* Posts by Ian Sargent

18 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

Brit forces get hoverstare ducted-fan droid

Ian Sargent
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You must be joking

Amazing, $5.7 million (£3.8 million) for 5 systems!

Off the shelf model helicopter kit (from a good model shop) plus everything needed to get it into the air - less than £1,000. Add to that video capability for, lets say, another £1,000 and you have a somewhat cheaper solution. Christ, for £2k it's a throw away system compared to the T-Hawk. In fact, at £2k a time you could have almost 2000 of them....

Having flown model helicopters myself and as I'm looking for a job at the moment then, for a reasonable salary and a bit of help, I'll build and fly the first AND I'll train others to do the same.

Offers? Seriously, the Register knows how to get hold of me. <GRIN>

UK e-tailers scurry to scrap dodgy Heavy Metal covers

Ian Sargent


I suspect that the sale of this particular album is going to go through the roof - if only for the cover. It will now, more than likely, become a collectors item.

I was going to suggest that it may be a clever marketing ploy to increase the sales of otherwise crap music but having just listened to some snippets of the album it's not too bad.

Marketing, don't you just love them?

Apple more closed than Microsoft

Ian Sargent

Oh dear

Back in the late 80's/early 90's I predicted that it would not be long before everyone had a Mac on their desk rather than a PC. How wrong I was!

I still believe that if Apple had been more 'open' back then probably the percentage of PC's and Mac's would now be reversed. I even loved my Newton but where did that go?

Now the world is dominated by the PC with Windows and I somehow doubt that will change. Apple computers will, unfortunately I think, remain a relatively niche market, no matter how good their kit is. I believe they shot themselves in the foot all those years ago and rather than learn from it they have continued to blast away at their feet, slowly taking out their toes one at a time!

Just imagine the sales of the iPhone if it had been available on ANY network from day one! Just imagine the sales of the iPhone if developers could sell, or even give away, their applications free from the strict rules that Apple see fit to impose.

And don't even get me started on iTunes.......

Some great kit but some seriously dumb management decisions over the years!

UK lists preferred occupations for immigrants

Ian Sargent
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What a load of bull****

More bull from the government as usual! Makes you wonder where this stuff comes from.

I've just been made redundant as well.

A friend of mine who is a geologist has been trying to find a job for over a year now but according to the article there is a shortage of geologists!

California court tilts towards mandating web accessibility

Ian Sargent

An easy way to make money?

It sounds to me as though a lawyer somewhere has had a brainwave - "Hey, I can make some money out of the disabled . . . . lets start with the blind! After this maybe I can even get the blind community to sue Apple for not having a suitable interface for them on the iPhone and iPod Touch?"

I agree that many/most web sites should be more aware of those people with sight problems but is this the best way to solve the problem?

IT risk becomes board-level issue

Ian Sargent

The message to middle and senior management - WAKE UP!

Unfortunately this seems to be an area that is getting worse rather than better in this country and much of the problem can be resolved with a bit of education and common sense – and some money of course.

Some of the issues:-

1. ‘Highly qualified’ IT managers in small/medium sized organisations that are quite simply ignorant of even simple risks (IT) within their department or within the business as a whole. They may have an IT related degree (or whatever!?!?) but have little or no ‘business acumen’ and are unable to see further than their nose while, one way or another, the big picture is ignored or worse still take the attitude of “It’s not in my job description”.

2. Insufficient funding for IT departments to enable them to provide proper protection against known risks and plan for currently ‘unknown’ risks.

3. Most IT departments are ‘cost centres’ and this, in my opinion, is wrong. They should be ‘profit centres’ and charge their users accordingly for every byte of storage and data transfer used so that relevant levels of ‘protection’ can be provided without the need to go begging for additional funds – that in many cases are desperately needed.

4. Ignorance, from middle management to board level, of even simple issues relating to IT risks that can be seriously detrimental to the business as a whole.

5. Management, up to board level, simply not listening to IT managers who DO know what they are talking about.

6. Dare I even mention the ‘jobs worth’ brigade? Those people who couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag but who are however brilliant at justifying and protecting themselves and who get promoted sideways rather than being fired?

7. The perception of IT has changed over the years and is now seen, by many, to be much simpler. Let’s face it, our children now leave school with a high level (??) of knowledge of ICT and the Internet – so how difficult can it be?

The fact is that much of IT - at the user level - IS simple, unfortunately many people see and believe this is still the case when it comes to ‘business systems’ as a whole, the truth however is very, very different. Just ask the MD what the effect would be if he/she lost his/her PC for 24 hours because of a disk crash – with vital unprotected information on it? Worse still, ask if they know/realise what the effect of losing a major system for 24 hours would be? Don't be surprised at the answer though!

The message to middle and senior management - WAKE UP!

US special forces buy electric stealth golf carts

Ian Sargent

Ahhhh, the good old days before Star Wars

This article just made me think of the six wheel buggy used on a kiddies program from back in the 60/70's - The Banana Splits......

If I remember correctly the vehicle was even amphibious.

Now if the military could be talked into dressing up as the Banana Splits as well then if they were caught they could say they were just filming a children’s program.

GREAT cover story!!!

T-Mobile wants our phones

Ian Sargent


".....pay for 39,000 nurses, or to buy the entire Chelsea football squad nearly four times over,...."

Hmmmm, 39,000 nurses or 44 footballers - that really puts "Value For Money" into perspective doesn't it?

Olympic planners left IT out of the budget

Ian Sargent

Wot do you need IT for?

Seriously, what do you need IT for?

I mean to say, a few empty fag packets should be OK as it seems that that's all the planners have been using so far!

It's a shame that they lost some of the packets when it came to the budgeting though.

As for H2Nick's comment - Nah, you are WAY off with only £15 billion. It will be a miracle if we get ANY change from £20 billion.

'You're a f**king moron'

Ian Sargent

Luv it!

I suspect that we will not hear who the company is, let alone the culprit (or should that be culPRAT), but I just love the way you work - in the style of BOFH.

Spoofing an email addy is one thing but to do so to someone like El Reg is something else and who would have imagined being able to capture someone's IP addy on a form, let alone record it...... tee hee hee!

Apple's first handheld: the Newton MessagePad

Ian Sargent

I loved my 2100!

I loved my 2100 which I bought in 98 and which gave me faultless service until 2001 when I was forced to replace it. God did I miss it and I now wish that I had kept it, if only for personal use!

For me the handwriting recognition was fine and I would guess that it was easily better than 90% accurate and only had problems when I started to ‘scribble’. I should add that when I do ‘scribble’ even I can’t read it…..

As was mentioned in the article the only real issue was data transfer which for me was only occasionally a problem but I am sure that it could be solved now, especially with better/faster processors now being available, plus of course better 'interfacing' software.

I am sure that with today’s technology it wouldn’t be that difficult for Apple to ‘bring it back’ and make it even better – just don’t make it smaller!

If Apple produced a new one now with a faster processor and maybe colour I would be at the head of the queue and, to be honest, I would even be happy to go without the colour.

Celebrating the iPhone's Newtonian past

Ian Sargent

Bring back the Newton - please.

It’s nice to still hear good things about the Newton and I wish I had never had to replace mine.

With today’s technology just think what a modern Newton would/could be like – keep the size and functionality/applications etc but make it faster slimmer/lighter with a colour screen and longer battery life - keep the batteries replaceable though.

Come on Apple, most of the work has already been done so it would probably not take much effort/cost to upgrade the OS to cater for a faster processor and colour. A couple of sockets for ‘plug in’ phone and/or GPS etc for those that want/need it and you would have a device that I would certainly buy.

I can dream can’t I?

Ian Sargent

Ahhhh, the Newton

Ahhhh, the Newton! Bring it back ASAP - in colour!

I loved my Newton but unfortunately it's long gone now.

Dell dances out with desktop Inspirons

Ian Sargent

Yet again we see the UK ‘pay the price’!

By my calculations, with the current rate of exchange, $349 = £174.50

OK, I know that it is not just Dell doing this but I am a bit ‘pissed off’ at the moment and I’m even typing this on a Dell – whose kit I actually like.

Doctors slam Choose and Book

Ian Sargent

Further to the reply from Frank Bellavance - Sad Thing

Of course you are quite correct.... but that wouldn't have made the billions for the people who did it!

Unfortunately this is true of many large IT projects these days where the simple, costs effective, solution is rejected simply because it IS simple and cost effective!

Microsoft, and many others, get accused of providing 'bloat ware' but try to say that about a project like this and you will be told....... I am sure you get the picture!

Physics GCSE: 'insultingly easy, non scientific, and vague'

Ian Sargent

My response to a question

QUOTE: ------------------------


By Rik Hemsley

Posted Tuesday 12th June 2007 14:51 GMT

Mr. Sargent, what level do you believe an 'O' level student from 1970 would achieve if they were asked to take one of today's GCSE physics papers? The test may be simple, in your way of thinking, but I believe that makes your thinking over-simplistic.

END QUOTE: ------------------------

As I have been asked a question I will answer.

If (most) people who passed a physics 'O' Level in 1970 had to sit a GCSE tomorrow they would probably do poorly, but likely pass! If they had a couple of weeks or so to prepare then they would probably pass with flying colours!

The only reason I can say this with some confidence is that I passed a physics 'O' Level in 1971 and have seen the material that my son has currently been studying for Science GCSE (3 parts - Physics, Chemistry & Biology), in fact he is sitting the second of two exams later this morning (13th June). He has also told me some of questions he has already had to answer…….

To be honest I am appalled at the level of knowledge required today (not just Science) to pass a GCSE and even he (my son) has said that it has been ‘pretty poor’ (his words)! When I mentioned this article to him he also agreed about the ‘political’ aspect of some of the questions as well. Out of the mouths of babes???

Ian Sargent

Be serious!!!

Come on now, get serious!

The simple test, to my way of thinking, in to sit a GCSE student down in front of an 'O' Level paper from, lets say, 1970 and see how they do! The same goes for 'A' Level students.....

Better still, sit someone from AQA in front of an 'O' Level paper from 1970 and see how THEY do!

In both/all cases I doubt VERY much that they would pass!

Unfortunately this isn't just about physics, it is pretty much all subjects that are being dumbed down one way and another.

It won't be long before we have children who can't even spell FIZIKS!

So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?

Ian Sargent

Never mind the URL, its the content that matters

To be honest I have not really noticed what the URL has been (for a few years now) as I have the site saved as a ‘bookmark’ so I really don’t think it will make any difference to me! I have just checked to see what it was and found that it is .co.uk.

Like many people who use the Internet I rarely care what the URL is as long as it provides me with the information that I am looking for! What DOES matter (to me anyway) is the content and if this changed for the worst (God forbid!) then I know that all I have to do it to delete the bookmark…..