* Posts by Iain Purdie

49 posts • joined 7 Jun 2007

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial

Iain Purdie


By "UK" I assume they mean "England and Wales"? Scotland are already re-writing the Computing and Information Systems syllabi - and in fact combining the two streams to offer pupils an even narrower range of IT-related courses.

Incidentally, games development - using the aforementioned Scratch - is fairly commonplace in S1/S2 (first two years of secondary) up here, and programming is taught as part of the Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 qualifications (both GCSE equivalent courses, though both to be replaced in the next couple of years).

No Gingerbread snack for Desire owners, says HTC

Iain Purdie

Hardly news

Anyone who's tried to shoehorn more than a dozen apps onto a non-rooted Desire knows that HTC didn't put enough RAM into the handset.

Acer to dump 3 million laptops onto European market

Iain Purdie


Surprised to read the anti-Acer comments on here as I've generally had good fortune with their products. No, I don't work for them! I had a problem with a flat screen monitor a few years back that was resolved quickly after an under-warranty, Acer-funded return to base. It broke down again a few months later and they swapped it for a new one. My only problem with that episode was CityLink losing the replacement... which Acer re-replaced.

My old Acer laptop purchased in late 2005 travelled with me around 56 countries when I backpacked. Yes, it's bowed in shape and one of the hinges is now held together with a small nut and bolt, but in fairness it was carried around in a barely padded backpack with far too much other stuff that literally bent it into a new shape! The battery now runs for 20 mins rather than the original 5 hours, but I used to run it off the mains all the time with the battery in - I know not to do that any more.

That experience alone made me look to Acer again when I wanted a replacement. I still use the old one as an XP workhorse alongside my shiny new one.

Having said that, it's electronics. I know there's as much chance of getting a duffer as of getting a perfect one :)

Movie-goer punts 3D-to-2D cinema specs

Iain Purdie


Exactly the post I was about to make. Are you plagiarising my brain? :)

The only time I will see a film in 3D is if it's not possible to see it any other way (exception is IMAX where the 3D actually works). An annoying number of films are now being released 3D only. With kids' films there's always a 2D version as you're not supposed to expose under-5's to possible eye-strain.

The forthcoming Judge Dredd film is being filmed in 3D. I asked their publicists if there will be a 2D version and the reply I got was "Well, it's being filmed in 3D so I don't know how they'd manage that". Erm... TV trailers featuring scenes from the film will be in 2D as will DVD, Blu-Ray and later TV releases. I'm fairly sure it's possible.

Iain Purdie


...and pointless curricular changes in Scottish schools. Just trust me on this one.

McKinnon battles renewed Obama-era extradition push

Iain Purdie
Black Helicopters

Already guilty?

I don't think the US Attorney General has done their argument any favours. By claiming McKinnon needs to be "held accountable for the crimes that he committed" he is implying that a guilty verdict has already been reached before trial - there's a presumption of guilt which will bias the court.

You'd think someone in that position would know better. Even The Sun realise they'll get a smack on the wrist unless they make generous use of phrases such as "accused of" and "alleged".

ACS:Law fined for data breach

Iain Purdie

Check your facts

Read the back story. A huge portion of the people ACS:Law were targeting were *not* pirates and had not downloaded the pr0n file of which they were accused. The company had used IP addresses to pinpoint downloaders which were unreliable and non-specific.

Veiled threats of legal action - none of which was likely to happen - were used to scare innocent people into paying up.

In addition, the credit card details of those who had coughed up were stored insecurely on the company network, and these details (along with a lot of correspondence between and outside of ACS:Law) was leaked due to this fact.

ACS:Law were the online equivalent of those dodgy parking companies that hit you with a £60 fine and threaten you with court action even when you're parked legally.

Next time, please check your facts before jumping to conclusions.

HP Beats up its PC range

Iain Purdie


I know HP are behind the times, but...

Primary school miss flashes porn vid at kiddies

Iain Purdie

Good old Daily Mail

How did the Mail know that the kids were sat there open-mouthed? Were any of their reporters there witnessing this? After all, it's not like the mail to make sh!t up that just suits it, is it?

US starts charging for online visa-waiver

Iain Purdie

So why don't we?

Given 2012 will see a huge number of foreigners turning up for the crock that is the Olympics, surely we could recoup some of the money spent on it by charging £9 a pop for similar visa waivers?

I know it seems tit for tat, but it works for countries like Brazil - only US citizens are made to queue up and give their thumb print on entry. They're not used for anything. It's just that the US do it to Brazilians so they decided to do it back ;)

If I'm correct, the US fee is even for people transferring at a US airport and going somewhere else. You don't even need to be going through immigration to have to have filled the thing in. Bit of a cheek, frankly, but in these economic times...

Loud sex a human right, says loud sex woman

Iain Purdie

Just thought I'd mention

When I arrived at this story, I was informed there were 69 comments. Seriously.

Please don't eat your horse, EU asks owners

Iain Purdie

European "neigh"-bours (sorry)

1) I have eaten horse. It tasted very much like beef only tougher. I believe the trick is to soak it in water and then freeze it - the ice crystals tenderise it.

2) What's the huge fuss about someone making you sign a paper to say you're not going to do something you weren't going to do anyway? It's not insulting in as much as it's a waste of time. Even if you did choose to eat your horse, it's your choice to shove whatever hormones into yourself. They'd hardly go into the food chain unless someone else ate your corpse afterwards... and that's really getting scary.

Fiancée discovers boyf is grumble flick stud

Iain Purdie

Some people...

...have all the luck. He's obviously got a fit bod, gets paid for shagging hot women *and* he's escaped marriage.

Why numbers does he use for the Lottery?

Reg reader turns 'homo devil machine' on eBayer

Iain Purdie

Turing was American?

Hollywood taught me that the Americans recovered the Enigma device and decoded it and won the war and saved us all. Isn't this right?

Nurse Lovelace gives hardened lag 55-hour stiffy

Iain Purdie
Thumb Up

Seems an idea

Do we really want career crims breeding anyway? I know I'd gladly have given this to the little chav I lived next door to.

Western Digital slips todger to horrified Brit

Iain Purdie

Ah, student days

I did many packing jobs when I was a stoodent all those years ago. Sabotaging one in twenty boxes / envelopes going out was pretty much standard by the third day. If anyone out there got a circular from the N&P with "Help, I'm a prisoner in an envelope-stuffing factory" written across the top, that was me :)

Vodafone gives up on roaming charges

Iain Purdie


I just shifted from Vodafone to 3 because of the lovely £20 unlimited data package. 3 also used to have the best roaming charges in Europe. Ah well, it is only for summer and I'll only be spending 4-5 days in Belgium. The rest of the time I'll be in Malaysia, so it'll be the usual mix of receiving texts on my mobile and replying via Skype on my laptop.

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Iain Purdie
Thumb Down

Virtual XP

I still think this feature is utterly pointless. If your applications only work stably under XP then why would you upgrade your systems to W7, only to run them in a virtual machine? Surely the best solution would be to leave the things with XP "proper" installed. From the sound of it, security patches will continue to be issued anyway.

The only reason at all I can see for moving to W7 in this instance is if a machine physically packs up. Due to MSs ridiculous licensing tying XP to the machine on which it's installed, you won't be able to install the OS (legally) on a replacement box so you may be forced onto W7 and virtualisation.

Methinks a change in licensing policy for XP should be forthcoming along with the release of W7.

Spinning the war on the UK's sex trade

Iain Purdie


Still a marginal improvement on the more simply-worded but harsher (possibly) Norwegian law that took effect on the Jan 1st. Any Norwegian paying for sex anywhere in the world, regardless of whether the prostitute is "trafficked" or "controlled" is up for 6 months minimum in jail.

It does, in fairness, save any loopholes. But it also means that all the prostitutes in Norway will have to drop their prices and rely on foreigners as the law *only* applies to Norwegian citizens.

Easyjet fly to Oslo, yes? ;)

But still, I agree. Trying to criminalise prostitution is mindless and pointless. You just push it further under the carpet and make it harder to police. If someone's become a prostitute - for example - as a way to pay for a drug habit will this make them go to the doctors or join a rehabilitation scheme (as the Norwegian government state will be the case in their hyperbole)? I doubt it. They'll just hide away further from the law or turn to petty crime, muggings and so on to get the money for their fix.

Burying something doesn't make it go away. One day politicians will figure this out, but it's not on the horizon any time soon.

Israeli Linux fan squeezes Windows refund out of Dell

Iain Purdie
Thumb Up

Spotted in France...

At the local Carrefour I've seen a couple of EEEPC thingies (Dell and Acer, plus some unknown makes) available with both Windows XP and Ubuntu installed. The Ubuntu versions are around 80 Euros cheaper.

Likewise in Malaysia I reckon about half the laptops I spotted in the smaller electronics outlets were available with free OSs, and again not just small companies'. HP and Compaq machines were being sold with Ubuntu and FreeDOS amongst others.

BNP membership list leaks online

Iain Purdie


...I agree with Jason above. However, a large number of BNP members (and I lived in Bradford, so I *know* this) are racist filth. For the safety of society they should be made known. Like anyone who'll harm or target anyone for no readily apparent reason other than they're "different".

While the BNP is a legitimate political party, there's no real secret that it's made up, to a large extent, of racists. Membership is pretty much a sign that you will make decisions based on someone else's skin colour. Do I think this would affect your ability to do certain jobs (e.g. soldier, police officer, etc)? Yes. Do I think it should mean your immediate expulsion from such a job? No. Do I think it means people should keep a damn close eye on you? Hell, yes.

PETA cooks up gory game in Cooking Mama protest

Iain Purdie

Bet web-game for... days

Well it made a change from defending forts or sending stick-men to their deaths. Who'd they get to make it? The folk behind Happy Tree Friends?

Awesome until the sickening last "chapter".

UK govt cuts web shoppers a break

Iain Purdie


Any news on a higher rate for gifts? Currently they're VAT and duty free up to a value of £36. I'd assume this limit would also be raised - but to the same £105 or to higher?

MP calls for Jezza Clarkson's head

Iain Purdie

I've taken to...

...writing to OFCOM in *support* of programs that are getting complaints. Think about it - Top gear has in excess of 2 million viewers. 500 appear to have complained. Do the maths - that's around 0.01% of the viewers. Assuming they were viewers and not bandwagon-jumping Mary Whitehouse wannabes that were "shocked and disgusted" by something they didn't actually see but read about in the Mail.

If the other 1,999,500 wrote in to *support* the program, I wonder what the OFCOM report would read?

Skiving Aussie fingered on Facebook

Iain Purdie
Paris Hilton

Top that...

A girl I used to work with - a receptionist - did something similar. This was *just* pre-facebook, but our company contract included a section stating that the corporate email system was for work purposes only. It could and would be monitored. In fairness, free access was given during the entire working day to any online email system you cared to use, so there was no reason to use the company mail for anything you shouldn't.

Only numpty girl did. She sent a few mails telling her friends how crap the company was and then decided to throw a sicky after a night on the piss, just as our Australian friend did.

Still on probationary period, she was fired as soon as she walked back in the day after her "sick" day.

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

Iain Purdie
Thumb Down

Good greef

Wot a fukwit.

Card fraud-fearing Brit tourists carry cash

Iain Purdie

Fraud even with cash...

Every time you withdraw cash from a non-Nationwide account, you're subject to a charge for using an overseas ATM. So even if you do use cash rather than plastic, you're being ripped off.

As for just taking cash over with you, just yesterday morning, two Germans in my dorm had around €500 stolen from a handbag (we think by another two Germans in another room who legged it). So, yeah - there's a one in a gazillion chance your card will be cloned and you'll lose cash that you can claim back through your credit card. Or a slim chance you'll have your pocket picked or your bag gone through and you'll never see the money again.

If you *are* going to carry lump sums, spread it around - different pockets, different bags.

Son of 419 victim contacts El Reg

Iain Purdie

I confess...

...the poor English also led me to believe it was a scam. Perhaps it is. But a preacher? Hang on...

*looks up Bible online*

*checks "sins"*

Yup. Greed is definitely still in there.

Oz driver sticks seatbelt on slab of beer

Iain Purdie

No big surprise

Around Alice Springs I can certainly believe it. It's kind of like Redneck country. Or Devon. Bear in mind that we're discussing a country where drink-driving is the norm, as well. In the US you have the right to carry a big gun and shoot anyone who looks at you funny. In Oz, you have the right to get beered up and drive home at 3am, vomiting out of the side window.

It's in the constitution. Or a charter. Or something.

Supermarket offers phones for a fiver

Iain Purdie


I'm still using a Nokia 3330. And I have another one sat spare in a desk drawer. The batteries cost next to nothing on eBay if you need a replacement, they're solid and they have the best keypad for texting of any phone I've ever used. Also, the LCD screen is readable in all light conditions, which can't be said for a lot of the fancy-dan colour ones I've seen recently.

If I need to take pictures, I have a digital camera. If I want to listen to MP3s, I use an MP3 player (or my PSP, or my laptop). If I want to talk to someone, or text then I use the phone.

Grand Theft Auto IV leaked online

Iain Purdie


I'll pass. For a start, I don't have an X-Box. For a finish, I'm not even off the first island/city in GTAIII. In fairness, my PC with everything on is wrapped up in my parents' cellar and has been for 2 years.

By the time I get around to GTA-IV, it'll be abandonware.

Bond - Fleming expo opens at Imperial War Museum

Iain Purdie


I'm not back in the UK again until after the exhibition or I'd be going. The IWM is *definitely* worth a visit, regardless. Very high on my list of places to recommend to visitors.

Oh, and if you happen to be on The Other Side in Camberra, their War Memorial museum is almost as good.

London teen orders 'cab, innit'

Iain Purdie
Paris Hilton

Oh, I wish...

...I could come up with something humorous to say, but I can't. That's just priceless. Mind, it sums up a mail I got from a friend yesterday that they'd ripped from one of the news websites. It detailed the new lists of names being given to children. All of them mis-spelled, missing vowels, letters replaced with apostrophes...

Remember when it was just the Americans that did that? How many ways can you spell "Sonia/Sonja/Sonya/Soniah...." anyway?

Paris, because she'd not know how to ring for a cab (innit), either.

Welsh couple cop Mosquito flak

Iain Purdie
Thumb Down

@AC (different AC...)

As current laws stand, excessive noise is not a criminal matter so the police *can't* do anything other than have a word with the guy. If he knows the law - and in this case it sounds like he does - then there is absolutely nothing the PCs can do to prevent it. Nothing.

Believe me, I spent several months of hell living next to a chav who regularly had parties until 5am. The police were called out several times, and all they could do was warn him. As long as he behaved when they were there, they couldn't do anything. This little shit had obviously been through this all before and knew all the loopholes.

Noisy neighbours is a matter for the council and then onto civil proceedings. Don't have a go at the police about it - annoyingly they have to work within laws they have no control over. I've found that every one I've ever dealt with will do their damndest to find ways around that and to cover as many bases as they can but in the end their hands are tied by ridiculous policy in the UK.

Aussie laser-pointer dazzle attacks on airliners: Bad

Iain Purdie


The story says that these things have been reported, so someone must have reported them. I'd assume, therefore, that it's the airlines and pilots who are having the issues otherwise who'd know that some retarded fuckwit on the ground is doing this? Flight landings *have* been aborted as a result of it.

Therefore, it *must* be possible.

Policing it, however... nightmare. When you consider there must be thousands of the things out there already.

Virgin Media in talks to trial three strikes regime against P2P

Iain Purdie

Simple solution...

...go to another ISP. There must be 30 or 40 out there and Virgin suck donkey balls anyway. With their handy "quit any time" clause, you can just tell them to stuff their unreliable service and choose someone else instead.

I'm also prepared to bet cash money that you'll have to ring a premium rate phone number to protest you innocence should you be genuinely falsely accused. And the person in Bangalore you speak to won't have even heard of P2P, likely thinking you're talking about PSP and saying "this is right sir, you were downloading illegal games".

US allows visual inspections of nipple rings

Iain Purdie

What about...

...earrings? Are they subject to removal policy as well? And where are they stored seeing as you'd have to remove then after you've deposited your luggage?

Maybe the wankers at the airport thought the piercing were pins and she wa a walking hand grenade? These suicide bombers get more sneaky every day.

Why I downgraded from Vista to XP

Iain Purdie

@Neil & Alex

The option to downgrade was only given with the more "hardcore" (i.e. expensive) of the twenty or so versions of Vista. You can only downgrade to Pro, not Home as well. I also believe it still costs extra which is ludicrous.

As for the "why not install Ubuntu" line, there are a couple of responses. First of all, try and find a laptop that comes *without* Vista/XP pre-installed. Even if you wipe it and install Ubuntu, you've still paid for the initial OS.

The other issue is application compatibility and usability. I have Ubuntu running on a fileserver here in the office (on an old Windows 2000 desktop!) and it's a dream. Fast, reliable, unlimited connections... but not something that one of the office staff could use day to day. Just because it has a WIMP environment does not make it comparable to Windows.

XP is great. I really hated that when I said it the first time, but a decent install makes it a joy to use. I am very impressed that after so long, MS have released an OS that's actually useful and pretty reliable. Ubuntu would be my second choice for my own use but I'd not recommend it to any of my friends who aren't very computer literate.

I'd not recommend Vista to *anyone* while XP is still available. It seems pointless to get something all glitzy that offers nothing whatsoever featurewise compared to XP - and runs slower than the older OS on the same hardware.

Security boffins unveil BitUnlocker

Iain Purdie

Change your BIOS

So it looks like the memory-reading software has to be run from a bootable external device. In which case, it's a simple matter of changing your BIOS settings to that external devices aren't in your "boot device" chain or at least are under the internal drive so C: is booted from first.

Password-lock the BIOS for more security.

OK, someone who's *really* determined could swap out your internal disc and boot from that, but they'd need to know in advance that they'd have to do it thus reducing the chance of them getting to the memory before it "faded".

Still very interesting though.

Jane Fonda c-word slip shocks US

Iain Purdie

How do they know...

...that "millions" of families were upset by the outburst?

Oh, and would someone explain the adverts in the London Underground a few years ago? On one side the escalators were a dozen adverts for "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES" while on the other side, were a dozen adverts for the DVD release of "PUPPETRY OF THE XXXXX". Since when was "vagina" acceptable and "penis" not?

Bunch of cunts.

EU to ban the patio heaters that ate the planet. Not.

Iain Purdie

Stuff 'em

I've had to put up with breathing other people's smoke and going home stinking of their foul habit when I've fancied a pint or a night out for years. The extra washing this has resulted in due to my clothes being unwearable the next day has likely increased the electricity use in my house and the detergents being ejected into the water.

Stuff 'em. They've affected my life for the worse for around 18 years. Let the bastards suffer in the cold for a ciggie. If it bothers them, then bloody give up. It's a stupid habit anyway.

Is this the world's most expensive desktop PC?

Iain Purdie

Bet they charge extra...

...if you want XP installed instead of ****ing Vista. As many people have already said, though, this PC's definitely aimed at the "more money than sense" brigade. Frankly, for the use it probably is, they'd be as well selling the case with no components inside.

IT contractors cry foul over HMRC income splitting law

Iain Purdie

Screw 'em

I've been travelling and working outside the UK for 2 years now. Currently I'm employed by a UK company within Europe so I'm paying tax. Well. I would be, but I'm earning close to minimum wage, the rest of my pay packet being made up with rent, utilities, lift pass, snowboard hire etc.

Next stage is to *earn* some cash and settle somewhere. And right now, many countries are looking favourable compared to the UK. Tax is just one reason - you work hard enough to earn over a certain amount and they take so much back off you it's just not worth it any more. Why bother? All I need to do is find a spotty 16 year-old spouse, get her pregnant every 9 months and sit back to enjoy the free rent, free Sky and so forth.

Oh. Only I've got some self-respect. I'll put the effort in, earn the wedge and give a reasonable percentage to a government I feel *deserves* my money. Mr Brown's corrupt mob don't come anywhere near that category.

RIAA hits paydirt: wins first music-sharing jury trial

Iain Purdie

So making things *available* for sharing is now illegal?

Fine. So I have to keep all my CDs locked in a safe to which I only have access? And woe betide me should my mp3 player with legal non-DRM files on be left around where someone could perhaps, should they wish, copy them.

What a f*cking joke. This is right up there with the UK's current speed camera laws - guilty until proven innocent.

Adopt this dog or we'll kill it

Iain Purdie


Every charitable donation I make from my bank account each month bar one is to animal charities. Frankly, I have more respect for animals than I do for people.

A dog doesn't pretend to love you while it's screwing your best friend behind your back. If it screws something, you know about it. The daft creature usually does it in front of you then looks positively confused when you try to explain that the mother-in-law's leg is *not* fair game for humping.

There's no pretending from a cat that it wants more than food and a warm lap to sit on. A horse will kick you if it's threatened, a dog will bite if you strike it and a cat will lash out if you poke it in the eye. If you have common sense, it's easy to give respect to and expect it from animals.

Humans, on the other hand, are greedy, treacherous, manipulative, unthinking, and uncaring (or are at least capable of all of these characteristics). Perhaps if we could teach our children to be better people and to care more about the world we live in, other people and the creatures we share the planet with then that wouldn't be the case.

Good grief, I sound like a bloody hippy.

PC superstore refuses to take sack in hand

Iain Purdie

No surprises...

I used to work in that very store, to my shame. I needed the money, OK?

I have no idea who the current manager is, as this was a while ago, but the ethic was always "of you can find a way out of actually helping anyone and costing us money, do it". I would, however, like to say that a small number of the staff didn't follow this rule and actually tried to make life easier for customer. They were, however, in the minority.

fixit_f is partly correct - the sales staff do make crap up if they don't know the answers. I'd hasten to point out I worked in sales and never did this - and again know others the same. But I do know that the majority did. Worse, they would make up any old crap if it made it more likely you'd buy something.

One example was a particularly evil and greedy salesperson who went as far as promising a customer that a portable floppy drive for the new iMac (the first generation of them) would be released within 2 weeks. In time for the customer's daughter arriving at university so she could transfer files. Of course, such an item wasn't even on Apple's "to do" list...

PC World is a load of sh*t (can I say that? If not, just slice this line out) from personal experience working there and as a customer. The thing is, they're huge, they're a brand and we're stuck with them as people will always troop to the big handy shop on the retail park.

Hotmail hack punts person in peril scam

Iain Purdie

Definitely not a one-off

I can confirm this has happened to at least one other person. A friend of mine in Bangladesh "mailed" me, telling me he had travelled to Nigeria for work and had suffered a similar fate. Email follows:

"How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn't inform you about my traveling to Africa for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.

I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am now owning a hotel bill of $ 1550 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management., I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1600 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $3500 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don't even have money to feed myself for a day which means i had been starving so please understand how urgent i needed your help.

I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Money Gram or Western Union."

This mail was swiftly followed by three from a new GMail account he had set up telling people what had happened.

Amazon punts grot flicks to hardcore Natalie Portman fans

Iain Purdie

At least...

...they're part-right. Some of the people who bought the "porn" (it's 18-rated? How can it be hardcore?) box set also bought all 7 Police Academy films. SO it's already known that they're w*****s then.

Paris Hilton released for 'medical reasons'

Iain Purdie

Medical reasons?

Maybe they thought she was on hunger strike. After all, it's not natural to be so skinny that two of you could squeeze through the bars at the same time.

And house arrest is hardly a punishment when you live in a palace.


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