* Posts by Rob

44 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

Goldman Sachs seeks Goldman sucks site suit



I thought parody was an acceptable use of trademark?

Nvidia touts Tegra with $99 handheld net tablet notion


Oh well

Had me up until "runs windows CE"

Hybrid fusion-fission reactors to run on nuclear 'sludge'


@Phil Clemow & Anonymous Coward

Storing AC power is best done by storing it as "potential to generate".

The easiest & cleanest way I know of is to pump water uphill into reservoirs using your cheap predictable-supply nuclear stations or whatever in times of low demand, then let the water run downhill again through turbines in times of peak demand. Then, when things get quiet again, pump it all back uphill. It's used a lot in Scotland, who are I believe a net exporter of electricity.

Bonus points because mother nature's fusion reactor will pump some of it back up for free in the form of precipitation.

Kamikaze ballooning Brazilian soars to Darwin Award



"...kamikaze ballooning Brazilian priest..."

I love it when people post rants about things they can't be bothered to check properly. Whoever's time you're wasting, you're overpriced.

Will 'wi-fi on steroids' give you spots, baldness and liver damage?

Thumb Down

"White space"

I'm sure when I went to school they were called guard bands

Sharp shows image-retaining LCD

Thumb Up


I think I also remember a system before the advent of cheap projectors that let you detach the lid of the laptop, remove the back of the panel and sit it on an old fashioned OHP and project onto a screen that way.

Maybe someone should bring back the screen-with-no-back idea and sell it as environmentally friendly... the greenies would love it, sales would surge on a tide of green nonsense

Apple iPhone 3G


Nokia Internet Tablet

I bought an N800 before the iPhone came out. It has bluetooth and you can connect to the internet via any phone with modem capabilities (even the cheapest ones do) via 3G, EDGE, or whatever you care to subscribe to, or wait till you can use the built-in wifi.

It basically does all the things the iPhone does, and a few more besides, including video calling (via gizmo). It has 2 memory card slots, I can install whatever software I like on it (there are loads of apps) and nokia has given me the last 2 OS upgrades for free.

It's slightly more expensive to buy but since I don't have to tie myself down to a £35-£70 monthly contract it balances out in the end.

Remembering the Commodore SX-64

Thumb Up

Similar Amstrad machine

I have an Amstrad PC512 from mid to late 80s. That was a proper PC (sans HDD) with an LCD monitor. It runs on 8 C size batteries. Take THAT commodore.

Google flaunts white space wireless magic


"white space"

The term is guard bands.

Windows Service Pack refuseniks offered temporary respite

Gates Horns

Microsoft allowing you to do what you like with your own computer??

I didn't realise it was april 1st already

Microsoft kills Santa Claus

Gates Horns

@ solomon grundy

If santa is shitting in your stocking it seems you've got more to worry about than MSN!!

McDonald's goes McWireless


Hopefully this will be the "about time" moment

Paying for wifi is pretty pathetic, for me it can be the tipping point between venues (not that I hang about in mcdonalds at all, although the milkshakes are bearable)

I've seen a lot more free wifi in european cafes and I refuse to pay the extortionate pricing that I see over here in the UK.

Teen sticks Xbox 360 power supply in bowl of water


the best part it...

Water conducts heat better than air but it's much more difficult to move around - the vents in the PSU likely wouldn't allow enough water to convect through and if it has a fan it likely wouldn't be powerful enough to move the water away from the overheated parts (never seen an xbox PSU so I don't know if it has a fan or not) so even if it was waterproof electrically, dunking it is going to make it overheat faster.

Microsoft sent FCC defective wireless prototype


I thought they were called guard bands

i've never heard of guard bands being called white spaces before

VoIP services must offer 999, says Ofcom


what about cordless phones

Our cordless DECT phone says on a sticker on the base that you're not supposed to use it for emergency calls, because it's mains powered so in an emergency you could be left without any telephone at all, even though your line is live.

If VoIP have to provide access, why doesn't my DECT phone supplier have to make some foolproof way to use the thing even when the power is out

Burned by a MacBook


Not to sound like a fanboy...

Seems to me that you can't run a business full stop, never mind what laptop you have. If you really did turn away thousands of pounds worth of work you should have had a contingency plan for an IT failure, and backups of all the data you said you lost. You can't blame your poor planning on apple - they didn't help the situation but since you were whining about having to act as their personnel manager it seems a tad hypocritical to expect them to be your contingency for free. What if the power to your house had failed and you'd been left with a drained battery and no method of charging? Would you start off saying "Can you run a business using electricity? No is my answer"

The whole tone of this "article" is whiny mac bashing, which is just as bad as the irritating mac zealots.

Speedy evolution saves blue moon butterflies



Going to love seeing the creationists rail against this one.

It should prove to be as good as the video on youtube with the numpty arguing that the modern banana is evidence of god because of the "design features" - rather than evidence of generations of selective breeding by man.

75-year-old has world's fastest private internet connection


re: "You don't that kind of speen....yet!"

"You don't that kind of speen....yet!"

I don't think I'll EVER need a speen, never mind what sort. Unless it's like a really fantastic version of a spork. In which case I do need one. Maybe two.

Nokia swallows Skype on tablet deal


Gizmo is better anyway


Even my technologically inept grandma can use this to call me from her house in france. It doesn't have video calling but it's based on a proper standard unlike skype and works with quite a few nokia phones, as well as the 770 and N800.

Tories offer record industry cash for righteousness


Well, that's my vote lost

Snoop into my internet activity without any proof that I may or may not be committing a crime? Yeah I'll vote for that, sure why not.

Court rules 3G licences weren't VAT inclusive


re: Does that mean...

No, because not all VAT is at the 17.5 pc rate.

Also the VAT would have been paid and claimed back - it's the "claimed back" part that is being refused, as it states in the article.

Users attacked by mysterious AIM buddies


Your google skills are weak



There's information about the other bots there too.

Start-up ISP in launch shocker



They say "unlimited" 8mbit/s broadband on their webpage. Who is going to take a bet with me that it ends up having some irritating, vaguely defined (un)fair use policy on it and annoying away their customers?

Hasselhoff, paedophiles, and a digital Animal Farm



Demos (the people) Kratos (authority, rule). System of government in which ultimate political power rests with a nation's population at large, either directly or through elected representatives.

At the moment, we don't really have a proper democratic government. First past the post is virtually the least democratic system of election, and at present you can only really get an issue raised if someone already in government thinks it would be in the national interests to have it raised. Only allowing me to vote on things that I'm "supposed" to vote on isn't even approaching a democratic system.

There has to be checks and balances of course to stop interested parties collecting up enough signatures (real or faked) to force an issue through, but if the majority of the population vote for an increase in speeding limits (or whatever) then regardless of whether if offends your moral compass that people think that way, that is the way it should be. Arguing that the debate will be silenced because you don't agree with what is being debated reminds me of another form of government entirely.

HTC jumps on touch-screen phone bandwagon


windows mobile

... it's alright I suppose but I'd be happier to see some of these running linux

BT declares ceasefire in broadband speed wars


BT are half right

BT are almost there, speed does matter to me but in conjunction with another important factor - "fair use" definitions.

I'm currently on an 8mb/s connection with pipex and we see about 6mb/s most days, which is acceptable to me. However, pipex have a very strange view of fair use, so far flatly refusing to define to me what they mean. I'd probably settle for a 4mb/s connection providing it was truly unmetered or had a very large cap, or if bittorrent wasn't throttled to death, or if "peak hours" weren't defined as "all the hours you're actually awake during the day"

My next broadband provider will be chosen partly based on the speed they can offer me, but I shall also be looking very carefully at their policies to see if I'm actually going to be able to USE the speed for anything other than downloading my junk mail quicker

Palm reveals 'secret' smartphone buddy



The name "Foleo" makes me think of an e-ink book / newspaper reader with some souped-up capabilities to make using it with a smartphone more tempting. Perhaps it can be a slimmed down version with bluetooth and/or wifi and rely on a smartphone for the cellular connection, much like the N800. Or maybe it has the ability to read documents and take annotation direct on the screen with a stylus. None of this is outside the realm of technology, and in fact can be picked up for about the same price (check out the iLiad)

I'd probably have been pretty pleased to see something like that, especially if it had a really neat twist like a rollable screen (there is an ebook reader that does this already) but this is just an annoyingly crippled laptop at the same price as a regular laptop. Why would I want this? Palm must have gone crazy.

Tesco's old timers get yoof slang pamphlet


Funny, it isn't april...

This has to be a joke, right?

I wonder when I can request literature from my council to be printed up in text speak for me, after all they dish it out in welsh.

Half of Wi-Fi hotspot money is wasted


charging for hotspots

I think it's astounding that people are willing to pay for wifi usage. I could understand it to a certain degree for hotspots out of callboxes that cover outdoor streets, but the rates that are charged are absolutely criminal. There are plenty of free hotspots around glasgow in council areas like libraries and museum cafes, not to mention quite a few independent bars, cafes and similar.

Having recently taken delivery of a nokia internet tablet, I'm finding myself more carefully selecting my choice of venue for a lunchtime coffee. Perhaps if more people avoided the pay hotspots and went into places with free ones the rates might come down to something less shocking. The upside is the coffee is usually better (and cheaper!) in independent coffee places too.

Liverpool police get mini-Black Helicopter



Glad all the money I pay in tax / speeding fines is going on something useful instead of coppers walking the beat.

Scientology tries to discredit BBC documentary


I was already interested in watching this...

...and if anything this just makes me MORE likely to watch it.

Anything that gets up the noses of scientologists is fine by me. Good on him I say

Electro-optic film set to foil DVD shoplifters


What a great business model...

I'm really glad that instead of adapting to the changing market, the recording industry wastes more and more money on increasingly elaborate protection that alienates more and more customers all the time. It seems to me that there are only a few industries that can afford to force the customer to do what THEY want instead of providing something that ties in to the customer's expectations.

Heaven forbid they should spend some of that R&D money on something useful.

ITV plays catch-up


Not that I watch all that much TV...

... but I'll be glad if someone can make one of these systems that works on something other than XP for a change

ISPA to members: play fair on fair use


As a pipex customer...

Pipex as mentioned in the article are playing fast and loose with the whole fair use thing.

They offer "Unlimited" broadband but state that it is limited by a fair use cap. That's all fine and I wouldn't have expected otherwise, but you just try and find out what the fair use cap actually IS. Their website is vague, and emails and phone calls to customer service have been answered one of three ways:

1) Check the website it's all down there (it isn't)

2) I don't know

3) We don't think it is worthwhile defining a quantified limit, this is assessed on a case by case basis

So it seems they refer to a fair use policy that they don't actually have. When I decide your use is unfair, then it is.

South Korea to detail robot etiquette


Lots of guff

These don't look like laws to govern robotic behaviour but rather to define a system of how and why robots should be used and how they should be interacted with.

The famous 3 laws were an inherent property of the 'positronic brain' of the robot - built in by the mathematical systems that lay down the initial pathways, built into the presumably fractal formulae which control the behaviour of the robot (programming by any other name)

As someone above pointed out, we don't have that capability at the moment, anyone could programme a system deliberately free from constraints that allowed a robot to shoot a person, or stand by if they were in danger.

Since "the three laws" are going to remain a complete fairy tale for the foreseeable future, we would do well to change society in such a way as robots aren't placed in a position where they would have to make that decision. The same kinds of decisions were made with the introduction of every wide-reaching technological breakthrough, for example changes in the law so that a facsimile document can't be considered a legal copy unless the provenance can be proven. You can look back at all the big technological leaps and see similar changes to society have taken place - people who throw their hands up now and declare the apocalypse because we've "designed our replacement" are basically talking crap.

Readers rate Nokia's free Smart2Go satnav app


Re Nokia E61 + Mac + wi-fi works fine

I have an N80 with wifi, can I download the WHOLE map to the phone over wifi in one go? i.e. with one command, not something hacky like "scroll around the whole map area" or anything like that.

If so then fine, but if I have to fiddle and mess around then it's a shoddy piece of work by nokia


Mac users?

I'd love to try this out but I frankly refuse to download all the maps over GPRS, and the maploader application isn't out for macs.

Granted I could fire up bootcamp to run it but why do I want to restart my computer - twice - just to install a map on my phone?

Surely if all it is doing is downloading some data, it could be done in a platform agnostic way. Or even over HTTP or FTP, since we're having online apps hurled at us from every direction.

Along with the BBC's obsession for MS-centric data transmission methods, I'm getting a bit narked!

UK wiretap watchdog wants MPs tapped


Proposed Solution - it's easy and GREEN!

He's a great idea. Paper communications are a waste of natural resources, and people talking on the telephone produces all those harmful clouds of CO2 with every breath - so we'll save money by routing all communication through a GCHQ email server. In the interests of climate change of course.

And as a side effect we won't have to all the bothersome paperwork to fill in when we want to intercept because, well, you're sending it to us anyway how could you NOT want us to read it.

It's a great plan! Lets have an e-petition about it and when millions of people say they don't want it I can explain to them all the ways they're wrong and don't understand the plan and maybe I didn't explain it well enough.


When Mercury went down


open source

We had Pegasus mail in our computer labs at uni in 1998.

I liked it.

We use outlook in the office.

I don't like it.

Open source will be the way to let people carry on using it but I'm constantly amazed by how we're always being asked to save money and spending decisions get turned down, but then I'm shocked at how suspicious accountants get when you tell them about open source software.

I think they're just saying no because they like to say no

Nokia N800 internet tablet


re: Hotspots in London?

It would be nice if there were some free hotspots about the place. There are quite a few pay hotspots here in Glasgow, the only free one I can think of in the city centre is in the public library. Even the ones in the dreaded franchise coffee places are all £5 for 10 minute jobbies - that's no good to me.

It seems like pure greed to me to charge someone so much for something that costs so little. I'm astonished how many people are prepared to pay for the "convenience" of using a public wifi hotspot


Sorry to say I agree with James

This reads more like an overview of a product with a bit about battery life tacked on the end. There are many more things I'd want to see in an ACTUAL review, such as camera quality, audio quality, battery life under a LOT of conditions (what if I want to use this as an MP3 player for instance), what about a more in depth look at the OS, what other devices can I share the memory card with.

This feels like someone scrubbing google for 3 pages of copy the afternoon before the deadline. Very sloppy. The Register can do better. If it was posted under the title of an overview, or a sneak peek I'd be happy but to my eyes this just won't fly under the banner of a full review.

D- try harder.

Open Phones with Open Moko


data connections

If this thing ends up having europe-friendly 3G and Wifi, and isn't going to tap my wallet for £400 it would be a goer for me. I really want to like the iPhone but I just can't see that it will fly this time around. Also it'll need someone to hook it into iSync.

I read somewhere that Nokia don't think linux is ready for telephones yet, so it'll be interesting to see how this stacks up against something like Symbian. The N80 is an excellent piece of kit (barring the poor battery) and if something to exceed that in terms of gadget-appeal then I'll be very happy indeed!

Netgear Digital Entertainer EVA700 wireless media streamer



You mention it seeks out shared files on windows machines but I didn't see any mention of macs in there? Does that mean not tested, or not compatible?

Shuttle XPC mini X100HA slimline PC




it even runs XP these days