* Posts by Chris Burns

18 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Jun 2007

Angel spots CherryPal cloud chimera

Chris Burns

A "UK based African born family."...

DEar MAdam,m,

I am writing to you from the glory of God, and all his miniions, to announce that you, dear reader, have been selected to help us in our hour of need - please just send $249.99 as a starting deposit, and we will be fine, and God will look down on you and be pleased.

Please THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE orDEATH!!!¬!""!!¬"!"1 - I can guarantee you, guaranteed by the FBI itself (www.fbi.con) that you WILL GET YOUR HARDWARE in heaven.

Please forward your banking details on to myself, and God himself will deliver the machine to you

All glory to you, please send me your money.

Mr. Cherry.

Windows 7 'pre-beta' washes up on Pirate Bay and co

Chris Burns

re: Kevin Gordon

...MS only move to the "potentially unstable build" when the product goes gold.

UK minister looks for delete key on user generated content

Chris Burns

Has it really come to this...

It used to be that TV was denigrated by radio listeners, and before TV, radio listeners were denigrated by readers...

Now some no-nothing from government is making the same connection between the internet and TV. As another commenter noted (Mike Crawshaw), TV isn't exactly covering itself in glory right now...

Kids are curious - they always have been, always will be - it's all part of some weird thing that happens called "growing up". Now when I were a lad (nostalgia hat on) - we weren't allowed out round the neighbourhood to play unless we had a good understanding of what we could and couldn't do out there - and if you didn't have that knowledge, you were accompanied by an older brother / sister. It amazes me that although the playground seems to have changed from local streets to the internet, parents still allow kids to wander at will - often unsupervised (computer in the bedroom - keeps them off the streets - keeps them out of the parent's hair...)

I realise this is a tech site, and so the visitors on here who also happen to be parents will be aware of what the internet is - a place where there really is too much information sometimes - and plenty of it that isn't suitable for these almost middle-aged eyes - never mind young children clicking randomly from one page to another. Knowing some IT-literate friends who have children, they have their computers in communal areas, which are always in sight. It seems that often, it's when the kids know more about technology than their parents when the problems start to occur.

I don't have any answers to this, as I'm not a Daily Mail / Express reader - just my observations.

Microsoft promises SP 'milestone' for Visual Studio 2008

Chris Burns

I wish...

...that microsoft would just make it possible to have ONE version of the .net framework installed - the latest one, of course - which would then be backward compatible (so 3.5 would also run 2.x and 1.x code). At the moment, we develop for v2.x - missing out on all the supposedly good stuff in v3.x - just because we know that all machines that the software will be deployed on will have .net v2.

sigh. What started out as a good idea is turning into normal bloatware.

Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

Chris Burns

DAB in cars

The reason FM in cars is still holding strong is that most people are happy with the quality of FM radio - DAB doesn't add that much that the road / tyre / engine noise wouldn't take away. If we want crystal-clear sound, we tend to think that sitting in a metal box hurtling over potholes isn't the best way to achieve that.

Me? I still listen to sport on the medium wave, which is fine for my purposes. If I want better sound quality, I slap a CD in. Then I get to choose what songs get played, and I can supply my own irritating voice-over.

Nokia N810 internet tablet

Chris Burns

and more...

I have an n800 - had it for a year or so now, and it has come on in leaps and bounds with each new firmware release. I mainly use it for portable IM (there's a version of pidgin that runs well on it - the full-screen virtual keyboard is excellent once you get used to it) - and ebook reading - using FBReader and Evince (FBReader used to be all I needed, but they seem to have reduced pdf compatibility - though there is a pdf reader in the standard build, I prefer a 3rd party app). If you can afford the n810, I would definitely go for that, mainly due to the hardware keyboard, but now that it has been superseded, the n800 should be coming down in price. For an inquisitive geek, there's no better gadget.

Do we need computer competence tests?

Chris Burns

Why not....

...have a voluntary course available to teach people the basics of computer security - how bad people attack you, what to look out for, etc etc.

If you pass the test (and pass by actually showing that you have learned, not just that you attended), then you get a licence for a specific period of time - 2 or 3 years, say, that will allow you to buy computer equipment without paying VAT - thus it doesn't cost the retailer anything, and the government bears the cost of people being security-minded.

If you don't want to do the test, then simple - you pay more for your computer equipment.

I realise that this is a utopian scheme - there will obviously be ways around it - I don't need to be flamed, as I acknowledge this.

I just come up with the ideas.

Revealed: USB 3.0 jacks and sockets

Chris Burns

If it works...

...most people (non-technical, you know - the ones that ask us geeks for help) are not bothered about one standard being faster than another standard - they are primarily concerned with it just... working. As long as it works, then that will do them - hence the popularity of bluetooth, even though the data rates absolutely stink - but imagine standing in a pub trying to align IR ports to get the latest "hilarious" pic / video...

Unfortunately, a lot of the choice over which standard is used / unused is governed by the lowest common denominator - which means cheaper prices for us all, but also tends to mean that the hardware has to be simple enough for your gran to use.

Video games blamed for England Euro flop

Chris Burns

That explains it then...

It wasn't a lack of skill that thwarted my ambitions to be a professional footballer. It was the fact that I was sat on my spectrum as a kid. Can I still sue Sinclair Industries for loss of earnings?

BOFH: You think you know a guy...

Chris Burns

@ Peter Gathercole

..that must be the most thinly disguised request for geek porn I have ever seen.

Well done that man.

Light Sabre wars for your Wii

Chris Burns

I can see it now...

...as with other wii games, the "window" of movement will be about 6 inches cubed. If you move the remote too fast, it won't be recognised, eventually leading to what most people do when they use the wii remote for a while - sit down, and jiggle it slightly to get the best results. Strangely, I can't remember Obi Wan et al doing that in the films...

China slaps ban on reincarnation

Chris Burns

Application to reincarnate?

...over my dead body.

UK VPN security is outstandingly mediocre

Chris Burns

What next...

Norton/Symantec telling us that viruses are on the up? Spyroot luckily informing us that malware and spyware are increasing? I do like these adverts dressed up as stories...

Microsoft re-assures partners on Vista compatibility

Chris Burns

Re: Ming (better?)

I am fully aware from your posting how you feel about the word I used in a posting. I live in the UK, and have never heard "that" word used in a derogatory sense about disabled people. The point of my secondary posting was that I wasn't aware that we had some self-styled censor on the comments board, who deems what is and isn't correct, based on his own usage and prejudices.

Chris Burns

re: Mong

The word is australian slang for "mongrel". This was the context I was aware of, and the context in which it was used. Please do not assume that, because you have heard a word used in such a way, that we all have the same experience. Thanks.

Chris Burns

re: MS will turn this around...

I can remember well when XP was on the horizon - compared to 98, 98SE, and particularly ME (mong edition?), you could SEE that XP was (kind of) more secure, more stable, etc etc. Ok, so some hardware needed new drivers - though most of the time, Win2K drivers would do an adequate job - but there was the sense of a natural transition to a more grown-up OS, though naturally - this being Microsoft, one with teething troubles - has MS *ever* released a product into the wild that didn't feel like a beta version until a couple of upgrades / service packs down the line? Anyway, back to my main thread - you could *see* the value of XP over the Win9x line.

Using vista, you just can't see this. It is an absolute retrograde step, with MS "partners" bottom lines as the main objective, not the poor user who has to jump through hoops to get the simplest task done. At home, for the first time, I'm now considering replacing machines as they die with macs (a mac mini will satisfy my needs for less than half of the price of a slower performing vista box).

If Microsoft were in charge of ferrari, you would see all the power of the engine used to power a glitterball hanging directly over the steering wheel, thus making it the only thing the driver could see, with only a small amount of power being directed to the process of pushing the car forward... (which would then pause for a minute each time you turned the wheel, but I think I've stretched this analogy far enough, probably too far)

Virgin Media tech support goes premium rate

Chris Burns

re: Credits

As far as I can gather, from speaking to the trained monkeys, they will only credit back any phone charges if you are calling from a virgin media phone line - try getting them to credit a BT line, or even worse, a mobile, and you'll be looking at having to send documents to them to *prove* that you phoned (ie. a bill), and then, after a couple of weeks of no progression, sending them again - as this is what we expect from Virgin Media now, for them to get lost in some chasm at head office...

Virgin Media - we're virgin, because it's the customer that gets f*cked.

Sony cuts price of Blu-ray player

Chris Burns

Format Wars...

I wonder how many people, like me, were first-line adopters of new technology, but now, after seeing how the large companies forget about the early adopters, just plan on sitting back and waiting for them all to get their fingers burned...?

This is the position I'm taking with Blu-Ray / HD DVD - I own a high-definition capable TV, but the only High-Def signal that goes through it is from my PC - at the moment, standard DVD looks fine for my needs, rather than shelling out on what I would assume would be the wrong choice, no matter which format I chose (it's the kind of luck I have, which is why I don't gamble...)