* Posts by Martin Beckett

32 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2007

Reding would OK charges to receive mobile calls

Martin Beckett Silver badge

US system

An advantage of the US system is that your mobile gets a regular local number, so there is no need for a landline phone.

Sending and receiving calls in your local area is generally free in the monthly subscription. But you get to pay roaming charges - so if someone calls you while you are in another city you pay long distance rates to listen to them!

Still it should be allowed - it's upto the market to decide which pricing system works, there is no reason why one should be banned just because the US thought of it.

Windows Vista has been battered, says Wall Street fan

Martin Beckett Silver badge
Gates Horns


Yes but have you gained anything from buying VISTA?

Is the gain enough to shell out to update 10,000 desktops in your company?

>All the people I know having problems 'with Vista' are amazed to find out that >their problems are actually hardware and/or non-Microsoft related

If you upgrade to Vista and your hardware stops working it isn't necessarily Microsoft's fault - but it is still your problem.

British workaholics win EU opt out deal

Martin Beckett Silver badge

@60 hour week here we come

>Personally I would never signing the waver,

Until there's a memo saying it's now part of your contract, most contracts allow the employer to change the terms. If you want the pay check you accept it.

That's why theres has to be statutory requirements - otherwise the boilerplate for all contracts would have you relinquishing maternity/sick leave, health and safety, the right to sue etc.

Peter Gabriel cranks his f*ck machine

Martin Beckett Silver badge
Paris Hilton

@The Amazon scheme works okay

Except when it recommends endless Titchmarsh books cos you once bought a gardening magazine sub for your mum.

Or it starts recommending pin up calenders to you cos there is an author Iain (m) Banks that I like, and a swimsuit photographer called Ian Banks that I never heard of.

I suppose paris designed it.

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Could be big in the US

Apparently there are people there who take everything Genesis says as the word of god!

MS supplies cops with DIY forensics tool

Martin Beckett Silver badge

@Everybody's missing the point

The problem is that as soon as you plug this device in - the evidence is worthless. Unless you can prove this particular unit came direct from Microsoft in a sealed tamper-evident container and you can get MS to certify in court that it contained no malware.

Anyway it's just a tool for dumping the NTHash for later offline passwd cracking - and we all have one of those anyway.

The advantage over a Linux boot disk is that this can extract the passwd hash from an encrypted system while it's running.

If it contained a secret backdoor to bitlocker it would have been leaked by now.

Ian McKellen to reprise Gandalf

Martin Beckett Silver badge

re: An original story? Oh dear ....

"..How in the hell can you compare Tolkien to George Lucas?"

With .gt. ? ( please excuse the Fortran I'm a crumbly old wizard myself)

UK physics chief next for the chop in funding bloodbath?

Martin Beckett Silver badge
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More mousemats and coffee mugs

Never mind one Eurofighter - £80M is about what it has cost for all the mousemats, coffee cups and new logos which are about the only thing sign that SERC has been renamed again.

UK government websites out of control

Martin Beckett Silver badge
Dead Vulture


So we can't let some office junior in East Cowpat town-council put a note about the bus times on the local website because we don't have a record of the number of visitors.

And so the only solution is for all websites to be centrally controlled from Downing street, that way we can be sure that only the correct truth is shown.

Feds to collect DNA of every person they arrest

Martin Beckett Silver badge

>derivative works

>Can I patent my DNA?

Was there a particular inventive step involved in its creation, and would the process have been obvious to someone skilled in the art?

Better ask your parents.

Australia to restrict laser-pointers - Minister

Martin Beckett Silver badge

pointing laser at aircraft is a good idea

Or you could just buy one of these http://equipped.com/rescuelaser.htm

Mr. and Mrs. Boring sue Google over Street View pics

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Wot No permission

>In the UK, film companies and professional photographers have to jump >through legal hoops when it comes to obtaining permission to film private

No they don't - in the UK it is perfectly legal to take pictures of anything so long as you are standing on public property when you do it. There are a few restrictions for national security etc but generally if you can see it you can photograph it.

It isn't even illegal to trespass onto private property to take pictures - although you could be prevented from publishing them by a civil case.

There is an interesting twist in the US where the architect has the copyright on the public view of a private building. Nobody has objected so far - presumably on the grounds that no business wants to disapear from google's search.

EC tries to get on top of carousel fraud

Martin Beckett Silver badge

How does this work ?

So the criminals that aren't going to pay the VAT anyway must now not pay within 1 month rather than not pay within 3months?

Or are they just hoping to make up the losses with fines on legitimate companies that have better things to do than work on VAT returns all day.

Brit stargazers get Gemini reprieve

Martin Beckett Silver badge

It's a farce

You can still view the Northern sky from Gemini South - just not as much of it.

Most of UK Astronomy for the last 50years has been a similair farce.

The southern sky is a lot more interesting for a lot of science than the north.

The Europeans propose building a southern observatory in Chile - we don't join because they are a bunch of damn foreigners.

Instead we build a telescope with the Aussies (at least they play cricket). The australian telescope is rather old fashioned design - the Eurpoean one turns out to be rather excellent.

The europeans then build a huge suberb southern telescope (VLT) we don't join (they eat smelly sausages don't you know).

So we join with the Americans (hope to teach them cricket) and the Candians (is it still in the Empire) to build the Gemini telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.

Then we decide to join ESO anyway in the meantime.

Then we drop out of Geminin.

Then we re-join Gemini.

Anybody wonder why he first thing any British scientist does after getting their PhD is to head to America?

Seven per cent of doctors are mad: Official

Martin Beckett Silver badge
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re: Data missing

>A&E can look up your records instantly

Assuming you're awake so you can give a name+NHS number+NI number+postcode. Otherwise unless everyone carried some sort of identifying card to store all these it is a waste of time.

>If the data is entered accurately, this could save many lives.

If you were a medic, would you assume that the J Smith just brought in matched the J Smith on the database with the rare blood type - or would you just give them O-neg to be on the safe side as you do now?

Leaving aside the fact that your medicla records don't list blood type anyway!

Heathrow 777 crash flattens servers

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Old-fashioned way

The old fashioned way is getting less possible. On the latest Boeing all the control surfaces are electrically powered - to save the weight of hydraulic lines,

no power, no controls.

Caught on camera: the Downfall of HD DVD

Martin Beckett Silver badge
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re sponsored?

No it's rea lbunker CCTV footage but the subtitles are fake!

LG lifts skirt, reveals watchphone

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Re: I'll never understand...

Because it gives journos somehting to write about and puts LGs name on the page.

So you mum sees this and next time she's buying a microwave, thinks LG - I've heard of them, that must be OK.

Car companies do it when the only other thing they have new for that year is an extra cup holder on the old model.

Nato secrets USB stick lost in Swedish library

Martin Beckett Silver badge
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re Unlosable...

You could have just attached the keys directly to the student. Then not only would you be able find them ( if time<11:00am = bed else = bar )

but with a bit of training you could make them come to you when you whistle, like those key rings that beep when you lose them.

Schools minister touts 'one interweb per child' pork barrel

Martin Beckett Silver badge

That explains it them.

When I were at school we had one RM380Z connected to a telly,

If only we had t'internet in school back then I'd be able to read and write now.

Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt

Martin Beckett Silver badge

bloody capitalists

1, Close the fire stations and move them to out-of-town industrial estates

2, Discover that turning the firestations in community centres is expensive

3, Wonder what to do with a lot of nice old buildings, in prime locations in the centre of every city. If only someone could think of an idea of how to develop them - some sort of 'developer' for instance.

You could do the same thing with hospitals and police stations.

Beeb censors Fairytale of New York

Martin Beckett Silver badge

The irony

The band's name comes from "Pogue Mo Chone" meaning "kiss my arse" in Gaelic.

They had to change it when the BBC finally got a producer who spoke Gaelic -

after years of English DJs carefully pronouning it.

Laughing Squid squirts ink at Best Buy

Martin Beckett Silver badge

PC world

Wouldn't work - you would be spotted when your knuckles didn't drag on the floor.

Megan's Law snafu fingered in rapist's murder

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Won't someone think of the bikes!!

Didn't the guy knocking off a quick one on his bike (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/26/bike_incident/ ) get put on the register.

I think it should be published - I have young mountain bikes at home....

Since the children of violent offenders are much more likely to commit violent crimes themselves - presumably the address of the kid should be published so I don't risk living near him.

Build your PDF and Excel reports with PHP

Martin Beckett Silver badge

re: How big

1.04 * 1.47 mFurlong

Martin Beckett Silver badge
IT Angle


Or create html (with css) and use html2pdf from php

Colossus faces off against PCs in code-breaking challenge

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Why did Churchill order the original device destroyed?

After the war we handed out a lot of enigma machines to our (mostly commonwealth) friends saying - use these they are really secure we couldn't break them - Scout's honour!

It was also to disguise the progress mechanicla code breaking had made so that peopel wouldn't look too hard at improving their exisiting systems.

Animal rights activist hit with RIPA key decrypt demand

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Thats why colossus has been restarted

In other news, WWII code cracking computer Colossus has been restarted http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7094881.stm

Apparently they got a demand to hand over the plain text of any encrypted messages they had been storing.

Remembering the Commodore PET 2001

Martin Beckett Silver badge

For real retro addicts

http://www.digitalretro.co.uk/ Expect funny looks from wife if reading it in bed!

US manned spaceflight after Shuttle could be delayed

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Bring back Wernher von Braun

They do exists - it's just that.

Homeland security don't let foreigners have contact with explosive so he isn't allowed within 10miles of an actual rocket.

2 Nasa committees are trying to agree about how the 'Von' fits into their standard format for employee badges.

Other comittees is deciding if the rocket must be wheelchair accessable and if the sun rather than the moon as a detination would look cooler on the website.

The rockets must be launched from both North Dakota and Texas simultaneously to ensure support from senators on the funding committee.

Developer deploys graphics cards to accelerate password cracks

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Re: Nothing new here

Problem in the past with add-in FPGA/DSP/Transputer boards was that they were so complicated to program with such poor tools that it took a couple of years to get an application running on them.

Then the board would either go out of production or not be compatible with the next OS release or Moore's law caught up with you.

If these use regular graphics cards, normal dev tools and keep compatibity on new cards it might be useful.

Skype goes out to mobile phones

Martin Beckett Silver badge

Shame on you

Don't you know that mobile operators are dedicated to bringing you the best service at the lowest prices. They go without food and sleep to work there and are only forced to add huge international roaming charges because of a conspiracy of lizard people.