* Posts by bob_blah

42 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jun 2007

Insider says doom looms at RIM


It's amazing what happens in two years in the tech industry

I was in Canada two years ago looking for work and one of the most prized places to secure a job was at RIM. My how things have changed.

I'm just wondering if the author is in fact the hynotised zombie, a la "Office Space?"

High Court shields database state from blame


Little Britain has it right

Computer says no.

Met warns officers off photographers

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So who's brave enough to test this then?

The good thing is that when you're arrested and you DNA sample and fingerprints are added to the All-Knowing Database for the next twelve years, you'll enjoy a sense of rightous indignation at having been screwed over by the State once again, and for once, you'll know you're right because El Reg told you you are.

MoD to test 'Combat ID Server' from September


So let me get this straight

This system is designed to work based on radios that die (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/05/army_tech_obsolete/page2.html) connecting to a GPS system that is supposed to die (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/21/gao_predicts_gps_failure/) controlled by people who can't use a payroll system (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/10/mod_pay_nightmare/).

CIDS - providing no real protection from the possibility of being murdered by your own army

Police deny targeting kids for DNA


The truth is out there

"...if we miss it that might mean a rape or a murder goes unsolved in the future."

If you missed the distinction here: "unsolved" means "we didn't find out who did it, so it doesn't add to our 'cleared' statistics", as opposed to "unconvicted" meaning "we found out who did it but were unable to build a strong enough case to convict the individual(s) and provide the victim some form of justice".

Welcome to the new focus of policing in Britain - statistical targets!

" If you know you have had your DNA taken and it is on a database then you will think twice about committing burglary for a living."

Seriously? DNA testing the scene of a burglary? In Camden? It took me three hours to get the police to attend the scene when my house was burgled in Shepperds Bush, and when they finally turned up, they took a look a the window, saw that there were no prints on it, and said "Without prints there really isn't much we can do. But we'll take the details and see if it is part of a pattern in the area."

Wikileaks tells Aus censorship minister to rack off


@ Charles Re: @DavCrav

You're right, once the request leaves Oz they have no jurisdiction, and they can't deal with the matter inside their jurisdiction if the signals are encryted.

Which is why, in ten years time when the next Junior Minister who is angling for the top job and looking for some name recognition asks why there are still paedo's in Australia, and someone answers 'Tor', they will then make using encryption systems illegal.

See the only use for encryption is by people obviously have something to hide, and so it must be made illegal to use. Never mind that we use it to connect to our online banks, they will figure something else out. But encryption is the tool of peado's and needs to be banned!

Hotmail holdouts grumble about 'pathetic' new interface

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Software is supposed to improve over time right?

When I first connected to the net in 1997, one of my first actions was getting a take-anywhere email address, so I signed up for a hotmail account. It was still owned by Jack Smith then, and it was great - fast, reliable and did everything you could do in PINE.

How is is that after eleven years of development, they have only managed to make it slower, more frustrating and difficult to use?

Is the internet going down down under?

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Australia crowned again!

As an expat Australian I'm very proud that my country has regained its jesters hat for being the Global Village Idiot.

Just as the previous Liberal Government's legislation that criminalised the posting of 'X'-rated or 'unclassified' (illegal) content proved the censorship white elephant that it is, so too will the new Labour Government's content filtering system.

As Flocke Kroes pointed out above: if people actually cared that much about this issue, ISP's would be providing this as a paid-for service.

'Think of the children?' Yes, think of the children - let them grow up to be rational, responsible individuals who aren't dependant upon the State to tell them what's right and wrong.

Top Jock cop calls for universal DNA database


So how much is the bounty...

.... to get a copy of Mr House's DNA profile? Could be worth a lot of money to a criminal. Because he would be the first person to have his DNA put on record permanently wouldn't he? That's how the system will work right? All police officers and their families will be done first right?

In fact now that I think about it, selling your DNA to a criminal could be a whole new economy. You give them some skin flakes, they liberally sprinkle them around the crime scene, and commit the crime whilst you're having a dinner party with twelve friends.

Now if only I was in the US I could patent that business model.

Cuil feasts on Salmon of Nonsense


standardized Irish spelling?

"but in standardized Irish spelling"

I'm guessing this bloke has never actually been to Ireland, because there is no such thing as standardised Irish spelling. Oh they like to teach a 'standard' version, but you go from county to county in Eire and they will spell the same word differently because they each say it differently. And each of them will beleive that their version is right.

It's just the Irish way.

Come on the Rebels!!

Oz man cracks one off while speeding in drug-packed car


Couple of things

Firstly, I don't think people who have only ever driven in the UK can relate to the experience of driving in rural Oz - you can drive for hours in pretty much a straight line without seeing another car, let alone any sign of life. It is flat, hot and so incredibly boring you just can't fathom it until you've done it.

Secondly, you would be more likely to get a reaction out of a kangaroo by insulting its ethnic heritage than shooting it with a .22, particularly at any real distance. As for being the standard NATO round, yes, it does wonderful jobs against the soft fleshy bodies of humans. But the difference between a roo and a human body is pretty conclusive - you hit a human in a car doing 90mph, there isn't going to be much left of the human. You hit a roo at that speed without a bullbar, and you won't be driving that car again. Ever. And it's likely the roo will be getting up, shaking itself off, pissing on your child's head and then bounding off to nibble on some grass.

Irate sysadmin locks San Francisco officials out of network




Report fingers prints as ID scheme's point of failure


Two weeks to go!!

and then I can leave this country and its ID malarky to you, the poor citizens of the UK.

If I had chosen to remain in the UK, I would have been amongst the first group to have been fingerprinted for a new work visa. Trying to explain to my boss and colleagues that I was leaving because I don't trust the UK government met with an interesting array of reactions, from the 'good on you' to 'but if you've got nothing to hide...'

Funny how after I then went on to explain that I was the lucky one, because I _could_ leave, and that they were stuck with it, and within the next 5 years they wouldn't have a choice in handing over their fingerprints to the UK government did they quickly grasp that I wasn't just some looney antipodean with something to hide.

Bring on China and their libertarian society!

Lab tech supplier redefines corporate song paradigm


Great viral campaign

This is a great example of how 'viral marketing' just doesn't work for products that will never be considered 'cool'. They've obviously spent a lot of money on the ironic factor, making something that will draw lots of hits to the site.

Problem is though that after the commissioning company has paid for the ad and the bandwidth, they will have sold exactly zero more of their products. The best they are going to get out of this is a fantastic ripoff of it performed by their staff (those that can face going back to work) at the company's Christmas function. And a large bill from the 'creative types'

Jacqui Smith kick-starts yoof ID debate site, site kick stops


Best laugh I've had in ages

The irony is just beautiful - they spend all this money on education, and funnily enough, the kids can think for themselves!

Xbox 360 owners tougher than PS3 fans - survey



I took part in this survey, and I'm very glad to hear that I'm actually under the average age of an xbox owner :) and here I was feeling old.

Eccentric brain-chip admiral expelled by toff schools


"hordes of Kiwis, Australians and South Africans"

I've never been part of a horde before! You've just made my Friday.

Now where's mi Tennants (cause no self-respecting Aussie would drink that Fosters sh*te)

Bubbles mean O2, but anyone can use them


Re: Lawyer Madness?

@pctechxp: no they didn't invent bubbles, in the same way that Orange didn't invent their particular shade of orange. But they have used that symbol/colour in connection with their trade long enough to establish a connection between their product and that symbol/colour in the mind of the consumer.

And I'm sure they already have trademarked the use of the oxygen symbol, using their proprietary font, in connection with the sale of mobile telephones and mobile services. The thing is though, if you want to use the oxygen symbol, written in Times New Roman, and use it as your brand selling cans of oxygen, then o2 won't be able to stop you. Don't get me wrong, they'll sue you the second it comes onto their radar, but they won't win.

A quarter of UK adults to go on child protection database


Just one more reason

...why I'm leaving this country. I'm just glad that I can! I never realised that being a foreigner in the UK was such a blessing.

Sucks to be you, people born in the UK!

American auto dealer offers free handguns


@ Sigh, Perspective

"It's a hell of a lot easier to ban guns in Britain and Australia than it is to ban them in America. You have no land borders at all."

The strength of this argument is born out completely by the fact that neither republican or loyalist paramilitaries were able to get their hands on military grade assault weapons in Northern Ireland. Where there is a will (read profit), there is a way.

I am an Australian ex-pat living in Britain who has travelled extensively throughout the US. In over 10 years of travelling throughout the worl,d only twice have I ever felt truely scared for my life: walking around the streets of New Orleans, and standing in the main corridor of a highschool in Missouri.

I must say I felt completly reassured when the teacher I was visiting there came up with this little bit of trivia after my expressing reservations for my safety: "Oh don't worry, there is only one kid in the school who might go on a rampage. And we expelled him last week."


Bill Gates unveils interactive wallpaper


Windows? Walls? What's next?

Floors. Oh, they've already got plenty of those, just spelt differently.

Wombat rape ordeal turns NZ man Australian


fricken el key!

yes, it was a typo.

but now that you mention it, I was wondering what that boke was doing there a this time.

surey its pint o'cock!


Why would you not want this published?

Another proud day for NZ's judicial system, where an innocent man who is obviously traumatised having been violated by a ferocious creature is persecuted by the State for having the audacity to speak in a civilised accent.

Mine's the one with the big aussie fag on the back.

Ofcom climbs on Byron bandwagon


Can you look to Australia for a clue?

The Australian experience of this is telling:

whilst the media beat up a story of 'protecting the children' and parents nod in conformity, when it actually comes down to the parents taking the time to do something about it, they really can't be arsed.

So that means either a) their not that worried about it (because if they were, they would take the time to learn how to install the software) or b) they inherently know that their children will stray into the 'bad' parts of the Internet because that's what children do, and that it probably won't have an impact on their lives because thats what kids have always done, whether it be through the Net or saucy magazines or looking up dirty words in the dictionary.

Send your loved one's ashes to the Moon for $10k


Getting closer

I want my ashes sent into a black hole so that by the magic of wormholes I will re-materialise on the other side to begin a whole new life in another dimension.

Either that, or to make sure I use up all my remaining assets so the damn relatives can't fight over them.

Either is a good outcome.

Patent Office loses software not a patent case


Make cheque payable to

"I was patently indulging in a little fantasy there"

And I hold the patent for indulging in various amounts of fantasy. Make youe settlement cheque payable to 'All Your Ideas Belong To Corporate Hegemonys Ltd'. I promise to put the receipt from the Bank next to my poster of the person who patented respiration - that person is a genius!

Oz admits $85m p0rn filtering FAIL

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I'm so proud

Being a long-term expat from Oz, I always enjoy catching up on the news from home. Particularly when it confirms that we (they) are a bunhc of technophoic dimwits.

I recall with great amusement a sign the EFA (Oz version of EFF) put on the side of a bus back in 2000 when the Federal and State governments agreed a regulatory scheme for criminalising the publication of 'less than wholesome' material on the Internet. The sign read 'Australia - The Global Village Idiot'.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I always feel more comfortable when things don't change.

Wikileaks judge gets Pirate Bay treatment


Poor Judge White

He accepts the arguments of the bank's advocates at an ex parte hearing (that is one the other side is unrepresented), takes up a copy of the orders that the bank's advocates have drafted, and issues them with his signature at the bottom.

You have to realise people that in most instances the judges don't draft the orders - they take the orders drafted by the 'winning side' and make any small adjustments that are necessary. Assuming that that is what happend in this case, Judge White has been pilloried for doing what he, and every other judge presiding in common law jurisdictions, do every day.

Halo Master Chief armour offered on eBay

Gates Horns

He'll be needing that suit on

when Microsoft's lawyers come looking for their licence fee.

Electrical contact lenses created for in-eye displays


That is so f88king cool!

Now all we need is the virtual John Madden add-on, and he can use his light pen to point out all the potential hazards as we walk down the street.

"You can see here Al that this car has its reverse lights on but has yet to move. Keep an eye on that one. But don't overlook that kid on the rollerblades coming towards you. He might just decide to cut block you and BAM! You're not going to drinking that latte you've got your mind set on!"

Why can't the future be now!

E-government is working for DVLA



"We're going to have countrywide vehicle tracking through ANPR whether the public like it or not so why not just have checkpoints at strategic junctions that are hooked in to the road tax database"

Given that we don't even have a permanent speed camera on the island where I live, I'm all for this! Not having to pay road tax, and then not using the car on the weekend when the guys with the ANPR gear come up from Aberdeen for their 6 monthly 'blitz' - sweet!

Immigrant ID cards and border checks slip towards 2009


Well that's just crap

I was looking forward to receiving my new Judenstern from the UK government this year.

Bastards! Get you all excited about being singled out from the crowd as something worthy of extra surveillance and then they go and push out the timeline.

Flying cow destroys minivan


Re: imagine if it were a pig

Not really - the point is the cow didn't fly. It dropped. Quickly.

Oz 'Family First' candidate sacked for todger-flash email


@ brett

The Australian Constitution has no view on the separation between church and state. Only the independence of the federal judiciary is protected. You won't have much of a chance getting a party deregistered because it has religious affilition.

As for telling its parishoner's to go out and vote for Family First - that is democracy mate, the same way The Daily Telegraph tells its 'Parishoners' to go out and vote for the Liberals.

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About time

Now all we need is for the rest of these suit-wearing PC-speaking fascists to fall on their swords and Australia will be back on the road to recovery.

Blokey atmos drives women away from sci/tech


Ahh, psychological studies...

should always come with the standard disclaimer: "The extrapolations drawn from this research can only be applied to white middle-class men and women (but mostly women at a ratio of 5:1) aged between 17-20 of at least moderate intelligence"

The reason: because these are the people who make up the sample which the results are drawn from - first-year psychology students.

Peruvian 'meteorite' strike provokes noxious gas attack


When will this war end?

Those wascally terrorists, they are evening using meteorites now! When did they get a space capability? How is GWB going to protect us from this? Does this mean we won't be able to take Moonrocks onto planes anymore? Arrgh, I hate those terrorists!

Google denies Oz-blurring black op


Horse bolted?

If they have in fact decided to blur the images to appease the US government, that doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that the US government would expect it to make a difference.

Do they honestly beleive that attackers would be so badly prepared that they needed to quickly look up Google Maps this late in the game? That illusion of security they have been trying to sell me for years is starting to blur a little.

UK gov rejects Cliff Richard's copyright extension


Different lengths for different rights

AndyS: you were partly right - there are many different types of rights involved in any one song: the composer of the music has rights (life of the artist + 70 years), the lyricist has rights (life of the artist + 70 years), and the people who actually play on a particular recording of the track have rights (50 years).

This is what the music industry is talking about when the say they want 'parity' - authors, composers, songwriters and artists get life + 70, why don't the performers? Maybe because you end up with f**kers like James Joyce's grandson who forbids the people who continue to line his pockets with cash the right to read aloud the works they love so much at a celebration of his benefactors life (see the introduction here: http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol2-3/bloomsday.asp)

I do love the whole 'but we have no pension' argument. Um, when you recorded the song in the 1950's, you knew when your royalties would stop. But you decided not to save some of the money. And when in the 1980's you begun to get old and realised that you would never have another hit single but were still receiving royalty cheques, did you not start to think that maybe, just maybe, like everyone else in the world, that you might want to start putting some of that money away for a rainy day. But no, you went on spending it, gambling that the government would extend the term of copyright. Guess what buddy, you lost.

Well, at least for the moment, until the EU steps in to extend the term. It's alright, the Germans will come along and help feed you in your old age.

George Bush's watch clocked on eBay


Convenient history

Why is it that the yanks always forget that the only reason why they aren't Commonwealth citizens to this day is because the French bailed them out?

Always amuses me how people can conveniently forget history when it doesn't fit their personal view of the world.


Not 2012...

the 'trial' will have to take place in 2011, cause that's when the next Australian federal election is due after the one in November this year.

2012 Olympics logo debuts to whalesong


Gobbie or Aussie?

Yup, I can see the blowjob.

The other option is that they are trying to attach themselves to the 2000 Sydney Olympics which, if you ask any Aussie they will quickly remind you, was 'the greatest Olympics ever'. The bit with the Olympic rings in it is a pretty close outline of Australia (sans Tasmania, which isn't really part of Australia anyway).