* Posts by mad_dr

120 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Mar 2011


Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status


Hate to disagree but...

Tim Tams use the same, gross mock-chocolate recipe used in chocolate bars in North America. We don't need to get into the technicalities of Butterfats, cocoa solids and milk solids, etc but to most Brits, a Tim Tam is just an expensive Penguin with bad-tasting chocolate.

I generally have to import chocolate into Canada from the UK because my palate will never desensitize itself to the point of being able to forget what British chocolate tastes like and will never accept what North American chocolate tastes like. Even Lindt has a different recipe over here to make it take more palatable to the locals.

Tired: What3Words. Wired: A clone location-tracking service based on FOUR words – and they are all extremely rude


Re: My kind of application

Ugh - no kidding. I was gutted when I updated my phone's iOS to get some long-since-forgotten app to work only to discover that it killed my beloved Profanisaurus. I had over 100 entries (oo-er) favourited and had had the app on my phone for longer than I can remember - certainly well before I left the UK in 2013.

I can't see it in the app store at all so assumed it was because I now live in North America and that it wasn't available in the app store locally. But your post has just about killed off my hopes that there might be some way for me to revive it even if I go to the hassle of switching app store locations back to the UK.

Worse still, my ailing memory means that I can't even recall most of the entries that had me openly guffawing every time I read them... Time to go old school, get a copy in paperback and break out the highlighter.

Hijacked, rampaging infrastructure will kill humans by 2025 – Gartner


I for one...

...welcome, etc, etc.

Failed insurrection aside, Biden is going to be president in two weeks. What does it mean for tech policy?


Re: #StopTheSteal

"Then why do it?"

Why do any of the nutcase things he's done?

"Some just like to watch the world burn" -Alfred

PSA: The 2020 monolith is a dead meme. You can stop putting them up now. Please


Re: IoW "art" claimed...

Here's to your dad enjoying living as independently as possible for as long as possible. And one for you for taking care of this stuff. My old man is likely to be just as stubborn and reluctant as yours but I'm sure that, with a little time and adjustment, they'll both figure out a way to get by (and accept a little help along the way).

Hackers rummaged about in Finnish psychotherapy clinic – now patients extorted with public data dump threats

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...Target and exploit the details of some of our most vulnerable fellow human beings for financial gain. Ransomware hackers are scumbags at the best of times but, even for them, this is low... If this encourages even one person to choose to avoid seeking psychological help for an issue, rather than risk having details of their mental health put up for sale or made public (there is a huge amount of stigma attached to mental health in many societies) then these bastards deserve jail time.

Let’s check in with that 30,000-job $10bn Trump-Foxconn Wisconsin plant. Wow, way worse than we'd imagined


Re: El Reg becoming political now ?

"It's a three year old story"

Just because something has been happening for 3 years SO FAR, doesn't make it a three year old story. Otherwise you could say that we shouldn't discuss sexism anymore because, after all, it's a 500+ year old story, so who cares?

Wind and quite a bit of fog shroud Boris Johnson's energy vision for the UK


Re: The big problem however...

Well, technically you CAN export electricity: here in Canada we send a decent chunk of our surplus down to the states each year: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/data-analysis/energy-data-analysis/energy-facts/electricity-facts/20068

Over 60 TWh was exported last year of the >650Twh produced. Of that, around 70% was produced from renewable sources and over 80% was non-greenhouse gas emitting.

But yes, much harder to do when you're on an island.

My question would be why we in Canada cannot drop the 8% most polluting sources of electricity-creation and just stop exporting surplus. Coal accounts for less than 8% of the electricity produced so just mothball those plants, right? I'm sure there's a good reason why this apparent no-brainer isn't possible.

Nvidia says regulators will be 'very supportive' of $40bn Arm buy despite concerns about chip designer's independence


And this will be different to the assurances given by Kraft that all those jobs in Keynsham would be kept when they purchased Cadbury? Mind you, at least in this case, hopefully Nvidia won't be borrowing the money to buy ARM from the British public before it screws them over.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


Re: It doesn't matter..

I was waiting for someone to post this...

As a Brit living in Canada, I nearly fell off my seat when I realised that our neighbours to the south pronounce "Shone" to rhyme with throne, rather than to rhyme with gone!

So the real question is as to whether Scone rhymes with throne or with gone.

And the real answer is, obviously, [redacted].

Education tech supplier RM smacked by UK schools closure


Re: Garbage

The concept of RM is sound: a series of machines that are consistently built, tested and configured, allowing them to be scaled up in number and supported by a team who don't need to worry about a million Frankensteined configuration and specifications when troubleshooting. Meaning that faulty devices can be swiftly swapped out with minimal fuss or time-loss. This enables IT support staff on site to become familiar with them and even move between schools without needing to learn a completely different IT ecosystem each time they move. Leading to lower capex and opex costs and lower overheads for the education system.

The reality, on the other hand...There must be an XKCD for this.

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing

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Re: LA Science museum

The look on the face of my three-year old and the fact that it was the first time he'd been stunned into silence in his life was, alone, worth the price of admission. We're going back later this month.

Apple checks under the couch for $500m in spare change, offers it to make power-throttling gripes disappear


$93m in “Reasonable Attorney Fees”

Apparently this is the figure that the lawyers are seeking from the kitty in this settlement. I’d really love to see more detail in terms of what work went into the case from the attorneys’ perspective. I’m sure it was a lot of work, but how can it NOT equate to some insane hourly rate up in the tens of thousands of dollars per hour? I’m not naïve enough to think that Joe Public could have taken on this case against Apple and won, but there must come a point where the attorney fees are capped at a sensible figure that corresponds to the amount of work done?

Finally! A solution to 42 – the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything


Whenever I read stories like this...

... it makes me feel rather thick.

—-> This. For them.

We don't mean to poo-poo this, but... The Internet of S**t has literally arrived thanks to Pampers smart diapers


Re: Taking the piss...

Assuming you stopped wearing nappies when you were around three years old, that would make you 5 now. I must say I'm impressed at your typing abilities. Kudos.

Yorkshire bloke's Jolly Roger flag given the heave-ho after council receives one complaint

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IT Crowd

Thanks for posting the IT Crowd vid - made me chuckle again (for about the 10th time).

Unrelated but I bumped into Chris O'Dowd in a local kiddies play centre here in Vancouver on Sunday (we were both there letting our tykes run off some steam). He joined me outside one of the more noisy and seizure-inducing attractions while our kids ran around and we chatted for a time. What a thoroughly pleasant bloke. Mind you, I was pleasantly surprised myself with the fact that I somehow had the presence of mind to open the conversation with "did you see that ludicrous display last night?"

I'm sure he gets that a lot but the speed of my wit is normally a lot duller than that.

Blackburn ain't big enough for the both of us: Mr Creamy and Mr Whippy at the centre of new ice-cream war


Re: They've got...

I came here to post these exact two puns but find myself too late to the party. Still - Fab effort by you though. Have an upvote.

Oz watchdog claims Samsung's leak-proof phones ad campaign doesn't hold water


Re: Certainly not cave proof...

I'm sorry but I stopped reading after your first sentence. Anyone who willingly submits themselves to an experience that sounds to me like something taken straight from a horror film or the Chilean mining accident must be insane and therefore not sufficiently qualified to offer an opinion on something as mundane as phones.

Big respect to you for doing it though. Have one of these --->

FYI: Get ready for face scans on leaving the US because 1.2% of visitors overstayed their visas


Re: Blame Canada

I do it every few weeks on average. Brit living in Vancouver BC, travelling to the states via road, rail and air.

If you have a Canadian or US passport there is no need for a visa or visa-waiver. You must present yourself at the border when you enter your destination country but you're not specifically 'checked out' of the country you departed from. This has always struck me as slightly odd.

If you're a non-Canadian or a non-US citizen then you will either need a full-on visa or a visa-waiver (in my case). The visa-waivers cost about $6USD and expire after 3 months. During that 3 month period you can come and go as often as you like for purposes of tourism (not work/study) without needing to renew the visa-waiver.

BUT... It's MY responsibility to insist to the DHS guy in the US booth that I need to park my car, come into the office and pay for the visa-waiver (plus give my fingerprints AGAIN and have my photo taken AGAIN.) They often won't look for an existing visa-waiver stapled into my passport and, the first time I crossed, they just asked me where I lived, to which I responded "Vancouver". The DHS guard made an assumption and waved me through with my Canadian wife. Then several months later I got a bollocking from a different DHS guard who said that it was not their responsibility to ensure that I had the requisite paperwork/permission to enter the country and that I should have surrendered myself to apply for the visa-waiver and that they were considering rendering me inadmissible to the US for the next few thousand years.

To complicate things, I now have a Nexus card (trusted traveller program) which means that I can be pre-cleared for most security crossings into the US as long as I travel with my UK passport and Nexus card. However, I am STILL required to have a visa-waiver and therefore now have an even tougher time convincing the border officer that I need to come into the office for processing. (For those who might not know, a Nexus card can cut down a border wait from over 2 hours to less than 10 minutes during peak periods).

However, to complicate things further, if I arrive into the US by air, then I need to pre-buy a 2-year ESTA that is electronically attached to my passport that allows me to land in the US when I arrive by means other than land/sea.

They MIGHT be able to make it more complicated and convoluted and prone to error, but they'd need to work hard at it.

Friends here in Vancouver - especially those who live in the towns and villages which press up against the border - fondly remember when they were kids on bikes in the summertime, being allowed to cycle across the border with ZERO ID whatsoever and only stopping to show the DHS and CBSA guards the fish they'd caught while they were down there playing for the day.

Google "Point Roberts" for an example of a piece of US soil that is not actually attached to the contiguous USA but can only be reached via Canada. Kind of like if Cornwall was part of France. There's a small border crossing there that we use when we want to buy cheap gas or pick up a parcel that couldn't be shipped to Canada.

In the West, we're worried about shooting down drones. In Russia, drones shoot you


Re: I've known a few folks ...

I thought the cannon was mounted off-centre but the firing barrel was positioned to be on-centre of the airframe? Also, I thought that when they tested the recoil forces they found that it had negligible impact on the aircraft?

Still, it's very impressive to see one of the GAU cannons with ammo drum placed alongside the plane itself - a flying cannon is a pretty accurate description of the A-10. BRRRRRRT

Aussie engineer accuses 'serial farter' supervisor of bullying, seeks $1.8m redress


Some of the behaviours in the article are bad enough but the crown for fart-based psychological warfare must surely go to the "Cuckoo Fart", defined by the medical journal "Viz Profanisaurus" as follows:

"n. The act of dropping one's hat in the presence of another person in such a manner that they believe the resulting miasma to be their own dirty work."

On a personal note, since having my entire colon unceremoniously yanked out through a hole in my abdomen this time last year (March 28th), my own nether emissions have increased two-fold in terms of quantity but, mercifully, have reduced in robustness to almost zero. Something about the lack of a playground for those gut bacteria to thrive in.

(As an aside, the comments and articles in el Reg were one of the few things that made me chuckle while confined to a hospital bed, so thanks, folks.)

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff


Am I the only one thinking of

"Hotel Bot" from Bad Robot on E4? Hilarious!

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid


I love Black Friday

It's such a convenient way to unsubscribe from all those mailing lists I should have been more careful to opt-out of (or didn't intend to sign up for in the first place) over the past 12 months.

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash


6 Warnings to keep your hands on the wheel

Instead of just 'beefing up' the process that warns Telsa drivers whose cars are on autopilot to remain attentive and keep their hands on the wheel, is there a good reason why Tesla doesn't just program the car to come to a stop safely and lock-out the autopilot function for, say, the next hour or so?

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology


Re: Every day

Guys, guys, guys. Let's be fair. Since taking office, Trump's fairway game has improved significantly...

Dick move: Navy flyboy flings firmament phallus for flabbergasted folk


Do you think we should tell anyone that the Growler, the electronic attack platform, is not an F/A-18, but rather an EA-18G? F/A-18s are Hornets or Super Hornets.

(Yeah, yeah, same basic airframe, but that's like saying the AWACS aircraft are 707s... -- OK, so they _were_ 707s, but now?)

No, but we SHOULD admonish El Reg for seemingly failing to point out that the pilot drew a cock with his growler...

Rocky Ross 128 b might harbour aliens – and it's headed right for us


I, for one, welcome...


Containers? Ha! Ain't no party like a Tupperware party, boasts Facebook


Didn't Tupperware (TM)...

Send El Reg a snarky missive a little while back, for using their name in an article? I wonder if this one is sanctioned by the plastic pot pushers, or whether The Register's spam bot will soon again be filtering out threats from Tupperware's legal team.


For once, Uber takes it up the tailpipe: Robo-ride gets rear-ended


"Human "exercising caution" != Professional Taxi driver != Amateur Driver who got cocky moonlighting for Uber."

The city of Vancouver agrees with you, particularly regarding taxi drivers. Believe it or not, despite some of the atrocious taxi driving I've witnessed from them (and no, I'm definitely not the best driver on the planet so I'm not trying to have a go at anyone), the city of Vancouver actually has a law stating that taxi drivers are exempt from wearing seatbelts up to 70km/h. Madness...

"Taxi drivers are exempt from wearing seatbelts at speeds less than 70 Kmh under Section 32.03 of the Motor Vehicle Act regulations."

from: Vancouver PD's website:



Re: accidents a 'fact of life' in Cali-fornicate-you

If you're trying to make it through a yellow light

a. within the speed limit and

b. because the light changed from green to yellow after you'd already passed the point of no return (IE a safe stopping distance from the intersection)

then fair enough, the left-turners will expect you to do so and will wait. You shouldn't need to accelerate though.

When I'm waiting to make that left turn, the oncoming pricks I get irritated at are the ones who see the light change to yellow from a distance that would easily allow them to stop in time, but are going too fast for the situation to stop safely or are selfish enough that they think it's acceptable to accelerate into and through the intersection. This leaves us left-turners stuck in the intersection while we wait for them and now the perpendicular traffic receives their green light, so now I'm in their way and they're pissed off at me.

I've already been waiting for the pedestrians to clear the crossing and the oncomers to do their thing and now I have to wait for the selfish twats too.

Some people claim that, without accelerating through the intersection, traffic can't flow properly and no-one gets anywhere in a congested city like SF or Vancouver. They don't realise that the continual 'amber gamblers' actually have the opposite effect: every time a light goes green, everyone has to wait for the left-turners who were waiting for the amber gamblers. Not to mention the head-on collisions when left-turners make their turns just as someone oncoming decides to floor it.

North American cities have a low enough standard of driving even if you only look at the defensive ones. Add in the aggressive contingent too and it's a fucking warzone out there.

Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified


Re: Obvious and stupid mistake

A fair point. Reg units must be used on all Reg articles. Hence the true length of the sub at 0.8189 brontosaurus.

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'


Re: Timing

It's not different. Typically there are no pauses, when all traffic lights at an intersection are red. In the UK, this happens in order to provide a period of time for pedestrians to cross while all the traffic is stopped.

In Canada and the US, at a standard N-S-E-W intersection (read crossroads with lights), all of the lights are red for only a split-second. Never much more than that. After that split second, in most cases, the following happens:

E-to-W and W-to-E traffic will be held on red lights. Simultaneously, N-to-S and S-to-N traffic will be held on red lights too. Also simultaneously, S-to-W and N-to-E traffic will be shown green flashing arrows pointing left, allowing them to turn across the intersection. This period allows cars to make left turns across the intersection with relative ease. All pedestrians are held at this stage.

After a while, the green flashing left arrows for the cars turning will turn to solid amber left arrows then disappear. At the same time as the amber left arrows disappear, the main S and N lights will go green, allowing N-to-S and S-to-N traffic to proceed straight. Pedestrians can now also proceed to cross the road, in the same direction as the cars. So cars turning right, must give way to a stream of pedestrians crossing the road who, previously, were waiting for the cars turning on the flashing green arrows.

During this time, in most cases, people who wish to turn left must wait because there is now a stream of traffic that they must cross. So these turners must now wait for a break in the traffic to cross (if there IS a break).

When the main lights turn amber, cars streaming from S-to-N and N-to-S should stop, if safe to do so, allowing the turning cars to clear the intersection. It is at this point that S-to-N and N-to-S amber-gamblers tend to squeeze the accelerator in order to get through the intersection, just as the waiting turners think they should be able to complete their turn.

All throughout this, cars can normally turn right on red in most states and provinces. More dangerous, congestion-causing and frustrating, is that when the flashing green turn arrows go amber and disappear, pedestrians are then shown the 'green man' to cross in the same direction as the cars are now travelling.

In a matter of a few seconds, the above will be repeated for E-to-W and W-to-E traffic.

If this all sounds confusing, try doing it at night, in the rain, in a city that refuses to use reflective paint but insists on using implausibly reflective tarmac, whilst driving on the wrong side of the road. Welcome to Vancouver...

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages


You just drive at them

Tell that to the bellend who did just that and was (fortunately) so inept that he couldn't even hit anyone: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39380527

Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams


Re: I can understand bodycams for police, but not the recycling inquisition

"Thankfully, at least in my part of the U.S. I don't see this kind of petty tyrrany taking place."

Give it time...

Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)


Re: "a chemical cocktail with unknown long term health concerns."

You can add my wife's cooking to that list.

My hole is a private thing – see for yourself


Re: temporary license to listen

I'm guessing that's the same Performing Rights Society that threatened a shelf-stacker with prosecution and a hefty fine if she continued to sing to herself while she worked... Idiots


Phoney McPhoneface: The thrilling tale of ZTE's crowdsourced mobe


Is it just me or does the first photo look like she's trying to feed cereal to her phone..?

Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think


Congrats Dabbsy

A quick congrats on the weight-loss, Dabbsy; 17.5kg is no mean feat. Well done. Have one of these to make up for it ------>

Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down


Re: On charities...

"I do get to buy pizza for lunch today which is better then gruel that I might get elsewhere."

You didn't eat at Pizza Hut then, evidently.

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors


The good news is that if you pass the lie detector then you automatically qualify as 'pre-clear' and get a free trial membership in Scientology...

Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door


Re: Snirk

Perhaps El Reg is aping Richard Herring's recurring joke of introducing fairly-well-known guests as being "probably best known for his/her appearance as <insert the most obscure and little-known credit from their past here>"

Quite funny when you hear some of the things now-famous folks starred in.

How one of the poorest districts in the US pipes Wi-Fi to families – using school buses


Agreed. Whoever came up with this idea should go ahead and take the rest of the week off.

Let Europeans sue America for slurping their data – US Senate


Don't worry everyone

"It will also allow them to review and correct information held on them by federal agencies."

So when Uncle Sam tries to capture and store as much of your personal information as possible and makes a mistake, you'll be able to voluntarily take time out of your day to furnish them with the real info....

What a generous guy he is...

Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death


My favourite photo from my recent trip to California...

Is a sign saying:

"WARNING: The Disneyland Resort contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds


Is this a preview of a new series of Brass Eye?

I seem to recall the beardy one talking crap on that show too...


NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats


Latest news is that it's been cancelled altogether... They won...

Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media


Re: Premier League Football?

An oval is flat. I think you mean a prolate spheroid.

Pentagon hacker McKinnon can't visit sick dad for fear of extradition


Re: The Brits should just stop!

And if you have a clue what you're talking about, you'd realise that if not for the Brits, Aussies, Canadians and a whole load more folks, the Americans would be speaking German along with us...

Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout


Re: Just to be clear here

"more than 30 min of fruitless waiting"

I see what you did there. :)

Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac


Macs in Landfill

"The fruity firm has always been interested in making sure the world's landfill sites are packed with out-of-date Macs"

All other aspects of the article aside and whether or not the above is tongue-in-cheek, I think it's worth reading their policy on recycling and reducing toxins, etc. Maybe I'm just a naive fool, but I don't see many other companies making these kind of commitments or making information transparent. And for the real cynics, this information is found behind a tiny 'environment' link at the bottom of the apple website, not shoved in your face for 'aren't we great' plaudits.



Sure, maybe Apple is never going to be a B Corp, but at least they're trying:


I'm not convinced that Apple offers good value for money but I generally don't mind paying a little extra for things that show some kind of awareness of environmental responsibility.