* Posts by Dinky Carter

118 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jan 2011


Tokyo man arrested for selling jailbroken iPhones

Dinky Carter

Some Japanese laws are real head-scratchers.

For example:

It's illegal to ride a motorbike with a pillion passenger on many stretches of motorway.

It's perfectly legal to smoke in a restaurant, but not on the pavement outside.

Dancing is illegal in any establishment after midnight.

Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Dinky Carter

I think what will happen is that in a couple of hundred years time a spaceship from Earth will simply make a day trip to go and retrieve the Voyagers and put them in a museum.

Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

Dinky Carter

Re: It would be great...

Japan isn't small. It's bigger than every country in Europe bar France and Russia.

Dinky Carter

Re: Alternatively

What axe could I possibly have to grind? Although that fact that Japan is buried is concrete is most definitely as a result of axe-grinding by the construction industry, politicians and yaks.

I too have been in a similar bar on the Kyoto river front and I thought "what a beautiful place, what a fantastic time, but wouldn't it be wonderful if the river was like it was 50 years ago rather than a dirty concrete culvert almost devoid of water?"

And in any case, there's no *need* to concrete the river in Kyoto because the water flow was 'fixed' by damning up river... that's why there's nothing but a meandering trickle where there was once a beautiful river.

If you live in a place you begin to care about it. It's an aesthetic tragedy that so much of Japan is buried under concrete. What were once beautiful rivers and streams are now just stagnant, sewer-like eyesores. A bit like this mad new plan to build an enormous concrete tsunami wall on the coast rather than try more ecologically sound ideas and effective such as creating a defence from trees and landscaping.

Dinky Carter

Re: Alternatively

This theory most certainly does not explain why every river is concreted, completely destroying any semblance of natural beauty. Take the river flowing through Kyoto. It's an enormous, concrete culvert disfiguring the town. It has the tiniest trickle of water 'flowing' through it.

I used to live in sleepy Gunma near a sleepy river that has never flooded in living memory. Yet the banks of this rural river were concreted a few decades ago, and what was a beautiful resource for population is now and ugly, stagnant monstrosity.

Read 'Dogs and Demons', or just have a quick look at this guy's blog http://joshnjaxnjapan.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/concrete-rivers-of-japan.html

... and this article demonstrates how concreting rivers has *increased* flow and flood risk (the original motivation to concrete them having been simply for the sake of it.)


And besides, even if *some* rivers do have to be controlled, there are other ways to do it other than smothering them with concrete, as the Jubilee River demonstrates.


PLUS concreting the hundreds of small streams that criss cross the countryside, producing deep culverts, has killed dozens of small children over the last few years who fall in and can't climb out. It's madness, and it's madness to try to defend the Japanese frenzy for covering their country in concrete.

Dinky Carter

If it was NHK it was probably suggesting that (for example) grinding wheels to reduce friction is 'unique' to Japan. The basic fact is that Shinkansen lines are dead straight, which is why the trains can go so fast. Good old concrete and dynamiting tunnels through mountains at fantastic cost gave Japan this 'technological marvel' (although the shapes of the train noses are innovative, to reduce turbulence on entering those hundreds of tunnels.) Lots of other countries envy them, but nobody wants to pay for them.

Dinky Carter

Shinkansens are fast because the J-Gov spent beellions constructing dead straight tracks through all sort of terrain, thus saddling the country with massive debt. In Japan, the construction and concrete industries rules the roost. That's why almost every riverbank is concreted... it gives the constuction companies something to do in slack periods.

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Dinky Carter

Re: It's not difficult you know

... but it's all still there!

Dinky Carter

Re: It's not difficult you know

Astonishing down-voting on your post!

What are people pissed off about?

I too prefer Windows 8.1 to 7. Mind you, I rarely dip into Metro, except for the excellent App launcher.

ZX81 BEATEN at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown

Dinky Carter


Microchess by Peter Jennings, released in 1976 for the Commodore Kim-1, was no slouch either, weighing in at 1.1k.

Full 6502 listing here


Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

Dinky Carter

I think an American university should be more concerned about how Americans are shrinking and distorting the English language in other ways, such as:

Preposition abuse: e.g. "I protest preposition abuse" v "I protest against preposition abuse", "off of" , "based off' or even "based off of" v "based on", "write you" v "write to you" etc

Reliance on the perfect tense, thus conveying less information: "I lost my car keys" v "I've lost my car keys", or "This page was visited 10,000 times" v "this page has been visited 10,000 times",

Idiom abuse: "I could care less"

Horrible new usages/words : "Can I get?" v "Could I have?", "Normalcy" v "Normality", "I wish I would have written" v "I wish I had written"

Inability to use the verb "lie" correctly.

Inability to choose between "bring" and "take" correctly.

etc etc!

(Flame away, I'm wearing asbestos :-) )

Dinky Carter

Re: What's "Dumfounded"?

Is "the exact same" the American for "exactly the same" ??

I'm in anti-American English pendant mode on this thread.

Are you a fat boy? Get to university now, you penniless slacker

Dinky Carter

The same stuff about bullying and ridiculing fat people teenagers affecting their personality and self confidence applies to short people too.

The differences are

1) short people can't do anything about their height (*)

2) ridiculing short people is still perfectly acceptable, by anyone, anytime.

(*) well, that's not so true these days, since growth hormone treatment is available if height 'problems' are noticed early enough. This is of no use to those who didn't / can't have access to drugs in their 'growing years.'

Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

Dinky Carter


You've been well and truly fanboid!

Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog

Dinky Carter

Re: You did WHAT?

... er, because he/she might have a library of films on DVD which they might want to play? Or might want to play a new DVD they picked up in a (shock horror) *shop* ?? That's the place your mummy goes to buy your fish fingers and lollipops.

Dinky Carter

Re: Yeah, nice one grandad

Are you seriously calling somebody 'granddad' because they want to play a DVD?

If I own a film on DVD, popping it into a DVD drive is rather more convenient than pratting around with a torrent.

Dinky Carter

Apple Mac Book / DVD

>and you can actually jack any old USB DVD reader/writer in and it'll work

Slightly different scenario, but when the flimsy DVD in my wife's MacBook Pro broke, I bought her Apple's external DVD drive ('ShinyDrive' or something, costing 3x the price of any comparable DVD drive) It didn't work with her machine! Apple had nobbled the unix device settings *specifcally* to stop it working with a machine that already has an inbuilt drive. My £30 external DVD drive from Maplins worked just fine though. (After some tinkering in unix, I eventually got her Apple DVD drive working with her Apple computer.)

Titan's salty waters scupper the chances for alien life

Dinky Carter

Re: looking for signs of methane outgassing

Get a dog then.

New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

Dinky Carter

...and it's much the same here.

No it isn't.

I really think that some people ought to experience living in these places that are 'much the same' as Blighty.

BBC offers briefest of teasers for the next Doctor Who

Dinky Carter

We've got a right one 'ere...


'I got a little bit upset by that Register article...' says millionaire model. Bless!

Dinky Carter

Re: "British Islands"

... all the more strange since the "British Isles" is a purely geographical term that includes the Republic of Ireland.

Women found just TWO out of every HUNDRED US tech startups

Dinky Carter

It's even more serious than that!

Why does nobody complain about the lack of females working as Kwik-Fit tyre fitters?

What a horrible, misogynistic industry tyre fitting must be!

And the kings of the misogynists must be the refuse/garbage collectors of the UK, as I've never seen a single female refuse collector!!!!!

Obviously, it can't be due to the fact that not many women *want* to be tyre fitters or refuse collectors can it? Nooooo.... banish that sexist thought, you bigoted male knuckle-dragger!

A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Dinky Carter

God, it's so big

I ordered a red 1520 from Hong Kong, and gasped when I extracted it from the package.

But I've grown to love it. It's just about 'small' enough to carry around in my jacket, has a fabulous screen that I can read, massive soft keyboard, superb offline turn-by-turn navigation, long (for a non-Symbian phone) battery life, an excellent camera and a slick UI that makes iOS look like a frumpy old maid and Android look as cluttered and messy as... a very cluttered and messy thing.

And has anyone tried Nokia Screen Beamer? It stops all my techie friends in their tracks when I demonstrate it. But of course, nobody knows about it. What the hell has Nokia's publicity department been doing for the last 15 years?

I just wish that like my N8, the 1520 had USB on the Go, an FM transmitter and more BT profiles.

Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Dinky Carter

Live tiles deprecated in 8.1 ?

... er, what?

So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Dinky Carter

The P800 ..

... was of course a Symbian touchscreen smartphone with a full browser which appeared five years before Apple invented touchscreen smartphones with full browsers.

Google Maps adds all UK public transport timetables

Dinky Carter

it's "All GB".

... and it's really true that not a lot of people know that.

During lulls in pub conversations, I've won several pints in bets with British mates by challenging them to correctly name the country printed on the front of their passports. Without exception, all of my non-techie mates fail miserably and have to stump up a pint. More surprisingly, a fair number of the nerds also fail.

As you can tell, I scintillate during boozing seshes.

HP's Whitman rues 'biggest failure' at eBay Japan

Dinky Carter

Japanese internet uses are incredibly wary of foreign websites, fearing viruses and god-knows-what. The Japanese rival to eBay is Yahoo.jp. But unlike any other worldwide Yahoo site, Yahoo.jp requires a separate account, keeping the hairy overseas barbarians at bay. The Japanese rival to Facebook, Mixi (which has been around a lot longer) requires users to have a Japanese registered mobile phone, again apparently to ward off gaijin.

Also, Japanese usage of the internet for such things as paying bills, updating driving licences, and even e-commerce, is very low. Everything is still done with paper communication and paper money. When I was with J-Com (a broadband provider) any change of my user preferences required me to send them a letter.

However, this has changed somewhat in the last couple of years, as many Japanese have joined Facebook, Google and others. As I said before somewhere on The Reg, I think this all started when Apple bludgeoned their way into the Japanese market, with Google following in their wake. Apple succeeded where others failed because they didn't bend over backwards to make their offering conform totally to what the Japanese operators dictated- they simply said "this is the iPhone, you can sell it but we're not going to make it look like a Japanese phone." A rare case where Apple's bloody mindedness has had a positive effect.

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

Dinky Carter

Apple=evil, MS=incompetent

"iPads are difficult to disassemble on purpose, the Surface Pro is impossible to take apart because Microsoft is incompetent."

Among negative traits, I prefer incompetence to malice.

That's also why I found Nokias so endearing...

Boycott Firefox, gay devs urge as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Dinky Carter

Re: right - 'what's wrong with white middle aged males?'

@aBloke FromEarth

In your response to 'what's wrong with white middle aged males?' you could have said "Nothing at all, because to assume otherwise would be illogical and bigoted."

But instead you went on to imply that because (in your opinion) white straight males have had it easy for 2000 years, it's good karma for them to be discriminated against now.

The absurdity and immaturity of that kind of stance is almost boundless.

Dinky Carter

Re: right - 'what's wrong with white middle aged males?'

@Hollerith 1

I don't think I've ever read such a load of racist, sexist and ageist cr&p in The Reg or indeed in any other respect organ.

Win XP holdouts storm eBay and licence brokers, hiss: Give us all your Windows 7

Dinky Carter

Reformed Luddite

I really liked Windows 7. Then I had to get Windows 8 at work, and my first reaction was to gaze into the middle distance mumbling "but why? why did you do this? "

But I stuck with it. I rigged up a psuedo-start button, then soon found that I didn't need it - instead I began to flip into the Metro desktop (by the incredibly arduous method of pressing the Windows key) and use the app finder there, which is powerful and fast. Then I slowly started appreciating the Metro desktop- a bit of pizzaz in the morning when I turn the machine on, and I actually started using some Metro apps (simple things like weather. Of course I don't use the Metro Email app because it's complete sh!t on a desktop) Then I realised that my PC hadn't crashed for weeks., unlike the shiny Mac next to it.

Now I've changed jobs to a bigger, much more conservative company who simply won't touch Windows 8, and I'm using Windows 7 which seems tired, old, slow, muddled and unreliable. I run XP in a VM too, and that seems pretty solid but very dated. When I get home and fire up my Windows 8.1 laptop it feels like being whisked back to the present.

Apple’s Mac turns 30: How Steve Jobs’ baby took its first steps

Dinky Carter

Re: Floppy Eject

To me, dragging a disk into a trashcan means you want to *trash* the disk, not eject it.

Google grabs slice of interwebs for EVERYONE (who speaks Japanese)

Dinky Carter

Re: can anyone....

English *does* have a form of keigo. Compare "shut the door" and "would you be so kind as to shut the door?" I've noticed that a lot of Japanese people who learn English, especially American English, assume that there's no way to say things politely in English.

Dinky Carter

*We* know that the Japanese are quite diverse culturally and ethnically, but a lot of われわれ日本人types don't seem to realise... including my very intelligent Japanese co-worker who insists that all Japanese people, whether they be from Okinawa or Hokkaido, have a unique body temperature shared by no other 'race'.

True fact: Britain is losing its brains

Dinky Carter

Re: Hawaii sounds good

>Thomas Edison was an epic dick and the original patent troll

Plus he electrocuted an elephant


What an arsehole.

Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Dinky Carter

This sort of law is the pits.

Basically the government is saying "we're too incompetent to control our borders, so now YOU have to weed out the over-stayers, or land up with a fine."

Could Doctor Who really bump into human space dwellers?

Dinky Carter

Einstein postulated...

I don't understand how that affects "now".

The observers are simply receiving visual information at different times.

Just because you can observe something happening, it doesn't mean it's happening *at that instant.*

It's just like watching a live stream of a football match that's lagging a few seconds.

You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

Dinky Carter

I've found that a holder of a fluffy social science degree can easily walk into an almost-as-fluffy computing Masters degree course and end up being my boss, earning three times as much as me.

Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Dinky Carter

Re: Right click admin options

>If you find Windows 8 bewildering then you're a retard

"Retard" is an abusive Americanism that I absolutely detest.

What sort of person uses such a crass, loathsome term?

Former Nokia boss Ollila: Stephen Elop was second-choice CEO

Dinky Carter

Re: N97 - the beginning of the end

... again... Series 60 was the culprit, not Symbian.

Symbian had an elegant touch screen UI and API right from 1998 (see Psion 5 / Revo) Nokia buried that with its S60 crap.

In around 2005/6 when I was at Nokia, I was asked to help a team "adding" touch support to S60. I simply pointed them to some Symbian touch-API header files that they'd smothered in bloat and rendered unusable.

Scottish leader splurged £20k appealing disclosure of EU membership legal bungle

Dinky Carter

Re: Preposition?

In your example, "appeal" is a noun, not a verb.

Dinky Carter

Re: Honest politicians are rare

My respect for Alex Salmond rocketed when he described the pathetic tendency for Scots to support any team that's playing England as "pathetic."

Dinky Carter


Why the ludicrous American-style omission of a vital preposition?

Reading the title alone, it's impossible to say whether the gentleman in question is appealing *for* or appealing *against* the disclosure.

Digia gives Android and iOS devs a chance to get Qt

Dinky Carter

Since Qt will be available on Android and iPhone, and it's already a major part of BB10, it seems the only major platform that *won't* be able to support Qt apps will be Windows Phone ....And it was Nokia that nurtured the mobile development of Qt.

WHY didn't Microsoft buy RIM? Us business blokes would have queued for THAT phone

Dinky Carter

Re: If anyone, up to and including God...

>RM Nimbus 80186

Not only a Symbian fan, but a name-checker of the RM Nimbus 80186 (that totally underrated and indestructible little gem...)

This might be techie-love...

Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

Dinky Carter

Re: A bit late to the party arent they?

Uber-pendant note...

"Mainland UK" = Great Britain

( Oh yes it does )

Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

Dinky Carter

Re: Oh, great!

>Symbian on it was AWFUL.


Series 60, Nokia's terrible, badly written, dated UI, was truly awful.

The Symbian OS underneath was the only thing that kept the N97 going.

LEO, the British computer that roared

Dinky Carter

My daddy was a LEO boffin! <puffs with pride>

He wrote a payroll system for Ford Dagenham in 2k.

MSX: The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming!

Dinky Carter

Re: Error

Whaaaattt? The Nimbus PC186 was way ahead of 'real' PCs of the time. The graphics were great, as was the sound.

I assume that you were working in education. The problem was that not many people actually wrote software that exploited its capabilities, because the aforementioned graphics and sound were proprietary. Well, except for (ahem) yours truly, who knocked out some stunning (oh yes) titles such as Crystal Rain Forest, Space Mission Mada and Toby at the Seaside :-) written 100% in 80186 assembly and making full use of RM's superb sub-bios API to drive the graphics and sound.

The next Nimbus (the 286) was just a PC.

Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

Dinky Carter

Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

A lot of Americans seem to cite the security camera issue, but they seem to not understand the difference between public and private.

When I'm walking around in public, I don't care who looks at me or whether I end up on a security video. After all, I'm operating in public.

However, when I'm on the phone I consider that to be operating IN PRIVATE and I don't want anybody eavesdropping.