* Posts by Joshua

25 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Labour flames whistleblowers in email smear brouhaha


Small correction

The site they were planning was not labourlist - which has been running for a while already and by all accounts follows the Labour Party line so closely it's dead boring - but rather another site called redrag, which is registered to an Ollie Cromwell.

Apparently RedRag was going to be the mouthpiece for the lies and rumour that Draper and McBride dreamt up.

Thanks Guido, you made my Easter weekend quite enjoyable watching this develop, and quite a masterclass in timing and strategy. I expect the business schools will pick this up and we'll see it in case studies in future...

Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

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What's this? A somewhat complimentary article disucssing Apple? Has someone at El Reg forgotten that they don't like anything that comes out of Cupertino?

Nice debunking of the myth.

US mobile carriers want more devices, fewer OSes



Missing close bracket on that heading: <h3

Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'


I wouldn't be so sure - eternity is a very long time

Whilst I fully agree that Microsoft, with it's E, W and X, has an awful lot of brand recognition that provides comfort, the fact is that the average user's toolset is more than amply covered by both FOSS and Macs these days.

The desktop is TOTALLY Microsoft's game to lose, but they haven't exactly proven to be up to the task of maintaining their monopoly through innovation (e.g. Vistaster) - and the EU is doing an admirable job of restricting their ability to abuse their monopoly position.

With Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera et al out there taking the game to MS on the browser front. And Linux fairly well entrenched in the server market, Apple dominating the music, "creatives" scene, and dominant in most universities, there is a lot of pressure on Microsoft. Competition is thriving in areas where Microsoft has had to compete on a level playing field - and mostly losing.

At the end of the day though, as long as Linux doesn't die, "living in the shadow" is enough. It doesn't exactly need a huge amount of revenue to survive does it?

In the words of Rachel Hunter, "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen".

Supremes defend American net smut (yet again)


@ Sarah B

you owe me a new keyboard

2008's top three music phones


@The Avangelist

You must be new here.

El Reg actually have a fairly sceptical view of anything produced by Cupertino California. Might have something to do with them being blacklisted by Apple a few years back.

You should also take a look at their smartphone roundup, where the iPhone incredibly came last.

2008's top three touchscreen phones

Paris Hilton

Flamebait/Troll article

I'm guessing someone needed to up their hit-rate, and putting one of the most successful tech products of the year in 3rd place was an easy target.

It doesn't change the facts though.

Yes, there are other touchscreen phones with better specs.

Yes, Apple fan-boys can be annoying.

At the end of the day though, it is the iPhone that has hosed the competition and completely changed what we ALL thought a handheld device should do. I fully expected HTC, Nokia, RIM, Palm, and eventually Android to respond - but so far, and on the evidence of the current attempts, they've some way to go yet.

And the best part, from Apple's perspective, is that if these better spec phones really do start challenging, it's fairly simple to match their specs and still blow them away with the UI, App Store, and (I'm afraid so) cool factor.

Back to the article though, on this evidence, I'm not going to bother reading your reviews of any consumer tech products. Frankly, I'd trust Paris' opinion of technology before I trust whomever authored this tripe.

Obama critical of Bush regime's bioterror fearmonger gap

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Hmmm, does "academics" not sound scary enough?

Red Hat scores empty patent pledge

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For crying out loud people, it's "loser" (a noun) not "looser".

Loser: a person or thing that loses or has lost something

Loose: Not firmly or tighly fixed in place


Farmers face subsidy error fall-out

Dead Vulture

defra == incompetent

Having worked for one of the defra family (Environment Agency) for a while now, this is no surprise. They really have little clue. Of course, we're not much better - but what do you expect when there's no real means to measure how effective or efficient we are. Twisting results to fit poorly defined targets is pretty much standard practice I'm afraid.

Kiwi botmaster escapes conviction despite guilty plea

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What makes this really amazing...

is that NZ has such rubbish broadband. Did he manage to hack into the local telecom exchange in small-town Whitianga and hook up a fat pipe?

Hawkeye technology turns tennis into a cartoon

Paris Hilton


Firstly, the BBC's coverage was obviously the same as the NBC, as we only got the Hawkeye replays whenever a challenge was made. Personally, I don't have a problem with the cartoon version for two reasons:

a) at least it's the same error rate for both players

b) we can quickly get back to the game rather than arguing the nuances of a smidgen this way or that from a slow-mo blurry pic.

Secondly, If they could figure out a way of doing the same for dangerous tackles/penalty appeals in Rugby and Football, it'd result in much less arguing. Slow-mo tackles tend to make something look far more malicious and bone-crunching than the reality, as the sense of inertia is increased, as well as the apparent time available to change direction or avoid a collision after committing to a tackle.

As for Adam Williamson's assertion that a few foreign players makes the "World Series" a legitimate title, perhaps we should rename the English Premiership to the Football World Series? Some would also suggest it's the most prestigious, as well as being full of foreigners. Weak argument, sorry.

Paris, cos she could probably hold her own night vision "World Series", in slow motion, and with a cartoon style that's more appealing than the reality.

Brown pledges annual commons debate on surveillance


needle in a haystack - meet google

The one counter-argument that I haven't heard to date is that whilst terrorists are using technology like cell-phones, computers, encryption etc - the police, MI5, MI6 should also have significantly improved methods for sifting through what is now a digital society.

If I can find anything on my 120GB hard-drive in seconds using spotlight, or millions of pages using Google et al, surely the police can also index an array of a thousands of hard-drives and apply some fairly simple search terms, or other means of making sense of the data?

As an analogy, if the haystack hiding the needle is so much bigger these days, surely our detection techniques have evolved somewhat from going through it straw by straw?

Davis faces North Korean victory margin in civil liberty vote


Just another nail

The ONLY half-decent reason that Labour ever offered for going through with the extension was that it was popular with the electorate. If Labour refused to actually stand against Davis, it really does show how weak the argument is.

I just wish all politicians had the guts to actually defend our liberties. Any suggestion that this by-election is a waste of money puts a very small price on the fundamental freedoms of the British.

The sooner we have an election in the country, the sooner we can start cleaning up the mess left by this lot.

Top Tory resigns on principle over 42 days bill

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I fully agree

The man deserves a medal. To all those suggesting this is some attempt to challenge David Cameron, perhaps you've missed the part where Cameron has led the Conservatives to their biggest lead over Labour for ages. Cameron is not even remotely at risk of losing a leadership challenge.

Davis on the other hand, clearly feels strongly enough about this to effectively take a demotion from the front bench. I support Cameron, but also support this decision based on principle. It doesn't fit the electioneering plan of the Conservatives, but some things are more important than winning elections.

I hope he wins by a landslide, and Brown can stop gloating about how 60% of the electorate support the extension to 42 days. What this issue needs is a proper debate - and David Davis is forcing that debate, and we should thank him for that.

Brazil bitchslaps ratification of OOXML

Paris Hilton

Where's the UK's BSI objection II

Second Niall's call...

Paris: cos even she would object to getting fsck'd up the datehole like that...

Boris Johnson bans boozing on London transport

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It's a pride thing

I don't think we should discount the invincible feeling that comes not just from being under the influence, but letting everyone know you are in that state by proudly displaying your chosen method of intoxication and continuing to imbibe during the journey.

Whilst I would prefer that all users of public transport were polite, sensible and pleasant, unfortunately there are plenty, especially on buses, who are downright rude and stupid and unpleasant. If taking away the ability to brandish their beer and alcopops improves their behaviour even slightly - or even better, gives the bus driver authority to kick them off - I'm all for it.

Boris could hardly be worse than Ken either, no matter how crap some of his ideas might be. Rewarding politicians for cronyism and corruption only makes them bolder.

There's no way Ballmer survives Yahoo! disaster scenario


Millbank Tower

I happen to work on the floor below Ubuntu in Millbank Tower. Any chance you could ask Mark S if he wouldn't mind hooking me up with some wifi? The IT department at the Environment Agency is seriously anal, and it'd be good to avoid the 25min boot time on the hot-desk PC's.

For a choice pub, I'd recommend The Jerusalem Tavern near Farringdon Station. Not Soho, obviously, but definitely worth the detour...

Adobe opens Photoshop for freetards

Dead Vulture

El Reg: Lose the "freetard". Please.

Dear Richard,

For starters, you're making a pathetic attempt to ape Fake Steve, and secondly, your usage is somewhat bastardised from the original meaning.

I seem to remember that Lyons was referring to Open Source advocates such as Stallman and co. NOT people who want stuff for free. Proprietary software is evil to the Freetards. For clarification you might want to refer to the explanation from the man himself (well the real FSJ), on your podcast with Mr Vance.

If you're gonna ape the word, at least get it right.


Darling could backtrack on capital gains


Must be the first time...

...that I've half understood what amanfromMars is saying.

Petrol latte for Kiwis in dairy biofuel push


Re: Luddite opinion

Who said it was a 'green' argument? Your interpretation, not my assertion. Clearly you didn't read my post - I'm not against nuclear power, or a tree-hugger - I just don't believe we are accounting for the full cost of nuclear power.

"Is progress lost on you?"

If you know of any progress that has been made in solving the problem of nuclear waste I'd love to hear it. OTOH, if you are suggesting that deferring payment = progress, then I would suggest you consult a dictionary. While you are at it, look up Luddite too.

As a solution to the "impending UK energy crisis" there are plenty of options - but it sounds like you are offering to store a load of Plutonium-239 and Strontium-90 under your house, so that's obviously the preferred solution.


Re: Nuclear Rocket Science and the Intellectually Under-endowed

@ Morely Dotes: "What would you do with it, then? Do you know some magical formula for reducing the half-life of unstable isotopes to a number comprehensible to the average citizen? Or do you prefer to freeze in the dark after the coal and oil run out?

Bloody Luddites. Ought to be used for biomass fuel..."

How about not producing nuclear waste in the first place?

Frankly, yes, I would prefer that people lived with the cold and darkness if they can't even comprehend the long-term side-effects of nuclear power. It's not you or I that have to pay for these decisions, it's future generations who will lament our selfishness and shortsightedness.

As for your ad-hominem "Luddite" attack: I'm merely suggesting we need to find a viable solution to nuclear waste that doesn't involve sweeping it under the carpet. That would be technological progress, no? Perhaps you need to understand the term before you throw it around.

As for "Intellectually under-endowed", that's just plain rude, and qualifies you, sir, as nothing but a troll. Unless you're going to be either funny or informative, why don't you go abuse people somewhere else?


Pot, meet Kettle

At least in New Zealand they are attempting to deal with the only "poisonous slurry" they produce, and in a typically ingenious way.

Compare with other countries' approach to dealing with their radioactive waste - basically sweep it under the carpet for a future generation to deal with.

Ballmer: Microsoft to become ads and devices powerhouse


Same model as before then...

Copy whatever is working for others and squeeze them out, not by doing it better, but by acquiring someone else who can.

It is interesting though that Ballmer sees "devices" as a significant part of the Microsoft future. This in distinct contrast to Gates suggesting that Jobs had the wrong approach in wanting to do hardware during his interview at D. Jobs was saying that writing great software makes you want to do hardware too, and Gates replies "oh, I think I can resist that".

Imagine if MS actually did some real R&D with that cash, we could have the future today - rather than a behemoth company rolling out a very late and rather disappointing OS upgrade. And now their brilliant plan seems to be playing catchup with Google on advertising and search, and Apple on the devices front.

Time for a new helmsman I think...

Steve Jobs: struggling to redefine the TV paradigm


OK, that explain the aTV

and an excellent analysis it is - quite possible a masterstroke from apple. For those of us in the world (admittedly stupidly rare) who have joined the revolution and don't have a TV , we're a bit stumped with it all.

What I'd like someone to explain though (anyone?) is why bother with a Safari for Windoze release? There must be some method to the madness?