* Posts by Clovis

25 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

HSBC pops thousands of customer details in the post


Hang them all, hang them all, hang them all!

... wait. Was this a big deal? Some names and dates of birth and smoker status? This matters... why? No use for identity theft. No use for an invasion of privacy - if you know anyone on the list you already know roughly how old they are, and smoker status isn't a secret (for any smokers labouring under the misapprehension that we don't know you smoke, I'm afraid the smell betrays you at first introduction).

@wize - a list of names and ages of kids is a 'pedo's goldmine'? WTF? Like the presence of children in a household is a mysterious secret which strangers can't uncover?

Please gentlemen, let's try to keep a sense of perspective here.

There's never a rolling eyes smilie when you need one.

Truth, anonymity and the Wikipedia Way


More averages...

"...any statement about an average which fails to specify the type of average is leaving out information..."

Indeed. And if someone claims that when they said "50% of a population are always above average!!!" they meant "50% of a population always falls in the top 50 percentiles" then the information they are leaving out is that they were not in the top maths class themselves.

Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

Paris Hilton

A sense of proportion?

"Virgin Media network collapses nationwide ... leaving up to three million people without internet access for several hours in the crucial final shopping days before Christmas"

I'm still struggling to work out if El Reg thinks this was a big deal or not. No internet access! For several hours! In those CRUCIAL final shopping days before Christmas!

Nope, still can't tell, even though I'm a Virgin 'customer' myself. (And is that 'up to three million people' like Virgin's 'up to 3 Mbps' or what?) Meanwhile, in other news, thousands of people were dying. No Britons were thought to be involved. And finally, a hilarious talking dog...

Frenchman calculates 13th root of 200-digit number



Hmm, a number with 200 random digits which ends in thirteen zeros? That's likely. They must have been using Excel's rubbish random number generator?

Or perhaps they could generate next week's lottery numbers too?

Queues start a day ahead of UK iPhone arrival


Nice picture

I see they're sitting down; they must be the low iQueuers?

It's the black cord sports jacket, thanks....

UK lags Europe on PC sales


Statistics, ain't they a bitch

So, when you say 'UK lags Europe on PC sales', you mean 'UK PC sales exceed those in Germany and France, despite Germany having a significantly larger population'.

I guess you just cut and pasted someone else's article without even reading it?

ANPR bags alleged uninsured pirate godfathers


Traffic surveilance system apprehends uninsured untaxed drivers shock

It's the end of civilisation as we know it. First they stop petty criminals driving without insurance and tax, and second they'll be hauling pensioners off to the gas chambers. No way you can have the first and not the second!

To the barricades, comrades!

Apple to roll out Mac OS X 10.5 next week


Service packs and big cats

I'm no longer fully up to speed on supporting Windows (hurrah!), but surely Windows service packs are necessary upgrades to fix serious bugs in your operating system? Whereas Panther, Tiger, Leopard are genuine upgrades of OS X. Maybe not major upgrades (or they would be OS XI!) - but, and this is important, you don't have to buy them, because OS X isn't broken. At home, my first generation Mac mini purrs along quite happily with Panther. There is no reason at all for me to upgrade the OS - it ain't broke and don't need fixed. When I buy my next Mac (the ole' PowerBook G4 won't last for very many more years) it will come with whatever version of the Apple OS is then extant. It won't be cheap, but I have every confidence that it will work out of the box, or, if I'm really unlucky, Apple will fix it with the minimum of hassle.

OS upgrades are not supposed to be exciting!

A fan, but no longer a boy, regretably.

Student suspended in gun rights email row


Guns don't kill people...

... Americans kill people!

Interpol launches worldwide hunt for abuse pics man


must remember to...

... replace the image of my face with someone else's, before swirling, next time I distribute photos of myself commiting a serious crime.

Betfair catches whiff of tennis match fix



... the petty sexism in the first paragraph?

Hackers hit back at iPhone update


"I never signed a contract or accepted a licensing agreement...

... because I bought my iPhone off the shelf in an Apple store and waded straight in and unlocked it without going through the normal implementation procedure. So I can sue Apple for bricking my phone or insist they fix it?"

Nope. You broke the product yourself. Deliberately. Your fault. You'll notice the guide in the box which explains what you have to do to make the iPhone work? Which you ignored?

Warning: bad car analogy approaching! Do not proceed if you find bad car analogies distressing!

I bought a car. I took it home and removed the sump plug and then drove it... ten meters before the engine seized up. Surely someone else must be to blame, and must owe me a new engine?

Nope. I failed to follow the simple, straightforward instructions for safe and reliable use. On the contrary, I deliberately broke the product. My problem, not the suppliers.

Confession: Clovis much prefers his G4 powerbook to any other computers he has ever used in his twenty year career. Perhaps he is a sheep? Perhaps, though you'll notice that he can use a mac even with cloven hooves and a brain designed solely for eating grass and reproducing. Try using a windows machine with those limitations and see how far you get. Oh, and Clovis uses a £25 Samsung mobile which does phone calls and text messages - a radical approach to mobile telephony which is very popular with sheep.

Mr WebTV skewers US patent bill


Post-it notes! FFS....

"Are you high? If that were true, then the guy who invented Post-It notes would own a Caribbean island by now."

IMHO, Post-It notes are not an invention. They do not deserve any sort of protection at all. A company which is first to implement trivial innovations like this gets a "first mover" commercial advantage, and that should be that.

What possible advantage could there be in creating a monopoly for every trivial innovation? Absurd!

Fundy dunderheads make monkey of monkey man


I'm persuaded

Well, I woke up this morning an atheist, but having read these comments I see that atheism is just plain wrong, and science has no reasonable justification.

I wonder what the truth really is then? Can anyone recommend any reading? I was thinking the myths of a nomadic pastoral society as crystallised in the period when their elite became literate would probably be the best place to look? Any suggestions?

I appreciate that I may have to interpret the myths so that they make sense, but ideally at the same time I would like to be able to rely on them being absolutely literally true.

Sony loses privacy complaint over Unfit Kids


Whose to blame... (not me, oh no)?

Can I just check I understand this. A TV company is worried that the kids play video games instead of watching TV and decides to blackmail a video game company ... because sitting on your arse all day causes obesity!?!

Well, yes, but, isn't there just a hint of light absorbent cooking utensils making hypocritical aspersions here?

Yangtze river dolphin is an ex-cetacean


murder and extinction

I don't see the equivalence between murdering someone and not devoting myself to maximising their probability of reproducing. But whatever.

Those of you who thought this dolphin was worth saving should be ashamed of yourself for letting it become extinct. You have more than enough money to have preserved it, but chose not to. Instead, you prefer to shout and cast blame on others. Ranting about 'our' failure does not impress me. I don't care about this dolphin, nor do I feel any obligation to respect your rather ineffectual environmental principles.

Ranting that 'we' should take action to prevent similar extinctions in future is also a rather uninspiring approach, compared to say, doing something yourseves. Particularly since you seem to be implying that Chinese people living in abject poverty should have made the effort to save this dolphin, rather than some other group of 'we' with more comfortable lifestyles.

Desktop Linux: That dog will mount


Linux on the desktop, when exactly?

So, I've given up trying to run Windows at home, life is too short to deal with all the problems. OS X works rather well, but is eye-wateringly expensive overall, and doesn't have all the applications I would like. And it's not perfect, by any measure.

I thought I'd try Linux. A few weekends ago I loaded a leading distribution onto a laptop I have knocking about, to see if it works. It actually looks quite nice. An hour to set up, and about 19 hours to prove to my own satisfaction that it wasn't going to connect wirelessly to my home network. Apparently that sort of 'advanced functionality' is still in the future. If I had got it working, my impression was that there isn't much software, but lack of internet connectivity is a show stopper so not worth checking. I should have been suspicious reading all the forums where the linux fanboys bleat that linux is "99% working". Like that isn't "100% broken"...

Conclusion: grit teeth, keep sending Apple sackloads of money.

Office 2008 for Mac succumbs to Redmond disease


OMG how will I be able to stand it!

Really, the number of people who have a good reason to care if Office isn't upgraded for a couple of more months must be vanishingly small.

US denies entry to security researcher


immigration controls

hard to believe, I know, but the point of immigration controls is actually to prevent the entry of people who don't meet the criteria

having a valid reason for entry and not getting your paperwork straight shows that you are stupid, not that the immigration officers are vicious nazis

McKinnon earns Lords appeal



The crime was commited in the United States, even if the hacker was sitting in Britain. Long term principles can be changed to suit current conditions. If we don't think we can trust US justice then we should cancel our extradition treaty - personally I don't think that's appropriate but I'm happy to have that discussion.

The analogy to Saudi Arabian websites is spurious - in that case the Saudi authorities could, would and should prosecute the web site host, not foreigners who visit the site.

Are we serious about fighting IT crime? Or are we more concerned that the criminals are treated gently?

'Suspicious looking' man hauled off translatlantic flight



Perhaps if we all shout 'racism' loud enough it will drown out the sound of the bombs going off, and we can pretend it isn't happening?

Deal struck on the phone is binding, rules High Court


oral contracts

oral contracts have always been effective - the decision is the narrower one that this particular telephone conversation was a contract, not (for instance) a conversation about the weather

Pensioner used live shell as doorstop


compare and contrast

"it could have gone off at any time" v "it hasn't gone off in ninety years"

'They' really do like to keep us anxious, don't 'they'?

Open sourcers rattle EU sabre at BBC on demand player


waste of licence fees

I pay my TV licence for TV. The BBC should not be providing any internet services to anyone.

Hope this helps put the problem into perspective.

Chinese reporter targets Yahoo! from prison cell


Are you sure?

"...has joined a US court action against the internet firm."

The substance of this court action would be that Yahoo have an obligation to ignore any legal processes that it disagrees with? Is it just me or is that a tad futile?


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