* Posts by Andy

154 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jun 2007


Beeb names new Who companion


Creepiest quote ever?

(from Mr. Moffat). Sounds like he shouldn't be allowed near playgrounds...

Chrome feels the need - the need for speed


People posting benchmarks...

...be careful what you test against. It's not exactly cheating, but different browsers test against different suites; so it's likely that they'll be the fastest on that test, because they've been optimised to do those tasks quickly. Safari's tests, Sunspider, will likely be fast in Chrome, and Chrome's will be fast fast in Safari as they're essentially the same. Safari is scary fast right now, though.


Is it still using "V8"

... or did they give up and use SquirrelFish yet? Really would be nice of them to be clear about what is WebKit, and where they've been dicking with it.

Six months on, Macs still plagued by critical Java vuln



Shock headline: Java user defends Java! Meanwhile, the rest of the world carries on not caring. While I enjoyed your tangent, you appear to have missed my point entirely. The only reason for my "cutting-edge" reference was ironic (note sarcastic quotation marks), to suggest that it's always been lowest-common-denominator crap. HTML and ECMAScript were around before Java on the web, and have learned lots of fancy new tricks so they're even more relevant today; Java has undeniably 'fallen on its arse', as it thoroughly deserved to. It's left with a small niche in enterprise, of course – where infrastructure traditionally evolves at sub-glacial speeds.

I'm convinced it's time to have Java off by default for web browsers, and really to seriously consider whether it's worth including at all. I know the last time I used a Java applet was the late nineties.


People still use Java?

This is a rather sad reflection on the once-"cutting-edge" technology that is Java. No-one cares any more! Still, leaving an unpatched, known exploit is a bit stupid.

iPhone users to walk and read at same time


You know, stupid as that is...

...it's actually a good idea.

Fanbois squeal over Mac OS X upgrade


I've had most of those

The blue screen when rebooting was kind of worrying, but everything worked after I forced a shutdown. Graphics issues with the 9400M are sadly nothing new.

US students 'required' to buy iPhones


Probably use iTunes U for distribution

...which makes it very sensible to strongly encourage an Apple device. I'm sure they won't down anyone insane enough to buy a Zune, though. Or maybe they make special apps available to students that help them participate in their course - which makes it no different to requiring a certain text book or whatever (unless you think they're paid to help a certain book publisher achieve world domination?). At least there's financial help.

Gordon Ramsay breaches f**king broadcasting code


Fucking Gordon fucking Ramsay

Fucking clown, no fucking one of us would take some fucker on the fucking street seriously if they used that fucking kind of fucking language all the fucking time, why should that fucking lunatic be fucking different?

I've got no problem with bad language, but the amount he uses it – he sounds like a simpleton who can't express himself, and why would I want to hear what a simpleton has to say? He's getting worse (probably trying to live up to his own reputation), and I'm glad the regulator has recognised it.

Safari, Opera browsers patch-shy, says study


One reason I don't use Firefox...

...is that every time I start it, on my machine or a university machine, it insists on installing updates and slowing down whatever I was doing! I do keep up with versions, but at times when it's convenient to me.

Safari is a bit of a special case, as WebKit has deep system roots so many updates need a reboot. It's not good that this (apparently) impacts adoption rates, but it is understandable.

Why the iPhone's megapixelage alone won't matter

Paris Hilton

Woo! Let's prejudge!

While I absolutely agree that more megapixels doesn't necessarily make a camera better, I can't subscribe to the point of view that it has no influence. To take it to absurdity, imagine the difference between a four pixel image and a four _megapixel_ image. It doesn't matter how good the lens is with the first sensor, nor how bad the second. The 4 pixel image is always useless in comparison.

More megapixels won't suddenly make it a good camera, but frankly neither will improved optics - the size of camera phones limits how good they can be in lots of ways. If a few more pixels make it marginally better for snapshots – and it clearly will – then that's good.

Oh, and finally... We're taking as gospel a rumour about more pixels, and not even considering a comparable improvement in optics? Where are we, The Register? Oh, wait... ;-)

Apple proves: It pays to be late

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I dislike the Title field

The media cycle continues – the rest of the press is cooling off on Apple, whilst El Reg (ever the contrarian) begins to defrost. It's cute!

Not sure I follow your logic towards the end; Apple's great strength has been a unified product, done well... so they should diversify into different lines, and abandon that? As other commenters have pointed out, that doesn't seem like a great idea. Although, a certain amount of differentiation could be accommodated (eg., better camera added, or some features missing – like the iPod Touch doesn't have a cell radio or GPS), it seems like this would probably be more trouble, and cause more confusion, than it's worth.

Google in Chrome rebetafication


@ Anonymous Coward 11:13

Yeah, right. Webkit gives Opera a thorough whipping in most departments. Opera may be faster than Firefox (though the 3.1/3.5 betas are fairly nippy), but that's not saying much.


I'd like to know

... if the javascript speed improvements are a result of their in-house effort to bring V8 up to speed with the latest Webkit "Nitro" engine, or of abandoning V8 in favour of Nitro after all.

The former seems pointless, the latter really demands the giving of so-far-non-forthcoming credit to the guys working on Webkit.

US woman attacks missus with sperm-filled syringe

Paris Hilton

Only in America!

... I hope.

Anyway, if you want kids, being lesbian seems like a relatively fundamental error.

Mathematica man brews 'AI' Google Killer™


For all your skepticism...

...I believe there really is a call for a way of answering certain types of difficult questions. Google and Wikipedia both rely on the question having been asked before, and - crucially - written about. Once you get beyond "What's the lead singer in that band I like called?", the just-Google-it answer starts to fall apart.

Of course, it's such a hard problem to solve that it's highly unlikely this project is the answer he's claiming it to be. So I'm with you on every other point.

BBC Click paid cybercrooks to buy botnet


Money should not have changed hands

They've directly funded criminal activity WITH MY MONEY, and totally without my consent. However you look at that, whatever they thought they were doing, however many weasel words you throw at it, it's wrong.

Apple Mac Mini (Early 2009)



The new MacBooks are pretty great. Virtualisation is alright if you stuff it full of RAM – but generally, if you like OS X you'll find yourself making excuses not to boot up Windows.

@martinX: simply put, yes. I don't know why these numbers aren't showing it – although if this machine only had 1GB of RAM, then the GPU is running in crippled-128MB-mode – but I moved from a GMA950 machine to a 9400M, and it feels like it's at least two generations newer. Running games, playing back video... it's just incomparable.

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Great upgrade

I've got a new MacBook – a mini in disguise, essentially – and it's a great piece of kit. The 9400M makes such a difference to all-round performance, especially because of its hardware-accelerated HD h.264 playback. This would be a fantastic media centre computer. Really don't understand why they ship the low end one with only 1GB RAM, either; it means the graphics card is crippled to 128MB instead of the full 256. Insanity.

We Brits really are getting buggered when it comes to prices, though. Before our currency tanked, we could get a mini for £399 – quite acceptable. Then Apple did a few price adjustments when the exchange rate changed, and suddenly it's £499 and not looking so attractive.

BBC mobile gets pimped

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What a horrible colour

It does look an awful lot better than the old site, though. Oh, and the reason there's no link to the Now Show podcast is because it sucks – its sole function seems to be to take airtime away from the News Quiz. (And yes, I know, they're the same podcast, but that would spoil my point...)

Homosexuality does for UK blue duck population


Which just goes to show...

...that homosexuality isn't very clever, from a Darwinian perspective. Though it's really quite rare for animals to be exclusively homosexual – usually it just seems to be a case of mistaken identity due to raging hormones – so maybe Cherry just isn't their type?

Google Earth faces terrorist target airbrush bill



Security through obscurity doesn't work? Then why is it one of the first arguments trotted out for things like the security of Mac OS X?

It does work, it's just not as effective as active security measures. Combine the two, and it's even greater than the sum of its parts.

Paris Hilton

I have a lot of sympathy for this approach

Satellite imagery must be a fantastic resource for criminals of all kinds. Sure, the big guys can get their data from elsewhere – but it does seem like maybe it's making things too easy.

On the other hand, where would you stop? Schools, churches, government buildings... For that matter, should private property be shown in such detail, making it easier for burglars to plan their entrance and escape route? There wouldn't be much left to show, and that would be a great shame; it's so useful.

Paris – because I'd like to know how to get into her private property, if you know what I mean...

Government wastes £4.6m on mobile telly nonsense


I've long thought

...that the money spent on schemes like this would be better used to subsidise condom prices - or even create a competing, low-cost brand - and to encourage more good condom adverts on tv to further brands and try to decrease the stigma of buying them. Those Durex condom animal ads were awesome.

Bill Gates bans progeny from iPhone Nation


Fair enough

This is the flip side to being rich – you don't get to use competitors' products, even if they're really great. I can't imagine it really causes them too much pain...

Symantec dismisses blind SQL hack claims

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These guys make a living from scaring people

...so it's only fair that they get picked on, too. Who cares if it's boring? The constant, ridiculous security alerts from people who want to peddle their crap are boring, too.

Mr. and Mrs. Boring lose Google Street View tilt


Could they not have prosecuted for trespass?

Clearly they were being dicks about this, but equally clearly Google shouldn't be driving onto private property and taking photographs.

iPhone and iPod Touch dominate handheld web traffic race


Ad requests?!

Does this seem ass-backwards to anyone else?

The numbers seem logical – there are a _lot_ of Nokia phones out there, after all – but still, ad requests seems a bizarre metric. I suppose it's more a case of drawing attention to their ad network than being about the actual usage stats.

Pilots boycott gov ID cards


Good on them.

That is all.

5,000-year-old 'ice man' was shot to death


At the risk...

...of killing the comedy with a "LOL awesome" post... err, LOL awesome?

Moar like this please.

O2 and Be customers suffer network congestion


Still OK for me

Had some trouble in the autumn – which coincided with some equipment failures – but service is back up to scratch for me now. Still cheaper and much faster across the board than any other provider.

I'm in Derby. Don't know where the trouble is located – but it's worth bearing in mind that noone goes to online forums to say how good things are. Only to complain! (And I'm guilty of that too.)

iPhone iLounge threatens Jobsian cult reunion


CES is dying, too

Much lower attendance this year, from what I hear?

They've been pretty desperate to get Apple and Apple-centric exhibitors there for some time... Hence this announcement. I heard some pure speculation that the "Apple at CES" rumour was also a CES plant, to steal exhibitors? It would make a certain amount of sense to strike while Macworld is weak. Nothing to back that up, though.

Not that I have anything against CES, really – it just seems like all trade shows are fading in relevance at the moment. Maybe it's just the economy.

EU says Microsoft violated law with IE on Windows


Okay, so does this apply to Apple?

Safari gets bundled with OS X, as the default browser. So unless we have double standards, that's not cool?

Or – is this one of the cases where there are different rules to make it harder for the big guy, simply because they're the big guy, and we need no justification because that's just how we roll m*****f*****? (Not that I'm necessarily against that; but "because we say so and we're right" isn't generally a great argument for legislation, even if it's true. Too many people say that when they're wrong!)

Pseudo-philosophical arguments in a comment on an internet IT journal, complete with crass language and phraseology the author thinks is more hilarious than it really is? Oh yes.

Steve Jobs takes medical leave from Apple to focus on health

Jobs Halo


... for refraining from sarcasm, jokes or other devices of poor taste. Standards are appreciated.

Things must be pretty bad or the guy wouldn't be doing this. At least he's rich enough to get any appropriate treatment.

Apple is bigger than one man, even a man like Steve Jobs – although it might take more than one man to replace him – but it would still be a blow to the industry to lose such a clear visionary. Here's hoping things aren't as serious as they feel.

Apple prices MacBook Pro battery surgery


Better than their usual hardware price conversions

Usually we get robbed blind. This is pretty good, actually.

And seeing as a new battery for a white MacBook was £100 from Apple when I asked recently, £139 for a battery that's better than this, including labour for a takeapart, is a total steal (and pales in comparison to the original cost of the machine). Still, it won't feel like that when your battery starts dying.

Apple unveils 17in MacBook, iLife tweaks, Tony Bennett


So I misread the title

as "...17-inch MacBook, iLife, tweaks Tony Bennett." Now that would have been an interesting keynote.

I'm pretty happy. It's as though they worked through my iLife wishlist and implemented every feature, even better than I'd imagined it... and then some. Best upgrade yet.

I guess it depends what you want, huh?

Pranksters infiltrate live Macworld feed


@John Molloy

Seriously? Whoops.

I thought it was hilarious. Figured it was a joke, then a second message came up... and then a "sponsorship message" from 4chan. Couldn't stop laughing.

Gotta feel sorry for the guys involved – and it inconvenienced me, as I was following that page via my phone because it's low-bandwidth – but Anonymous (if 'twas really he) delivered truly epic lulz.

iPlayer finally makes friendly with Mac and Linux

Black Helicopters

AIR? Eww.

So now they're not just in bed with Microsoft: it's a threesome, with Adobe too.

At the risk of extending the metaphor into unpleasant territory, it feels like they're doing something else to the licence payers. Using my money to further the business of private corporations? I'm not a fan.

Still, I guess this is progress, of a kind. I'll be sticking with the more-horrible-but-more-convenient Flash version, till they drop the DRM (it's no use pretending that those much higher quality 720p recordings on torrent sites don't exist anyway – dropping DRM can't make the problem any worse!).

Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch



"ftp/news programs/general download managers usual come with a scheduler. Why is it so dificult to use these? Thats all VM want and seems fair to me."

You're missing several points. 1, that costs more as you have to leave your modem and computer on all night. 2, the service is atrocious even if you're just surfing during peak hours anyway. 3, they shouldn't sell what they can't provide. 4, their throttling scheme doesn't work as advertised – it cuts in much sooner and lasts much longer than they claim. 5, other ISPs can charge less and still not throttle.

I'm an ex-customer, having been with them for years. Becoming the "ex-" was extremely difficult, involving threats and demands from Virgin, and a constant stream of junk mail from them since leaving, but it was completely worth it. I now pay half as much for a service that's theoretically twice as fast, but in real terms it's actually 4-5x. Anyone who's with Virgin: there really are much better ISPs out there. It's not going to get better. Don't put up with their service!


"50Mbit/s in a couple of years will not be enough"...

– a clear indication of the quality of the service they intend to provide. Stop chasing headline figures and FIX YOUR FUCKING NETWORK.

Apple updates MacBooks


@nexox enigma

"Then again, maybe there is some reason for it that I can't grasp..." To be honest, I think the reason is that other notebook manufacturers simply don't fix such problems. They don't sell enough of individual models for there to be a loud noise about any issues, and Windows gets the blame for any strange behaviour.


Pretty good for me so far.

Only power-related weirdness I experienced was a couple of times when the light didn't turn on when plugging it in (but it worked as expected) – though having used a lot of laptops in my time, pretty much every one gets confused now and then. Not easy to know if this has fixed such an intermittent issue, really.

I had the trackpad problem, but the fix was released within a week of my purchase. I sometimes think I get a double-tap registering when I've only tapped once, but I do suffer from Fat Finger Syndrome so it could easily just be me.

Not had any of the graphics issues, so either I don't push it enough (played some Battlefield 2042, which certainly sounded like I was hammering it) – or I was fortunate enough to get one of nVidia's few good chips. Either way, it is the Usain Bolt to Intel's Barry Chuckle of graphical offerings.

It's quieter, cooler, astoundingly faster and much sexier than my white MacBook. Recommended!

Telegraph.co.uk succumbs to typo irony


Ok, so –

– you're poking some fun at a newspaper which made the unwise move of highlighting someone else's mistake, by... highlighting their mistake? Let's assume the irony is intentional, because we'll get along much better that way.

I think I've seen the line "Publish first, correct later" somewhere before – isn't it the motto over the doors to Reg Towers? :)

Apple anti-virus advice was nothing new

Paris Hilton


I can't fault your logic there! No, wait... :)



"One of the more famous Get a Mac ads boasted that Apple systems, unlike Windows boxes, didn't need anti-virus software."

Actually, if you watch that link, it doesn't say anything of the sort. Just the entirely true statement that there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs, and not for Macs...

Kudos for this, though: "On Tuesday, along with world+dog, we inaccurately reported that Apple had changed its stance on the use of antivirus." I don't think I can remember El Reg admitting to mistakes at all in recent times!

Apple tells Mac users: Get anti-virus


@Anonymous Coward:

"When the first wild OSX virus came out - that the argument seemed to be users had to type password, but reading a few Mac Forums at the time it was reported users could be set up so they were admins and password wasn't needed as part of install process."

It still asks for a password before messing with anything that doesn't belong to you – ie. anything outside of your Home folder, ie. the system. The only difference is that *your* password will let it do those things, if you're an Admin. Pillock.


I think probably -

- it's a very poorly worded document that mean "one of multiple pieces of software", not multiple simultaneous packages. Still, could be wrong.

This really surprises me. There's still virtually nothing that can harm a Mac without user aid – typing in your password – and antivirus can't help if it's a case of PICNIC. It just validates the stupid scare mongering that so-call security companies do.

Bittorrent declares war on VoIP, gamers


Sounds like someone doesn't like Bittorrent

The fact is, we wouldn't have this mess if ISPs weren't so persistent about selling users so much more bandwidth than they actually have. They're short-sellers; except they can refuse to cough up if the stock price (or rather, bandwidth usage) rises. Disgusting.

Apple quietly releases Safari 3.2.1


"Yet another update"...

...meaning, in this case, "one update"?

Though let's be honest, it's a bit of a push to be getting offensive or defensive about this. zomg bug fixes?

BNP leaked list claims first victims

Paris Hilton

The BNP are a bunch of racist bastards

...but it's still political discrimination to sack someone for membership. So long as he has a good service record, it's bang out of order to give him the boot.

Frankly, I think the way the BNP is demonised in the media and by serious politicians is shameful. They're not the kind of people I'd want to associate with, but they do have a small number of councillors now - which means quite a lot of votes. Treating the BNP as a second-class party means treating BNP votes as second-class votes, and that is not a good road to go down...

Why don't we try to address the reasons for the BNP's growing popularity, instead of cracking down on the BNP itself?