* Posts by Hilibnist

57 posts • joined 1 Jun 2011


Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord


Not more of the same

I can't think of a Doctor I didn't eventually enjoy (can't blame the actors for the writing) but I think the new incumbant has had the best chance when he's been an obvious contrast to his predecessor. David Tennant and Matt Smith were a bit too similar for my liking (young and full of laughs), so poor ol' Matt had a hard time putting his own stamp on the character.

Gravitas is a definite must-have though. Peter Capaldi (without the guitar or specs) brought that back to the part in a way that the younger actors couldn't always portrey alongside their goofy scripts. After all, this is a guy who has lifetimes of experience; he's at his best when that shows.

What about Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans, Max) as the Doctor? Definitely a calm contrast to Peter Capaldi's fire.

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me


Very inclusive

I get you. Bonus marks for signing, but it doesn't make the words very audible.

Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven


Re: It's an occupational hazard...

+1 for the explanations, but did you see the state of Rose's parallel universe? I think I'd be pretty narked if I had to spend eternity on a drizzly Pembrokeshire beach.


Re: "without a convenient McGuffin to bail them out"

Fair point Joefish... there were any number of ways that Clara could have been bailed out. I was expecting Ashildr to take the curse on herself and see how it fares on an 'immortal'.

I liked that Clara wasn't bailed out this time - that's all.


It's an occupational hazard...

Adam, Rose, Donna, Astrid, Amy/Rory, River Song and now Clara ... since coming back for the new version, being a companion to the Doctor is a bit of a risky business, isn't it? None of that lot got to bail out on their own terms. At least Micky and Martha are out there somewhere, running the Doctor's fan club and Captain Jack is definitely not dead.

On a different point, I'm glad the BBC finally got it right about waiting until *after* the credits to preview next week's episode.

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RE x 7

No you weren't the only one (hurry up, not the undergarments)

Actually, I thought it good that one of the Doctor's companions finally had to face up to their rash decisions without a convenient McGuffin to bail them out. I reckon Clara's death would have had far more impact if she hadn't gone on about it for so long though... I was rooting for the raven to appear halfway through her farewell speech. That's the sort of thing that Joss Whedon excels at; an unexpected* death, showing that death isn't pretty and sometimes it just is futile.

* yeah, well it wasn't going to be unexpected in Clara's case, but cutting her short mid-speech would have done the trick.

Doctor Who's The Zygon Invasion shape-shifts Clara and brings yet more hybrids

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UNIT Continuity

The show is not perfect, but this week seemed to be a happy combination of new content and fanwank.

I appreciated Kate's nod to the timing of the original UNIT stories, distractedly referring to events in the "seventies... eighties..." as though she couldn't recall the exact dates offhand. Nice dodge, I thought.

HP creates laptop for SITH LORDS


Re: Rare Wallpaper

Yep... probably completely* different to the Win3.1 Star Wars screen saver which showed the whole of the original movie via storyboards and concept art. Also had a pretty nifty "Death Star emerging from behind Yavin to fire on the secret rebel base" clock mode.

* or not.

Multiple fondling on the MIGHTY 12-INCH iOS 9 SLAB — so, so close now


Running background apps

Two apps in view at once? That'd be nice. Maybe it'll be possible to play YouTube audio in the background while doing something else on my iPad at last.

'Use 1 capital' password prompts make them too predictable – study


Password rage

This. Largely caused by having to remember* a complex never-before-used upper/lower/numeric/punctuation password for a supermarket loyalty card** to protect my largely spurious personal information. And trying to follow good practice by not duplicating another password and not being systematic.

Just because the eager beaver who put the system together *could* tick all the security boxes, it doesn't automatically mean that it was absolutely necessary.

* okay, not remember. Just reset when I use it. Like that stupid Verified by VISA thing.

** yeah, but there are some convenient savings sometimes.

Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters


When 50% isn't half

I think we've seen this before, haven't we? 50% of those who responded have access to listen to digital radio in some form, but that's not the same as 50% of listeners actively preferring digital. Only 19% listen regularly and I wonder how many of that 19% listen exclusively on digital?

If access to one digital stream during the day is the indicator for being ready to turn off FM, maybe I should deny having any access at all... if anybody asked!

Out of curiosity, has anybody here ever been ‘officially’ polled or surveyed whether they’re ready to switch, or are the statistics just based on numbers of sets sold? I wonder what those numbers are…

Apple KILLS SUPER MARIO. And Zelda. And Sonic

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Re: Simple arse-covering by Apple

Agreed - Apple allow emulators but require clear proof that the app publisher is licensed to distribute the content.

For Speccy fans, Spectaculator is good but only offers a limited number of games for that very reason. The Elite bundles (backed by Steve Wilcox of iOS Bluetooth Spectrum Keyboard Kickstarter notoriety) appears to have been ejected from Apple's Appstore because of content licensing disputes.

Sounds fair to me... And if you're an Apple hater, why would Apple want to compromise its 30% App Tax to compensate a litigious developer whose code has been unfairly sold with a knock-off emulator?

Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?


Change of premise

I think part of the classic series which just worked was the Doctor's inability to accurately pilot the TARDIS. That meant they could start a story with no intention from the TARDIS crew to be involved and use the time more entertainingly with the them figuring out where they were and what to do about it.

IMHO, the New Series sees the Doctor deliberately navigating the TARDIS to precise coordinates too often, thereby begging a justification in the plot for why he chose to be there (and missing the opportunity for some chance or unlikely encounters). Perhaps that removes some of the mystery from PC's Doctor?

It's still a reason to look forward to Saturday evenings!

Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE


Transparent aluminum (sic)

That is all.

iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? No. It is the Most Exquisite THING. EVER


Prior art?

"Get an iPhone 6 and then fucking kill yourself - if possible blow up the entire world and space and kill everyone else too - go back in time and kill your parents so that you will never have been born "

Sounds rather like Light Metal (tm). Anybody else remember The Bishop and The Warlord sketch by Fry and Laurie? Back in the days when Fry was better with Laurie.

Panasonic's seven-inch Windows slab has tough exterior, confused mind


Re: The niche market that Windows 8 appears to have been designed for.

@Jess - "I have never used a W8 tablet"

Your reminiscences of Windows 3 are charming, but maybe you should try using a Windows 8.1 tablet before you comment at such length!

The perceived shortcomings of Windows+touch as part of a desktop setup are open to debate but Panasonic are definitely addressing a niche here: users who need a ruggedised touch device because they're not sitting at a cosy desk. Unfashionably perhaps, this Toughbook may benefit from the Windows Start screen (and tiles) because it's a lot easier to poke at with wet, dirty fingers than the traditional Windows UI.

BTW - you appear to be unaware that with the latest update to Windows 8.1 the user can boot to the desktop with none of that 'jarring' you've described. The same update allows the old full-screen apps to be run in a resizable window on the desktop like regular apps, supporting the "split screen" use you described.

I also like iOS and Android devices.

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM



Should I visit impossible.com and Youtube videos to form my own opinion, or should I avoid them entirely to reduce the amount of views they can claim? I'm pretty sure I don't want to endorse the site or its claims, but I can't claim to be informed if I don't check.

in the words of Father Ted (although he did see the movie)...

"Down with this sort of thing!"

Lord Shug ends Viglen ownership with a bang

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Re: "Free schools opportunities have grown during 2013"

Hang on... there are more free schools out there now than in the past [1] and that also includes new Academies - either as new flagship schools or rebranded failing schools. They all have a budget to buy new kit, therefore the market has been growing. What suggests that free schools might not be getting good value? The schools have to buy and it's in *their* interests to buy the best kit/support/package for their needs.

Still, for what it's worth, I'd rather see schools spending money through Viglen, RM, Stone as UK-based companies, than giving it directly to Dell, Apple, HP or one of the non-UK multinationals.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18819391, for example.

EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE


"...inbred shitsocks..."

I haven't heard that one before. +1 internets for that.

UK.gov to Google: Kill impostor taxmen ADs hogging top spot in YOUR search results


Intelligence test?

Oh come on... maybe you've clicked on the first Google result because time's a bit tight. But if you missed the disclaimer, the taxreturngateway site even has pretty graphics showing why they're better than HMRC.

If you're savvy enough to understand that you have to submit a tax return and even fancy having a go online, it's a bit lame complaining that you didn't realise that the website which claims to be better than HMRC is, in fact not HMRC.

'Leaked' iPhone 6 pics will make cool fanbois WEEP - it's a PHABLET


Re: I don't care what it looks like

Or perhaps because I have better ways to spend my time than trying to predict which music I might want to listen to in the next week/month/whenever. It probably doesn't matter whether you copy a subset to an iPhone, or to a memory card, it'd just be convenient to fit the whole lot in one and not have to spend time choosing.

Microsoft yanks Surface 2 DIM SCREEN of DEATH fix in update snafu


...yeah, just like that Xbox thing that never caught on.

I know, I know... Ring of Death... we all like to see Microsoft suffer and all that, but it's just a teeny bit disingenuous to write off all MS hardware projects as epic fails.

Their track record on hardware more elaborate than a keyboard or mouse isn't brilliant.

Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence


Re: 97% of the population

Understand it? We dreamed of visiting the metropolitan excesses of Grimsby and Hull... as seen on TV.

Er no, I guess not...


Re: 97% of the population

Thank-you Freesat fans - but unfortunately it's still not a panacea. Perhaps we can prevail on OFCOM to sponsor "free" satellite dishes. Plus installation. Plus replacement after five years when the salty sea air corrodes them to uselessness. At the moment Sky prevails locally, but only because some residents pay for the service and the regular replacement of the kit.

(hashtag unhappyyokel, minorityinterest etc.)

The point is that turning of FM broadcasts would remove an important public service which is available to everyone. Whether or not you like the content, FM Radio remains free and accessible in a way that TV isn't.


97% of the population

It's frustrating that this is another digital switchover which is being pedalled on the basis that coverage for 'most of the population' is a satisfactory target.

Digital TV was touted as the panacea for lousy reception of terrestrial broadcasts for those in outlying areas. Prior to the TV switchover on the North Norfolk coast, we were treated to mostly flawless Yorkshire TV, but nothing local.

After switchover, the DTV signal doesn't broadcast across The Wash - and the local signal hasn't been boosted to reach the coast. The same is true of DAB where the terrain leaves us in the shadow of the nearest transmitter. And don't think the internet will solve it... we're too far away from the exchange for that. Kill the analogue radio and it’s strictly a pay service (Sky TV isn't brilliant but at least it works).

Unfortunately, the 3% of the population could be the ones who need the service for public broadcast. During the recent floods, the only way we could find out what was going on was via satellite TV or analogue radio. I’d imagine the same could be true for a lot of outlying communities where providing coverage is just inconvenient (i.e. expensive).

No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

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Re: Who cares!!!

+1 for bothering to check the service before getting all shouty shouty.

That is all.

It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources



Fair point Matt - I wonder whether the side menus are simply a reflection of widescreens... there's extra space at the sides, so it's a convenient place for info and buttons to be added.

Of course, none of this explains MS's curious insistence on hiding the Shut Down command. You used to have to "Start" your PC to stop it (well, wasn't everything buried behind the Start button). Now it's just jumbled into the Settings Charm, and not even highlighted as a power on/off button. I've tried to use Windows 8/8.1 'as is', but that's the one weakness I've conceded - adding a Shut Down tile to the Start Screen.



From my POV, one of the biggest problems users have with Windows 8 is where 'know it all' technical people have provided a fully installed PC, on which they've 'helpfully' completed all the one-off, out of the box steps. Like the user tutorial which shows you how to use this new OS and what happens when you hover the cursor over the edges of the screen.

What tutorial? Of course you're baffled, and that goes for all the 'experienced' IT guys who skipped the tutorial steps because they were so excited by the new install. Of course you shouldn't be expected to _learn_ how the new features on your new OS work, that's only for sheeple, isn't it?

Win 8.1 still isn't perfect, but during the first month, it'll repeat the tutorial pop-ups occasionally to remind you how to access the off-screen menus; that's useful and helps to take the wind out of the complaints of "how the hell was I supposed to guess that!"

PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more


'The Silents'

Really? Not 'The Silence'?

FWIW, I bet I'm not the only one who finds this sort of analysis almost completely pointless, but thoroughly diverting. If this is an advertisement feature, I'll have to consider myself advertised at.

NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover


Honest question...

Once upon a time, radios were very basic and relayed a signal at about the same time it was broadcast.

Now with FM, DAB, Sky and Internet radio, they simply aren't synchronised. Can anybody explain in simple terms why the newer the platform, the more lag is tolerated?

More than one commentard has mentioned sports commentary... which is largely pointless if it's thirty seconds behind the action. For that one reason, none of these spanky new wirelesses holds a candle to Test Match Special on long wave.

Custom ringback tones: Coming to your next contract mobe?

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It's the thin end of the wedge

Just wait until your Telco changes their standard RBT, then 'invites' you to pay for the good ol' fashioned brrr brrr to get rid of their adverts...

Microsoft store staff to hold all night vigil for Surface 2


Midnight on 22nd October?

Unfortunate timing, especially with Apple 'expected' to hold a launch for their next iteration of iPad later that day.

Given the feedback to recent Apple and Microsoft launches round here, will there be enough apathy to go round?

Peter Capaldi named as 12th Doctor Who


Well done everybody

I feel like I'm the only one here who hasn't seen Malcolm Tucker in action! Still thanks to everybody for the recommendations.

Now, where was Peter Capaldi in the El Reg readers' poll?


Any suggestions why his name didn't spring to mind earlier?

Who's who: 12th Doctor has been chosen, will meet you on Sunday night


Re: Sigh...

*Mary* Jane Smith? Did I miss the memo..?

Who will Dr Who chew in 50th TV do before Matt Smith bids adieu?

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Quite right too

The Zygons are definitely overdue another outing and I hope they have a kick-ass skarasen that does justice to thirty-odd years of SFX improvements!

As for the daleks... you don't have to like all the recent versions of them, but it would have been a missed opportunity if they weren't there. Fingers crossed it all lives up to the expectation.

Schwarzenegger says 'I'll be back' for Terminator 5 reboot


So are all series bad, then?

What's the significant difference between a TV and a film franchise? On television, series like Doctor Who run seemingly forever (okay, a rest now and again isn't a bad thing) and plenty of people seem to welcome it, despite the quality of the plot/continuity/acting varying wildly. By the comments here, you'd imagine that no film character should ever be permitted to return!

For the record I don't think the episodes after T2 were gripping, but I for one welcome another chance to see the T1000 on screen again - and maybe it'll be worth watching. And if you're worried about the plot, since it's likely to be wall-to-wall CGI, why not just overlay the dated stop motion from the original film with contemporary FX?

El Reg encounters mObi: R2-D2 for retailers


This is a BOFH story waiting to happen

I know the BOFH has been involved in robot challenges before, but mostly on his own turf. What are the possibilities for a robot ambush (and counter-insurgency) campaign at the local supermarket... Or perhaps a few amendments to the stock management and delivery system.

Presumably with the right access to the control system, there's no reason why these little chaps should consider themselves limited to the supermarket aisles. I'm mean, what if a mischievous rascal felt inclined to 'persuade' the robot to follow customers home. I wonder what the effective range is...

LARGEST BELCH EVER SEEN devastates gassy GIANT Saturn


Oh come on...

...there was a War of the Worlds before Jeff Wayne, you know.

But fair play to you, I prefer Jeff's version too.

EC: Microsoft didn't honour browser-choice commitment


Re: What's all the fuss about?

IE probably does need paying for at some level, but since its removal hasn't resulted in a price drop for Windows, why do you assume it is making Windows more expensive? Microsoft's pricing does that by itself, not the inclusion of optional software.

Other options are available.

Ten digital radios to suit all budgets


Any budget? Really?

It's easy to forget the difference that spending one's own readies makes, isn't it? But the cheap kit deserves a review, just as much as the crazy priced stuff that we'll never want to shell out on.

If lots of people say it, maybe it'll sink in...

Dredd movie review

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Re: Nah sorry diluted to extreme,...

I haven't seen the film yet, but +1 for mentioning Halo Jones on a dull Monday morning.

Kobo revamps e-reader line, intros mini model

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Horses for courses

I'm glad to see Kobo is persevering, because choice is good, right? I bought a Kobo Touch before Amazon released Kindle Touch in the UK. I only ditched the Kobo because their firmware update earlier in the year bricked it and I couldn't be bothered to figure out why. Well done WHSmith: they didn't have a replacement in stock (which I'd have taken) so they issued a no-quibble full refund!

I replaced it with a Kindle Touch. YMMV, but I preferred the configurability of the Kobo for text size and spacing, its choice of touch zones on the page and a wider choice of typefaces (somehow none Kindle's choice of 3 fonts pleases me). I preferred the Kindle's because its menus are less cluttered and Amazon offer my newspaper on subscription. I couldn't choose between them in terms of e-ink clarity, page turn speed, compatibility (hello Calibre!).

I didn't experience the same problems of Ambivalous Crowboard, but a bricked device doesn't make anyone happy.

Good news about the backlight though. I'm sure it'll drain the battery, but I'm sure it's a step in the right direction. Next stop: cross-device syncronisation for sideloaded ebooks please!

Number-plate spycams riddled with flaws, top cop admits


Missing an opportunity

Hang on, haven't Google already beaten them to the punch? They must have streetcammed a lot more of the number plates at their home location than the plod. Shouldn't there be some beneficial link between the two. Maybe they could come up with a way to cross reference number plates with emails from WiFi traffic in the area...

Mine's the one with... oh never mind, it's a rubbish idea and it would never happen, would it?

Lords call for the end of TV transmissions


Re: You seem to have missed the word "terrestrial".

I think "terrestrial" is in there. As in "...the transfer of terrestrial broadcast content from spectrum to the internet..." There's no reason why satellite systems couldn't share the load though.

Thing is, they want to free up this "spectrum" thing by killing TV transmissions so they can make more money by selling it to 4G, 5G(?) and whatever else. Doesn't it seem a bit odd that one of the main benefits of this brave new wireless world is that you can send and receive more mobile data... thereby providing bandwidth to allow all the happy new users to receive a TV signal anywhere? Unlike the current broadcast system which allows you to receive a TV signal anywhere.

BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!


Thinking outside the box...

...maybe that's the time to remember why we put some of the ideas outside the box in the first place.

All-in-one PCs: bright star of the desktop biz, says analyst


Nothing new here... IT saviour Surrallan was there before he was Surrallan. If we'd all bought the stunning Amstrad Integra, British IT would be in a very different place now!


Mine's the one with the stack of floppy disks in the pocket...

Gov IT buying body: Mega hardware gig to save £6.5m in 2013


If only...

This GPS contract is advertised as a 'catalogue' of hardware to save public sector purchasers from having to do the legwork to compare different vendors' products and prices. But nobody is forecd to buy from it, and if [insert name here] Council don't like the brands in the catalogue, they can just continue to buy the same as they've done already. The absence of key names from the GPS award (direct sales from Dell and HP?) suggests that it'll present a poor alternative for buyers who are comfy with their current provider, even if resellers are touting the same brands. There's no saving to be had if you don't buy from it.

As for saving 20% off the opening prices... well, dur! Which vendor would realistically start an auction event with their lowest possible price, before seeing what the competition is trying?

Beer, because it's Friday, beer o'clock.

Ministers consult public on 'opt in for smut' plans


There's lots to worry about but...

...one thing which springs to mind is what the press will make of the list of unrestricted accounts when it inevitably slips into the public domain. "Look... this MP has children, but still checked the box to view porn. What a filthy pervert/irresponsible parent/disgusting excuse for a person..."

I'm sure somebody previously referred to Alan Partridge calling reception at the Travel Tavern and asking "can you make porn come on my TV..." It's exactly the same thing. Obviously.

Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display


Re: Surprisingly reasonable

Not taking anything away from Apple's new kit, but cheaper ultrabooks _are_ out there. Google Shopping tells me that Toshiba Satellite Z830 can be had today for under £700 (as long as you're prepared to take your chances with an outfit called "John Lewis"). IIRC, the Reg reviewed the Z830, mentioning that it had an RJ-45 port which is why I kept it in mind.

Of course, if you want an i7 processor like the new MBP, you have to pay for it... that's not an Apple thing!

Windows 8: Not even Microsoft thinks businesses will use it


Like it really matters?

The view from "the channel" (i.e. the middlemen who resell MS software) supports an opinion that corporate users won't be challenged by Windows 8 in a hurry. I haven't spoken to a single large organisation who has the slightest interest in Windows 8 for the first year of its life and still won't be interested until SP1 has been proven.

Windows 8 won't affect existing Win XP/Vista*/Win7 desks so as far as business users are concerned, MS could cock up the whole of the launch version of Windows 8 (not just the UI) and it won't matter. And it will continue not mattering until the dust has settled after SP1.

* yes Vista... check out all those poor souls administering to the Olympics




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