have no other facets, but this evil empire stuff just seems a bit desperate.

Ancient vulnerability sparks world-wide hypegasm


"hypegasm" - quite. So why the hell is El Reg joining in?

'Replace crypto-couple Alice and Bob with Sita and Rama'


Re: Oh FFS!

Agreed. If he wants to suggest the conventional terms for a field of knowledge, he should be first to codify it.

'Sub-arctic' atmos at RIM UK as jobs apocalypse looms


Re: Betamax

The parallel being what? BB10 will run HTML5, will presumably benefit from that Android compatibility layer, has a dev kit for any other specific needs I might have, and will be brand spanking new with all the contemporary features - excepting corporate totalitarianism.

Oh, do I need to be some corporation's bitch to load the same web pages as everyone else now?

No, I'll leave the 'iComply', 'Lunia' and 'Spamdroid' for other... 'takers', thanks.


Maybe it's sad, but...

I aspire to buy one of the BB10's when released.

Microsoft, Apple, and Google have all, in that order, lost my trust. And I'm bored of them.

RIM would, I'm sure, love to be as evil as the rest, but they're too weak to be so and, from what I've seen, BB10 looks like it will be a very polished offering (and I have regard for the QNX OS underlying it).

So somehow, completely unintentionally, I've lined myself up to be a first time RIM customer.

I'll abstain until I've seen the actual delivery of course, but, even if RIM are doomed, if it's any good I'll probably get one just to avoid the other 3. And I keep hearing, 'Is there room for 3 phone ecosystems?'.

Perhaps logic will intervene, but I'm not feeling logical, I'm feeling malevolent against the larger corporations.

And, frankly, I can afford to 'cut my nose off to spite my face'.

So, yes, I'll buy from the hungry one please.

Hacker uses Kindle as Raspberry Pi screen


Re: The Pi Bandwagon Continues To Draw A Crowd

James, having narrow ideas about what words mean is quite useful for communicating.

The word 'hacker' once had a narrower meaning that was quite closely linked to the notion of 'engineering', albeit applied to other people's kit. The fact that the term has been watered down to cover such mediocrity is presumably an attempt to make stupid people feel better about themselves.

Presumably some other term will arise, to once again suffer such degradation. Much similar to how suddenly the word 'technician' can come to mean a cleaner, by prefixing the word 'hygiene', and thus lending a fake veneer of esteem to an essential, but fundamentally -unskilled-, task.

Perhaps we can salve the feelings of the unemployed by referring to them as 'recreation specialists', or check-out operators as 'accountants', or fast food operatives as 'chefs', or hack column writers as 'authors'... but what when we need to refer to the original specific?

Maybe those who try to devalue terms -should- be patronised and dissuaded by those with expertise, before they succeed in doing so.

Raspberry Pi 2.0 ready to ship



"Version Identification Links

The four GPIO signals originally used for version identification have been removed. These were never read by the system software and were redundant."

So now they've swapped GPIO pins to the JTAG port and swapped the I2C lines, thus necessitating knowledge of the hardware version for any system image dealing with those pins, they remove the version feature to create a new port. I can't wait for the dual image releases, or reports of burnt out expansions or whatever...

Apple: You'd want hi-fi streamage from us, not poor-people Wi-Fi audio


Nice idea

But isn't this the problem of DLNA just not working properly, interoperably or indeed, for some, ever?

Is it not a problem of implementers deliberately fragmenting support to try and rope consumers into buying all the same brand kit, and so gifting the opportunity for a monopolist to define a standard instead?

I'm reminded of the infighting Muslim provinces in 13th century Spain, their defences quickly crumbling away under the invasion of barbaric Christian totalitarians.

Manufacturers should support the institution of working standards and fair competition, otherwise they just waste effort denigrating the standards, pissing off the consumer, and create a ripe market, or even a requirement, for a totalitarian to create a proprietary standard that 'just works'.

Firefox 15 offers fewer leaks, more frags


Re: Is the browser really the best "app engine?"

Yeah, it is. As I understand it, making the browser into an OS is a way to break Microsoft's desktop OS monopoly, and the invention of cloud connected services helps break their file format monopoly which they use to maintain the office wares monopoly, which they use to maintain the OS monopoly.

New problems for old.

But at least they're standards based problems in a market open to all competitors, who can work to offer solutions instead of having the overhead of decoding Microsoft's latest obfuscated file format, or being disadvantaged by not having special secret APIs.

ARM grabs TSMC's 3D FinFETs for future 64-bit PC brains


"...the design benefits between x86 and ARM will have to make up the difference in the manufacturing gap"

I can't imagine that will be too difficult - the x86's internal CISC->RISC translation must be quite a bloat, adding latency to branches, and code density will always be crap thanks to the register non-orthogonality, no matter how clever internal register renaming and other workarounds get at optimising the micro-instructions thereafter.

Russia hands out 4G licences in an instant


See Putin, it can be done

Should we be surprised that an autocracy can move with such efficiency...

Web snooping bill an 'odious shopping list of new gov powers'

Thumb Down

Re: United KINGDOM

Practically every liberty was extracted forcibly by the barons or middle/merchant classes from the unelected monarchs, because they were autocratic bastards. That the liberties were gained for all was probably an accident or a necessary default for the sake of expediency.

That those classes then tried to put those liberties back in the box, as far as the plebs were concerned, is a predictable outcome of the initial exuberance, as they might see it.

For all it's faults, I think I prefer the possibilities of the current subdued but inclusive class war to the few accidental scraps of benefit that fall out from a theological dictatorship conflicting with croneys, thanks.

BBC TV boss George Entwistle nabs director general post


Re: Radio 4 not for rich people

Yes, the poorest person I know is an avid listener.

The -real- middle class is a cultural position, a regard for learning, reason, debate, etc.

So my friend has been accompanied by Radio 4 through her blokes drug induced psychotic breakdown, then years of single-motherhood as she's gone to uni, acquired an MA, worked in publishing, started a career in teaching, and raised two of the most pleasant and intelligent kids I've ever met.

And that's in spite of officials telling her she might as well just go on full-time benefits.

Intelligence may be essential, but it's also about values. Money is definitely optional, and possibly even obstructive, given how vacuous, self satisfied and complacent it can make people.

UK.gov proposes massive copyright land snatch

Black Helicopters

Bastard Ltd

So when Bastard Ltd have registered themselves as dealing in photos, will they be exclusive registrars for that particular media, or will we have Buggers Ltd, etc too?

It's just, when I start routinely spamming my extensive, superfluous, holiday snaps at them to avoid their unauthorised use, it'd be good to make sure I'm helping overload the servers of all involved.

Maybe I'll set-up my Raspberry Pi to upload a snap of the contents of my toilet every time the flush is pulled. Of course it's art. It's meant to provoke reflection on commoditisation, juxtapose questions of identity in consumer culture, and challenge notions of what is truly disposable if we're now the product.

Perhaps if I turn the camera to point up, I can have a second sequence about what the marketing of entire lifestyles has left as one of the only creative acts for most people. Fab!

Concept (c) 2012 Blow it out yer a$$ productions... oh, wait - where do I send -that- to?

P.S. That's not a helicopter, it's a 'chocolate starfish'...

RIM 'pondering sell-off of hardware biz' to focus on messaging


Re: Well

Oh god, I tried so hard to read your post, I really did.


there != their

won != own

hungry != Hungary

I couldn't get any further, your butchery of the language jarred too much on both eyes and consciousness. I don't mean to question your intelligence, prejudice you, etc, I really don't - but you really do need to acquire a greater respect for your readers, if you want your readers to get through your ideas, and so enjoy the opportunity to respect you.

Inside the Skynet ghost town built by bunker-based boffins


It's just you

Mention of various power tech was made, e.g. solar, biomass.

Presume labs, etc will use less than planned facilities will generate, assuming supplies are built to the scale of the town itself as if it were in full use.

In effect, yes, he's going into the utility business.

Boffins baking big-data single chip architecture



I really don't want to be cynical about this, but judging by precedent:

- Uni of California get the patent royalty payments

- Uni of Manchester get to remind historians of their important contribution...

PR mag: Let promoters edit clients' Wikipedia entries


Re: Seriously? NO


So what are you all upset about?

Is it 'we love PR guys, those impartial defenders of truth, week'?


Re: Seriously?

No, I'm saying "b) that when they did attempt to request changes through the Talk pages, a quarter (24 per cent) found that they did not receive any responses to their requests." and so they are thereafter rightly done with their polite direct navigating of the matter, and may seek greater efficacy by having a lawyer write a polite letter pointing out the seriousness of the matter, and so forth.

Having a belated whine to a survey seems to me to undermine the credibility of their complaint about the accuracy of criticism on Wikipedia. If it was valid, they'd walk the walk, not gossip like a little bitch.


confident, aren't they?

They have issues with factual information in criticisms. (27.1%)

Surely the libel court is the best place for such complaints then?

Put up or shut up.

Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism


Bread and the circus

Bring people in? Isn't it about time we taught the people we already have to think?

France does philosophy and critical thinking in their schools - perhaps we should do the same and let the kids self-select who want to be geeks, chemists, etc.

We would of course need to insist that children are fed food that allows their brains to develop, mandatory healthy school meals, taxes on fatty/sugary filth to fund subsidies on healthy food.

Sod your 'right' to eat shit and produce idiots - the rest of us end up paying for that 'lifestyle choice'.

Decent bread leading to intelligent people who find their work more interesting and more satisfying than any circus.

Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs


Re: Actually "loosing" is a word...

Why sit smug, when you can inform people the details to tell the difference, have a slightly lower chance of encountering a jarring misspelling in the future, and feel good for helping to raise the average level of knowledge in society?

Nordic region, Ireland adopt new 'connected telly' standard


Re: So what's new?

I heard that US engineers used 'Picture Always Lousy'.

Seems the American grasp on reality has been quite loose for a long time.

China's bullet trains to get face-invading cameras


lacist jokes

It never occurred to me. Too tired a line of humour I guess.



"can also see through cosmetic surgery procedures which some criminals use to avoid detection."

Wow, can't wait for the stories where Chinese police beat the shit out of some innocent person, then disappear them for having the temerity to complain about it!

US ecosystems basically unaffected by global warming, studies show


Re: sudo science?

Nah, the init task died, and the daemons have run amok...

Anonymous turns its fire on China


Re: Carefull, be vary carefull - it's not that simple

Agreed - If I was one of the 400 million people lifted out of poverty in the last decade, I'd probably be quite patriotic and willing to overlook the failings of the state.

Speaking of which, watching that Nial Fergusson program on China, and the reasons why they are so wary of dissent (16M / 20M dead in Lotus and that other -religious- rebellion) made me a little curious as to why they crush both new religious threats (Falun Gong), but also that artist guy who could serve as a useful channel to diffuse frustrations by working with him to modernise China's political processes and address faults, without risking a collaboration of legitimate dissent with the religious nutcases and a greater chance of explosive rebellion.

Oh well. It'll be interesting to see if the presidents hint at new reforms carries through to anything. Hopefully they'll design a system of overseeing/counterbalancing/opposing functionaries to erode corruption at lower levels of the state machine.

Republicans shoot down proposed ban on Facebook login boss-snoop


Re: You don't need new laws

True, but it would be helpful if they made a statement affirming existing laws apply to this case, that passwords must not be distributed, and that any employee asked to give up their passwords will immediately benefit from protection under whistleblower status if they report the incident as incitement to commit a crime.

As it is, left ambiguous, I'm sure these employers will continue to take the piss.

Musk muses on middle-class Mars colony


Re: Commercial space

"If we put an Earth-like atmosphere on Mars it would be stripped away by the solar wind faster than we could build it - but not as fast as on the moon."

There's an article I read about this issue, offering to substitute for Mars' lack of an iron core with a couple of nuke stations with great big electromagnets at the poles. The amount of power to repel the solar wind and protect the fledgling atmosphere was surprisingly modest.

iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake


Re: Is Andrew going soft?

Radio 4 - I second that.

FSF fandroids fight to 'free' Android from Google's forepaws


Re: Stallman's definition of "truly free"...

The fundamental principle seems to be to be the difference between capital and services.

Fees based on repeat selling of existing IP capital are a block to progress, but those based on services to improve a given piece of FOSS will encourage progress.

Working in FOSS, we are able to charge for services, which works well when there are particular objectives such as making a Linux port to a new board - it links the service charge to enabling a specific physical product, thereby making that investment possible.

The problem seems to be that some products are entirely software, and so the economics don't link any chargeable end product to creation of specific features. The return on investment just isn't there, so any individual economic unit (person, corporation, etc) investing in FOSS does so to their own detriment, and yet assists every other user by doing so!

Stallman doesn't seem to offer an economic model to show how incentives can be abstracted from a diverse group of interested parties and ploughed into pools of cash, bounties if you like, to fund development of desired features. All we have is charity buttons and altruism, not a basis upon which most sane people would consider giving up their day job.

It's not that his argument is without merit, but he seems to me like a cult leader, with a parasitic relation to his followers, and judgementally promoting a way of life only sustainable within his own situation - effectively, an elitist cunt.

Chunnel mobile available – but only while heading towards UK



Couldn't they install femtocells to suck in every call and pipe each via broadband to the appropriate operator, after negotiating with OFCOM for a mandate to rake the investment back by charging standard operator end-point fees?

Space FIREBALL over Blighty sparks hunt for rich meteorite


item 2 is also debatable

The fact that Iran is enriching uranium to 20% has a simple explanation.

The US gave them a research reactor requiring, I think, 97% enriched uranium. The overthrow of the Shah means fuel was no longer forthcoming, so they have managed, at great expense, to modify said reactor to reduce its requirements to a mere 20% enriched.

Now they make fuel to that specification, and can continue to make isotypes required for treating cancer, etc, and prove the revised design as a basis for future reactor design.

But, regarding their energy programme in general, I think you'll ultimately find that this whole issue is about who's in the supply chain.

Now, oil leaves Iran, is refined elsewhere, and bought back - letting refining nations take a cut of all Iranian oil production, and effectively taxing the consumption of their own resource.

If Iran manages to complete its nuclear energy programme without needing to export raw uranium (of which Iran has a large portion of world supply) to the West for enrichment, it will be an achievement that relegates most of the world to being a mere end customer.

We know nuclear fission is an essential stepping stone on the path to an economy that can rely on future commercial nuclear fusion processes, so insinuating weapons programmes to justify intervention that will maintain Western hegemony over world energy supply is an essential foreign policy objective.

In case you haven't noticed, these Muslim nations are poor enough at their Islamic duty of 'zakat' (charity) amongst themselves, never mind infidels with a begging bowl for energy.

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet


Because 'appz' needed sanitising from the old piracy days? (appz, warez, toolz, gamez, etc)

Anyway, thank gods (the coders) for FOSS apps which can also do without the 'z'.

This latest MS toy seems to have the production values of a dog chewed and vomited book released as a new novel - ok, more polish, but it's still the same basic functionality respun as though it's a new product. I believe there's myriad DirectFB / libSDL based frameworks out there just as capable, but without the necessity of a 'fix my PC' button for the underlying crud.

Any idea why the move from a normal flexible interface towards an infokiosk?

Are we so obsessed that every last monkey will be capable to use a GUI, that we'll head to one with four big dribble-proof coloured buttons, like the 'Playschool' windows, for headbutting to get email or whatever? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gj8bin3vlQ

UK will share passenger data with US in Euro deal


Re: Someone has to program it all .-)

Sometimes these forums are like an online, anonymised Bilderberg antidote :-)

Inside Eric Schmidt's brain: Holodecks, robo-cars and jail bandwidth


Yes - a human right

This is about removing barriers that could keep portions of the world's population in serfdom in the same way that denial of education keeps people stuck in low-level labouring jobs.

Making it a right is not about forcing people into posting lolcats, browsing porn, or whatever, but it is about equality of opportunity.That is the business of government, and so making access a right should put them to work to make sure people aren't left behind with no chance to find or exploit whatever latent talents they may have.

But maybe you want to live adjacent to backwards people for the purpose of exploitation, or feeling superior, or for self-edifying anthropological studies? Well, bollocks to that.

Intel smartphones coming to the UK, France, China, India



Fascinating that they team up with ZTE.

Presumably, going to the low end supplier is a trade off whereby ZTE stay on their current low margins but get to increase turnover, and Intel get to keep their traditionally high margins whilst gaining some market share, finally.

FTC tears into Apple, Google over kids' privacy - or lack of


Re: Needs a "selectively allow" option though.

I'd rather have a menu for each app where I can decide whether to let it have genuine information, or whether it gets to know my name is Mickey, my contacts are Pluto and Donald, my location is Disneyland, it's net read/write access is /dev/zero and /dev/null respectively, etc.

That way I could still use an app in spite of not trusting it.

Brazil sues Twitter over police checkpoint tweets



"More acceptable was the threat of up to half-a-decade in prison for those posting information about police raids, which is fine when that information is about an incoming drugs bust, but harder to justify when it's the location of a breathalyser-testing point."

As someone whose sister was killed with a car, I find it somewhat easier to sympathise with this.

An NT-powered Windows Phone? Not so fast...


Good old days

Never had the 'pleasure' myself, but remember reading a hilarious article about a company whose CEO had been sweet-talked into adopting NT4 server by some marketing chappy going on about modernising in line with the rest of the sector.

So the IT guys were forced to dump all their superbly reliable Netware servers, only to find that their clients were now being so overworked managing all the bloated traffic that they ended up replacing all 1500 client's NICs with expensive new ones that would manage the TCP/IP stuff themselves, just to get some CPU cycles back for real work.

A fortune spent, and they finally had file and print, just as before. The piece ended with the beautifully sarcastic "and they'll probably announce it as a streamlining exercise."!

Apple vs Amazon in ereader format smackdown



I agree with your every point. I also think that ebooks would be an awful detriment to child development from the point of view that it is now understood that the texture of different substances provide an experience that helps the young brain develop, as does motion, by providing the brain with diverse inputs.

Turning everything into another lump of plastic is an assault on human potential.

IBM demos new nanotech



Do they not make memory out of transistors anymore then?

Intel bags $120m patent hoard from RealNetworks



INDEO5 / IV5 was used to encode some video clip I found on an old drive. It was one of the best codecs at the time, I thought, but then mpeg4 came out and the rest is history.

Anyway, it turned out that in the meantime they'd flogged the codec to 'Ligos' who wanted money, but I found I had the old installer too - albeit only for Windows. <shiver>

But ffmpeg supports all variants now, it would seem.

Russian supply ship heads for ISS, space garbage crashes into Pacific


Gravity doing most of the work

Someone pointed out against another story that getting stuff to fall into the sun means bringing it to a stop - that is, relative to earth, ejecting it back along the path of the earth's rotation around the sun and accelerating it to 170,000km or whatever it is the earth travels at. i.e. LOTS of energy.

Flag-waving Lego Canuck soars to 80,000ft


WTF is that

...in the background at 1:02, I wonder.

Maybe there's enough data out there to correlate and figure it out, but I don't have the time :-(