* Posts by peredur

34 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jan 2011

Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward


Re: RAW?

As I understand it, RAW support is very good. What is not very good is support for proprietary "extensions" inserted by (for example) camera manufacturers to enhance their revenue streams. There are also difficulties, again as I understand it, with some patents owned by Adobe that make some things unavailable in FOSS.

This is what my photographer daughter tells me, anyway. So I could be completely wrong.

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad



The article, rather snidely, mentions that the Commissioner is 'unelected'. Well, yes. Just like regulators all over the place - OfCom, OfGen, OfSted and all the other Of* things you can think of (well, nearly all of them).

In my opinion she's doing a far better job than my elected representatives, in her field of interest anyway. Does El Reg think that anything done by someone who is not elected is somehow invalid. Is the El Reg editor elected?

Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles


>> How about they finally implement H.264 support instead

H.264 is supported as of FF 26 (http://www.techienews.co.uk/973711/firefox-26-arrives-h-264-support-blocks-java-plugins-default/)


Re: For fucks sake!

>> If they do this and it circumvents Noscript and Adblock I'm giving up and going back to IE.

Now there's a blow for freedom. Well done, sir! For returning to a browser well known for its committment to privacy and freedom from unsolicited advertisements.

WhatsApp? Spaniards wasapean their autofotos


The Indian sub-continent and science continue to exert their linguistic influence over the English language:

boson (n.)

class of subatomic particles, named for Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) + subatomic particle suffix -on.

(from http://www.etymonline.com)

The suffix -ón is very common in Spanish (montón, capuchón...)

And it is also very common to add '-ear' to something to make an otherwise non-existent verb in Spanish (postear, cloquear...). So a little less of the linguistic jingoism, please.

Microsoft Surface slabs borked by heat-induced DIM SCREEN OF DEATH


Thermal temperatures

There are other ones?

El avión Buitre 2 rinde homenaje a nuestros amigos españoles


Muchas gracias

De uno que ve a inglés como reto. Y que tengáis mucha suerte en el vuelo y todo.

Scared yet, web devs? Google smears malware warnings over PHP.net


Not there now

Just accessed the site using FF and Chrome. No problem.

LOHAN rocket motor igniter goes pop at 20,000m



Muchach@s, me encuentro lleno de admiración. Enbuenahora.

Boffins' keyboard ELECTROCUTES Facebook addicts


Ignores behaviourist research

Unfortunately for those involved in this, the work of Pavlov and the behaviourists on the conditioned response showed that punishment did not extinguish the desire to make the targetted response, it merely inhibited it; thus eventually producing mentally screwed up experimental subjects.

The most efficient way to extinguish a response is to stop reinforcing it. Therefore a more effective answer would be to ensure that any attempt to access the undesirable url resulted in a 404, for example: or perhaps redirect to a really boring site. I'm sure you can think of one.

Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev


Much as I'm a fan of Linux, she's right. If he has to treat people like this to succeed then he should really take a good look at himself.

I can understand going off on one when you've said something many times and just been ignored, but Linus appears to be much too eager to reach for English Swear Words for Dummies. I suggest he emails this person with a polite, specific request and see if it gets him where he wants to be.

PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?


Re: since 2007

"I see many single core laptops from around 2005 with 80GB 4200rpm HDDs and 512MB of ram in them and they are unusable compared to a simple C2D machine from just a few years later."

Just rescued one of those for a charity I do some work for. It does have 1GB of memory, though.

It died trying to do Windows Vista updates. Lost the user profile (of the only user) so it was impossible to log in. The charity wanted me to buy a new one.

Since the laptop is only used as a resource for guest speakers, on the whole, and therefore just needs access to the Web, a mail client and the ability to display presentations, I stuck Mageia 3 on it just for fun, with LibreOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird.

Works perfectly. Several hundred pounds saved.

PAE and the ability to display presentations, I st

SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix


Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @AC

> Apple may now ship more UNIX(tm) systems than anybody else

Doubt it. How many Apple servers are there? Not a lot.

How many set-top boxes, routers, GPS systems, super-computers etc etc run OS/X? None that I know of, so the number is likely to be insignificant if they even exist. Not to mention that according to IDC (quoted in http://www.latinospost.com/articles/19393/20130517/ios-vs-android-market-share-apple-google-mobile-operating-systems.htm), Android (i.e. Linux) is beating Apple hands down when it comes to units shipped.

Nope, Linux is far and away the most widely distributed operating system in the world, even if it's practically non-existent on the desktop.

Germans purge selves of indigestible 63-letter word


Re: A keyboard that doesn't support umlauts?

I agree with learning about input methods (and Windows <Alt> codes if you really must use Windows). Personally, though, if I'm typing in a language other than my default, I simply change to a more appropriate keyboard layout. Both Linux, which I use, and Windows (which I occasionally have to support) allow you to do it easily - with a select list in the taskbar or equivalent.

Of course you need to be familiar with the layout of the keyboard in question if you're going to do this. I use French (which is really easy), Spanish (which is not quite so easy) and English (default as the laptop was bought in Britain) keyboard layouts. Being a touch-typist helps.


Welsh vowels

'W' is a vowel in Welsh. What's more, Welsh is a transparent language (as linguists call it). This means that each letter in the language's written form is associated with a single sound (more or less) in the spoken language. The Welsh 'w' is therefore always pronounced much like the English 'oo'.

Exceptions to Welsh orthographical transparency would be:

* the letter 'Y' can have one of two sounds: 'ee' or 'uh'. There are clear rules as to which to use. (In Turkish, this difference is indicated by the lack of a dot over the 'i' for the dark ('uh') sound. The clear sound uses the familiar 'i' with a dot).

* vowels can be either long or short, so an 'i' can either be short as 'i' in 'pig' or long like the 'ee' in 'seed'. Where there is any doubt, a circumflex can be put over the vowel to indicate that it is long, such as the 'w' in 'dŵr'.

Otherwise, you pretty much pronounce Welsh words as you see them. You need to know the rules, though. The Welsh alphabet has a number of digraphs (ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th) that figure in the alphabet as single letters and are sorted as single letters in dictionaries and indices for example.

Other languages use letters that in English are consonants to indicate vowels or semi-vowels. An 'r' in Czech, for example, can be a vowel as in 'Brno'. The same applies to the Czech 'l' as in 'Vltava'.

English is unusual in that its orthography makes pretty much no sense at all unless you're a specialist in language history. So applying English orthographical conventions to other languages often says more about English than it does about the language being commented upon.

I notice that somebody else has already commented on the use of spaces between words, so I'll not repeat it here.

Microsoft claims Windows Phone sales up 300%


Hmm. Nice link

The link to PCPro is to an article entitled, "Apple and Google extend mobile lead". In other words, MS is picking up waifs and strays from Symbian and RIM - but at a lesser rate that Google and Apple. Not something that I'd be proud of, particularly, if I had responsibility for Windows phone sales.

MS is picking up a larger and larger proportion of a rapidly shrinking pie - the bit of the market left after Apple and Google's share.

'FIRST ever' Linux, Mac OS X-only password sniffing Trojan spotted


Re: Had to happen

According to the site at the end of the link in the article:

"It's not clear yet how the Trojan, which was added to the Dr.Web virus database as BackDoor.Wirenet.1, spreads. This malicious program is a backdoor that can work under Linux as well as under Mac OS X.

When launched, it creates its copy in the user's home directory. The program uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to communicate with its control server whose address is"

So no details as to how it gets installed and no details as to how it's spread. Does this really merit an article? Because anybody can write a Linux virus - a shell script will do. The trick is getting it installed, giving it execute permissions and permissions to do its stuff.

I'll start to worry when I find out it exploits a weakness in the OS that allows it to install itself by stealth and then escalate its privileges. Or when it somehow gets added to the Ubuntu repositories, of course.

Android activations near a million a day


Re: What Now?

And, as somebody else has already pointed out further up the list, the number includes upgrades. I activated a new Android phone yesterday. But it was just my free upgrade.

So the figure seems OK to me.

Tick-like banking Trojan drills into Firefox, sucks out info


Re: Re: And it is spread, how, exactly?

Thank you.

From what you say ("It tricks Windows users") and from the link (all Windows-specific stuff), it seems as though my Ubuntu install is not under any immediate threat.




And it is spread, how, exactly?

An article with zero useful information. It would have been nice to know:

* How does a machine become infected? Visit a malicious site? Or what?

* How does the trojan get installed? Does the user have to agree to run a program? What permissions does the trojan require (ordinary user? root?)

* What operating systems are affected?

* What do you do to protect yourself?

All the article does is to tell us the sky if falling in. Well thanks.



Nominet to launch .wales and .cymru


Re: Re: I am tempted to ask...

Oops! Sorry about the spurious link in the previous post. New laptop. Haven't got used to the keyboard and mouse pad yet.


Re: .cymru

... and those of us worried by that will simply buy both domains and redirect .co.uk to .cymru or .wales or whatever.

As long as it's the new tld that gets bookmarked and used in links, by the end of the first year you could probably drop the .co.uk and save the few pounds a year it's costing you.



Re: I am tempted to ask...

Pam dach chi'n meddwl bod enw gwahanol ar y wlad yn y de? Mae'r gair ei hun yn treiglo llawn cymaint ta waeth fyddai'ch tafodiaith.

[Why do you think the county's name varies between north and south? The word itself mutates in the same way whatever your dialect is]


EE and BT get LTE extension


@oergell: 'Sdim byd mwy peryg na Sais hefo geiriadur

And for the sake of our English friends:

"There's nothing so dangerous as an Englishman with a dictionary"

Hackers dump secret info for thousands of cops


Password retrieval

I feel your pain. It's not a great excuse though, is it? All the systems that I know of have ways of retrieving or resetting passwords. In the worst case (i.e. where it's the business and not the user who wants to be able to retrieve the password), a db admin could manipulate the user's record such that the password could be retrieved/reset without going through the Web site's security checks.

It's hard, for me, to imagine a system where a db admin couldn't do that: at least where we're just talking about simple uid/pwd validation and not the use of some other security device as well.



Microsoft Visual Studio to end dev and ops 'ping pong'


It's aimed at managers

They're the ones who think all this bloat is cool. Coders want an editor and a debugger (probably). For source control, use mercurial or SVN.

When I used to do .NET coding I used one of the fancy versions of VS, but could just have easily have used the free version. The rest of the team were the same. We also worked with some companies who wrote some very large systems. They may have used all the bells and whistles. I don't know. I never asked. I do know that their code was, without exception, awful.

Just my 2c. Worth what you paid for it.



Steven Moffat fumes over Doctor Who plot leak


Overreact? Moi?

It's annoying, sure, when stuff like this happens, but it's hardly in the big league of disasters now, is it? How many people are likely to have seen the spoiler? Of that number, what proportion managed somehow to read it unintentionally? Twice. What percentage read the plot line and then decided not to watch the show? Two? Three? As many as twenty?

So, "horrific"?

Presumably for values of 'horrific' on a quantum scale. The guy should really get a grip. Using terms like 'hate' and 'horrific' in respect of a gnat bite like this debases the coinage. What words will we have left to describe the beating and shooting of innocents by armed troops and vigilantes if 'hate' and 'horror' are appropriate to describe spoilers?



MobileMe drove Steve Jobs to foul-mouthed fury


Good management?

Nope. If the reports are true, he showed himself to be on a level with the average three year old as far as problem-solving is concerned.

Good managers acknowledge that there's a problem, ask what the details are, what the plans are to fix it, how the manager can help (facilitation, resources etc) and what the estimates are of the time the fixes will take given the level of resources agreed upon. Then, on the agreed dates, they check that the fixes have been made.

Rinse and repeat until either the problems are solved or they have real evidence of incompetence. Even then, they never lose their temper. It's childish and usually counter-productive.

The checking of the fixes bit is the thing most managers fall down on: then, when they do find out that things are still not working because it's in the press or something, they throw a tantrum instead of asking themselves how they let things get to such a pitch.

All this sort of behaviour does is to make people afraid to reveal problems until it's too late. It's the kind of childish machismo much loved of 'The Apprentice' and it is simply bad management.

The people he was addressing are unlikely to have got into this mess on purpose. Having got there, Jobs' job is to help them get out of it: not to pout and stamp his feet (if the reports are true and that's what he, metaphorically, did).

I learnt all this from watching a previous boss I was lucky enough to work for. Someone without a paper qualification to his name, which probably stopped him from reaching the level he deserved, and for whom getting the job done right was more important than any fruitless ego trip.

Good on yer, Clive. Wherever you are.



Windows 0day could allow complete hijacking


Linux exploits

Yes. Some exploits would be found, but the Unix security model is more robust than Windows so the chances are that the problems would be more limited. In addition to the security model, Linux is a less heterogeneous environment: virus writers can't assume that everything will always be in the same place regardless of the distribution.

And finally of course, it's worth pointing out that the very many millions of publicly reachable Linux servers out there have proved themselves to be pretty robust.

You're right to say that if a very large percentage of personal computers (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones etc) were running Linux there'd be more pressure, but I don't think the problems would be as bad as they are with Windows boxes. And I agree with a previous contributor who said that any problem that did arise would soon be fixed. What's more the fixes would be more likely to be applied. Updates, security or otherwise, on a Linux box are a dream compared to Windows.



Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers


Pay not that great?

What? Not that great pay?


That and 12 weeks holiday a year and a working day of about 6 hours. They don't even have to do 'dinner duty' any more. Not bad, I'd say.

And yes, I know a lot ( but not all) teachers work longer hours and for parts of their holidays, but they've got a heck of lot of catching up to do before they get to the hours of us 9-to-5, 46ish weeks a year people: and that's before counting in all the extra hours and missed holidays *we* finish up doing.

UK police crime map website: Who's the victim here?


What be the reaction if Mill Lane was shut down?

We'd all have to go back to Caroline Street.




Cais da

Rhaid bod Cymraeg trigolion Caerlŷr wedi dirywio drost y blynyddoed. Effaith y Saesneg o'u cwmpas nhw.

(The Welsh in the Leicester area must have deteriorated over the years. The effect of all that English around them)

Hmm. No problem with the ŷ in the preview window, anyway.



In defence of Comic Sans



The Spanish have a good way of making an abbreviation plural. Double up the letters in the abbreviation An example:

EE UU == Estados Unidos

Cool, I reckon.



Ace Reg reporter in career suicide shock



When I was 16 I came home from school with a copy of the Telegraph under my arm. My father looked at it, looked at me and said, "Either it guz o' tha duz". Never bought a copy since, and don't plan to.

Unless you turn its tech pages into something worth reading, of course.